| Jan 26, 2006

Feature Article - January 26, 2006

Feature Article

January 26, 2006

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An evening with JohnMuir at Cafe Merea

by Les Russett


CafMerea, held at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonald's Corners last Friday evening, presented a showcase of literary works. The highlight of the show was a performance by Howard Clifford, a writer and actor from Lanark who cares deeply about issues involving conservation. "An Evening with John Muir, Creator of the Sierra Club" dramatized the life of well-known Scottish-born conservationist, John Muir, who visited Ontario at time when the wilderness radiated a mystical aura and was populated by massive pine trees that rivaled the towering Redwoods and Douglas Fir trees of the West. "The Cat", a short story read by Gene Bassett told the tale of a barn cat who came to live with Gene in his cabin one winter. "The cat was scarred about his muzzle with white and pink lines and one ear was askew from an old wound. Wary menacing eyes absorbed all of his new environment". The audience was spellbound as the story unfolded in the darkened hall, a single light on Gene as he read. Gene’s entertaining book, “Short Stories/Tall Tales” has become quite popular in McDonalds Corners and Lanark and hopefully, will soon be followed by a new collection of short works by this talented author. A long-standing member of the MERA Writers Group, Sandy Rennick read a story written in a classical style that spoke of lifes journey, called "The Old Man". Sandy delighted listeners with her poem for the evening, which was a humorous response to the challenge in life to stay positive, and was simply called "My Poem". Michelle Larin entranced listeners with a spiritually charged poem called "The Wishing Well" that was filled with the archetypal dreams of life. Michelle has become a regular presence on the stage at CafMerea and her unique and talented writing style reveals a compassionate heart that always moves the audience in a special way. During intermission, pianist Les Russett and bass player Ed Ashton played an eclectic set of original jazz compositions with titles like "Transcendental Heart" and "Snow Angels" that was later described by one listener as lyrical, fluid, and possessing a driving beat. After eight months of production, CafMerea has established itself as a popular event that features local and regional talent in the growing artistic community of McDonalds Corners. As part of MERA's arts and recreation programming, CafMerea provides an opportunity for performing artists to present their work in a comfortable and intimate setting. Executive producer, Les Russett invites all local performers who are interested in playing at CafMerea to call 613-279-1081 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The next CafMerea will be held on Friday February 24th at 8:00PM and will feature award winning author Michael Norman Steeves from Sharbot Lake. Admission is $10 pp and $15 Family.

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