Songs, Poetry, and the Arts



Arkhaven Singers (1920s-30s)
Fairhaven Youth Theater (1998-2003)
To Visit Fairhaven (a poem) by Ariel Brumbaugh
Fairhaven (a poem), by Grace Holleman
Art of Frank Wright


Arkhaven Singers
Lloyd Tibbott. I am sure there is not an old timer from Arkhaven who does not recall the enthusiasm which greeted the message: "Sing on the pier tonight!" Lew Keiser and Warren Offutt were usually the ones to start it off. When the night was warm and clear...how the Arkhavenites would respond! Soon they would be filling out on the pier and in no time the benches on all four sides would be filled. Lew had a melodious voice, fine for harmony, and he was versatile, ready and able to fill in from tenor to bass as needed. He was a fine guitarist. Warren loved group singing, could never get enough of it....I would bring my banjo and fill in with Lew's guitar as best I could. But those sessions were nothing to what they became after "Judge" Tullar joined the club....He had sung in the Albion College Glee Club and regularly sang with the Chevy Chase Chanters....Chet Lindstrom, who also sang with the Chevy Chase Chanters,led the baritones, ably supported by Ralph Nagle....This contingent of strong voices carried the rest of the singers along. It was wonderful!

We would warm up with "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." Then we would wander down Lover's Lane, see Nellie home, go down that long, long trail, and sail along on moonlight bay--all the old songs with melody and harmony....As we approached the end of the night, Judge Tullar and Chet Linstrom, by popular request, would sing a duet, "The End of a Perfect Day." (Indeed, it did mark the end of a perfect day made perfect by the songsters on the pier.) Invariably the sing would wind up with "Sweet Adeline" rendered in close harmony with Judge hitting and embellishing those high tenor notes with a clarity that lifted the song far out of the barroom tradition and into the realm of high class beauty and harmony....
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I think back to a time upon a time when Lew and Clarence and I sat down together in Lew's home to compose an Arkhaven song. We worked out a melody and then had to fit words to it. While Lew was plunking away softly on his guitar, Clarence and I struggled to get the opening lines. Thinking of all the folks singing on the pier on a moonlight night, we came up with:

"The moon is shining bright
On fair Arkhaven tonight,
The stars gleaming overhead so fair
On friends all gathered there;"

While these lines may have pictured the beauties of the night we had in mind, they were too ethereal to be fully representative of Arkhaven; they lacked vigor--at this point, Lew tossed in the lines:

Arkhaven on the Bay so blue
Arkhaven, we are proud of you!

This was the robust picture of Arkhaven we were looking for and the alliteration:

The sea breezs seem to softly say,
Arkhaven on the Bay

just flowed naturally. But "Arkhaven on the Bay so blue, Arkhaven we are proud of you!"--this was Lews contribution. He loved Arkhaven--and why shouldn't he. He made it. (July 22, 1972, courtesy of Bob Tibbott.)

Fairhaven Youth Theater (1998-2003)

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Mary Brewer as Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream. July 28, 2001. Source: Smith

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To Visit Fairhaven

By Ariel Brumbaugh

I

Cherry blooms, like puffs of corn,
burst from kernel prisons,
flower and are free.
The arc of branches,
delicate as ballerina
legs stretching in
shoes pink and dusty
with resin, tracing
the ground in soft strokes.
Or the forsythia, bold
in the receding frost,
eager to fight the brown
roadsides with swift yellow
punches. You can feel the morning,
still damp and cold,
mingle with a reviving
energy. A crocus flowers,
content at the base
of a fledgling walnut tree.


II

The sun wakes the earth
with a yellow invitation.
Trees murmur and stretch
toward her beams, their leaves,
now strong and healthy, swallow
greedily. If you could see time,
as a color, the green
that washes these days clean
would make you believe
that cold is an imaginary thing.
As a stifling afternoon approaches,
the Bay sweats, exhaling
heavy breath into the air.
Even clouds slow down,
struggling through a windless sky.
And although the weight
makes you stay inside,
there is something to the calm
heat that encourages stout
raindrops.


III

Have they told you how the tops
of Elms beach themselves
on tufts of sky and curl
an autumn red? Or how, in drifting,
golden light, a softness settles
and Herring Bay hums?
And if you take a Sunday
drive, with windows down,
you’ll pass the corn fields,
fallow, except where
Goldenrod is sprawled, selfish
over the sun. Daylight ponders
migration and Summer
flips its tail. Leaves paint
deer-trodden paths with colors
that melt into brown decay before
the first season’s frost. An onshore
breeze undresses the stubborn
deciduous trees while needled
neighbors wait for snow.


IV

This darkness is silent.
The roots of trees,
swallowed by the icy ground,
glisten in the perfect black
that plasters the earth
earlier each day.
There is no softness
to the bleak light that
seeps through cracks in window
frames and under doorways.
Warmth is man-made now,
with gold lights and
the slow drip of coffee,
hopeless against muddy
ice-burgs that bump against
the shore in time with
the probing tide.
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The Art of Frank Wright

Here is a link to Frank's website, which includes images of his pictures of Fairhaven
http://www.gwu.edu/~fwright/pntg.html

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Community Art Classes
--Mrs. Booth (1950-60s?)
--WADL (1990s)

Local Artists and Writers