On Day 3 of this year’s Classic, we spent the evening in the community of Elgin. The town’s centerpiece is a stately 106 year-old Opera House/City Hall building where riders were welcomed for tours, a history lesson, and a taste of the show the cast has been working on for months. One of our Cycle Oregon volunteers, Wally Shriner, was so taken with the whole experience that he was moved to put pen to paper and write a little something to share with us. Take it away Wally:
Wally Shriner, Cycle Oregon Volunteer
September 15, 2018
Community theatre — kids, adults,
grand-parents. Two weeks before
show time. A little preview for a few
cyclists supporting the arts. Expecting
fun, but not Ashland. Homemade
cupcakes and popcorn for sale
before the show.
A few chimney sweeps were mingling
with the visiting patrons – poised and
charming – kids confident of their place
in the world. At home in a 200-year old
opera house and riding range in
Some words from a modest director
starts the show. Ambition here too,
like those who conceived that an opera
house could tame the wild west.
“We’ll do a few shows to bring art
to a sleepy town” were as far
as his plans went.
Fast forward forty shows later, tonight
thirty locals, mostly school-aged, dazzle
the crowd with song and dance,
arabesques and shuffle taps. Solos
and sophistication as good as any
seen with city lights and wealth.
Proof of what’s possible with hard
work, six days each week and
dedication for art and for each other
and for a crowd of strangers
shouting and clapping.
Smiles uniting all. Sharing joy
at a job well done and the pleasure
pure from a performance unexpected.
Nothing podunk about this cast. Actors,
dancers, singers. Worth every decibel
of the standing ovation
in Elgin, Oregon.