I did a radio show on DIY in the early part of the day, so I was glad to be busy before the 4 pm start of the awards show. I played Michael Jerling’s My Award Speech on the show as well as Claudia Schmidt’s Thanks spoken word piece as a preface to the event.
I was tickled that Rosalie and Jaimie were able to take in the event from up in the balcony. They had a great time and were able meet a bunch of my community and see Dad up on stage several times.
I was there to accept a Lifetime Achievement award, so I had prepared a speech for that, crafted on Friday morning at 5 am, sleepless with ideas running through my head. It turned out to be a healthy session. I knew I was up for a couple of awards, and thought I had a good chance in the Kids’ Performer category, but didn’t think I had much chance in the Radio Personality and had forgotten about the Folk Performer nomination.
The Community/College Radio award came up early while I was upstairs with my kids. They announced my name as the winner and I was miles away from the podium so I yelled down from the balcony to my friend Bev, the presenter, that I’d be down later to pick it up. She blew me a kiss and it was a fun way to start off my acceptances during the day.
I headed downstairs as the Kids’ Performer award was approaching. I waded through many well-wishers and friends in time for the announcement. I was gratified to win this one, since it’s what I do, and the other nominees have really stepped up their work in this field, so I felt I did win something. I headed up to say thanks, got to the podium and said, “How ya doing? Thanks.” Brief and to the point, and, in retrospect, it was the perfect thing to do, especially with some of the incredible blather that followed. It fit into the Dave Fry narrative for the afternoon.
An hour into to the show, I was informed to get back stage for the Lifetime Achievement part of the afternoon. The other person acknowledged was Jolly Joe Timmer, a polka empresario who had passed on last year. I though it was cool since The Polka is a supremely community-oriented folk and dance music, especially with the many East European and Slavic communities on the SouthSide of Bethlehem, with its steel town ethnicities. I was embarrassed that the LVMA couldn’t find anyone to accept the award
I was introduced and ‘stumbled’ up to the podium. Gloria did a nice introduction and then it was showtime for me – my speech. I started of, offhandedly commenting that I wish I was playing instead of speaking. (I was pretty disappointed that I was not allowed to play at this event. It made no sense.) There was a murmur of recognition from the still noisy crowd at the bar to my left. Sheesh, bars… I said I would speak in my adult voice.
I launched into the paper in front of me, and gained some momentum setting up the theme of ‘Playing Music’, with the emphasis on ‘play’. I put some Teaching Artist thoughts up front, quoted Bob Franke’s “let your dreams bind your work to your play”. I then set up my ‘ripples’ theme (which, upon reflection, could have added some physics to), and how musicians rarely get feedback on the gig – the music is gone, with only echoes to drive home to. I said I have had the chance to experience some nice ripples from grandparents, parents and kids over the last decade. Occasional shout outs when I mentioned the life of a musician. I took that in with a smile. l knew my audience had players in it and wanted to aim this talk at them.
I told the Goth/Peanut Butter story that brought it home wonderfully and humorously. I had them listening by then.
I wrapped it up with encouraging folks to buy CDs, buy CDs, buy CDs and go to my gigs, go to Godfreys, listen on the radio and keep on ‘Playing’ music. Bang.
I stuck around to hear written proclamations from my right-wing House representative, and from the mayor of Bethlehem, saying that it was now Dave Fry Day (that was funny) today. Sunday is DaveFryday, but it’s now 5:30 pm in the afternoon. I could have used it earlier, but the parking meters were off, anyway.