Mary gets a lesson on the samisen.
April 22nd. I took a bus to Ann Arbor and met up with the rest of the group, then off we drove to Shipen’s home town, West Branch. There we gave a highly successful concert at the local catholic church to a packed crowd of 500 people. Wow! They had printed up tickets and the show had sold out days before. After the concert, we agreed it was probably the best performance of the entire tour! We packed up in record time (11 minutes flat) and zipped over to Shipen’s parents for a special dinner prepared by Dorothy Lebzelter. We shared a feast of standing rib roast, wine and all kinds of delicious food along with Dr. Tom, the priest and other old friends. We toasted our success and enjoyed the high that comes from an exceptional musical performance and a highly responsive audience. During dinner, we also toasted Shipen’s father Paul Lebzelter who, it turned out, had just been named Man of the Year for the State of Michigan (or something to that effect).
The day of the concert the headlines in the local paper declared: “Nationally acclaimed group plays at West Branch”. Truly a day to remember! We were farmed out to different families for the night and I fell asleep wrapped in the warm and delicious feeling of accomplishment and success. In the morning we would head to Roller Mills recording studio in Glen Arbor, Michigan to begin recording our second record.