Monday, March 8, 2010


*****Check out guest blogger Steve's post right after this one. I told you there was a sighting a few weeks ago, but some of you didn't beleive me. Some of you still think he doesn't exist, don't you?
Whether it's the first robin sighting, the first day over 45 degrees, or the small trickles across our sidewalks telling us that the snow piles will soon be gone, everyone has a personal line of demarcation that indicates that spring is imminent. For me, it's the first day without mittens, and my first Heart-A-Rama rehearsal for the year. This year, those two anticipated promises that my favorite season will truly arrive happened on the same day...Saturday. Oh joy!

All mittens aside, I have the best, the very best HAR cast this year...the very,very best! Keep in mind that I work with three different casts, and only one has begun rehearsing. I am sure the additional two groups will also be the very, very best! We're working on a little musical parody called "The Yellow Brick Road to Fame and Shame," which we wrote and included in the show about eight years ago. Reprising it gives me a chance to tidy up underdeveloped scenes, and add new flips and tricks!

What I'm enjoying most is the bravado and creativity of this group. Jokingly, I commented to our pianist Connie Dorner, "They have no respect for us, Connie." She agreed. But that is exactly what makes them so much fun. They take my suggestions, and play, and twist, and build, and end up with a scene that is more fun than I had envisioned. This is going to be a good year.

Be sure to get your tickets. They will go on sale soon...sometime next the Piggly Wiggly and at Inman Jewelers in Two Rivers.
*****I'm still plugging away at The Monfils Conspiracy. I don't read much true crime, and am not quite sure about the style. However, the book is fascinating, and the authors have more than thoroughly examined all aspects. If you recall, in 1995, six co-workers at the James River paper plant in Green Bay were found guilty of the murder of Tom Monfils. Monfils had tipped the GB police off to a potential theft, with the understanding that his identity would not be revealed. Not only did the police, reveal his identity, with the DA's blessing they gave a cassette copy of the tip line tape to one of the suspects. Monfils was confronted by three employees of the plant who played the tape for him. He owned up to making the call. Shortly after that, he went missing; his body was subsequently found at the bottom of a paper vat.
One of the six men has been totally cleared of all charges. The book asserts that all six men were the victims of shoddy police work, supposition, and a desire to give the people of Green Bay some closure on this disturbing occurrence. Although I am only about half way through the book, much troubles me. My biggest problem is this: how does a group of six men, with no ties socially, and with only a casual work relationship suddenly band together to commit a murder? Is it logical to believe that there was not one among them who would have said, "This is not the way to handle this?" Why would all six observe some twisted code of silence knowing that doing so would mean the loss of their freedom perhaps for life?
When I couple those questions with the ambiguity of the facts, and the "creative" detective work (as least as it is reported by these authors) I am leaning toward accepting most of the writers' thesis. Without a doubt, some bullying occurred. Prior to their arrest, nearly two years after the murder, some of the accused showed bad judgement, and could have used an editor to step in to clean up comments made publicly in fear, anger or frustration. I also don't understand why all six were tried together in an all or nothing situation, but that will certainly be discussed in coming chapters.
Manitowoc residents know all too well how such an event can shake people to their very core. We know all too well that the residue from those incidents becomes part of the stained tapestry of our culture. Perhaps it is time to change our paradigm, and work to permanently etch the strengths of our community into our collective history. What better time than spring to look to the good, the positive, the possibilities? So, let the spring cleaning begin!