• Bob Grove of Brasstown narrates his radio script, “The Visitor,” as Ryan Bender, David Vowell and Joan Howard (from left) act their roles in the scene.
  • Tiger Cub Scout Braidon Koch talks with a Life Scout from Savannah, Ga., as Dick Leineke listens for coaching opportunities.

SCOUTING AROUND: Radio show brings literary event to MAC

  Writers got the opportunity to be performing artists Saturday, when the Cherokee County Arts Council and Ridgeline Literary Alliance hosted an old-time radio show and poetry and prose reading in the Cultural Calendar Room of the Murphy Art Center downtown.
   The idea came from conversations between Bob Grove and council Director David Vowell.
   “It’s great, the opportunity to read to an audience,” said Grove, who wrote the two radio scripts read at the event.
   The readings were split into two acts, with one of Grove’s entertaining and intriguing radio scripts starting each act. The radio shows each had a small cast that performed the scripts around a microphone, as they would have performed for an old-time radio show.
   “It’s basically reading a story with sound effects,” Vowell said.
   The first script, “Lou Anne,” was performed by Grove, Loren Leith, Joan Howard and Vowell. The second show, “The Visitor,” was performed by Grove, Howard, Ryan Bender, Vowell and Leith.
   Writers Leith, Howard, Mary Ricketson, Staci Bell, Anne Bowman, Jim Davis, Brenda Kay Ledford and Grove each read their poetry and prose. Some stayed behind the podium as they read, while others walked in front of the audience as they read. There were even a couple, like Bell, who read their works from books they have published.
   Bell introduced each writer, providing details about their writing – explaining, for example, that Leith finds magic in the woods, Howard is often inspired by Lake Chatuge, while Ledford writes primarily about life growing up in Appalachia. At one point, Bell said hearing a writer read their work makes the experience more impactful.
   It was the first time the literary alliance had gotten together to read their works to the general public.
   “I’m pleasantly surprised,” Grove said. “I didn’t expect to have 20-some people here.”
  Vowell said when the council wrote the proposals to acquire the center room of what is now the MAC, the plan was to do more cultural events there instead of just putting visual art on the walls. The “When God’s Children Come Together” art exhibit was one example of an event in the Cultural Calendar Room. He hopes to have two to three literary events there a year.

Scouts connect at JOTA
   Amateur radio operators all over the world teamed up with Scouts this weekend to help them connect with each for the 60th Jamboree on the Air. This was the second year Murphy’s Boy Scouts Troop 400 and Cub Scouts Pack 400 participated in the event.
   Local Scouts talked with other Scouts all over the East Coast – from Savannah, Ga., to Maine – with the help of amateur radio operators Kevin Heyboer and Dick Leineke.
   “We enjoy introducing them to amateur radio,” Leineke said.
   Heyboer and Leineke showed the boys all the tools they use to communicate over the different radios they had as they waited for someone to answer their calls for Scouts participating in the event. Boy Scouts who attended earned 60 percent of a radio merit badge, while Cub Scouts earned achievements or belts loops, depending on their rank.
   Avery Cseh was one of the local Boy Scouts there to earn a merit badge. The Tenderfoot-ranked Scout got to talk to someone from Annapolis, Md.
   “I actually loved it. It was pretty cool,” Cseh said.
   He said the experience taught him that there are lots of troops all over that are doing interesting things, and he wants to meet more face to face.
   Cubmaster Ken Koch said JOTA was a great way for Scouts to get together without actually leaving town. His grandson, Braidon, a Cub Scout in the Tiger Den, enjoyed the opportunity to talk with people he never had before.
   In addition to connecting with other Scouts, kids at the Murphy event could work on skills needed to advance in rank at special stations.
   Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.