Front Porch Pickers

Front Porch Pickers

Front Porch Pickers

By Paula Lickfeldt

 

In 2001, four men sat around Ray Kelley’s kitchen table and sang for a beer.  The four were, Ike McCloskey playing guitar, Ray Kelley playing dobro, Jim Kinnear playing guitar and Kenny Ward playing mandolin.  The first gal to join the group was Mary Lou, who played the spoons and the washboard but very shortly after joining the group she had to return to West Virginia. Janette Harrington, the group’s “Minnie Pearl” was next to join, and she also played the spoons and the washboard and told wonderful stories about folks sitting on a bench in front of the hardware store.  Janette always had a question, and the person who had the correct answer got a Goo-Goo candy cluster from the ACME Candy Co. in Tennessee.  Janette’s philosophy of life was “Just keep breathing.”

The first time the group played publicly was at the memorial service for Eddie Lahowski. Eddie’s final request was that someone would play his fiddle one more time after his death.  The fiddle was played at his memorial service. 

In 2003, Ike, with the help of Kelly Emmerson, wrote the bylaws for the club and applied for membership as a club in the Community Association.  Membership was granted, and Ike became the president, a position which he held for many years.

The club now has a membership of over sixty. The oldest member, at age 96, is Ed Watson who plays the harmonica.  He told me that he has been playing the harmonica since he was twelve years old.  His brother found a harmonica.  One reed was missing but they both used it and learned to play.  Another member is Joe Bateman, who plays the Autoharp.  Joe started playing the Autoharp in 1976. When he retired from the US Air Force, where he was stationed at MacDill, he and his wife Clara moved to SCC and Joe joined the Pickers. Carolyn Hunter joined the club about fourteen years ago.  She plays the guitar and writes songs about things that happen in SCC.

The Front Porch Pickers play every Wednesday at the Rollins Theater from 2 until 4 p.m.

During the winter season, they have an audience of nearly 140. Each week they pass a basket for donations and they get a donation when the have a playdate.  At the end of each year the board decides which local charities they will support financially, with the donations they collected during the year. This year the Pickers gave $900 to the Good Samaritans, $900 to Meals on Wheels and they paid for six Hardship Awards to be given by the CA.

If you are looking for something fun and uplifting to do on a Wednesday afternoon, you should make your way to the Rollins Theater and listen to the Front Porch Pickers. They are a group of people who really have a good time “pickin’ and grinnin’.”

 

“Thanks, Dad”

“Thanks, Dad”

“Thanks, Dad” By E. Adam Porter Editor, News of SCC & South County There’s a picture on canvas, hanging over the stairwell to my bedroom. When I see it, I think, man, I look tired. And then I smile. Not because I look soggy, bedraggled, and...

A Groundbreaking Event

A Groundbreaking Event

A Groundbreaking EventBy Cathy Meyerhoff, SCC History Society Though May 10, 1961 may not ring any bells with most local residents, it is important.  On that day ground was broken for the retirement community of Sun City Center. Nothing is recorded about...

SCC Celebrates Earth Day

SCC Celebrates Earth Day

The Sun City Center Audubon Society celebrated the 51st anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 at the SCC Community Association’s West Campus Nature Trails. The weather cooperated beautifully with clear skies, a light breeze, low humidity and temperatures in...

For the Birds?

For the Birds?

For the Birds?Story by Ilona Merritt, Photography by Kai RambowSome information courtesy SCC History Society  When the greens of the North Courses were re-sodded in 1987-8, the chemicals used to fumigate the soil had been covered with plastic,...

Inspiring Our Future Leaders

Inspiring Our Future Leaders

Inspiring Our Future Leaders By Thomas D Hart, MOWW Sun City Center Chapter A  group of excited and curious students showed up at the Plaza Club in Sun City Center to attend a Youth Leadership Seminar.  Eight different high schools in Hillsborough...

JUNE 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

JUNE 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Celebrate Earth Day, enjoy local wildlife, get updates on the upcoming Entertainment Series, learn about a benefit event for local pets, go back in time to a wacky and wonderful rendition of the Renaissance, experience turning...