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’.”

 

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

As we turn our clocks back (November 6) and look forward to fall, we hope you are doing well and excited about another beautiful month here in Sun City Center and South Hillsborough County. In this issue… After Hurricane Ian, our...

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

First and foremost, all of us at The News hope that all of you reading this came through Hurricane Ian healthy and safe. Our News team fared well, considering. A few trees and power lines down, loss of power, and the general inconveniences of temporarily...

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Run with the Hemingways, explore the new ER at Sun City Center, take a Night Out with the sheriff’s department, see how SCC is Sprucing Up, celebrate Photo Club competition winners, get updated on the Long Range Plan, make some...

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the HemingwaysBy Kai Rambow “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway“There might have been some alcohol involved,” recalled Gary Mull.  Mull...

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City CenterBy Bob Sanchez The ER at Sun City Center hosted a Community Expo to show off the brand-new facility to the public. The free-standing building is an extension of Manatee Memorial Hospital....

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal By Bob Sanchez The 5th annual SCC Mini-Relay for Life drew hundreds to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on July 29 to raise money in the fight against cancer. The event raised $16,757.39, easily...