As a board member of the Peabody Historical Society, I was “in the house” with about 50 others Saturday evening for a delicious soup and pie supper and some great music by Dave Schimming, the “One-Man Mule Band.” If you missed it, you missed a nice event. I often hear that there is nothing to do in Peabody. That is an old complaint voiced most often by our young people, but sometimes just as frequently by older residents. I know that no one can please all the people all of the time, but Saturday night would have filled the order for many of you.
The food really was terrific. The good cooks of the historical society, supported by even more good cooks from Peabody’s History Club, put out an array of homemade soups and pie accompanied by homemade bread and a drink. As promised, I did not contribute anything from my kitchen. The soup bowls, napkins, and store-bought crackers were my contribution. The women who truly know their way around a kitchen provided all of the good stuff!
Dave Schimming was a versatile entertainer with his acoustic guitar and a list of songs that kept people humming along. He played many favorites from early trail songs to numbers by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Buddy Holly, right up to current hits like “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. Schimming also performed some catchy tunes he had written himself, such as a clever number about actor Lon Chaney, which he declared sounded better in black and white.
It was not a long drawn-out event. You could have been home in your chair in front of the television before dark. I wonder what it takes to make us gather together for an evening. Organizers for school, church, holiday, retail, or entertainment events also bemoan the lack of participation. On the other side, residents complain that there is just nothing to do in Peabody.
So what do you want?
It is not likely that we are going to have consistent championship high school athletic teams to bring us together once or twice a week. Cultural events featuring music, theater, history, or religion do not seem to be the focus for a cohesive community gathering. Nor is it even likely that food – famous or special though it might be – will be the rallying cry to bring us together.
I would be happy to present your thoughts and comments to the community in this space. Call, write, or email me. Share some ideas about what kind of events would get you out of the house. What have you attended in the past that made you glad you went? Would you like to get out and mingle with the rest of us or do you really just want to stay home and look at the screen on your smart phone or your television?
No doubt times have changed, but I think we still need interaction with one another. How do we do that?
— SUSAN MARSHALL