Thursday, December 10, 2009

Noise For Toys

One of the benefits of living in or around Austin, Texas, is the availability and easy access to excellent live music, any night of the year. Even some very small communities, like Point Venture, on the north shore of Lake Travis, have outstanding live music. In the case of Point Venture, Thursday is the night for “Open Mic,” and it showcases the very best of north shore music.

Every year, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, sponsors a Toys for Tots Program to collect new toys. The toys collected are then distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children, who, if not for the effort of the Marines, might not have anything to open on Christmas morning.

This evening, during Thursday’s regular Open Mic, the community of Point Venture, bolstered the Toys for Tots Program with live music, in what was called, “Noise For Toys.” Each person attending, was required to bring a new, unwrapped toy, and after being admitted, was welcomed by two young and very proud Marines in their dress blues.

Folks not only brought toys, but as is customary on Open Mic evenings in Point Venture, food to share. My wife and I attended tonight, and we enjoyed the evening with our wonderful neighbors. The entertainment tonight was provided by north shore musicians, but, also, by musical talent from all over the Austin area. The Point Venture Club Room, where the event was held, was aptly decorated for the holiday season tonight. Among the festive decorations, was a large and brightly lit Christmas tree.

For the record, the exceptional live music was performed by: Alan “Bones” Davis; Bobby Earl; Chad Alan; Dave Culbreth; Douglas Clyde Martin; Eric Carlson; Graham Weber; Greg Wietzel; Joe Nesheim; Jul Ewing & Brandon Jolly; Keith Bryson; Larry Cooper; Mark Hackett; North Shore All Stars; Roger Len Smith; The Dust Devils; Timo Gallegos; and Tom Gossett. The organizer of the event, Gary Brandenberger, did a great job pulling everything together, and it was enjoyed by all.

Judging by the applause, the biggest stars of the evening were not just the musicians, but, also, the two young Marines. What a difference since the Vietnam years, and it was nice to see, but, then again, this is Texas, where patriotism has never gone out of style.

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