Arts and activism in the Bluegrass are explored freely here in my little blog. My voice is your voice...
is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?
Saturday, October 2, 2010
My American Idol: Mayme Hamby to Play at 25th Annual Halfway to St. Patrick's party at O'Neills!
A few years ago, my friend Mayme Hamby told me about the Halfway to St. Patrick's party that is held every year at O'Neill's Pub on Richmond Road.
Since she was going to be there, I made certain to get myself over to see just what it was all about, because Mayme is not only one of the most clever pianists you could ever wish to enjoy, she is also one of the dearest souls you would ever want to meet.
(In this photo I pinched, Mayme is the lady on the right...I am sorry I don't have a million photos of her to share with you because oh my gosh, she is gorgeous in every way - and oh, how I love Mayme Hamby :)
In years past, Mayme has restored my spirit and rescued me both emotionally and physically from se
veral sticky situations when nobody else seemed willing to help. I called all my friends and family once when Trouble had enveloped every aspect of my being, and Mayme was my only refuge. I will never, ever forget how kind and understanding she has always been to me. Plus, my best lambchop ladybug finally switched to being a D
emocratic during the Dubya years...gotta love someone like that, right?
Mayme is the epitome of compassion, of what it is to be a good person, of what it takes to be one classy broad. (I don't think Mayme would mind that characterization...because as she said when I met her, "every choir needs a saloon piano player!" :)
I first met her in 1998, when I joined the Chancel Choir at Central Christian Church. She sings alto...natch...and she's a big cut up, so we got along famously. She can play anything under the sun on the piano - by ear - and has willingly played everything from Cole Porter to Porter Waggoner songs for me by request.
This past year, Mayme and I have both undergone some fairly significant life events, and as always, we survived and are stronger for it. However, she no longer lives in her beautiful home, she lives in an assisted living facility (but it's one of the best in Lexington); she also no longer is able to sing in the choir, but every
week, I watch for her in great hope that she will be in the congregation -- she sits in the back of the sanctuary, but I can see her twinkling eyes and comforting smile, and yes, all is right with the world when Ma
yme Hamby is near.
Mayme is unfailingly loyal, she's funny as all get out, and I have laughed until I wept at her stories about growing up in London, Kentucky, teaching at Sue Bennett College, the antics of her beloved late husband Sid, and her many loving tales about her children and grandchildren - oh yeah, and her grandson is Rex Chapman...so Mayme's a big basketball fan, too :)
When I stayed with her during one of my escapes from a domestic nightmare, we watched Dancing With the Stars, we ate her delicious Butterscotch Pie, she played Begin the Beguine and Yellow Bird and a ton of other songs - we did everything two girlfriends would do...because despite our slight age difference, we always, always have a good time together. Then again, anyone would have a good time with Mayme Hamby. She's just a treasure.
So you can imagine how delighted I was today to receive an invitation to Ed Houlihan's 25th annual 'Halfway To St. Patrick's Day' party (next Sunday at O'Neill's) -- starring none other than Ms Mayme Hamby, who will be playing Irish tunes on the keyboard as everyone gathers and raises a glass to all that is Irish. I can't wait to hug her, to hear her voice, and to see those twinkling eyes again.
I hope if you happen to be in the area, you might get yourself over to O'Neill's on Richmond Road at or around 4:30 and enjoy the wonderfulness that is Mayme. Oh yeah, there will be others there - lots of smiles and laughs and sweet people - but the main attraction for me will be Mayme. (I can't wait :)
This celebration is a part of the Sister Cities Association of Lexington, and here's the information that I found on my invitation today:
Welcome County Kildare Mayor and Delegation.
Celebrating our 25th Anniversary!!
Mayme Hamby on the Piano
McTeggart Irish Dancers
Liam's Fancy Irish Music
Lamb Stew and Brown Bread by Guest Chef Mary Parlanti
Proceeds benefit student scholarship fund Lexington Sister Cities