We thank the audience for coming to the performance and for helping to record this very special show.
Below is Marty Achatz blog entry about The Red Jacket Jamboree's Armistice Show.
July 29: A Little Story, Armistice 1918, a Hero, "In Memoriam"
I just returned from a little sojourn in Calumet, Michigan, where I performed in The Red Jacket Jamboree at the Calumet Theatre. It was a wonderful weekend, working with a lot of musicians and artists and actors who have become really good friends of mine.
Usually, on Sundays, I include a Classic Saint Marty post. Today, I'm not going to do that. Instead, I want to tell you a little story . . .
One of the shows we did last night in Calumet was a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice that ended World War I. I found the entire experience profoundly moving. There was music from the era. News from the era. I did a tribute to Wilfred Owen, one of the greatest poets of the war. Read one of Owen's poems. And I read a poem of my own that I wrote on Memorial Day many years ago.
At the end of the performance, I was a bundle of emotions. As I was standing near the stage, speaking with my family afterward, a man approached me.
He was probably in his late sixties, large and bearded. He was wearing a leather vest that you might see on motorcyclists. On the vest, patches were sewn. Some were military patches, identifying the man as a Vietnam War veteran. He was obviously struggling to control his emotions, but I could tell he was close to tears. His face was red, and his eyes were wet.
We looked at each other for a few moments, and then I said, "Thank you for your service."
He nodded and said, "I want to thank you for that poem." He stopped, started crying, then regained control of himself again. He pointed to a patch on his vest. "I lost a lot of buddies over there . . . and . . . I just want . . . to thank you for that poem." And he started crying again.
I nodded. Put my hand on his shoulder. He continued to cry. Then, I reached out and hugged him.
After a few moments, he took a deep breath and stepped back from me. "You don't know how much that meant," he said.
I looked him in the eyes, and I said, "Thank you for coming tonight."
He nodded, turned, and walked up the aisle.
So, tonight, I'm feeling incredibly humbled by my encounter with that gentleman.
Saint Marty is thankful he met a real hero last night.