Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pure Water in the Swamp!

Jerry Way production a
"walk back through history"

I was priviledged this year to be a part of the tech crew, along with Laura and Nancy, for Jerry Way's seventh annual Pure Water Days production Pure Water In the Swamp. This is the fourth in the series of shows depicting the founding, industrial growth, general life, and community events centered around the city of Chippewa Falls.

Together with 8 other talented singers and musicians all known collectively as the 'Swampers', Jerry Way wove his musical tapestry. Each song, legend, or narration was accomanied by a slide show of photographs projected behind the musicians on stage. Jerry's songs make our hometown history come alive with stories including the great lumber boom of the late 1800's, the Glen Loch ghost of 1925, the history of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, and our Chippewa Falls Public Library.

Then, through the eyes of the late Chippewa Falls artist Hugh Mandelert, we saw some of the other aspects of our town. Hugh's paintings speak of simple things: community events, Irvine Park, the apple blossoms of Lafayette, Wissota Island-- favorite spots for all where fond memories unfold.

Our focus then shifted to the land and how it was shaped by the glaciers; the beauty of our own Chippewa River and plans for a new city park on its banks.

The narration culminated with the vivid history of how Chippewa Falls is the undisputed home of the world's purest water.

Jerry Way's shows are best described as an enchanting walk taken back through history, from the logging days of old to the present time in our bustling hometown of Chippewa Falls. The refrain of the last song of the production sums it up the best:

History is a river, dive in

It only flows in one direction,

And you can't go back again

Oh history is a river, dive in!

From the new Jerry Way production
Pure Water in the Swamp,
here are all of us Swampers, in costume.
From back left: Jerry Way, Joe, Tim, Rob, Ross (tech)
Middle Row: Amanda, Casey, Kathy, Judy G, Judy B
Front Row--Tech: Joel, Nancy, Laura
photo by Carol Way
(click photo to enlarge)

by Joel Wiltrout

Pure Water Days Fireworks Display Aug. 9 2008

This year, I actually went down to watch the Pure Water Days fireworks display. On previous years, we could watch quite well directly from the yard, but this year, the display location was moved to the other side of the city. I got a number of cool photos of the show here. Enjoy!!

Red and Green 1

Half and Half

Classic flower

...with blue broom center

More colored lights

Red sparks

Another classic flower

Falling orange sparks

Classic Flower Explosion

Blue Pincushion

Orange Explosion ball

Red and Green 2

Perfect Pom-pom

Weeping Willow

The Grand Finale