• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

It was pretty neat to open the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Weekender section and see a whole page dedicated to this year’s Ten Minute Play Festival. This is the fifth year that the festival has taken place. My brother, Jim, and I were invited to the grand opening last Wednesday. It was a preview before the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performances that took place over the weekend. It was even more gratifying when the show’s master of ceremonies gave a short history of where and how the 10 Minute Play Festival began. Believe it or not, it began right here in Midway at the Thoroughbred Theater when Jim Betts, Bob Singleton, Tom Ackerman, Jim McDaniel, and I got our heads together and put together the first production. We did two more productions the following two years. Then we had to shut down the theater and there was a two-year pause before the festival started up again at the Lexington Carriage House. Midway will always have bragging rights on this event and Midway has always been mentioned at every production. I went on further into the pages of the Weekender and there were two pages dedicated to a band that was going to be playing in Lexington. The name of the band is Newtown. I found it interesting because I remember when my brother and I were running the theater, we brought this band into Midway. We really didn’t know how popular these guys were, even though they were expensive, but we had gotten a call from their manager saying that they had heard about this neat little theater in a small town called Midway and they were in the area and weren’t going to play until the following weekend. We agreed on a price and they were booked. We got our advertisements out and reservations started coming in. There was a group of 12 people from Michigan that were in Indiana on vacation and somehow they heard about Newtown playing in Midway. Jim, my brother, told them that we had all our seats sold but to come on in and we would fit them in some way. They ended up in the balcony, which they loved, and they stayed in touch in case the theater had something going on the next time they were in the area. This is a couple of theater stories that were brought to mind this weekend. Oh, there is another Thoroughbred Theater story. Remember the Midsummer Nights in Midway a couple of weekends ago and I was talking about how great the band was? The band that had everyone dancing was Superfecta. The Thoroughbred Theater even played a part in their beginnings. The Tim Talbert Band played on several occasions at the theater, but they split up and several members of that group wanted me to give them a place to play as they regrouped. The dates were set up for them to play at the theater, under the name of Midway Soul. They played under that name for a while and did rather well playing in and around Lexington. As bands do when they start doing well, they began to challenge the distribution of money and split up, and from that split came Superfecta. It is amazing how our little town is behind a lot of bigger things that are happening today, a fact that I am very proud of. ••• For those of you who go walking every day and observe the condition of the Midway sidewalks, rest your minds. The Midway City Council has established a plan to improve most of the sidewalks in town. Sidewalks have been a burning issue for the Midway council for the last 30 years and the city ordinance has always read in part that the property owners which border damaged sidewalks are responsible for their upkeep. This ordinance has been enforced sparingly because the city fathers did not want to put an extra financial burden on the property owners. So, meanwhile, the old water maples that had been planted all over town spread their roots and elevated sections of sidewalk causing a potentially dangerous situation for those walking around town. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and with the new plan in place the sidewalk situation in Midway should start to improve beginning next year. It is agreed by members of the council and mayor that, due to the high cost involved, it will take several years to repair all of the damaged sidewalk areas in town. For those town people who use the sidewalks in their daily walks, be sure to pick your feet up. ••• “Mammaw, I wonder what it’s like to live in a big city?” After asking my Irish grandmother the question, she eventually replied, “Well Johnny Boy I really can’t say what it would be like. I do know there would be a few things you would probably miss” I looked back at her, “What in the world would I miss, mammaw?” “Well, for starters, by living in a small town, you will be able to name everyone you graduated with. You know what 4-H means. The down side is every time you curse, your parents will know about it within the hour. If you ever decide to smoke and have someone buy you cigarettes, you will still have to go out into the county to smoke them. Besides that, even if you were old enough to buy cigarettes, the store clerks are gonna tell your parents anyway. “Another good thing, though – if you’re ever working on something and you're not quite sure what to do next, just wait a few minutes – there will soon be several people come around and tell you what you are doing wrong and how it should be done.

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