Last year, my students came up with their own spells and potions and even performed them at the end. The power of imagination is wonderfully fun.
Have an enchanted Halloween! Two October workshops this year. Twice the fun & more dates. Wand-waving & Magical Writing: Spells Workshop (10/19 morning or 10/20 afternoon) and Eye of Newt: Potions Workshop (10/26 morning or 10/27 afternoon). $20.00. Includes writing materials. Ages 8-12. For details and registration, go to: http://www.thetaleblazers.com/products-page/
Church of Beethoven salutes Val
Worked for many years at Flying Fish Folk Records. We had a record distributor who would show up in an old pickup and load up the milk crates with LPs. He was always talking about Val’s Halla in Oak Park. When I finally moved here, 15 years later, there it was — still selling milk-crate sized musical goodness! Val’s tales at the Lake Theater’s 25th Anniversary of the Blues Brothers movie were amazing. Now she graciously helps emcee Church of Beethoven at Open Door. What an amazing treasure.
Jean Lotus, 47, Co-Director, Church of Beethoven-Oak Park
It started out innocently enough… Beach Boys 8-track tapes and 45s from Ben Franklins, but it wasn’t long before I wanted to concentrate on the great format of 331/3 rpm records. Ben Franklins had it’s charms, but not the focus of a real, independent record store. My Freshman year of High School was all the horrors of the movies and TV shows we’ve seen for years and it became obvious the lunch room was no place for me. So, if I wasn’t hiding in the library I was roaming outside the school grounds during my lunchtime. It was on one of these walks I discovered Val’s Halla on South Blvd. One great thing about starting high school at OPRF was since I lived by Concordia College in RF, I was given money to ride the bus and buy lunch. Tho I’d never stepped on a school bus, my instincts told me it’d be every bit as bad as the lunchroom. Of course, as I started bringing home records weekly – at Val’s I could get a used LP for $2.14 tax included – my folks figured out I was neither buying lunch or riding the bus. After they argued whether I should still be given any money, my Dad thought I shouldn’t but my Mom stated that I was learning the value of money by sacrificing something to gain something of more importance to me, it was decided their youngest could develop much worst habits and I was allowed my vinyl stipend. There after I spent two to five lunch breaks a week in Val’s Halla for four years running. I bought my first Bob Dylan LP there, my first copy of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, my first copies of The Beatles Revolver and The White Album (yes, I now own many copies of both) and so many more.
Val's halla, safe haven
Perhaps as great as the music I took home was the safe haven Val’s gave me. I may have been an outcast, scared and leery in the school hallways, always an easy mark for those in need of a chump to take their frustrations out on, but Val’s was my home turf. I loved music. I knew vinyl. I had home field advantage and no one ever dared to mess with me there. Unlike most male dominated record stores of the era, this one felt extra safe as a female run enterprise. I can’t thank Val Calimetti or her staff enough for that. I know the Oak Park Arts District is not the hub of activity North Blvd. & Oak Park Ave. were, after all I’ve had a gallery space there for ten years, but I am so grateful Val’s Halla has made it to the 40th anniversary mark. In this scary, crazy world I know there is a safe place for me. May every awkward, unhappy, adolescence find their Halla.
I don’t have any long history with Val, but I am happy to add my admiration and congratulations, too! Just a few months ago, actually, I was in there asking her about some particular dance rhythm. How can some novice like me today understand the popular dance rhythms of the early rock-n-roll era… She told me some fabulous history of her parents dancing on a bistro tabletop. “They just knew” what dance it was. “You could feel it and hear it. Not like today.” Righty-o, Val. Right you are, like usual!
Fantastic asset to the Arts District. We are so lucky to have her depth of knowledge, passion, and bright ideas!
Hope all the Val-a-palooza goes great (I’ll be out of town, alas).
Val’s Halla is the spiritual home for this unrepentant vinyl junkie. Personal highlights from the last year include finding old favorites by the Del Fuegos, Kinks and Thomas Dolby, which were subsequently signed by the artists. The covers are framed and hanging on my wall, while the discs spin on my turntable. Val and Shane have also welcomed my band Ping and hosted our CD release parties. I love the people and the place! Happy 40th anniversary and many happy returns!
Join us at hallaPalooza to celebrate Val’s halla’s birthday! Weekend of July 28-29 in the Oak Park Arts District. Cool bands and refreshments at the 40 year old music mecca…
Let’s show Val Camilletti how much her family’s business has meant to our community of music aficionados. Did you hang out at Val’s after school? Launch your band from the Val’s halla stage? What awesome music were you introduced to? Did it change your life? Please be specific. Send me a paragraph of your memories from the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s, or 2000’s. Val’s Halla has provided four decades of musical influence and support in Chicagoland. Let’s return the love. Juiciest stories will be posted to my blog, the OPAD website, and other local e-news sites. All love letters will be forwarded to Val herself to celebrate hallaPalooza the weekend of July 28th in the Oak Park Arts District.
– Submit 1 paragraph (3-5 sentences).
– Include your name, age, occupation/student status/band name, city, & contact info.
– Date of your memory, especially decade.
– Plus: 1 extra line of well-wishes or birthday greetings.
– Subject header: “hallaPalooza”
– Digital photo if the spirit moves you.
– By submitting your memory-paragraph and/or photo, you are giving permission to have them published online and on other media to promote & celebrate hallaPalooza.
– Deadline: ASAP through 7/27/12.
– M.G. Bertulfo, firstname.lastname@example.org
– (708) 317-TALE
Thanks and rock on!
Getting a late start today – it was good to sleep in a little. So many distractions. The sun is out and the fall earth smells good. The cafe is noisy and filled with crying kids. My dog needs walking. I’m buzzing with static. LOL. This is just how it is sometimes. Some days for writers, I think it’s just about showing up on the Page. SHOW UP! (Or blog about NaNoWriMo process – the best distraction of all.)
It’s day 3 of Nanowrimo. 5,880 words total so far. (Making time because who knows how much I can write over Thanksgiving travels.) Today, I wrote my big battle scene – the one that has me scared and shaking in my boots. How does a pacifist write a battle scene? LOL. Well…all I can say is there’s something to doing the very thing that scares you the most. I have a tremendous sense of accomplishment having written a first draft of this scene, flaws and all. It was also totally useful to put a writing soundtrack on…so I could stop thinking and analyzing and get passed the distracting static in my head. Today’s soundtrack: Grace Nono’s Dalit. (Dalit means gift or offering.) Strong, spiritual, sensual, earthy and devoted to Pinay traditions. Would love to be like her when I grow up!
This year, I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time – for both the fun and the discipline. Woke up this morning at 6 a.m. and wrote 3,800 words. So happy. Is there such a genre as eco-historical fiction with a supernatural twist? Like a martini with coconut and lime.
It has been a fun and busy summer. I taught 4 creative writing classes for kids in the vibrant Oak Park Arts District Summer Camp. It was a joyous time! My favorite moments: Seeing one student gripped by her imagination and shaking from the excitement of the Story that was unfolding on the Page. Helping one young writer realize first drafts can be messy – very liberating. Listening to my five, six, and seven year old students play djembe and xylophone and read a poem full of sound words (onomatopoeia) they had invented. Zimbitty-zimbitty! Boom-boom!
The wild ride continues this fall. From Oct 1 – Nov 19, I’m offering a Taleblazers class called Audacious Authors (Ages 7-11), a facilitated writing group for kids who love writing. Saturdays, 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. Writing games, skits, role-plays, and examples of how professional writers play with and edit their own pieces. Encouragement, fun, and a gentle approach. Kids can come scribble & play with words! It’s a supportive way for young authors to stretch their wings. For more info and to register, go to www.thetaleblazers.com
Questions? Drop me an email at: email@example.com. Or ring me at: (708) 317-TALE.
(aka Ms. M.G.)