February 28, 2011

Party, party, party...

Phil and Elaine Cheesebrough, my best friends ever.

Up until this past, Saturday, night I'd never even heard of an, Eagles Club, let alone ever attended one of their social functions. All that changed when my wonderful friends, Phil and Elaine Cheesebrough, invited me to be their guest at the annual, Mardi Gras Party, held at the, Springboro, Ohio, Eagles Club, each year. From what I gathered from dinner conversation this little soiree has been an ongoing event for over ten years now and according to everyone I overheard talking about it it just keeps getting better every year. The ten dollar ticket price includes an all you can eat buffet, complimentary Mardis Gras beads, an open bar, great music performed by, Mark Laurens & Zydeco Fire and a guaranteed evening of dining, dancing and just plain ole' good clean Cajun fun.

Cheryl and Dennis Caskey.

As anyone who's ever attended any manner of social function knows, table company can make or break an evening. The "social gods" must have been smiling on me, Saturday night, because I had the pleasure of sitting at a table with some of the best natured folk I've shared an evening with in a long time. Dennis and his wife, Cheryl, are simply charming people who know how to have a good time. They livened up the table from the moment they sat down with us and I couldn't have asked for better company to spend spend an evening with. They had it all; everything from funny stories, anecdotes and a digital camera full of pictures of their dogs, friends and family. Looking through the collection of pictures on their digital camera was really cool. They danced and sang with the band and, by golly, they really added to the overall perfection of the evening. If you're ever looking for a good time, sit down at whatever table, Dennis and Cheryl are sitting at and you won't be disappointed.

Katy Laurens, Mark Laurens wife.

In my travels I've met any number of those, "girls that run with the band." They are generally among the most shallow of people I've ever met and incapable of carrying on conversations beyond the acquisition of drugs, alcohol and how long they've been sleeping with any particular member of the band. As a rule they bore me to tears and I avoid them at all costs. Katy is the antithesis of everything those girls represent to me. She is articulate, cultured and educated. On the couple of occasions I've now had the opportunity to talk with her I've found her to be one of the most engaging people I've ever had the pleasure to interact with. I'm glad she sat at our table and shared the evening with us. She listens and genuinely takes an interest in what you have to say and her comments are insightful, positive and encouraging. Mark, you're one lucky guy to have such a genteel and refined lady in your life.

Mark, Cheryl, Phil and Seth laying it down.

Okay, I'm not really familiar with, Zydeco Music. If it weren't for, Phil and Elaine, I probably wouldn't even know the genre existed. Saturday night, woke me up to what this music is all about and after watching, Mark Laurens & Zydeco Fire, perform at the, Eagles Club, I'm a believer. Let me tell you, folks, I don't care what genre of music any particular group of musicians is playing at any given moment, good music is always good music and this group of guys were laying down some really solid tunes. They were a pleasure to listen to and my ears were plum tickled by the variety of music they put forth over the course of the evening's festivities.

Mark Laurens, Dennis Caskey and "Cowboy" Joe Donley

Did I tell you that , Dennis and Cheryl were fun people or what? Now, maybe I got the wrong impression it being my first Mardi Gras party at the, Eagles Club and all, but Zydeco Music seems to encourage group participation. Watching, Mark Laurens & Zydeco Fire perform I just got the feeling that they weren't just performing for the crowd, they were performing with the crowd. Mark was jumping up and down on tables, I think, Seth, spent more time on the dance floor with his rub board than he did on stage with it and at one time or another during the course of the evening I think every single individual in attendance wound up on stage singing, dancing or playing one instrument or another. It was amazing. It was a house party and, Mark Laurens & Zydeco Fire just kept things rolling the entire night.

And a plate of goodies to take home...

This piece wouldn't be complete without mentioning the amazing food the chef prepared for the party. There was a little something for everyone's taste and it would have been impossible to leave this event hungry. They served up everything from a variety of Cornbread, Red beans and rice, Jambalaya, Dirty Rice, a boil including Crawfish, potatos, sausage and corn on the cob, chicken and noodles and so many other culinary delights that I can't even remember them all. They served these, "Poppers" that were to die for and I must have nibbled on them the entire evening. (I'll sign up for club membership if it includes the recipe for those tasty little devils.)

All in all it was an enjoyable evening from start to finish. I met some wonderful new people, ate some truly well prepared food and enjoyed the the music of a remarkably talented group of musicians. Mark Laurens & Zydeco Fire put on a real show and I'd go see them perform anywhere at any time. You want guitar? They've got it. You want killer bass? Dude, they've got it. Drum solos? Their drummer will lay it down and leave you begging for more. Now I must confess in all honesty that I never knew much about "rub boards" before, Saturday night, but I watched a man bring one to life and add a flavor to music I would have never imagined possible if I hadn't witnessed it myself. Truly, these guys rocked the house and the music they brought to this Mardis Gras party would have been worth paying double or triple what the tickets for this shindig cost. If these guys are coming anywhere near your town, go and check them them out. Again, you won't be disappointed.

Phil and Elaine, thank you for what turned out to be one of the most enjoyable evenings I've experienced in quite some time. Now that I'm single again, I hope we'll be sharing many more nights like this one. And, Eagle Club members, you folks sure do know how to party!


Blogger DirkStar said...

And a special thanks go to, Cheryl and Dennis for providing the pictures in this post. Thanks!

I uh kinda forgot my camera at, Phil and Elaine's house. Doh!

February 28, 2011 4:22 PM  
Blogger Little House On Wheels said...

Love Love Zydeco music. So happy to hear that you had a wonderful time. Eagles have bingo as well.

February 28, 2011 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Bekah said...

Dirk, it sounds like it was a great evening. I used to go to an Eagles Club with a friend on Friday evenings in the summer time for their fish frys and I really enjoyed it. I think one of my favorite things about the Eagles was the family atmosphere. Even though I do not have children, I enjoy a place where the whole family is welcome.
My husband and I are members of the VFW, and that is one of the reasons I enjoy it there as well.

I am so glad to hear that you are learning, once again, to enjoy life. Keep it up!

March 01, 2011 4:22 PM  

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