I admit that sometimes I forget what it's like to be a Clevelander. Last year I didn't spend much time here, and when I did, I wasn't really here.
I've known about The Barking Spider for a long time. But I didn't begin to spend signficant time there until last year. It was a place to go and regroup, to start over, to be anonymous. Friendly, but unobtrusive. Authentic is probably a good word. Anyhow, the history was unknown to me.
Last night, I spent the evening with what can only be called the Spider family. Beachland Ballroom graciously hosted Martin Memorial, in memory of the visionary founder of The Barking Spider, Martin Juredine, who passed on very recently. All kinds of great music and stories and goodwill, ending with a sparkling performance by Jim Volk in the tavern.
I knew Martin by sight only, but man did he touch a lot of people in his life. This night was all about what it means to be a Clevelander, the good times, the bad, the bizarre, the lonely, the community. It was about just how BIG music and poetry and laughter can be. And just how big of a part the Spider plays in all of it. A night not to be forgotten...