WEEKEND: Port Angeles dance to honor memories of two beloved men
The late Bill Hennessey, along with daughter Erin Hennessey, played at 2008's StreamFest in Port Angeles. Bill Hennessey's life will be celebrated with a community dance at Port Angeles' Black Diamond Community Hall on Saturday.
Port Townsend musicians Scott Marckx, left, and Jeanie Murphy played in the BOB — Buddies of Bob — band with the late Bob Boardman, center. Marckx and Murphy will be among the musicians at this Saturday's Bob Boardman Memorial Dance in Port Angeles.
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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The party is a celebration of the lives of two men beloved in the music and medical community: the late Bob Boardman and Bill Hennessey.
As with every first-Saturday community dance, “everyone is still invited, even if they didn't know Bob or Bill,” said organizer Tom Shindler.
The fourth annual Bob Boardman Memorial Benefit Dance will get started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Black Diamond Community Hall, 1942 Black Diamond Road just south of town.
People of all ages are invited to dance and listen to the music of the Black Diamond Fiddle Club, Scott Marckx and Jeanie Murphy, and other Friends of Bob, with Laura Me Smith calling the dances.
A contra-dancing workshop for beginners — and anyone who likes a refresher — will come first; then, the bands will step up at 8 p.m.
Admission is a suggested donation of $7 for adults or $3 for children, and proceeds will benefit the Bob Boardman Fiddle Tunes Scholarship Fund.
Last year's dance raised more than $475 for the fund, which helps a young student attend the July Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend.
This year, a donation will be made in Boardman's and Hennessey's names, since both were ardent supporters of young musicians.
Boardman, a nurse and diabetes educator as well as a guitarist and mandolinist with bands across Jefferson and Clallam counties, was killed by a mountain goat while hiking in Olympic National Park on Oct. 16, 2010. He was 63.
Hennessey, a Port Angeles family doctor, was also a musician who helped form the Black Diamond Fiddle Club. At 59, after a long fight with cancer, he died Aug. 28.
“This year, we will celebrate both Bob and Bill, as the Black Diamond Fiddle Club plays their hearts out,” Shindler said.
Several years ago, Boardman, Hennessey and his daughter, Erin — now studying music at Ohio's Oberlin College & Conservatory — started getting together in the Hennesseys' living room to play Irish tunes.
Next thing they knew, Rosie Sharpe brought her fiddle students Chandra Johnson and Ryan and Sam Langley, along with her husband, Erran, who happens to be a dance caller, drummer and keyboard player.
Pretty soon, percussionist Brian Phillips arrived, and so began the original Black Diamond Fiddle Club.
The younger members have since grown up, and new players have joined. Today's band is Erran and Rosie Sharpe, Phillips, Sam Langley and 16-year-old fiddler Leah Marsh.
Me Smith, the dance caller, is known for her succinct teaching and quick wit, Shindler noted.
“[She's] equally comfortable with contra dances, English country dances and squares. She keeps dancers with all experience levels engaged and having fun all night.”
More contra dances, with bands and dance callers from across the region, are planned throughout fall, winter and spring. Typically, they're on the first Saturday of the month at the Black Diamond Community Hall and welcome all ages. For more information, phone Shindler at 360-457-5667 or visit www.BlackDiamondDance.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: October 03. 2013 4:21PM