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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Final Act at Aurelia's 'Legion Hall'

Monday, April 9, 2007

AURELIA- The Aurelia Commercial Club staged a big party at the Aurelia Community Center (aka The Legion Hall) on March 30th. Guests were treated to a five-course supper, catered by Deb Kelley and a crew from the Aurelia Cafe, as well as a variety of entertainment acts between courses.

Former Aurelia Mayor and Social Studies teacher Dick Vogt served as Master of ceremonies at the event, which was dubbed "The Final Act." Vogt reminisced about the Community Center, which will be torn down soon to make way for a newer, larger Community Center, and also about the buildings which stood on either side of the Community Center. The building to the north was at one time the Aurelia Telephone Company, and later the home of John Storbeck and later, Lois Wolcott. Through his research, Vogt said he discovered that the building to the south, which quite often housed a restaurant, had 23 different owners over the years.

Amy (Miller) Mikos' boots were made for walkin,' at the Community Center farewell bash. Photo by Dan Whitney.
Bob Mikos croons some "Old Blue Eyes" music. Photo by Dan Whitney.
The cast of "Pump Boys and the Dinettes," which will be presented at the Cherokee Community Theater April 13-15, kicked off the evening's entertainment. Other acts interspersed throughout the evening included Aurelia High School Speech students Tara Fordyce and Steven Rupp presenting humorous poetry and prose readings; Bob Mikos leading the crowd in renditions of "My Kind of Town (Aurelia is)" and "Aurelia, Aurelia (That Toddlin' Town); and sharing his feelings about his "adopted" home town. Mikos was born and raised in Chicago, and said he is so glad that he was able to raise his family in Aurelia, rather than Chi-town. Mikos, an admitted Frank Sinatra fan, then sang Old Blue Eyes' "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning" to close his portion of the program. Mikos' wife, Amy "Nancy Sinatra" Mikos was supposed to be part of the act, but chose not to appear on stage, despite the crowd's chants of "Nancy...Nancy...Nancy..."

Aurelia High School junior Renae Hinkeldey showed her prowess on the French Horn, accompanied on the keyboard by her mom , Jeanette.

Janet and Dan Whitney perform at the Aurelia Community Center's "Final Act" on March 30th. Photo by Bob Mikos.
The final musical act, preceding dessert, was a duo of yours truly and my singing (and life) partner, Janet. As we were about to launch into our two numbers, I remarked that I was proud to be part of the final musical act to play in the building, since I had been the Opening Act at the building back in 1927... well, I was exaggerating a little, but, my first time to perform musically at the Community Center was in 1967 - forty years ago.

Janet and I sang "Back Home Again" and "Feelin' Groovy," leading to one final (non-musical) act. In honor of the Opening Weekend of Major League Baseball, Denny Allen and Bob Forbes did a wonderful job on the classic Abbott and Costello "Who's On First?" comic routine, with Forbes taking the role of Abbott and Allen, Costello.

Denny "Lou Costello" Allen and Bob "Bud Abbott" Forbes try to answer the question "Who's On First?" at the Aurelia Community Centers's Final Act o March 30th. Photo by Dan Whitney.
As they say, "a good time was had by all," and we're looking forward to the first town party at the opening of the new Community Center.

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