By Kevin Alan Lamb
I am waking up slow after a tremendous 24 hours in Grand Rapids with my main man PBJ. It is the first night’s sleep I’ve had in my bed since moving here on the first of March. Gazing around my room I am given a sense of home by the Gentleman of the Road downtown stage schedule sign, drawings I purchased at the Electric Forest, and my slightly charred Good Sign that reminds of the prevailing lingering darkness that we must oppose.
Thanks to an early departure, we beat the rush and soaked some sun on the beautiful patio at Founders Brewing Co., where we allowed our Good Sign and positive energy connect us with a number of amazing people, like Peter Fox, who owns a recording studio in Grand Rapids, and Nika Kusmierz, a senior at Grand Valley State, about to graduate with a degree in sociology. We were even blessed with the company of Beach Jesus, our sandy savior himself. We treated ourselves to some of the finest craft beers Michigan has to offer, and feasted on Founders mouth watering sandwiches – the Godfather has me still salivating. We had met our waiter, Kev-bo, at the The Fillmore Detroit for anUmphrey’s McGee show some months ago, and would later boogie amongst one another with Gramatik at The Intersection where we were given hugs and offered thanks for our efforts and contributions to the Good Sign movement, and our Good Sign Family.
We called it a night around 4:30 a.m., but not before our stealthy entrance to our good friends, Eric and Tammy Engblade’s house was thwarted by their dog. We rose early, and set off to Wolfgang’s Restaurant for the quality of breakfast required proceeding and evening of rug-cutting and getting low on the dance floor. We ran into an awesome couple with their young girl that we had enjoyed the show with, they gifted us smiles and genuine love. Throughout our spectacular journey people have often wished us fortune and success, but the people we have met alone have already delivered an unparalleled wealth for which we will always be grateful.
After breakfast we made our way to Harmony Brewing Companywhere we enjoyed overdue conversation with our good friend Eric. Eric is kind, humble, and a talented musician in The Northern Skies. For years Eric has carried Carl Jr. (18×18 Good Sign) in his merchandising suitcase and frequently made mention of it during performance. I had the pleasure of first seeing him perform at my best friend’s JP and Laura’s wedding in Glen Arbor some years back. Our bartender hosted us with open arms and kindness, and happily accepted the Baby Carl (6×6 Good Sign) we gifted and said she would find a permanent place for it in the brewery.
After a brief stop for some brewing ingredients, and dynamic feminist conversation, we made our way to The Mitten Brewing Co.. The entrance to The Mitten might can be likened to that of a cathedral for Detroit Tigers fans. I took a seat in one of the five historic seats from old Tiger’s Stadium, recalling my youth and the summer nights spent at the ballpark to see the stars in the opposing dugout. We made our way in and ran into Eric’s friend Tom, who plays banjo in The Crane Wives. The Crane Wives will be playing the Royal Oak Farmers Market this Saturday. With enthusiasm we recommend this night of bluegrass and roots featuring The Crane Wives and Keller Williams. Tom was there to shoot video for a beer soon to be released by The Mitten. We learned that he is producing Electric Poetry that I look forward to being a part of.
Eric recognized the owner, Chris, from a Christmas concert they had played at the brewery. The Mitten Brewing Co. is a historic firehouse filled with love, delicious craft beer, and some of the finest brick-oven artisan pizza. After giving us a tour of the brew room we learned that last year The Mitten contributed 30,000 to local charitable organizations. If you are in the greater Grand Rapids area we hope you can join them Monday April 21st for a fundraiser to benefit Autism Support of Kent County. Fifty-percent of all food sales on 4/21 will benefit Autism Support of Kent County, Inc.
I expressed my interest in featuring their fine establishment in “This Is A Good Scene”, whenever I get around to creating it, which its manifestation seems iminent. We gave them a Baby Carl and witnessed its raising in celebration of individuals pursuing their passion and contributing to the betterment of our world community. With only miles and maps between us, there is no separating the energy that intertwines us all. We are all connected and must once more discover the power of the people and certain ascension with the regular practice of unity, love, care and kindness. With the sun on our backs we returned to our home in the east, feeling blessed by the ones we love, and will one day love.