The Mullah of Moolah meets The Hawk

So … you’ve been flying the flag since the 11th. You’ve donated blood. You cut a check to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. Well done.

Don’t think for one minute that you’re finished. In fact, you’ve only completed Phase One of what promises to be a multi-phase operation to be carried out by all of us soft, weak American infidels.

In the months ahead, you will very likely have to shift a few paradigms, patterns and mindsets. Most of that shifting will be a pain in the posterior. Our love of convenience may be tested. Do we simply love convenience, or are we addicted to it? We may soon find out.

Phase Two of the domestic war effort will require staunch greenbacks and a steady wallet. That is to say, Uncle Sam will be counting on you to keep spending the bread once in a while. Be the Mullah of Moolah. Take somebody to lunch. Buy some new boots. Treat yourself to that really nice new frying pan. Get a couple of new trees in the yard. Load up on a nice stash of liquor.

However dinky you think your place is in the overall scheme of things, it’s not so dinky that you can be excused from the socio-economic fabric of American consumerism so as to hunker down in your bunker, scarfing nothing more than corn chips, sodas, heating oil and CNN. If you truly are a consuming drone, this is no time to stop consuming.

This Saturday night is your last chance of the summer/fall to see a concert in the Truckee Meadows’ highly terrific new performance venue. It’s been a bit of a secret since its completion two years ago, but the word has been slowly getting out about a little gem of a place at Bartley Ranch Regional Park in southwest Reno. It’s the Hawkins Amphitheater, and it’s a stone-cold, blue-chip keeper.

With 400 seats heading up a hillside in spacious rows and a couple of small lawn areas to handle overflow crowds in each upper corner, Hawkins has a visible quality that is undeniable. That positive attribute is enhanced by the seats being carved into the hillside directly beneath Windy Hill. This offers viewers an extra measure of protection from the prevailing west and southwest winds, a factor that is big plus when considering shows during our breezy summer nights.

This Saturday night, the most bodacious singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson will close the six-concert introductory series that played Hawkins in the last three months, a series that included shows by Jerry Jeff Walker, Leo Kottke, Spyro Gyra, John Hammond and Diane Schuur. Opening for Mr. Thompson will be the actress Mare Winningham, who is no slouch whatsoever in the singer-songwriter department.

We’ve all been to concerts where the performers and audience had to try to enjoy themselves in spite of the venue. It’s a pleasure to report that at The Hawk, concert experiences are actually enhanced!