Karaoke Parties: all the rage.
Thanks to Mike and Sharon Hurkmans, the Beaver Island tradition of getting together in the evening to play instruments and sing has been revived and given a new form: karaoke.
Their interest started in Wisconsin before they moved here, and led them to invest several thousand dollars in a karaoke machine. Usually set up in the Hurkmans' barn on Paid een Og Road, it is portable enough so that with a few hours of back-breaking effort it can be moved to another location.
Mike and Sharon each discovered they had a surprising vocal talent. Mike has a sweet voice with good range, and sings some of his favorite songs so expressively he might have written them; Sharon is less dramaticuntil she gives in and begins to dance along with the music, carrying the microphone as far as its cord will allow. Quite a number of Islanders, from kids to grandparents, have taken a turn at the mike with mixed results: some have been encouraged to sing song after song, while others have been quietly dropped from the rotation.
Standing up to sing to a group of partly friends and partly strangers seems to produce mixed results. For some it is a rewarding accomplishment. Some treat it as just good fun, adopting an attitude to match the audience's. For others the experience is like confessing, or reciting the pledge; their solemn expression cues us that this isn't just another song but a recital of something they managed to live through and are in the act of putting behind them.
Mike and Sharon refuse to take credit for any upswell of good feeling their karaoke machine might produce. Yet we all thank them for their monthly come one, come all parties, for letting the kids practice for the talent show, for lending their services to the Firemans Auxiliary on New Years eve, for broadening our entertainment options, and for allowing an occasional budding star to discover his or her potential.
If you would like to arrange for Mike's Island Karaoke and DJ Services to provide entertainment, you can contact Mike at (231) 448-2886
The Real Beacon:
Search the Beaver Beacon Web Site & Archive: