OPINION

Thank you to the helpful folks at the Constantine Theater

Jim Redwine

I have a friend who quite frequently volunteers to help others. He refers to himself and other such generous souls as "unpaid staff." Fortunately for those of us who are blessed to live in or visit Osage County, Oklahoma there is a hard-working unpaid staff that helps preserve and promote the historic Constantine Theater. My family benefited greatly from those efforts a couple of weekends ago, when we held our two-day family reunion, jam session, art show and new book launching at the Constantine. We had a great time.

In addition to the volunteers who serve on the theater Board, there are a few competent and gracious paid staff members such as Jennifer Adair and Shannon Martin who do the scheduling and make sure the lights come on. Jennifer’s mother, Linda Hubbard, as well as Jennifer’s daughters, Katie and Grace, also pitched in and helped make the weekend special.

One of the unpaid staff, board member Cameron Chesbro, not only saw to the myriad technical needs of our diverse musical group, but also displayed his own fine musical talents by sitting in as our unpaid drummer. Neither Gene Krupa nor Buddy Rich could have been a better fit.

It was wonderful to see friends, old and new, who took the time to drop in and cheer on our family jam session that included the world premiere of an original song, "The Redwine Waltz," written and performed by C.E. Redwine and Roger Coble. We have a family that includes a few truly exceptional professional musicians, not including Peg and me, and several enthusiastic non-professionals, that is Peg and me. However, everyone dove right in and even some audience members got up and danced in the aisles of the grand ’ole Osage County opry. Thanks for joining in the fun.

As one who grew up in Pawhuska and attended the Kihekah (Constantine) Theater on a regular basis for numerous community events it felt good to see the old girl sparkle once more. Osage County has many talented and creative people who need a stage to display their gifts to our community. The Constantine has a fine lighting and sound system thanks to the generous support of the contributors and volunteers. The Constantine has even served as a regular venue for feeding the extremely courteous and friendly crew and extras of the "Killers of the Flower Moon" movie.

Plays, movies, ballets, musical performances, lectures, dancing and numerous other public uses are being made of this century old, ornate edifice. On mine and the whole Redwine Family’s behalf, several of whom have called Pawhuska their home, thank you to all the staff, paid and unpaid, who helped make our reunion so memorable and so much fun.

By the way, the Constantine is available for use by calling 918-900-6161, or just stop by and speak to the friendly people who are proud to be able to show off the grand old dame.