Shel crowd

    If you are a dreamer, come in.
    If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar.
    A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
    If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
    For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
    Come in!
    Come in!

    “Invitation” Shel Silverstein from Where the Sidewalk Ends

Last week, Apryl and I partook in SHELebration, a free musical and poetry event celebrating the life and work of the late Shel Silverstein. Famously known for children’s books like Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree, Silverstein was also an accomplished songwriter (“Cover of the Rolling Stone,” “A Boy Named Sue,” etc.), cartoonist, and screenwriter. The tribute, which was held at the beautiful Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park , was put together by Bobby Bare Jr. and starred a slew of guests including Bobby Bare Sr., Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket), Sally Timms (The Mekons), Jon Langford (The Mekons), Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy), and acting as the house band, The Bare Family Band. Why Chicago, you ask? Well, Shel Silverstein was born in Chicago in 1930. He even sold hot dogs at Comiskey Park when he was a kid and remained a lifelong White Sox fan. For more information about SHELebration, check out this great article from the Tribune.

Here are a few photos from the event:

Miss Lori

Miss Lori and the Campus Kids from PBS read and act out the works of Silverstein.

Sally Timms

Sally Timms sings “One’s on the Way,” made famous by Loretta Lynn.

Bare Jr

Bobby Bare Jr. performs Silverstein’s most famous songwriting contribution, “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” originally recorded by Dr. John.

Will Oldham

Will Oldham dons a ladies wig and performs another tune originally sung by Loretta Lynn called “Hey Loretta”.

The hilarious Bobby Bare Sr. entertains the kids as well as the adults.

And, here’s a short video of the finale, “Unicorn”:

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