April in New York!
The Adventures of Orleans in HomeTownLand!
(Part 2 of a story in two parts) (Back to Part 1)
Orleans & Friends return to Woodstock to play a Benefit for The Queens Galley
A Successful Experiment in Feeding Hungry People
Sunday, April 6th, found us back at the birthplace of Orleans — Woodstock, NY. It was there in 1972 that John Hall, Wells Kelly and Larry Hoppen first convened, rehearsing in John’s basement.
The legendary artists’ community was to be home-base to the band for the next two and a half decades.
Specifically, the show took place at the Bearsville Theatre … once a part of Albert Grossman’s Bearsville Studios complex of facilities … next door to Todd Rundgren‘s video studio and The Bear Cafe’ … and the very venue we used to record 1990’s Orleans Live: Volumes 1 & 2.
This gig had a VERY special purpose: to raise much-needed money for The Queens Galley, based in nearby Kingston, NY.
Who is The Queens Galley?
The Queens Galley is a 501 ( c) 3 not for profit organization that provides awareness, education, relief and prevention of food insecurity in America. The Queens Galley supports, creates and implements programs dedicated to the affordable nutritional education of children, families and seniors.
“My personal tour of the Queens Galley was extraordinary. The term “soup kitchen” does not come close to describing all the exemplary services provided. Fully operational with several chefs working, people storing donations of food and many other activities on a weekday afternoon, the building is in very poor shape including a leaky, buckling roof.
Started by Diane Reeder only 2 years ago, she served 75 meals that first month. In 2008, that number has grown to over 6,000 meals a month. EVERY 4th ONE is for a child !!!
Diane and the dedicated Staff and Board continue to expand community support and involvement. Queens Galley uses only fresh food, much of it from local farmers, bakeries, dairies etc. Diane worked hard to connect those using the EBT Program to Farmers Markets, so that both local families and farmers would benefit. Her style is to relentlessly pursue and implement progressive models to feed the community. Her grandfather was a chef at Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant; she is a hotel school grad.
Queens Galley does not take ANY government money, so that they do not have to follow government’s rules. Diane’s philosophy is simple: if you gather the strength to bring yourself and perhaps your family to a “soup kitchen’, should you then also suffer the indignity of having to prove that you are poor enough to deserve to eat? So, Queens Galley is 100% dependant on support from citizens, businesses etc.
Nobody is ever turned away at Queens Galley, for any reason. If you are hungry, you eat. If you can make a donation, you do. The food is restaurant quality – GOOD restaurant! Orleans was served Queens Galley fare at the Bearsville Theatre gig and we were blown away (and I LOVE food 😉
Queens Galley is, in my humble opinion, a prime example of how a community takes care of its own. Here in 2008, we are facing much more demand for basic services – food, housing, etc. Clearly, the government – even one that might have all the right intentions – cannot fund or run all the things we absolutely need. Going forward, if more people and communities took on the model of Queens Galley to help their friends and neighbors, it would lift the USA up in a way that simply cannot be done otherwise!”
We’ve known Robbie since ’73. I shared a Woodstock house with him in the 70s and Larry is in his current band lineup.
Joe is an “Ithacat” (someone who spent time in Ithaca, NY) and graduate of Ithaca College … which is where Larry went to school and first met Wells and Sherman Kelly. Also where Blue Oyster Cult (Don’t Fear the Reaper, Burnin’ For You) called home.
LOTS of intertwined roots on the stage that night, joined in joyous music-making for a great cause!
When the dust settled, this event was clearly a success on all levels, raising almost $5000 for The Queens Galley. But much more is needed to keep the doors open so they can continue to do their good works.
If you will, please donate what you can to Queens Galley
… because no one should go hungry.