Gracious with his fans, rally car champion Travis Pastrana signed autographs and chatted with fans in between runs in setting a new record at last Sunday's 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb, Climb to the Clouds in the paddock area at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)
SO, DESPITE THE THREAT OF SHOWERS, we guess that there were good, good good vibrations at the base of Cranmore Mountain Resort for the start of Arts Jubilee's 35th summer season Thursday night, with the MWV Band performing the early show, followed by the "Good Vibrations"-playing Beach Bums from Canada.
The Beach Bums did a 90-minute nonstop set.
A show highlight was the display of three vehicles from the Beach Boys' prime era of the '60s there at Cranmore.
Cindy Russell prior to the show told WMWV 93.5-FM's Tony Zore in an on-air interview that she had just told North Conway Fire Chief Pat Preece that the show was a go, which was a relief, considering that the a monsoon-like, lightning and thunder boomer of a storm forced the cancelation of the Beach Bums' show last year.
As Cindy said on WMWV, it was one of the few times when a cancellation has been made. As long as there's no lightning, the show must go on — most times!
And, to borrow a line form the Beach Bums, er Beach Boys, God only knows ... where we'd be without Cindy, who has been with Arts Jubilee from the start.
Stop and think what this valley would be like without Arts Jubilee, and so many of our other arts programs.
Cindy said that more than 50 businesses are doing just that as sponsors, with an additional 44 cash sponsors and eight who are doing the raffle alone. Tickets are $2 each or $10 for a strip of seven.
"The value of each week's raffle prizes is more than $1,000," said Cindy.
Show your support for Arts Jubilee and buy yourself a few tickets at a show.
THE 5-WEEK SUMMER SERIES continues for the next four Thursday nights.
Next up, valley favorites Bob Halligan Jr. and Ceili Rain are slated to return, bringing their inspiring, uptempo Celtic music to Cranmore on July 20, with dancers from Jeanne Limmer's Dance Studio performing a song or two with them.
On July 27, the traditional pops concert with the 50-piece Seacoast Summer Wind Ensemble will be the headliner, with Chad Denning and his Mountain Top Music Band kids serving as the opening act at 6. Fireworks will be featured.
Then, on Aug. 3, in a classic country shift from what Arts Jubilee normally does, they'll be featuring a tribute to Willie Nelson Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, as "The Highwaymen Lve" will take to the stage.
Opening that show will be talented Berklee College-bound local young sensation Riley Parkhurst,18, and her Dad Dan, who comprise the Riley Parkhurst Project.
The series comes to a close Aug. 10 with the return of Entrain, Tom Major's energetic, Martha's Vineyard-based percussive band.
It's a great, crowd-pleasing round-up of music, and we're excited to keep these Good, Good Vibrations going all summer long!
IN OTHER ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, don't miss the rescheduled Rustic Root concert at the Tuckerman Brewing Company on Hobbs Street in Conway today, July 15, with the gates opening at 2:30 p.m. and the show from 4 to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 at the gate.
Riley Parkhurst (who sure works hard, doesn't she?) will be playing in the taproom from noon to 3 p.m. to get the day off to a good start.
ALSO ON JULY 15, the Attitash Mountainside Music Series continues with a performance by Brett Huntley from 3 to 6 p.m.
LAST SUNDAY'S latest Cold River Radio Show was yet another stellar night of music and comedy, with Spencer Albee and his band wow'ing the crowd with their take on Warren Zevon's classic, "Send Lawyers, Guns and Money" (which brought up references to our current mess with the Russians in D.C., but we won't go there).
Guitarist David Hinckley played his tasteful Chet Atkins-styled sets with the Cold River Band, and comedian Christine Hurley — a mother of five with an acerbic wit and appreciation for the absurdities of day-to-day domestic life — was spot on! Also drawing raves were Junco's Bobby Sheehan and Jeremy Holden.
The next Cold River Show will return Sept. 10, so stay tuned or visit coldriverradio.com.
Host Jonathan Sarty announced during last week's show that the taped version of the show will now become a weekly feature on Sunday mornings on WMWV and will no longer just be aired the last Sunday of the month.
AUTO RECORD: The Mount Washington Auto Road's 2017 Subaru Climb to the Clouds Mt. Washington Hillclimb last weekend was a hit, with great weather for the practice runs Friday and Saturday and for the race on Sunday.
Kudos to General Manager Howie Wemyss and his stellar Auto Road staff and all the Sports Car Club of New England volunteer crew for their hard work to make it such a historic success — it was especially exciting to be there to see X Games star Travis Pastrana break the old record of 6 minutes, 9.09 seconds set by fellow Subaru Rally Team driver David Higgins the last time the race was held in 2014.
He broke it not just once on Sunday, but twice!
As we reported in Tuesday's front page story, Pastrana, 33, roared to the top of the 7.6-mile course on his first run in 5:46.28. In a surprise to all except perhaps himself, he bettered that on his second run, reaching the finish line in a blistering 5:44.72.
Having covered this event since 1990, it was fun to see several old friends there at the base, including past Great Glen and Cranmore marketing director Paul Giblin, who once again served as event director. He'll be handing the reins over for the next race, which is set to be held in July 2020.
Kudos to all who were involved, including local drivers Slim Bryant and Anthony Ruddy.
NEW ESCAPE GAME: Keith Force will announce his plans for his new portable escape game business, Hourglass Adventures, at the Whitney Center in Jackson July 21 at 7 p.m. He also invites all to come check out the games at the center July 22 with games at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Call 383-5591 or visit www.HourglassAdventures.com for the scoop.
IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, WE SALUTE one and all, including (and we got this wrong last week) Oscar Comer, who celebrates the big 100 July 17, and all others, including: former Cranmore instructor Don Harnois (7-15), musician Peter Heimlich, Fields of Ambrosia's Deb Jasien and the ever-tanned Becky MacGillivray Armstrong (all 7-16); Stacey Sprague (7-17); Red Sox fan Rich "Sailor Boy" Gray (7-18); Elizabeth Graves and North Country fellow scribe Paul Stuart (7-20).
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND — and, Go Red Sox and (with all respect to ardent New York fan Pete Levesque), "Boo, damned Yankees!"