America, When it is lived with Love...

April 4, 2018

Often life is what you make it. It can be sad, boring, weary, yet exhilarating and grand. Actually, to me it is a huge mixture of all emotions spinning around like a boiling pot of soup. The wisest thing is to pick out the good stuff and enjoy them, and let the rest go down the drain….

Its the best recipe for having a happy life.


On Monday night my “pot of soup” was filled with only the good stuff. Sometimes it works out that way….I am beholden to those times, they are made for celebrating all the joy life has to offer and I sure did.


My son, Eric Erdman was the featured artist for the night and I was a happy camper.

As I walked into Page & Palette’s Book Cellar I already knew life was giving me another of those experiences that fill my heart. Mondays at this venue feature the same artists for one month. Eric has not been scheduled yet for 2018 in this Monday night feature but he was asked to fill-in tonight for the young man who is the feature for April. Whatever the circumstances that brought him here, I was grateful. 


At the Book Cellar in Fairhope, most people are friendly and they have a great appreciation for the arts, whether it be music, visual arts, or writings. They respect these gifted people who come to share their talent.


Eric’s show was scheduled 5-7pm and every minute was filled with music from the floor to the ceiling. There was something special he gave us that night that left us all feeling better, feeling more appreciative of life…we truly left happy.


He is not only a skilled songwriter, but a storyteller who will reveal some of his most embarrassing moments. He shares his life through the microphone and lets the audience digest it any way they would like. That night he was raw, witty and joyful; eager to let it all hang out there for our consumption.


I met a lady named Sandy when she sat down at a table near me and at one point during the show, she leaned over and said, “your son is also a comedian”. I smiled as I thought about the fact that he did keep us laughing a lot.


Eric sang many new songs that he has not yet recorded, two of my favorite new ones are, “Trying to Catch Smoke”(written by Eric Erdman and Taylor Craven) and “Black Flag/White Flag” (written by Eric Erdman). I just can’t wait to have them in a recorded form so I can listen to them as I walk, drive, live. Both are great additions to his list of songs.


A gentleman came in early in the prep for the show and with his arms loaded, made his way to the side table where there is food offerings (for free). He set up his offering for the evening. It was an exceptionally good dip (it included corn but I could not tell you what else may have been in it…awesomeness I suppose), it had what he called a drizzle that he advised me to get plenty of, so I could enjoy some of it in every bite. There was a huge bowl of tortilla chips too. (Last time I was there, a lady brought an enormous crockpot filled with chicken and dumplings). I did not try the food last time, but Lord I really enjoyed the chips and dips this wonderful gentleman provided. I was too ashamed to go back for seconds, but I certainly wanted to. By the end of the night, the containers were empty. I do wish I had a way to get his recipes for the dip and drizzle.  I think this is a wonderful idea to have someone bring food for people (like Eric and me) who did not have lunch before we came for the evening show. It enabled us to satisfy that craving until after the show when we could get a full meal. Thank You to the folks at Book Cellar for your kindness in that regard.


Molly Thomas, who is one our most talented local musicians, works at the Book Cellar. Oftentimes she will bring her violin and join in on the shows but this particular night she did not bring her violin. During a few of Eric’s songs he would say..”Now this is where a violin solo would really sound good”…then he would glance over at Molly and everyone would chuckle.


Page & Palette Book Cellar is located at 32 S Section Street in Fairhope, Alabama. It is a combination type of place with a cozy little bookstore. Many of their books include new releases by independent authors. it includes a nice coffee shop and a bar that is called the Book Cellar where live music is often featured. The people who own and operate this place are happy to see you and they make you feel like you’re visiting a good friend. This is something you can’t find at a big chain book store. It is an atmosphere of true America the way it should be lived. Check this place out, check out the music by Eric Erdman and the music by Molly Thomas and her band “The Rare Birds”…you can thank me later.

This is America, when it is lived with Love!


Juanita Smith

Music Mom




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