Thursday, September 8, 2011

We Get By with a Little Help from our Friends

Posted by Bruce Miller
Most if not all of you know Michael Hawke (pictured throughout this post; see photo notes at end), the outstanding actor who's turned in stellar performances at nearly every theatre in town. At Barksdale, Michael appeared recently as Ralph Sheldrake (the old war buddy) in White Christmas, Max Detweiler (the crafty impresario) in The Sound of Music, Will Masters (the tough but kindhearted sheriff) in Bus Stop, Pa Joad (the patriarch) in The Grapes of Wrath, and Harold Nichols (the terpsichorean former supervisor) in The Full Monty.

The other day on Facebook, this post appeared from Michael: "Who picks up donation stuff (not junk), and hauls it away besides Caritas?"

Eleven people responded, recommending exemplary service organizations such as Diversity Thrift, Salvation Army, Goodwill, AmVets, Habitat for Humanity, and Refugee and Imigration Services of the Catholic Diocese of VA.

Trying always to be vigilant, I responded to say that good ole nonprofit Barksdale and Theatre IV regularly (and gratefully) accept donations of furniture and household items to use as props on stage and/or furnishings for our five tour actor/ intern houses. My even more proactive wife, set designer Terrie Powers, commented a couple hours later that she could drive out and pick things up right now if Michael were interested and ready.

Thankfully for us, Michael invited Terrie to come on over. When she arrived she found a veritable treasure trove of antiques and practical household items that met our needs perfectly. Within a half hour, she had filled her minivan with Michael's thoughtful and generous donations. She immediately thereafter delivered same to the prop and furniture storage facilities at the Empire complex.

Michael seemed pleased to have found a good home for some of the furnishings from his late parents' home. We were thrilled to be the new owners of so many distinctive items.

I'm writing this post to thank Michael publicly and profusely, to congratulate my wife for going the extra mile, and to encourage anyone out there who may have a similar need to de-clutter to consider Barksdale and Theatre IV when donating useful and/or decorative household items. Michael mentioned to Terrie that he'll be pleased to see these treasures on a set one day. We're honored and delighted to carry on the legacy of good taste shown by Michael's late mom and dad.

All donations to Barksdale and Theatre IV are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. By IRS rules, the donor must set the fair market value of each contributed item. Thereafter we will provide a receipt acknowledging the donation. We're almost always available to pick up items from your home. We greatly need and appreciate the support.

Michael's wonderful donations (almost all of them vintage) included:
3 wooden chairs, 1 wicker chair, 1 floor lamp, 1 small square table, 1 round oak table, 1 milk can, 1 jug, 7 pieces of crockery, 2 baskets, 1 plant stand, 1 hoe, 1 rake, 1 pair hedge clippers, 1 footstool, 2 pictures in frames, 1 cauldron, and 1 hanging milk glass lamp.

Thanks, Michael, for your thoughtful and generous donation. You're a real Barksdale cornerstone, and we greatly appreciate ALL your participation and support.

(Photo Notes: 1st pic / left - current headshot, 2nd pic / right - headshot from the late 70s when Michael worked as a Wilhelmina model, 3rd pic / left - on the national tour of The Impossible Years with Ted Knight [mid-70s], 4th pic / right - young Michael with his late parents [it's their home he's clearing out], 5th pic / left - as Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, 6th pic / right - as Max in The Sound of Music)

--Bruce Miller

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