BY PHIL WHEELER
Across the street from the Tin Goose Diner and Liberty Aviation Museum sits a hidden gem.
From the outside, the structure looks like any other industrial building along State Road in Port Clinton, but the inside tells a very different story. A sizable stage area dominates the front of a large hall. Amps and microphones sit in silent anticipation, waiting for the music to begin.
More than 60 chairs fill the back section of the hall, and more than a dozen different instruments hang from the wall.
Each Friday night, the Gypsum Crossing Bluegrass hall is filled with the sounds of bluegrass, old time country and gospel music as owner Dave Segaard and his wife, Joan, invite local amateur pickers to join him in keeping a musical tradition alive.
”It’s just practice, there is no plan. Everyone gets together and just plays,” said Joan Segaard. Sometimes up to 20 musicians join in, and the place rocks with down home, sweet melodies.
Last Friday saw a full house, as 54 people came out to enjoy the music. On the playlist were such hits as “I Saw The Light,” to “Another Day, Another Dollar,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Chicken Fry” by Zac Brown.
The number of pickers varies, as some come late or just take a break during the course of the evening. This night saw 12 to 15 on stage at any one time.
Different musicians take turns at the microphone for a song or two. A guitar is set down and a banjo is picked up, without a missed beat. Guitars, mandolins, fiddles, banjos, a bass fiddle and a steel guitar have the music flowing as naturally as a brook through a meadow.
The Gypsum Crossing Bluegrass is a family-friendly celebration. This night, a man in the audience played along on the harmonica, a woman joined in for a turn at the mike, and a couple danced in the back.
“You never know where God leads you,” said Joan Segaard. “Everyone is welcome to join in. We started this as a place where we could come together and play.”
The music starts around 6 p.m. and runs to about 9 p.m. There is a $5 donation asked to defray costs. No food or alcohol is served, but you are invited to bring your own pop, water and snacks.
Y’all come on down now, ya hear?