Culture Club: Hitching a (Station) Wagon to the Stars – Door County Pulse w alumnus Fred Heide
“Fifty years ago this June, a providential event transformed my life and led to the birth of Northern Sky Theater. And it launched a passion for songwriting that blossomed into a book to be released this summer.In June of 1972, I’d just finished my sophomore year at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (’74). I lived in a dank, unfinished basement near the East River. I had no car. To take a weekend breather from a job scraping house paint under the searing sun, I hitchhiked up to Peninsula State Park to camp out with a friend and her family. South of Fish Creek I caught a ride with a long-haired musician named Mike Raye driving a rickety station wagon. He was in a new troupe sponsored by UWGB called the Heritage Ensemble. They were performing a show that night in the park called Song of the Inland Seas. He suggested I check it out.I suspected that watching a show put on by college students in a state park would be like watching paint peel off the house I was scraping. But I held my tongue. After dinner, my friend and I decided to stroll to the Amphitheater to investigate. I mean, how bad could it be? But the show turned out to cost 50 cents, a small fortune to a guy surviving on canned Progresso pea soup. My friend and I waited for it to start, then crept into the woods to watch.