On the stage and behind the scenes

The NarroWay Blog

Chapter 38: Showdown

directors wearing western

So, it was over.
Our time at King’s Arena.

When you’re saying good-bye, no one remembers the bad times – the electrical storms, the leaking roofs, the flooding stage, the molding costumes, the cancelled tickets, the sunburn rehearsals, the aluminum benches, the snakes and black-widow spiders, the rain-checks, gusting winds and freezing to death at Christmas.

performing in rain

Nope! Most everyone looked at that old warehouse we were moving to and that grand amphitheater we were leaving and said, “How are you ever going to make this happen?”

We didn’t know the answer to that question.

We just knew we HAD to make it happen.

We kept saying to each other, “Surely God will help us.”


December 17, 2005 was our last performance of the Christmas show. We had a super team of people lined up to break down the amphitheater. And we planned to do the whole thing that night and the next day!

We had nowhere yet to install it all but we had a plan!

removing commercial oven

We worked until about 3am in bitter cold.

The wind was blowing snow.

Lora and the frozen-chosen were on the light poles trying to dismantle every light we had lighting that amphitheater, including the intelligent lights, so the rest of us didn’t complain much about being cold!

guys on scissor lift

That night we locked everything up in the lobby and barred the doors.

No ... nobody broke in and robbed us!!

The next day was sunny. Though all of us were sad to leave that special place, we knew God was taking us to the next level. And though an old gambling warehouse didn’t much look like the Promised Land, we knew that our God had a reputation for making all things new.

Some of us were still dismantling equipment and rolling cables while others were packing, loading and transporting to the up-and-coming NarroWay Theatre.

laddies with wheelbarrow
removing crosses
loading entrance sign
moving to theater

I was all the way at the back of the amphitheater - working alone. (Turns out no one much likes to work with me because Birdie spread the word that I’m bossy. The label, though unmerited, stuck and now most everyone looks away when there is work to do and I pass by. I have since forgiven her.)
Anyway, on this day, as I was working – ALONE – when it dawned upon me that everything had gotten quiet around me. No happy chatter of little working voices. No deep grumbles. It was quiet. So I came out to see what was going on.
No one was there.
I truly was ALONE.
So I yelled: “Where is everybody?!”
No answer.
About that time a single head popped out through the monstrous arena gates. I don’t remember who it was but she motioned for me to come up - but she never said a word.
As I neared the top, she said: “Birdie is out front with ...!”


Let’s change his name to protect the innocent (namely us) to “ELMER!”

“Elmer!!” I said. Then I hurried to the front of the amphitheater.
There Birdie stood with “Elmer,” the property owner who was giving us such fits, and this time he had brought Barney!

Barney is the name we gave to “Elmer’s” security guard. He had called Barney to the amphitheater that day because “Elmer” claimed we had met secretly to steal all his equipment from the amphitheater and he wanted us arrested.

“Elmer” was ranting and raving furious. Birdie looked at Barney at one point and said, “Officer, will you please make him take his hands out of his pockets.”

We had been videoing the entire dismantling so as to document what we had done because we knew that “Elmer” would come up with something.

So the officer tells Birdie to turn over that video.
Now, we never watched one law and order show since Dragnet so I was real proud of Birdie when she said, “I’ll not give you the video without a warrant.”
How did she remember to do that?!
My knees buckled!

If we had given up that video, we would have had nothing to dispute “Elmer’s” accusations.

It was the showdown at the Not-So-O.K. Corral that day.

Then I told Barney to remove “Elmer” from our property, for which we had a legal binding lease and were entitled, according to that lease, to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of that property until January 1.

Whaaaat?!! She quoted the lease, she did!
They left.
We all went back to work.
And Birdie became a legend to those who witnessed the showdown that day and the stories of her bravery and wisdom spread far and wide.

She’s crazy, people! Crazy and bossy!

Then last of all we took down the King’s Arena sign and we all stood around it and took a picture.

directors with kings arena sign
group with sign

Everyone left.
Rebecca and I went back into that beautiful old amphitheater, where we had started, alone.
And we told her good-bye.
In our hearts, we knew we would never see her again.

Then, it was like we heard her take her last breath.

It really was.

empty arena
locked door

Comments 1

Guest - Amy Manuel on Thursday, 29 December 2016 13:14

Go, Birdie,Go!

Go, Birdie,Go!
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Chapter 39: Bulldozed
Chapter 37: The Chandelier

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