As often as it has been said it bears repeating that a visit to the Ron Caron Auditorium is an event of its own. The moment you commence the ascent of the outside stairs of the Old Town Hall you are touched by the adventure. The flurry of notices posted at the first landing speaks to the passion of the community for the venue and is a subtle welcome to what is clearly a bustling place. One’s further absorption into the building immediately radiates charm, beginning with the old-world ticket window. In addition to the ticket volunteer there are others positioned at the vestibule to direct traffic. The massive wooden hand rail on the broad staircase which leads to the upper chamber firmly establishes the tone of tradition.
At the top of the stairs one begins the social experience of the auditorium. Yet another volunteer is there to take your ticket. It is likely you know the person and engage in a momentary chinwag; and a quick scan into the auditorium reveals others with whom you are already anxious to confabulate. As you insinuate yourself into the crowd and locate your preferred seating, the texture of the auditorium impresses itself upon you – the wooden floors, the commanding stage, the heavy wine-coloured curtains, the sculpted wooden ceiling, the high windows, the ornate stage pillars and wall treatments, the old-fashioned lighting fixtures and the at times whimsical paint colours. It is impossible not to be impressed and to feel in your heart that we are blessed in this Town to have such a delightful resource quite apart from the outstanding professional talent of the artists who grace us with their presentations.
It isn’t long before an animated conversation ensues with other patrons. The topics embrace current or upcoming political events, recent travels, stories of family and friends and just general gossip. Even if you are unable to connect with everyone whom you recognize you nonetheless satisfy your enthusiasm for camaraderie by observing who is in attendance. You may be prompted to render a nod of acknowledgement to someone in the distance or flip a casual wave of the hand or cast a beaming smile in their direction. Not to diminish the genuineness of the undertaking, a night at the concert is still a society outing and therefore festooned with the usual harmless innuendo. And I don’t hesitate to immerse myself in the smugness of it all especially at the expense of my urban compatriots. The distinction of country mouse and city mouse is never more apparent to me than upon such an occasion.