An appreciative audience was introduced to the “Oddities of Mike Cross” on November 11, 2001. Dean of Language Arts Jay Drury brightened the evening when he stepped on the stage saying, “This play is called ‘Our Town.’” A humorous little gesture to get the night started, Drury, who played the Stage Manager in “Our Town” a week before, introduced Cross, promising the audience that they were in for a treat. He was right. Since the picture on the Cultural Events Series flyer was of him riding on a tricycle, wearing wings on his back and aviation glasses on his eyes, I wasn’t sure if this performance was going to be something I would enjoy. I was really glad I was wrong. Mike Cross is a 50-something year old man from North Carolina who has been playing music for over 20 years. For his show he brought along two acoustic guitars, one a regular six string and the other a twelve string. He also played on two violins or “fiddles.” Cross’s music style ranged from 12-string Blues, during which he brought out a slide (a metal cylinder that goes over the finger) to make that “bluesy”sound, to Irish bar songs and songs that are similar to the American folk songs of the 1960’s. I enjoyed the entire show, but one of my favorite songs of the night was “The Scotsman” about the mysteries of what is under a Scotsman kilt. This song was a big hit with the audience, especially when Cross announced that the Scotsman had won first prize for, well, what was under his kilt. Another song I really loved was the one about “The Big Food Chain of Life.” The whole “Circle of Life” theme from the movie Lion King came to my mind. But unlike Elton John, Cross entertained me with lyrics like, “You eat things, and things eat you.” Not only did he sing about funny anecdotes that have been a part of his life, but he also sang about the world, the sort of things that Earth Day is all about. His song that best describes what I am referring to is about an animal that is often forgotten: the squid. The song was a humorous public service announcement called, “Save our Squid.” Squids, Scotsman and even directions to a friend’s home may be funny to sing about, but Cross does have a serious side with his music. There were a couple of songs sung that made a few concert goers a little teary-eyed. The song that sticks out in my mind was about two little children on an indian reservation and their dreams of flying.The concert flew by quickly, making us laugh and smile. Cross also made us think about the best things in life, like family and friends. The concert ended with a gospel-like song as part of an encore that left people clapping hands and tapping toes. It was great to see Cross leave the stage after the show to shake hands with members of the audience. Some of my friends from guitar class, who sat in the front row, had a chance to meet the great musician and entertainer. Unfortunately, performances like the Mike Cross concert are going to be put on hold for some time due to the “suspension” of the Cultural Events Series announced in late November. It will be sad not to see wonderful entertainment at our campus.