Many of our parents and grandparents remember receiving homemade Valentines and handwritten love letters, finding romance in their sweetheart’s efforts spent thinking of the perfect words. Hoping to continue the tradition, the Armchair Theatre at the Charlevoix Circle of Arts presents “Barb and Fred and Other Love Stories.”

The community is invited to join in the celebration of Valentine’s Day by reciting your own favorite story, poem or memory about a friend, adored pet or loved one. There will also be Valentine’s treats, a photo booth, and Valentine’s crafts for the whole family. The heartwarming Northern Michigan event will be held in Charlevoix on Sunday, February 14 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Charlevoix Circle of Arts

This photo of Barb and Fred was taken in 1947 at their house in Lansing.

This is the first year for the event, which was created by Armchair Theatre member Sandy Miles. Sandy’s parents, Barb and Fred, and their love for one another were her inspiration.

“Our story of Barb and Fred begins, at not an ending, but a new beginning,” Sandy says. “Let me explain. My mother, the Barb, in Barb and Fred, passed away in September of 2015. In doing those things you do to close a house and transition possessions, my sisters and brother and I were privileged to uncover a wonderful and sweet love story told in mementos, cards, and letters. Momentos of a life well lived, perhaps an ordinary life, but an extraordinary life by its quiet inspiration of love and devotion.”

Sandy will share more of her parent’s love story during the event. Sharing a poem or memory is not required, though. Attendees may choose to just listen.

“It would be a great event just to be present and be inspired and moved by the presentation,” says Gail DeMeyere of the Charlevoix Circle of Arts. “Having said that, however, if one felt so moved as to share a story, a poem, a song or a meaningful memory they would be welcome to do so. I would encourage folks to tuck something in their pocket to share and they can decide in the moment whether or not to take the stage.”

The Armchair Theatre is a free program for those interested in theater and written word. There are opportunities for all to act, direct, sing, dance and work behind the scenes. Contact the Charlevoix Circle of Arts at 109 Clinton St., Charlevoix or call 231.547.3554.

More Northern Michigan Valentine’s Day

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Photo(s) by Sandy Miles