Thursday, January 5, 2017

Weaving Silken Dreams…Here in Allentown

May 26, 2010 9:24 am by  
Filed under Life, Women

Anne Hills I’m in the process of writing my first column for the Morning Call in almost a year. The topic will be the stress our military is under due to so many multiple deployments and how the new Veteran’s Sanctuary, opening this fall in Allentown, is a much needed resource. The story will appear on Memorial Day.

As part of my research for the article, I attending a benefit concert held in the partially restored building that will house the Sanctuary. Standing in the auditorium of the former St. John’s Lutheran School on 5th St., the more than the one hundred people and I that were in the audience, were carried back in time not only by our surroundings, but by another local treasure, singer and songwriter Anne Hills.

What a wonderful voice singing so many beautiful songs that spoke to the human condition. There were of course many veterans in the audience, and when Anne sang, “Your new companion” about the loneliness of alcoholism, often an early symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you could have heard a pin drop.

And in a poke-in-the-eye to Billy Joel and his awful song about Allentown, Anne wrote a beautiful ode to all the workers who made the Queen City just that…the Queen of the silk mills. “Silken Dreams” tells the story of a retired weaver and her friend who came here as young women from Austria and spent their lives at their looms. “On a hot summer night, you could hear those looms; they never shut them down. Weaving and spinning the silken dreams of the workers in Anne Hills w-banjo Allentown”.  

It’s no wonder Tom Paxton, Anne Hills’ friend, fellow songwriter, and folk legend, said the following about her..

“Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that it’s understandable that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake. For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”
                    — Tom Paxton

Anne, who volunteered to entertain at the benefit, lives in Bethlehem with her husband and daughter. Her career takes her around the country, but she does occasionally appear locally. Her concert dates are listed on her website.

It was a very special afternoon filled with beautiful music and heartfelt sentiments…all for a very good cause. If you believe that our Veterans deserve your support, please consider donating to the Veteran’s Sanctuary.

Blogger’s Note: My thanks to Christopher Scappaticci for the generous use of his photographs. I tried to download Anne’s song, “Silken Dreams” to accompany this post, but being the techno wizard that I am, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. There’s a beautiful version on Rhapsody.


5 Responses to “Weaving Silken Dreams…Here in Allentown”
  1. Bill says:

    Great post Pam! Thank you for your support in making this effort more visible. Can’t wait to read the article in the MC.

  2. Pamela Varkony says:

    You’re welcome, Bill. The Sanctuary is a very worthwhile cause, and the concert on Sunday was wonderful. I hope you like the story on Monday. Please drop me an email to let me know…

  3. you did an excellent job on the column in today’s (monday) paper.

  4. Pamela Varkony says:

    Thank you, Michael. The folks at Treatment Trends are doing a wonderful job of restoring the old St. John’s Church School. They even restored the stained-glass skylight in the auditorium. It’s nice to know the building will be used for such a good cause.

  5. i’ve known robert csandl for many years, he is very dedicated to the various treatment programs he directs. fyi, i could not get pass the morning call sign in screens to comment there

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