by Steve McLean
A very special memory from my life!
|Back in the late 70s and early 80s, it was my joy to discover a local Mansfield, Ohio, Christian music group named BACK IN THE SADDLE and to get to know and love, as a brother in Christ, its three members, Sarah and Dan Foster, and Dan's girlfriend and soon-to-be wife, Anne Troth.
We all met for the first time at Grace Haven Farm, which is located off Trimble Road, and has been the home of the Grace Fellowship non-denominational church since the 70s. I began attending Grace Fellowship at Grace Haven Farm in 1978, enjoying many years of great fellowship and ministry memories there, including this memory of getting to know and love BACK IN THE SADDLE.
The band's name was chosen in honor of Sarah and Dan's love of popular cowboy star and singer of the 30s, 40s and 50s, Gene Autry, and his most famous song: "Back in the Saddle Again". That song was among BACK IN THE SADDLE's regular playlist, of course, when they performed on stage at The Yellow Deli restaurant, which used to be "on the square" in downtown Mansfield. Grace Fellowship Church built this little deli and bookstore in those late 70s years, with members of the church, including me, taking turns constructing parts of it. Until it closed, The Yellow Deli was one of the most popular specialty restaurants with an adjacent bookstore in Mansfield. Christian music groups performed at The Yellow Deli in special weekend concerts, with BACK IN THE SADDLE being the deli's regular, signature band.
One week night after the deli had closed, I was blessed to join with Sarah, Dan and Anne to watch them rehearse for their performance the following weekend and to make a film recording of them doing so, which was sort of like making an MTV music video, only with my brand new 8mm movie camera. I loved doing that as a special treat for them and me! And my little concert film turned out pretty good, as I set up shots of them performing on The Yellow Deli stage the songs "Desperado" and "I'll Fly Away", as well as, other songs I've forgotten the names of.
I still have this little concert film, but no way to view it now, because the 8mm movie projector I used to have has long been lost over the years, and I have never been able to get all the films I made with my Kodak movie camera converted to digital DVDs to treasure and view on my TV or laptop computer. I would love to one day be able to view this special memory concert film I made again, along with other footage of family and friends I made during this time period, but I don't know how to do it, who might be able to have the right conversion equipment to help me to do it, and be willing to help me to do it. Oh, well ... It's great to have the memory to share here of this special time in my life when I enjoyed developing a personal relationship and having fun with BACK IN THE SADDLE at THE YELLOW DELI!!!