By Aaron Retherford
Suzy and Goddard Graves have been lucky enough to have never experience homelessness, but that hasn’t stopped the couple from trying to make the lives of those in the homeless community better.
The Graveses have helped serve thousands and thousands of meals to members of the homeless community through their parish, the Church of the Good Shepherd in Barre.
But on Friday, May 20, at the Church of Good Shepherd, Suzy and Goddard Graves will helping the homeless community in a different way – by putting on Harmonies of Home, a Grand Benefit Program of Old-Time Songs and Stories.
“We’ve seen it all around us. We’ve had family members with this problem,” Goddard said of homelessness. “I could quote the gospel to you, but this is a bigger issue than anybody’s faith or anybody’s particular philosophy. If we can’t help each other, we might as well hang it up now.
“Most people are one or two paychecks or one or two social security checks away from wondering where are they going to be or what are they going to eat.”
Admission is by a suggested donation of $7, which benefits Good Shepherd’s programs for hospitality and against homelessness. No one will be turned away though.
Goddard Graves said he hopes to see about 120 people at the benefit and raise around $1000. Some of the money raised will go to the Good Samaritan Haven, the only permanent homeless shelter in central Vermont.
The benefit begins at 7:30 p.m. and attendees should expect old-time traditional American music from the duo, formerly of Red Fescue & His Lawn Roller. While they do play instruments like a guitar and autoharp, they’re first and foremost close harmony singers. There will be songs from the Civil War days, cowboy poetry, and even some sing-alongs.
“The Good Shepherd sanctuary is a great room sonically. It’s a great combination of stone and hardwood,” Goddard Graves said. “It’s a great room to sing in. We sing church music in there every week, but we’ve also sung old country music with string instruments. Anyone who has ever heard guitar or fiddles in that room, they say ‘this is the way it should be.’”
Refreshments will be served.