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Curtain comes down on ‘Come Home’ 17th season

The curtain came down on the 17th season of Alabama’s Official Folklife Play, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime” at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge on Saturday night. Folks came from far and near to hear the stories that were “strowed around” the rural South and passed down by those who lived during Hard Times.

They came to supper from the Wiregrass and River regions of Alabama and from Michigan, Oregon, North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, California, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Most of them came not knowing what to expect. Some came “because we heard it was a unique theater experience.” Others came because they “just happened” to find the play on the Internet and decided to give it a try. And a few came because they wanted to “come home again.”

Dick Chambers, a hometown boy who moved off to the big city of Chicago, came two different nights and brought “foreigners” with him.

“I love it every time and my friends loved it, too,” Chambers said, with a big grin. “It’s good to come home and to bring friends with you to see what home is all about.”

One group from Mississippi the long way just for the play and said it was “more than worth the drive. We’ll be back and bring others with us.”

Bobby and Carolyn Entrekin of Tupelo, Miss., said they have attended plays all around the country including the “big shows” in New York City.

“But we’ve never had a better time or felt as ‘at home’ as we did at the We Piddle Around Theater,” Bobby Entrekin said. “We didn’t know what we were coming to, and we had our doubts until the doors opened. We got here early and the stores were closed so we had to walk around and wait and I kept thinking, ‘I don’t know about this’ but, when the doors of the theater opened and we heard the music and saw the sawdust on the floor, I knew this was going to be something really special and it was.”

Carolyn Entrekin said it was the mixture of the hilariously funny stories and those that tugged at the heartstrings that appealed to her.

“The play was very true to life; the food was great; the music was wonderful and the atmosphere was unique. It felt like home,” she said.

“Those on stage weren’t actors. They were real people telling real stories, some funny, some sad. And, it was a very spiritual experience, too. Just the way it should have been.”

For Pat Williams Adamson of Ozark, it was the desire to “come home” that brought her to the We Piddle Around Theater for the first time.

“I came home and had supper with my ‘family,’” she said.

“I’ve never had a better time in my life. It was awesome. Being from Brundidge, I knew many of the people on stage and it was obvious that they were having a good time and they were putting their hearts into what they were doing.

“They treated each other like family and they treated everyone there just like family. The children in the play came up to me and hugged me and welcomed me. It was just like coming home at suppertime.

“When you go to that play, you become a part of a family of people who love what they do, love each other and love having company.

“You can’t leave there without having been blessed. I’ve never been more blessed or felt more loved.”