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Friday, November 16, 2012

This lake group meets just for laughs

Lake Writers Comedy Club includes a number of acts, all intended to entertain the audience.

Judy Reap performs a cheer about getting older.

Photos by KAREN DILLON | Special to Laker Weekly

Judy Reap performs a cheer about getting older.

Tom Howell reads and shows pictures from his comic book,

Tom Howell reads and shows pictures from his comic book, "Spear of Destiny."

Sally Roseveare gets audience members involved at the recent Lake Writers Comedy Club.

Sally Roseveare gets audience members involved at the recent Lake Writers Comedy Club.

What do outhouses, old age, snakes and a GI grandmother have in common? For the 60 or so people who attended the recent Lake Writers Comedy Club, lots of hilarity.

The event was part of the Friends of the Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library's annual meeting. Linda Honaker, of the Friends, addressed the nearly standing-room-only crowd.

"I know you've probably come for the Comedy Club presentation; however, you have to sit through our board meeting first," said Honaker with a laugh.

After the five-minute board meeting, the first act of the night featured Judy Reap dressed in a homemade cheerleader outfit. She bounded into the room waving green and white pom-poms and recited a monologue about getting older, which received applause and laughter.

There were other readings throughout the night, too, from short stories and poems to songs and sonnets. Chuck Lumpkin, president of the Lake Writers group, emceed the event.

"The Lake Writers are real hams, and love to do these comedy things," said Lumpkin. "We normally have only four or five members [perform], but this time we had eight."

Tom Howell read and presented pictures from his comic book, "Spear of Destiny." Reap and Connie Canova performed a skit about an American 911 call center based in Lahore, Pakistan. Lumpkin read a story he wrote about discovering a snake in his basement and how he removed it with a pair of cooking tongs.

Dick Raymond of Roanoke played his ukulele and sang his "GI Grandma Song," which was written to the tune of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

"Grandma got run over by an Abrams," sang Raymond. "Leading convoys home from Desert Storm รข? "

The Lake Writers is an off-shoot of the Smith Mountain Arts Council and a sub-chapter of the Valley Writers Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Some of the club's members have had their works published, while others write for fun.

One of those published writers, Betsy Ashton, stood before the group wearing a sweatshirt with the phrase, "In my novel I'm plotting against you." Ashton, who recently took over as president of the Virginia Writers Club, read two fun, light-hearted poems she'd written.

Another Lake Writers member, Franz Beisser, read an excerpt from his first book, "Time and Place: The Making of an Immigrant." The subject was about the outhouse he used as a young child.

"That Johnny house became a sanctuary for me," said Beisser.

One of the last acts of the night had Sally Roseveare recruiting a group of volunteers to perform a song about waiting in a long line to use the restroom.

"They didn't know they were going to be toilets," laughed Roseveare.

Judging from the amount of laughter and applause during and after each reading or skit, this particular Comedy Club was a success. Lumpkin anticipated there would be several more comedy events in the future.

"We really enjoy each other's company, and you can see the spread of the types of writing that we do," said Lumpkin.

The Lake Writers meets from10 a.m. to noon every second Friday at the Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library and every fourth Friday at the Westlake Library. For more information about the Lake Writers, visit www.lakewriters.org.