Bob Welch & Friends at the Hult 2016

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My 6-year-old grandson Keaton loves nothing better than to have a clean sheet of paper placed in front of him with the encouragement to — as his mom Deena might say — “Draw whatever you’d like.”

Maybe it’s hereditary, this privilege of creating something from nothing. But isn’t that how all of us express not only ourselves, but our love for others, our understanding of the world — all that good stuff? By making something from nothing?

Some do it with food in a kitchen, others with flowers in a garden, still others with wood in the building of a house or children’s fort. Some create things. Some create homes. Some create relationship, community, goodwill. But we create.

Which brings me to the Bob Welch & Friends at the Hult event Oct. 22-23 at the Soreng Theater: the creation of a life show like no other you’ll find around here.

Nothing I’ve ever done in my professional career has seemed more like driving at night without my headlights on. Has stretched me more. And yet has brought me this odd satisfaction of filling that blank paper with something that attendees seem to like.

To that end, we’re offering our third show Oct. 22-23. We’ll use the same Garrison-Keillor-and-music approach — “Sir, I knew Garrison Keillor. You are no Garrison Keillor” — but with an all-new theme and an all-new musical approach.

What are we repeating? Me as your host/storyteller, Judy Wenger as our director and David Perham as our comedic poet who customizes his pieces specifically for our shows and tells them as well as he writes them. No increase in ticket prices for the second straight year. And, of course, free s’mores at intermission, our trademark “thanks-for-coming” gesture.

What’s new?
— Our theme, “Heart, Humor & Home.”
— A matinee, Sunday at 2 p.m., to accommodate folks who prefer day-time entertainment.
— Our musical group: Jon Green, vocals and guitar; Roger Hecht, harmonica; Margot O’Sullivan, standing bass; and Bill O’Sullivan, mandolin. (Think Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” and the Scottish folk song “The Water is Wide,” along with other songs.)
— Half-off ticket prices for groups of 10 or more.

I don’t think you can find another event like this, whose whole purpose is to make you laugh, reflect on life and appreciate the people around you and this awesome place called Oregon where we live.

Most of the middle-section tickets are gone for both performances, but plenty of good seats remain. Tickets are on sale online at, by phone at 541-682-5000 and at the Hult box office noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

We hope you’ll join us for an evening or afternoon to remember.

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