University of Wisconsin Eau Claire - Periscope Yearbook (Eau Claire, WI)

 - Class of 1981

Page 100 of 308

 

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire - Periscope Yearbook (Eau Claire, WI) online yearbook collection, 1981 Edition, Page 100 of 308
Page 100 of 308



University of Wisconsin Eau Claire - Periscope Yearbook (Eau Claire, WI) online yearbook collection, 1981 Edition, Page 99
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University of Wisconsin Eau Claire - Periscope Yearbook (Eau Claire, WI) online yearbook collection, 1981 Edition, Page 101
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Page 100 text:

98

Page 99 text:

I f I I I Stephen Baird Almost a decade ago. there was a young man who attended Northeastern University in Boston. Mass He had the intention of becoming a chemical engineer. His studious manner led him to be awarded a job as a chemical engineer while seeking his degree. A few occurrences changed his peaceful college life, however. Vietnam War protests and police riots occurred regularly on his campus and in Boston, with beatings of students and citizens a common feature. The events disturbed the young man so much that he dropped out of college. He also gave up his goal of living an orthodox life in America. Today, that young man is known as Stephen Baird. "The Street-singer.” Baird displayed his musical talent at (JW Eau Claire on October 23-25, as he has done a dozen times before. Baird took up street singing after his short-lived college career. Initially, he escaped to Colorado to decide on the type of life he wanted, and an occupation to fit that lifestyle. He decided on a simple life: one where materialistic objects are not emphasized. To go along with his simple life. Baird chose an unconventional occupation — street-singing. The short, energetic. 100-pound Baird faced opposition to his street-singing career shortly after it began. Street-singing was illegal In Boston and many other CJ.S. cities. Baird obtained the first street singing license in Boston after auditioning for the city's police depart ment, with the provision that he would accept no money for his performances. He also had to vow that street-singing was his sole means of support. However. his license and vow did ized a letter-writing campaign for the legalization of street- singing in Boston. The campaign was a success. Today Baird Is attempt ing to legalize street performances nationwide through an association he organized — The Boston Streetsingers Guild. When the cocky singer Is not occupied with legalizing streetsinging, he is educating Midwesterners about the art. Baird visits major college campuses throughout the Midwest from September to December. What attracts Baird to this lifestyle? ”1 get to see the country and Intra duce people to street- singing." Baird said. "Many Midwesterners have never been exposed to it.” The Easterner's simple taste is an asset when traveling. He dislikes motels: he prefers to sleep at roadside camping grounds or In his car. He also accepts invitations to stay at friends' homes. The money Baird receives for his per formances in the form of salary and donations does not go to far. Baird said. "I pay for all my transportation, food and hotel expenses." Baird said. "There's not much left after you pay for the gas.” To Baird, money is a troublesome item one has to have, but not dwell upon. Baird says his low-cost lifestyle allows him to escape the trap of being dependent on living from paycheck to paycheck. Even though his lifestyle Is simple, his musical talent is quite the opposite. Baird displays remarkable repertoire of ragtime, minstral. blues and American folk songs for his audience. He also belts out an Irish drinking song every once in a while. Audience participation is common at Baird's shows. Most audience members are exhausted at the end of his shows from all the jumping, clapping and waving Baird encourages them to do. Accompanying Baird when he is performing are the seven instruments he plays. The dulcimer, harmonica, autoharp and an Appalachian instrument, called the lumberjack, are a few of the instruments Baird plays and owns. The energetic street-singer not only plays these instruments, he plays two to three of them at a time. Does the former college student chemical engineer miss the orthodox life he left a decade ago? “No. I don't think I will ever miss that part of my life," Baird shyly said. "I'm too preoccupied with street singing, peace and my simple ways."



Page 101 text:

Spring Break Opposite page. lop left, for many iu dents, spring break is a lime lo lake the easy way up the hill. Top right. Julie Bus is on her way 10 the slope for a relaxing spring break skiing in Colorado Bottom. (JWEC students partake In a pregame celebration on March 14 In Kansas City. This page. left, some students visited Washington D.C. during spring break Below, a welcome sight for some anx •ous ski buffs from (JWEC.

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