Over the years, we have had a lot of special nights of music out back at Summit. I remember one Thursday night several years ago when Billy Jones and I were in the middle of playing “Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes” and it began to pour. Our friends who were in attendance quickly grabbed the blue lawn tarp from beside the stage and lifted it over us we continued to play, people dancing under the tarp as they held it just barely over our heads.
I can’t say for sure whether Stephen and Elizabeth Mills were there that night, but when I think about that night, and so many other nights playing music out back at Summit, I see them there: enjoying a glass of red wine and digging the music.
In the fall of 2013, Davidson lost a beloved and dedicated member of the community when Stephen Mills lost a courageous battle with cancer. In the weeks and months following his passing, amidst the mourning emerged the idea of creating a memorial for Stephen. Friends and family of Stephen Mills raised money and made plans for the construction of a new, community “Stage for Stephen” behind Summit Coffee.
Among many enhanced features of this new stage is a roof. When it rains, folks can run up onto the stage for shelter, and we will continue to play. But the days of the blue lawn tarp are officially over.
This new stage was Stephen’s vision. It has taken the partnership of many, many people to make this vision a reality: a reality that we will celebrate tonight. Billy, Mason, and I will kick things off at 5 before turning the stage over to Sunday Union and Stephen’s beloved Elizabeth. As we play we will, as we often do, remember Stephen and his fierce support of music and his grand vision for this special stage.
It will be another special night of music out back at Summit.