Local Hero: Hal Breidenbach
Hal's the high ladder man, the guy who climbs the intimidating 24 foot ladder to change light bulbs in fixtures hanging in the rarified upper air of Concourse Hall, an Ann Arbor dance space owned by Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance. We locals reduce the sixteen tongue-twisting syllables of the group name to two syllables in the acronym AACT-MAD—"act mad" sometimes, but certainly not always a name that suits us.
Six years ago Hal made wooden clips and hung 22 quilts high on the walls of our hall, and three times each year he clambers up and down that same mighty ladder to change hall decorations from winter snowflakes, to spring/summer lanterns, to fall banners.
Hal is past president of AACTMAD and currently serves as Treasurer. Plus for nine years, he has booked headliners and staff as Program Chair of Michigan Dance Heritage, a fall weekend camp on the shore of Lake Huron. He occasionally calls English Country Dances and plays fiddle with open bands.
As a Mr. Fixit on the Concourse Hall Facilities Committee, Hal re-wires this and repairs that, and famously keeps the Big Ass fan whirling to keep dancers cool (yes, that's really the fan's brand name-honest). Hal's the guy with the dubious honor of getting the 2 a.m. call when the toilet backs up at the hall or an inebriated renter can't figure out how to lock up. He's my local hero. Who knows better than his wife all the things he does to keep us all dancing?
- Submitted by Cathie Breidenbach