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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company

Shoji Tabuchi to bring taste of Branson to Crockett
Houston County Courier

By Jenna Duncan
News Reporter

Shoji Tabuchi, a Japanese born violinist, will visit Crockett for the first time on Friday, Dec. 14 with 13 other performers in a Christmas show at the Crockett Civic Center. As part of his first tour in 13 years, Tabuchi will play western swing and cajun music alongside his daughter, Christina, along with a little dancing. “We do not only the standard Christmas music, but we have all sorts of different arrangements of Christmas music,” Tabuchi said in an interview with the Houston County Courier. “Anybody and everybody can enjoy it.” Growing up in Japan, Tabuchi began playing the violin at the age of 7, and while he was in college he met Roy Acuff, of the Grand Ole Opry. Acuff encouraged Tabuchi to move to the United States to pursue a career in music, so after graduation he headed for San Francisco with just $500. “This country has been so wonderful to me and I’ve Lemur attacks mail carrier Residents vow to protect, defend nativity scene at county courthouse Photo by Lynda Jones Once word got out that the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) had sent Houston County a written objection to the placement of this nativity scene outside the county courthouse in Crockett, area residents began vowing to protect and defend the display. Shortly before noon Friday, Dec. 7, these residents met outside the courthouse to discuss their feelings about the issue with the media. It was a quickly organized gathering, timed for the arrival of an East Texas television crew. By Lynda Jones Editor-in-Chief Area residents this week pledged to protect and defend the nativity scene at the Houston County Courthouse in Crockett. Feelings of anger and outrage, coupled with sentimental memories and expressions of Christian faith, were expressed after citizens heard the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent the county a written objection to the exhibit last week. The Wisconsin-based organization also expressed interest in the cypress tree on the northwest corner of the courthouse lawn. In its letter to former County Judge R. C. “Chris” von Doenhoff, the FFRF made an open records request for any written documents outlining the process for obtaining permission to erect private displays on public property as well as any written document permitting the use of the public space for the nativity display. Crockett Downtown Beautification Corp. (CDBC) President Juanita Brenner explained the history of the cypress tree. She said that when von Doenhoff was judge, in an earlier term, before former County Judge Lonnie Hunt took office, they discussed See RESIDENTS, Page A4 been very lucky and I was able to find a job and kept touring all over this country,” Tabuchi said. In 1981, Tabuchi went to Branson and began building his own theater, with ornate sets and decorations so he could host his own shows. The theater opened in 1989 with much success, and has taken priority over touring, Tabuchi said. This will be his first tour in 13 years, and he will make three stops in Texas before returning home for the holiday. The tour will continue in February, when he and his crew travel to Florida and Pennsylvania. “We are getting so many requests so this year we decided to do it, and need to see the outside world,” Tabuchi said. “We are very, very excited. This is my first Crockett visit, so I’m very very excited about it.” Though the show in Crockett will not be as ornate as the ones at his home theater, which Tabuchi said involve several costume changes and different sets, the environment will be the same. “Here at our theater, we have stage set, pieces of Grapeland students take high honors in FFA Quiz contest course we cannot move from our theater to Crockett, so that’s the main difference,” Tabuchi said. “But the main ingredients of the show are going to be the same. We have more people of course. We cannot travel with that number of people.” Tickets for the show are still on sale at pwfaa.org or at the Piney Woods Fine Arts office, 603 E. Goliad Ave., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tabuchi encourages residents of all ages to come out and enjoy the show, which he says has something to offer for everyone. “We’re looking forward to coming to Crockett and we want to invite everybody to come see us,” Tabuchi said. “We will have a great time.”


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