SAUK VILLAGE | The sounds of guitars, banjos, harmonicas, fiddles and a voice with a West Virginia twang fills the Sauk Village municipal center on Sunday evenings.
That Appalachian accent belongs to Nadine Morgan. She and her husband, Floyd, have been hosting a bluegrass night from 6 to 10 p.m. every Sunday in the Sauk Village Senior Center — a large room in the municipal building — for nearly a decade. Nadine sings, Floyd plays guitar, and a host of other musicians come from as far as LaPorte to play bluegrass, "old" country and gospel.
"It's something to do on Sunday nights," Floyd Morgan said. "We're all just out here to have a good time."
Bluegrass night began in somebody's garage (nobody can quite remember whose) about 40 years ago, and has continued almost without interruption with the exception holidays. The Morgans, originally from West Virginia, took over organizing the event when John and Joyce Montella moved from Sauk Village.
Floyd arrives about 4 p.m. to set up the sound equipment, which he owns. Nadine runs the kitchen and clean up.
"We enjoy it," Nadine said. "We have a lot of help. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to do it."
There is no charge, but those in attendance are welcome to provide a donation for refreshments. A potluck dinner is served, supplied by the group, and coffee and water are available. The bluegrass, country and gospel jam session is open to anyone with an acoustic instrument.
There's a main stage with a dancing audience and a two side rooms where musicians can have a more intimate jam. Some are professionals. Others have only a few years experience under their belts.
Mitzi Oden, of Crete, has been attending the event for 30 years, playing banjo and mandolin.
"It's a lot of fun. Bluegrass people are good, down-to-earth, friendly people," Oden said. "Most of them will do anything for you."
Others, such as Shirley Moore, of Roselawn, Ind., don't play but have been enjoying the music for years. Moore has been coming for 15 years, she said.
"The music, the people, the friendship, the fellowship, that's why I come out here," she said.