Coffee, tea and poetry will brew at fire hall Glen Burnie resident's monthly coffeehouse to revive 'beatnik' mood

March 08, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Hummer Klein fondly remembers "those beatnik days" when people recited poems in coffeehouses, drank gallons of nonalcoholic beverages and snapped their fingers in time with the music.

"Just an easy-listening room," Mrs. Klein recalled. "I think that's the definition of a coffeehouse."

The 47-year-old Glen Burnie woman is trying to recapture the spirit of those days when she opens the Blue Moon coffeehouse at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow at the old Armiger Fire Hall in Pasadena.

For $3 at the door, a customer can buy a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, and listen to performers sing, recite and entertain the night away.

Slated to appear are Frank Buckland, a Christian songwriter from Glen Burnie; Janet Hoyt, an 86-year-old poet from Annapolis; and Thumbs Up, a country/rhythm and blues/humor trio.

And unlike bars and nightclubs, the coffeehouse will be a nonalcoholic, nonsmoking venue, Mrs. Klein said.

"It's just a place for someone who doesn't drink or smoke," she said. "That's what we wanted to give to the public."

Mrs. Klein said she got the idea for the coffeehouse last year when she participated in a craft show at the building on Solley Road and heard a woman complaining about teen-agers using the fire hall as a place to smoke and drink.

She got permission last summer from the Armiger Volunteer Fire Department, the building's owner, to open a coffeehouse there. But she can operate it only once a month -- the second Saturday -- because the $225-a-night rental fee is too steep for more than that, Mrs. Klein said.

But even a coffeehouse that's open only once a month is some alternative to bars and nightclubs, she said.

"Every area needs one," Mrs. Klein said. "Lots of young people who are just starting families want to come to a place without alcohol. They just want to listen to some music and enjoy the atmosphere."

And her coffeehouse will welcome children, she said. Pizza, hot dogs and soda will be available, and Mrs. Klein said she may convert a back room into a large play area for children.

Every month, there will be a featured flavor of coffee (this month is vanilla). Herbal teas also will be available. And all food and drinks will cost $1 each, Mrs. Klein said.

But the most important part of the coffeehouse is the music, she said. A microphone and a stage will be provided for anyone who wants to sing a song, read a passage from a book or even tell some jokes, Mrs. Klein said.

"Anybody who needs a start can come there," she said. "And who knows? They could go further than that."

Pub Date: 3/08/96

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