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A Blast From The Past

By Staff | Aug 10, 2011

Last Saturday evening, the “heart of rock and roll” was in Middlebourne, not Cleveland.

Reunited band members Kathy Fisher, Dan Fisher, Doug Ebert, and Steve Markle took the town by storm, rocking out non-stop for three-plus hours at the Tyler County Public Library fundraiser, held at the Senior Center grounds.

Their original band, The Secrets, locally known in the area in the 80s, brought it back home Saturday evening, performing together for the first time in 27 years. Nationally recognized singer Kathy Fisher opened the show with bandmate Doug Ebert, performing acoustically to a diverse hometown crowd. Covering classic rock ballads as well as Fisher’s original music, the duo entertained young and old alike.

Later in the performance, Steve Markle and Dan Fisher joined their musical compadres on stage. Performing everything from Carole King to the Beatles to The Who, the group put heart and soul into their act – singing, bantering with old friends, poking good-natured fun at themselves, and engaging their audience in a nostalgic, rocking good time.

Also appearing on stage, representing the second generation of musicians in the family, were Gus Fisher, Dan’s son, who at 14 is an accomplished guitarist; and Hyland Markle, who took his father’s (Steve Markle) spot on the drums. Hyland is in the drum corps at Parkersburg High School.

The free concert, which began at 5 p.m. was part of an evening of fundraising to benefit Tyler County Public Library’s building fund, and was the brainchild of Dan Fisher. He was the driving force behind the band’s reunion, organizing, planning and spearheading publicity for the event.

A dinner, silent auction, chinese auction, desserts, face-painting, crafts and vendors were also part of the evening’s activities.

A highlight of the evening came when it was announced the library received an anonymous donation in the amount of $2,500. A total of approximately $10,000 was raised for the building fund.

“The generosity of everyone was just overwhelming,” said Roseann Eastham, head librarian.

The musical entertainment culminated with The Secret’s rendition of the Beatle’s classic, “Twist and Shout,” with the entire audience on its feet dancing.

Speaking about the Saturday evneing event, Dan Fisher says, “I had so much fun on August 6 that I don’t know where to begin. On a selfish level, this was a personal dream come true, a one-day recreation of one of the most exciting times of my life.”

“But the really cool thing about that day, besides pretending to be a rock star, was being among all of those people, hugging and shaking hands, seeing former teachers, old friends, complete strangers who I now consider my friends, meeting folks who weren’t even born when I was originally a member of The Secrets. And seeing all of those people uniting for the cause of a library, those folks who lugged their crafts into Ellsworth (it’ll always be Ellsworth to me), people who drove all the way from Maryland, Philadelphia, North Carolina (shout-out to Rene Wilt!), I just keep coming back to that word: Overwhelming. I was overwhelmed, but it was a joyous overwhelmed, the kind of feeling you might have on your wedding day”.

“All I can say is thank you to everybody. And I mean everybody, who was there that day. I will never forget August 6, 2011.”

“Will we ever do this again? Ask us around April 2012. Never say never,” he continued. “If you weren’t there last weekend, you missed Middlebourne’s biggest Twist and Shout ever,” he concluded.

“I am very grateful for all of the support the community has shown the library. I hope that we will be able to break ground for the new library this fall,” said Roseann Eastham.