Agnes Battle of Stephens Mills is as proud as any grandmother anywhere whose violinist granddaughter is rehearsing for a world tour. The reason: Eve Panning, arguably one of the brightest apples of her grandma’s eye, was one of only four violinists selected to tour the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia with Barrage 8. The global tour begins in January.

Eve’s public career started at age nine when she joined two brothers for the Arkport Exchange Club’s Chicken Bar-B-Que at the Arkport American Legion Memorial Day in 2002.

Agnes Battle answered a telephone call that same summer from her daughter, Roween Battle Panning, a 1979 graduate of Arkport Central and a 1983 graduate of Alfred University. The request: Eve and her two brothers needed “Little House on the Prairie” outfits because the siblings had been booked at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

Agnes created the dresses, pinafores and sunbonnets, and the boys wore bib overalls as they performed at the Silver Dollar for four seasons, she says. Those performances resulted in three CDs, Agnes notes: Come Play with Us, Panning for Gold and Stoked.

The area connection continued: Eve performed at a 2008 concert in the Fremont Town Hall, proud grandma says. Eve continued to perform in contests and concerto competitions often enough that she earned many standing ovations while filling a trophy cabinet.

Fast forward half a decade: Eve was selected to attend national auditions for Barrage 8, “a violin-based, modern world-beat ensemble that has toured 27 countries since 1996,” according to a Hope College, Michigan news release. Eve is a 2015 graduate of Hope College where she double majored in violin performance and instrumental music education.

Eve competed with violinists from Boston, Chicago and Berkeley, California and was one of only four selected for the tour. She and the rest of the entourage are practicing at Barrage 8 headquarters in Miami, Florida, the news release says.

Most of her 2015 activities, her grandmother says, included performances at the Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan, the Irish Festival in Illinois and a concert at the DeVose Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eve this summer also won the Big Horn Mountain Fiddle Contest in Wyoming, Grandmother Agnes notes.

The late Robert Battle is Eve’s grandfather.

A-E’s presidential run

First of all, A-E is an enrolled and avowed independent. Not the upper case Independent Party that rhymes with “right wingnuts” but a bona fide middle-of-the-road guy who votes strictly for the most capable candidates on every ballot. A-E’s taking a straw poll to see if he has any following, at least in Greater Jasper. He’s not optimistic, but if Scott Walker and Rick Perry can run with less support than Vladimir Putin has in Kiev or Kalamazoo, let’s see if A-E has a chance.

A-E’s proposed platform, plagiarized liberally, you’ll pardon the expression, from The Donald: The United States needs a wall similar to what Trump proposes except a few miles north of what the casino developer wants to string along the Southwestern Border and about 1,500-hundred miles longer. A-E’s proposal: a fence between the U.S. of A. and Canada.

A-E has the same hare-brained idea for paying for the barrier as Trump (and arguably the same chance of success): The Mexican government will pay for it.

A-E’s rationale for the elaborate fence: It’ll keep out those rascally Canadians (or Canadiens, if they’re French-speaking) and prevent them from staying in our hotels and motels, eating in our restaurants, visiting our tourist attractions, buying lots of stuff and generally contributing billions of Loonies (that’s what our Canadian cousins call their dollar) to the Yankee Piggybank aka Gross Domestic Product.

If you wanna support A-E, go online to and click on Hare-Brained Ideas in the right-hand column.