Leg & Salmon brings high spirits to Greenhouse lawn

Derby Carlson
Contributing Writer

Flames and moods were high when the Greenhouse hosted Leg and Salmon last Saturday, April 17. 

“I really enjoyed Leg and Salmon,” Claire Strysick (C ‘23) said. Strysick is a Greenhouse resident, and this was her first Leg and Salmon living in the house. “I think it was a great opportunity for us to connect as a community and showcase the many talents we have here at Sewanee.”

Some of the many talents shown at the event included: stand-up, singing, fire swinging, magic, and a cooking competition.

“The open flames and the cooking salmon with vodka made me scared that they were gonna blow themselves up,” Claire Smith (C ‘22) said with a silly smile on her face. (The vodka was later revealed as water, much to Smith’s relief.) “I was also in the splash zone for the egg-toss. It was a very engaging experience for an audience member.”

Greenhouse residents put out mattresses, blankets, and camping chairs for audience members to sit in, and students started to arrive around an hour before show time to make sure they had a seat. Over 150 students attended the event.

“It was nice to be back on the Greenhouse Lawn,” Greenhouse Co-Director Madison Freedy (C’21) said. 

For the past few years, the Greenhouse has struggled to find a solid home after the Armentrout House was deemed unlivable. Last year, they were housed in Smith, a dormitory on campus. Because of this, Dr. Bran Potter offered to host the fall version of the event — Arm and Trout — at his home in 2020.

The Greenhouse is currently residing in Emory Hall and has held successful in-person renditions of the fall Arm and Trout, and now the spring Leg and Salmon.

“There is something invaluable about the Greenhouse occupying, like, a concrete space on campus,” Freedy said. “The one at the Potter’s felt very hopeful because we still had options without having a house. We still had community support. We still had people who wanted to come together to have the event. Whereas having it at our house successfully twice this year now, we have made it closer to that goal.”

To many, the Greenhouse has proved itself to be resilient during unknown times, surrounding house uncertainties, and COVID-19.

“These events always have special energy and enthusiasm,” Dr. Eric Keen said, a past Greenhouse resident and current professor at the University. “But in this most difficult year, they were inspirational. These Greenhouse events are demonstrations of resilience, positivity, and community spirit in the face of COVID-19. It was a joy to see the students so happy and supportive of one another.”

Dr. Keen was one of the performers, having participated in six Leg and Salmon’s/Arm and Trout’s over the years. 

“I am grateful to be allowed to participate,” he said. “These events are rare opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to celebrate community together as neighbors. And that’s what the Greenhouse has always been so good at: creating a gathering place where everyone is welcome and equal.”

Reasons like that explain why Leg and Salmon is considered a part of the Sewanee Bucket List.

“It truly embodies everything that Sewanee is and means,” Freedy said, urging underclassmen to try their best to keep the spirit of this event alive. “If you have a chance to go next year, absolutely go.”