Professor tells tales through song
By Ali Williams
LCC nursing instructor Marilyn Tennant, a singer/songwriter, will perform at the Apple Butter Festival on Oct. 19 and 20 at the Fenner Nature Center in Lansing.
“I’ve never played there before,” Tennant said. “You’ll definitely hear some of the new songs that I haven’t recorded yet that I’m working on.”
One of the songs she will perform is “The Quilt,” which was inspired about a life-threatening event that occurred when she was 28 years old.
Tennant is a former LCC student, originally enrolled in the college’s photography program. After she moved to Nashville, Tenn., she transitioned into a nursing student. She received her nursing degree and license there in 2008.
A year after completing these milestones, however, a flood changed everything.
“There was a flood warning,” Tennant said. “Not every time I hear of a flood warning do we (my family) evacuate because there’s so many. Especially in Tennessee, in the area I was living in. It just so happened that this was one of those times that we should have.”
Tennant said she woke up on a Sunday morning nd there was an inch of water on the street. That was the first warning sign that this was serious.
Tennant and her family ended up in the attic as the floodwaters were rising to as high as three feet. She said she and her ex-husband wanted to get their baby to safety, and relied on her neighbor for help.
“A neighbor was going by in a canoe,” Tennant said. “We were waving to them for help.”
There was a hill nearby, which Tennant said they planned to escape to. Tennant said the neighbor came to help them, but the canoe capsized due to the group of five’s combined weight.
“There was a chain-link fence that didn’t wash away like the wood fences,” Tennant said. “The canoe capsized but I was right at the perfect spot. It was a miracle that I was able to sit on this chain-link fence.”
Tennant said she was holding the baby in her arms above the water while sitting on the fence to keep him alive. The group she was in made it to the hill, out of harm’s way.
Years after surviving the flood, Tennant wrote her song “The Quilt.”
Tennant is recording her next album at Troubadour Recording Studios in Lansing with the owner and sound engineer, Corey DeRushia.
“She is a joy to work with, and continues to hone her songwriting skills,” DeRushia said. “I look forward to hearing the rest of what she has in store for this record.”
To hear Tennant’s music, go to https://www.marilyntennant.com. To support her next album, go to https://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/22449067/campaigns.