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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


Jerry Rasmussen 26 Jul 06 - 04:25 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Jul 06 - 05:37 PM
Elmer Fudd 26 Jul 06 - 06:45 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Jul 06 - 10:24 PM
Ebbie 27 Jul 06 - 09:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jul 06 - 10:06 PM
Elmer Fudd 27 Jul 06 - 11:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jul 06 - 08:02 AM
Ron Davies 29 Jul 06 - 12:26 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jul 06 - 08:01 AM
Ron Davies 29 Jul 06 - 01:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jul 06 - 02:05 PM
Ron Davies 29 Jul 06 - 03:57 PM
Elmer Fudd 29 Jul 06 - 04:30 PM
Ron Davies 29 Jul 06 - 04:42 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jul 06 - 06:55 PM
Elmer Fudd 30 Jul 06 - 05:42 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jul 06 - 07:18 PM
Elmer Fudd 30 Jul 06 - 07:51 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jul 06 - 08:17 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 31 Jul 06 - 07:54 PM
Elmer Fudd 01 Aug 06 - 05:34 PM
Ebbie 03 Aug 06 - 02:12 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Aug 06 - 10:56 AM
Ebbie 03 Aug 06 - 12:08 PM
Carly 03 Aug 06 - 05:02 PM
Ebbie 03 Aug 06 - 07:36 PM
Elmer Fudd 03 Aug 06 - 11:58 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Aug 06 - 09:49 AM
Carly 04 Aug 06 - 01:51 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Aug 06 - 02:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Aug 06 - 07:12 PM
Ebbie 04 Aug 06 - 10:47 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Aug 06 - 07:48 PM
freda underhill 05 Aug 06 - 10:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 06 - 09:43 AM
Severn 06 Aug 06 - 10:12 AM
Severn 06 Aug 06 - 10:55 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 06 - 01:28 PM
Severn 06 Aug 06 - 02:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 06 - 02:15 PM
Ebbie 06 Aug 06 - 03:18 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 06 - 03:27 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 06 - 03:31 PM
Elmer Fudd 06 Aug 06 - 04:48 PM
Ebbie 06 Aug 06 - 05:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 06 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,stranger 06 Aug 06 - 08:27 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 06 - 09:13 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Aug 06 - 11:58 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 04:25 PM

From the looks of it, Elmer, you were extwemely gwacious and awwowed Cwwlr to take the one hundrewdth post.

What a generous way to welcome a new person to the table!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 05:37 PM

Wlecome to the table, cllr. Pull up a chair and tell us what's going on in your life, these days. You aren't listed in the Mudcat profile or locator, so maybe a little introduction would be in order, if you don't mind.

Glad you stopped by..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 06:45 PM

Well cllr, for heaven's sakes pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and start a topic, any topic that's on your mind. That's what we all do. The 900th post gets you a bagel with lox and cream cheese to go with the coffee (I recommend the poppy seed bagels.)

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 10:24 PM

What do we talk about in here? Only the most intellectual and philosophical of topics. For example:

Tonight I got this idea that if I mixed peanut butter in my No Sugar Added vanilla ice cream I could make peanut butter swirl ice cream.
I was thinking, maybe Elmer and me could go into the ice cream business. We could call our ice cream Elmer & Jerry's.

Our first flavor would be Peanut Butter Squirrel. (You have to be terminally clever to catch the eye of the L.L. Bean crowd...)

Jerry

By the way, the ice cream was pretty good, despite the laughter my wife blurted out with when I told her what I was doing...

Jerry (of Elmer & Jerry's)


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 09:20 PM

Hey, where is everybuddy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 10:06 PM

Nobody stays at home anymore, ebbie... Elmer is off on an expotition, don't see much of jimmy these days.. and so it goes. Good to see you, though

Finished watching Amadeus with Ruth tonight. Hve been revisiting Mozart... my favorite composer. Been too long since I listened to his music, and I have a fair amount.

Ruth and I are rocking down the full 3 and a half mile river walk every morning now... Just very thankful that we can do it and are still in such good health.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 11:07 PM

Halloo. I'm out where the corn is as high as an elephant's eye, and you can sit on a rocking chair at night and watch the fireflies and listen to cicadas make a racket--that is, if a thunder-and-lightning storm isn't playing drama queen up in the sky. I heard a new acoustic group perform the other night, by the name of Railroad Earth. They are part of the new, underground scene of young people who are avoiding the corporate hit-making cookie-cutter megalith. They were quite good.

info here

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 08:02 AM

Speaking of rabbits... Ruth and I were on our morning walk and came across a Mother rabbit and her little baby. There's a stretch of the walk that goes through a lightly wooded area, and she was out with her baby feeding on tender new sprouts. They were no more than six feet from the walkway, and we stopped to look at them (and talk to them, of course.)

When we stopped, the Mother hopped about three feet away (not to safety) as unobtrusively as she could, from a grassy area where she was very visible, to a dirt area much the color of her fur. She lay as flat as she could get her body with her hind legs stretched out behind her so that she blended in with the color of the dirt, and kept a close eye on us. The baby was still too, but wasn't going to get into any of this stretched out stuff... "C'mon Mom! We could outrun them easy... aren't you over-reacting a little?" But the baby at least stood still. After I carried on a brief if albiet one-sided conversation with them, we went on our way. When we came back, Mom was nowhere to be seen, but the baby was still there, eating. He didn't move, but he had a big stalk of clover in his front paws and kept right on eating. "She told me not to move, but she didn't say that I had to stop eating..."

Kids... they always find a way to ignore their parents...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 12:26 AM

Sure is amazing. We've just gotten past 900, while the "Gaza Strip" thread has breezed by us and is closing in on 1,000. All it takes is controversy--preferably heated. The more people stake out positions at either end of a spectrum, the faster the count goes up.

So it's obviously better to just keep chugging along. After all, conversation is not a race-- nor a competition of any kind.

That's what makes the Table a refuge--and it's great.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 08:01 AM

Mornin', Ron:

Actually, I see it very differently. This thread is approaching 1,000 posts in about 6 months. I have no idea how many threads ever hit 1,000 (unless they're about Bush, or the Mother Of All BS.) 500 posts is a lot. And some of the threads that are longer have been running for years. I don't see it as a competition, either. If it is, then we're the tortoise, not the hare. But a souped up, four on the floor tortoise. When I started this thread, I figured it would amble along for awhile, stopping to enjoy the scenery and dissappear when it lost it's appeal. I had no thought as to how long that would be. But I wouldn't have expected it to last this long. If it reaches the point where I have to artificially keep it alive by doing 90% of the posts, then I'll just let it fade away.

One thing that I like about this thread is that people participate regularly for awhile when there's something they want to talk about, and then wander away. Often, they'll drop by later when there's something they want to talk about, or respond to. Good friendships are like that. They carry through the quiet times.

This is a verse from a song that I wrote way back in the 60's about my friend Luke Faust, who lived in Hoboken:

"If we had money, we'd stop for a beer
Or walk by the water and sit on the pier
Sit and we'd talk 'till there's no more to say
But we never needed words, anyway"

Listeners are half of a conversation. I know there are people who drop by regularly, have a cuppa and just listen to the conversation. They don't show up in the number of posts, but if someone just wants to drop by to get a load off their feet for a few minutes and not say a word, that's fine too.

That's what kitchen table conversation is all about..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 01:12 PM

"...held no competition--just knowing that the other was a good friend to have"


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 02:05 PM

Thanks for taking 9/11, Ron:

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 03:57 PM

Holy mackerel, Jerry--numerology is becoming a minefield! Round numbers are good, 666 not so good.   13 ? Now 9-11? Sorry I missed 7-11--that should have been better. Well, when we get above 1000, we'll have a lot more historical dates--1066, 1215, 1349, 1415, and so on. Can't remember what was going on between 900 and 1,000--I believe the founding of Russia (at least Kiev). I know there was a lot of apprehension at the approach of the millennium. And probably a lot of relief afterwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 04:30 PM

A few thoughts for my companions 'round the kitchen table:

Spread the table and contention shall cease.
    —English proverb

This night I hold an old accustom'd feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you, among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
    —William Shakespeare

All's well that ends with a good meal.
    —Arnold Lobel ( American writer and illustrator)

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.
    —Oscar Wilde

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink.
    —Bible, Old Testament

They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy.
    — John Milton, Paradise Lost

Take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry.
    —Bible, New Testament, Book of Luke

Fools make feasts and wise men enjoy them.
    —John Clark

Their tables were stor'd full, to glad the sight
and not so much to feed on as delight.
    —William Shakespeare

He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
    —Bible, Proverbs 15:15

Dear Moore,
I have a breakfast of philosophers tomorrow at ten punctually. Muffins and metaphysics; crumpets and contradiction. Will you come?
    —an invitation to a friend from Sydney Smith (1771–1845); English clergyman and essayist

Great is the meal which brings together people who are distant to each other.
   —Babylonian Talmud

Pull up a chair, y'all!
    —Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 04:42 PM

"Fools make feasts..."---wow, that doesn't sound very complimentary to women who often prepare them.

Or to others--"Here's a health unto the master--he's the founder of the feast".


What do you suppose he meant?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 06:55 PM

What a great batch of quotations, Elmer!

I'll add one more kitchen table image from the bible:

Revelations 3:20

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

I wonder how he takes his coffee?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 05:42 PM

Well, possibly a cappuccino would do, since it is named for the Capuchin monks: the coffee represents his brown robes, and the white crema on top is his tonsured head.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 07:18 PM

Hey, Elmero # 1:

I thought cappucino was named after the monkeys. Besides, if he didn't like it the way I fixed it, he could always change it to a glass of wine. Miracles must come in handy.. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 07:51 PM

Very funny, Jerry!

Coffee made its entrance into Europe from Constantinople to Venice. Legend has it that priests appealed to Pope Clement VIII (1536-1605) to have the use of coffee forbidden among Christians. They said that Satan had forbidden his followers, the heathen Muslims, to drink wine because it was used in Holy Communion, and instead had given them "hellish black coffee." It is said that the pope relied,

"Why, this Satan's drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it."

Elmer the caffeinated


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 08:17 PM

Remember the instant coffee, Brim? "Fill it to the rim with Brim." I have it directly from an unreliable source that Brim was really short for Brimstone...

Ooooooooweeeeeeee..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 07:54 PM

Had a good walk this morning... beautioful, cool morning even though it got up to 90 this afternoon (with even hotter weather coming.) We saw the baby bunny this morning, with no Mom in sight. I guess she figured that she'd done her job and it was time for the kid to fend for himself. He was far more interested in eating than he was in us.

The exciting this is that we saw several river otters this morning. Not that you can really get a good look at them, but you can see them swimming around like speed freaks, catching fish.

One of our sons and his wife want to walk with us, but we told them we leave at a quarter to six at the latest, and they have about a 25 minute drive to get to our place. They'll have to get up yesterday. We started today two minutes after sunrise, and there were already people finishing their walk. I didn't see any flashlights on them, but it must have been dark enough to use them when they started. This year, I am very aware of the sun rising a minute later each day... means we can get up a whole minute later, ourselves.

Now, if any a you folks ever make it over this way, you can take the walk with us and when we get back, I'll make a nice, big breakfast to enjoy around the kitchen table...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 05:34 PM

A nice big breakfast sounds good! Especially since it's 4:30 PM. And now, after all that coffee glugging, to give tea some equal time:

Tea was first described to Europeans by sixteenth-century Venetian traders. Portuguese merchants and Jesuit priests shipped tea from China along their newly charted sea routes.

Dutch seafarers were the first to take on the Portuguese for the tea trade, but eventually the British East India Company dominated tea importation to Europe. Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese Infanta and wife of Charles II of England, is credited with hooking the British on tea with the leaves she brought in her dowry. She is also credited with initiating the ritual of the tea party.

Hooked doesn't begin to describe the habits of Samuel Johnson, who daily downed thirty to forty cups, calling himself "a hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who has for many years diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the morning."

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Aug 06 - 02:12 AM

Well! I'm glad to see the tzble even if no one is evident around it at the moment. I'll just pour myself a mug - thanks for the steaming pot, Jerry - and sit here and wait for someone to pop back in. I have something on my mind.

This Saturday night I have committed to doing a 20 minute set at our first-of-the-season folk club, Gold Street Music.

Since I am an uncomfortable performer I wouldn't have chosen to do it but I'm the booker for the performers and being in the middle of summer there are so many people out of town that I panicked about getting five sets.

In the 'uncomfortable performer' phrase is my problem. I'm not sure where it started but I really do not like to perform. I love to jam and when I'm with friends I love to sing but I don't like to get up on stage. I've done quite a lot of it but almost entirely in support of a lead player or singer. I have never sung on stage. - I take that back- at our local folk festival each year there is a Songwriter's Showcawe and one year my brother was visiting and he really wanted to sing a couple of songs I wrote so I did it. But that was at least 15 years ago and I was most uncomfortable.

Oh. And last year at the first Gold Street Music I joined a Buddy Tabor set and sang Hank William's song 'Dear Brother'...

I know some of the tricks, of course. If I find myself roped into doing something the one thing I make sure of is that the audience does NOT how nervous I am. Worse than performing itself would be the knowledge that people are feeling sorry for me. So on stage my persona is pretty breezy.

This year I will be surrounded by good musicians and that will help. There will be my singing partner playing guitar and singing harmony as well as leading one song, the John and June Carter version of Terry Smith's 'Far Side Banks of Jordan'; there will be her husband on the autoharp; the aforementioned Buddy Tabor doing guitar breaks; and the local city attorney on the mandolin. He is very good.

We'll do 'Will You Meet Me Over Yonder', Far Side Banks, Dear Brother then two mando instrumentals, 'New Camptown Races' and 'Done Gone' back to back and then end with Mudcatter Dan Schatz's lovely 'Daylight's Song.'

It's a good line up and in a jam situation I enjoy it a lot. We are practicing each evening and I like the dense, tight sound we're getting. It's just that I would like to do it for its own sake, not for an audience.

Does anyone have words of encouragement and/or advice? Short of telling me not to do it- I don't really have a choice in that.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Aug 06 - 10:56 AM

That sounds like a great set, Ebbie:

Performer heebie-jeebies... like everyone else, I've had them. The only cure for them is to "put your hand on the ha'nt." (haunt) Your approach sounds good to me, though... practice, practice, practice is the best short-term approach because the more you practice the more it can build your confidence. The first many times I performed, I was terrified. I had been playing guitar, singing and writing songs for ten years before I ever found the courage to get up on stage... and that in a small coffee house at a hootenanny where expectations run low.

I suppose that there's some underlying generality in all of this... the more you can focus on something other than yourself, the easier it is. Doing it is the trick. As you're doing some gospel, I'll offer up the experiences I've had in the last year in that regard.
They fall into the general category of not thinking about yourself when you sing.

I've been singing now for going on ten years with a male chorus, as I've commented on many times. Initially (and for a long time) I was very self-conscious as I'm normally the only white male in the church. When I sang a lead, I was thinking about myself too much, wondering what people were thinking about this old white guy getting up there to sing a lead. The experience was really no different than singing a song at a hootenanny. A couple of years ago, I started praying before I went up to sing a lead. (It works for me, but not necessarily for anyone else.) I prayed that the Lord would take charge of me, and sing through me. The experience has been overwhelming on several occasions and people have commented that they've never heard me sing in that way. There've been occasions when I've brought the whole church to it's feet and we couldn't stop the song. They wouldn't let us. When that has happened, I almost felt like I had an "out of body" experience... as if I was standing next to myself, watching the Lord sing through me. It's a difficult feeling to verbalize. You have to "be there" to really understand it.

A more secular observation I'd add is a question... one that I've asked the guys in my group when they've expressed anxiety about what people will think. "What will Johnny C think?'" was a concern I heard expressed too many times to appreciate. I finally started asking the question:

"Who are you singing for?"

It's a loaded question, and has a different answer for different occasions. For us, singing gospel, we're singing for the Lord. Not for Johnny C.. But, the same question can cause reflection on why we are singing. If I'm singing to impress people so that they'll think that I'm good and I forget a line, I'll consider it a disaster. Of course, when you step up on stage, the most obvious answer is, "for the audience." If that's the case, then try to focus all of your attention on the song and the audience. The less you think about yourself, the less nervous you will be. It may help to focus on wanting to share the song, too. That may help to take some of the pressure of the "performance" off of you. In folk music, sharing a good song is a primary motivating factor. You could argue that it is THE motivating factor. In gospel (for us) bringing the message is the primary motivating factor. That is a release too, because it becomes less about the performance, and even less about the performer.

It also helps some people if they zero in on a few friendly faces in the audience, and sing to them. Again, it has the effect of focusing on something other than yourself.

All I gotta say is, Good on you, Ebbie! It sounds like it's going to be a wonderful set. I wish I could be there to hear you. If you get a good tape of it, I wouldn't be averse to receiving a copy...

Hint, hint..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Aug 06 - 12:08 PM

Thanks for your response, Jerry. Lot of food there.

One of the problems (?) is that I would much prefer a focus for a set. I've told the group several times in the past that if we come up with a Carter Family set they can count me in. But as soon as I waver like that, they start planning an eclectic set, so we've never done it. They are natural performers and they'd like to rope me in; I think they plan to get me to the place where I start to enjoy it. I appreciate their good will but it's just not likely to happen.

I always record Gold Street Music which I then present to each set in the form of a CD so if it's a good (enough) recording I'll be happy to send you a copy, Jerry. I love the CDs I got from you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly
Date: 03 Aug 06 - 05:02 PM

What a remarkable world! We just returned from a trip to Alaska, one day of which we spent in Juneau with Ebbie and KT ( and it was a truly wonderful day!) and I wander back to the table to find Ebbie here! I'll probably dither at length some time about my first visit to Alaska, but I wanted to address Ebbie's concern, since I have always suffered from stage fright, and I have done quite a bit of performing over the years.

Certainly being well-prepared helps, and having a setlist that makes sense to you. (Having said that, I have been known to change my setlist mid-concert; fortunately, I've had great singing partners who trusted me to go where we needed to go.) But, my biggest issue by far concerns why I'm there. If I get into the mindset of "these people have come thinking I'm a great singer with a great voice, and they are going to be disappointd the moment I open my mouth and prove I am not-so-great," then I am a mess. I have to put into and keep in my head the mantra "I have done my work, I can present this music so that others will understand it, and the song is so powerful, or so beautiful, or so affirming, that they will love the song, and forgive me any lapses." Of course, this means I have difficulties singing songs I don't feel passionate about, but that is usually my choice, and if I'm singing with someone who just loves something I'm not so excited about, I can usually borrow some of that enthusiasm by talking to them about why they love it so.

I also look into the audience for sympathetic faces, and I solicit audience participation whenever I can (we're all in this together,) as well as ignoring some mistakes in the knowledge that it all goes by so fast, you can often fudge. If all else fails, and I do something no one can overlook, I laugh at myself, rather than being tragic. (My very first full concert, many years ago will be forever highlighted by my singing a line in "Misty Moisty Morning' 'I'll plow and sow and reap and mow, and you shall spit and sin' which was NOT how we had practiced it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Aug 06 - 07:36 PM

Hi Carly! I didn't know you were in the neighborhood! You'll find this is a wonderful place and Jerry is a great host.

As for performing- well, I expect to survive Saturday night and I'll probably even feel that parts of it were fun- Actually most of it will be fun: There are four other sets besides the one I'm in and they'll be fun.

The lineup for the evening (7:30-10:00) is

1) A singer/songwriter- young, talented, host of an Open Mic at a local pub and with a great fanbase.
2) Us. brrrrr
3) A Klezmer group
A 20 minute break then:
4) Buddy Tabor- a prolific songwriter, probably the best known musician in town
5) A bluesman to close. He has some great songs, songs like (We're Biting Off More than We Can Chew so What are We Going to Do- We'll Just 'Leave it to Our Children' and 'Intrepid Airline', a rip of our local airline monopoly.

It will be fun.

I'm grateful that there are people who enjoy performing- where would we be without them!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 03 Aug 06 - 11:58 PM

Ebbie, what helps me out is to repeat a little saying:

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly."

Whenever I get nervous about getting up in front of a group I start thinking of all the ways I could really screw things up: mangle the lyrics, spit on someone in the front row, have my pants fall down, fall off the stage, etc. etc. Pretty soon I'm laughing at the thought of TRYING to do all the things I'm afraid of doing by accident, and the jitters go away.
Works for me.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 09:49 AM

You know, we could all learn a lot from that great American Icon, Elmer Fudd. Does he worry about failing? Does he worry about what people will think of him? Not Elmer!!!!! He knows in his heart that he was born to hunt wabbits, and that's what he does.

Nothing breeds confidence like failure.

I don't think you'll ever find that statement in a fortune cookie. But there is a lot of truth to it, if you have the indomitable spirit of E. Fudd, esquire.

When my youngest son first moved out on his own, it wasn't really by choice. He had just graduated from college and I married Ruth and moved out of my house. There really wasn't a place for him to live with his Dad any more, and my son knew it was time that he stretched his wings. It took an enormous amount of courage on his part to move to a different part of the country with no job in hand and no money other than what I could afford to help him with. And his worst fears weren't as bad as reality. The first six months, he couldn't get ANY job, despite being willing to do just about anything and he stayed in a run down, depressing old motel in the worst part of town. I know he nearly starved, because I couldn't send him as much money as he really needed. On every level, his life looked like a failure. But, he persevered, despite the ugly circumstances of his life and finally got a decent job and was able to move into an apartment. That was 8 years ago. Since then, when he's had to face other hard challenges, I remind him that he came through those first six months, and if he handled that, he could handle anything. And each time he has survived a hard time, or made stupid mistakes that he paid for dearly, his confidence has strengthened. He knows he can get through hard times now, and that if he makes a stupid mistake he can "Get right up, dust himself off and start right over again." That's a wonderful lesson to learn.

All of this applies to performing. When your worst fears are realized, and you forget lyrics to songs or do something really embarassing on stage, you discover that people don't ridicule you. If you laugh at yourself and keep on going, the audience's heart goes out to you and in an odd way, you've won them over. Everybody knows failure. It's something that we all an relate to.

I've seen Gordon Bok forget lyrics to a song when doing a concert in a large auditorium to the point where the finally had to just acknowledge that he couldn't remember the words. Gordon is confident enough in himself that he'd just laugh and acknowledge that it happened. Or more likely, he would acknowledge that it happened because I remember it. But he's probably long since forgotten it. Mistakes go with the territory. In a way, it's just as well that you make them early on so that you understand that mistakes don't do any lasting harm. Who ever walked out of a concert and said... "Man, I had a great time... he didn't make a single mistake!" And he probably did, anyway.

When life gets you down, just think about Elmer. He was born to lose, and yet he triumphs anyway.

Now, Daffy, Duck... that's a horse of a different color.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 01:51 PM

You are so right, Jerry. We can all relate to failure, and most of the time an audience is sympathetic if you are honest, and don't dwell on the moment too long.

This conversation got me to thinking about ways we make ourselves comfortable (or not) when performing. A case in point; my husband, Dean, and I do much of our singing, (as well as having important conversations!) during car trips. Dean enjoys driving, which means I am usually sitting to his right. On occasions that we have sung in public, Dean is clearly more comfortable if he can stand or sit to my left. And I know a performer who will move heaven and earth to have a high stool to perch on, which doesn't strike me as particularly comfortable. Do you have any on-stage rituals to keep yourself happy?

Carly


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 02:41 PM

Hey, Carly:

Somewhere along the line over many years of performing, I seemed to have overcome my nervousness performing. The only exceptions now are when it's been too long between my folk programs, and I am rusty on some of the material. In the years when I was performing folk very regularly I became comfortable enough to reach the point where I didn't even do a set list. I'd have a list of songs and keys on stage in case I couldn't come up with a song, but for the most part, I let the audience create the flow. It's very helpful if you can "read" the audience. After two or three songs you should have a good idea what they're responding to. A set list composed in your living room three days before may not be the best choice of material for that specific audience. If you're just doing two or three songs at an open mike, or as part of a program with several other performers, this doesn't apply. It's also difficult to do that when you are in a band. Maybe impossible. But as a solo performer, I find it a much better way to make a connection with the audience.

When I play with my Gospel group, I may decide spur of the moment to do a song that we haven't practiced because it seems like the right song to do next. We sing together enough, and my guitar is the only instrument, so we can usually step right into the song with confidence. In the male chorus that I sing in, it's not at all uncommon for the Director to decided to do a song we haven't done in months. If you sing the lead on the song, you'd better recognize the piano lead-in and get up there to the mike. It helps to pray as you approach the mike that the words will come back to you. It's almost as hard for the rest of the chorus, because they have to quickly remember their lines and their harmony part. A couple of months ago, we were asked to sing at a funeral. The funeral was two hours long and we sang without taking a break. We ended up doing songs we hadn't done in a couple of years. It was a real stretch, but exhilarating too. We did a pretty good job on the songs (all done from memory, as we don't sing from sheet music or lyric sheets.)

Only goes to show

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 07:12 PM

"I'm just turning the pages now, and every one is a good one."

I spoke with my Mother today. Since we came back from our visit to Wisconsin for her 99th brithday, she's been steadily losing ground. Thinking back to our visit, I am even more grateful that she was able to muster what little remaining strength she has so that she could really enjoy our visit. My Mother and Father loved to go for rides in the country. When we got out there in early June, it had been more than half a year since she'd been able to go for a ride.
My sisters don't have the strength to load her wheelchair and the oxygen tank into and out of the trunk of the car, and neither do any of her friends. But I do, and that was one of the first things that she wanted to do. We took her for a ride out into the country on the old country roads that my Mother and Father raveled on for countless times in their life together. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed it immensely. My Mother hadn't been out of the retirement complex in almost a year, but we took her out to dinner with my sisters, her closest friend and a minister and his wife who've been dear friends for many years. She also managed to summon the strength to have two birthday parties, and I did a concert for the residents of Assisted Living which mean a lot to her and my sisters. At the time I think that we were all aware that each instance might be the "last time."

Since we've been back, Mom has slowly been failing and she has a Hospice nurse checking in on her regularly. Her oxygen level is very low, so she is on oxygen most of the time. (That doesn't stop her from going to Vespers in the chapel there, playing Bingo, or getting her hair done. But now, that's about all that she can do. She has Adult Macular Degeneration severely enough that she can no longer read, and television is a blurry image. So she sleeps a lot. She needs help to get dressed and get into her chair, and the only real break from the monotony is mealtime, vespers on Sunday and her hair dresser appointment on Friday. She knows that she is winding down now, and isn't likely to see Christmas again.

When I talked with her this morning, she was very animated because her wonderful friend (who is in her 80's) was due any moment to take her to the hair dressers. When I asked Mom how she was doing, she said that nothing has changed. She is very weak and sleeps most of the time. And then she said something very beautiful:

I'm just turning the pages now, and every one is a good one."

That's my Mom.

I told her that the coming days and weeks would be good ones because no matter what comes, it will be good. She is looking forward to being reunited with her Mother who died when my Mother was 12 or 13 years old. I recited the lines to a song the Gospel Messengers sing, and it says it all:

"Have I given anything, today?
Have I helped some needy soul on my way?
Just to know I've done my best
When I come to take my rest
And my name be written there, today"

That's all there is..

And as we turn the pages together, each one will be a good one.

Jerry, blessed


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 10:47 PM

Lovely. I begin to see where you're from, Jerry. Congratulations on choosing wisely!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 07:48 PM

You got that right, ebbie: I am my Mother's son. Her only son, AND her favorite son, all rolled into one.

Looks like errbody is gone away these days... Ron is away, and Elmer has been on a rabbit hunting safari to Iowa, although I think he's due home soon. Don't know where Bro Jimmy is these days. Guess it's up to us what is around to keep the home fires burning. And the pot on the stove..

It's an honor to share my life with all of you..

Jerry

Esther's son.

You think Gerald Elmer Henry Hornsbuckle Rasmussen is old=fashioned sounding? My Mother is Esther Adelaide Holliday Rasmussen... a shirt-tail cousing of Doc Holliday. Esther was a grand woman in the bible. And in Wisconsin, too..


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 10:15 PM

This is good to read, Jerry. My son-in-law's grandmother ("Yaya") was a beautiful, elegant, kind lady. She was very old and has been in care for a few months. She died yesterday.

I spent last night reading about death and the afterlife. I think Yaya will be enjoying her time in the light, now.

freda


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 09:43 AM

I'm sorry to hear that Freda. Sorry for those who mourn, but not sorry for your son-in-law's Grandmother. I'll try to remember the joy that is part of the sorrow when my Mother has her home-going. Whenever that may be. Life is worth celebrating. Perhaps even more so at it's end.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Severn
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 10:12 AM

My best wishes for the health and happiness of your mother, Jerry.

Mine is still going pretty strong at 91 and is within visiting distance, so she gets visits from myself (and two of my sisters as well) at least once a week. She gets to go out with her old neighborhood friends, and everyone at Asbury Home in Gaithersburg MD seems to love her and they take good care of the elderly there.

It's good to keep in touch and spend valuable time while you can. In the case of my mother, while she misses my dad, by whom she was always somewhat overshadowed personality wise, since he passed away and she doesn't have to constantly tend to him as she did for 13 years after his initial stroke, she has really blossomed on her own. We see parts of her personality and sense of humor that were never really let out fully and some things we didn't really know were there at all! she is a pleasure to be with and even a source of constant surprise to add to the regular amount of joy one gets from being with a parent. As circumstances change, one finds out how to still apperciate gaining new knowledge to match the old, and find new ways to give back in return.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kitsching Again At The Sitting Table
From: Severn
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 10:55 AM

By the way, thanks for the coffee, and I'll have to get the recipe for your delicious Jerry-Razz-Muffins!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 01:28 PM

Hey, Severn:

Thanks for stopping by. You touched on an interesting point.. the flowering of some women after their husbands are gone. My Mother existed to keep my Father from being unhappy. That wasn't all that uncommon a role for women of my Mother's generation. "Don't get your Father mad!"

When my Father died 8 years ago (and there was much that I loved about him, and I miss him,) suddenly Mom could be Esther Holliday again. Not just Elmer's wife. The first thing we did after the memorial service was to go out and buy a stereo for Mom. Dad didn't like music in the apartment and when he didn't like something, he made sure that you couldn't enjoy it either. After I set up the system and bought Mom some CDs, she wanted to go out to eat at one of her favorite restaurants she hadn't been to in years because my Father got mad once when he thought he was overcharged and refused to go there. When I ordered a burrito, she ordered one too, even though she wasn't sure what it was and wasn't too good on spicy food. She ordered it because she could. She's been blessed with eight years of being herself after almost 70 years of interruption...

Go WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Free at last!

I say that, despite loving my Father. He was to some extent a victim of his own generation, too.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Severn
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 02:07 PM

As was mine. And being one of those people who had never been sick a day in his life, when the stroke came, he found himself completely helpless for the first time and had to call her if she was gone over 10 minutes. While maintaining as much of the tone of being completely in charge as he could, of course. Part of our visits were to come see him and talk to him, but some were to occupy him for long enough to let mom finish a task or two, as well. He'd fret whenever she was off tho the grocery or hairdresser while striving to still sound and feel dominant. He could never just let that part of him go. We loved him dearly, but he could be quite difficult and unbending. Definately a product of both generation and some failures he percieved in his father he never wanted to duplicate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 02:15 PM

My Father is the only case I know of of someone who literally died laughing. He'd had occasional strokes and finally had a serious enough one that he was sitting in his Lazy Boy chair, attended by two nurses awaiting the arrival of an ambulance. My Father could be very entertaining, and he had the nurses laughing at all of his jokes when the Big One hit him dead on and he keeled over onto the floor, dead.

Other than the occasional widely-spaced strokes which passed with no lasting damage, my Father was quite healthy. But like many elderly men(and women), he insisted that my Mother be with him at all times. For the most part, she was held captive even if only just to be there because he didn't want her to do anything without him.

Unfortunately, negative qualities that are just infuriating when we're younger can become completely overbearing when we get too old to take care of ourselves, physically or emotionally. You can be too old to take care of yourself, but you're never too old to make others miserable.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 03:18 PM

Your saying that about repeating a parent's weaknesses rings for me, Severn. My brother, who had a difficult time with our by-the-book father, caught himself up short one day when he suddenly realized that he was doing the same thing to his children. (And that is very definitely TO children, rather than WITH) From then on he worked at parenting, and it paid off for them all.

Incidentally, my debut on stage last night went off better than I had feared. Playing back the recording I note how uneven my speeds were but at least I didn't make anyone feel sorry for me. That was my main worry.

Jerry, if you PM me your mailing address I'll send you a copy. Thanks for asking/"hinting".

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 03:27 PM

Congratulations on your performance, ebbie! I'd love to hear what you did. I'll PM my mailing address to you...

Always nice to see you at the table.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 03:31 PM

Ah yes, Ebbie: The ultimate gag reflex: when you realize that you've just done the same thing that you hated in one of your parents.

Done that.... ecchhhh!!!!!!!!

What's that about the sins of the Fathers being visited on the sons (and daughters too.)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 04:48 PM

Aw, Ebbie, you mean you didn't mess up the performance? What a shame...

Congrats and felicitations. It sounds like a real milestone that you got through it and saw for yourself that you deported yourself well. It'll get progressively easier each time. And I'll bet you enriched the lives of folks in your audience, more than you'll ever hear about.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 05:07 PM

Yeah, in one sense, Elmer, I agree. People are often surprised, I think, that at my age I still play. Singing in public at some length for the first time at age 70 is a bit over the top!

On the plus side I frequently am told by people my age - and younger - that my activity inspires them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 07:44 PM

I dunno, Ebbie: I think of you as a young woman. At least, you're younger than me. I've known people in their 20's who were older than you.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,stranger
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 08:27 PM

You have a beautiful way of speaking ive scanned down the whole thread and your turn of phrase reminds me of my father.
Parents are irish and as i was growing up the kitchen table was the centre of everything music,card games,tears,laughter.I remember seeing my father sat at the table being told his father had died,also when his mother had died,I remember him smashing his fist down on it when i was a boy and he caught me stealing his fags,didnt hit me but by hitting the table for some reason it was more effective his frustration i guess i dunno .Anyway im rambling just a passing stranger and felt like saying Hi and for some reason Thanks.
      peace fella i like your style and Thanks again


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 09:13 PM

Don't be a stranger, stranger.

I remember our kitchen table. Very 1950's. It had a quasi-formica top with an aluminum edging about 2" wide, with several horizontal ridges in it. It had a leaf that could be pulled up. Our kitchen was very small... as I've said, not even enough room for the refrigerator, but the five of us... my Mother and Father, my two older sisters and I managed to squeeze in around that small table with our backs up against the stove on one side, and Dad just about through the door into the dining room. Houses were sure set up oddly then. Our kitchen was very cramped, and yet we had a large dining room with a beautiful walnut table and six matching chairs. We probably at at that table five or six times a year... mostly on Holidays, and maybe a birthday. The rest of the time we crammed ourselves into the kitchen. But, respectable families had a dining room.

For many years, we ate on an oil cloth cover on the kitchen table. Anybody remember oil cloth? I wonder if they even make it any more...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 11:58 AM

You know, Ebbie, back in the 60's most of us tried to sound old and toothless, gumming the words with imagined tobacco spittle running out of the side of our mouths. We wanted to be authentic, which to us meant old. We copied Clarence Ashley, Uncle Dave Macon and the rest, trying to get their phrasing down. God help you if you had any vibrato in your voice. Actually, I think God would disown you if you did. Dylan sounded like he'd just crawled out of his coffin when he was 19.

Time takes care of everything, though. No need for us to try to sound "old."

We Iz.

That said, I heard Almeda Riddle when she was older than you and I are now, and she sounded wonderful to my ears. Not that she ever would have been confused with Joan Baez.. not even when Almeda was in her twenties, I bet. The great thing about folk music is that age is venerated by many. Not the angst-ridden crowd, but at least among those who love traditional music.

I think I'll pass on gumming songs with tobacco spittle running out of the corner of my mouth though.

By Cracky..

Jerry


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