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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


Elmer Fudd 07 Aug 06 - 06:57 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Aug 06 - 02:16 PM
Elmer Fudd 08 Aug 06 - 09:44 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 09 Aug 06 - 07:53 PM
Ebbie 09 Aug 06 - 11:27 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Aug 06 - 05:01 PM
billybob 13 Aug 06 - 05:06 PM
Ebbie 13 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Aug 06 - 09:06 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Aug 06 - 01:23 PM
billybob 14 Aug 06 - 06:35 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Aug 06 - 08:32 PM
Ebbie 14 Aug 06 - 08:38 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Aug 06 - 10:09 PM
Ebbie 15 Aug 06 - 11:05 AM
Elmer Fudd 16 Aug 06 - 07:11 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Aug 06 - 10:12 AM
Ebbie 16 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM
billybob 17 Aug 06 - 07:40 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Aug 06 - 08:27 AM
billybob 17 Aug 06 - 08:51 AM
Ebbie 17 Aug 06 - 12:05 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Aug 06 - 01:03 PM
Ebbie 17 Aug 06 - 01:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Aug 06 - 02:09 PM
Ebbie 17 Aug 06 - 04:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Aug 06 - 10:00 PM
Carly 17 Aug 06 - 10:08 PM
Elmer Fudd 18 Aug 06 - 10:17 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Aug 06 - 10:43 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Aug 06 - 12:58 PM
Ebbie 18 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM
Elmer Fudd 18 Aug 06 - 02:03 PM
Ron Davies 18 Aug 06 - 10:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Aug 06 - 10:11 AM
Ron Davies 19 Aug 06 - 12:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Aug 06 - 01:31 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Phot in the Gulf 20 Aug 06 - 10:15 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Aug 06 - 12:12 PM
Ron Davies 20 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Aug 06 - 12:49 PM
jimmyt 20 Aug 06 - 07:25 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Aug 06 - 07:31 PM
Ron Davies 20 Aug 06 - 07:57 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Aug 06 - 08:29 PM
Ron Davies 20 Aug 06 - 08:44 PM
Elmer Fudd 20 Aug 06 - 09:08 PM
Elmer Fudd 20 Aug 06 - 09:09 PM
jimmyt 20 Aug 06 - 09:41 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 06:57 PM

THOUGHTS ON BEING 70 FROM SPIFFY SEPTUAGENARIANS:

Life has got to be lived—that's all there is to it. At seventy, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You know that 'this too, shall pass.'
        —Eleanor Roosevelt

To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
        —Oliver Wendell Holmes

AND ON BEING 80 FROM PERSPICACIOUS OCTOGENARIANS:

At eighty, I believe, I am a far more cheerful person than I was a twenty or thirty. I most definitely would not want to be a teenager again. Youth may be glorious, but it is also painful to endure. Moreover, what is called youth is not youth, in my opinion, it is rather something like premature old age.
—Henry Miller

When I was young I was amazed at Plutarch's statement that the elder Cato began at the age of eighty to learn Greek. I am amazed no longer. Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long.
        —W. Somerset Maugham

SOME WAY COOL COMTEMPLATIONS ON OLD AGE FROM A COUPLE OF TOTALLY AWESOME TRANSCENDENTALISTS:

We do not count a man's years, until he has nothing else to count.
        —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Youth, large, lusty, loving—
   youth full of grace, force,
      fascination.
Do you know that Old Age
   may come after you with
      equal grace, force,
         fascination?
        —Walt Whitman

THE LAST WORD, FROM THAT GREAT WRITER, ANON.:

He who laughs lasts.
        —Unknown


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 02:16 PM

Went to the Doctor today for a check-up and got a glowing report. My Doctor says that I am his most boring patient because I take such good care of myself that he can't find anything wrong. Since I was diagnosed as diabetic two and a half years ago, I've been a real bull-dog about taking good care of my health. I know I wouldn't be in the shape I'm in if the diabetic diagnosis didn't wake me up.

I'm surprised in a way, that there isn't a lot of conversation on the cat about diet, natural remedies and excercise. I occasionally see a passing comment on one thread or another, but very little more than that. All that I've learned has been through the internet and reading.

And Elmer turned me on to cinammon.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 09:44 PM

Great news about your check-up, Jerry. May you ever bore your doctor with normal blood sugar levels. However, you won't be able to cop Eubie Blake's line, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!"

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 07:53 PM

Whar's errbody gone to? Sure would be nice to have some company. Me and Elmer's holding the fort these days. I know August is vacation time and some of our reg'lars are away. Ruth and I will be gone for five days late this month into early September so someone will have to hold the fort.

The old saying is "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." The way some of the threads are heating up in here, I think if has become "If you can't stand the heat, come in the kitchen."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 11:27 PM

On my way to music- Jerry, I sent off a CD to you yesterday. Judging by Juneau's usual habit you should receive it by early September. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 05:01 PM

We have a 6 foot by 20 foot strip of lawn on the other side of our driveway that joins our neighbor Mike's lawn. When we moved in here five years ago, I conscientiously took my lawnmower over there and mowed the little strip. Half the time, Mike would just mow my strip of lawn when he was mowing his, and finally he told me he'd just do it with his lawn because it only takes him a couple of minutes more and it doesn't make any sense for me to do it. So, Mike does part of my lawn.

We have a barberry hedge in the backyard, jointly shared with George and Marie, who live behind us. George takes great pride in keeping the hedge beautifully trimmed, and when I bought a hedge clipper, he made it clear that he'd really appreciate continuing to do our side. He likes to help others, and he is an artiste with a hedge clipper. So, George does our side of the barberry hedge in our backyard. And when his hedge-clipper broke, I gave him mine with the proviso that I could borrow it when I needed it.

We have a high hedge of a variety of shrubs that separates our yard from Bill and Joanne. Bill is almost blind from too many years of doing arc welding without protecting his eyes, and he can hardly walk out to the car. So, I do their side of the hedge between us, as well as our side. It's a Hell of a job, which I just finished this morning. There are a lot of grape vines (which never produce grapes) on their side of the hedge and they climb all the way up into our dogwood trees, They are a real pain (mentally and physically) to cut back and strip out of the trees, and they grow faster than Jack's beanstalk. It took me two hours to cut their side of the hedge this morning and it will take another couple of hours to haul several loads of cutting down to the dump, one at a time in the trunk of my car. But, I was especially pleased to do it this time. Early in June while we were out celebrating my Mom's birthday, they had a torrential downpour around here and flooded Bill and Joanne's basement so badly that they had to rip out the flooring and the walls, air hammer a channel and install a sump pump. That was no sooner finished than Joanne's younger sister, who'd been a heroine addict for many years committed suicide. They are really hurting, over there. So I cut their side of the high hedge. George does their side of the barberry hedge that separates his property from theirs.

This morning, I was up on a step ladder struggling to reach across the top of the hedge (which gets as high as ten feet tall) to cut the new growth. George saw me struggling and came over to help hold the ladder. He was cleaning up the branches he'd just trimmed off the barberry hedge on Bill and Joanne's side of the hedge and was just leaning over to pick up a big handful of branches when he noticed me and stopped.

After George helped me, he went over to resume his work and noticed something shining in the pile of trimmed branches he was about to pick up before he stopped to come over to help me. He hadn't noticed them before. When he looked more carefully, he saw several large pieces of broken glass from a bottle he'd seen on Bill and Joanne's lawn before the guy came over to mow their lawn. They all ended up mixed in with the branches that George had been about to pick up. He didn't see them when he was first going to pick them up, and probably would have cut his hands, because he wasn't wearing gloves.

George told me this whole story when he came back over to talk to me. He said, "You know, when you help someone else, God sends someone to help you. If I hand't come over to help you, I would have cut my hands all up, trying to help Bill and Joanne." Now, you can interpret what happened in any way, and that's valid. I do believe that when you are focused on helping others, you often discover that something happens to prevent you from getting hurt, or helps you in a way you probably wouldn't have been helped if you hadn't helped someone else. I told George, "When I burn CDs and send them off to people on the internet (Mudcat) who I barely know, they want to know what they can do for me. I tell them, do something unexpected for someone you barely know, and you'll be doing it for me."

What goes around comes around..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 05:06 PM

Hi all, here I am, back from the sidmouth folk festival, wanting to tell you how wonderful it was and no one is here, I will put on the coffee pot and sit and reminise.We had not been back to Sidmouth for 15 years, but promised an old friend, Dave Bryant, before he died that we would go back this year. So glad he made me promise, we were only there 3 days but have booked for the whole week next year, it was like going home, so much music and so many old friends to catch up with,It felt a bit like sitting in the corner here, sitting in the middle bar in the corner listening to the sing around lots of mudcatters, maybe next year I will sing again myself but really enjoyed joining in the choruses.The morris dancing made me think about getting out my clogs!( or maybe common sense will prevail?)
Anyhow Bily and I had a wonderful 10 days away in Devon and Somerset,back to earth tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM

Good for you!


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

Hey, Billy Bob:

I'm glad that you and Billy had such a great time at Sidmouth. I know some other Catters who went there, including someone who has been sorely missed, here around the kitchen table. It seems like everyone was gone at the same time, and I was getting kinda lonely sitting here all by myself. Elmer kept me company, but you know that he's a man of few words... The Gary Cooper, strong and silent type.

We had a great time last night. Ruth and I went to a surprise 16th birthday party for her/our Grandson, Little T (who now prefers to be called Terry.) He and his Mother are up here visiting from Virginia Beach, and he was completely surprised at the party because his birthday isn't for a couple of weeks. Our son Pasha, his wife Nina and their son (who still likes to be called Little Pasha) our daughter Dee, and her two daughters and one son were there with four grandchildren and a lot of friends. We was the designated old folks. They had a dj and played dance music most of the night, with everyone ('cept me and Ruth) getting up to dance. The music is all young black dance club music, and a lot of the teenagers had all the moves down cold. It was a lot of fun, watching them have such a good time, and to watch Mothers dancing with sons and grandkids. My Father's nickname for me when I was a kid was Slewfoot. I think that says it all about my dancing finesse.

But man, am I a great watcher!

Good to see some friends dropping by again. Who knows, Ole buddy Ron may pop in soon...

Jerry

Keeper of the Pot..... hmm... that doesn't sound as impressive as I thought....


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 01:23 PM

I've been collecting memories these days, with my Mom slowly slip-sliding away. I've kept copies of letters I've written and special ones that I've received, going back to 1974, so I have a ready-made family history filed away.

Today, I was looking through my old files and came across a letter that my Mother wrote to me on Christmas Eve, many years ago. She described her Christmases as a child, in wonderful detail. I am so thankful that she wrote it, and that I have those cherished meories to pass on to my sons and the other members of our family. And to share with Ruth, who immediately adopted Mom as her Mother the minute that she met her.

If you have old correspondence, hang on to it. It is a treasure in the making.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 06:35 PM

Hi Jerry
your party sounded great, lovely to have family gatherings, we did that in June for my big O birthday 80 family and friends.It was so special for my parents 86 and 83 to see all the family together.
Sidmouth was really special as 8 of my cousins with wives and husbands joined us, all back next year!
Who are the mudcatters that came over from the USA? I ask because there were 3 Americans staying in our B and b (Lavender Hill) they were at the festival then going on to Broadstairs.I feel very guilty that we did not have a long conversation, call it English reserve?
However I had a great time, although in the middle bar I sat and listened in the corner just like at this table, next year who knows?
Four weeks to go to meet our new first grandchild I went to the hospital today with our daughter to see the latest scan, all goes well, counting my blessings
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 08:32 PM

Hey, Wendy:

Nice to see your name. Beats calling you Billy Bob. When we were at the party, our grandson,(on Ruth's side)his wife and their new baby was there. She's only a few weeks old, having been born on June 14th... on my birthday. It's really special to have a family member born on your birthday. I had a cousin who shared my birthday, who was ten years older. I'll never forget a birthday... I was probably six or 7 years old when he walked over to our house on that hot summer's day to bring me a pair of socks as a birthday present. He had a glass of cold lemonade and then walked home. we didn't own a car, so we couldn't give him a ride back. He lived in a neighboring town about ten miles away. How could anyone forget such a loving act... a twenty mile round trip walk to bring a kid a pair of socks on his birthday? Nothing have ever touched that birthday present. My cousin is long since dead, but he was a sweet man and I loved him dearly. When I was living in New York City, he came to visit once and I took him to the Gaslight Cafe. Tom Pazton was playing that night, and Tom was a friend, so he was especially warm and friendly to my cousin Kenny. Kenny didn't really know folk music, but he asked Tom if he could do the Wabash Canonball, which was one of his favorites. Tom obliged.. made Kenny very happy. It was a sweet gift to a sweet man.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 08:38 PM

Jerry, you meet the coolest people and have the sweetest times! Wonder why? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 10:09 PM

Now it can finally be told, friends:

Ebbie sounds jes fine, and the set she did a couple of weeks ago with her friends is great fun. I know because Ebbie was gracious enough to let me hear a recording of them... wonderful southern mountain music from the northern plaines. Felt like Old-Timey music at Clarence Ashleys, or a Sunday afternoon picnic at the Carter's.

You got a lot of catching up to do, Ebbie, making good music.

Thanks so much for sharing it with me.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 11:05 AM

Thanks, Jerry. Can you believe that with my low Appalachian voice I love opera? True. Sad, but true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 07:11 AM

So do you sing opera too, Ebbie? Nice to have an eclectic mix in one's repertoire. Why get stuck in a rut? Around the house, I sing from a whole spectrum of music as the mood strikes. Sometimes I'll find myself unconsciously singing some song, the lyrics of which reflect whatever is on my mind at the moment. If I catch it, I have to stop and laugh at the subject matter, and what it is telling me about my state of mind.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 10:12 AM

I'm with you, Elmer: If you love the music, go ahead and sing it. Maybe not all of it on stage, but in the house or driving in the car (with the windows all rolled up) sing whatever you feel like singing.
There's no "shouldn't" when you are singing for your own enjoyment.

The funny thing is, when I was a kid and even into young adulthood(until I reached 60) I sang along on the lead, whether the lead was a baritone, tenor or bass. A lot of the time, I had to stretch it, or go into falsetto, but whithout realizing it, I think that I developed a wide range for singing. Thank God nobody told me I shouldn't do that... or even worse, that I couldn't.

When my son Pasha and I are working together and we listen to the old rhythm and blues, it was a revelation to him when I sang falsetto. He didn't realize that's what some singers are doing, and he was trying to reach those impossibly high notes in his own voice. It opened up a whole new world for him. We make a pretty good ltwo man quartet.

I just received notice that my Church And Street Corner Harmony workshop at the NOMAD festival is ON, so it's time to get back to work with the Messengers. That should be a ton of fun..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM

oooooh. I phrased that badly. I meant that it is ironic that given that I have such a low voice that I love opera. No. I don't sing it.

Has anyone here heard of Byron McGillvary (sp)? He is a voice coach who travels around, at least on the West Coast. Anyway, he claims that I was meant to be a soprano!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 07:40 AM

Hi Jerry
I love singing in the car, Billy and I sang along to CDs all the way back from Sidmouth last weekend,helped us along as the journey was dreadful,eight hours of heavy traffic and then a terrific thunder storm as we passed Heathrow airport with torrents of rain, glad we were not catching a plane, security scares and lightning...no thanks!
Billy only ever sings in the car, he has a good voice but would never stand up in front of people,in the car he thinks I cannot hear him as I drown him out.
Yesterday we went to see my son who is starting a new job in September as manager of a restored theatre, built in 1820!A great opertunity , I will let you know how he gets on.Is the coffee ready?
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 08:27 AM

Hey, Wendy:

Any chance you could drive your car up on stage and let Bily Bob sing with the windows rolled down? It's much easier than having a shower on stage. Or a Men's Room. Those are the other places where shy folks burst into song. It's all about a contained space, I think.

I've written a majority of my songs over the years, while driving.
It just seems to be a fertile environment for creation (I'm talking front seat creation, here.) Over the years, I've had a habit of just singing a line that comes out of nowhere. Most of the time, I'd look like an idiot, if somebody heard me. Which is why I sing with the windows rolled up. But once in awhile, a line comes out that really interests me, and it evolves into a song.

Some first lines, out of nowhere that became songs:

"Put another bowl on the floor, Mildred, I think Rosco's got a friend"

"Old Dog Trey, he's out on the backporch sleeping"

"It was a nice night, at least I thought it was nice"

"ooh-wee, wouldn't you liked to've been there? Wouldn't you liked to've been there in the morning?" (This one never became a song, and I still don't know why I would've liked to have been there in the morning.

There are many others... not all of which came while driving. But, even those that initially came out of some other situation (dreams, as often as not) became songs as I kept singing the lines that I had, while driving.

The disadvantage of writing songs while you're driving is that it's dangerous to actually "write" them. My attitude on that is that if I can't remember the melody the next day it is by definition, not memorable. And who wants a melody that isn't memorable, anyway?
Besides, I can't write music, so I couldn't "write" a song if I was sitting in a Barcalounge wearing a velvet smoking jacket with leather elbow pads.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 08:51 AM

Jerry
sitting in the traffic jam last week, singing along to John Denver, we had the windows down, got some strange looks from other drivers, but who cares, they got stress from the going nowhere and we were on " country roads"


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 12:05 PM

A severe curve here:

Last night I was at the outdoor salmon bake where KT sings and got to talking with this tourist from Portland Oregon.

He said, I get so tired of talking with people on the far left and with people on the far right. On any question you already know what they're going to say. It is the people in the middle that I want to know; they are the problem solvers.

Struck me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:03 PM

Hey, Ebbie:

I could say that I really like your curves, but that might sound sexist, so I'll say that I'm with you on this one. I prefer conversations; not impatient interchanges of inflexible opinions. When I was in college, I studied fossils. But I never enjoyed talking with them.

And here's a curve, right back atcha.

I talked to my Mother this morning. Since Ruth and I celebrated her birthday with her in June, she's been rapidly going down hill. She's reached a point now where she is so weak that it's difficult for her to talk. Most of the time when we call, she doesn't even answer the phone, although she keeps it within reach next to her bed. She's just too worn out to talk. So, we leave messages on her answering machine, and she appreciates that. It's what she needs these days... just hearing our voices, knowing that we love her and are praying for her. Yesterday, she had severe stomach pins, dry heaves and nauseau and it just about took her under. They wanted to put her in the health care center, but she knows that when she goes in there, there's only one way out. She'd rather stay in her room in assisted living, surrounded by the few things she's been able to keep that remind her of happier times.

Even though I could barely hear her when she talked, and she was having trouble hearing me, I wanted to tell her that I am doing a book about her life, with her memories, mine and the rest of the families, some family history and photographs and songs that I've written. She was very enthusiastic about that. I told her that I was sending her copies of two treasured letters she sent to me, long ago about her childhood memories. She was so happy to hear that, and even though she'll have to have someone else read them to her, I know that they will take her back to the days when she was a young girl, and her Mother was alive.

One paragraph relates to our kitchen table, so I thought that Id quote it:

"In the fall there was extra work to harvest the food and can and store it for the winter. I can remember sorting Navy Beans; we had a big table and we'd all sit around it and sort the good beans from the bad. Then, Mother stored them to make good baked beans and side pork in the winter. We had lots of good family banter while we were working. Brother Howard tuaght me the alphabet in German, which he was studying in High School. I have never forgotten it. We have some good singers in the family and Mother would get us going on hymns. Now and then we would digress and sing some rounds of Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and a song that went "Put on your old grey bonnet with the blue ribbons on it, and we'll hitch old Dobbin to the shay. Adn ride out to Dover through the fields of clover on our Golden wedding day." Dad and I took a trip to New Glarus on our 50th, and would you believe we sang that song? We did!"

She introduced her writing by saying "There was lots of work to do, eight children and a farm to run. I will try to tell you some of the things we did that kids now would really complain about, but they were a part of my life and I think it was beautiful."

The letter is mighty long to post here, but if anyone would like to read it, e-mail me at geraldrasmussen@SBCglobal.net and I'll e-mail a copy to you.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:15 PM

Jerry, go ahead and post that letter! According to Joe there is no limit here to the length of that kind of thing. I think we'd all like to read it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 02:09 PM

o.k. Ebbie:

A letter from my Mother:

Dear Jerry: I don't know what in my childhood would be suitable for a song, but I'll recall what I can.

My happiestr memories were from the "Waterman Farm" we rented from Mr. Waterman. I think you can remember the place. It was two miles this side of Milton. Soon after we moved to Milton, Mom died. I was 13, and after that my life was miserable. Dad was bitter that Mother was taken away from him and it was as if we weren't there, and the brothers were mean to us. Gladys and Helen were married, and Helen moved to Minneapolis; there was no one to talk to, so I don't care to recall that part of my life. But, on the Waterman Farm, I can recall many happy memories. There was lots of work to do, eight children and a farm to run. I will try to tell some of the things we did that kids now would really complain about, but they were a part of my life and I think it was beautiful.

We made our own butter; I can remember turning the crank of the butter churn until my arms ached, but when that sweet butter and good, fresh buttermilk were ready, the taste was heavenly and the work seemed worth the effort. We turned the crank on the ice cream freezer too, but somehow that didn't seem like work.

In the fall (see paragraph in my previous post..)



We also had to go out in the fields and help load the pumpkins and squash, and pick up potatoes and sack them. The air was nippy, our cheeks would be rosy and our noses and feet cold. If we could keep remembering all the good food Mother would fix gor us come Winter, it would relieve some of the discomfort.

Summer was more fun. We had a beautiful woods and we loved packing a lunch and walking down the lane to the woods. On the way, we'd pick black raspberries and there was a choke-cherry bush and they were good, too. I remember one hill in the wooded area that in the Spring would be yellow with butter cups. There also were violets, Jack-in-the-pulpits, shooting stars, yellow lady slippers and daisys. Sometimes at night if Mother and Dad weren't too tired, they would go with us and we'd build a bonfire and roast wieners and marsh mallows.

Fourth of July was always a big event, too. There was always an all-day celebration in Milton Park, starting with a parade and ending in fireworks. We saved all year to have 50 cents to spend for ice cream cones, Cracker Jacks and other good things. It is amazing how much we could get for 50 cents.

Then there was the Sunday School picnic. We'd meet at the church and get on hay wagons, horse drawn, and go to Lake Koshkonong. There would be ball games, swimming, horse-shoes and of course, lots of good eating.

Wash or laundry days weren't so much fun. There wasn't any washing maching. Everything had to be scrubbed on the scrub board. The sheets and men's overalls were the worst: all the wringing and rinsing out! The water had to be pumped from the well, carried in and heated on the stove. There were eight children and Mother and Dad, so that was no small task. Then the ironing was done with the iron that had to be heated on the old wood stove.

We didn't have electricity, so another disagreeable task was keeping the chimneys on the kerosene lamps clean. It seems like the bot black awfully fast.

We had carpets made of rags, they were tacked to the floor and every Spring they had to be taken up, put on the line and beaten clean with the carpet beater and tacked back to the floor again. The mattresses had to be opened up, the old straw removed and new straw put in. The pillows were filled with chicken feathers and they had to be replaced, too. So, Spring housecleaning was some different than today.

There was one thing I recall with nostalgia. The cows were always in the pasture in the woods. Every night, someone had to go drive them to the barn for milking. Buster, our dog, was good at rounding them up. To hop-skip and run down the lane, probably a mile, with Buster at our heels was something I loved to do.

Then there was threshing day. The farmers would exchange days until everyone had their grain threshed and stored. We'd be up early in the morning to see the big threshing machines come in; then all the farmers.

They would have dinner at the place they were working and each wife would try to outdo the other for the meal. The dinners were fantastic: tables full of pies and cakes, tons of potatoes, hams, chickens roasting, the smells coming out of the kitchen were so good you'd think you couldn't stand it. We had one farmer that was especially fond of cake and he's always get more than his share, if he could get there first, which he always seemed to do. Mother thought she'd slow him down by not cutting the cake right away, but that didn't stop him. He took the whole top layer.

We had a cook stove in the kitchen, but other than that, a big pot-bellied stove in the living room had to heat that old-fashioned farm house. Needless to say, there were many cold spots! Mother kept big stones in the oven of the kitchen stove and awhile before we'd go to bed, she'd take them upstairs and put them in our beds. We'd undress by the pot-bellied stove, then dash to our beds before we got too cold.

Another thing we used to do was take the Potato bugs off the potato plants. We'd get a penny for each ten bugs. We had a can with kerosense in it and a stick, and we'd knock the bugs off with the stick, into the can.

Then Dad and Mom bought the farm in Milton. We had electricity and a more modern home. Dad bought catlle and started a milk route. We loved to ride along in the milk wagon. Many of the townspeople would send their kids out to the farm for mil.. they could get it cheaper. They came early, sometimes 10-15 of them, and we'd play run-my-good-shee-run, red light, follow the leader and Aunty-over-the woodshed. Such fun!

To many, this would seem like an unhappy childhood, but to me it's the best time of my life. We never got into mischeit when our work was done because there were so many enjoyable things to do with our precious free time that it nhever occurred to us to get into trouble.

Mother's deep religious faith in God was an integral part of our lives, too. No matter how tired she was, all eight os us were bathed, dressed and taken to Sunday School. We walked to Milton (2 miles.) Dad didn't want the horses worked on Sunday. We didn't miss unless we were sick.

I wish my Mother could have lived. Remembering all these things has brought her back so vividly in my mind, and all the years I ached with longing for her.

Well, back to reality. I hop[e seomthing in this will be helpful. I doubt if I can get Dad to do this, but I'll try."

This letters spawned several songs. The verse and chorus I'll include here is a fitting response to the longing she's had for her Mother, all these years:

"I'm going to see my Mother
You know she left so long ago
What a blessed, sweet reunion
When I meet her on that shore"

From When I Get To Glory...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 04:01 PM

Thank you for that, Jerry.

Funny thing- your mother's childhood wasn't so different from mine as an Amish kid.

Do you have anything else she wrote?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 10:00 PM

I have a few letters from my Mother, Ebbie. Not a lot. I have a wealth of material, though. I've kept many letters I've received over the years, and a ton of copies I made of letters that I sent, not counting old newspaper articles and notes that I've taken over the years, talking with my parents. Just for the fun of it, a couple of years ago, I went through copies of letters I've written (which go back all the way to 1974) and pulled out all the comments I made about my two sons as they were growing up. I ended up with over 30 typewritten pages, and was able to add a few letters and articles they'd written as school projects. What fun. Some of the things I described in such detail in letters (most of them to my friend Art Thieme) I'd forgotten all about. I still keep copies of some e-mails and PMs, sent and received. They are a wonderful diary, and full of wisdom I've been blessed to receive from others.

I also have a couple of tapes, interviewing my Father and other family members. The memories will not die.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 10:08 PM

Thank you for sharing your mother's letter, Jerry. Her story brought back some of my own childhood memories, although in some ways I grew up in a more modern world. We had electricity and indoor plumbing, cars and washing machines. But I remember vividly hanging laundry to dry, and learning to sew on my Mom's old Singer, which was a treadle machine that had been converted with a small motor. It sewed one size stitch, forward. If you wanted to sew back, you turned the garment around. Buttons, hems and detail work were all done by hand.

We always had a garden, and fruit trees: apple,pear and cherry. I loved picking the ripe tomatoes and string beans, but I hated weeding, and we would spend hours in the nearby blackberry patch, picking buckets of berries that ended up as jam, shortcake or pies. We lived at the edge of town, so we had space for a big garden, and my Mom had a lovely bed of roses beside the house. Dad would buy her bushes for their anniversary and her bithday. I can smell them now, along with the lilac and honeysuckle; the scents of our childhood summer evenings, playing tag and red rover in the dusk.

Carly


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 10:17 AM

A song for Jerry, our host at the kitchen table, on this Friday morning:

IT'S A PLEASURE TO KNOW YOU
(Carl Williams)
0.7742 in the DigiTrad

Chorus:
It's a pleasure to know you, a pleasure to see you smile
A comfort to know we'll share the road awhile
Pleasure is fleeting, and comforts are far between
It's a pleasure to know you and the comfort you bring.

1. I came to your city after I'd left my home
And I was a stranger, dressed up in stranger's clothes
Favors I needed, but charity's out of style--
Rare as the beauty in the face of a trusting child.

2. Now they say life's a journey, a highway from birth to death
Mapped in despair, and traveled in hopelessness.
Well they may believe it, but just between you and me
The trick to the travelin' is all in the company.

3. Now lovers may leave you, lovers may turn away.
Children may scorn you--you know that they will someday,
Seasons are fickle, and fate isn't known as kind
But friends's the diamond, and trouble's the diamond mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 10:43 AM

Well thanks a lot, Elmer:

Aw shucks...

Back in the 50's, they had all these "answer" songs... in that tradition, if I had the time, I'd post the lyrics to

You Got A Friend

Still Jerry After All These Years


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 12:58 PM

I was talking with my good friend Calire Voyant today, and she predicts that by this time tomorrow, Ron Davies will magically reappear.

We missed you, Ron.

Claire didn't say nothin' about Jimmyt, though.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM

Thanks for the song you posted, Elmer Fudd. While I was out with my little dog this morning I was reflecting on the years that I have been in Juneau.

I came up here from Oregon 18+ years ago and I have never regretted it. I like Oregon and I would like to be with my birth family more often but I love Alaska and I love my friends up here.

I think I am a most fortunate person.

And I too miss Ron Davies. Whar he bin?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 02:03 PM

Aren't Ron and Jan on vacation?

We're getting within spitting distance of the 1,000th post, so maybe that'll lure jimmyt back into the fold. On the other hand, mebbe, jest mebbe, I'll bag that wabbit thiiiissss time....

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 10:20 PM

Just back from the UK yesterday. Great to see that the knights and ladies of the round, square, or whatever shape Kitchen Table are still going strong.

Had the best Sidmouth I've ever had--in great part since I rented a viola in Sidmouth and found lots of little groups who appreciated a low harmony.

And it was sunny and 60's-70's virtually the whole week.

I've put a lot more detail on the Sparkling Sidmouth thread.

Had a bit of a problem when friends didn't get along with each other--don't know if I dare to explain in detail since Jan is involved and this is her computer too.

And still tired--better go to bed soon and post more tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 10:11 AM

Welcome back, Ron: I'm glad that you had a great time at Sidmouth. It sounds like a great festival. Sorry to hear that there were problems involving friends. I can relate to what you aren't saying.

We missed you, these last couple of weeks. Pull up a chair and unload. Ironically, I was shopping for a new coffe pot yesterday. A real one, not a cyber pot.

cyber coffee is a little on the weak side..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 12:55 PM

Well I'm sure torn. On one hand I'm listening to Scheherezade now--and they're playing the whole thing, not just one movement. So there's no way I'll be doing anything else for another half an hour or so. And I definitely have a lot to say--and would like to ask for counsel on what to do. On the other hand this is the opposite of secure as far as Jan is concerned--she could easily check and see exactly what I've written--and explode at me again--she's already told me she doesn't want anything she tells me passed on to anybody. But I'm totally the opposite of her on that--she doesn't want to tell anybody anything--and I feel that if you can ask for counsel, it's always worthwhile--a new perspective, and somehow, sharing the burden. And Jerry, you invite me to "unload".

But I suppose I'd best wait awhile--at least.

Anyway, the movement of Scheherezade they're now playing is called "The Young Prince and the Princess", I think. I definitely remember playing it in a high school production of "You Can't Take It With You"--I was Ed--and my wife was a ballet dancer--so I had to play some music for her to dance to. I learned how to play the xylophone for the occasion-- and I picked this movement since it was a waltz.   It was great fun to do it on stage.

We're having a drought now--evidently have had one for weeks while we were away. So I was out trying to perk up a wilting forsythia by setting up a hose between 2 rocks to spray in that direction. (After that I set it up in other areas of the garden.) Anyway, the water was coming through the leaves of a dogwood we have in the front yard--by the way, the English call it a front garden. But if that's so, what do you English posters on this thread call the garden which is in the front yard (or front garden)? Sure seems confusing to me.

Well OK, back to the story. Anyway, we have had a hummingbird feeder on the deck (in back) for months now--no visitors at all.

Today, while Jan and I were talking, she was facing the front windows and I was facing away. She noticed there was a hummingbird sitting in the dogwood--enjoying the impromptu shower provided by the spray from the hose. Flexing her wings and revelling in the spray.--it was a female ruby-throated. Just wonderful. Don't recall ever seeing a hummingbird do that before--certainly not in our yard.

Then we also saw the first monarch of the year in our budlia (AKA butterfly bush). And if we'd been out shopping or doing anything else "productive", we would have missed them both. Thinking now we should put the hummingbird feeder in the dogwood. Does that sound reasonable?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 01:31 PM

You're wise, Ron:

This really isn't a good forum for "unloading." Unless you have a
good shipment to unload. That's always welcome. I talk very differently to friends in e-mails, less so in PMS, because it's not clear to me who can read my PMs in here. Besides, with e-mails, I can always delete anything after I've written, or read it. That's a lot better than in the old days when I'd have to quickly eat a letter, if someone was coming in the room.. :-)

You know, I was just thinking this morning, how good my life is. Not that I can take any credit for it. "Exuberant" isn't an every-day word in my vocabulary, but it's the best word I can think of about these days. And that's said, realizing that the next phone call I receive could be my sister telling me that my Mother has died.

I'm preparing for a workshop that I'm doing with Barbara Shaw (of Mudcat) and her husband Frank. It's titled Songs In The Attic. There's something odd about being a performing folk singer for so many years. A notch up from being a performing bear. Most of us have a great love for traditional music. I surely do. And yet, because we're performing there is always the subtle pressure to do new material. If all folk singers in the past were performing constantly, they would never have preserved all the wonderful songs that were sung a thousand times. That's why I'm doing the Songs In The Attic workshop... asking Barbara and Frank to dust off some of those old, wonderful songs that we still love but never sing. One that I'm dusting off is one of my own that I wrote in my callow youth. What is "callow?" Isn't that they make candles out of? The chorus applies to my life, these days.

"For the good old days are still to come
Though the hard times are not over
For we must wear that thorny crown
To walk the fields of clover"

Funny thing is, sometimes the good old days come disguised as hard times. It's only later that we realize that the times were so hard because we were being ripped out of patterns in our lives that were denying who we are, and were meant to be. Change hurts.

These days, I'm finally completing a new CD of Songs From The Attic, and will be putting Handful Of Songs out on CD for the first time.
And through the encouragement of a friend, I am finally doing some focused writing. The writing is coming together because my mind is very much on my Mother and her life. That's leading me to write about her life, interweaving letters, songs, photos and reflections I've collected over the years. It's the pain of anticipating the loss of my Mother that is producing something very positive.

Why, I am so exuberant that I even crawled under my computer knee space and cleaned the floor! I was so happy! I didn't find anything dead, back there.

Life is good, but rarely easy.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM

Came across this sentence, reading this morning:

"It is worth while experiencing suffering and sorrow if that experience will enable us to help others who are struggling.."
Without that little word "if," suffering and sorrow have no meaning.
The "if" is why we turn to others who have come through trials similar to ours, and why others turn to us if we have experienced trials similar to theirs.

And where in the world is jimmyt? I hate to think that my friend Jimmy is just lurking, waiting for the 1,00th post... :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Phot in the Gulf
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 10:15 AM

Hello all, just passing so I thought I'd pop my head round the door. I'm out in the Gulf again, at least people arn't throwing rockets over the fence this time! I'm on HMS Kent, on patrol in the Gulf, and of all places to find an internet terminal, I'm on a totally wrecked oil platform. Still I should be back home before Christmas, its just a shame I'm missing all the festivals Pixie and I usually get to! Have a good time guys.

Wassail!!! Chris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 12:12 PM

Glad you could drop by, phot: You have to win the prize as our most esoteric neighbor. Back in the early 60's, I spent one summer working a iceberg reasearch station 800 miles north of Alaska.. (Remember the song North TO Alaska. by Johnny Horton?) We were 800 miles north of Point Barrow. I shared a quonset hut with the guy who was the ham radio operator, and when we made contact with people in the states, they freaked out. Happened to catch a guy once in Massachusetts who was driving in his car and had his CB radio on. Just about drove off the road, once he realized who he was talking to.

Exotic is good. Mundane is o.k. but kinda boring.

Think I'll p.m. jimmy..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM

Just saw an interesting article about how people on "Inactive Ready Reserve" in the National Guard in the US are being "activated"--and sent back to Iraq. Some who've been out of the Army for 2 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 12:49 PM

I read that one too, Ron: The National Guard: The units that never stop serving.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:25 PM

hello all!   Jerry I am so happy to have received your note! I am fine but have just been going in lots of different directions and I can assure it is nothing about the cat. Jayne is going bacvk to Ohio on TUesday to see about her mom and sister. She is SO tired of making that trip but sometines we just have to do what is needed. All is well with me. I have been playing a bit but not enough. I am frustrated with music right now. Not being stimulated musically but don't have the energy to go out and creat some new opportunities. On a bit of a creative ebb right now. Anyway, thanks for the kind words and a will be nosing in from time to time    jimmyt


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:31 PM

Thanks so much for dropping by, Jimmy.. You know, post number 1,000 is right around the corner...

Keeping you, Jayne and family in prayer...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:57 PM

Gee Jimmy--you shouldn't feel the need to constantly create something new in music--you've more than earned the right to rest on your laurels for a bit--and possibly review some doo-wop for the Getaway?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:29 PM

Never having rested on laurels, I would think they'd be kinda uncomfortable. If it's anything like lying on mountain laurel branches, I think I'll pass.

How about resting on your cotton wood tree? Sounds more comfortable.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:44 PM

Resting on your cottons?--well, it does sound softer. Resting on your woods--as opposed to your irons? Both pretty lumpy--won't get much rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 09:08 PM

You wascally wabbit, I've got you in my sights...


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 09:09 PM

You're not going to get away from me this time!
I'VE GOT YOU NOW! I'VE WEALLY, WEALLY GOT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 09:41 PM

one thousand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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