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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


Rapparee 20 Aug 06 - 10:03 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Aug 06 - 10:21 PM
Elmer Fudd 20 Aug 06 - 10:44 PM
Pastor Greg 21 Aug 06 - 04:41 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Aug 06 - 07:06 AM
Rapparee 21 Aug 06 - 09:00 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Aug 06 - 09:26 AM
Elmer Fudd 21 Aug 06 - 04:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Aug 06 - 05:08 PM
Ebbie 21 Aug 06 - 09:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Aug 06 - 09:56 PM
Elmer Fudd 21 Aug 06 - 10:46 PM
Rapparee 22 Aug 06 - 10:52 AM
Elmer Fudd 22 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM
freda underhill 22 Aug 06 - 05:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Aug 06 - 06:54 PM
Ron Davies 23 Aug 06 - 06:43 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Aug 06 - 09:35 AM
Ron Davies 23 Aug 06 - 11:04 PM
JennyO 24 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Aug 06 - 09:53 AM
Elmer Fudd 24 Aug 06 - 09:02 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Aug 06 - 09:21 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Aug 06 - 09:33 PM
JennyO 25 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Aug 06 - 10:10 AM
JennyO 25 Aug 06 - 10:25 AM
Elmer Fudd 25 Aug 06 - 06:08 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Aug 06 - 08:47 PM
JennyO 26 Aug 06 - 01:10 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Aug 06 - 10:01 AM
Ron Davies 26 Aug 06 - 10:39 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Aug 06 - 12:20 PM
JennyO 26 Aug 06 - 01:20 PM
JennyO 26 Aug 06 - 01:24 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Aug 06 - 02:33 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Aug 06 - 03:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Aug 06 - 03:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Aug 06 - 10:10 PM
Ron Davies 27 Aug 06 - 06:27 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Aug 06 - 08:31 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Aug 06 - 11:51 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Aug 06 - 11:24 PM
JennyO 28 Aug 06 - 11:33 PM
Ron Davies 29 Aug 06 - 11:28 PM
billybob 30 Aug 06 - 06:56 AM
Ron Davies 31 Aug 06 - 12:04 AM
billybob 31 Aug 06 - 05:25 AM
billybob 01 Sep 06 - 05:00 AM
Ron Davies 01 Sep 06 - 11:03 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 10:03 PM

A truly "grand" thread!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 10:21 PM

Jerry is bringing the ball down the court: he passes to Ron, who passes down court to Elmer, who has a clear layup shot for the goal. But Elmer, being the generous kinda guy that he is, notices Jimmy under the basket; quickly rifles the ball to him and jimmy sinks a slam dunk for post 1,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The crowd is on it's feet, chanting Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy!!!!!!! until the team carries him off the court on their shoulders. Standing quietly over in the corner with a subtle smile on his face is Elmer.

To Elmer be the glory!!!!!!!

And Go, Jimmy GO!!!!!!!!!

You can have post 2,000 Elmer..


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 10:44 PM

I had that wascally wabbit cornered and he got away---again.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Pastor Greg
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 04:41 AM

Hi All,
Well I am new to the post. I am not even sure now how I first found it. I must apologize I suppose since this is a conversation at the kitchen table and I was just listening at the window for so long. I just had to get up the nerve to say hello.
I read the thread about your neighbor, Jerry. I believe he is so right that when we take our eyes off ourselves God does intervene.
I lost my Grandma a few years ago and I was reminiscing as you spoke of your mom and posted her letter. My condolensces to you in watching her deal with declining health. My mom is headed there soon. She is going for knee surgery next month. Anyway it reminded of the video I shot of an interview I did with my Grandma about a year before she died. I am so glad we did it.
Oh yea, the email moniker is because I do a radio show called A Dose of the Ghost. It is Holy Hip Hop with a message. I am on in California, Arizona and Michigan. Wel I guess that is enough for now. God bless you all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 07:06 AM

"I'm going to sit down at the welcome table."

Welcome to the table, Greg.

You know, folks think that hip hop is a whole new thang. But, hip hop goes way back. Just ask that hip-hopping, get down and dirty wascal, Bugs Bunny who invented hip hop. It 'twasn't Little Richard.
That indominatable (every way I spell it looks wrong this morning) spirit, Elmer Fudd can tell you more about hip-hopping than any man who ever stalked the woods.

And what about the first line of Down And Out Blues by Uncle Dave Macon and Hig Fruit Jar Lickers?

"It's hippity hop to the liquor shop..

Yesterday was my son by second marriage Pasha's birthday. We had a great time at the house, listening to soul, jazz, rhythm and blues and yes, even a touch of hip hop. I bought Pasha a Billboasrd Top 40 book of R & B to Hip Hop book that lists every R & B (Used to be called "Race Records" hit from 1942, back to the days of Lionel Hampton to Eminem. He had a great time calling out names of old recordings (meaning older than the 90's) and challenging us to identify the singer. I did pretty good.. Won thirty thousand dollars, to go with the 100's of thousands of dollars I've already won in previous contests. When my ship comes in, I'm going to be a rich man!

I talked to my Mother and both of my sisters (who live in the same town) yesterday and Mom is still hanging in there.) This must be about the 11th time they've given her a week to live. The last time was last September. They'll eventually get it right, but Mom's o.k. with that, too.

Reminds me of another line from a folk song.

"I know where I'm going."

Now you be sure to drop back in, y'all. You here me?

A man who grew up in the shallow south of Southern Wisconsin.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 09:00 AM

Jerry, I grew up in West Central Illinois, on the Mississippi River. Downstream from Wisconsin. And I'd like to have a little talk with you sometime about what came downstream (besides fish and logs). 8-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 09:26 AM

Hey, Rap: (Yes, we have rap in here, too):

All that stuff coming down river on the Missisippi must have been coming from the Minnesota side.

And the correct line is:

"It's hippity Hop, to the bucket shop." I knew that wasn't right when I typed it, but I was in a rush to get out for our morning walk.

Never heard a liquor store called a bucket shop, but it makes sense. At the time the song was written, you could still probably bring a bucket to the store and get it filled with beer.

In southern Wisconsin growing up, liquor stores were called
"Beer Depots." I didn't think there was anything unusal about that until I mentioned the term out here in the sophisticated East and was greated with loud guffaws. Actually, it's not sophisticated to guffaw, either. That's as gauche as slapping your knee or chewing on a stalk of hay. Out here in the east, we subtly roll our eyes and make a slight, knowing smirk.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 04:48 PM

Riverboats go down the Mississippi. A raft with a little boy and an escaped slave go down the Mississippi. What's not to love?

For those of us who grew up elsewhere, the river it has mythical significance that transcends whatever goop people throw in it these days. The first time I ever saw it I drove on a bridge across it, and was so thrilled I had to turn around and drive back and cross it again twice!

In a young country we have to take our pilgrimage sites where we can get 'em. The Mississippi never ceases to thrill me wherever and whenever I have seen it, even from a plane.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 05:08 PM

I'm with you, Elmer:

I love the Mississippi... have traveled alongside it from northern Minnesota and Wisconsin down to St. Lopuis. Rode a paddle wheeler out of Davenport with Ruth once, and then The Tom Sawyer steamboat out of St. Louis, when Ruth's brother and sister-in-law came out to Wisconsin and wanted a tour of the Midwest. We went up in the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, too, which is quite an experience. Went to Hannibal, Mo. (home of Shoeless Joe and Tom Sawyer.) I've explored the caves along the Missisippi in Hannibal which were the inspiration for the scenes with Injun Joe, too.

Great country filled with folk lore and tall tales. Anybody ever get out that way, be sure to visit Galena... an old Lead (galena) mining town along the Mississippi, in northern Illinois. Spring Green, Wisconsin was Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio/school.. took Ruth there when we did the Mississippi thing. Went through Fon DuLac, just to say Fond DuLac.

My home country..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 09:40 PM

That reminds me- I heard this particular song only once but I liked it. At the end it becomes obvious who 'Mr. Sawyer' is and mentions 'his old friend, Huck Finn'. Tom Sawyer has become a suit-wearing individual in a high powered job while Huck is still himself.

I remember who the singer was who sang this song and the next time I see him I hope to hear him do it again. I don't remember the author.

Does anyone here know the song?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 09:56 PM

Soory, can't help you Ebbie: SOunds like Tom traded in his Mississippi raft for a corporate ladder.

I have a very fascinating book called Mississippi Solo, written by a young black man who decided that he wanted to travel the Mississippi from it's headwaters in northern Minnesota, down to the Gulf, traveling in a canoe. He was completely inexperienced, having only been in a canoe once or twice, and he had to borrow a canoe. There was also the added complication of being a black man traveling in small towns where, as he says, "white folks don't like us much." The author's name is Eddy L. Harris, and I'd be happy to give my copy to anyone who would like to read it..

First come, first served.

I also wrote a song called The Last Mississippi River Steamboat about an actual event that took place on the 4th of July in 1844. Steamboats used to come up the Rock River from Rock Island on the Mississippi. On the 4th of July of that year, a stemaboat came through my home town of Janesville, and everyone was very excited. The steamboat was heading up to Jefferson, Wisconsin for a grand picnic and fireworks. When they got up to Fort Atkinson, they discovered that someone had built a bridge across the river since their last trip. In those days, boats had the right of way over bridges (hard to imagine) so they raised such Hell on the boat that someone went and found the owner of the bridge (yes, someone owned it) and they made him take the lowest span off so that they could get underneath the bridge. Hell hath no fury likes folks going up to Jeffesron for a picnic on the 4th of July. Besides, there were more people on the stamboat than the total population of Fort Atkinson, so they had the town outnumbered. And they were steaming mad!

I thought it was such a delightful story that I wrote the song. The next year, they built a damn across the river in Janseville, and dams had the right of way over steamboats....

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 10:46 PM

Great stories!

I spent 3 1/2 years in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri. It was the first town west of the Mississippi settled by non-Natives: Acadian French trappers to be exact. It stands on the banks of the Mississippi, south of St. Louis and north of Poplar Bluff, hometown of one of the characters in "Designing Women," and Cape Girardeau, hometown of Rush Limbaugh, unfortunately not a fictional person like Jean Smart's character. There are still a lot of folks with French last names in Ste. Genevieve, and they have an annual "Fete du Jour" celebrating their Acadian French heritage. The local culture is nothing like the Cajuns of Louisiana. It was a lovely, unspoiled, small town when I was there in the mid-1980s. Then a WalMart superstore opened. I have no idea what-all it's like now.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 10:52 AM

Off topic (I grew up on the "Upper River" and highly recommend John Madsen's book "Up On the River"), but would you like to see a really neat picture?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM

Wow. That's a really neat picture, Rap. It must have been hairy, tail-gating that plane close enough to get that shot, unless it was done with a super-duper telescopic lens (probably). Thanks for the heads-up on the book, too.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 05:15 PM

We don't have the Mississippi, but we have the Murrumbidgee River.

Here are the words to a wonderful song written by John Warner (Catter Jack Halyard) about the murrumbidgee river, as part of his song and verse cycle, Yarri of Wiradjuri. The song celebrates the river and its importance to the indigenous people and establishes the Murrumbidgee River and Morley's Creek as the Mother and the Daughter. the tune is very powerful, rolling and moving like water itself, and just takes you away.

Murrumbidgee Waters

Born in the highland snows,
Wild in her youth's descending,
Swiftly she fills and grows
Out on her floodplains, winding and bending,
Feeding the towering gums,
Bush in creek and gully,
Sharing her bounties wide,
Spreading soil in plain and valley.

Murrumbidgee fair, Murrumbidgee fertile,
Nurturing at your breasts we who walk here for a little while.
High on a ridge we stand, gazing in love and awe
Over the lands you made with your gentle hands: how rich the gifts you pour.

Over her years of floods,
Current twisting wild and strong,
Children she made in the land,
Creek and anabranch, pond and billabong.
Bright on the wide floodplain
Glints the rippling water,
Proudly side by side,
Flow the mother and the daughter.

Murrumbidgee fair, Murrumbidgee fertile,
Nurturing at your breasts we who walk here for a little while.
High on a ridge we stand, gazing in love and awe
Over the lands you made with your gentle hands: how rich the gifts you pour.

We have known the drought, we have seen her anger,
Hurling trees in her rage, we've borne thirst and we've borne hunger.
Yet for us who seek, beauty waits in hiding,
In some shaded pools wait the fruits of her providing.

Silver mist like hair,
As the day is dawning,
Marks the river's way
As we hunt on a winter's morning,
Duck and cod from the stream,
Fruit and fungus, plant and seed,
Kangaroo on the plain,
See, she gives us all we need.

Murrumbidgee fair, Murrumbidgee fertile,
Nurturing at your breasts we who walk here for a little while.
High on a ridge we stand, gazing in love and awe
Over the lands you made with your gentle hands: how rich the gifts you pour.

best wishes

freda


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 06:54 PM

That IS a beautiful song, freda! It made me think of Bob Dwyer's song River Of The Big Canoe, about the Missouri River. Dave Para and Cathy Barton and Ed trickett did a wonderful version of the song, and Bob is a delight as a person, songwrite and singer himself.

Thanks for sharing that one.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 06:43 AM

Freda--I agree with Jerry--that's a wonderful, evocative song.

And Jerry, your song about Fort Atkinson is just great. I love poking into dusty corners of history. And you even write songs about them!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:35 AM

Thanks, Ron:

One of these days when I have the time, I'll post the story and the song I wrote about Milton, Wisconsin. A more unassuming, sleepy little town you couldn't imagine, but what a fascinating history, full of idealism, odd twists, the Cold Water Society, the undergroun railroad... it has it all. My Mother grew up in Milton, and it always seemed like the sleepiest little "nothing" town, of less than 1,000 population.

A couple of weeks ago, I commented on seeing a bunny out with his Mom that we saw on the river walk. Two weeks ago, when his Mother saw us coming, she stealthily moved over to an area of bare ground the same color as her fur, and stretched out on it... front and rear legs stretched out in front and behind her to keep her flat against the ground. The little bunny paid no attention to her, and just sat bolt upright, eating clover.

Yesterday, we passed the same area, and saw the little bunny. Now a little bigger. With no Mom around. Apparently, she had a good talk with him after our last experience because when he saw us, he slid over to a bare patch of ground to camouflage himself. Just like Mom. But, we had to laugh. When he tried to lie stretch hsi front and back legs out, just like Mom, he lost his balance and feel over. Very uncermoniously. He recovered enough to get stretched out and stayed that way until we left. I could hear him muttering to himself under his breath.. "Mom made it look so easy!"

He'll get it, though. It takes practice to become invisible.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:04 PM

You're right, Jerry, adolescent animals of all kinds can be fun to watch. My favorites are teenage bluejays, for instance--just as big as the parents, obviously able to fly--in fact they fly around pursuing the parents--but then they flap their wings, hop up and down and otherwise do a wonderful display of begging behavior. You can just imagine how exasperated the parents could be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM

Hello, I think this is the first time I've dropped in here - well actually I've been lurking in the corner listening to the conversation all along. What brought me here now is that I just heard strains of John Warner's song "Murrumbidgee Water" It is indeed a beautiful song!

John and I live in a little house in Earlwood, in Sydney Australia, with two black cats, lots of musical instruments, a vegetable garden, a large BBQ area with coloured lights that has often been the scene of get togethers and sessions with all kinds of folks, including a growing number of visiting mudcatters (frinstance there are a few pictures on Charley Noble's website), and of course a kitchen table - a round one, my favourite kind.

Lately my kitchen table has seen a lot of action, cos my brother and his family have been visiting from France. I love to see them, but it only happens about once every 5 years. The table has gone a bit quiet again - they are touring other parts of Australia for the next few weeks - and I will only see Graham once more before they leave - at the airport in a couple of weeks. I'm missing them already :-( and I thought it might be nice to sit at your table for a while. It seems nice and friendly. Mmm. Is that coffee I smell? Don't mind if I do!

Getting back to John's song - as freda said, it is part of a song and verse cycle that he wrote a few years ago called Yarri of Wiradjuri, the story of the disastrous Gundagai floods of 1852 which claimed the lives of many people who had built the original town on the river flat despite warnings from the local indigenous people, and of a local hero, Yarri, who with two others, made a lot of trips back and forth in a bark canoe to rescue dozens of people who would otherwise have drowned. There's more about it here. Now, I've seen John and his group, The Roaring Forties, perform this a a number of times, but it had never been recorded. It doesn't need to be seen, as it is not a play as such, although when they perform it at festivals they often dress up in suitable period clothing. It's all done with word pictures and song.

The reason I am really excited about it now, is that they have just recorded it, with some additional instrumentals and sound effects, and it has never sounded so good! The flood sequences are downright chilling! Nobody else has heard it yet - not even freda, because the final mix was only done a couple of days ago. Starting next month, they will be doing a series of CD launches, one of them at a festival in Gundagai - The Turning Wave Festival.

I'm currently working out a date they can have a CD launch at my folk club. I'm booked up for the rest of the year for our normal Thursday nights, but I want to do it on a Sunday afternoon. We've had a few successful special concerts on Sunday afternoons with people like Les Barker, and our own El Greko and Cloudstreet. This will be another great one, I'm sure.

So now that I've broken the ice, I might keep popping in here sometimes, if you don't mind. You can be sure that even if you can't see me, I'll be lurking somewhere not far away in the corner, listening to the conversation. It sounds like you lead an interesting life, Jerry!

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 09:53 AM

Hey, Jenny-o:

Welcome to the table. I must admit, I have a great attraction to all things Australian. It started out long ago when I bought Australian Bush Ballads by A. L. Lloyd & Ewan McCall. It picked up steam when I read Asutralia Felix, gained momentum when I saw The Sundowners and peaked when a friend of mine was working in Australia for two years and sent me a lot of music. I've always loved the music, and identified with the gold rush and wild west stories and music, as well as stories and movies about the aboriginese. Why heck, I even have bunnies in this thread... nothing like the great Bunny fence in Australia, mind you.

In my mind, I've fossicked Clemens Flat.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 09:02 PM

Is Murrumbidgee an aboriginal name? It's just as marvelous as Mississippi. Or Okifinokee. Atchafalaya. Tchoupitoulas (for the Chapitoulas Indians, whose name means "river people"). Love those names. There's lots more, but the old gray matter is foggy (or soggy) right now.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 09:21 PM

I always kinda liked Waxahatchie. Paul Richards, the long-time general manager for the Baltimore Orioles in the 50's was from Waxahatchie. He pitched a double header in the minor leagues one time and won both games. One pitching right handed, and the other left-handed. He was ambidextrose .. could eat sugar with either hand.

The things you learn in here.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 09:33 PM

Excuse me. I got that wrong. That would be ambisucrose.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM

Hi Elmer Fudd! Yes, the word Murrumbidgee is an aboriginal word meaning 'big water' - very suitable because the Murrumbidgee is a large important river. In "Yarri of Wiradjuri", John makes reference to this meaning in one of the songs:

White man fool to camp on the low ground,
Big Water come down,
White man learn the ways of the land or drown.


While writing Yarri, he had a vision of the Murrumbidgee River and its anabranch, Morley's Creek, as a personalised entity - The Mother and the Daughter, and this idea runs right through the story in a very powerful way, including in the song "Murrumbidgee Water" that freda posted above.

Sorry if I'm raving a bit, but I'm so excited about this new recording that I can't help it. It's been a long time coming!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 10:10 AM

Every morning, my wife and I go for a morning walk along the river. It's a special time for us, and a joyful way to start a new day. Through time, we've gotten to know a few other "reg'lars" by name. Vi is one of those who we've come to know a little bit. She's a short woman; maybe five feet tall on her tiptoes. But she moves like she is steam-driven, with her arms stretched out in front of her, and every part of her body going in one direction or another.
The river walk is three and a half miles long, round trip but she's still motoring along at full speed the last fifty feet. The other day when we stopped momentarily to talk with her, we were marveling at her energy, and she told us that she's a cancer survivor: twice. She told us that after she finishes her walk, she was going to go for her volunteer work at the hospital. She also volunteers at the zoo, and God knows how many other places. My wife asked her "Where do you get all your energy? Do you have any to spare for me?" And Vi answered, "Life is short and I want to use my time the best that I can." That's a wonderful message. We're all guilty of thinking that we have a vast expanse of time stretching out before us, so there's no hurry doing the things we want to do. More accurately, we're all guilty of not thinking at all.

These last few months, I've tried to take a serious look at the gifts I've received in my life... good health, the gift of singing and playing instruments, and the gift of writing. I've used my gift for writing songs reasonably responsibly but in recent years, I've started to let things slide. No hurry. Now, I'm feeling more like Vi. Even though I am blessed with great health and energy, I don't take the future for granted. So, I've been busy, these last few months. I started out by learning how to produce a CD of my quartet, The Gospel Messengers. The easiest thing was to write down a long list of why I couldn't do it, or why I should wait awhile before doing it. Buying new software and learning to use it was hard. The first software I bought I was never able to get to work. After two months of exchanging e-mail with the support service with no success, I had a perfect excuse for setting it aside. That's a special gift I have. Putting things aside. But I persevered, bought different software, figured it out and after many long hours of struggling, produced a CD. And like all blessings, I was then able to pass my knowledge and encouragement along to Art Thieme who recently (and triumphantly) sent me a CD that he produced from his cassette collection.

In the last three weeks, I've produced a new CD of songs of mine, covering a time span of over 40 years. It was long overdue. Some of the songs are ones that I've shared on cassette with friends who've recorded them. Yesterday, I sent off all the material necessary to produce a CD of my last folk album, Handful Of Songs.
Like so many things in my life, it was long overdue, postponed and ignored.

More recently a Catter friend has encouraged me to write. I've been encouraged to do that, most of my life. Now, I am finally stepping out to see what I can do with a gift that's long been neglected.

I write this, not so much about myself, but about you. Our friend Vi can tell you from hard experience that life is short and precious.
Is there a gift you have that you've let lie fallow? I have to believe there is. We all have many gifts. The crime is in not using them. We deny ourselves many blessings, and the opportunity to bring blessings to others.

Like my Catter friend who has been so encouraging to me, I encourage you to rummage through those gifts of talents that you opened and set aside so many years ago. Maybe it's time to dust them off and see if they still work.

I'm signing up for a writing course.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 10:25 AM

Congratulations, Jerry, on getting your CD together. I can imagine how you feel! Good luck with the writing too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 06:08 PM

Hallooooooo Jenny-O, from Down Under! Glad you joined the table. Thanks to Freda for posting that song, and you for explaining more about it and the history it records. Congrats to the Roaring Forties on recording it. As I recall, your significant other is a member of the Roaring Forties, yes?

There is so much creativity busting out all over; this is a great thread for storytelling and stream-of-consciousness musing. Jerry's taking wing with his prose as well as his song lyrics, and both are some kinda wonderful. The "Handful of Songs" is bound to be a truckload-and-a-half of fantastic listening.

Me, I'm still chasing that wabbit....

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:47 PM

A story:

A man died and went to heaven. He was greeted by St. Peter, who offered to show him around. As they were walking along looking at all of the beautiful buildings, there was one enormous building that was locked. When the man asked St. Peter, "What's in there?," St. Peter answered, "You don't want to go in there!" And of course, as soon as he said that, the man's curiosity was aroused. "Why not,?" he asked. "You would be very upset if you saw what was in there," Old Pete responded. Now, the man's curiosity was raging and he insisted that they go in.

St. Peter unlocked the door, and when they walked in they saw a vast warehouse with endless rows of shelves holding identical boxes. "What's in those boxes, and why didn't you want me to see them? the man asked. "Each of those boxes holds a blessing that was meant for you which you never received because you didn't ask for it," St. Peter replied.

And it is that way. It is our timidity and laziness that keeps us from fully realizing all of the blessings that are there for the asking.

"Ask, and ye shall receive." Don't ask, and we put your blessings in little boxes in your warehouse.

You don't have to believe in God, St. Peter or the warehouse to realize the truth in the story.

Victory never went to the faint of heart.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 01:10 AM

I like your story Jerry! Makes you think, doesn't it!

As I recall, your significant other is a member of the Roaring Forties, yes?

Yes he is, 'Elmer'. It's John Warner, who wrote that song which is part of "Yarri of Wiradjuri" that they have recorded. He's written a lot of stuff over the years. Probably his best known song is "Anderson's Coast" which has travelled all over the world and been sung and/or recorded by people like James Fagan and Nancy Kerr, James Keelaghan and Gordon Bok. There's another one - "Bring Out the Banners" which seems to be getting quite a hearing lately. A couple of days ago we received a CD in the mail from Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman. It's a fantastic CD, and the last track is a very rousing version of that song (they asked his permission first, of course). John is really chuffed!

Life can be *interesting* living with a songwriter! Creative people can sometimes be very up and down - fortunately the ups outweigh the downs - so living with John is one of my blessings that isn't in a box in a warehouse :-)

These days, my creativity mainly occurs in the garden. I've been told by some people that I have a gift for writing and I should do more of it, but maybe further down the track I will. At the moment I feel that I am already spending too much time indoors, particularly at the computer, and I like to get outside in nature. That's what does it for me when I want relaxation these days. I'm off there now. There are a lot of weeds screaming to be pulled!

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 10:01 AM

Hi, Jennyo:

You may find that at some point in your life, your gift of writing will bear fruit. Gifts come with a variety of directions on the bottle. Some say "Use before this date," or "Expires on this date." Others say "Use as needed." Some people are precocious and their gifts are most productive when they are very young. Some are just plain old Cocious, Like Grandma Moses. Some people flame out early and others burst into flame from long-banked coals that appear to have gone out. I've written all my life but have never been a "Writer." I don't even own a beret. I see my writing being channeled in new directions these days, and I think the label on my writing must surely say "Use As Needed."

These days, my writing is directed toward my Mother's life, which is slowly drifting away. She recently asked for a hospital bed in her room in Assisted Living because she has become too frail to spend much time in her chair, or her electric scooter. She's had a good life, filled with richness and heartbreaking disappointment, too.
In our family terminology, she's "Sitting on the Curb" now, waiting for the Lord to drop by and take her home. Or as she puts it, she's "Turning the pages now, and each one is good." In the last couple of weeks she has become too weak to answer the phone, and when one of my sisters is there and calls so that she can talk to me and my wife, it is hard for her to even get a sentence out. Clearly, this is a time when I need to open my writing gift and use it, as it is needed. Each day, I will write a letter to my Mother in large enough type so that she can read it, and we'll enclose photographs of what we're doing. I know that the letters mean a lot to her, and even more to me. It's going to take awhile for me to say goodbye.

And by the way, Bok, Trickett and Muir recorded one of my songs "Living On The River," and Annie Muir recorded another of mine, "Old Blue Suit" on her solo album backed by ... Gordon Bok and Ed Trickett.

Gordon, Ed and Annie are wonderful people who also sing very well, thank you.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 10:39 AM

Hi Jerry and everybody else,

I recall hearing "Living on the River"--musta been about 20 years ago now--hoo boy--is it really?--at a Getaway--and thinking that really is a great song--really captures the atmosphere. Never thought I'd get to meet (or even "cyber-meet") its author. I used to ask the guy who sang it that year to sing it again--every time I saw him. Sure would love to hear you sing that song in person--too bad you can't make it to the Getaway this year. I will definitely have to learn the song and sing it--in your honor--this year. But still hope to hear you do it.

And it gives you a kind of immortality--as long as that song--or any others of yours are sung--which probably will be forever.

Congratulations !


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 12:20 PM

It's a deal, Ron:

Sing Living On The River for me this year, and I'll do my best to get down and sing it at next year's Getaway. Hopefully, it won't be the same weekend as NOMAD, again.

Then you could come up here and come to the Church And Street Corner Harmonies workshop..

We'll meet again, even if only for the first time..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 01:20 PM

So Jerry, you're a songwriter too! I should have guessed. Congratulations on your success!

That is beautiful, what you are doing writing letters to your mother - a perfect way to use your writing gift. Not only is it something you can do for her, but it is a good thing for you too. It will help as you let go slowly, not that it will be easy, but you do have the opportunity to say goodbye.

It wasn't that way when my mother died 14 years ago. Our relationship had always been problematic, and I did try to improve that, many times. I had often tried to talk to her and write her letters that she misunderstood or ignored, but she was a very difficult person to get along with. I wasn't the only one to have problems with her. In the end she died suddenly of a heart attack and I didn't reach the hospital in time. Two days later I found she had cut me out of her will - no opportunity to ask why, no opportunity to say goodbye - just anger and resentment.

That was when I decided that until I dealt with all the feelings and the issues around my mother, I wouldn't be able to move on with my life. The right people and groups seemed to appear just at the right time to take me through that and out the other side, and I am okay now. But it did time and a lot of hard work.

Actually, when I think about it, there have been times when I have found writing very therapeutic. When I was 15 I started writing a diary, where I poured out my feelings. I felt very isolated at that stage, and the diary was my friend, helping me to get through lonely times and make sense of a lot of things. I haven't done it for a long time - haven't felt the need - but I guess if the need arises some time, I might do it again - as you said, "use as needed". The nearest I come to that these days is writing posts on Mudcat. That can be therapeutic too!

A few weeds got pulled this afternoon, but there are a lot more waiting for me tomorrow, so right now I'd better go and have some therapeutic sleep!

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 01:24 PM

....it did take time....

Missed that even with the preview - I really wish we could edit posts here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 02:33 PM

Hey, Wolfie:

Nice to see you. Folk Legacy Records will be carrying Back When I Was Young, and you can buy one through them through a credit card. The CD has one of the songs that I actually recorded for my second Folk Legacy album, Levi Kelly, that there wasn't enough room for. Folk Legacy will be selling them for what I am selling them for: $10 plus S & H.

And Art: I can't make it to the Getaway this year because I am already committed to NOMAD the same weekend. Sandy & Caroline will be at NOMAD, so unless Dick Greenhaus is interested in carrying them, they won't be available there. Catters can always order them directly from me.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 03:01 PM

Hey, JennyO:

I understand your comments about writing as a way to see more clearly. I find that putting something in writing helps me to step back from a situation in a way that only going for a walk or weeding can do. Not totally kidding about the weeding... I am constantly engaged in armed combat with the crabgrass in my lawn and for much of my life, loved having a garden. I've found walking a wonderful way to move into a contemplative place, too. Especially when I was raising my two sons alone. The only privacy I had, where they and the people at work couldn't ask me a question was when I was out walking, or in the bathroom. :-)

I'm sorry that you had a difficult relationship with your Mother that couldn't be totally resolved. I had a similar one with my Father. Thank God I was able to finally see him as another flawed human being, not much different than me. I wrote a song to deal with my feelings, back then:

PARADISE BAR

On Friday night, when my daddy got paid
He'd stop at the Paradise bar on the way
And sometimes he'd let me come tagging along
Me just a kid, didn't know right from wrong

He'd stop and he'd talk with a friend at the bar
Or sit at the table and deal out the cards
He'd sit and he'd talk of the good times they'd known
And swear on the bottle he'd never go home

Now Mom always told me that drinking was bad
And prayed that I wouldn't turn out like my Dad
And Dad always said how he wanted a son
But I couldn't please him, whatever I done

Now Dad's got religion, he's really quite tame
And down at the bar, all the faces have changed
And Mom's finally got her a husband at last
Put out to pasture, to graze in the grass

But childhood's for dreamers, as everyone knows
And dreams fade away like the last winter snow
And now that I see through the eyes of a man
I know I can never go back there again

And for many years I didn't. I tell you, there's nothing like failing, yourself, to teach you humility and compassion. My Father had something broken, way down inside. Something he couldn't understand or fix. When I accepted that we are all broken, in our own way, then I could love him without condition.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 03:10 PM

Sorry about the post to Wolfie and Art Brooks. I meant to put it on the thread about my new CD.

Jerry


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

Trying to hold on:

This afternoon, Ruth and I drove down to Norwalk to spend some time with a woman whose husband died a couple of days ago. The woman's Mother is a cousin of Ruth's by Ruth's first marriage. I've met the Mother and wife several times and they are very unassuming, warm, generous women. The funeral is this Tuesday, and Ruth and I will be in Vegas.. be back late Saturday night, so someone else will have to take care of the coffee. We really wanted to spend some time with the family, and this afternoon was the only time that worked for everyone.

When we got to the apartment, there were several family members there, and several more who arrived later. As the wife talked about her husband, everyone settled in. She said that just last week, her husband was asking why she didn't have her toe nails done, when she had her fingernails done. She told her husband that she didn't have the money to do her toenails. She had barely enough to do her fingernails. Her husband had been sick for a long time, so the money was very tight. But, he really wanted his wife to get her toe nails done. He kept asking her "Why do you always get them done in red,?" and she told him, "That's the way I like them." "Why don't you have them do them in black, next time?" She'd never heard of anyone having their toe nails done in black, but it was a moot point, as she didn't have the money to have them done.

Yesterday, she went to have her nails done and remembering how much her husband wanted her to have her toe nails done, she decided to spend the money and do them. She said, "I was going to have them done in black, because that's what Tom wanted, but he can't see them, so I went ahead and had them done in red." It was good to hear her laugh.

As she talked about her husband, she said that he was concerned about what would happen to her when he died. He was on a pension, and she wouldn't get a "Widow's pension," unless she was over 60 when he died. She thinks that he was really trying to hold on until she reached 60. He was in an enormous amount of pain, and the medication was very expensive, so he tried to get by on Tylenol as best he could. When the care giver came in to see him two mornings ago, she discovered that he had died in his sleep. Three weeks short of his wife's 60th birthday.

He tried holding on as long as he could so that she'd get that pension. But, he couldn't quite make it.

There are every day stories of courage all around us.

But, she knows that she will be allright.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 06:27 PM

Hi Jerry-

All I have is a very mundane question--have you had much rain up there? We've had a drought down here--a week since I've been back, and, it appears, about 2 weeks before that.

And I've just been reading about a drought in the UK--in fact while I was there there was very little rain. But I understand it's got to the stage where they're ripping up some of the traditional beds of begonias, geraniums and impatiens in St. James' Park--and they're trying to introduce cactus. A gardener commissioned by the mayor of London to design a "dry garden" says: "The classic English garden like to soak up a lot of water, and it is a situation we can no longer sustain".

Any comment, esp from UK 'Catters?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 08:31 PM

Hey, Ron:

Funny choice of words, "mundane." Many years ago, I was booked to do a concert at a folk club at Rennselaer Polytech in New York State. The poster that they did took a quote from Sally Rogers about my music.. as accurately as I can remember it: "Jerry captures the mundane and creates a beautiful gem of a song from it." It was a nice compliment, but in it's context, I thought it was very funny.
My direct competition that night (a free program) was Dr. Ruth, talking about sex. I pictured this beer bellyied guy in a torn undershirt with flies buzzing around his head, and his wife calling to him from the other room "Honey, let's go out tonight: We can go hear Dr. Ruth talking about sex or some guy I never heard of who captures the mundane."

Dr. Livingston, I presume. In search of the mundane.

We've had an extremely dry summer up here. For the first time that I can ever remember, some of the tips on our evergreen shrubs have turned brown and died. My lawn looks like a battlefield... dark brown, with endless potholes where I've pulled up the crab grass that took over a couple of moths ago. Every time I sneeze, another cup full of dirt is blown away. We've had rain the last two days. Enough to wet your whiskers if you's got a light enough beard.

After tonight, there's only a modest chance of showers for the next ten days. We'll be lucky if we get enough to settle the dust.

"This dusty old dust is a getting me down."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 11:51 AM

My Mom called us yesterday. These days, whenever the phone rings, I tense up a little, expecting that it will be one of my sisters, telling me that Mom has gone on to Glory. What a treat to hear Mom. She has no immediate plans to check out.

Two weeks ago, she was taken down with severe stomach cramps and other problems that left her weak as a kitten. Not that she was especially strong when we went out to celebrate her 99th birthday with her in early June. She's been on oxygen since then, and too weak to get out of bed. Even too week to dial the phone to call us. When we call, she's just too tired to reach over and pick up the phone. And when we have talked to her, it was all we could do to hear her because her voice was so faint.

Last week, she got a hospital bed in her room in Assisted Living. That sounded like another punch in her ticket, to me. But when she called yesterday (had someone dial the phone for her) her voice sounded a little stronger. As it turns out, she was the one who wanted the hospital bed, so that she could sit up in bed. She's tired of being tired, and she had to have her hair done IN HER BED this week... the ultimate ignominy for her. So, she asked for the hospital bed because she is determined to get her strength back so she can at least get out to have her hair done, go to vespers service and play bingo. She was able to get the hospital bed, because Hospice is now taking care of her. When Hospice steps in, that usually means you are nearing check out time. But, Mom isn't going to go quietly. She still wants to get enough strength back to live the way she was before this most recent setback. And, I wouldn't put it past her. Whatever comes, it won't be because she has given up. That makes it easier for the family to feel positive, these days.

If she goes down now, she'll go down swinging.

Hit it outta the park, Mom!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 11:24 PM

Well, kids:

Ruth and I are off for Las Vegas, catching a 7 a.m. flight out of Bradley Field, north of Hartford, CT. Tuesday morning. I'll have to turn the Keeper Of The Pot duties over to you folks until we get back, late Saturday night.

These are confusing times, flying off to a place where pleasure is their only product and artificial is real, when we are facing serious issues at home. But, that's alright. Sometimes artificial is just what we need.

Catch you later..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 11:33 PM

Have fun Gerry and Ruth! We'll keep things simmering along here till you get back.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 11:28 PM

Hey--not so fast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 06:56 AM

Hi Ron
Like you we enjoyed the fabulous weather in Sidmouth,then on our way back to Essex on the Sunday drove through horrendous rain , lightning and thunder, since then we have had rain, rain, rain here in the UK, the sun is out today but the grass is green and everything in the garden is growing like crazy.However in the press today they say the hosepipe ban may continue till winter, no wonder all we talk about is the weather over here!
Would have loved to have met you at Sidmouth, did you go to the sessions in the sailing club run by Terry Pearson?
Maybe see you there next year?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 12:04 AM

Hi Billybob,

I only poked my head in at the Sailing Club a couple of times--seemed to be pretty heavily instrumental--Irish once and old-time once.

What I really like is the combination of vocal and instrumental--taking breaks, or somebody accompanying songs on concertina, for instance--or totally a cappella with great choruses (as in the Middle Bar).   I was able to rent a viola in Sidmouth and I did wind up playing-- and singing a bit-- with a wonderful concertina player--for 4 hours at the Swan one night. Irish, English, Scottish, Russian, German, World War I songs, Stranger on the Shore etc.---he knew them all-- and liked a low viola harmony. It really was a problem that cloning had not been perfected this year. I wanted to be in the Swan -- (in fact there was a chantey session in the Swan going on at the same time--in the next room-- when I had that 4 hour session--which went by like 7 minutes)-- in the Middle Bar, the Volunteer, the York and Faulkner and on the prom all at the same time--and I never even made it to places like the Theatre Bar this year.

Admittedly, with the weather the way it was, the prom was an overpowering draw.

But at least I didn't miss Silli(er) Songs at the Middle Bar, the March to the Sea, and Gloom and Doom. I try really hard not to miss them--and one of my songs was even rated Very Silly. Jan and I both sang at Gloom and Doom--and even made a few people laugh.

I tried to get into 2 concerts--both sold out--so back to the prom. Can't say it was a hardship.

Sidmouth is just unique-- in the world I think. I try to never miss it--and mostly succeed--since 1996 (with 2 involuntary execeptions)

Where else in Sidmouth did you go besides the Sailing Club?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 05:25 AM

Hi Ron
like you I would have liked to have cloned myself, spent a lot of time on the prom, did you see the chap who played fiddle, sang and danced appalachian all at the same time? The sailing club was all fiddles and melodians however Terry Pearson asked me to sing a song which was an honour, We were in the middle bar quite a lot, hidden in a corner ,may sing next year! I saw a lot of familiar faces that were at Dave Bryant's wake in January.Wonderful singing and lovely atmosphere. We also went outside at the Anchor and had a dance or two which was great fun.Spent some time in the Bedford with John Barden, we also had a few hours in the Swan, lovely little pub.Looking forward to next year as we have booked for the whole week.Sorry we did not meet, maybe next year?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 05:00 AM

Just put the coffee on, its quiet here at the table this morning,Mind you I guess your still all asleep in the USA, so I may ramble on my own.For those who do not know Billy and I own a Beauty Salon and Day Spa in a seaside resort in the East of England.I always say I love what I do, that is , I love doing treatments, aromatherapy, holistic treatments etc. what I hate is the administration and running the business. We have a manager to do all that, but guess what, this morning at 7 she phones me with a bad cold, she could "struggle" in but !!!!!
So in I came at 7.30, spent the last 90 minutes phoning clients and re scheduling and trying to cover with other therapists who were already heavily booked today.
The day we were due to leave for Sidmouth last month, she phoned to say the electrics had fused, she had plugged in the kettle empty of water, fused everything in the staff room, so plugged it in in reception.....you guessed. Biily spent all morning sorting things out , we left a day late.I had a big birthday in June my 60th and was asked at the party when I would retire? I laughed and said no way, reading about Jerry's walks and all the great things you all get up to now I am not so sure!
coffee is good, may have a danish.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 11:03 AM

Billybob--eastern part of England--is that East Anglia?   I understand there are a lot of names in that part of the country which New Englanders also adopted in the 17th century--since East Anglia is where many of them came from. Cambridge, Boston, Dedham, Braintree. Can you think of any?

And are you catching up from the drought yet? We've finally (today) got a reasonable amount of rain (of course now they're talking about a flash flood watch)--possibly courtesy of a hurricane considerably south of us. Maybe we'll eventually get it right.



I'll be busy for a few days now--see you all (or y'all--after all I'm south of the Mason-Dixon line)-- a bit later.


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