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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


billybob 18 Sep 06 - 05:03 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Sep 06 - 06:54 AM
Rapparee 18 Sep 06 - 08:24 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Sep 06 - 12:06 PM
billybob 19 Sep 06 - 12:17 PM
Ebbie 19 Sep 06 - 12:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Sep 06 - 01:53 PM
Ebbie 19 Sep 06 - 02:03 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Sep 06 - 04:33 PM
Ebbie 20 Sep 06 - 01:16 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Sep 06 - 12:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM
Ebbie 20 Sep 06 - 12:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Sep 06 - 02:55 PM
Ron Davies 20 Sep 06 - 08:58 PM
Ron Davies 21 Sep 06 - 11:36 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Sep 06 - 04:55 PM
Ron Davies 23 Sep 06 - 08:11 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Sep 06 - 08:22 PM
Ron Davies 24 Sep 06 - 11:41 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Sep 06 - 11:49 AM
Ron Davies 24 Sep 06 - 12:35 PM
billybob 24 Sep 06 - 03:00 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Sep 06 - 07:32 PM
Ron Davies 24 Sep 06 - 07:42 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Sep 06 - 08:42 PM
Ebbie 24 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Sep 06 - 10:21 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 06 - 10:51 AM
Ebbie 25 Sep 06 - 11:40 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 06 - 12:31 PM
JennyO 25 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM
Ebbie 25 Sep 06 - 03:28 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 06 - 04:31 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 06 - 07:05 PM
JennyO 25 Sep 06 - 10:52 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Sep 06 - 09:45 AM
billybob 26 Sep 06 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,IBO 27 Sep 06 - 05:17 PM
Tootler 27 Sep 06 - 07:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Sep 06 - 08:09 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Sep 06 - 08:21 PM
JennyO 27 Sep 06 - 10:16 PM
Rapparee 27 Sep 06 - 10:53 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Sep 06 - 11:12 PM
JennyO 28 Sep 06 - 12:38 AM
Elmer Fudd 28 Sep 06 - 02:09 AM
Elmer Fudd 28 Sep 06 - 02:10 AM
Leadfingers 28 Sep 06 - 04:48 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 05:03 AM

Yes Jerry, I think of Scarlatt O'Hara,the funny thing is up till the day before she was born the baby was going to be Bette Mae, or Evie,on Thursday to pass the time away I was going through a book of names and as I opened the S page Sam said " I love the name Scarlett but David does not like it" I was reading that name as she spoke! Spooky?
Then when she was born the midwife said" what shall we call her?" They said they thought they would wait to see who she was and spoke the three names to the baby and after a few minutes David said "she is definatly Scarlett Mae" So she chose the name herself!
I was named for Peter Pan, I have cousins Michael and Peter, thankfully no Tinkerbell in the family(yet!)
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 06:54 AM

True confession time.

Before I was born, my Mother and Father wanted to name me Peter, after my Grandfather Rasmussen. (Never mind that I found out long after I was an adult that Peter was his middle name... his first name was Lars.) If my parents had asked me at two minutes old, which of the three names I liked, I would have been screaming bloody murder if they suggested "Jerry." Peter would have been cool, and Lars even cooler, yet.

At that time, my oldest sister Marilyn was five years old and had a terrible crush on a boy in the neighborhood. They tried to tell her she was too young. Too young to really be in love. But, you know that when love gets it's hands around your throat, you can't eat or sleep. The only relief Marilyn could find was to pester my parents mercilessly to name me Jerry. They finally relented and caved in to her. I mean, it's painful to see your five year old daughter pining away to nothing out of unrequited love.

And so I am Jerry, through no consent of mine. And what happened to my sister's love of her life? He ran off with Edna. The last he was seen, they were walking away from the sandbox, hand in hand.

Yours truly,

Lars Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 08:24 AM

I thought that "Dummy" would be a good name for my brother, but my parents named him Anthony instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:06 PM

Hey.

Sorry I haven't been keeping the pot cooking, but I am living in Immobile, Ct. for the time being. Three weeks ago, I pulled a muscle in my hip trying to do something I'm a little too old (apparently) to handle. These last three weeks have been crammed fullo, so I haven't had a chance to really rest my hip and yesterday, after a very, very full week, it took me down. I couldn't even walk across the room without dange of collapsing, so we went to the Emergency Room, and Ruth took me around in a wheel chair. They x-rayed my hip and the good news is that it's just a severe inflammation of the muscles, with no damage. They put me of steroids (hey, it worked for Barry Bonds) and inflammatory mnedication and it's a matter of my body healing. I should be at least as good as new in a few days. In the meantime, I am immobile most of the time, and my computer is downstairs. I managed to hobble my way down stairs today, and wanted to see what was going on with you folks.

So, if I am not on quite as often in the next couple of days, it's because I'm not manipulating the stairs to the basement momentarily.
I still can write in a notebook, listen to music and watch old movies. I expect to be bacvk in full force by the weekend if all goes well..

Lars Peter Gerald Elmer Henry Hornsbuckle Rasmussen


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:17 PM

Glad you put the pot on Jerry, wondered where you were, the table was empty when I looked in earlier.
Do take care and get well soon
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:49 PM

Lars Peter Gerald Elmer Henry Hornsbuckle Rasmussen - that's a fine line of names you have there.

Sorry about your miseries, Jerry. From time to time we get reminded of the many physical parts we carry around, huh. May you heal fast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 01:53 PM

Thanks, folks:

I'm heading upstairs to lie down for awhile. Taking a stack of papers and a notebook for writing in with me.

I had a good conversation with the young pastor of one of the churches we support. I was telling him about the book I'm working on: a combination of memories of my own and my family's, family photos and lyrics to songs that I've written that relate to my family or home town. He expressed regret that he didn't write down more of his family's stories, especially now that his Mother died and he can't corrobrate his fuzzy recollections of her stories of her youth. Because I've been a songwriter most of my life, I questioned my parents about their childhood on many occasions: and took notes. Now, I have a wealth of written memories from my parents and one of my Uncles, as well as many of my own that I've written down over the years in letters, reminiscences and songs.

What I'm wondering: Have any of you reduced your families memories to writing? I think that it's a wonderful inheritance to pass along to the next generation.

Catch you later, if I can maneuver the stairs.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 02:03 PM

Interesting you should ask, Jerry. A few years ago I started a newsletter that I call 'Homespun'; it started out just going to family members then gradually started including cousins and friends. The mailing list currently includes 63 addresses.

It consists of articles and essays and songs and recipes and memories and whatever else that comes along. Some of it I cull from the news and some of it is sent me by a reader.

At the foot of most pages I have a 'I Remember...' item where I put the memories that people write me about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 04:33 PM

Sounds like good stuff, Ebbie:

Lying in bed this afternoon, I was reading some of the stuff I've written as an introduction to songs I've composed. Some of these things I wrote in the 60's and 70's and the paper is yellowed like old parchment. I'm so glad that I kept them because even though my Mother still has an amazing memory, I doubt that she would remember the level of details she gave me at the time I was writing these things.

Here are the first couple of paragraphs as background to a song I wrote, Tommy.

"In may of 1929 just before the depression, my parents bought our hose on Caroline Street for $4,000. The house is small, but when the depression came they were forced to rent out half the house in order to keep it. A monthly rental of $8 made the difference between losing the house or keeping it. Three children later, things were pretty cramped, but we managed to get by. Even though we switched back and forth, renting out the front of the house for awhile and then the back with the next tenants, I remember living in the front half most clearly. We had a living room, my parent's bedroom with an ice box and a gas stove in one corner, and a summer-only bedroom on our front porch. We shared our tiny bathroom with the tenants. We lived that way from the time that my parents bought the house until I was about six years old., when we were finally able to take out two large sliding doors that separated the front of the house from the back. My Mother says that when we took out the doors, I kept running around the house excited at how large it was with the dining room kitchen and a small back bedroom up on stilts completing the space. Mom could use the stairway to go downstairs again, rather than climb up and down a ladder through a trap-door in our one closet; something she had done for a dozen years or so while raising three small children."

It is amazing to me the sacrifices that my parents made for us, and how little we noticed it, let alone expressed our appreciation to them.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 01:16 AM

Wow, Jerry. When the Depression hit, my parents already had a large family- six children born by 1932 - and by the time I was born in 1935 things were not appreciably better. My mother said that the only time they didn't lose a lot of money is one year when she persuaded my father not to plant. (This was in North Dakota) Dad and his siblings and his father lost each of the sections of land they owned one by one and it finally got to the point where Dad took a distant farming job where he got home only every other weekend. My mother said that sometimes by the time he got home loaded with groceries they were very low on food. She said they never went hungry but that there were times that she would have had seconds if given the choice.

They tok the family to the very fertile - and rainy - Willamette Valley in Oregon in 1936 where my mother had spent her youth and from then on, life was better.

Your mother showed her mettle very early in her life, didn't she. (My mother said that the whole thing wouldn't have been so bad if they could have been sure that it would eventually pass.) Where is that house? I imagine it's in the city?

Looking at it now, do you see things that could have been done diffeently? That ladder is just incredible - by that, I don't mean, unbelievable - but what a way to have to live.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:10 PM

Yeah, Ebbie: Us depression babies knew a different life than kids do today. This is the rest of what I've written about those first years:

"The only renters that I can remember were Tommy and Florence Pope: the last ones we had before we took down the doors and expanded into the full house. Tommy was an alcoholic, although I probably didn't know the term at the time. He had ongoing bouts of heavy drinking for years, holding down a job when he had a sober spell and being dependent upon Florence's income during the times when he was drinking. Florence tried to keep his alcohol comsumption down to a minimum by cutting the flow of money into his hands when he wasn't working, but they had credit down at Simonsen's grocery on the corner. There were plenty of things with acohol to drink, if you weren't too fussy. Of course, it might look strange for a man to stop in and buy a dozen bottles of Extract Of Vanilla every week. That's where I came in. I was young, very innocent, loved Tommy and was allowed to take my wagon and go to the store by myself. I was always happy to run to the store for Tommy, and I suppose they never made an issue of my unusual orders, because I was only a kid. Monday mornings when we carried the trash out to the curb, there would be a bushel basket or two of clinkers from our coal furance, and one or two bushel baskets full of empty Listerine and Extract Of Vanilla bottles.

But, even though Tommy must have been half intoxicated a lot, I don't ever remember him being drunk. I guess he held his Extract Of Vanilla well. He always had the time for me and my sisters: somthing that must have seemed strange. I never thought of it that way, though: a man being home all day during the week. At a more sober time in his life, Tommy had been a fine musician. He had played French Horn in Sousa's band and had the photographs to prove it. And, no matter what he had been drinking, he was always happy to take out his French Horn and play it for me. There was one tune in particular that he loved, as I did. He would play it for me as long as I would sit on the edge of his bed and listen to him. Tommy was a gentle man who was broken somewhere along the line, and he didn't feel that he had much left to give. But in my eyes, he was wonderful. I wasn't old enough to understand the consequences of his drinking. He was a rare adult: someone who would give all he had, even if it was only a song on a French Horn. That was enough for me.

Tommy and Florence moved out when we opened up our house and we didn't see them often after that, although my parents liked both of them. A few years later, he was in a serious car accident in one of his drinking bouts and as far as I know, he never licked the problem. As I grew up, I gained a more balanced picture of Tommy, but I never forgot all those days sitting on the edge of his bed, lost in the pleasure of listening o him play his French Horn for me.

I'll post the lyrics to the song I wrote about Tommy separately, as this post is already longer than it should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM

Tune For Tommy

Tommy was no good they said, but who were they to know?
For they were only grown-ups, and I was six years old
Old enough to see the good, too young to see the bad
And Tommy and his old French Horn were the best friends that I had

He'd pick me up and sit me on his big old double bed
I'd sit there and I'd listen to everything he said
And when he played his old French Horn, he'd play the same old tune
And I can hear it just as if I was in Tommy's room

He'd send me to the corner store with a dollar in my hand
For Extract Of Vanilla, and never mind the brand
As long as it was alcohol, it was all the same to him
It helped to pass the time away, back in Tommy's room

Repeat first verse

Words and music by Jerry Rasmussen


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:55 PM

That brings tears to my eyes. Bless his heart- and bless the little boy who loved him.

The song - or the theme- reminds me of 'Catfish John', another song that impresses me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:55 PM

I just checked my Listerine bottle, by the way. It warns not to drink it, and if you do accidently, you need medical attention. Either they've changed the formula after all these years or the information about Tommy drinking Listerine was wrong. I know the Extract Of Vanilla part was right, though. Tommy had the sweetest smelling breath of any alcoholic I've ever met.

As long as you asked, Ebbie, our house was three blocks from open country built on the long-ago site of the City Dump. We had fifty foot Elm trees lining the street when I was a kid, so that was a long time ago. My parents moved into a retirement complex in the 90's and sold the house to one of my nephews. He no longer owns it, but it's been kept up nicely, and I often spin by it when we're out visiting my family.

The ladder in the trap door was way cool when I was a little older. We'd play hide and go seek in the house, and most of the kids didn't know about the trap door. I'd slip through the trap door, down the ladder and into the coal bin. I could have read War and Peace before anyone discovered me.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 08:58 PM

Great stories, Jerry. Good to see you must have found a way back to the table.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:36 PM

Hi all--

I have a story to tell about Home Depot--and a question (asking advice)--but unfortunately no time to go into them. See you tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:55 PM

Trouble at Home Depot, Ron?: The only problem I have there is that half of the people who work there have no idea where anything is...

Kinda slow at the table these days, so I'll post more of what I've been writing about growing up:

"Sometime around the mid or late 40's, The Apollo Theater changed its name to The Hitching Post and featured an exclusive diet of westerns. The theater itself was low and squatty. That wasn't as obvious from the outside because there were apartments above it, but when you walked in to take a seat, you realized how low the ceiling was. Even then, they had managed to squeeze in a balcony at the back. When the theater was used for vaudeville, I'm sure that the low celing didn't create a serious problem, but as a movie theater, it had its drawbacks. Because the projection booth was in the back wall behind the balcony and the cut-out opening was no more than 5 feet above the floor of the balcony, you had to duck (if you were more than 5 feet tall) when you walked in front of the projector or have a silhouette of your head projected onto the screen. That meant that while you were watching the movie, it was regularly interrupted by shadows: either unintentionally projected or from kids holding their hands over their heads and making shadow puppets on the screen. Of course, as soon as a kid started doing it there was such an uproar from all the other kids in the theater that if he didn't stop, he'd be taking his life into his own hands.

The other change that accurred was, because they knew the movie was always going to be a western, kids brought their cap guns with them. During the shoot-outs on screen, half the kids in the theater were
firing their cap guns at the bad guys and with such a low ceiling and poor ventilation, after a couple of shoot-outs a low cloud would settle over the audience. The sound of all the cap guns shooting, with the low ceiling was a little deafening, too. The shoot-outs ended up taking on a reality that was never equalled on the screen."


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 08:11 PM

Home Depot story:   I bought a stove for the house (Jan really wanted it--was not happy with the old one--for all sorts of reasons.)    She also insists on calling it a "cooker"---I gather that's the UK term--but sometimes seems confusing. They also don't use the word "broil" either--I've forgotten what she said instead.

At any rate, I didn't intend to buy one when I walked in--we were looking for something else--but it seemed a good deal.)

I have to admit I didn't use the old one except the top--mainly grilled chicken outside or poached fish in the microwave. She also only used the top.

Anyway, the contract specified Home Depot would deliver the new stove, hook it up and take the old stove away. If they had not included removal of the old stove, I likely would not have made the purchase--I was not bound and determined to have a new stove. We were concerned about the hookup, as was the salesman--so I called and told him it was possibly as old as 1987 (when the house was built). I've been here since 1992. He assured us there should be no problem.

When the installers got there, there was in fact a big problem--the gas connection had to be changed--necessitating a plumber.   They could not install the stove--so left it in its box--with us.

I called them, told them that after the plumber did the gas connection change, I expected them to come, install the new stove, and take the old stove away--as per contract.

They said "that's not the way it works"--the removal would only be done as part of the installation of the new stove.

But the contract makes no mention of this condition.

Jan insisted on getting a plumber immediately--he came out today, did the gas connection change and hooked up the new stove. (Hooking it up was simple, after the gas change.)

I feel they should still take the old stove away--as the contract specified. I also felt we should have had the plumber just do the gas hookup, but not install the new stove--but Jan put her back up on that.

What do you think about our pushing to have Home Depot at least remove the old stove (now in the yard)--as per contract?

It is a written contract--and it seems we should be able to at least insist on that. Thoughts?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 08:22 PM

I'd push like Hell, Ron: The worst you can do is be where you are right now. When we bought our stove at Home Depot, they were supposed to install it, but gave us some song and dance that it would need additional work. I ended up forking out a small amount of change on the sly to the kid who delivered it, who did the installation. He did it as a "favor," for a discounted price. The whole thing smelled a little fishy to me, and I'm not talking poached. That was five years ago, so the details are in soft focus now. We had just moved in and really needed a stove (and we use the stove a lot.)

Sometimes if you raise Hell, people cave in just because they don't want anyone to think that they're ripping people off. We ended up buying our next two appliances at an independent Appliance store, got great service and didn't pay that much more. It was worth it, just be treated with some level of professional respect.

I've just gone through a doube exchange of DVD players, by the way. I bought a new one at BJs and after it worked fine for a few days, suddenly it didn't work. I took it back and got a credit, with no complaint. I bought a different brand of DVD player and brought it home. After two hours of trying to get the stupid thing to work, including side trips down to Radio Shack to see if it was the connections, I took it back. I paid $79.99 for it, and it's reduced now to $49.99. They gave me the full refund with no problem, so I don't have any complaint about their service or policies. I do believe that the "Big Box" stores often carry models that are being discontinued by their manufacturer, for a variety of reasons. I never know whether it's because they've had too many problems with them. No sense recalling them like cars... just unload the inventory on the Big Box stores and people will be pleased to think that they got such a great bargain.

Problem is, if you want to buy certain things, you may not have a choice of a smaller, independent store. Eventually, there's just going to be one Store, called Store. Pray for mercy.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 11:41 AM

Hi Jerry,

Have you heard the song by Alan Jackson "The Little Man"   "The little man who used to help this town--before the big money shut him down".   That's obviously the main argument against the big box stores like Walmart. I have to say I'm conflicted. Some big box stores are run well--and seem to have good merchandise- and treat both their employees and customers right -like Costco. Then there are blights on the corporate landscape--like Walmart.

In the case of the stove it's even more complicated.   Our salesman at Home Depot did all he could to help us---and he himself used to have a hardware store!   But the fact remains that the Home Depot treatment was a disaster-- and not the first we've had from them. You'd think we'd learn.

We don't want to make life difficult for our salesman. But I sure want to put pressure on the higher-ups----who don't care at all about "customer service". I do intend to point out---to the CEO, if I have to---that Home Depot did not honor its own WRITTEN contract. And to turn Home Depot in to the BBB----if they don't take the old stove away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 11:49 AM

Sock it to 'em, Ron: At least they'll know that people can't be walked on with complete impunity.

The problem with Walmart is that so many people in this country are working hard, but not being paid enough to be able to shop anywhere else. Principles sometimes have to be set aside in order to live. If people could afford to pay more for necessities, Walmart would either have to offer a beatter quality of merchandise and pay their staff better, or they'd go under. I know people who work at Walmart because it's the only job they can get, and they are treated with little or no respect. Most of them don't stay any period of time. But, there are always more people desperately in need of any kind of a job.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 12:35 PM

To give you an idea of Home Depot's duplicity--I talked to "Terry", who said he was the manager of the store. When I asked for his last name, he refused to give it--saying Home Depot employees were not allowed to do so. Yet the salesman had given us his own, official, Home Depot, card--with, of course, his last name.

I intend to have "Terry's" hide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 03:00 PM

Hi Jerry and Ron
here in the UK the broiler is the grill.
We had a new " cooker" delivered 2 years ago, a "range" type, 3 ovens , grill, 7 hobs, Thelocal shop owner lives next door, we had great service, he re wired and had to take out 2 doors and probably had to buy his staff a beer.
next year we bought a USA style fridge freezer,we were in N J for thanksgiving,while we were away, they had to take down Ivy on the outside of the house in case it scratched the freezer as they carried it down the side of the house to get to the patio doors , the front door was too small, doors came off the frames,they damaged the radiators so we had no central heating but all was well in the end.
This year my daughter moved house, they had a range type cooker delivered, doors came off, hernias in the making, the delivery men sat drinking tea and told Sam about the nightmare client they had had with a cooker and big fridge freezeer, yes ok I was that woman!!
Today I used the cooker and cooked for 2 great grandmothers,one great grandfather, an uncle, mummy and daddy, ( baby Scarlett watched!) and grandad Billybob and I had fun.
I am loving it!!
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 07:32 PM

Sounds like you are having a great time being a new Grandma, Wendy. Great on you!

My two grandchildren on my side of the family have been a thousand miles away most of my life, so I really cherish the time I have to spend with them. I think that kids are great... have always enjoyed them.

A story Ruth never tires telling..

My Brother-in-law (Ruth's brother and his wife) have a wonderful son and daughter. They have two girls, Asha and Imani. When I first started going out with Ruth, the girls were probably around 5 and 7. They were used to adult-type conversations like, "How do you like school?" (Number one on all the all-time dumb question Hit Parade.) They tried to catch me on riddles, and beat me on games. A nice adult would have let them win, to build their confidence. I gave them a real hard time... solved most of their riddles and beat them at their games. The more I beat them, the more they couldn't get enough of me. They were really a kick! They'd huddle in the corner and say, "This time we're REALLY going to GET him!!!!!! When they did, they were ecstatic, and when they didn't, they were just that much more determined. When they came to visit, they spent all their time with me. I bought them riddle books for Christmas, and they kept hatching all these nefarious plots to beat me. This went on for years, and we all had a great time. Now, they are young women, far too sophisticated for such childish things. You'd think. But every once in awhile they'll pick up one of the hadn held electronic games or puzzles I keep lying around and we'll go at it again. None of us will ever forget how much fun we had.

It sounds like you have the same kind of fun-loving relationship with kids, Wendy.

Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 07:42 PM

Broiler and grill-- In the US I think the broiler would heat from above (in the oven); the grill would heat from below. How do you draw the distinction in the UK? I've asked Jan--but was confused by the answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 08:42 PM

Another ex-urp from the stuff I'm writing these days. May bring back some memories:

The Forties Smelled Funny

"One of the limitations of writing about the Forties, or pulling out old photographs is that you can't smell those times. Maybe someone could invent a Scratch And Sniff Guide To The Forties. If they did, the first thing that I'd recommend including would be Fels Naptha. If you grew up having your clothes washed in Fels Naptha, you'll never forget the smell. Not if you live to be 100. When you walked down stairs into our basement, the first thing that would hit you would be that musty, heavy, scummy smell of Fels Naptha. Now, don't get me wrong. Fels Naptha got things clean. But it always felt like it left a carmel-colored film on everything. The closest I've ever come to seeing Fels Naptha as an adult was when my wife Ruth and I were in Ghana in 2001. Our tour bus stopped along a river where countless people were washing their clothes. We were very impressed by how brilliantly white their clothes were in Africa, so it was a surprise to see people standing waist-deep in water brown enough to plow, beating their clothes on old tires. We have a photograph that I took that day hanging above our sparkling white washing machine. One of the children showed us the soap she was using and darned if it didn't look like a malformed bar of Fels Naptha. We were warned not to take any home to use because is is so powerful that it eats clothes, just for the fun of it. When I wrote a song honoring my parent's 60th Wedding Anniversary, one of the lines that I used was "And the sweet smell of Fels Naptha filled every home." Clothes were washed in Maytags with Fels Naptha. That's just the way it was."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM

I don't remember the specific smell of Fels Naptha. My mother made and used her own lye soap. I do remember how those bars smelled, and how the gel of it felt between the fingers. She would pour them into large pans- looked kind of like jelly roll pans but much larger-and after the stuff had 'set' she would take to them with a large butcher knife. One of my memories is of her shaving that soap into the wringer washer. (Remember how it felt to get your thumb caught in the wringer?)

Two things that have never changed their odor or taste:

* A drug store (Smells just like it always did)
* Toasted marshmallows (Try it!)
* Pepsodent tooth paste. Although we used tooth powder rather than paste (do they still make that?), the smell and taste is exactly the same as it ever was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 10:21 PM

Hey, Ebbie: You're right on all counts. Drug Stores do smell pretty much the same, although I suspect if my memory was a little sharper I could tell the difference that air conditioning makes. I think they stopped making tooth powder many years ago. Ask Dr. Lyons. Wow! What corner of my brain did that come out of.

"The Forties smelled like Cod Liver oil, too. That's another smell you'll never forget. Cod Liver oil was the first wonder drug. It cured everything from stomach aches to "Irregularities" and everything in between. If you showed any indication of not feeling well, out came the Cod Liver oil. "No, Ma, I'm starting to feel better now, Honest!!!!!!!" As newer medicines came out, Cod Live oil became "Old Fashioned" and every Cod breathed a deep sigh of relief. Now, all these years later there is increasing evidence that fish oil helps promote heart circulation. It's loaded with Omega-3, which is good for the heart. If I get nostalgic about Cod Live oil and want to smell it (which isn't likely) I can just take a couple of soft gels of "Marine Lipid Concentrate" out of the bottle sitting in the kitchen and go back to those golden days of yesteryear. Funny thing is, there's a subtle Cod-Liver-oilish aftertaste from the capsules. Like radishes, you keep tasting them long after you swallow them."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM

This morning, as soon as I opened the door to the basement, I thought of all the years I was greeted with the smell of musty Fels Naptha. Actually, I got it partly wrong. The Oughts (Is that what these years are) smell, too. They smell phony, as Holden Caufield would say. So, I wrote this as an addendum to the Forties Smelled Funny:

"When I got up this morning, the first thing I did was head downstairs to my office. When I opened the door to the basement, I thought wistfully about that musty, scummy smell of Fels Naptha. Instead of that old familiar odor, my nostrils were hit with a powerful blast of Mountain Glade. Or maybe it's Orchard Sunrise. I'd rather have smelled Fels Naptha.

Yesterday, I was cleaning out a drawer in the downstairs bathroom and came across an unopened Glade air freshener. I opened it and slid it into the little slot of nthe side of the combination night light-air freshener and immediately realized I'd made a mistake. I threw the package away so I don't remember which scent it was supposed to be, but they all sound as artificial as they smell. I'd prefer the smell of those artifical roses that Babby Darin used to sing about. If nature smelled like Glade air fresheners, I'd seal the windows and never leave the house. Maybe people today just want to experience nature through a TV set or an air freshener. Heck, you can even buy a Glad Light Show air freshener. I haven't bought one, but if they're doing it right, it should smell like incense and come with a tye-died t-shirt..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 10:51 AM

"If I was making Glade air fresheners, they'd come in Dairy Barn or Corn Fields. The best though would be Burning Leaves. Man!, I'd buy a whole case of Burning Leaves air fresheners. That would really take me back to the Forties. I loved the smell of burning leaves in the Fall. It made the work of raking the lawn worth it. Nobody in their right mind would burn leaves during the day. At least, no kid in his right mind. Burning leaves smell better at night. There was an early Fall ritual in our neighborhood, all centered around the curb. After you'd jumped in the leaf pile until you were silly, or made leaf houses out of them by laying out imginary rooms on the lawn, you'd rake the leaves out into the street by the curb and wait for dark. Curbs in small towns served the same purpose as front stoops in big cities. That's where we'd gather in the evening to sit and swap tale tales or play "Truth or Consequnces" or "I Packed My Mother's Suitcase." But in the Fall, those games were temporarily set aside for the ritual offering of burning leaves. When you came in the house to go to bed, you knew that life didn't get any better than this. Every pore of your body smelled of burning leaves. Nobody would be dumb enough to take a bath right after burning leaves. There's nothing as good as drifting off to sleep smelling like leaf smoke."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 11:40 AM

Awesome, Jerry!

Speaking of memorable, pleasurable smells- mine is Horse Barn. My father trained horses and he was meticulous in their care. Every day after the barn was cleaned out, he'd 'broadcast' lime. That combination of odors has stayed with me.

I was forcefully reminded of it a few years back. In Juneau (a long, narrow, coastal town) we have only one 'farm', a 9-acre place where they raise turkeys and geese and parakeets and they board horses.

One day they had a garage sale which was held in the exercise arena. I wanted to check out an electrical gadget and the woman told me to step into one of the box stalls where there was an outlet.

I stepped in. Pure ambrosia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:31 PM

I hjad to laugh, reading your last post, Ebbie:

In the early 60's I was teaching Geology at Hunter College in New York City and we took a joint field trip with the Geography department. (Yes, it was the sixties, but not that kind of a joint.)
On the trip, we stopped at an apple orchard and farm, and I wandered over to go into the barn. The smells were Chanel Number Eleven to me, but my students thought I was nuts. They wouldn't go near the place.

I guess that you had to grow up around farms to appreciate those aromas...

If I ever start an air freshener company, you'll be the first to get our Horse Barn model.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM

Been sitting here in the corner reminiscing about some of those smells. I'd go for Burning Leaves too. Those were in the days when we were allowed to burn off. I always loved helping with the burning off. I think I must be some sort of firebug. I still enjoy tending a fire when I get the chance. These days, practically the only time you smell leaves burning is when there is a bushfire in the area, which is not such good news.

We don't have a working fireplace in the house unfortunately (some idiot before us bricked up the chimney), and a lot of the time here in Oz we have a total fire ban, but when I get a chance, I like to have a campfire. We did have one in April at a folk festival, which was lovely to sit and sing around, and occasionally poke or build up. We've already had our first bushfire of the summer here, even tho it's only spring (we had hot winds over the last few days), so I guess we're stuck with the total fire ban for a while.

Another smell I would buy if they could capture it would be new-mown grass. That brings back memories of when my brother and I were kids in Goulburn and dad cut the lawn with the push mower. He used to give us rides in the old metal wheelbarrow. I even have a photo somewhere of us in the wheelbarrow. And we had a small pine tree that we planted in the back garden. We called it the Christmas tree. Which reminds me of another smell - pine needles. I'm afraid the commercial smells called Pine are nothing like it. And as for plastic Christmas trees - UGH!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 03:28 PM

Let me know if you find Eau de Horse Barn, Jerry.

As for cut grass, two of my brothers were out driving past a farm and came across the aroma of freshly mown hay. They debated stopping and asking the farmer if he had a job for them. Just for the smell of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 04:31 PM

Anyone want to smell newly cut grass, they're welcome to mow my lawn. I do love the smell, though. Fresh hay is even better. No wonder there was so much romping going on in hay lofts. The smell is downright erotic.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 07:05 PM

Last Monday, I was in the emergency room because of a severely pulled muscle in my hip. Ruth was wheeling me around in a wheel chair because I couldn't walk ten feet, the pain was so severe. This morning, we went for our walk along the river and I had no pain.

Just a good reminder of how blessed we are that we can walk.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 10:52 PM

I think your lawn might be just a LITTLE too far away, Jerry. Anyway, I have a perfectly good lawn out here in Sydney that is due for a cutting. We had a lot of rain a couple of weeks ago, followed by some very hot weather. Everything is growing like crazy, including the grass and the weeds.

I'm glad to hear your hip has improved so quickly. One tends to take walking for granted. I did, until I broke my ankle a few years ago and had to spend weeks in a cast and on crutches, not being allowed to put ANY weight on the foot. The day the cast came off and I was allowed to stand on two legs again, I went to a favourite lookout near the hospital and watched a glorious sunset. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude that I could walk normally again - in fact it was really just an amazing feeling of being glad to be alive!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:45 AM

I was thinking. This is a mighty big kitchen table. The people who drop by most regularly are from Alaska, California, Australia, England and Georgia. Not exactly neighbors of mine, here in Connecticut. But, that's the nice thing about cyberspace. Everyone is as close as a mouse.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 05:47 PM

Hi Jerry
so glad your hip is better and you are able to go for your walk by the river.
Here in the UK we had a beautiful late summer day, daughter Sam and I took Scarlett out for her first "walk" swaddled her up in the pram and walked along by the river Stour, watched the swans and Canadian geese and sat on a bench and enjoyed the sunshine.There were a few sailing boats and lots of walkers.For late September it was really warm.Tonight it feels quite chilly, as soon as the sun goes down the temperature drops and the nights are drawing in, dark at 7.30!Time to gather round the table , drink the coffee and enjoy the conversation.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,IBO
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 05:17 PM

WE HAVE NO KITCHEN TABLE


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 07:01 PM

I had abdominal surgery in May so my stomach muscles were in no fit state to go pushing lawn mowers round. One of the nurses knew someone who was looking for gardening work so we contacted him and he has kept our garden in good order this summer at a very reasonable price. Reliable and a nice guy to boot.

It's only a pity it's a bit far across the big pond, Jerry, or I would recommend him to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 08:09 PM

Thanks, Tootler.

On Friday, my wife Ruth said that she'd mow the lawn if I could show her how to start the lawnmower. When we got out to the shed, I realized that there was no way she was going to start it, so I started it for her. She was very uneasy about using it, so I took it around the side of the house to the front yard and took three or four swipes around the perimeter of the lawn before I handed it over to her. It's a variable speed mower, and the harder you squeeze on the bar that operates the accelerator, the faster you go. Despite explaining all of this to her, when she took the reigns, she went off like a shot! after a couple of times around, I felt like I was in an old Western, watching a woman in a horse and buggy, when the horse is spooked. I expected to see her running down the street behind the lawnmower yellig "Help!!!!!!! I can't make it stop!!!!!!!!!!' So, I graciously rescued her and did the lawn myself. Apparently it didn't hurt me too much because I'm moving around fine, now.

Hey, Guest:

Don't have a kitchen table? You're welcome at mine.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 08:21 PM

I had a bowl of Neopolitan ice cream tonight. Talk about de ja vu.
I haven't had Neopolitan ice cream in fifty years, I bet. For our friends over the seas, Neopolitan ice cream is one third vanilla, one third chocolate and one third strawberry, in distinct thirds. I associate it with the forties and fifties over here, along with Honeymoon Logs. (Anybody remember Honeymoon Logs?)

A couple of days ago, they had a "Buy one, get one free" on ice cream, and the Neopolitan half gallon was in the row with vanilla. I didn't notice it until I went to get some ice cream tonight. At first I was very disappointed. I was all set to have vanilla ice cream/ peanut butter swirl. Somehow, making it with Neopolitan ice cream didn't sound very appetizing. Just as well. I actually enjoyed the stuff..

I also noticed that you can still by Fels Naptha. Wrapper suitable for framing.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 10:16 PM

Hello, thought I'd just drop in here and say hello, and maybe have a little birthday drink to start the day (although it's lunchtime here already).

Before I went to bed last night I was watching TCM, the old movie channel, and caught most of an old Marx Brothers movie, The Big Store. You know, they just don't make movies like that any more - it was a lot of fun.

On Sunday night, Fox Classics has two Pink Panther movies in a row - the original Pink Panther and The Pink Panther Strikes Again, which I think is the best Pink Panther movie of them all. I'm looking forward to it! I'm a grest fan of Peter Sellers. Now all I need to make it even better is The Party (probably my favourite movie of all time) and I Love You Alice B Toklas.

There are certain actors who I will watch in just about any movie they make - as well as Peter Sellers - Jack Nicholson and Robin Williams come to mind.

GUEST, IBO, how sad that you don't have a kitchen table. As Jerry said, come and share this one. It's very friendly!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 10:53 PM

Happy B-day, Jennie-O.

Nice thoughts are welcomed....

For quite some time I suffered from cramps in the legs when I was asleep, sometimes so bad I had to walk and walk to work them out. Several medicines were tried to no avail (including some of the very new ones). Finally, the doc tried quinine sulfate and it worked!

For nearly a year now I've been cramp-free.

Last October I had a hearing screening done, and it was recommended that I have a full hearing evaluation. A couple of weeks ago I had that done.

Apparently quinine is ototoxic -- it can kill the cililia in your middle ear and caused hearing loss in high registers (over 2,000 db). This has apparently happened to me. I have nearly constant tinnitus ("ringing" in the ears) and have been asking my wife to repeat things.

Years ago a grenade simulator went off about a meter to my left and left me with a 10% hearing loss in my left ear. It was no matter then. Now I may need hearing aids.

I'm trying a new medicine, starting tonight. Sometimes, a few times, ototoxic hearing loss can be reversed (although it is uncommon where quinine is involved).

Well, I'd rather hear than not. But the news has been hard to take.

Don't take chances with your hearing. Wear hearing protectors when you use lawn mowers or anything with a small engine, if you shoot or are around shooting, at rock concerts. Keep your MP3 player turned DOWN, and likewise when you play recordings. And watch the medicines....


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 11:12 PM

Hey, Rap:

Night-time leg cramps are pretty common. What I've discovered for myself is that when I walk regularly, and stretch my calf muscles, the cramps disappear. When I hurt my hip a couple of weeks ago, I went a week when we couldn't take our morning walk, and the leg cramps that disappeared ever since we started walking regularly several months ago came back with a vengeance. All it took (for me) was getting back to walking the last two mornings, and they're all gone.

I have the feeling that in twenty years 90% of the population of the U.S. will be legally deaf, having destroyed their hearing by listening to EVERYTHING to loud... not just Rap, Rock and Hip Hop music, but movie soundtracks in theaters, and even the music in some churches. I keep meaning to do a run of stickers that would say "God is not hard of hearing" and unobtrusively put them on all the keyboards that are played in black churches (and the amplifiers for guitars) and the drums.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 12:38 AM

Thanks for the birthday wishes Rapaire, and good luck with the new medication. I get night-time leg cramps from time to time, and what makes mine go away is Magnesium tablets. It's only when I've been forgetting them that the cramps start to reappear, and once I start taking them again, the cramps go away. Horrible things to wake up with!

I suspect Jerry might be right about pop-deafness being widespread. I know I had my fair share of loud concerts in the 60's and later. I've noticed that even at folk festivals, the volume is unnecessarily high in the big marquees, so that even when they are placed well apart, the sound bleeds from one to another. Not good. Requests to the organisers of these festivals to address the problem seems to fall on deaf ears (so to speak). Everyone these days seems to equate loud with good. Is this a sign that I'm an old fart?

None of that stuff at my folk club (North By Northwest) and my friend Sandra's folk club (The Loaded Dog). We have two of the best venues in Sydney with marvellous acoustics, and not an amp or microphone in sight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 02:09 AM

Prepare to meet your doom, you wascally wabbit!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 02:10 AM

There's no getting away from me this time, ya dumb bunny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 04:48 AM

Just thought I would pop in to say "Hi!" and try for 1200


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