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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


kendall 28 Feb 06 - 08:56 AM
Rapparee 28 Feb 06 - 09:01 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Feb 06 - 09:16 AM
Rapparee 28 Feb 06 - 09:27 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Feb 06 - 09:32 AM
Amos 28 Feb 06 - 09:33 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Feb 06 - 10:30 AM
Amos 28 Feb 06 - 11:42 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Feb 06 - 12:10 PM
Rapparee 28 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM
Bill D 28 Feb 06 - 02:51 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Feb 06 - 11:04 PM
Bill D 28 Feb 06 - 11:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 06 - 12:07 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 06 - 08:50 PM
Rapparee 01 Mar 06 - 09:44 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM
Ron Davies 01 Mar 06 - 11:24 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 06 - 11:56 PM
Ron Davies 02 Mar 06 - 10:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 06 - 10:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Mar 06 - 10:30 AM
Leadfingers 04 Mar 06 - 06:09 AM
Ron Davies 04 Mar 06 - 07:56 AM
Ron Davies 04 Mar 06 - 08:01 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Mar 06 - 08:04 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Mar 06 - 08:20 AM
kendall 04 Mar 06 - 09:57 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Mar 06 - 12:28 PM
Elmer Fudd 05 Mar 06 - 01:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Mar 06 - 07:32 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Mar 06 - 12:05 PM
Leadfingers 05 Mar 06 - 02:56 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Mar 06 - 08:58 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Mar 06 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 06 Mar 06 - 11:57 AM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 06 - 11:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Mar 06 - 08:30 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Mar 06 - 08:11 PM
Ebbie 07 Mar 06 - 11:28 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Mar 06 - 06:52 AM
leftydee 08 Mar 06 - 12:03 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Mar 06 - 08:31 PM
ranger1 09 Mar 06 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Modest but proud 09 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 09 Mar 06 - 05:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Mar 06 - 05:49 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Mar 06 - 06:35 AM
Bobert 10 Mar 06 - 08:12 AM
SINSULL 10 Mar 06 - 09:04 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: kendall
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 08:56 AM

We have never done anything illegal or immoral, yet I still don't know if he would appreciate me sharing some of the mis adventures.

Ok, maybe just a couple. Many years ago, Gordon and I visited Dave Mallett, and we decided to have home made beef stew. In the process of making it and consuming large quantities of firewater, the stew came out looking like a seagull's breakfast. It made me very ill, but I've never been sure if it was the stew or the booze.
Anyway, we were having a hell of a good time, swapping songs, and stories, (Mallett is a very funny guy when he relaxes) and, at one point, we were discussing songs that we mis heard the right lyrics to, and found out later that we were wrong all along.

Mallett told us about learning a song in which the hero comes home from the war and his wife is not home. He looks all around and finds a picture of her and another man. She is dressed in a wedding gown, so he knows she thinks him dead.
The line goes....I saw a picture of her and a man. Well he was a small boy when he heard this, and what he heard was,...I saw a picture of her and a HAM. That started a giggle fest, then when Gordon reminded us that a certain song from OZ went...and freedom's humping bluie.. and we were on the floor.

I spent a week or so on his boat sailing from Falmouth to Rockport, and every night we would drop anchor and have a few brews and sing some of the old songs we learned when we first met back in 1959.
At one point, I said to him, "Do you have some first aid cream? I have a chafe in a rather tender spot, and I think it's caused by TIDE laundry detergent." He said "What the hell are you doing with it"?

There are funnier stories but I don't know if he would appreciate my sharing them with the world!

We have spent countless hours swapping stories and songs over a bit of John Barleycorn, and I tell you, there is no one in the world whos friendship and company I value more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 09:01 AM

I can understand that, Kendall. I've got similar stories. In fact, we all probably do. Good, laughing times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 09:16 AM

Thanks, Kendall. You remind me of a couple of things.

This too is not telling anything about Gordon "Out of school." This was an admission that he made in a workshop that I did many years ago at the Eisteddfod. It was a "singing" workshop... the only one that I ever hosted. I have never taken singing lessons, or ever even felt tempted to. That's not to knock them... it's just an experience and knowledge that I don't have. Gordon and Sandy & Caroline were in the workshop and the first thing I asked people to do was to talk about who they first imitated as singers (or at least sang along with and were influenced by.) I started out doing Blue Suede Shoes and talked about Carl Perkins. I could as easily have done Blue Monday, and talked about Fats Domino. When it was Gordon's turn, I imagine that most people thought he'd say that he really learned to sing by singing along with some old, crusty lobster fisherman sitting on a rocky coastline in Maine. It's understandable to me that people who are well loved as musicians or singers cultivate a persona and never let a crack appear. It's a way to keep your own life private. I really got a kick out of Gordon (who has a wonderful sense of humor.) One of his first influences? Perry Como. Perry Como? Why not Dean Martin? Funny thing is, Gordon shares that in common with Elvis, who acknowledged Perry Como as one of his main images. How weird that two singers as different as Gordon and Elvis could have the same influence. I admired Gordon for that. What could be less self-aggrandizing at a folk festival than saying that Perry Como was an early influence? Maybe Margaret MacArthur saying her first influence as a singer was Annette Funicello.

Coming up with funny lines that can destroy a song has to be a natural, adult hangover of making up silly satires when we were kids. For many years, I sang with Luke Faust and one of our very favorite songs we did as a duet was Mary Of The Wild Moore, which we learned from a Blue Sky Boys recording. There is a very dramatic line in the song where Mary's Father comes down and opens the front door of his house in the morning to find Mary dead from lieing (... how in the world do you spell lieing?) on the doorstep in the cold all night. As the song says, "with the child still alive, closely clasped in its dead Mother's arm." How did the old man respond to this horrific scene. The line says, "In anguish he tore his gray hair." I was fooling around one night and sang it "In anguish he tore his gray shirt." That was it. I guess we were in a silly mood like you, David and Gordon, Kendall. Somehow, it seemed like the funniest image imagineable. Kinda like the biblical phrase, "Thou hast caused me to rend my garments." It took forever to be able to sing that song with a straight face again. What a stupid point in the song to go into hysterics! I can sing the song straight now, but I must admit that the thought does cross my mind, when I get to that line...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 09:27 AM

Jerry, you ought to try singing a song after your brother has messed with the lines!

These came out once when he was fixing dinner (yes, we sit around the kitchen table in homes of both my brothers).

"He drove his car to the racing ground/He was the only driver there...."
"By the rising of the moon YEE-HAA! by the rising of the moon...."
"..and she fell down dead in the yellow snow..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 09:32 AM

Now there's a thread for you, Rap: Songs we've ruined by changing a line..

They must be legion..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 09:33 AM

Jerry:

Wish you could have been over in Pacific Beach with us, last night. Chicken Kiev and wine a-flowing and the most amazing evolution of inspired, spontaneous dancing; one of our party was a Mexican airline pilot who demonstrated a beautiful karate form, and another was a vivid modern dancer who taught us African dances of welcome, and then the oceanographer and the choreographer started waltzing to the strains of "Night Rider's lament" and the wine kept flowing freely. You would have had a blast. After we staggered home to bed, I dreamed i was sitting at your Magic Kitchen Table, telling you the whole thing. Go figger!

And I like the notion of you being the Keeper of a new permanent Mudcat Artifact, the Magic Kitchen Table, right up there with Spaw's possum whistle, Jen's flaming kestrel, Mick's potato-thong, and tipples...I mean tupples...aw, hell, you know what I mean.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 10:30 AM

Thanks, Amos: I would like to have this thread here as a cyber-kitchen table where we all stop in and talk about whatever we feel like talking about. We'll all run out of nostalgic kitchen table stories, and while I'm enjoying reading every one, I did hope that this thread would work just as your last post did... people just stopping by to talk about something they'd be likely to share around a kitchen table.

And even though you wouldn't appreciate the subject matter of the songs, you might have enjoyed the black gospel group I described earlier in this thread. While I have always loved rhythm and blues and soul singers, I didn't have any opportunity to hear them in an all-white small town in Wisconsin. And, by the time I came to New York, that music was pretty much gone. Not that I could have afforded to go hear anyone on my peanut butter budget. All the great soul singers came out of black churches, and every once in awhile I'll come across someone who seems like they've stepped out of a time warp. It's the closest I'll ever get to hearing Wilson Pickett or James Brown. (James Brown is still performing but he stands completely still now... too old to dance.) The lead singer of the gospel quartet got down on one knee very dramatically when a line in the song talked about dropping to our knees in prayer. All he needed was a cape, and a couple of stage hands to help him get back on his feet, like James Brown used to do.. His day job is a bus driver, in New Haven..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 11:42 AM

MIGHT have??? I'm afraid I have given you a false impression of my views, Jerry. I would have been jumping with the gang, here ta tell ya. A good gospel group is a thing of joy.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 12:10 PM

I thought it was interesting, by the by, that no one claimed the 100th post. Feels very kitcheny. I've never know anyone to say, "I just said the 100th sentence!" sitting around a kitchen table.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM

I knew a judge who celebrated his 100th sentence....


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 02:51 PM

well, I 'almost' posted here the other day, but was busy and by the time I got back, the thread had gotten a lot longer and I felt like I oughta READ it before jumping in...but now I got an engraved invitation from Jerry, and I just bit the bullet and let it flow over me. (like all the tea & coffee, I guess)

I spent most of my adult life drinking tea..(good tea! Loose tea...) but a few years ago, some regular company around my kitchen table needed coffee ☺, and I sorta got converted. I still HAVE good tea on hand, but coffee kinda gets ya'.....

I am fortunate, living where I do and getting to meet so many in the folk community. I have recently shared my kitchen table with Dick Greenhaus & Susan of DT, and not too far back with Danny Spooner, Elizabeth LaPrelle (young singer extraordinare) and her family, Noreen & Stewart (after the Getaway), and a couple years ago, greg stephens & Kate. I have had the pleasure of sitting at Bobert's table (indoors & out!)........and SO many local folks, some of whom post here, and some who don't.....and if you want to think of those amazing long tables at the Getaway as 'kitchen', there are a hundred more I could list! Jeri & Kendall and KT and Ebbie and Ron Davies and Amos and Micca and Charmion and Snuffy and jimmyt all know what I mean. It's not the 'quiet' and feeling of home, but it tells me that I know places now where I could go and find a welcome and that cup of coffee (or tea).

Maybe I will get to some of those places one of these days.....

My kitchen table is small & round, but we can get 5-6 settin' around when necessary...and that's a good limit to an easy conversation, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 11:04 PM

Maybe one of these days I'll drop by for a cupa, Bill. I'd enjoy sitting around your kitchen table and just shooting the breeze.

Ya never know..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 11:15 PM

we'll be here. (and before & after the Getaway is always a good time...)

ohhhh! Hey, Jerry...it just hit me. I have some digital pictures of you & Ruth at The Royal Mile Pub...that time when Bobert came in. I'll get those put up someplace where you can grab'em! (It wasn't a 'kitchen' table, but there was some good conversation!)(I put them in a strange file when I took 'em off the camera and lost track!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 12:07 AM

Kitchen tables can be anywhere, Bill ... in pubs, auditoriums, church basements, backyards... They can be beautiful walnut or mahogany, card tables, picnic tables, folding tables with tempera paint splattered all over them.. even glass.

It's the people who sit around them who make the difference..

I have some shots from the Royal Mile Pub of the Bobert and Pea Vine, Chance and Susette, and maybe even you, Bill. I didn't know who you were at the time and I have a couple of photos of mighty handsome couples. Maybe you're in one of them...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 08:50 PM

Been a quiet day around the table.. been out much of the day, and have spent most of this evening working on burning tracks to a CD.

Every once in a while I check the BS to see if there are any threads that don't end with a question mark.. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 09:44 PM

I just put the last brushstrokes on the "Sun Room" (formerly "The Cave"). Now to clean it up, redo the lighting, put up curtains and things, and start using it! Hot dog! -- we'll be using the whole house!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM

Sounds good, Rap. Is a sun room anything like a Great Room? Our Great Room has glass on three sides and probably would have been called a sun room in previous times.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 11:24 PM

Jerry--

I thought this might be of interest to others around the table, so I'd ask it. The Levi Kelly story from your CD Back When I Was Young--what year was this alleged crime, and where?    The song came from an old-style broadside?--I understand you have a copy. And what was he supposed to have done? Is the song based on fact?--I gather there must be something behind the broadside.

Thanks,

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 11:56 PM

Hey Ron: I've spent most of this evening cleaning my office. Thank God I misplace things. It's about the only motivation I seem to have for straightening up. :-) I still haven't found what I'm looking for, as Bono would say, so I'll keep my eye out for the copy of the broadside when I'm looking, tomorrow. As for the CD of mine, Back When I was Young, you are the only person on Mudcat that has a copy at this point, Ron. Many years ago when I was visiting Sturbridge Village, they were printing copies of the old handbill describing the attempted hanging of Levi Kelly. I do believe it was based on an actual event that occured in Massachusetts where so many people gathered on teh scaffold to witness the hanging that the scaffold collapsed from the weight and several people were seriously injured or killed. I haven't read the handbill in 20 years, so I make no claim to the accuracy of the account.

If I run across it, I'll post it in this thread..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 10:20 PM

Jerry--

Thanks so much for the information on Levi Kelly. If you find more, it would be great--it's quite a story--and a song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 10:34 PM

Thanks Ron... looks like we have the table to ourselves for awhile. That's fine, too.

I just burned a 5 CD set of rhythm and blues for you. Kinda got snowed in today, but if I can get to the Post Orifice tomorrow, I'll throw them in the mail.

Also finished a 14 song master CD of the Gospel Messengers.

Cooking over here, and not in the kitchen.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 10:30 AM

All's quiet at the table today. Mostly me and Ron recently. That will all change around here, tomorrow. Tomorrow morning is Messengers practice, so my wife and I are busy getting ready. Funny thing is, the one thing I don't spend a lot of time getting ready for is the music. It seems like the music is a good reason for eating a lot and just sitting around, enjoying each other. We sing this Sunday, but it's only two songs at a celebration with ten or twelve other groups, and we can do two songs rolling out of bed at three in the morning. This practice will be different though, because I've invited my dental hygenist and her husband. Dental hygenist, you ask? Next practice is for lawyers. Only kidding. When my mouth isn't full of gadgets at the dentist's office, I talk about what's going on in my life with the hygenist (and the dentist) and I've shared a CD of the Messengers with them both. My dental hygenist said last week that she and her husband love the CD and had been listening to it that morning. She said that if there was ever a chance when her husband could come to one of our practices, he would really be excited. So of course, I invited the two of them for practice tomorrow. There's always room for one more. I've tried to reach someone who sings in the male chorus I sing in to come over too, with more ulterior motives. He's a wonderful tenor, but declined a few months ago when I asked him if he'd like to sing with us. He's retiring this month, so I thought this was a good time to not so subtly try to reel him in. If he can't make it, we'll be singing at the same program, on Sunday.

Good tenors are hard to come by..

Thinking about tomorrow reminds me of the last practice we had with our tenor, Derrick before he moved to Florida. Derrick was with us for 7 years and is one of the most delightful people I've ever hade the honor of calling a friend. That made our last practice very poignant. It was doubly enjoyable because Col K and Leadfingers were here and came with me to the practice at Frankie's house. It's a night I'll never forget..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 06:09 AM

Finally got the time to sit and chat ! Its been a bit chaotic here the last couple of days , and MY kitchen isnt big enough for a STOOL let alone a table folks could sit round !
Jerry - talking about meeting old friends , a thread was started late last year about Uxbridge Folk Club concerts , and one of the first replies was from EffSee , a new catter , asking about me ! Turned out he's an old RAF mate who I hadnt seen for over thirty years , and we are now in regular contact - He even made it to Portaferry in February , and it was as if we had been singing together in Changi Attic club last week , rather than in 1970 !
Oh , and dont bother with the tea pot - English I might be (and proud of it) but I still prefer a cup (Or perhaps a BUCKET ) of coffee .


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:56 AM

Hi Jerry,

As Shakespeare said, a blue jay hath murdered sleep. Well, he said something like that.

Actually, I like blue jays--and I'm glad to have them back--it means West Nile, which was really cutting them down, is on the wane. These must be the survivors who have genetically modified to counter it.

They have quite a few calls, including Jan's favorite--what she calls "bloopy bloopy", during which their head bobs up and down.

And of course it's partly my own fault I woke up too early (didn't bet to bed til 1)--ate weird stuff late at night. Didn't get back from work til 8:30 and she had cooked a Portobello mushroom with onions and some other things. Probably not the best thing to eat at 8:30. And then I was still hungry, so I ate bread and other stuff.

The song I woke up with in my head was, I think, by Joe Diffie

"I only planned on one or two--I might stay for three
If that good looking thang in the corner keeps staring back at me
It's so easy not to care 'bout what's right or what's wrong
It's too hot to fish, too hot for golf
And it's too cold at home."

I really like that one--and so does Jan.

There's an Ohrwurm (earworm) thread or there was--but I don't really see what the problem is for anybody who can sing. You just sing a song you like just before walking out the door. Then it'll stay in your head all day.

Admittedly I did have to ask a co-worker to turn down his music. But we're on good terms--and all I asked him to do was turn down the bass--so it didn't come throbbing through the wall. In fact, as I told him, I actually liked a lot of the music he was playing, but I can't work with a bass coming through the wall. I couldn't hear the words--but I could tell from the bass what song it was.

How are things in your neck of the woods?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 08:01 AM

Jerry-

And thanks so much for that R & B. You're really going overboard on your generosity. Mudcat must be turning out to be a big benefactor to the US Postal Service.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 08:04 AM

"Down on the corner where the kids hang out
And listen to the radio
At two in the morning, they act real mean
If you ask 'em just to keep it down low."

   Now isn't that a dreadful shame?
   Isn't that a dreaful shame?
   The kids can't have any fun anymore
   Isn't that a dreadful shame?

Yeah, I can't deal with that booming bass stuff. Sometimes they have the sound system up so loud in church before the service starts and they're singing Praise and Worship songs, I can't stand to be in the building... they even pipe the sound downstairs. I keep intending to print up some small stickers for the people on the keyboards and guitars that says:

God Is Not Hard Of Hearing

God wearing a hearing aid... now there's a good one.

Got Messengers coming... I'll check back in later and talk about birds..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 08:20 AM

Amos get this one finished - great song. when I fist saw the tread - I thought Jerry's had a great idea for a song. maybe you could manage with two verses. repeat the first. but what raptor said about the missing faces round the table needs to be in there somewhere.

you got me singing it already

all the best

al


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: kendall
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 09:57 AM

Jerry, I avoid all places where those empty headed idiots are allowed to take over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 12:28 PM

Hey Al: If you're referring to Dreadful Shame, it is a complete song.

The other verses are:

Old Aunt Addie she's lived too long
The neighbors all complain
Walking all around in an old print dress
She hardly even knows her name

   Isn't that a dreadful shame?
   Isn't that a dreadful shame?
   The old folks are messing up the neighborhood
   Isn't that a dreadful shame

(one the chorus, it's just the third line that changes)

Bill he's small and built for speed
His car is just the same
They caught him doing 50 in a 25 zone
Now the judge says he has to pay

   He had to pay good money just because he broke the law

Donw on the farm, the government pays
If you don't plant nothing at all
And then they try to tell you that the crops have all failed
And the price is going up in the Fall

   When a man can make a living doing nothing at all

Some are too young and some are too old
And most are too blind to see
You'd think with all these people who are living 'round here
There'd be a few as nice as me

   Out of all these people, not a one like me

It's alright to crack an instrument case here... we're in the kitchen..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 01:39 AM

There's a mighty fine book called "Kitchen Table Wisdom," by Rachel Naomi Remen.

Remen is one of a growing number of physicians exploring the spiritual dimension of the healing arts. "Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time," writes Remen in her introduction. "It is the way wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us live a life worth remembering." Remen, a physician, therapist, professor of medicine, and long-term survivor of chronic illness, is also a down-home storyteller.

"Coherent, elegant, mysterious, aesthetic," she writes. "When I first earned my degree in medicine I would not have described life in this way. But I was not on intimate terms with life then."


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 07:32 AM

no I meant the basic concept from your first posting on this thread Jerry

seemed like a really good theme, a powerful thought

perhaps I got lost in there, but I thought Amos had run with it

all the best
al


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 12:05 PM

Got you, Al:

That's not my gift. Looks like it is Amos's. You know, they talk about "gifted children," but everyone is gifted. Everyone. The secret is to recognize what your gift is (and isn't,) and be grateful for it. And not envious of other's gifts. It seems like most songwriters have the gift of setting out to write a song with a particular statement. When I try to do that, I get too self-conscious, and it doesn't work well for. I mean, the words rhyme, but it sounds like a song someone really tried hard to write. It should sound effortless... or at least, that's true for me. If I tried to write a song about a kitchen table, you probably wouldn't want to hear it. You, Amos and many others have that gift. I don't.
I don't write songs, I tame them. They are like shy, timid wild creatures. If I approach them too aggressively, they run for cover. I need to coax them out, encourage them and if they draw back, let them. They will come to me in their own time.

A few weeks ago, I invited a wonderful singer to sing with the Messengers as a possible replacement for our tenor who moved away. He considers himself a lead singer, and has sung lead most of his life. I told him that Joe, Frankie and I all sing leads, but we're not "lead singers." We're just guys who sing lead. There is a very different mind-set that "lead singers" have. They're itching to sing leads and when they aren't, too often they are thinking about how they would sing a song that someone else is leading (and of course, do it better.) The same perspective is true for me as a songwriter. I write songs, but don't think of myself as a singer-songwriter. I'm just a singer who writes some songs every once in awhile. That may be a subtle difference, but I think it is an honest description of my music.. where my gifts lie, and where they don't. It's why I could never do a songwriter's workshop where I give people advice on "how" to write a song.

Other than maybe "Don't make any quick moves or it will run and hide." :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 02:56 PM

I often feel I get more pleasure 'backing' a good musician or singer than actually being the front man - Though I HAVE done that in the past !


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 08:58 PM

The books sounds great, Elmer: I'll have to track it down.

I dunno, Lead... I can go either way, lead or accompany. Does that me bi-musical? Singing harmony and playing accompaniment is a definite gift which not all people have. I don't think anyone can equal Ed Trickett as an accompanist who enriches other musicians. He's a fine harmony singer, too. And not all lead singers can sing harmony... something I've discovered (much to my surprise.)

Jerry


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

Alright, we didn't sit at the kitchen table... we sat at the table in our Great Room Saturday morning. To eat. We must have cast iron throats because we don't seem to have any trouble eating, and then singing. One of the previous members in our group was always caliming to have problems with his voice. It was always one thing. Or another. Sometimes it was that he had eaten something, sometimes it was because he drank cold water. Maybe that was all true. I got the feeling that it was a serious insecurity that he had singing in front of others, and that was what caused his voice to tighten up when he stepped up to a mic. I know that used to happen to me, back when I was concerned about my own safety singing in front of people.

That said, we had our usual full plate of food to choose from... sausage and peppers, Kentucky Fried Chicken, sour cream onion dip and chips, tossed salad, sliced peaches and a variety of cookies.
Ruth and I invited my dental hygenist and her husband over and there was an instant connection. That doesn't happen often. It's happened to me with our bass singer Joe, and some Catters... Art Thieme, before we were Catters, or there was a Mudcat, jimmyt, Ron Davies, Peace, ColK, Leadfingers and several others (so no one feels left out..) It's a good feeling. Like making an instant friend. The process is simple, but it doesn't usually work so immediately.

Making an Instant Friend is much like making Instant Mashed Potatoes. Instead of opening a box and adding water, you open the door to your home and add love.

It's always exciting when it works (Instant Friends, that is... Instant Mashed Potatoes are never exciting.) And then the music becomes energized and very special. That's what happened here Saturday morning.

One of these days, we're going to get jimmyt and his wife, and Bobert and Pea-Vine up here. Our door is always open... just let us know that you're coming... we'll put an extra plate setting or two on the table.

Wrote a song about a dog (Rosco) with that idea in mind...

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

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 11:57 AM

Good thread here, once again, Jerry...

But kitchen tables are where you find them...

We had none at home when I was growing up. The dining-room table sort of was it! Even that became a place to leave quickly and move on from---a place to get away from in order to get back to your real life. My father passed away when I was five, and I never had that anchor or guidance in my life. (Could that be why I'm not a Republican? ;-)

An aside: Male role models were ones I chose for myself---often mentors from afar that I've spoken of here in many a thread.

THE NO EXIT COFFEEHOUSE AND GALLERY in Chicago became my kitchen table in the sense that this thread implies I think. As I said in greater detail in the "Great Coffeehouses" and Clubs thread, it was a multi-faceted oasis for me where songs were shared and friendships were made and dissolved--- where loves were nurtured -- and also, sometimes sadly, and other times not very sadly, dissolved. It was a place where thoughts and positions and ideologies could be crystallized---and possibly shattered---much like being here at Mudcat now that I am more isolated from our music.

I played and shared my music and ideas there at the NO EXIT for thirty-seven years---because the place was my touchstone---my KITCHEN TABLE. Carol and I hung out there---and so did our son, Chris while he was growing up because that is where his dad made music. That space in Chicago is used very sporadicallynow by
Michael James, the new owner. His main restaurant is the "Heartland Cafe" down the street. The dark brown burlap walls, and the old graffiti are painted white now.-----It is peopled my "here and now" folks---and some fascinating ghosts to boot.

Chris lives near it now. A continuum of sorts I guess!

But Jerry Rasmussen's Kitchen Table in his "guest house" where he lived while heading up the Stamford (CT) Museum And Nature Center was one of many on-the-folkie-gigging-road kitchen tables for me. Those, of necessity, became the setting for numerous road life birthday parties, New Years celebrations, Christmas times, and other holiday gatherings. Thanksgivings galore...

Thanks to all of you who made that camaraderie possible!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 11:20 PM

About backing vs singing lead. I agree completely that it's at least as much fun to harmonize as to sing lead. It's a skill in itself to be able to throw in a harmony that fits the song without trampling on the melody--just being part of the musical texture is immensely satisfying--and I love to do it. Jan calls me a harmony slut--I'll sing with anybody who likes it--duets, trios, quartets, bigger groups.

And it's also what I try to do with the viola--just compliment the melody--which it seems is much easier to do with a low harmony than a high one--so the viola works well. It's great fun to try to guess where the melody is going if you've never heard it before. And you have to recognize if the melody is more complicated than you first thought--and to just listen til you know you really have it. But it is great fun--and amazingly well appreciated.

If somebody is singing a cappella the chances are he or she wants to be free to lengthen or shorten the notes and phrases in telling the story--and you have to wait for a chorus or refrain before putting in a harmony. At least that's what I've found--and I have to admit that, sure enough, in the verses if I'm leading the song, I like to be able to be free in phrasing. Unless of course the song is an anthem--like John Tams' Rolling Home for instance, where the driving rhythm is important, even though the song is unaccompanied.

It seems to me that either you need to know in advance how the person is going to sing the song or there needs to be a very steady rhythm, often from a guitar--otherwise making up a harmony is really hard--and may even detract from a song.

But there are certain rough-hewn genres where there's more give and take--like sea chanteys.

It seems there's a whole science of harmonizing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:30 AM

Singing harmony... ahh.. there's a subject that's dear to my heart.

A few weeks ago, I was very excited about the chance to have a wonderful singer join the Gospel Messengers. Doug came with impeccable credentials, having sung most of his life with reknowned rhythm and blues groups, all the way back to the Five Satins, the Flamingos and the Coasters. My feel for harmony is just that... not based on formal training. I can read sheet music just passably, but I have always sung the harmony that I hear. The Male chorus that I've sung in for the last nine years sings from memory, not sheet music. When Doug came to our first practice, we were all excited at the prospect of learning more about harmony and we were very receptive. We quickly discovered that there's harmony, and there's harmony. And harmony, too. We sing in a very straightforward four part harmony. It's what we hear and what we love. Ironically, the first time Doug heard a CD of ours he said, "I thought you said you did old black gospel quartet stuff... this sounds like folk music." Was I proud, or what? Most of the older style black gospel quartet songs we do are done in straightforward four-part harmony. If that sounds like "folk music" it's because it is folk music. Doug's concept of harmony was much more modern and he tried to change our four part harmony to three part. It sounded great to him, but we didn't like it, and weren't comfortable with it.
I told him that we had gone from a trio singing three-part harmony to a quartet singing three-part harmony. That made absolutely no sense to us, and we parted ways very respectfully. We heard harmony radically differently. I ended up putting together a three page statement about what we seek in singing harmony, just to avoid repeating the same mistake with someone else.

Ya want to be a Messenger, Ron?

The workshop that I've done for many years, that I did a thread on here: The Gospel In Black And White has been a great revelation for me. It helped me to learn a lot about harmony. I can't say that I am really that much more knowledgeable I guess, and I still cannot express my understanding of harmony in formal terms, but I've become much more aware of how differently people hear harmony (and therefor sing it.)

I particularly enjoy singing harmony on a song that I've never heard before (singing very quietly until I'm sure that I know what I'm doing. If the melody and chord progression are fairly straightforward, I can anticipate where they're going and sing a fairly "safe" harmony.

When we had Colin Kemp, Leadfingers, Noreen, Theresa and Sussex Carole visiting us here at the house, we sang with the Messengers, alternating sea chanteys and old black gospel. It was great fun, and our harmonies worked well together.

If you ever make it to our kitchen table, I'll invite the Messengers over, and we'll have a fine time singing.

And eating.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:11 PM

Hey, Art:

Yes, kitchen tables can be anywhere. Funny that John Harford didn't write a song about "the kitchen tables of my mind." He coulda made a fortune and bin on tee vee. You understand what I'm talking about. It's the comfort of a friendship, or even a warm conversation with a total stranger. That can happen anywhere. I couldn't really write a nostalgic song about any kitchen table other than the one in the Gate House that we sat around many times when you came out this way. When I was growing up, we had a small kitchen and a small table covered with oil cloth. Remember oil cloth? Checkered oil cloth? I wonder whatever became of oil cloth. I bet the guy who invented it thought he'd be living in the lap of luxury until fashions cruely passed him by. We ate at our kitchen table. Very utilitarian. I actually have fonder memories of our dining room table, because we only ate there on holidays, when the whole family gathered together.

In my first marriage, our kitchen table was the water hole. My sons and I were gazelles cautiously approaching to get a drink, and my wife was a lioness hiding in the tall grass waiting to pounce on me to rip me to shreds when I sat down. I'm sure there's a song there, but it's not one that I want to write.

And then there were the years I lived alone in an apartment. Kitchen tables were never meant to be for one. They're too lonely.

Now my life is joyful, with a beautiful, loving wife to share the table with me.

That looks life four verses right there... nothing nostalgic... just real life. If my life is a song, I'm glad that it has such a beautiful last verse..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 11:28 PM

Whew! Thanks for the chair. It's lovely to be back. I've been a busy woman this last week, having moved from a roomy house to a two-room plus bath apartment. I'm still working on settling in, approaching it without stress. I've put up shelves and am getting everything off the floor that I can. I tell people that whatever doesn't fit in is going out the door.

But today is the first day I've worked my way over to the computer. I still have paths threading their way around the heaps here but it is wonderful to sit at the computer and join you at the table.

I've been thinking about song making lately. On occasion I've written songs - maybe twenty of them in my life, with long dry spells - but the last few days I've been realizing how very many subjects there are to be written about. It's an endless list - and if one got to the end, it would be time to start over.

I think that my bemusement stems from my reaction to Tommy Sands' concert here the other day. The man is such a marvel and just being around him opens so many gates. He's been here twice before and the peace that surrounds him is sweeter each time.

I just finished his book 'The Songman', and I'll be passing that around to a number of friends. He arrived without enough copies of it for everyone so many people didn't get one. I was fortunate enough to wait out two different women who were reading in it at the sales table and decided against buying it. I kept my mouth shut and my mind from sending any energy into their decision.

But enough about me - time to let someone else speak!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 06:52 AM

Definitely.. pull up a chair, Ebbie. My wife and I were just talking about moving, this morning. Not planning to move... being thankful that we're done. We moved up here 5 years ago when we were in our mid and upper 60's and we did it by ourselves. Neither of us wanted to end up trapped in the city where we lived and I knew that there'd come a time in our lives when we just didn't have the strength to face a move. The three most stressful events in life according to Psychiatrists are the loss of a loved one, divorce and moving. We've been blessed with very good health (and still are,) and were able to do the move alone. There was a ton of work to do on the house... some needed, most desired. But we did it. As you know, getting the stuff in the house/apartment is just the beginning. Then the real work begins. We moved from a two bedroom co-op into a three bedroom house with almost twice the floor space, AND a garage. The downside of that was that there was no necessity of getting rid of anything. We still have a lot of stuff that my wife has probably kept for at least twenty years in boxes that haven't been sorted through.

This morning, our son is coming over and we're going to sand and refinish the living room, master bedroom and hallway. Life will be total chaos for three or four days, so I'm going to appreciate stopping here at the computer and plunking down in a chair here at the table. We may not even be able to find our actual kitchen table once we move all the furniture out of the two rooms..

But life is good..

Nice to see you, Ebbie..

Jerry


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

Good luck with the floors, Jerry. It's not such a bad job but can get messy. Workin' around the house can be fun and rewarding.

I've been building myself a new workshop for the last couple of weeks and just need a minute or two to sit at the table and catch my breath. Ellen has been setting up a playroom in the basement for the grandkids too. It looks great and I'm sure the kids will have a ball.

I sure appreciated the music you sent. It's awfully nice to catch a new spark now and then. The Gospel in Black and White has become a favorite. I'm going to PM you for you address, I have some stuff I'd like to share with you too.

Bob


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

Hey, Bob:

Stage one done... clearing out the furniture, carpet and various and sundries and covering and taping over everything else. Like most things that are worth doing, the preparation time is more consuming than actually "doing" the project. We're taking it a little easy on ourselves by doing it in two stages so by the weekend we'll have the first half done and be human again.

I bought the printer I need to print labels on CDs, and once we get through this project, I'll do the labels. I am painfully slow at deciphering computer stuff, so it may take awhile. But, I'll get there. As Uncle Dave Macon sang:

"I'd rather get to heaven in a Mitchell Wagon than to Hell in an automobile."

It's not how fast you get there. It's how good a time you have on the way.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: ranger1
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:06 AM

Hey Jerry! Just stopped by for a cup of coffee and to shoot the breeze. I'm loving this thread. I've had a chair wedged up in the corner and just been listening to the conversation flowing through.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Modest but proud
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM

As one of the pioneers of the invention of the cochlear implant over 35 years ago I am still astounded by the advancement of the art and science of the device.

Here is the story of one man's quest to again hear Ravel's Bolero although he had become totally deaf.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4737586

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4737586


I was moved to invent the cochlear device when I heard a deaf student play the guitar impeccably but like Beethoven he could not hear what he played.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 05:46 PM

Musicians are coming in the windows. It seems like no matter what I do, I run into musicians. The one thing in common is that they aren't making a living doing music.

This morning, my wife, son and I went down to Home Depot to rent a floor sander and get all the supplies for refinishing the floors. My son Pasha was listening to the music being piped into the store, and started playing "drums" on some cans, and the many who was waiting on us asked if he was a muscian. Pasha said thqat he used to play drums, but I am the musician. The started a long conversation (basically a monologue) about all the years the man who was waiting on us had been a musician. He's probably in his 60's, I'd guess and first got excited about music listening to rockabilly in the 50's. Then, when he heard James Brown, he got in to soul music. He plays electric bass and for many years was in an 8 piece soul band. Now, he plays bass in a country band. He's played with the Drifters and a few other "name" groups, and I told him I had a friend who'd been in the Flamingos and the Coasters, and have met Fred Paris, the lead singer of the Five Satins.

There is a basic fabvric of music that runs through this country. There are countless people who have had their lives enriched by music. Only a small handful of them have made enough money out of it to support themselves. And yet music remains an important part of their life. Not just us folkies.

Today, when we took a break from working on the floors, I told Pasha of a tape I made, and encouraged others to think about. It was a Soundtrack Of My Life tape. If someone made a movie of our lives (which is highly unlikely) what would I want on the soundtrack? What would you... that's a separate thread, but I could see Pasha getting in to it.

I know that Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag would on his soundtrack... :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 05:49 AM

I think if you played the bass line or that guitar bit on Papa's got a Brand New Bag - you should be awarded a pension for life for services to humanity for making us all happy at some time or other.

a bit like the poet laureate


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 06:35 AM

I don't know how many of you have seen Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, about the musicians who were on all those great Motown hits, but it is fascinating. How good are they? Even Elvis Costello can't completely destroy their music. As an aside, what's with Elvis Costello? I can't think of anyone (other than perhaps John Davidson) who made such a long career out of such limited talent.)

I'dd add to Wee Little's Pantheon of Unforgetttable musical lines the opening to My Girl. That stops me dead in my tracks whenever I hear it, and it sounds as fresh today as it did the first time that I heard it. And then, you'd have to add several signature lines of Keith Richard's...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 08:12 AM

Well, as per usual I am loving every word of this thread...

You see, the P-Vine and I are going into our 8th month here in Pine Grove holler and we are just at that point in the redo of this farm house where we can evn discuss the luxary of having a "real table" back in our lives as the end is now in sight...

But we've been makin' do with a old table that she has owned forever that used to sit in the living room by the front door and had the important function of being the place where car keys were thrown...

...but it has been in service since the move and has been our office at times, a work table at times and the table where we had Christmas dinner with old man Clifford who lives here in the holler and ain't got nobody to look mush after him...

And it's where the lady who came to sell us carpet broke down and told us about arelationship which had soured and we found oursleves not only buying the higher priced carpet but playing mom and dad...

I wish I could say that I wrote a great epic or song at this table but I haven't but I did do the inside art work for my new CD on that table so, hey, maybe one day I'll write that epic or song about our experiences over the last 8 months...

But one this is for sure. Jerry is right. A kitchen table can be anywhere...

sniff...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 09:04 AM

Everytime I see the title to this thread I remember Orson Welles' brilliant use of the kitchen table in "Citizen Kane". The newlyweds move farther and farther apart as their marriage fails. Then there is James Cagney mushing a grapefruit into some blond's face - ah yes... the kitchen table.


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