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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


Ron Davies 24 Oct 08 - 11:47 PM
Ron Davies 24 Oct 08 - 11:53 PM
Ron Davies 24 Oct 08 - 11:54 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Oct 08 - 08:58 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Oct 08 - 09:00 AM
Ron Davies 25 Oct 08 - 09:04 AM
Waddon Pete 25 Oct 08 - 02:11 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Oct 08 - 05:00 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Oct 08 - 07:37 PM
olddude 28 Oct 08 - 07:50 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Oct 08 - 09:07 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Oct 08 - 09:40 PM
Waddon Pete 30 Oct 08 - 05:38 AM
billybob 30 Oct 08 - 01:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Oct 08 - 07:03 PM
Waddon Pete 01 Nov 08 - 12:09 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Nov 08 - 04:07 PM
maeve 01 Nov 08 - 06:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM
Waddon Pete 15 Nov 08 - 04:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Nov 08 - 07:14 PM
oldhippie 15 Nov 08 - 08:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Nov 08 - 09:09 PM
olddude 15 Nov 08 - 09:38 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Nov 08 - 11:01 PM
Waddon Pete 16 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM
olddude 16 Nov 08 - 01:52 PM
Alice 16 Nov 08 - 02:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Nov 08 - 05:04 PM
Alice 16 Nov 08 - 06:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Nov 08 - 08:36 PM
Peace 16 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM
Waddon Pete 17 Nov 08 - 05:18 PM
Alice 17 Nov 08 - 06:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Nov 08 - 09:30 PM
maeve 18 Nov 08 - 01:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Nov 08 - 02:26 PM
Waddon Pete 19 Nov 08 - 04:53 AM
Waddon Pete 22 Nov 08 - 03:38 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 08 - 09:33 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Nov 08 - 02:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 08 - 08:07 PM
Waddon Pete 30 Nov 08 - 10:18 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Nov 08 - 08:00 PM
Waddon Pete 06 Dec 08 - 03:30 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Dec 08 - 05:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Dec 08 - 06:54 PM
olddude 10 Dec 08 - 07:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 11:47 PM

Well, somebody had to do it. Tell you what, Elmer, I won't take 3,000--even if it's begging me to do it.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 11:53 PM

By the way: re: the Beans: they were at the Getaway. We really still miss you there, Jerry--hope you can make it down one of these times. I'd still--and I'm sure I'm not alone--love to hear "Living on the River" sung live by the man who wrote it---and hear a lot more songs.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 11:54 PM

And the political fever is going to break soon--even we addicts can hardly wait.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 08:58 AM

Politcal fever?

Hey, it a candidate couldn't make it for a rally, I could fill in for them, word for word. That's mostly true for McCain and You Betcha Sarah. You'd have to have been away on Mars not to have heard everything that has been said a thousand times. I rarely talk politics. I listen until I get the message, and then go about my business. Arguing politics is as useless as arguing religion. I try to avoid both.

But what about those formerly Devil worshipping Tampa Bay Rays?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 09:00 AM

Sorry you missed Bugs again, Elmer. If this thread ever gets to 3,000 posts and any of us are still alive, I'll hold Ron to his promise. One of these years, I'll make it to the Getaway, Ron. Nothing else is conflicting for next year, unless someone's planning to get married that weekend.

Maybe I could get down for a house concert again sometime.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 09:04 AM

Sorry, Jerry, political debating is in fact a terrible addiction for some of us. ( Especially this time when the choice is so clear. It's an abnormal feeling to actually look forward to voting--without reservations.)

But as I said, the motherlode is going to dry up in less than 2 weeks.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 02:11 PM

Wascally Wabbits, Politics and chickens?

Before this thread goes to the dogs a little story....by the way...make sure Jerry gets to the House Concert or the getaway!

At the singer's session we go to we were trading songs around the room. I sung a particular favourite of mine that I hadn't done there before and I noticed that one of the other singer's was looking stunned! When I finished he said, " I have just realised who you are!" Bearing in mind we had been going to the same session as each other once a month for a good year at least, I said, "Ummm?" It turned out that he had just made the connection with my singing at his local club Hrrrrhm years ago and, not knowing my full name, hadn't made the connection until hearing the song. Cue a wander down memory lane and a visit to the "what ever happened to so and so" club!

Pass the bagels, please!


Peter

P.S. Tell Elmer that there is a strange rabbit in our garden..it's escaped from next door but one!


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 05:00 PM

And here's a story for you, Pete. The story is true. Only the name of the banjo player has been changed to protect the guilty.

Many, many years ago I went to a concert at a coffee house. Several people had been invited to perform, including me. When I came in through the door, a banjo-playing musician, from here on identified as "The Guy," came over and shook my hand and said, "Ed Trickett!! it's great to see you again." Swiftly getting into the spirit of the moment, I said, "Eric Darling!!! how great to see you." The Guy is not Eric Darling and looks about as much like Eric Darling as I look like Ed Trickett. Even less so. I didn't think much more about it. I figured The Gut was just kidding around.

When it came time for me to do my set, The Guy was up on stage, because he was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. He looked across the room at me, standing way in the back and introduced me by saying "I'd like to bring up a good friend of mine, now. We've spent many hours playing music together. Let's give a big hand to ED TRICKETT!!!!!!!!" There was nary a "Yeah!!!" in the place. I called up from the back of the room and said, "I'm not Ed Trickett." With no sign of discomfort, The Guy called back, "Who are you?" And I answered, "I'll introduce myself when I get up on stage." This was a local coffee house where I'd played a few times before, and almost everyone in the place knew me. (I'd also been running a monthly folk concert series for close to twenty years, by then, and most of the audience had attending the concerts I presented.) The Guy had met me many times before, but apparently thought I was no one worth noticing.

The Guy is not a member of Mudcat.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 07:37 PM

Felling a little jangled tonight. Call me Mister Bo-jangled.Some major good stuff has happened to me today, and I'm not used to getting so much accomplished in a day, let alone a week. Of course, my definition of "accomplished" may not be everyone's. This morning, I spent almost two hours over a cup of coffee completely immersed in conversation with my friend Ken, who just happend to be a Baptist minister. He's writing a review of my book, and asked me to print out a few of the chapters for him. He's read the whole book through e-mails, as have a few Mudcatters. Ken is an interesting man, belying all the stereotypes about "men of the cloth." We met at a Christian book store/coffee shop, which might conjure up more images. I didn't hear nary a "hallelujah" while we were there, and the workers and regulars work Ken over pretty well when he's there. The place is like a coffee-ized version of Cheers, where everybody knows His name... We probably spent five minutes talking about my book. The rest of the time, we just had a free-flowing conversation.
I'm not a member of Ken's church, although Ruth and I attend a service once a month, and the Gospel Messengers have sung there many times. Because I'm not a member of the church, Ken can speak completely openly to me, knowing that I can hold a confidence. That means a lot to him. He has a heavy burden on his shoulders, with sickness and exhausting demands on him and his wife, helping for of his in-laws. I don't think I know anyone who has gone through more than Ken and his wife have, this last year. And it brings up the question. Who ministers to Ministers? Who comforts comforters? who do Advisors turn to for advice? There are so many people who dedicate themselves to being there for others. Who is there for them? So I spent most of the time talking with Ken about the things he is doing in his life that he loves (he is very dedicated to getting out into the community to help others, with very little religious proselytizing.) It was a wonderful morning. Two people attuned to each other, offering encouragement and understanding. I call that an accomplishment of the highest degree.

This afternoon, I spent a lot of time on the phone with the woman who is doing the final edit on my book. We're a half hour away from being finished, and it's been a long haul, full of self-doubts. It's sinking in that the book is essentially done and ready to go off to the publisher.

Talking with Ken,I was commenting on how our perception of ourselves limits what we have the ability to do. I've written all my life, and yet have never thought of myself as a writer. I think we're all vulnerable to that. I've communicated with other Catters who don't realize how gifted they are. Sometimes, it takes someone else to reveal our own gifts to us. That's another accomplishment of the highest degree. Ken gives humorous, nourishing sermons that send you out the door, lost in reflection. Not everyone appreciates him. They're the ones who are most vocal. Like all of us, Ken has gifts he hasn't even begun to manifest.

Now I'm tired, and the day is swirling around in my head. Should that all days be like this. What is more blessed that to share time with another person, lifting each other up.

That's what can happen around a kitchen table.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: olddude
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 07:50 PM

God Bless you Jerry
there is not enough good things that can happen to you my friend. I will buy your book in a heartbeat and can't wait when it comes out. And
today, I started your website

Dan


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 09:07 AM

Yo, Old Dude! Or should I say Young Whippersnapper? Thanks. All good things do happen to me. As soon as I get the manuscript off to the publisher, I'll get back to figuring out my Dreamweaver software so that I can fire up my website.

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day here. We live a ten minute drive from New Haven, Connecticut. I want a photograph of the doorway of an old church to use for the cover of my book, as the chapter that gives the book its title, The Gate of Beautiful is a story about a healing that occurred at the entrance to an old temple named the Gate of Beautiful. Ruth and I drove over to New Haven, parked our car and took a leisurely stroll around the green. You want old churches, New Haven has them. There are five or six churches around the edges of the park, and one smack dab in the middle. I ended up photographing two, and will probably use the old ok, wrought iron and stone doorway of a church in Yale University. I have a connection to the church because I sang there with the Greater New Haven Male Chorus a few years ago in the dead of winter. The furnace had gone out, and I don't think it was not much above freezing in the church. They had a full church, but no one removed their heavy winter coats. It was an experience I'll never forget. I've never sung inside a building where people were wearing mittens, and some of the women were shivering, wearing mink coats.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 09:40 PM

So, like what's going on over your way? I already know what I'm doing.

Tomorrow night is Halloween. The most memorable of all my Halloweens was four or five years ago, when several of my English friends in the Shellbacks were over her after the Getaway. They came over for Halloween we had a great time. None of them had experienced the whole trick or treat thing, and they had a lot of fun going to the door to give candy to the kids. It's something that I love. I've had many years when I was living where kids didn't come around. In New York City, the kids would just about call the police if you offered them candy. Now money, they'd hit you up for that...

This evening, I printed up a copy of the final, edited manudscript for my book. It felt reallll good, holding it in my hands. Tomrrow, after a final proof-read, I'll e-mail it to the publisher. This feels a lot like getting the test pressing of my first album for Folk-Legacy. Not quite real.

But it sure is fun!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 05:38 AM

Good to hear it is all coming together for you, Jerry. You'll be watching that mailbox like a hungry tiger!

What's happening? Well...a few of us are waiting for you to get the kettle on :0)...apart from that everything rolls on in bucolic rural state, with little to disturb the even tenor of our days...

Christmas has come early with half-hearted assistants under orders to bedeck the shops...which they are doing reluctantly as it is far too early.

In the old days.......nah, let's not go there!

Enjoy your day,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 01:20 PM

Hi Jerry,
how exiting to have your book published.Reading your stories at the table over the past couple of years has been a joy for me, I am sure the book will be brilliant,let us know where we can buy a copy.

The weather is what has been happening over here, snow at the start of the week, first time in October since 1930 something! I am hoping tomorrow will not be too cold as it is our wedding anniversary and we are going up the coast to Aldborough for a long walk and then dinner.
Then Guy Fawlkes night next week with bonfires and fireworks. Seems like winter is here too soon, and we really did not have much of a summer.That is why us British always talk about the weather!

We put the clocks back last weekend so it is dark before five in the afternoon.I saw my first Christmas tree in a shop window on my way to work this morning, Pete is right it is far too soon.Halloween tomorrow and November to go through before we should start to think about Christmas!
Hot coffee and a log fire please to warm me up!
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 07:03 PM

Hey, WendyPete:

Good to see that you dropped by. We did see a couple fine snow flakes yesterday, but it isn't that cold here yet. The fall colors are at their peak around here, so driving in the country is breath-taking, especially late in the afternoon when the sun is low on the horizon. That seems to bring the colors to their full brilliance.

Speaking of getting an early start on the holidays. They had Christmas decorations on display before they had the back-to-school displays up. August? It's time for the pre-season sales. Christmas, that is. When I was growing up, there was an unwritten agreement that no Christmas decorations in stores would go up until after Thanksgiving. Now, the Christmas season is as interminably long as the election season over here. Funny thing is, I've completed my Christmas shopping already, so that I can try to get beyond all the jingles and stale Christmas songs (Jingle Bell Rock, anyone) and focus on the Reason for the Season.

Today we were out shopping(Ruth hasn't finished her shopping, yet.) While she was at the checkout counter, I saw what looked like Easter Bunnies, wrapped in gold foil. I said to the woman at the register, "Please tell me that these aren't Easter Bunnies..." She said, "Oh no, they're reindeer." They'd drawn what were supposed to be horns on the Easter Bunny's ears and magically transformed them into Rein Bunnies. Rudolph the Rednosed Rein Bunny. Maybe we could come up with one irritating song that could cover all of the seasons.
Rudolph the red white and blue nosed rein bunny. That would take care of Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. Then, they could put a feather in his antlers to symbolize Thanksgiving.

I think I've stumbled onto the greatest potential growth industry in the world!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 12:09 PM

Ah Jerry,

Here's a song to start your road to riches!

Dear reader, if you are easily offended, or of a nervous disposition, please look away now!

To the tune of 'Boys and Girls come out to play'. All rights reserved!

Come and sing Hip Hip Hooray,
The Easter Bunny comes out today
To wish you all a Happy Yule;
The day that you don't go to school!
The Bunny brings presents
For me and you
To celebrate the old Red, White and Blue.

Fire your fireworks to the sky
For Easter Eggs are found nearby
Dropped by witches as they soar
Above the Christmas Tree once more!
Celebrate in Shamrock Green
The best Thanksgiving there's ever been!

I'll get me coat!

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 04:07 PM

LOL! That's great, Pete! I can't think of any way to improve it except to maximize its commercial potential, maybe you could change it to Hip Hop Hooray.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 06:10 PM

Hi, Jerry. We aren't offended by the absurdly early displays because we're usually too busy on the farm to get into town to see them.

This time of year has a certain urgency about it; as strong as the urge for birds to head south, but less picturesque. We just keep on clearing crops, cleaning up weeds, fastening plastic over windows, clearing out anything in the way of keeping warm with the wood and coal stoves.

It's time to set the potted apple trees and the sacks of potatoes in the cellar, the perennials from the stand into a bed of compost or onto the ground in the greenhouse. It's time to freeze, dry, and preserve produce or tuck it into the cellar until I have time to deal with it. Time to haul wood and bag up white pine cones for kindling, and to get those boxes of paperwork sorted and filed or recycled or composted.

It's time to clear out clothing that we don't need, and check the recycling shed in the village for a flannel shirt or pair of mittens to replace worn things that have become rags or fire starters. Coats we haven't worn for a couple of years will become a warm hug for someone else, and Mr. Reny will sell us some warm socks and long johns.

But soon, very soon, it will be time to learn and sing old songs and new, time to play the guitars, the dulcimers, the fiddle and whistle. It will be time to open the watercolors and paint scenes of the summer's garden wealth. Time to write and rewrite the songs and poems that linger in rough form in my notes. The mittens will be knitted and the quilts will be pieced. The house will be filled with the scents of fresh bread and jams and stew.

And this year, if we succeed in the clearing and cleaning and the seeking of order, we will have guests come to visit us on sparkling bright days and in the deep dark of evening. An empty nursery will be transformed into a welcoming guest room. Voices will ring in the front hall, and our house will have its blessing. Our lovelight will shine.

Winter is coming. Rejoice!


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM

Hey, maeve:

What a wonderful post! It brings back all sorts of memories of visiting my Uncles on their farms when I was a kid. Along the line, my mother's memories have been mixed in. They're just memories, now.

"Old Uncle Jim he said, said to his son he said
Wake up Howard 'cause it's almost dawn
The snow drifts have covered up the old hay wagon
Gonna have to dig our way out to the barn
The cows will all be waiting for the old milk pail
And it won't be long before the rooster crows
So we better hop to it, 'cause there's no one else to do it
And the sky is turning cloudy and it looks like snow"

                   Uncle Jim, by Jerry Rasmussen

My songs are full of references to the hardness, and joys of farming.

"When you're working five to nine, and you hear that highway whine
Makes you think the road can set you free"

I have a wonderful letter my mother wrote about her childhood on my Grandpa Holliday's dairy farm.

Thanks for bringing back a lot of good memories.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM

There's a chill in the air these days, and it makes me think that it's time to do some baking. I'm diabetic, so I haven't baked in a long time, but with the advent of Splenda (don't know what they have overseas,) I can bake again. I've been looking through my mother's recipe book that she gave to me when she was too old to cook, and I think I'll try something out. If it turns out well, I'll post the recipe on here.

Hey, we're sitting in the kitchen...

Any other recipes for baked goods anyone wants to share?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 04:12 PM

Hello Jerry,

Seems an ages since we chewed the fat. I see you are looking for some recipes. My Mum used to make the best cakes....they came from a packet mix.....good though!

Dad was the real cook in our family. His cherry pie was to die for. It has gone down in family legend as the lode stone by which all ventures are judged.

We have been through the rememberance time of year here in rural Suffolk. The village bell ringers rang a muffled peal for the fallen. For those of you who do not know what a mufled peal might be, let me explain. The bells have a leather muffle tied to them so that, as they swing, one side rings clear and the other side rings with a muffled sound.

There is only one thing more poignant than hearing a muffled peal ringing out over a village where a generation died for their country, and that is to ring a muffled peal for some-one you loved. I had that priviledge in the days when I was a member of the bell ringing team. Our next door neighbour died and, as two of us lived near her, we asked permission to ring her a muffled peal. The most uplifting and heart-rending thing I have ever done.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 07:14 PM

That's beautiful, Pete: Thanks for sharing.

A while back, I posted a story on here about the 105 year old woman. It's since grown into a final chapter for my book. This is the chapter. Be forewarned. It talks about my faith. If that's bothersome to it, you can skip to whoever posts next. Not trying to proselytize here. Mudcat has been an inspiration for several chapters in my book.

The Cosmos and the Check-out Clerk

        I was talking with my old friend Reverend Dennis Albrecht the other day. It's been many years since we last talked, but it felt like only a few days had passed. Dennis moved away and we'd lost contact with each other. I tracked him down through my old church where he was my pastor. It was Dennis who first encouraged me to write, and I felt the need to rekindle our friendship and express my appreciation for all that he'd done for me.
        The old enthusiasm was still there. Dennis talked about his reading and writing about God's revelation in the universe. He mentioned a book he'd been reading, Your God Is Too Small by J.B. Phillips, and as soon as we were off the phone, I ordered a copy. So many of the books in my library were recommended by Dennis that it felt like old times ordering the book. I told Dennis about my book, and thanked him for his inspiration and belief in me. Several of the chapters I've written grew out of letters to him.
The next day, I received an e-mail from Dennis, responding to the chapters that I'd sent to him. He wrote" I went through them quickly, but they have the Rasmussen flavor --- down to earth and clear." Reading that, I had to laugh. Dennis had the universe covered, and I was keeping my eyes out down here on earth.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
        And so it began. God is revealed in all that he has created. Being earth-bound, it is hard to comprehend the magnificence of the heavens. We stand here in awe, observing God's handiwork.
        It was on a night many years ago when I was out visiting my family in Wisconsin. My parents had gone to bed and I was feeling restless. There not being a whole lot to do in town, I drove out into the country. In the years that had passed since I'd left the Midwest I'd come to appreciate the sky. In New England, our view is often obscured by mountains and forests and I found that I missed the open vistas of the prairies. As I was driving along, I began to see faint ribbons of colored lights gently flowing across the evening sky. I pulled my car over to the shoulder of the road and stepped out. There was nothing around me but open fields illuminated by the brightest display of the Northern Lights that I'd ever seen. Many years before, I'd sat in the observation dome of an old world war II bomber flying over the Arctic ocean, watching the Northern Lights up close, but nothing compared to that night. As I stood there silently watching the ever-shifting ribbons of color, I felt like I was standing on holy ground. I marveled at the glory of God that was revealed in the prairie sky.
        When I drove back to my parent's house, I saw my nephew Mike standing in the street. At the time, he was staying next door to my parent's house. Even though the tree-lined street partially obscured the view, he was standing there marveling at the sky. He had been driving through the country at the same time I was and like me, he had pulled over to watch the display of light. We stood there together for a few minutes lost in thought before wishing each other a good night and heading inside.
        If you're looking for God, you don't have far to go. He reveals himself in everything that we do throughout the most ordinary day. Mountain top or prairie fields experiences are rare gifts to be savored and remembered. But it is in the valleys of our days where God's presence gives us strength and comfort.
        It seems like every time I shop in the store she's working at the check-out counter. Even though she often looks weary, she always has a smile on her face as she greets the customers approaching her register. The backbone of a store isn't the manager, as some might lead you to believe. It is the person who waits on you. Christ recognized the importance of service, and any job that is done out of a love for the Lord can be a ministry.
And whosever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:27-28)
        Standing there in line the other day I watched as a frail, elderly woman slowly placed her few items on the conveyor belt. She appeared to be lost in thought, her mind far away. When the woman at the register saw the woman, she broke into a warm smile and asked the woman how she was doing. As the woman reached across the counter to take her small packages, they spoke briefly to each other, the check-out clerk expressing her sympathy to the woman at the loss of her husband. It was only a brief moment in time, but I believe it meant a lot to the elderly woman just to know someone cared about her.
        When Christ chose his apostles, he didn't select the people held in the highest esteem. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were simple fishermen. If Jesus came back today and chose apostles, he would look into people's hearts to see the love of his father dwelling there. He would not be impressed with titles. He might well call a check-out clerk. You know he'd call some women. He is still calling us to follow him.
        If you are looking for God, he's not hard to find. He is in the weed that pushes its way up through a crack in the sidewalk, reminding us of the sanctity of life. He is there in the check-out clerk who stops for a moment to comfort an elderly woman who has just lost her husband. You can see him in the vastness of the universe he created and hear him in the silence of a cold mountain lake at sunrise. God is everywhere.

Hmmm... wrong story... I thought this was the chapter with the 105 year old woman. That did become a chapter in my book, too. Oh well...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: oldhippie
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 08:49 PM

WRITING ON THE WALL
[ country-folk; co-written by Daniel Muhammad ]

from freedomtracks.com


       Back in '68, in a land divided by hate

       Some picked up a sign, some a gun in answer to the call

       Headed off to war, what for, no one was really sure

       No one could see the writing on the wall


       Me and brother Abel, sittin' at the table

       Eatin' peas an' cornbread and Mom's warm apple pie

       The day she got the word, word she'd long since feared

       A note that said we're sorry, you're true love had to die

       And all that's left of Daddy is a name on some memorial

       Can't we see the writing on the wall?


       Seems again of late in a land divided by hate

       Some pick up a sign, some a gun in answer to the call

       Headed off to war, what for, no one is really sure

       Seems like no one sees the writing on the wall


       Yeah, we're sittin' at the table minus brother Abel

       Eatin' peas an' cornbread and Mom's warm apple pie

       Last week she got the word, word she'd long since feared

       A note that said we're sorry, your firstborn had to die

       All that's left of Abel will be a name on some memorial

       Can't we see the writing on the wall?


       Will we be sittin' at the table without the son of Abel

       Eatin' peas an' cornbread and Mom's warm apple pie?

       When she gets the word, word she's long since feared. . .

       Will we ever see the writing on the wall? *


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 09:09 PM

Good song, oldhippie: Thanks for stopping by. As someone who was at the first Woodstock, I guess I qualify as an old hippie, too. An old, pr3etty straight hippie...

The first verse of a song I wrote, May My Heart Find Rest in Thee:


I take cold comfort in the ways of man
I see no justice in this land
I feel the anger of the unstayed hand
May my heart find rest in thee

These are scary times, sure enough.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: olddude
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 09:38 PM

Hi Jerry,
just sitting here sharing a cup of tea with you. A neighbor gave me som herbal tea's. I am more of a coffee drinker but this berry flavored whatever it is ... well it is very nice with real honey in it. My old weiner dog doolie is on my lap and my new weiner dog puppy is playing with my sock. All is right with the world tonight. Can't tell you how much I enjoyed the chapter you sent me. It will be quite a wonderful book my friend. I was picking my 5 string banjo earlier. Wow am I bad .. but I have so much fun with it. Just like the sound of the banjo with folk music. Well I thought I would drop by for a visit

Blessings
Dan


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 11:01 PM

Hey, old dude:

A story:

Many years ago, when I was Director of the Stamford Museum in Connecticut, I started what I called a Potlatch with my dear friend Dallas Kline. I was running a folk concert series at the Museum, and Dallas was running one at a place called The Barn in Ridgefield. All of that was great, and each series had a loyal following. Still, it bothered me that folk music was being treated like something you pay money to come and listen to. I wanted to have a place where people could come and play, no matter what level of ability they were. I chose the name Potlatch because it's a Pacific Northwest Indian ceremony where the purpose is to see who gives the most. It never seemed to catch on in white society...

When we started out, there were people from rank beginners to professionals with albums to their credit. My desire was that everyone be encouraged and appreciated, whatever their ability. There was a tall, lanky man, Ben, who was one of the most loyal regulars. Ben looked about as close as you could get to being Abe Lincoln, and he had a Jimmy Stewart, "Aw, shucks, 'tweren't nothin'" personality. Ben played banjo. He only knew three chords in one key, as far as I could figure out. He didn't pick the banjo, he just strummed the chords with his thumb. Every song had the same rhythm. It was the only one he could play. He always played the same songs. His repertoire didn't appear to be any more than five or six.

As we went around the room, there'd be fancy finger-pickers on guitar, a kid who played hammered dulcimer who was still in high school and women with beautiful voices. And there was Ben. He'd lean back in his chair, close his eyes and when he sang, his whole body sang the song. Never mind that we'd heard it many times before, and it was always in the same languorous rhythm. It was new every time he played it.

More professional musicians would come to the Potlatch, trying to blow everyone away, looking as pleased as the cat who ate the canary after they'd finish their song. Afterward, they'd ask me for a booking. They didn't get it. Ben blew me away. The Potlatch wasn't about getting a booking, or looking better than everyone else. It was about giving the most.

Ben won.

Jerry

hmmm... I think there might be a chapter in here somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM

Hello Jerry,

That's a thought-provoking story about Ben. What does worry me about some of the comments on other threads is that cleatrly other clubs and sessions have their Ben's and they are being sidelined! IMHO those posters are missing the point...just as those folks in your story did.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: olddude
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:52 PM

What a beautiful story Jerry
Thank you, that is one for your book my friend

God's Blessings
Dan


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 02:01 PM

Your story of Ben reminds me of our small community of folk musicians here in Montana.
We get together sometimes in public spots like a bar, or in private homes or cabins in the woods. People bring to the table who they are and what they have and we appreciate what is offered. There are no official clubs involved, or dues, or organizers, rules or expectations. Music is music, and we share it with each other however we can.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 05:04 PM

Another story:

When I was in my senior year in college, I roomed with someone I'd only known a couple of months in the last semester of my junior year. At the time I met Randy, he didn't have a C average, but he wanted to go to graduate school. Sounded pretty stupid to most people. But not to me. When I was in my junior year, after having flunked out of college, I didn't have a C average and I made up my mind that I was going to go to graduate school. When I told one of my professors in my department of my intentions, he laughed and said, "Rasmussen, you don't have the chance of a snowball in Hell to get into graduate school with your grades." He never shoulda said that. But I'm glad that he did. I got straight A's in my Junior and Senior year and not only got into graduate school, I got a Teaching Assistantship. So, when Randy asked me if I thought he was stupid to want to go to graduate school, I told him that he should go for it.
Our senior year he asked to room with me and we took the same classes. Randy had no idea how to study, so he sutdied with me, and we helped each other review all of the material for our tests. While he couldn't get his grades up as high as I had, because he had a later start, he had terrific grades that year and was accepted into graduate school at the University of Kansas. He ended up getting a Doctorate and had a fine career as a college professor.

That year when Randy was rooming with me, I was just learning to play guitar. I was passable, but have never sung in front of a group, or anyone except my roommates, and some of the guys in my rooming house. Randy loved guitar, and after I'd moved to New York City and was taking lessons from Dave Van Ronk, Randy wrote and asked me if I thought that it was stupid for him to learn to play guitar. He couldn't sing to save his soul, and he never expected to play for anything but his own enjoyment. You can probably guess what my answer was. I sent him tapes and lesson plans in the mail, and had a chance to visit with him once, to show him what I'd sent him in person. I have no idea if he was ever good enough to perform, but that has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he should learn to play guitar and sing. If he was never good enough, he got an enormous amount of pleasure from playing for himself. And who knows, maybe he was underestimating himself. A lot of other people had. I lost track of him, so I don't know how good he got. All I know is sometimes all it takes is someone encouraging you to try to do something to unlock a potential you never knew that you had.

My best advice to folks and myself too is when someone tells you you can't do something, the best response is, 'Oh yeah!" That may not be the most intellectual comeback, but it's worked for me, and many others.

Since when did folk music get taken away from folks?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:48 PM

My parents did not have radio or records (or electricity) when they were growing up. Families and friends made their own music then. When I get together with the relatives, it is still normal for us to bring out the songs, the guitar, the fiddle. It's just a normal part of our family history. For my son - I've raised him making his own music, so he has carried that tradition on, and now in college, he writes his own songs and has friends who make music together with him. I know of many families who still make music at home together. There may be more of that going on than we suspect.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:36 PM

I'm glad to hear that, Alice. When I was growing up it was commonplace to get together to sing. Any house in the neighborhood with a piano was a likely gathering place. We didn't sing "folk music." I don't think anyone had ever even heard the term. Certainly, we weren't consciously categorizing music. We might sing The Blue Tail Fly or On Top Of Old Smokey, but no one said, "This is an old folk song that I learned from a recording released on the Vocallion label first recorded by Wade Mainer and His Mountaineers." Folk singers are so foolishly self-conscious about all of that. I can see old Dock Boggs sitting out on his front porch in a rocking chair on a Saturday night, introducing each song with a history of where he'd learn it, and other variations that he'd heard. We sang. Or played an instrument, if someone knew how. I suppose that because we played paino instead of a guitar or banjo, it was somehow less folkish. There'd always be a few hymns and popular songs of the time, translated into our own abilities and style with no attempt to recreat a recording. Sounds like a night on the porch with Charlie Poole and Uncle Dave Macon.

Every once in awhile when I feel everything is getting too precious at a folk festival, I'll burst into something like Blue Monday, or Searchin.' The thing that always gives me a kick is that even though it isn't pure, folks jump right in and have a good time singing along.

Sometimes we think too much.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Peace
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM

"Sometimes we think too much."

Truer words was never . . . .


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 05:18 PM

Hello Peace,

Good to have you here...pass me another cookie, if you would be so kind!

Yes, Jerry.....why do we sing the songs we do? Surely we sing songs or play tunes that have some resonance with us....so much so that we want to share them...they are all our favourites*, but they won't all be from the same genre. Some of our aquaintances find that very hard to cope with!

(*some, of course, are more favourite than others!)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 06:39 PM

Jerry, the other day, for some reason, when I posted my recent message on this thread, I had the scene from Blazing Saddles flash in my memory
quote:

    Bart: [Crooning, with fellow railworkers providing backing vocals] I get no kick, from champagne... Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all...[the bullying supervisors look immensely confused] so why then should it be true?... that I get a belt - outta you... Some get a kick from coca-yeai-yeaiiiinnnneee...
    Lyle: Hold it! Hold it! What the hell is that shit?! I meant a song! A real song! Like [singing] "Swing low, sweet chariot"...
    [The railworkers mumble to each other in mock confusion]

I thought of all the times songs of all kinds are mixed together in the groups of people I know, the freedom to sing just in the pure love of a song. It seems weird to me that there is so much categorizing and rules of what is allowable... or not.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 09:30 PM

Ruth and I spent today in New York City. It's a two hour train ride from up here in Derby. Among other things that we did, we went on a quest for a McDonald's. That sounds sicker than it was. They had a program on the Travel Channel that Ruth watches, listing the top 10 McDonald's restaurants. From what I remember, number 3 was in Hell.
Their flame-broiled big Macs are supposed to be fantastic, served on a pitchfork. One of the top ten is in New York City, where they have live music and waitresses. A big Mac still tastes like road kill, even if someone serves it to you. But, being the dutiful husband, we trekked from McDonald's to McDonald's because Ruth didn't know what street it was on. Finally after our search for the holy Broil fell through, I was getting hungry so at the fourth or fifth McDonald's, I suggested we eat there. That shows how desperate I was.

No sooner had we sat down than a young black man approached us, asking for change. You could tell that he wasn't "seeding" the pot like they do in tip mugs, putting singles and five dollar bills in to keep you throwing a nickle in there. This young man had a dime a nickle and two pennies in his hand. I didn't see him approaching, so when he asked me for change I shook my head, "No." After he moved on, I felt the desire to give him something, but I didn't want to pull a few pennies out of my pocket. When I pulled out my billfold and opened it, the first thing I saw was a five dollar bill. And I thought, "Why not, he needs it a lot more than I do." I pulled it out, walked over to the young man who by then had asked another dozen people with no contributions, and placed the five dollar bill in his hand. He stuck it in his pocket without looking, and then embraced me, repeating God Bless you! over and over again. I thanked him and told thim that God does, and wished him a good day.

When he left, I went to sit down and resume my McChicken Sandwich, my Mcfries and my McCoffee. No sooner had I sat down, then the young many appeared again, beaming from ear to ear. Apparently, he'd gone outside and fished the bill out of his pocket, expecting it to be a dollar bill only to discover that it was a fiver. He was so excited!
He thanked Ruth and me repeatedly and once again asked God to Bless us. It was a sweet experience.

When I lived in New York City, I slowly became encrusted with indifference. I'ts hard to avoid that when you live there. It was the primary reason why I felt that I had to get out of the City. Old voices would have said, "He's just going to use that money to buy drugs." And who knows, maybe he was. But somehow, I didn't think so.
Besides, thinking had nothing to do with it. It was an act of love.
Love is never completely in vain.

Later, I remembered that we watched Sullivan's Travels last night and there is a scene where Sullivan walks through the slums, giving five dollar bills to people who are down and out. We may not be that far away from a depression here, and maybe the image stayed in my mind. Whatever prompted me to pull out the five dollar bill, I felt good about it. Which reminded me of the chorus of a song I wrote a long time ago:

Love may be fickle, Love may be vain
Ignored or rejected, but all the same
Whatever the cost, love is never in vain
For love lifts the lover

And I felt lifted.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:48 PM

Hi, Jerry and friends. Have some pear-apple cobbler, still bubbling.

Twice this week I've found myself stranded on a back road with no telephone and a useless car. Both times I fully expected I'd have to walk twenty miles to get home. And both times an unexpected ride materialized in the person of a kind stranger who was just passing through.

The first was a young man from the fire station near where I stopped who had just achieved his dream of completing his EMT training. He and his boy drove miles out of their way to deliver me safely home, and refused to accept any money for gas. The second was just this morning, when a rough pothole on the side of the road ruined not only the tire but the rim as well. I walked to the nearest house and found a woman just about to leave for her Bible study class. Not only did she let me try to telephone my husband, she drove me 15 miles in the opposite direction from where she needed to go, just to get me safely home.

Both angels-in-waiting refused any sort of compensation; only asking me to do a kindness for someone else in return. I am grateful, and will comply with pleasure.

Try some black cherry icecream with that cobbler. Thanks for the visit.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 02:26 PM

Hey, Maeve:

Don't mind if I do. Pass the plate over this way, if you don't mind.
I've got a big tray of lasagna baking in the oven.

This is the chapter for my book that evolved out of yesterday's post.

Love Lifts the Lover
And Jesus said,
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; For I was ahungered, and ye gave me meat…
        Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee ahungered and fed thee…?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was ahungered and ye gave me no meat…
(Matthew 25:34-35,37,40-41)

My wife Ruth and I spent today in New York City. Among other things we did, we went on a quest for a McDonald's. Normally, we avoid McDonald's like the plague, but, we'd seen a program on the Travel Channel listing the top 10 McDonald's restaurants and one of the restaurants is in New York City. From what I remember, number 3 was in Hell. Their flame-broiled big Macs are supposed to be fantastic, served on a pitchfork. When we were in Asheville, North Carolina we went to the Mcdonald's across the street from the Biltmore Estate, where they have a fireplace and a player piano. The one in New York City, is supposed to have live entertainment and waitresses.
Not knowing the address of the Mcdonald's we were looking for we trekked from one McDonald's to the next, asking the people in each one if they knew where the fabled McDonald's was located. We never did find it. By the time our search for the holy broil fell through, I was hungry. We were at the fourth or fifth McDonald's, and we were tired of walking, so I suggested we eat there.
        No sooner had we sat down than a young black man approached us, asking for change. You could tell that he wasn't "seeding" the pot like they do in tip mugs, putting singles and five dollar bills in to keep you from throwing a nickle in there. This young man had a dime a nickle and two pennies in his hand. I didn't see him approaching, so when he asked me for change I shook my head, "No." After he moved on, I felt the desire to give him something, but I didn't want to pull a few pennies out of my pocket. When I pulled out my billfold and opened it, the first thing I saw was a five dollar bill. And I thought, "Why not? he needs it a lot more than I do." I pulled it out, walked over to the young man who by then had asked another dozen people with no success, and placed the five dollar bill in his hand. He stuck it in his pocket without looking, and then embraced me, repeating God Bless you brother! over and over again. I thanked him and told him that God does, and wished him a good day.
        When he left, I sat down to finish my McChicken Sandwich, my Mcfries and my McCoffee. Not long afterwards, the young many appeared again beaming from ear to ear. Apparently, he'd gone outside and fished the bill out of his pocket, expecting it to be a dollar bill only to discover that it was a five. He was so excited! He thanked Ruth and me repeatedly and once again asked God to Bless us. It was a sweet experience.
        When I lived in New York City, I found myself increasingly deadened to the people around me. It's hard to avoid becoming that way when you live there. It was the primary reason why I felt I had to get out of the City. Old voices would have said, "He's just going to use that money to buy drugs." And who knows, maybe he was. But somehow, I didn't think so.
Besides, thinking had nothing to do with it. It was an act of love. Love is never in vain.

Later, I remembered that Ruth and I had watched Sullivan's Travels the night before and there is a scene where Sullivan walks through the slums, giving five dollar bills to people who were down and out. We may not be that far away from a depression here, and maybe the image stayed in my mind. Whatever prompted me to pull out the five dollar bill, I felt good about it. Which reminded me of the chorus of a song I wrote a long time ago.
        Love may be fickle, Love may be vain
       Ignored or rejected, but all the same
       Whatever the cost, love is never in vain
       For love lifts the lover
And I felt lifted.

        It doesn't say in the bible how the people on the left hand responded to Christ's teachings about the needy, but I imagine they said something like this:
        "What are you talking about? The guy said that he was hungry, but he looked like a drunk to me. He wouldn't have used the money to get something to eat, anyway. He would have bought a bottle of wine. I work hard for my money. Why should I give it to someone
who's too lazy to work?"

        When you feel that God is putting it on your heart to help someone, don't analyze it. Just do it.

I'm glad that someone helped you, meave. They didn't stop to question whether or not it was convenient.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 04:53 AM

Hello all,

That lasagne smells awesome!

The posts from Maeve and from Jerry remind me that every interaction is akin to dropping a stone into the middle of a pond. Remember the fun we used to have as kids (or even today, if there's no-one watching)? We used to go to the local pond and see if we could get a stone to splash as near to the centre as we possibly could. The ripples spread out in circles from the splash and so it is with the ripples from our actions. We never know where the ripples are going to come ashore!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 03:38 PM

Hello again,

I went to a great little club the other night. Everyone was joining in, singing along and really enjoying themselves. It was like stepping back 30 years! Such enthusiasm should be bottled!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 09:33 PM

Ah sullivan's travels!

love Veronica Lake! The girl with peekaboo hair!

Reminds me of the first girl I fell in love with.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 02:34 PM

Last night, Ruth and I went to the 50th Anniversary of the Men's Chorus at Immanuel Baptist church in neighboring New Haven. I guess that's about as close to a "jam" that I get. I sang for two years in the Greater New Haven Male Chorus with most of the guys from Immanuel, along with men from several other male choruses, so it was like a reunion. There's one group of guys I could listen to all night who were there. They're a male chorus from their church, and almost every guy in the chorus (which varies from 6-8 men) could sing lead on r&b. Best yet, they sing a capella. Best yet, for me, anyway. They have such rich harmonies and such an incredible blend that the music gets down into soul. One of the guys in the group sang in Greater Haven chorus I was in. He sang the lead on The Hem of His Garment that Sam Cooke sang the lead on with the Soul Stirrers. He did a fine job on it. It's been three years since I last saw him. He's all of 15 years old, now. The group was a guest at one of the Gospel Messengers anniversaries, and we were glad to see each other again.

A second group, the Crescendos sang at a Swanee Quintet concert where the Messengers also sang, two years ago. Great folks, and a pleasure to hear them again.

Tonight, I sing with the Union Baptist Men's Chorus at an anniversary of another Men's Chorus of a church in Stamford. There'll be several other groups there, so I know I'll see a lot of old acquaintances. Should be fun.

Oh yeah, yesterday, I printed a copy of the final, edited and formatted manuscript for my book. It goes off the the publisher on Tuesday or Wednesday, along with the text and photos for the cover of the book.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM

We just got a beautiful e-card from Theresa Tooley. We'd sent her an e-card for Thanksgiving, chosen from Daysprings.com. Theresa was at our home on Halloween four years ago, and she is warmly remembered. It's wonderful keeping in touch with old friends. Now that I think of it, I said I'd attach a chapter from my book to her e-mail and didn't. I do that all the time... blush...

I'll do it right now before I forget...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 08 - 08:07 PM

This afternoon I stopped in at Walmart to get something and my friend the Checkout Clerk was there. I've shared chapters with everyone I've written about in the book, whether ther were mentioned by name or not. It just seemed right to do it. The other day I gave Sandra a copy of The Cosmos and the Checkout Clerk, which I see I posted in here a while back. She was very moved by it, and wants to buy a copy of the book when it comes out. She mentioned the book again today and I told her that I'd autograph it saying, "To Sandra, the Checkout Clerk" so everyone would know that she was the one I'd written about.

Every day I see people giving of themselves in what are considered menial jobs. No job is menial unless you make it that. You can be a corporate executive with a menial job or find vbalue in bringing in shopping carts from the parking lot. It all depends on the spirit in which you do the work.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 10:18 AM

Hello Jerry,

Well...the recipe said that the mushroom soup was "robust"....see what you think of it!

I guess there are quite a few folks out there who are waiting for a copy of your book, Jerry.

Thanks for keeping us updated.

Perhaps we could have a discussion on which supermarket has the most dedicated cashiers! ...and why is it that people who work in cut-price stores are so miserable?

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:00 PM

Hey, Pete:

I've been under the weather, with a stoooopid cold, but tonight I finally felt almost human. I wrote the text for the back of the book cover, and now everything is done and ready to e-mail off to the publisher tomorrow. I don't believe that the turnover time will be all that long, as I am publishing with a print on demand publisher. All it will need is demand... :-) The cover still needs to be designed and the text laid out to their specifications.

I've been thinking alot about quietness these days, something that is hard to find. Lucy Simpson, who was a wonderful singer and a regular in the New England area loved to sing the song Blessed Quietness. She sang it like she meant it, very soft and flowing. A few months ago, I was at a small black church where we were playing and the orgnaist lit into a Fats Waller sounding, breakneck version of the song. Apparently, the message must have slipped by him.

These days, everything is at eardrum piercing volume, whether it's the soundtrack in a movie theatre, or music in churches (at least in many of the black churches.) When I pull up to a stop sign and there is someone in a car in the lane next to me, the sound is deafening, even though both cars have their windows rolled up. I can't imagine how loud it is in the car that's playing the music. I don't know how it's like in England, but I suspect that it's the same. You folks are picking up all of our worst habits!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 06 Dec 08 - 03:30 PM

Hello Jerry,

I hope the cold has been sent on its way now. Onion soup is good for colds. Mind you, onion soup is good for anything!

The status symbol of a good sound system in your car cannot be ignored. If you draw up at the lights and you are bopping along to Jerry Rasmussen's greatest hits this is not seen to be as trendy and today as having the whole car vibrating to the steady boomp boomp boomp from the enormous bass speaker in the boot. (Trunk to you on the left of the pond!)In the good ol' days the boot (trunk) would be home to a few leaves left over from the last trip to the dump, a foot pump and a pile of re-usable supermarket bags. Nowadays it is likely to be taken up by a massive loudspeaker! All that is then needed is an endless tape which plays "boomp boomp boomp" over and over again!

In such an environment, I'm afraid folk music doesn't cut it!

(Mind you, the job to train up for now would be something to do with the manufacture and sale of hearing aids!)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Dec 08 - 05:15 PM

Hey, Pete:

A few years ago, I was asked to perform for a street fair sponsored by a black church in the poorest section of town. Now, I'd rip right in to a set of black gospel with my electric guitar and amp (not blasting, though) and get people dancing. Black gospel with an electric guitar is something the people are familiar with, and dance to. I just had my acoustic guitar and a feeble sound system, and it was the end of the day. They were already packing up the chairs and tables. Not your long-dreamt for chance to perform.

As I was tuning up over by the side of the church, three or four young teenage girls came over and asked me if I was going to play any top 40 hits. I told them, no, but I would do some "lower 40" hits. (over here when you talk about the lower 40, it was the poorer section of land... 40 acres of lowland, probably not suitable for planting.) When I finally got up to "perform" the crowd had thinned out and the older folks were packing up the folding chairs and tables. A good sized group of kids came over, though, and started dancing to my music doing an impromtu Buck and Wing. Now, folk music is good to dance to if your name is Morris or Square or Contra, but it doesn't easily lend itself to the Buck and Wing. Black kids have never heard folk, unless it's an insipid version of On Top of Old Smokey in third grade. But, I do a few country gospel songs that have a strong back beat and that was enough to get the kids out in the parking lot dancing up a storm. We surprised each other.

And yes, my cold is gone and I'm deep in writing Christmas cards. They've also told me that I will get two original cover designs for my book to chose from before the end of next week.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:54 PM

Before this thread settles in for a long winter's night, I'd just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Whatever the season means, or doesn't mean to you, I hope that you find joy in these days amidst all of the endless distractions. Think little.

A couple of days ago, I was driving over to my Doctor's office for an appointment. As I was passing a cemetery, I noticed a bearded man all bundled up to ward off the bitter cold. He was pushing a shopping cart, and had several plastic bags tied along the sides. It looked like he was walking along the road hoping to find a discarded soda can or two that he could turn in for the nickel deposit. He was having difficulty walking, with one hip hiked up, dragging one leg
after his good leg. He was making slow progress, and he had to stop every few steps to catch his breath. When I'd passed him, I pulled over to the side of the road and turned around, heading back to where he was struggling along. He'd barely made it ten feet, and the wind was whipping across the cemetery.

I parked my car, and hopped out (How blessed it is to be able to hop out of a car, let alone own one on such a cold day.) I walked up to him from behind and called out to him, "Excuse me!" When he turned around to face me, I was shocked. He was dressed so raggedy and he had a full gray beard, but his face was youthful. I reached out my hand to him, holding a folded ten dollar bill, and handed it to him.
"Merry Christmas," I said. At first he looked confused, not comprehending what I was doing. He took the bill without looking at it, and held his arm out to me. I took it, and looked him in the eye and said, "God bless you!" He never said a mumbling word.

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart. In here, people can get all wound up if you say "God bless you!" They want to start a fight. I'm not telling people what to believe, or judging them. I am just speaking from my heart, out of love. There's precious little love in this world that it should be rejected so readily.

As I was walking back to my car I thought, "That could be Jesus." He said that what we do for the least of people we do for him. Maybe that's why I was so moved.

I post this understanding that this site has some deep-seated antagonism toward Christianity. I'm, not bothered by that. We all should feel free to express what we think and feel without being judged. Even Christians.

All we need is love.

Have a wonderful holiday season...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: olddude
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:07 PM

Jerry
You are a treasure to anyone who has ever met you or talked to you or even simply passed by. You are one of the kindest most sincere people I have ever met. Your heart is surpassed by none. I have met only a few people in my life that has the same heart. Harry Chapin was another and you so remind me of Harry.

God Bless you Jerry, because everyone who knows you is Blessed

Dan


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