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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


Jerry Rasmussen 06 Apr 09 - 07:56 PM
BusyBee Paul 07 Apr 09 - 01:44 PM
Stephen L. Rich 09 Apr 09 - 02:13 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM
Waddon Pete 14 Apr 09 - 04:26 AM
maeve 14 Apr 09 - 05:34 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Apr 09 - 07:59 PM
Waddon Pete 18 Apr 09 - 04:06 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM
frogprince 18 Apr 09 - 10:43 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Apr 09 - 03:25 PM
frogprince 19 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM
BusyBee Paul 19 Apr 09 - 06:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Apr 09 - 08:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Apr 09 - 07:22 PM
billybob 21 Apr 09 - 10:01 AM
BusyBee Paul 21 Apr 09 - 01:38 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Apr 09 - 08:54 PM
BusyBee Paul 22 Apr 09 - 05:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Apr 09 - 09:08 PM
Waddon Pete 25 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Apr 09 - 09:22 PM
BusyBee Paul 26 Apr 09 - 02:02 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Apr 09 - 10:07 PM
Tootler 27 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM
BusyBee Paul 27 Apr 09 - 05:33 PM
Waddon Pete 28 Apr 09 - 03:49 AM
maeve 28 Apr 09 - 10:02 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Apr 09 - 10:30 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Apr 09 - 06:58 PM
maeve 30 Apr 09 - 07:01 AM
BusyBee Paul 30 Apr 09 - 01:42 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM
cobra 30 Apr 09 - 04:32 PM
billybob 01 May 09 - 08:59 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 May 09 - 10:01 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 May 09 - 04:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 May 09 - 05:41 PM
Waddon Pete 03 May 09 - 02:31 PM
BusyBee Paul 04 May 09 - 05:08 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 May 09 - 06:25 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 May 09 - 12:21 PM
BusyBee Paul 06 May 09 - 05:35 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 May 09 - 09:42 PM
Waddon Pete 09 May 09 - 04:15 PM
BusyBee Paul 10 May 09 - 01:35 PM
maeve 10 May 09 - 01:41 PM
Waddon Pete 14 May 09 - 03:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 07:56 PM

Allright, I have to admit it. I am feeling pretty darned good tonight. And very thankful. This afternoon I got a call from a writer for my hometown newspaper telling me that she wanted to do a feature article on me and my book for Easter Sunday. I sent her a book three weeks or so ago, as I did to two other newspapers, and had kinda given up on getting a review. Oh me of little faith. We talked about a half an hour, the first few minutes about the folk songs I've written about my home town. I mentioned three songs in some depth, and sent her the lyrics after the phone conversation. They were The Silver Queen (I told her that Roy Harris did the definitive version of it,) Living on the River and County Fair. When she asked how I came to finally write the book, I talked about this thread and Mudcat. Several of the chapters grew out of stories first told right here at the kitchen table, and my greatest encouragement to write the book was from none other than our intrepid big game hunter, Elmer Fudd.

And then we talked about why Easter Sunday was the perfect day for the article. If you're a Christian, Easter Sunday is THE day... not Christmas.

As you can imagine, I'm very excited about this...

Jerry

and kudos to Mudcat and Max, and the kitchen table crowd!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 01:44 PM

Jerry, that's very good news indeed and, as you say, good news is just the thing on Easter Sunday.

And you are lower in calories too!.

Good on yer, mate!

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 02:13 AM

That's great news! Way cool.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM

This is the text of the article they published in my hometown newspaper Easter Sunday, minus the photographs. It gives credit to my friends on Mudcat, especially those of you around this table although no one is mentioned by name. One of the mudcatters who was most encouraging was my friend Miriam Hospodar, aka Elemr Fudd. Aka... sounds like a cat coughing up a hairball...

Some people know Jerry Rasmussen as a songwriter, who first starting penning verses about Janesville during the folk explosion of the early 1960s.
Now the 73-year-old hopes people will enjoy his new book as much as his homegrown lyrics.
Just in time for Easter, Jerry has written, "The Gate of Beautiful: Stories, Songs and Reflections on Christian Life." His book is a strong affirmation of his Christian faith, but it is not just for Christians.
"I have friends, who are atheists, agnostics, Jews and Muslims, who are reading it," Jerry says. "They are not offended by my faith because I am not judgmental."
A Janesville native, Jerry lives in Derby, Conn., and is retired from museum work. For decades, he has written and sang original and traditional songs of rural America and has recorded five CDs.
His new book is an outgrowth of a lifetime of letter writing and, more recently, the posting of stories online for the folk music community.
"People enjoyed them so much that I started to believe I had the ability to write a book," Jerry says. "Then the stories really started to flow."
One of the chapters relates to Easter.
In it, Jerry talks about how "a cross once topped every steeple in the country as a reminder of the price Christ paid for our sins."
"We were taught that our salvation came through the cross," Jerry says. "Yet, these are hard times for the cross…In some of the largest contemporary churches, a cross is nowhere to be found."
He calls the cross central to his faith and the faith of all Christians.
"It is a reminder of the victory Christ won for us by his death," Jerry says.
Earlier this year, Jerry published his book through Outskirts Press of Denver. He shares insights about the handiwork of God through the stories of a weary traveler on a Greyhound bus, rambling hoboes and one-eyed dogs.
Jerry was born and raised on Caroline Street in Janesville. He graduated from Janesville High School in 1953 and worked summers at the Fisher Body plant to pay his way through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Later, he moved to Greenwich Village, where he began writing folk songs.
"I was separated from Janesville and my family," Jerry recalls. "I missed them, and my way of going home was writing songs about Janesville."
One popular tune featured the Silver Queen, a boat that plied the Rock River at Janesville during the 1940s. Jerry has boyhood memories of watching World War II soldiers home on leave fox-trotting with their sweethearts on a floating dance floor.
He also wrote songs about the Rock County 4-H Fair and a former tavern on Main Street, called the Bear Trap Bar. His rich baritone and knack at writing catchy choruses have made him a popular fixture in the folk music world for decades. To date, some 20 recording artists have performed his songs, including the enduring Art Thieme.
When Jerry was not singing and accompanying himself on guitar or banjo, he worked at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford, Conn., for 30 years. He retired in 2000.
His ties to the Midwest remain strong, and most of his family still lives in Janesville, including his two sisters. When he visits the city, Jerry performs at Cedar Crest, where both of his parents lived for many years.
He is proud of the fact that the editor of his book did not find a single mistake in language usage.
"I think back to my English teacher at Janesville High School, and how she pounded grammar into us," he says.
"It is still in there all these years later."
--
--
Anna Marie Lux is a columnist for The Janesville Gazette. Her columns run Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call her with ideas or comments at (608) 755-8264, or e-mail amarielux@gazettextra.com.
--
--
WHERE TO GET BOOK
Jerry Rasmussen's book, "The Gate of Beautiful: Stories, Songs and Reflections on Christian Life" is available from www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. It is also available for $17.90 by writing to the author at 95 Hillcrest Ave., Derby, Conn. 06418. Contact him at: geraldrasmussen@sbcglobal.com/lists

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:26 AM

That's a good write-up, Jerry! I hope it increases the sales for you. Have you done the book signing yet? We with the half empty coffee cups are intrigued to know!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:34 AM

That is an interesting article, Jerry. Congratulations. I've brewed some fresh coffee and washed the mugs.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 07:59 PM

There's an unexpected phenomenon I've witnessed many times. Just when you think that someone has been put in your path to help you, you realize that you've been put in their path to help them.

I've been systematically seeking out bookstores where I might be able to do a music program and book signing. The options are very limited because Barnes & Noble and Borders book stores have swallowed up almost all of the independent book stores. And Barnes & Noble and Borders would love to have you do a book singing if your name is Stephen King or Tom Clancy. Otherwise, there's nothing in it for them. That's even moreso if you've self-published your book. That's worse than having halitosis AND pimples.

Today, I drove to a small neighboring town just 8 miles from here to check out a small Christian book store. The minute I stepped into the store, I realized it wasn't a possibility. There was barely enough open floor space for a person to stand. As I looked around the store, I could see how disorderly their book section was, and how the gift section had taken over most of the space. The book section was definitely not inviting. I could easily have just turned around and walked out. Nothing there for me, and the owner was talking to a customer. But I thought, "I might as well be friendly to the woman and tell her why I'd come in the store, even though I dodn't see any likelihood of being able to do a book signing.

When the woman was finished talking to the customer she asked if she could help me, and I showed her my book. I told her that I was just becoming aquainted with the bookstores in the area, but it didn't like there would be any space to do a book signing or music in her store. Much to my surprise, she was very enthusiastic. And then she poured out her story. She was behind on her rent for the store, had three children she was raising as a single mother, and her husband wasn't paying the alimony the court ordered. She didn't have the money to hire a lawyer, so she was struggling to keep going on her own. She works six days a week in the bookstore, and when it closes she works as a waitress at her landlord's restaurant trying to keep him from closing her store because she's behind on her rent. She is looking for any way that she can attract people to the store, and was excited about having me do a book signing and live music. Stephen King and Tom Clancy hadn't walked through her do, so I was the best of what was left. I left a book with her, some promotinal material and a flier I did for the book signing I'm doing next weekend, and she made it clear she wanted me to do a book signing as soon as she could set it up to try to bring some money in. Anyone who is counting on the money I can generate is in desperate straits. Forget Dire. I told her I'd be very happy to do it and would do a flier for her, and send fliers out to all the area churches because as she said, she doesn't have any money to publicize the book signing. I felt really good about the whole thing. Sometimes just wanting to help, no matter how small that help may be can mean everything to someone who is just trying to hold on.

That's good to remember

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:06 PM

Hello Jerry,

A great happenstance! You could have so easily shrugged, turned away and left. I'll bet that the signing there will be a great success and, who knows where it may lead?

Just remember to take your pen!

It has been a lovely spring day here and we have stewed some of the first rhubarb of the year. If you supply the custard, I'll supply the rhubarb!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM

Rhubarb! Oh, Man!!!!!! We had a big rhubarb patch in our back yard and I loved it. Nothing like picking a stalk, rubbing the dirt off on you pant leg and taking a great big bite. Your face would scrunch up something fierce, but once you got past that first bite, you found your stride. We had cooked rhubarb as a desert dish, or over vanilla ice cream, so I can taste it over custard even though I never had it that way. I love strawberry rhubarb pie too, but they haven't developed a sugar free version of it yet. And it takes a lot of sugar. I'm a "perfectly controlled" diabetic... my doctor's phrase. I control my blood sugar level by diet and excercise, and only have it checked once every six months.

Last week we went to visit a friend who sings in the Men's Chorus. He's at least 20 years younger than I am, and is diabetic. The had just surgically removed his big toe on one foot, and he is terrified that it won't heal. We used to visit another man who had his to removed, then his foot, then his leg to above his knee, and then he was gone. I like my feet even better than strawberry rhubarb pie.

There are other sweets that don't come from sugar.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: frogprince
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:43 PM

Jerry, My Mrs. is a life-long type one diabetic, totally insulin dependent. she has to calculate the carbohydrates in every bite she eats. She doesn't eat junk, with no nutrition but sugar, at all. But she makes an occasional fruit pie or such with Splenda, which has been on the market for a few years now. Just use it instead of sugar; that simple. It costs enough more than sugar that us mere mortals aren't about to consume it by the bucketful, and I wouldn't advise any diabetic to use it as an excuse to shovel in sweets. But if you have your lady make a strawberry rhubarb pie sometime when friends will be sharing it, and have yourself a modest sized piece. Then continue taking good care of yourself on a regular basis, 'cause it does seem like some folks like having you around for some reason. : )
                      Dean


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 03:25 PM

Ribbit, Frogprince:

I have a bag of splenda with the intention of making some baked goods. Funny thing is, good intentions never accomplish anything. You actually have to do it. It's like the guys in my rooming house back when I was in college who said, "I'd give my right arm to learn how to play guitar," and I'd answer, "Give me fifteen minutes a day and I can teach you." "Fifteen minutes a day!I said I'd give my right arm, not fifteen minutes a day."

My first baked goods I want to do is to make me some cowboy cake, if I can find the recipe. Simply to make and impossible to stop eating.

I have type two diabetes, so it's far easier to keep under control.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: frogprince
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM

Would you believe, you popped back in while my wife and I were looking online for possibilities for you? This is one other thing we stumbled on.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 06:34 PM

Hi All,

I've just got back home from a trip down to Surrey (south of London) to visit my Mum who has been in hospital since last Monday. The good news is that she will hopefully be discharged tomorrow (Monday). Phew!.

Jerry, your bookstore story looks like Chapter One of the sequel to me!

Rhubarb crumble - delicious!.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 08:55 PM

Thanks, frogprince. I notice though that sugar is listed as one of the ingredients yet interestingly enough, it's not included in the nutritional breakdown in the box. Hello Splenda. Makes me think I have to find that cowboy cake recipe first.

You are a wise woman, Deirdre. I would not be suprised in the story about the small bookstore ended up as a chapter in my next book. Funny you should mention that. As I was talking with the woman and she was pouring her heart out to me, a complete (but not perfect) strangers, she paused and asked me what my book was about. I said, "It's about every day events and people I meet where I feel the presence of the Lord. Like this moment." I told her that my podiatrist is in my first book, as is a woman who is a checkout clerk at Walmart, and people I've met on the riverwalk in Derby.
No fancy-schmancy theology. Just everyday folks trying to reach out to each other. I've never found strangers strange. Some folks I've known all my life seem pretty strange to me.

Thanks for the heads up, Frogprince. Maybe I'll have to send you and your wife a piece of cowboy cake. I'm going to look for the recipe right now.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:22 PM

Oh yeah... forgot this.

Last Sunday, Ruth and I went to visit a man who was Ruth's hairdresser for several years and who sings in the Men's Chorus that I sing in. We're not close personal friends but when we heard he was in the hospital, we wanted to visit him. James is diabetic and was very depressed and frightened. We'd talked to him over the phone a couple of times and he was extremely upset because they had to surgically remove his big toe. I gave him a copy of my book in hopes it would help lift his spirits and as we talked we asked him about his wife. We've met her a couple of times but didn't know her name so we asked him. He said, her name is Deirdre, and it would mean so much to her if you pronounced her name right. I said, oh, she's named Deirdre, just like my friend, and I spelled out the letters of her name. He was grinning from ear to ear and he said again, "you don't know how much it means to her to have someone pronounce her name correctly!" and I answered, with a name like Rasmussen, you don't have to tell me about it...


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 10:01 AM

been popping in to the kitchen on and off , just listening in the corner.
We had some sad news last week one of my oldest friends( in years not age) died on Easter Monday. Viva was the most generous and kind person you could wish to meet. She had been ill for some years and the last two underwent some serious chemo and radio treatments.She sang in a trio with two other great girls. Last summer they did a house concert in our garden,she wrote all their material, incredibly funny songs with amazing props, and people literally fell off the seats laughing.She had the most wonderful smile and personality, an amazing voice and songwiting talent.
We saw her again in November in concert down in Somerset, she was very unwell but somehow when she went on stage the place lit up. She was still performing in February and on Valentines day they did a brilliant concert ,the hall was decorated in purple and pink, her favourite colours, even matching raffle tickets!
We are going to her funeral on Monday in Dorset, to celebrate a wonderful woman and a life that brought joy to so many people.Another in the heavenly choir too soon.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 01:38 PM

Jerry,

It does me a power of good to see someone spell my name correctly (correctly for me, I should add). I get various spellings and the English spelling is, in fact, Deidre. But my version is the Irish one. I had my first argument at school about my name at the tender age of 5!. The teacher told me I was stupid and couldn't spell my name, to which I replied that I wasn't stupid but she'd got the spelling wrong. So, I was hauled before the headteacher who also admitted she hadn't got a clue how to spell my name and looked it up in my file - to find a third variation!. My mother went to the school with me the next day and told them they were all stupid!.

Billybob - I thought about you when I read the thread about Viva. I hope the trip to Dorset goes well.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 08:54 PM

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Wendy. She sounds like she was a wonderful person. People die like they live.
A simple truth. Maybe sometime I'll post the chapter I wrote about my mother's death. She knew she was dying but she was concerned that her best friend Bess wouldn't be by her side. She asked the nurse to call Bess, but Bess was in the shower. Somehow, my mother held on until Bess was out of the shower and heard the phone ring. Bess knew it was coming so she raced to my mother's room and as soon as she reached the bed, my mother weakly reached over to hold Bess's arm, smiled at her and was gone. She died like she lived, thinking of others. It sounds like you friend was much the same.

Troubles with folks spelling your name wrong, Deirdre? You can imagine mine. My favorite was Rasmuffin. Or maybe it was Rafmuffin.
Apparently I told them my last name with a mouth full of crackers.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 05:48 PM

Jerry, I think the worse case was someone spelling it Deodry - makes me sound like your favourite underarm spray!.

LOL!

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM

That's hilarious, Deirdre. That's even worse than being mistaken for a muffin!

My friend's wife, by the by, spells her name the same way you do. That's why he was pleased when I spelled it correctly.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 09:08 PM

In no particular order.

I've been sitting here looking at recipes in the Baking With Splenda book I bought a while back. I'm trying to find a recipe I don't want to try, but so far I haven't. I thinks it's time to fire up the oven.

Ruth and I went to a volunteer Apprication lunch today... very nice. It was given at the Health Care Center where we've gone for the last six years, once a month. For four of those years, I've provided the music for a church service and the other two, I did a concert of gospel music once a month, with some occasional scriptural readings and commentary because the pastor of the church had moved away and the church was pastorized. (I know, that's not a real word.)

At the lunch, someone came up and said, "I saw the wonderful review of your book in the paper!" That was news to me. I asked which paper it was in and she said, "Oh, I don't know, the Connecticut Post or the New Haven Register." When did you see it? I asked. "Oh, I don't know, a couple of days ago, I guess."

After the lunch, Ruth and I drove down to the main office of the Connecticut Post. (Here's the folk music connection.) Steve Winters, Editor of the Post offered to have the paper review my book when I ran into him at a Paton Family concert. When we went up to the main desk and told them we were looking for a book review that Steve Winters had set up we were informed that he retired today. "Oh,I don't know,maybe it was yesterday or a couple of weeks ago." She really didn't say that, although I was prepared for it. After carefully looking through paper after paper, we found it in the Sunday paper on the front page of the Arts & Travel section. This is Thursday, so it wasn't a couple of days ago. At least the woman was right. She really didn't know. But it was good to see it before it disappeared into the ether.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM

Hello,

It's been another lovely spring day here and the kitchen table is covered in seed packets! However, I must say that the smell of cooking coming from Jerry's direction must mean Cowboy Cake or some similar treat! One of the joys of Spring is that all the window ledges get covered with seed trays and flower pots full of potential. The tree blossom has also been spectacular this year.

Glad to hear that your book is still the subject of newspaper debate, Jerry. When will the New York Times pick up on it I wonder?

BTW Katy did it again yesterday and sparked a wonderful story from one of our elder statesmen. Apparently he had laid down to take a little repose in the sun, stretched out on the lawn, only to be 'serenaded' by a grasshopper, first in one ear and then in the other! In the end he gave up on his appointed rest and spend a fruitless half hour trying to catch the offender!

Best wishes,


Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM

Hey, Pete: I just finished mowing the lawn and I had to mix upo a gallon of iced tea. Summer is here. Spring was yesterday. I am picking up more book signings, which is fun and today I got an order from my hometown from a lady with very squiggly, uncertain handwriting. She put her phone number on the note, so I called her to thank her for her order. I suspected she was elderly and from the sound of her voice I think I was right. We didn't talk long, but I asked her a little bit about herself. She was hard to understand because her voice was as quiggly as her handwriting. Hopefully her eyesight is still fine. How sweet it was to be able to call and thank her.

I was in Walmart today and gave my favorite check out lady a copy of the newspaper article because it quotes a line from my book saying that God is visible all around us and that you can see him in the check out clerk who stops to comfort a customer who's just lost her husband. She seemee VERY happy to have a copy. I mean, how often does it appear in the NEWSPAPER that someone sees God in you?

Jerry

Oh, and Deirdre... I got a letter and check from you sister for your book. I'll mail it to her on Monday. Thanks so much!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 09:22 PM

After my book signing tomorrow, I think I'll relax and try a recipe from my Baking With Splenda book. I'll try the oatmeal cranberry muffins. My wife's favorite muffin is a cranberry orange muffin they bake at the local supermarket. My favorite cookie is oatmeal.

Is there any way to lose on this one?

I'll set some on the table if they turn out well.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 02:02 PM

Jerry,

Forget the book signing - how did the baking session go?!

(I truly hope the book signing went well too).

And now I have to wait patiently until my sister visits the UK.......

:-)

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 10:07 PM

Hey, Deirdre:

Maybe I'll bake tomorrow. Today was delightfully consuming. If my muffins turn out as well as my book signing, I'll be a happy man. I sold ten books (which was a big number for the book store, where other book signings have sold far fewer copies) and a CD that I didn't even have out on the table. Someday noticed in a box and wanted to buy it. I also got two very serious inquiries about doing concerts at other churches, both of which I think will come through.
Maybe even more importantly, we all had a delightful time. The atmosphere was such that at my next book signing I'm going to see if I can do it around a kitchen table.

I'll get your book off in the mail to your sister, Deirdre.

Today the book signing. Tomorrow the muffins.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM

I'm a grandaddy!!

My daughter gave birth to a lovely girl on Friday, Amelie Rose. Mother and Daughter are fine.

I spent the weekend helping with running the National Recorder Festival which our branch of the Recorder Society hosted this year. A very busy weekend, but all went off very well and we had lots of complementary comments about the festival. I made some recordings of the mass playing sessions - 120+ recorder players playing all sizes from sopranino to Sub Contrabass. I'll be posting them on a website somewhere when I have tidied them up.

Now we are off to London in the morning to visit my daughter and her daughter. Looking forward to the visit, though not the trip. My wife wants to take a few things so we are driving. I'd have rather gone by train as driving in London is no fun and my daughter lives quite close to central London.

I'll just grab a quick coffee before I go and pack.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 05:33 PM

Congratulations Tootler!

Please let me know when and where your recorder session recordings are on the web - I have been known to play one myself, many years ago.

Enjoy the visit to London and especially seeing your little girl.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 03:49 AM

Great news Tootler!

Enjoy!

Best wishes,


Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:02 AM

I'm happy for you, Jerry. You're on the right path!

Congratulations on the arrival of Amelie Rose, Tootler.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:30 AM

Granddaddies rule! Congratulations, Tootler. Toot your horn.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 06:58 PM

I made cranberry orange muffins today with Splenda. They're o.k., but I don't want to set something out that's just "o.k." But, I've got a strawberry rhubarb cobbler recipe from my Splenda cookbook and if I can find any rhubarb, frozen or otherwise, that'll be by next adventure. I had a terrible time finding cranberries until I found some dried ones that worked alright. Rhubarb is going to be harder. Or, I could try the cranberry oatmeal cookies.

Cranberies are cutting edge. They're the kiwi fruit of the twenty first century.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 07:01 AM

Hey Jerry, we get fresh cranberries all bagged up here, in the produce section. I buy several bags and freeze them just as they are. Rhubarb I pull from our several patches, and freeze it raw in chunks. You want a plant? It can grow in planters.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 01:42 PM

Cranberries are great! I can't eat rhubarb or gooseberries now as they are too acidic for me but cranberries have filled the gap.

Send some muffins over this way please Jerry!

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM

I grew up eating rhubarb pulled from the ground. I wonder what it tastes like without dirt on it? Of course I wiped most of it off on my pants before eating. I was always more sophisticated than the average kid. I'm going to make some oatmeal/raisin cookies next, and wait until the first fresh rhubarb hits the fruit and vegetable section of the local supermarket.

For many years I had a good-sized garden and grew the usual stuff, plus asparagus and celery, and had some blueberry bushes. I enjoyed it enormously but I find pleasures elsewhere now and don't have the time to care for a garden. I do manage to have a large harvest of crab grass to pull out every year, though.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: cobra
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 04:32 PM

Dulse dried on the tin roof of my aunt's house in the Glens Of Antrim was good. One of the best things about it was that, being it was on the roof, the next door neighbour's terrier couldn't pee on it. That said it wasn't always easy to tell the difference in taste.

Kitchen table memories also make me think about the supper after bringing in the hay. Midnight if the weather was good. Loads of cousins, all asleep on our feet but not going to miss the session/ storytelling/ singing general airneal which the adults enjoyed after the hay was all in. Great days.

Took my kids back to the Glens last week. No hay, right enough, but they enjoyed seeing where it all (!) happened..... and where I and Mrs Cobra will be buried *gulp*

We spent a couple of special nights at the kitchen table after that. Happy days.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 01 May 09 - 08:59 AM

We got back from Viva's funeral on Tuesday and found a bag full of rhubarb on our front step, a gift from a friend with an allotment! How strange.

The funeral was beautiful, set in a tiny village in Dorset. It had rained on and off all day, we got to the church for the four oclock service and the sun came out and shone through the stain glass windows throughout the service. Derek had asked for single purple flowers , Viva's favourite colour, and everyone arrived with just one stem which were placed on the altar steps.A lament by David Spillane( Riverdance) was played as the casket was carried into the chuch.Nearly everyone was dressed in purple, the ladies in long skirts or with purple hats and the men with purple ties, none of this pre arranged but quite spontainious,Joe Stead, just back from a tour in the USA, sang on the theme of 1 Corinthians 13. And Anne and Jen , who for many years sang with Viva as Dangerous Curves, sang " The dimming of the day"
The vicar was a lady who knew Viva so well and told us how she had been born in Goa India, her father was Italian , her mother part Irish, part Egyptian and part Indian. She came to England at the age of 4.She was the most generous of people and was loved by so many, they had speakers outside the church for anyone who could not be inside, it was so full.
After the service we walked to the church hall.Derek said a few words and then played a recording of Viva singing, what a beautiful voice!
Paul Downes and Phil Beer and Mick Silver sang and we all sat round sharing wonderful memories of a very special freind.A beautiful bitter sweet day.
Peter I put your message in the memory book as you asked. I sat next to Derek Sargent and Dave Smith from Croyden Folk Club.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 May 09 - 10:01 AM

Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful experience, Wendy. Sometimes spontaneous is the best. Probably most of the time. If you want to measure a person's life, got to their funeral and you'll see how many lives they've touched.

Welcome to the table, Cobra. I enjoyed your description of your return to old haunts. The haunts are still there.

It's the first of what is going to be a long string of rainy days around here. I got my grub killer, fertilizer and new grass seed in yesterday, so I'm enjoying letting the Lord do the watering for me.
Today is a great day for baking oatmeal raisin cookies... again with Splenda so I can eat them. If they turn out well I'll set a few on the table later today.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 May 09 - 04:29 PM

I just set a plate of still warm oatmeal raisin cookies (with walnuts) on the table. I must say, they turned out pretty good. I sued Splenda, so there's nothing to keep me from making a pig out of myself. WHOOPS! with swine flu spreading around the world, maybe I should say maing a bird out of myself. Birds eat far more in relation to their body weight than pigs. I mean, how much do birds (other than turkeys bread into mutants) weigh, anyway. They're as light as a feather. And they eat more than their body weight in a day. Let's see, for me that would be....

Whoa, Nelly!


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 May 09 - 05:41 PM

I said they turned out pretty good. Why would I sue Splenda? I meant to type Use...


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 03 May 09 - 02:31 PM

Hello Jerry,

I have a profusion of virtual rhubarb in my garden! The experiments with Splenda seem to be successful. Can I lick the spoon?

Thanks for posting that piece on Viva's funeral, Wendy. Thanks for adding to her memorial book, too. Although I couldn't get to the service, I 'sang her home' in my own way.

Went to a cracking session last night....(but don't tell those guys on the 'can't sing - won't sing thread!') It is a pity that your sensible comments were overwhelmed by the static, Jerry!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 04 May 09 - 05:08 PM

Yes Wendy, thanks for the lovely description of Viva's funeral.

Jerry, those cookies are wonderful - just what I needed after a long weekend looking after my Mum now that she's back home after her stay in hospital after Easter. My sister Sheila is visiting the UK in a couple of weeks so she'll be bringing me my copy of your book - I can't wait!.

Hi Pete, how are you doing?.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 May 09 - 06:25 PM

Glad to hear that Sheila's coming to visit so soon, Deirdre. She should have the book. I mailed it several days ago.

I tell you, those cookies are disappearning right before my eyes. Or is it my mouth. Ruth loves them too. Between us we're really putting a hurting on them. Hardly enough left to set out on the table tonight. Looks like I'll have to make another batch tomorrow...


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 May 09 - 12:21 PM

A couple of thoughts.

After a week of rain, it finally stopped long enough this morning so I could mow my lawn. The rain's been good for the grass seed I planted five days ago, but now I have mushrooms popping up from all the dampness. My big problem with the lawn is not rain or mushrooms, but crabgrass. Every spring I dutifully dig up the areas of the previous summer's crab grass invasion and plant new grass seed. It might seem like a hopeless task, because the neighbors across the street and on both sides of us have a lot of crab grass in their lawns and they have managed to make peace with it. Each year when their crab grass goes to seed, the seeds are blown into my yard by the prevailing neighborhoods winds. They manage to find any little bare spot and make themselves right at home. By the end of the summer they are hearty and stout, spreading their runners underneath my good lawn to sprout up in an ever increasing circle. In the spring, I teach them a thing or two and rip them out by their roots for the next year's planting of new grass seed. And so it goes, year after year. But God sometimes sends a friend to break the cycle. Clover is known for all sorts of things. "Roll me over in the clover" pretty much says it all, leaving little to the imagination of a teenage farm boy. Four leaf clovers are supposed to bring good luck. Summer evenings back when I was a kid, we'd lie on the sweet grass of our front lawn, looking for four leaf clovers. When we'd find one, we were sure that luck was coming our way. Like rolling seven come eleven.
Back in thos idyllic days, crabgrass was a rumor I'd yet to hear. The only lawn invaders my father had to deal were dandelions. They're not nearly as nasty as crabgrass because they don't send runners out to spawn new, ornery offspring. Besides, you can make wine from dandelions as I did when I grew up. Ever tasted crabgrass wine?
I didn't think so.

This morning mowing the lawn, I saw some old friends. There are patches of lawn that never seem to support grass. Either the spot is too much in shade all day, or the grass is killed every winter from run-off of the ice melt along the edges of the sidewalk. Those are prime areas for crabgrass to make a new summer home. This spring, many of those areas are now blanketed with a thick covering of clover. Not only is the clover beautiful, but it too can spread with much more delicate, considerate underground roots, filling in the bare spots that would otherwise be prime property for crab grass.
Clover is a modest plant. It's not tough, but it won't be shoved around by the noisier, more obnoxious plants. Clover is polite. It doesn't make a big deal out of itself. It just quietly moves in.
I know people like that. They may not say alot, and when they do they are soft spoken. They are often overlooked, with all the attention going to the blowhards of life. But they can quietly change a neighborhood as surely as clover changes a weed-ridden lawn.

And you know this is going to expand into a chapter of my next book.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:35 PM

Hi Jerry,

Yes, the book has arrived so Sheila will bring it next week.

I enjoyed reading your crabgrass / clover musings. I think that crabgrass must be what we call couchgrass in the UK. Anyway, whatever - more power to your clover!.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 May 09 - 09:42 PM

Elizabeth Cotton's Banjo

My memory is fading on this one. Maybe some details will come back as I'm typing it. The heart of the story is still fresh in my mind, though.

Elizabeth Cotton was performing at the Pickin' Parlor in New Haven. And now I remember that the guy who ran the club's first name was Harry. His wife had a Doctorate in Russian Literature from what I remember, and they were both musicians. Harry Looked a little bit like Tom Selleck and wore a cowboy hat, as did his wife, often.

It was a slow night at the Pickin' Parlor. The few times I went there, it was slow except for an open mike night where I sang once. Barry Sandler of Green Beret fame was there with his manager and his manager approached me after I'd done my couple of songs, handed me his business card and said he'd like to get some of my songs. I never followed through on it. Maybe Barry could have recorded one.

But back to Elizabeth. The Pickin' Parlor was a dark, funky looking place with a small stage on one side of the room. Elizbeth was sitting up there on the stage, hunched over her guitar. She was in her early nineties then, I seem to remember, and was at the end of the line as a performer. She had a very modest, off-handed way of speaking and there was an intimacy that night because the crowd was small. Not much more than a handful of us gathered around the stage sitting in old folding chairs. Certainly, the crowd was no measure of what a national treasure she was.

As Elizabeth was softly introducing her songs, she told a story about when she was a little girl. Her older brother had a banjo, and she couldn't resist trying to play it. She had no idea what to do with the banjo but she loved to hold it and she'd keep tuning the strings up until one of them would break from the tension. She knew she was in trouble when that happened, so she'd put the banjo back where her brother kept it hidden from her but when he came, he'd check the banjo and when he found a string was broken again, he knew who'd done it. And she caught Hell. She wasn't explicit about the terms of that Hell, but whatever it was, it didn't stop her from finding where her brother'd hid the banjo. When he'd go out, she'd go find the banjo, try to tune it up and break a string once again. She told the story with a wistfulness in her voice and said softly that she'd always wanted to have a banjo, but never had one. She was near the end of her life, and the crowd was small. I don't know how far she traveled to be there, but it must have been sad to see that so few people seemed to remember her. She probably felt a little forgotten already.

As we were sitting there, transfixed by the story, Harry got up and walked over to the wall next to the stage. There were instruments hung up on the walls, all around the room that he had for sale. Without hesitation, he reached up and carefully lifted down a banjo that was hanging there. He quietly walked over to Elizabeth and handed her the banjo, saying, "Now you've got a banjo of your own."

I don't remember what the banjo looked like, or Harry's last name or his wife's name. I don't remember exactly what Elizabeth said, or Harry either, for that matter. But I remember the love in that room at that moment. The words aren't important. It was the reverence and love that Harry, his wife and every one of us had for Elizabeth that remains.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 09 May 09 - 04:15 PM

Jerry, that's a lovely story. Thank you for posting it.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:35 PM

At last, a banjo story I fully approve of! (Sorry Jerry, we tend to joke about banjos over here!).

I've just got back from my first folk festival of the year and had a great time meeting old friends and making new ones. I expect it's that time of the year when the kitchen table attendance is sparse at the weekends but that we make up for it at during the week.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:41 PM

Jerry- I love the Elizabeth Cotton story. Thank you for that.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 14 May 09 - 03:57 PM

I think this may be post 2400! Wow!

Seems like a good time to thank everyone for a very interesting and though-provoking thread. Especial thanks to Jerry whose coffee, wisdom and hospitality makes this thread possible.

BTW in the UK this week is National Doughnut Week!

How good is that?

Best wishes,

Peter


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