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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

25 Feb 06 - 09:18 AM (#1678476)
Subject: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

If a house was a living organism, the kitchen table would be the heart. Over the years, I've spent countless hours at our kitchen table, talking with old and new friends. Because I ran a folk concert series for 27 years and put up most of the performers, I've had a chance to get to know many people here on the Cat and just as many who I've never seen in here. Art Thieme, Gordon Bok, Chris Shaw, jimmyt and his wife Jayne, BBC ,Dave Para and Cathy Barton, Sandy & Caroline Paton, and from across the way, Col K, Leadfingers, Sussex Carole, Noreen and Theresa have all graced our kitchen. There's something special about sitting around the kitchen table with a friend, just "shooting the breeze." It's alway relaxed, and the conversation flows wherever it wishes. I think that what Mudcat really needs is a kitchen table. Among friends, conversations don't break down into threads, and they're not about earth-shaking topics.
Mostly, it's about daily stuff that we all talk about.

I'm starting this thread with no idea whether people can relax from all the combativeness I see in here, and just join me in a cup of cofffee or tea, a beer or just a cold bottle of water. The kettle is on and I hear the whistle going off. Why not sit for a minute, tell me what's going on in your mind, or what's happening in your life... how are your wife and kids? anything happen today that you want to talk about? I'll start it off...

Maybe it's a natural process of getting older, but I'm finding that I keep running across people I haven't seen or even spoken to in years. Some, I seek out and some track me down. This has happened twice recently... both on the same day.

Back in the early 60's I was living in New York City and met Luke Faust at the Gaslight Cafe. He was one of the old crowd, along with Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton and the rest, even though at the time we were all still in our 20's. For five or six years, Luke and I performed together and had an unusual friendship. On many levels, we were exact opposites, but we respected each other and in our music, we were like siamese twins. When I moved away from New York City, Luke and I drifted away, and I've only seen him once in the last 40 years. But, I was listening to some tapes I made of us in the early 60's and felt like calling him. Through a little creative research, I tracked him down and gave him a call. It's probably been 20 years since we've spoken to each other, and Luke isn't a letter writer. It was like turning on a switch that had been off for all those years. I'm trying to limit myself to one screen (which isn't necessary at a real kitchen table) so I'd better stop rambling. I have a lot more to say about renewing old friendships .. which ones just "click," and which ones only make you wonder how you were ever friends in the first place. But, I'll stop here..

Pull up a seat, let me know your "druthers" and tell me how life is treating you. If you feel like talking about rediscovering old friends in your life, that would be good to talk with you about. But, if there's something else that comes to mind, I'd like to hear about that, too.

Make yourself at home.

Jerry
    Jerry Rasmussen has started a new thread, Son of Kitchen Table, so I'm going to close this thread to attempt to avoid confusion. Also, I'm going to move both threads into the non-music section because I've seen very little music in them. I've received a few personal messages that asked why this thread wasn't in the non-music section. I guess I have to say they were right in asking.
    -Joe Offer-


25 Feb 06 - 09:28 AM (#1678480)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Isn't that what Kate Wolf's "Trumpet Vine" is about?


25 Feb 06 - 09:30 AM (#1678481)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yes Ron, and she's such a fine writer.

Don't leave so quickly... :-)

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 09:33 AM (#1678482)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Donuel

Good on you Jerry. Sounds like you tracked down old friends with great success and familiarity.

Sure beats "Why did you track us down". or Why did you call, what could you have been thinking?", "Yeah dude just send cash, I'm livin in my van down by the river."

Playing "where are they now" can be disheartening sometimes.
Especially when they have died.


25 Feb 06 - 09:39 AM (#1678485)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

I actually should be on the insomnia thread--got up far too early today. I theorize it has something to do with the weird combination of stuff I ate last night (again)--yogurt, cocoa, bread, cheese and a few macaroons. Didn't get back from work til 11--but at least that won't happen again--a project I had to do. At least this time I didn't drink orange juice with the yogurt--I've been told that curdles in your stomach--and sure doesn't help sleep.

Thanks again, Jerry for those Charlie Poole CD's. Please let me know if I can do any similar favor for you--now that I'm more accustomed to making CD's. But I still can't figure out how to make CD's from tapes--though I've read the thread on that thoroughly. It's still pretty technical for me--my computer literacy is, shall we say, not the best. And I really need to do it--over 1000 tapes, almost all recorded off the radio--hence irreplaceable.


25 Feb 06 - 09:43 AM (#1678488)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

And when Jan gets up, she'll have something to say about my Mudcat addiction. She doesn't realize how wonderful it is to communicate with people all over the world, with different backgrounds and skills--but all with music as the link.


25 Feb 06 - 09:44 AM (#1678489)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Donuel:

The thing about tracking down old friends is that in the passing years you've both changed (or at least I sure hope so.) Sometimes, you've changed so much that you have nothing in common but memories. Sitting around saying, "remember the time when we..." wears thin after awhile. As Rick sang, "If memories were all I sang, I'd rather drive a truck." I've had those kind of experiences, as we all have. I did an outdoor concert in my home town a few years ago, and three or four old high school friends came. After the concert, they came up to talk to me. One had been my next door neighbor as a kid. But, we had nothing to talk about. I suppose we could have said "What about those Packers?" or something equally manly, but we mostly stood around shifting our weight from foot to foot until they said "Well, I gotta be goin'," and "It was good to see ya." We were like total strangers.

But then, I like to sit and listen, so I think I'll just pour me a mug of coffee and sit here to see who else is coming in.

What can I get you?

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 09:47 AM (#1678490)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Get some sleep, Ron: I'll PM you about making CDs from cassettes and if I can dig out your address, I'll send you the first CD I did with this software. It includes two tracks: Hopalong Peter and Blues In The Bottle that I recorded with my friend Luke Faust, back around 1962.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 09:48 AM (#1678491)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Or how much you can learn from Mudcat--I've learned so much--in so many areas. And it's so great to hear about issues from people who are actually experiencing them--it gives you a window on so many worlds.


25 Feb 06 - 09:50 AM (#1678492)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Raptor

From my kitchen table I can see the nyjer feeders with swarms of Pine Siskens and American Goldfinches but since my wife died I find the kitchen the most lonly place in the house.

This is a nice thread Jerry. I'm listening to your CD right now.

Thank you

David


25 Feb 06 - 09:53 AM (#1678493)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Thanks so much (again) Jerry. I'll be glad to PM you my address. And I'd love some instruction on CD's from tapes. (Hope I'm practical enough to do it.) But if you send me another CD, at least let me send you a check for your labor and the postage.


25 Feb 06 - 09:55 AM (#1678494)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos

Good morning, Jerry!

WHen I was young the kitchen table was where we would stay up all night after a movie, drinking cocoa--when I was old enough, red wine--and set the world to rights. We organized a civil rights march around it once, and discussed endless philosophical themes, and sometimes broke out instrrments and made music. It was also, of course, the site of a lot of childhood meals.

Everywhere I have lived since, it was, as you say, a gathering place where the real living went on--not the living room. I built my first wire-wrap board on a kitchen table, too. Wonderful place. Anyone sitting at it is welcome and safe; that's what kitchens are. It's the physical equipment of letting someone into your heart. In our house, too, it's the first place you go to host a visitor.

A


25 Feb 06 - 09:59 AM (#1678496)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Raptor--you get swarms of goldfinches and siskens? We get some goldfinches during the winter--but when they put on their fancy duds (spring), they leave us. But the people across the street have them year round. We stock feeders year-round.   What are we doing wrong?

It must be spectacular to see those snowy owls and the others you were telling us about.


25 Feb 06 - 10:03 AM (#1678502)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

As the "suet master", I've just been called to hack off some more and put it out for our visitors. Hope to get back. This is definitely a wonderfully cozy little thread.


25 Feb 06 - 10:04 AM (#1678503)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Rap:

My heart goes out to you. That's the hard reality of losing someone.. loving memories associated with a particular place make it painful to go there.

A few days ago, I noticed the woman across the street had hired a couple of college kids to drag everything out of her two car garage (and basement too, from the looks of the pile.) She's a widow and lost her husband at least six or seven years ago, because we've lived here for five years and he had passed away quite a while before we came. I think that it's probably taken her this long to reach the point where she could face looking at some things that have built-in memories. My Father died seven years ago, sitting in his recliner. He'd had a stroke and was waiting with two nurses and my Mother for the ambulance to come. It was a tense situation, and my Father was doing everything that he could to loosen people up, kidding around and cracking jokes. Right in the middle of all this gaiety, my Father pitched forward face first onto the floor and was dead. My Father is one of the few people who literally "died laughing." After the funeral when everyone headed home and my Mother was left alone, she couldn't bear to look at that recliner, because she'd see my Father there, and relive that whole experience.
She got rid of the chair. The memory took longer to soften.

May yours soften, Rap.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 10:16 AM (#1678506)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Raptor

Ron are you offering Nyger or thistle seed? They love that.

Jerry I have good days and bad days, I'm still young (37) so I'm sometimes confusing lonely with greif and not sure what to do.

Does that make sense?


25 Feb 06 - 10:18 AM (#1678508)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Raptor

I didn't mean to drag the mood down.

I'll take a Redrose tea.


25 Feb 06 - 10:25 AM (#1678512)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Rap--

We're offering thistle seed. And they seem to really like it--but still leave for greener pastures across the street--(which actually has less green space than we do)-- in the spring.

So sorry to hear you lost your wife. Hope things improve for you. You add a lot to Mudcat.


25 Feb 06 - 10:28 AM (#1678513)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Don't worry about "the mood". Most of us on Mudcat try to be supportive. And I think virtually all of us have lost somebody at some point.


25 Feb 06 - 10:30 AM (#1678514)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Rap:

Kitchen table conversations go wherever they need to go... down as well as up. I've never gone through what you've gone through, so I can't speak from experience. I wrote a song (long since forgotten) with the line "Somebody told me that time was my friend." And I think that's true. I'm a great believer in honoring feelings. When someone says, "You shouldn't feel that way," my response is "What's "Should" got to do with it?" There is no "should" to feelings. They're like a kid who wants your attention... they won't go away until they get what they need. I think that feelings are that way. When I feel depressed or disillusioned, I can't say that I "wallow" in it, but I respect my feelings enough to let them have their say. For as long as it takes to say what they have on their mind.

The great thing about music is that it can release you from your burdens. My friend Joe in the Messengers is carrying a very, very heavy load these days and often shows up to sing thinking that he won't be able to. But, when I hit that first chord on the guitar and we come in on the first line in strong harmony, the weight starts to slip away. We sit and talk about what he's going through, and I share similar experiences, and that helps. But nothing quite does it like music.

Maybe the next time you stop by, you should bring an instrument..   

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 10:32 AM (#1678515)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

We have purple finches nesting in our yard this year... first time my wife has ever seen them. I used to teach bird watching classes and I think my favorite description of them is that they look like a sparrow that had its head dipped in strawberry jam.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 10:35 AM (#1678520)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Clinton Hammond

"If a house was a living organism, the kitchen table would be the heart."


The heart of our home would be our stove...

:-)


25 Feb 06 - 10:36 AM (#1678522)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

I'll throw a blank CD in the machine today. No need to send money. Sharing music is what I do. There's no amount of money that could equal the pleasure I get in sharing..

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 10:38 AM (#1678523)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Yes, music is an incredible tonic for all sorts of things. Dvorak's New World Symphony has just come on the internet radio station I'm listening to--based in North Carolina--and one I only found out about thanks to Mudcat. And now I'm galvanized--can't even think about trying to get more rest for a while.


25 Feb 06 - 10:38 AM (#1678524)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Nice to see you, Clinton. Yeah... we have a fireplace in the room that our kitchen opens up into. When conversation flows between friends in the winter, the fireplace is another gathering point. We had a woodburning stove in there when we bought the place but need steady heat and put in a gas-burning fireplace. The floor in the room is ceramic tile over a concrete slab with no heating vents in the room, so your feet stick to the floor if you don't keep some heat in there...

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 10:40 AM (#1678526)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: gnu

Yo David. We all cry, grieve and laugh. The kitchen table sees it all. No need to feel sorry for anything.

Well, except for the Redrose tea... yeech! Pity it's available in Canada, I say (ya gotta see the commercials to get that one). I'll make a pot of King Cole Orange Pekoe.

The only place that doesn't feel lonely in my house is here at the keyboard. And that's because of friends like you.

Good thread, Jerry.


25 Feb 06 - 10:49 AM (#1678534)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

This sort of thread is what Mudcat is really what the best of Mudcat is all about--a far-flung (world-wide) community, made a cozy conversation by music and companionship.


25 Feb 06 - 10:51 AM (#1678536)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

When Colin K came to visit from England, he brought a wonderful large tin of Yorkshire Tea. Maybe when I take my mid-afternoon tea I'll brew up a mug, just for old time's sake..

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 11:11 AM (#1678550)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The CD is in the mail, Ron:

Maybe next time I'm down your way I'll stop by for a mug of coffee at your kitchen table.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 11:17 AM (#1678557)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

We'd be honored.

By the way, what kind of a conversationalist was Gordon Bok? He came to a Getaway awhile ago and was pretty taciturn--of course that's the prerogative of a Down Easter--and even though I'm pretty sure he wasn't born in Maine, I think of Maine when I hear him. I'm sure it would have been great just to make music with him. But I'm just curious.


25 Feb 06 - 11:27 AM (#1678564)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: LilyFestre

Just the topic of sitting at the kitchen table with friends and family as life goes by brings back lots of good memories. For my entire life, the kitchen table has been the center of activity. One of my best memories is of my very first jam. My Mom's boyfriend, a couple that they hung out with, the boyfriend's son and myself were there. The guys played the guitar and spoons and we sang and sang until late in the night. I never wanted it to end. I was having so much fun and enjoying the music so much that I made a recording of it and it is still one of my most cherished tapes. I can still see the old house, the scuffed up floors, the old upright piano, a round table with extra chairs pulled up to accomodate everyone...the laughter....lots and lots of laughter. :)

Great idea. I'll be stopping by again soon.

Michelle


25 Feb 06 - 11:33 AM (#1678568)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Gordon is an old friend... I booked Bok, Trickett and Muir for their very first ever concert together, and Gordon stayed at our house. What struck me immediately about him is that he spent the whole evening asking me to play one song after another. I was a little overwhelmed, because I hadn't done much performing and was a long way removed from being asked to do my first album for Folk Legacy. For someone of his reputation, I thought it was amazingly generous to want to hear some nobody like me.

Gordon is a very private person, but not at all egotistical. I think that combination of qualities is very commonplace. People tend to think that private people are pretty stuck on themselves, but generally speaking I haven't found that to be the case at all.
Around a kitchen table, Gordon just relaxes and the conversation flows just as it is in this thread (and I sure appreciate the atmosphere in here.) He talks openly about experiences he had as a child that certainly didn't make him look "good," or particularly special. He's actually quite a modest, humble man. And generous with his praise and encouragement.

Being on the road as much as Gordon has been (and many other folk musicians) can make you wary of opening up. It can seem like everyone wants a piece of you. I can't speak from my own experience, because I've never been that well known. Some folk singers deal with it by closing down, and many deal with it with liquor. I always enjoyed Gordon as Gordon, not Gordon Bok, revered folk singer.

I've talked over our kitchen table with other musicians who dominate the conversation talking about themselves... who booked them, who won't, compliments they're received.. When that happens, I tell them to put away their press kit.. Some aren't capable of doing that.

Gordon is a good man. Kendall could tell you far more about him as they are the closest of friends. When Gordon is traveling through te area, he stops by every once in awhile and it's always a pleasure to see him. The kind of guy you go for a walk with at sunset.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 11:42 AM (#1678572)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Jerry, what a wonderful thread. As you know from experience, our kitchen table is the heart of our home. We play music there frequently for several reasons: Good acoustics, good light which if you are old like me makes reading lyrics for new songs a pleasure, we also like to snack on chips (crisps for our Brit friends) as well as have a place to set a cup of coffee or a glass of wine down when playing.

In the last 24 hours, our kitchen table was the source of preparation of a new recipe with brussels sprouts, the bottling of about a gallon of my red wine vinegar to give friends, and last evening some friends came over to play dominoes also on the table.

I also always plan my trips on the kitchen table where I can lay out maps, have good lighting and it is just the right place for the job! I love the kitchen table. Everyone's kitchen table. It is where I think you really get to know people. Our family all assemble in the kitchen whenever they visit. I can't think of a better place to meet catters than the kitchen table. Even this virtual one already seems just, somehow..right. Ruth, could I bother you for a cup of coffee, hon?


25 Feb 06 - 11:50 AM (#1678577)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Funny thing is, Jimmy: I included you and Jayne on the list of people who's sat at our kitchen table, even though you've never been here. We have such warm memories of sitting around your kitchen table having dinner, and then later in the evening playing music that it seems like you've already been here. And we both look forward to the two of you coming to visit, whenever that happens. I'm afraid your coffe will be cold by then, though.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 11:58 AM (#1678585)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: rumanci

I'd love to share your kitchen table one day with you and Ruth
It sounds like a haven full of good spirits
*bg*
rum


25 Feb 06 - 12:02 PM (#1678590)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Hello Jerry,and all on this thread.
The sun gave up and called it a day about 3.00 something, this afternoon.I Have been thread hopping since lunch,and found this little "Oasis"of Peace and harmony.I Hessitated about making a contribution here,because although I've seen most of your names around the Cat,I don't really know too many of you.But,that's OK,got to push the door sometimes.The Kitchen is a central part of life here in France,and I have been in a good few.We get to go to the country at weekends,take the guitars,sit up all night,build a fire in the garden early in the morning,go for croissants and have breakfast untill it's time for pre-lunch drinks!I'm going back to my kitchen in half an hour or so, to come up with the main meal for tonight.My two sons will be at home with girlfriends,so it's a crowded house tonight.Great thread.May drop by later.
David


25 Feb 06 - 12:04 PM (#1678592)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Oh, there you are! I was afraid you wouldn't hear my knock so I didn't bother. How cozy this looks!

It's a relaxed kind of morning. I slept late- past 7 o'clock - stood outside in the packed snow while my little Cairn Meggie did her thing... It's 19 degrees out and the air is still and lovely.

Last night I was at a concert- I did the door and took in bundles of money. They brought me a little piano lamp so I didn't have to have the double doors to the hall open in order to differentiate a 10 from a 20, a 20 from a 50. It was cold last night and the wind came blowing in every time the doors opened.

Great concert. Buddy Tabor - they did a feature on him in this month's Sing Out!- was the headliner and he had two opening acts. One was a mother and son with fiddle and guitar. Leif Saya is a young man - 24- who was a child prodigy and is still extraordinary on the violin. He's been to Ireland a few times and loves playing over there.

The main opener was a young couple who do wonderful harmonies together. I'm fortunate enough to have them in my weekly Friday night music group so I've heard them many times but I love it. Kathy has a sweet, tender voice and Cheryl's is extraordinary, vibrant and strong. Last night they did a few Dylan songs, and one by Mary Gauche (sp?) and several others that they find here and there.

A great evening and it makes me smile this morning. I recorded it and later today I'll start the process of turning it into a couple CDs.

Great coffee, Jerry!


25 Feb 06 - 12:16 PM (#1678598)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Ebbie--

Thanks again for doing those CD's of the Getaway. They capture the experience like nothing else could. You can just imagine the scenes all over again.


25 Feb 06 - 12:21 PM (#1678601)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--sure hope you can make it to a Getaway soon. Your "Living On The River" being sung at a Getaway is one of my best memories. It would be great if you were part of the Getaway crew.


25 Feb 06 - 12:22 PM (#1678604)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Nice to see you, Ebbie: And hello David over there in France. Ruth and I were in France last September for a couple of days. it was very special for us as we spent our honeymoon in Paris and Versailles seven years ago. Our first time over there was a new experience for us, as I didn't speak any French. Still don't. It was a little intimidating because my wife was counting on me to get us around for a week. I ended up doing it fine, with a lot of merci's. This time around, I had a better feel for traveling in countries where I don't speak the language. We visited ten countries when we were there in the Fall, and I couldn't possibly become fluent (or even passable) in so many languages. But, I wasn't intimidated. I learned the universal language. The finger. (No, not Thaaat one.) When in doubt, point and smile. Works fine.
I found France much freindlier this time around. France didn't change. I did.

Glad you stopped by, David... look forward to seeing you more often.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 12:23 PM (#1678605)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Maybe this year, Ron..

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 12:27 PM (#1678608)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

I found when I was in France that the French are the same as anybody else--they appreciate it when you try to speak their language--even when their English was better than my French.


25 Feb 06 - 12:28 PM (#1678609)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

That would be really something for us to look forward to, Jerry.


25 Feb 06 - 12:32 PM (#1678612)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

"France didn't change. I did." Great line, Jerry.

You're welcome, Ron!

I have Juneau friends who travel a good deal (as they say, they don't have children so this is how they prefer to spend their money). Their first trip to France surprised and delighted them. The people they met were friendly and helpful and took the time to explore where they should go next. In staying open and flexible Gerry and Susan have had wonderful experiences which they then share with us.


25 Feb 06 - 12:56 PM (#1678623)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Speaking of fidelity,(high, not in-) I've been thinking how accustomed we've become to 18 track, digital studio recordings. I just put together a CD of old tapes, so that's been on my mind. For awhile, I was feeling kinda sheepish about the whole project because the sound of the tapes isn't nearly up to the standards of contemporary studio recordings. Felt kinda embarassed about it. And then I began thinking, "This is pretty stupid!" I came to love folk music through old monaural records recorded on primitive equipment which were reissued on pretty low-fi record albums. I didn't crinkle my nose when I heard Charlie Poole sounding like he was singing up through a man hole cover. Or The Carter Family records sounding like they'd been kept in a kitty litter box.

So, I've decided that rather than call the songs I burned to CD "home recordings" which sounds highly amateurish, I'll refer to them as "field recordings." After all, there's a field not far from here. Field recordings sounds all scholarly and important. Home recordings sounds like you used crummy equipment because you didn't have the money to go in a studio. True enough, of course.

For us folk-type people, the song's the thing. I love the crisp sound of a contemporary studio recording, but I'm not about to diminish the old tapes and earlier recordings as being somehow less valueable. They are what they are.

Besides, most field recordings weren't even recorded in a field.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 01:02 PM (#1678635)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

The first time I cooked a meal for some of my French friends, it was like taking coals to Newcastle.An Englishman cooking for the French!
This was some 30 yrs ago. And they still talk to me,and come to eat!
They also like my wife's cooking,she's from Croatia by the way.We were out there during the war.Her father owns a restaurant in the town.It used to get full up with American journalists and the like.We used to sit for hours with them,talking music and stuff.Strange times,but plenty of good moments.Got to get back in the kitchen!
Cheers

David


25 Feb 06 - 01:16 PM (#1678642)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: ranger1

Hey Jerry! Got a cozy spot for a little ranger? How 'bout some herbal tea? Anything as long as it's not chamomile.

The kitchen table is very dear to me. It's where we'd hang out when I was little. My maternal grandma taught me to read, print and tell time at that table. At my paternal grampa's, we'd sit around the table and he's tell me tall tales or sing to me. I remember my cousins "bringing" him new songs by singing them to him. Sometimes my great-uncle would be there and he'd play his fiddle while Grampa Moses sang. That was the same table where Margaret MacArthur did a field recording of him, that I now have copies of on CD. Good memories.

Hiya Ebbie! I second the thanks for the CDs of the Getaway. It's kind of like being back when I listen to them.


25 Feb 06 - 02:01 PM (#1678671)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,KT

Hi everyone!

Is it okay to just pop in for just a minute? Okay, a quick sip of tea.   It's wonderful and SO good to visit with friends.

Our kitchen table is still the gathering place...It was when the kids were little, still is when we have company and we prefer to play our music there, too. And now, what a great thing to add thoughts of the likes of all of you to my table. Okay, Jerry's table, but it's at my house tomorrow!

KT


25 Feb 06 - 02:14 PM (#1678681)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Oh yeah, KT... sitting at someone else's table is a treat, too. I've done that many, many times.

I had to run out for some stuff for supper, and I was glad to see that folks just came in and made themselves comfortable.

As Tom Bodet says, "We'll leave the light on for you" when we go out to sing with the Messengers tonight.

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 02:18 PM (#1678688)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: lady penelope

Mmm, kitchen tables. ~There's something very unstressful about them. Even though great dramas can happen about them, it seems to be the place that allows them to happen and it seems to take the sharp corners off in the process.

In my mind the kitchen table epitimises my Mother. She was always there. Whether it was cooking, sewing or reading a book (her favourite occupation) it happened at the kitchen table. My mother taught me to sew and to cook and so many other things in the process, all around that table.

When, as teenagers, my brothers and I would drag our respective 'gangs' home, it would be the kitchen that got taken over for the quaffing of large quantities of tea (with the occasional heretic drinking coffee) and people still mention that when I meet them years later.

My parents moved to a bungalow a while back and the kitchen isn't big enough to get a table in (it's what's grandly called a 'galley kitchen' here in england - my Mum want's to know when does she get the slaves.....?) and for a while it just didn't seem right, there was no table in a quiet place to walk in and see my mother reading at it .

It's worked itself out now, my father (a carpenter by trade - and calling I think) has made the garage into his workshop and the dining room into his music room (still plays his trumpet - 72 this week!) so my mother has inherited the living room. So of course she has put a kitchen style gate leg table in it and all is now right with the world... :o)

Jerry's quite right, there's no 'should' when it comes to feelings Raptor. Just 'cos you're 'only' ( :o) ) 37 doesn't mean that the world looks any better at the moment than it would if you were 70. Give yourself time to let the kitchen table have other memories for you. And remember, you're no weirder than the rest of us........ :o)

Now I'm getting urges to go bake something.......... which is nice, but fattening........ :o)

TTFN Lady P.


25 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM (#1678703)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: gnu

Getaway CD's? Ah... please? Who is closest to me that I can send some $'s to to get them?


25 Feb 06 - 03:27 PM (#1678735)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Gnu--

You'd want to contact Ebbie--who did them--and find out if there are still possibilities of obtaining them. She took a survey soon after the Getaway to find out specific demand--I think there was a thread on it--you might have missed the thread. But she should be able to tell you what the options are at this point. I hope you can still get some.


25 Feb 06 - 03:53 PM (#1678758)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Cluin

The kitchen table's piled with stuff that never got put away. The kids eat in the living room in front of the TV.

It's like the garage... you build it to park the car in, but after a while there's no room in there for the car.


25 Feb 06 - 05:31 PM (#1678825)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Jerry, wow! you have a great bunch hanging around the table. Hi KT you sweet thing and if it isn't Ebbie, the Real Northern Lights herself! Ron, how about we start getting some thoughts together for a do-wop song next getaway? Jerry might be coaxed in to singing with us, and i know AllanC wants to join in. We should come up with some possibilities and get a rehearsal tape to some folks in advance, huh?
Cluin and Raptor and Rumanci and Gnu and Ranger and Clinton hisself!LAdy P and Michelle and Donuel, and David from France and Amos, the wise old wizard of San Diego, well, what a fun bunch you have assembled.

Listen, Someone run to FKC and get a couple buckets of chicken and I will start these 37 packets of Ramen noodles in some boiling water if y'all want anything else, get up and get it yourself. Ruth ain't here to wait on us hand and foot! We can play a bit while we snack. how bout some blues for a starter, Amos, somewhere 'round the key of E


25 Feb 06 - 05:39 PM (#1678833)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

I'll bring the wine.


25 Feb 06 - 05:40 PM (#1678834)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'm off to sing with the Messengers tonight... singing three more times tomorrow. I'm really pleased to see so many old and brand new friends stopping by. I'm just going to keep the pot on for a few days and see if people find this a place to stop in.

Doo I doo Wop? Mop bop a lu bop, a mop bam boom!

Awright, jimmy... I'll let you sing bass... am I generous, or what?..

I wrote a new gospel song with a classic rhythm and blues chord progression and melody... I need folks with a real feel for the music to do it... sounds like something the Penguins might have sung Sunday morning at a Baptist church..

Catch yez all later...

Jerry


25 Feb 06 - 06:39 PM (#1678873)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Hey, gnu, PM me! They are far from professional and, of course, not complete because I could not be in all places at once (You might take that up with KT- I had great faith that she would get the cloning done in time) but they are fun and evocative of the whole weekend.

Eb


25 Feb 06 - 08:24 PM (#1678926)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: SINSULL

Kendall's TV Series was based around the kitchen table - "Stories Told In The Kitchen". Two guys sitting at the table drinking hot tea and nibbling on toast. Wonderful warm setting for some hilarious tall tales.

The kitchen was always the center of life in my house. Drove Mom nuts. She'd be trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner while steering around 20 people in a room that was crowded with six. Funny, but in my childhood, the homes we kids always looked forward to visiting were the ones where we met in the kitchen. We dreaded the places where we were expected to sit up straight in the living room.

Nice thread, Jerry. It brought back some happy memories.


25 Feb 06 - 08:35 PM (#1678933)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Cluin

Somebody's got a 1001 piece puzzle on the go, one of those quaint old harbour things. I'll pitch in a few minutes working on "the dock".

Anyone caught hiding a piece for the end gets to do the dishes tonight.


25 Feb 06 - 10:10 PM (#1678962)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Back in 1981, in April, my mother died. We drove out from Ohio to Springfield, Illinois, about 12 hours at the time, and overnighted with my brother. He had some Jamison which he shared with my wife and me, and the next day we drove on two more hours to my home town and the funeral.

Well, it turned out that they had to keep Mom on ice for a week -- the Catholic Diocese wouldn't let her be buried during "Holy Week" and we had to have the funeral on Easter Monday.

So we all stayed at the old homestead and got reacquainted with each other around the old kitchen table -- the one where we'd eaten so many meals, had so many fights, did so much homework, built model airplanes, assembled our gear when the three boys went off to war (and two to Vietnam). The siblings got to know each other's wife (no, not that way!) and the wives formed a bond that has lasted -- when my brother Tony was slammed in the hospital for his nine (yeah, I said 9) bypasses, we were the first people his wife called and we were on the road over the next day.

Anyway, we buried Mom on the day after Easter and had a post-funeral get-together at my Uncle's. That evening, Uncle drove over to the house with a six-pack, figuring that he'd have to comfort the four kids. He found us around the kitchen table, talking, playing Yatzee, and going through papers Mom had saved (and a lot of it she had kept hidden from "us kids"). Uncle drank a beer, left the rest, and I'm sure walked out shaking his head.

All around the kitchen table. And as for the delay in burying my mother, sometimes I think she planned it that way.


25 Feb 06 - 10:59 PM (#1679000)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: gnu

Kendall's TV show entitled "Stories Told In The Kitchen" was one of the reasons so many New Brunswickers sent donations to MPBN (Maine Public Broadcasing Network). I never missed a show. I wish I had had a VCR back then. I suppose we are all "kitchen people" to some degree.


26 Feb 06 - 06:56 AM (#1679137)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: *daylia*

... I find the kitchen the most lonly place in the house.

Aww Rap, it'll only get better. Know it, ok?

I've had this little mood-lifter on my table for a few months now -- a peace lily growing in this big vase of water, so you can see the roots, complete with a lovely bright red and blue Siamese fighting fish. I sit beside it and watch it while I eat my meals alone. And believe it or not the little thing has learned to recognize me too! When I sit at that table these days it watches me, gets all excited and swims up to the surface looking for food. So, we eat together now, every day, under my cat's watchful gaze. :-)


26 Feb 06 - 07:00 AM (#1679142)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: *daylia*

PS   It's not a good idea to put two Siamese fighting fish together in the same bowl. Having no space to themselves is just too stressful for them. There's wisdom in that, somewhere, I know ....


26 Feb 06 - 07:52 AM (#1679183)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Sandra in Sydney

I don't know if we ever had a kitchen table - I can't remember the set up of the house my great-grandfather built where I lived till I was 7. We lived in our next house till I was 14 & I can remember the bedroom I shared with my 2 sisters, & my parents bedroom & but not my brother's, or the bathroom or the kichen. I lived in the next house till I was 26 & I think it had a galley kitchen. Memory has never been my strong point, and as I get older ...

In all the years since then I've lived in flats with galley kitchens, usually on my own, so I almost feel deprived! Tho I have had some good times around other folk's tables.

I'm really enjoying other folks' memories.

sandra


26 Feb 06 - 08:15 AM (#1679214)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Funny thing is, in our home here in Derby, we spend more time sitting at the table in the "Great Room" next to the kitchen. I don't know who came up with the idea of "Great Rooms" but they were really on to something. Our Great Room is next to the kitchen, with just a three foot high half way dividing the two rooms. That means that food and conversation flow smoothly between the rooms. When someone is working in the kitchen and there are a lot of people in the house, they aren't cut off from the conversation and music, and the guests aren't clogging up the kitchen arteries. When we just have one or two people visiting, we often do end up in the kitchen.. at least while food is being prepared. We have a taller table with a stool where people like to sit, but our kitchen table is glass. I mean, it looks nie and all, but who can feel warm looking sitting at a glass table? It's like having a metal pillow.

The table in the Great Room is wood and we keep it expanded to it's full size, so 8 people can comfortably sit there. There is also a small couch and a love seat (AND a fireplace) in the Great Room, so it is a very inviting place to gather. On top of that, it has a ceramic tile floor and floor to ceilings windows on three sides, so the acoustics are terrific. Like a Men's Room without the urinals. That's where I record the Messengers.

There's more to say about the magical mix of food and music.. and birds. Definitely birds. But right now, I'm heading up for breakfast.

In the Great Room.

Jerry


26 Feb 06 - 11:23 AM (#1679355)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

We were talking about doo-wop a little earlier. I always thought a real good one to start with is "Come Go With Me", by the DelVikings, I think. There are 3 or 4 different musical threads through the whole song--for various different voices--from bass to pretty high. And "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is one everybody is likely to know. And I've always loved "Goodnight Sweetheart" by the Spaniels. But any suggestions anybody has would be great. Maybe we really should try to think singing some of the same doo-wop songs before we got to the Getaway. Unless people just want to show up and see what happens. That's always fun too.

Any thoughts?


26 Feb 06 - 12:10 PM (#1679416)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jeanie

I can't help with the "doo wop" at the Getaway, Ron, but I just wanted to pull up a chair for a minute to agree with Daylia about having fish in the kitchen and what great table companions they are ! I don't know if they have these in America, but over here in the UK a lot of older houses have a serving hatch between the kitchen and the dining room for plates to be passed through. The house we moved into when I was 10 had a serving hatch that the previous owners had put a tropical fish tank into, and we took it on, having never kept fish before. We had angel fish, catfish, neon tetras, all kinds, each with their own personalities and they made great "dining companions". The kitchen table was right next to the tank, and they'd always come across to have a look and a "chat". The house I moved into last summer had a hatch between the kitchen and living room, which has now been made into a window (handy to see what's going on on TV etc.) and I'm thinking of getting a tank again to put there.

I'm curious about these "Great Rooms", Jerry - I've never heard the term before.

Bye for now,
- jeanie


26 Feb 06 - 12:39 PM (#1679430)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,KT

Yikes! I'm rushing in and out again today. Not even enough time to read everyone's postings......I'm glad you're kkeping that kettle on Jerry. I'll be back!

And jimmyt, I may have been fired from the blues band, but I can do-op with the best of em! May I audition...please????

Sins, I've often wondered why it is that when I'm trying to pull together a spread for 12 people on Thanksgiving, they are always huddled around in my tiny kitchen, watching, instead of relaxing in the living room. Never fails!! Endearing, though!

Jerry, how did your gigs go?

KT


26 Feb 06 - 12:56 PM (#1679450)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: leftydee

Ron, Do you remember "So Fine" by the Fiestas? "There's A Moon Out Tonight" by the Capris? Good harmonizers! The ol' doo wop just makes you smile, doesn't it?

I host a weekend music blast each July (to which you're all invited) and some doo wop always gets a special spot with eleventy-seven part harmonies. Man.... it sounds gooooood! I'll post a thread about the July gig later. We have from 60 to 90 folks each year and music from Friday night 'til kisses and hugs on Sunday. We have couple 'Catters there already in Cap't Bob and Coldjam. Great fun, food and music.

Earlier someone mentioned RedRose tea. Do you recall the old ads with Chimps dressed like rockers? It may be cruel, but performing chimps crack me up. I wish either of my bands was as entertaining as chimpanzees riding bicycles.

What a great place to talk with friends this is, here in your great room, Jerry!


26 Feb 06 - 12:58 PM (#1679452)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: open mike

Kate Wolf's Trumpet Vine is the first song that
comes to mind for me, too, on this topic. I
wonder if we have it in the D.T. if not, we
should. I will check!


26 Feb 06 - 01:07 PM (#1679458)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, KT:

I still have three today... actually two, but singing with two different groups at the same program.. One program is all spirituals.

Last night was interrresting. For the first time in the nine years that we've been together Joe and Frankie didn't make it at the last minute. The other member of our quartet moved to Florida, so you know that he wasn't there. So, it was a new first for me. I was the first one white man/black gospel quartet in History. Not that it bothered me particularly. I've performed alone most of my life, and I recognized several of the others groups because we've sung with them in other churches. I also sing alone in nursing homes all the time, so it felt right for me. I've gotten known as that white guy who sings in the black community, so I was right at home.

The greatest thing about the night was that they had a group called the Gospel Express. I talked to them awhile before the program and know one of the women who sings backup. The groups is fantastic. Think James Brown crossed with Wilson Pickett as their lead singer, and the three women sounding like the backup singers for Ike and Tina Turner. Throw in a lead guitar who sounds like he's off a Temptations album, and fine bass player and an 8 or 9 year old drummer that is already going professional, and you've got the group.
The lead singer is a soul singer who got the Spirit, and the lead guitar player (who is even older than I am) sang lead on one song that sounded like Hank Williams should have done it. My son Pasha from Ruth's first marriage was there with his wife, and Pasha and I were having a great time. We both love the old soul music. Never mind that Pasha is Muslim. He can still get down.

As for rhythm and blues (dubbed doo-wop many years after the fact, I have put together what I modestly think of as the definitive collection of rhythm and blues groups starting with the first black groups like the Ink Spots, the Mills Brothers and the Ravens, right up to a track from Paul Simon's failed Capeman musical. That's where I learned to sing harmony. Living next door to New Haven, I keep meeting singers from the early groups. Fred Paris, who sang lead on In The Still Of The Night is a good friend of a mutual friend who lived just a door away from us, Jimmy, who replaced Bill Kenny as the lead singer in the Ink Spots when Kenny went solo sings in one of the male choruses that I sing in, as does Doug, who sang with the Flamingos for something like 17 years, and also sang with the Coasters. New Haven has always been a hotbed of quartets, and still is. Now, it's gospel quartets... They're coming out of the woodwork.

Gotta get packed up to go..

Polly put the kettle on..

Jerry


26 Feb 06 - 01:16 PM (#1679464)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Glad to see you Bob: I was hoping that you'd stop in.

Oh yeah, there's Ten Pound Radio that I wrote, that's on my second Folk Legacy album:

It wasn't all that long ago
When we listened to the radio
We all knew the songs by heart
And everybody sang their part
And every corner had a group
We sang Searchin' and Alley-oop
And even though those days are gone
I still like to sing those songs

   Now when you walk down town at night
   Underneath the street lamp light
   All the kids you're like to see
   They won't be working on their harmony
   Oh no......
   They'll all be listening to a ten pound radio
   And even though they know the song
   They never even sing along
   Oh no-o-oh, no,no,no,no-o-oh
   No-oh,no-oh,no-oh,no, no-o-oh
   No-oh, no-oh-oh o-oh- no-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Not sure I got all the no-oh-ohs right... you have to sing it to hear it.

Jerry


26 Feb 06 - 01:30 PM (#1679479)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: *Laura*

I haven't got one of my own at the moment but I'm enjoying the kitchen table stories. I'm being the person at the moment who sits next to the table and listens to all the people sitting round it.
Nice thread Jerry

xLx


26 Feb 06 - 01:35 PM (#1679484)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Glad to see you, Laura:

Everyone has a tale that just waits to be told. You too..

Jerry


26 Feb 06 - 02:31 PM (#1679520)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: leftydee

Jerry,

I'm pickin' and grinning. I just played Davenport along with the tape The Secret Life of, well..... You.

Nice little gathering you've got going here. Listen closely, you'll here me growling out Ten Pound Radio in a minute.

Bob


26 Feb 06 - 02:50 PM (#1679535)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: leftydee

Well....d'ja hear me? I was beltin' out that bass line!


26 Feb 06 - 03:00 PM (#1679544)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Little Hawk

I can fondly remember many times around kitchen tables, but haven't had one in a few years now, as it happens. Every now and then I get to sit at Raptor's kitchen table, though. He has a traditionally set up living place in that sense, and it's nice. It has a great view in the backyard.


26 Feb 06 - 06:02 PM (#1679734)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: lady penelope

I've always liked Blue Moon done as a doo wop song........


26 Feb 06 - 07:06 PM (#1679777)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Snuffy

Bom bom a bom a bom bom a bom a
Dang a dong dang a ding a dong ding


26 Feb 06 - 08:29 PM (#1679840)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: number 6

I don't like doo wop ... but it is beter than apacella.

sIx


26 Feb 06 - 08:29 PM (#1679841)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Hey, Jerry, we call ours "The Dining Room." A counter/low wall between the table, etc. and the kitchen, just enough that you can tell they're two different areas. Our table, extended, has eight regular chairs and we have seated sixteen adults (but it's cozy). We leave our table extended, and we eat there all the time.

And then there's the back porch (deck). Summertime, we eat out there and watch the golfers and then, when the golfers go home, we watch the sun set behind the mountains seventy miles away. Best show in town; someday the city is gonna charge us entertainment tax.

Come 'round, tune up the guitar that's in the basement by the fireplace. And oh yea, that's another "great room" area....


26 Feb 06 - 09:06 PM (#1679877)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sounds good, Rap:

We don't have a mountain view, although we are at the highest end of Hillcrest Ave, which pretty much says it all. What we do have is an area we created for attracting birds. Our yard is small, but there is an 8 foot (or 14 foot if I don't trim it) hedge between our house and the neighbors. We created a bird sanctuary with a squirrel- proof bird feeder (yes they do exist,) two (Count 'em) birdhouses our Grandson and his friend made for us, a bird bath and in the summer, two recirculating waterfalls. When we sit at our table (which sounds much like yours) we look out a floor-to-ceiling wall directly at the small bird sanctuary. The birds are endless entertainment (even moreso than the fish in the aquarium that have become so large that Ruth is afraid of them.) We also have a deck off the Great Room where we have cookouts. Last Summer, our son Pasha and his son "little" Pa-Sha and I (mostly helping) built a screened-in Gazebo that comfortably sits 16 people. Between the Great room and kitchen, the deck and the gazebo, we can easily handle 40 people... and usually do a couple of times a year. There's music and food... the two basic fuels of life.

And plenty of extra guitars, banjos, mandolas and even a fiddle..

And Bob, if I ever make it out to Michigan again or we make it to the Getaway, I know who to get to sing the bass part on Ten Pound Radio..

Doom boppa doom, Doom boppa doom, badah Doom boppa doom...

Jerry


26 Feb 06 - 09:10 PM (#1679879)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Bobert

Great thread, Jerry...

Oh, where to start???

I grew up sitting a a huge "dining" room table that seats 12.... It's where my mom would offer me 2 cents to finish the remianing brocolli... It was where my mom and dad would argue over civil rights as my brother and I would look on... And where when I came into my own self I would argue about politics, civil right, and the war in Vietnam...

But it was also a table where our gay nest door neighbors would talk of theater and art... And where my friends woould sit when ivited to dinner... My dad worked for Ford Motor Company and he would have his business friends over for dinners there and my mom would be on her best behavior...

Then I got marries and my folks moved away to New York City and the table went into storage... And then they moved again and again as my dad kept getting different jobs but the table was always "somewhere" with blankets thrown over it...

Then when I moved to Wes Ginny and was designing an addition on the house we had bought I asked about "the table" and my parents seemed relieved that I wanted it and so I built a big room for it and until recently moving back to Virginia had it for 18 years... And in those 18 years it took on a new life... Next to it is where my son ate his first meals in his high-chair... It was at that table that Judy and I spent our evenings and where relatives and friends sat when they came to visit... It was there that many an evening I would be asked to play a few songs and ended up playin' half the night...

And it was at that table that Judy took her last meal... It was a Tuesday and she died that Friday...

Foure years later it was the table where I served my new wife, P-Vine, her first Bobert-cooked breakfast and where we had all three of her sons and their wives for Thanksgivings...

BUT it was also the table where I would sit every December and write out Christmas cards to my family and to my friends and, if nothing else, this has been it's most important duty as I try very hard to stay in touch, even if only once a year, with my friends... Yeah, some prolly wonder why I still do it since I don't see them too much anymore but it means a lot to me and sitting at that table writing messages to my old friends keep the lines of communication open for when I get time to see them agian... You included, Jerry... sniff..

Now, since the move "the table" is yet back in storage and I am building madly trying to make a space for it and it will happen and my prayersa and my hopes are that many folks who I have come to know- and love- here at Mudcat will come to visit and sit at "the table" and add another chapter to its glorious life...

No, it's not exactly a "kitchen" table but, hey, I think if it could talk, there's probably not too many "kitchen" tables that wouldn't let it thru the door....

I'll let everyone know when it's ready for some new chapters...

And...

...thanks Jerry. One day you and Ruth will break bread with me and the P-Vine and...

..."the table"...

Yer Bro,
Bobert


26 Feb 06 - 09:18 PM (#1679891)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

"It was his old kitchen table.." I can already here the song. Certainly a worthy topic for one. I actually wrote a song about our screen porch door... mentioned it in one thread or another on the Cat so I won't repeat it. Sometimes, something inanimate is woven so finely into our life that it seems to take on a character of its own. That old saying, "If walls could talk" applies to kitchen tables and screen porch doors, too.

My oldest son, his wife and kids have moved to North Carolina. I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up swinging down that way, maybe catch you and the Pea-Vine, maybe even catch a day at the Getway. Ya never know...

Jerry


26 Feb 06 - 11:19 PM (#1679965)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos

It was just an old kitchen table
It had been painted six or seven times
It was where I'd sit while my momma made us dinner
It was where I saw my first dime
If I needed a place to take apart a radio
Or glue a plastic model plane
There was that old kitchen table waitin' there
And I wish that I had it back again.

The winter I was seventeen, Joleen and I drank cocoa
And sat there while we talked about our plans.
And if Momma went upstairs when the kitchen clock said nine,
We'd get a chance to kiss and hold each others' hands
We would sit and listen to the kitchen radio
Singing "Blue Moon" and "Cryin' in the Rain"
Just an old kitchen table waiting there when it was needed
And I wish that I had it back again.

...hell, it's a rough and smarmy start, but it's a start. IMagine a tune vaguely parallel to "Momma Tried".

A


26 Feb 06 - 11:37 PM (#1679979)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

That's amazing--that you have all those connections with those classic doo-wop groups--the lead singer in the 5 Satins, and you mentioned the Flamingos and even pre doo-wop classics--the Ink Spots. Just wonderful stuff--it is so great to be in a group and just be able to break into multi-part harmony in a field or on the street. I used to be in a madrigal group and we'd do that in restaurants, etc (after a Renaissance Fair for instance.)

And I noticed that a lot of my singing friends weren't getting much exercise so I started "Volleyball Not For Singers Only"--we'd play volleyball and sing madrigals and Sacred Harp between games. We weren't very good at volleyball--that's for sure--we also had players who did things like one put a deflated beach ball on his head. I always imagined we were getting some exercise. And we had some really good volleys from time to time. But we had to try to attract some good players to keep games lively. Fortunately we had a lot of friends (remember it was not for singers only)--and some of the non-madrigal people even enjoyed hearing madrigals and Sacred Harp between games (all memorized). We even tried once to sing while playing-- I AM the Rose of Sharon and the LILL-y of the Valley. We only tried it once.

Anyway, I just love all sorts of a cappella, unaccompanied or whatever anybody wants to call it--archipelago, Acapulco etc.

Hope we can do more at the Getaway this year.

And Leftydee--your sessions sound just wonderful.


27 Feb 06 - 08:32 AM (#1680162)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Good start, Amos... keep working on it... it should be a fine song.

Yes, Ron: It is amazing to sing with some of the old rhythm and blues legends. Jimmy, who sang lead with the Ink Soots for so many years was my first choice to replace our tenor. He sang with us once, and it was very exciting! He stepped in and sang with us for the first time when we were performing. He immediately found his harmony and we blended together beautifully. He's also a verey sweet man. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the freedom to join the group because he has heavy demands on his life because of health problems in his family. Family has to come first, and I understand that. Doug also sang with us three or four times... the one who not only sang tenor for so many years with the Flamingos, but was also on the Five Satins recording of In The Still Of The Night, which was recorded in the basement of a house in New Haven. Doug didn't work out because he has a much more contemporary approach to harmony and doesn't really enjoy the straightforward four-part harmony that we love. It was a difference in style and we couldn't make it work. Maybe I should see if Fred Paris would like to join us.

One thing I've seen in my life is how certain cities become a hotbed for particular styles of music. That's always been true from Nashville to Detroit with the Motown sound, Philly, Seattle, Minneapolis in the era of the artist formerly known as Prince, New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco for the folk revival.. New Haven has always been a hotbed for groups, and many of the great rhythm and blues groups came from there. I spent most of my adult life in Stamford, Ct. which is only 45 miles at most from New Haven.
I started my gospel quartet there, and we were the only old-styyle gospel quartet in Stamford and the surrounding towns. In New Haven when they put a program together, they invite more than twenty different groups to come and with each group doing tow songs, the programs can last four or five hours. Now that we are no longer in Stamford, there isn't a single old-style gospel quartet singing there, while there are probably thirty or 40 in New Haven and the neighboring communities.

I also wanted to comment about sharing music. But, I think I'll start another post for that. I think I've pretty much used up a screen's worth with this one.

Jerry


27 Feb 06 - 08:48 AM (#1680169)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

There's always been a lot of talk about being a cheerful giver. They say that God loves a cheerful giver. There's much less talk about being a cheerful receiver. If we can't be a cheerful receiver, we are denying someone the chance to be a cheerful giver. I used to tell a friend of mine who was constantly sending me music that I was his "unplowed field." Now musically, I am not completely "unplowed," but the image seemed right. We all need friends who are "unplowed fields". If we didn't have them, how could we know the joy of sharing?

Ten years ago when I first joined the black Men's Chorus that I sing in, I was so excited about singing with the guys (we don't sing from sheet music and learn all the parts by ear,) that I could hardly contain myself. And couldn't think of a good reason why I should. So, I put together a listening tape of some of my favorite black gospel recordings and gave a copy to every man in the chorus, and a few friends. The Male Chorus is about 40 men, and I ended up making pretty close to 50 copies. There are also folks we visit who are house bound because of age or health problems who appreciate getting music. When I handed out the cassettes, the guys said, "How much do I owe you?" and started reaching for their wallet. I told them "You don't owe me anything... just enjoy the music, and that's more than enough payment for me." Everyone enjoyed the tape so much that I made a Volume II and shared copies with everyone. I finally ran out of enough good material after I finished Volume VIII. All told, I made close to 400 cassettes and completely burned out my tape box in the process. But, no one was happier than I was. And that's how sharing works.

Lest it sound like I am congratulating myself for my generosity, I have to say that I can never give as much as I have received. For every tape or CD I send out, I've probably received as much from others.. often people are hardly know. If I end up sending Catters music, understand that I am only giving in response to the generosity of others towards me. My friends who have been so generous to me have so much more music than I do that I can't give them the same amount of music in return. I have to give to other "unplowed fields." In the Good Folks" thread, I mentioned Don Stevens and Jim Hickam as two people who have buried me in wonderful music. There is no way that I can reciprocate with them. But, I can shower someone they have never met with music. And that person can shower someone else.

If we all took showers, the world would be a better place to live in.

Jerry


27 Feb 06 - 09:42 AM (#1680220)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos

If we all took showers, the world would be a better place to live in.


Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most powerful.

:D


A


27 Feb 06 - 04:56 PM (#1680564)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

It's been a beautiful day, the sun is setting and we're about to have supper in our Great Room. I talked to the guys today and we're having practice this Saturday morning up here. Today at the dentist's, I was talking with the Dental Hygienist (before she filled my mouth with tubes) and she told me that her husband was listening to a CD I gave her a year ago of the Messengers when we did a concert in Washington, D.C. for the GWFSS. She said that he had asked if he could ever come to one of our practices because he loves our music. He plays guitar and was in charge of the music ministry at his church for 8 years and sings TENOR! and us being without a tenor and all... When I got home, I talked with my wife about it (NEVER ask friends over for food unless you ask your wife first, fellas... that's real dissrespectful.) She was fine with it, so this Saturday we'll have a tenor to be named later coming to sing with us and a genoouine Dental Hygienist thrown in on the deal. There'll be plenty of food and a lot of music.

And plenty of room...

I'll keep an eye out the window, looking for you..

Jerry


27 Feb 06 - 04:57 PM (#1680566)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Oh yeah, be sure to floss before you come..

Jerry


27 Feb 06 - 05:42 PM (#1680602)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charmion

WE have a green leather armchair and a La-Z-Boy couch in our kitchen, with an ottoman and a beat-up pine coffee table. The "real" kitchen table is a granite-topped work island -- not very homey -- but somehow the couch and the armchair and the coffee table cancel out the graniteness. The inevitable presence of Perdita (small black cat) in the armchair helps, of course.

My kitchen is primarily a workshop, a clean version of the village forge where I liked to hang out when I was four. Like the blacksmith's shop, half of the kitchen is workspace and the other half is entirely social. Sometimes the social impinges on the work, and elbows have to be nudged out of the pastry, but in the seven years Edmund and I have lived there I have only once shooed people out so I could make the gravy in peace. It doesn't matter if I put out a tray of glasses and tempting bottles in the -- what did you call it, Jerry, a Great Room? -- right, the Great Room. People always go where the action is, and plop themselves down at Ground Zero.

We have a round mahogany dining table that I bought for $200 from a guy who put an advertisement in the Penny Saver. I love that table so much I even paid a cabinet-maker another $200 to make leaves for it so it could be expanded to seat eight. The Victorian oak chairs came from my great-grandfather's house in Beauport, Quebec, and I dimly remember sitting on one of those chairs, supplemented with a cushion and three volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, as a very small child. My father would shove his thumb between the rails into the small of my back to make me sit up straight; he deeply disapproved of children who slumped at the table. He later told me that his father had done exactly the same thing.

I think the single thing Edmund likes best in life is to sit down with half a dozen friends at that table, and then proceed to ply them with course after course of hearty food, accompanied by lashings of wine. I remember him looking at a photograph of a festive table-setting in the Homes section of the newspaper: you know the kind, all centrepieces and place cards. "Where the hell are they going to put the turkey?" he demanded. "That's no way to set a table!"


27 Feb 06 - 06:05 PM (#1680627)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Micca

Charmion, I KNOW what he means!!! when I had the opportunity to get a Dining Table made to my specs. It is 6'6"long and 3'6"wide sothat there is room down the middle between place settings for dishes of food!!!
But to pick up Jerrys Kitchen Tables theme, yeah, it was the centre of our house when I was growing up, complete with the split in a board in the middle that my father had accidently made while he was making a fishing rod on it. When we moved to England in the late 50s-early 60S it got left behind as we could only take what we could carry. So, along with my collection of "carefully saved for" books hoarded and added to from 2nd hand sources, my first microscope and other personal effects it was left behind. It was many years before I realised that a focus was missing from things. But gradually other Kitchen tables in other peoples houses made new memories , some of the best I have,of music and talk and singing. Now my mother and sister ( who were the indisputable Queens of their Kitchen tables) have passed on and I am reminded again that Kitchen tables are so important because so often they are close to the centre of caring and love in a house.


27 Feb 06 - 08:55 PM (#1680765)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Joe_F

Likewise, Ken Hicks's "All the Good People":



We drank in the kitchen & held no competition,

Each knowing the other was a good friend to have.



Alas, my kitchen is too small for a table. It is a real kitchen, but about the size & shape of a dining-car one. Likewise in the house in Vermont when I was a kid. But in California, we were so fancy-shmancy that we had a *breakfast room*, on the opposite side of the kitchen from the dining room. The only sociable kitchen I've ever had was while I lived in a rooming house in Cambridge, MA, oh, 45 years ago or so.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: A politician uses statistics as a drunk uses a lamppost -- for support rather than illumination. :||


27 Feb 06 - 09:02 PM (#1680766)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: kendall

We gathered in the kitchen because that's where the stove was.


27 Feb 06 - 09:18 PM (#1680780)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: kendall

I don't feel at liberty to analize Gordon. All I can say is, he is my oldest best friend, and you would never believe some of the things we have done. He is a man who values his privacy and doesn't do well with people who try to insinuate themselves into his circle of comfort. That's typical of Mainers; I'm the same way. In fact, there is an old Maine saying: "Be careful who you befriend, they will want something from you sooner or later." Now, we are not that bad, but you get the idea.
He's one of the finest people I know, and even after almost 50 years, I still don't know him totally.

He is at his least approachable when he is performing. His mind is on what he is doing almost to the exclusion of all else. That I understand too, having a similar mind set.

Lastly, he is not "stuck on himself", just shy.


28 Feb 06 - 12:00 AM (#1680840)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Kendall--

Absolutely nothing wrong with valuing privacy--that's for sure. But you sure are teasing us--"you wouldn't believe some of the things we have done"--isn't there one story you can tell us--here around the kitchen table.?


28 Feb 06 - 01:06 AM (#1680854)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Kt

stay tuned.....


28 Feb 06 - 01:53 AM (#1680862)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos

Yeah, Skipper -t'aint fair ya know -- tell all!!

:D


A


28 Feb 06 - 06:50 AM (#1680937)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,King Table

Tables r grate


28 Feb 06 - 08:56 AM (#1681005)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: kendall

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

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

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

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

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

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


28 Feb 06 - 09:01 AM (#1681009)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

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


28 Feb 06 - 09:16 AM (#1681020)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

Jerry


28 Feb 06 - 09:27 AM (#1681025)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

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

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

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


28 Feb 06 - 09:32 AM (#1681027)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

They must be legion..

Jerry


28 Feb 06 - 09:33 AM (#1681028)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos

Jerry:

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

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

A


28 Feb 06 - 10:30 AM (#1681064)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

Jerry


28 Feb 06 - 11:42 AM (#1681158)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Amos

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



A


28 Feb 06 - 12:10 PM (#1681217)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Jerry


28 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM (#1681433)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

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


28 Feb 06 - 02:51 PM (#1681447)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Bill D

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

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

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

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

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


28 Feb 06 - 11:04 PM (#1681876)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Ya never know..

Jerry


28 Feb 06 - 11:15 PM (#1681884)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Bill D

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

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


01 Mar 06 - 12:07 AM (#1681918)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

Jerry


01 Mar 06 - 08:50 PM (#1682780)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

Jerry


01 Mar 06 - 09:44 PM (#1682829)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

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


01 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM (#1682879)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Jerry


01 Mar 06 - 11:24 PM (#1682911)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

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

Thanks,

Ron


01 Mar 06 - 11:56 PM (#1682926)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

Jerry


02 Mar 06 - 10:20 PM (#1683859)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

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


02 Mar 06 - 10:34 PM (#1683883)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

Cooking over here, and not in the kitchen.

Jerry


03 Mar 06 - 10:30 AM (#1684362)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Good tenors are hard to come by..

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

Jerry


04 Mar 06 - 06:09 AM (#1684882)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers

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


04 Mar 06 - 07:56 AM (#1684938)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are things in your neck of the woods?


04 Mar 06 - 08:01 AM (#1684941)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry-

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


04 Mar 06 - 08:04 AM (#1684943)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

God Is Not Hard Of Hearing

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

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

Jerry


04 Mar 06 - 08:20 AM (#1684957)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle

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

you got me singing it already

all the best

al


04 Mar 06 - 09:57 AM (#1685003)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: kendall

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


04 Mar 06 - 12:28 PM (#1685089)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

The other verses are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

   When a man can make a living doing nothing at all

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

   Out of all these people, not a one like me

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

Jerry


05 Mar 06 - 01:39 AM (#1685392)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

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

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

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


05 Mar 06 - 07:32 AM (#1685488)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle

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

seemed like a really good theme, a powerful thought

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

all the best
al


05 Mar 06 - 12:05 PM (#1685656)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Got you, Al:

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

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

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

Jerry


05 Mar 06 - 02:56 PM (#1685787)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers

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


05 Mar 06 - 08:58 PM (#1686066)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

Jerry


06 Mar 06 - 10:25 AM (#1686398)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jerry


06 Mar 06 - 11:57 AM (#1686457)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Good thread here, once again, Jerry...

But kitchen tables are where you find them...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to all of you who made that camaraderie possible!

Art Thieme


06 Mar 06 - 11:20 PM (#1686943)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

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

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

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

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

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

It seems there's a whole science of harmonizing.


07 Mar 06 - 08:30 AM (#1687193)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

Ya want to be a Messenger, Ron?

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

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

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

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

And eating.

Jerry


07 Mar 06 - 08:11 PM (#1687858)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Art:

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

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

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

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

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

Jerry


07 Mar 06 - 11:28 PM (#1687955)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

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

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

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

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

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

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


08 Mar 06 - 06:52 AM (#1688136)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

But life is good..

Nice to see you, Ebbie..

Jerry


08 Mar 06 - 12:03 PM (#1688335)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: leftydee

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

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

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

Bob


08 Mar 06 - 08:31 PM (#1688699)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Bob:

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

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

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

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

Jerry


09 Mar 06 - 09:06 AM (#1689133)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: ranger1

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


09 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM (#1689146)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Modest but proud

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

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

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

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


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


09 Mar 06 - 05:46 PM (#1689541)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

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

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

Jerry


10 Mar 06 - 05:49 AM (#1689867)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle

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

a bit like the poet laureate


10 Mar 06 - 06:35 AM (#1689891)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

Jerry


10 Mar 06 - 08:12 AM (#1689919)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Bobert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sniff...

Bobert


10 Mar 06 - 09:04 AM (#1689963)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: SINSULL

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


10 Mar 06 - 09:14 AM (#1689972)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

And in the movie Avalon, the family slowly disintegrates through time as they move from having dinner and conversation at the kitchen table, to watching television while they are eating, to moving into the living room to watch television while they eat.

And how can I ever forget that classic howl of disbelief.. "You CUT the TOIKEY!"

Jerry


10 Mar 06 - 11:56 AM (#1690086)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

And Modest But Proud: Hearing is a terrible thing to lose. So, good on you! My Aunt was almost completely deaf the last few months of her life (she died when she was 97) and it was heartbreaking not only for her, but for my Mother. They were the two remaining siblings from 8, and were living in the same retirement complex. What initially was a beautiful situation, where my Mother could visit her sister every day became an enormous frustration. My Aunt could no longer hear my Mother, and I'm not sure who was most frustrated. Even though they lived in the same complex, they weren't able to communicate. For many years, they'd spoken to each other over the phone every day. What a loss it was. My Aunt would have required surgery to regain her hearing, and she was just killing time until her kidneys finally gave out on her and she was gone.

I've noticed as I get older that people speak more softly. It's an irritation and a bother. Why don't people speak up like they did when I was younger?

Jerry


10 Mar 06 - 02:48 PM (#1690198)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,mg

Hey modest..I worked with Ben Clopton and Joe Miller at U.Washington in the cochlear implant lab. Late 70s. I am always amazed to hear the stories. mg


10 Mar 06 - 11:49 PM (#1690441)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry-- sorry I didn't answer before--sure, I'd love to be a Messenger. I sure try to get into the swing of it when my group (about 180) does gospel. We mostly do pretty heavy stuff--Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Bach St. Matthew Passion etc. And I love that--my all-time favorite piece of any genre is the Brahms Requiem, partly because Brahms made it an inclusive as possible (not specifically Christian), and emphasizes the consoling aspects, no Hell and damnation--- and also because it's just wonderful music. And since I speak German, I can understand what we're singing.

But when we do gospel, I try to get out of the printed score as fast as I can--so you get into the spirit of the music. My group does a good job on Deep River--with a huge dynamic range, and bringing out the melody while letting the other parts just stay in the background. But in livelier pieces the group just finds it agony to swing--Jan says she's embarrassed at watching all the stiff choral singers. And some just never get into it at all--they're fish out of water and stand there frowning while they sing-- and waiting for it to be over. But I sing and sway and grin--I love it--especially songs like Witness, Elijah Rock, and Ain'a That Good News?--the really lively ones. Of course I also get into it physically when we sing the classical pieces too.   But it's a shame to be narrow in music--among other things you deny yourself so much pleasure.

When we sing for the Martin Luther King celebration every year, we always sing with black groups and under black conductors. Gospel singing is sure totally different from what we're used to-- last time the conductor had a whole repertoire of gestures which told the singers where to go back to in the music--lots of repeats of phrases from various parts of the music--just until the director felt moved to go on, regardless of what was in the printed music--building the excitement.   You had to keep your eyes glued on the conductor, not the music at all--you had to have the music virtually memorized, even though we only had 2 rehearsals on it. Fantastic experience.


11 Mar 06 - 07:51 AM (#1690549)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hi,Ron:

An anecdote:

When I first joined the Men's Chorus at the church where my wife and I are members, I was very excited about the prospect of singing with the guys. They sang with great power and freedom, not singing from sheet music. I'd never had any desire to sing in a choir, because I am not musically trained and am barely, barely adequate reading music. Our Chorus Director teaches us new songs, starting with the second tenors who sing the melody, then teaching the baritones, first tenors and bass their harmonies by ear. When it was time for the baritones to learn their harmony, we all stood up and I was quickly into the rhythm of the music. It just felt great to be able to move freely while we were singing. When the baritones had practiced their part, it was time for the first tenors to learn their harmony. I remained standing and was very much into moving with the music, even though we weren't singing yet. Bill, (the only person I knew by name) said to me, "You can stop moving now, we're not singing," and I answered "I waited all my life to be able to move to the music while I'm singing, and I'm not going to stop now!"

I told this story to a group of 1st to 3rd grade girls in a private school where we were singing, and one of the kids raised her hand and asked "Why did it take you so long?" My wife and I and all the teachers really cracked up at the question. It was a logical question, and I wasn't really sure of the answer.

Back in the early 60's when I first started performing regularly, I performed sitting down. It was the way a lof of singers did it. I took lessons from Dave Van Ronk, and he performed sitting down, so it seemed logical to me to do the same thing. But Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Peter LaFarge and many others performed standing up. As time went by, I started performing standing up, and discovered that I liked it a lot because I could move more freely with the music. When I've performed folk music in recent years, I've gone back to performing sitting down. Most of the performers I booked over the years performed that way. Bluegrass bands always perform standing up... as much as anything, because they move back and forth from the mic to do harmonies. And, it would be awkward playing stand-up bass, sitting down. Choirs always perform standing up, and I can't imagine singing black gospel music sitting down. I can sing the old white southern gospel sitting down just fine, but not black gospel.
I suppose I could start a thread (there probably already is one) on whether people perform sitting or standing and why, but those threads always seem to turn out to be one or two sentence responses, without a lot of coversation. This is a kitchen table thread, so we can talk about anything, and have a conversation not just do a survey.

But if it's black gospel, I gotta mooooovvvvveeeee.

Jerry


11 Mar 06 - 11:13 AM (#1690621)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

I love this thread, I have been listening in and enjoying.Made me remember our kitchen table at Grandma's when we were little. My cousin and I would sit under the table and listen to the grown ups talk.We used to love to hear the stories of Gran and her sisters.Grandma was apprenticed to a court dressmaker in London, for the first few years she had to unstich the ruffles at the hem of the dresses and replace with new ones, imagine the filth where the dresses dragged in the mud!She had to walk miles to and fro to work, her sisters all went into "service" as maids.Aunt Lillioe never married as her young man died in France in the first world war, how I wish we had had tape recorders then as I am sure I have forgotten more than I remember. Sometimes the chat became "not suitable for the children" and we would be sent out to the garden for fresh air, but often we were lucky and they would forget we were there.
There was always wonderful smells from the stove, cakes, bread and Lamb stew.We were taught to sew and cross stitch. Lovely memories.I guess that is where I heard my first folk songs as the sisters would sing together in front of the fire in the afternoons.
Years later when I first met my sisters in law in Pennsauken N J we would sit round mother's table in her kitchen, drinking coffee and eating danish pastries.So the kitchen table is the heart of the home where ever we are.


12 Mar 06 - 07:31 AM (#1691123)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Billybob-

Those are great stories about your Grandma and later your sisters in law. I grew up (first 13 years) in NJ--mostly in Moorestown, but also in Pennsauken (so I know exactly where that is.) New Jersey gets a bad rap from people who only see the NJ Turnpike, or associate it with the Mob (thanks to Atlantic City, I suppose). Most people, it seems, have never heard of the Pine Barrens--where in one of the most, if not the most, densely populated states in the Union it is possible to get lost in the wilderness.

I've also read that another reason NJ gets to be the butt of jokes all the time is that for a very long time there was no TV station based in NJ--so both the New York and Philadelphia TV comedians had a field day ridiculing NJ. (Of course, what we used to call Chemical Alley (in north NJ) didn't help--it really did reek up there.) But that was not the whole state by a long shot.


When I was growing up in Moorestown-- ( which, recently, according to, I believe it's Money magazine, was rated by their staff the best town in the whole country)--there was an author of books for early adoloscents named Stephen W Meader. I absolutely loved his books--and devoured them (and others) ferociously and voraciously. The book I most still remember was called Shadow In the Pines. It had to do with an amazing assortment of characters in the Pine Barrens, including a ring of Nazi spies and some birders. I used to take books with me to Sunday school class and read them while everybody else was talking about the assigned (religious) readings. (I had read the books we were suppposed to read for Sunday school long since--usually read the assigned book in the first week--while it was supposed to last the whole year.

Anyway, Shadow in the Pines had to do with a boy who stumbled across a cabin in the Pine Barrens where he found both the Nazis and a copy of Audubon's Elephant Folio--which I'm sure you know was a very valuable and stunningly beautiful huge book of Audubon paintings of US birds. But what really struck me was the graves and especially the diary the boy also found--which documented how the family who ran the iron foundry which used to be there died out. The diary talked about how competition from Pennsylvania foundries was ruining the business and later how each one of the family was dying of (smallpox, I think it was) there in the wilderness until even the diary writer himself--in mid passage-- succumbed. The boy also found graves with gravestones with language like "Sayfe from this sadd Worlde's alarms/ Resteth in his Mayker's Arms. As an 11-year old, I was stunned.

For me, at least, NJ will always be far more about Moorestown and the Pine Barrens than about the NJ Turnpike.


Jerry-- that's a great story about your being moved by music.   I'm with you.


12 Mar 06 - 09:23 AM (#1691177)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey Ron: Is there really a Moorestown, and a Morristown too? I served one year's apprenticeship at the Newark Museum in the early 60's, and spent several months developing an exhibit on Thomas Edison. That gave me an opportunity to travel around the state, collecting objects and photographs for the exhibition. New Jersey is a very beautiful state (forget the Jersey Turnpike, i'ts really part of New York City.) I must admit that one time when I had my sons in the car heading down the Jersey Turnpike when a sudden gusty rainstorm blew up. It put all that fine red clay swirling into the air, where it mixed with the rain, and it was actually raining red mud. My sons thought that it was the most hilarious thing they'd ever witnessed. That aside, I really loved the countryside in New Jersey.

When I finished by year at the Newark Museum, I was offered a job at three Museums. One was the museum in Morristown, New Jersey. It was tempting, because the town is very beautiful. I was also offered a job at the Boston Children's Museum, which would have given me the opportunity to work for Mike Spock, but the position wouldn't be opening up for a couple of months and I was out of work and had gotten into the habit of eating. I ended up taking a position at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Connecticut, and as it turned out, I believe I made the right decision.

Occasionally, I get things right.

Jerry


12 Mar 06 - 09:50 AM (#1691196)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Yup, Jerry, both a Morristown and a Moorestown in NJ. People always assume I mean Morristown--where Washington slept--but we only had Hessians. One of the town's few claims to fame was the house on Main St. with the plaque "Hessians wintered here 1777-78". Moorestown was founded by Quakers, including Mr, Moore. I lived close to the water towers, which you could see from far away.

A wonderful place to grow up--I even had the chance to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra and visit the Franklin Institute, including wandering through the pumping heart-- since we were relatively close to Philadelphia. But Moorestown was still a small town where a kid coin collector could exchange 5 rolls of nickels for 2 rolls of dimes, you could go see the ducks on Strawbridge Lake, get fresh corn at Flying Feather Farm after church, go back in the tall grass and watch birds--and as I said we had that famous author of adolescents' books. I was not at all happy to move at age 13--and to Maryland, a state named after a girl! When we moved I was determined to be miserably unhappy--and was gloriously successful in that endeavor.


12 Mar 06 - 02:06 PM (#1691350)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Sounds a lot like my experience growing up in a small town in Wisconsin. Except we didn't have the Philadelphia Orchestra within driving distance. Not that it mattered, as we didn't own a car. The biggest thing we had nearby was in Milwaukee, where Whoopee John Willfahrt was king of the polka. Honest. You can look it up.

Every small town has its claims to fame... small though they may be. Mine had Carrie Jacobs Bond who wrote I Love You Truly... for many years the most commonly sung song at weddings. The Gideon Society got it's start in my hometown, too. I didn't discover that until many years after I left home when I wrote a song that mentioned the grandest hotel in town and in reading about its history found out that the first meeting of the Gideon Society was held there.

And then, Kerwin Matthews, who starred in The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad and Gulliver's Travels was a classmate of my older sister... or at least was in High School when she was.

The nice thing about small towns is that there is that tall grass and open country within walking distance. If you walk down to the railroad tracks,

"All you have to do is to walk those tracks
And they're bound to lead you to the country
Lie on your back in the tall, sweet grass
Or you can take your dog and go hunting:

Milwaukee/St. Paul

I wasn't much into hunting.. and had a bad accident when I first started hunting with my Father... accidently shot my dog. I never liked fishing either.. turned out I was a naturalist, and didn't know it yet. I preferred watching to killing.

Been talking to my wife Ruth, and she's enthusiastic about coming down to the Getaway this year on the way to visit my son, his wife and their two kids in North Carolina. If we make it, I may just decide to strap our kitchen table to the top of our car and bring it with me..

Jerry


12 Mar 06 - 03:06 PM (#1691403)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

I wish I had time to read down through this whole thread. I think you've struck a chord with the kitchen table. It certainly was that way in my parents' home and still is. The living room is for TV, the den is for reading, the music room... well, you get the idea. But all my memories of talk, from common gossip to world philosophy, center around the table in that kitchen. Dining rooms are a waste of space. Just set a table in the kitchen and solve all the problems in the world.

I had a friend I met at the break up of a relationship. She had just had her heart broken too. We became very close friends and spent many hours drinking tea and talking at kitchen tables, hers and mine, for many years. I married in December 04 and am very happy now. She is marrying this coming June and is also very happy. I hope to see her marry and see her as happy as we dreamed of around those tables.

Hey Jerry, aren't you in Connecticut? Can I swing by and visit in June?


12 Mar 06 - 06:21 PM (#1691511)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yes, Naemanson: I live in Derby... just west of New Haven on Rte. 34. We'd be glad to have you stop by... we'll be in Wisconsin (hopefully) for my Mother's 99th birthday in early June... her birthday is on the 5th, and we usually go out for 7 or 8 days with her birthday somewhere in the middle.

I'll PM our telephone number to you...

Jerry


12 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM (#1691587)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

Excellant, I have friend in Easton I plan to visit also. I'm looking forward to it. We'll consolidate plans as the date draws near.


12 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM (#1691621)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

We should be done finishing the floors by then.


12 Mar 06 - 10:07 PM (#1691665)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Jerry, I was listening in - did I hear you say that you and Ruth might come to the Getaway this year?? Hip Hip!! Come primed to sing- I want to hear you.

Speaking again of kitchen tables, mine was utilized today. There was a really sad incident early this morning: a historic church and attendant community hall down the hill burnt to rubble. This is where our new (7 months old) folk club was born and nurtured and also where I went to work as secretary a few months ago- and now it's gone. Practically everybody in town has a history with the community hall- we've played for dances there, we gathered for concerts and slide shows and live theatre and dinners and breakfasts and just about everything- and now it's gone. There's a lot of sadness in town.

Anyway, later this morning one of our folk club co-founders who is a member of the church that burnt came to my door and we sat at the kitchen table and drank tea and commiserated. No one knows what will happen next. Except that I know I won't be going to work tomorrow!


12 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM (#1691676)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yes, Ebbie:

As things stand, Ruth and I are planning to catch at least one day of the Getaway in the fall. It would be a real pleasure to see so many friends I've never met before. You included. I imagine I could sing a song or two..

Jerry


12 Mar 06 - 10:37 PM (#1691677)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

... and I am really sorry to hear about the loss of the church and community center. I know how devastating that can be to a town. It's not just the building that's lost... it's all the good memories. They will live on, but it's different when the place where people lived them is taken away.

Jerry


12 Mar 06 - 10:46 PM (#1691681)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Oh, and Naemanson: I had several conversations with a woman-friend I came to know many years ago on the same topics... lost love, and the wonder if love was ever to be in our individual futures. She had never been more than a friend. At the time, it seemed very distant and unattainable. But then, nine years ago I met Ruth and we've had almost 8 years of the most beautiful life imagineable together. My woman-friend? I heard from her a few months ago, out of the clear blue. She was doing an album of songs of faith and wanted to record a song I'd written many years ago. She met a wonderful man and after talking with the two of them, they sound as happy (almost) as my wife and me. She recorded the song and did a wonderful job on it... made it completely new for me.

A few years ago, she recorded another song I'd written that was kicking around on a tape I'd shared with her about the Screen Porch Door that graced our front porch when I was growing up. But that's another story. Screen Porch Doors aren't the heart of the house. Perhaps they are the eyes, because they've seen the history of our lives.

Jerry


13 Mar 06 - 04:05 AM (#1691776)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Phot

Hi guys, just passing by, and thought I'd stick my head round the door. Judging by the description, you guys seem to live in one of the nicest bits of the US. When I get home, Pixie and I are going down to Devon to visit my Mum and Dad, they have a 300 year old thatched cottage with a lovley garden, and a stream running at the side of it, its beautiful in the summer, and a great place to relax, sing and play. Ask Cllr about the time we made the valley ring, literally! Well time to get back to work, have fun.

Wassail!! Chris


13 Mar 06 - 04:25 AM (#1691787)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

Well, THEY live in a nice part of the country. I have to live in a tropical paradise on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The trade winds rattle the palm trees making it too noisy to sleep and the waves pound incessantly on the reef outside the lagoon. Nice sunsets, though.

Snow is more of a concept here, not a reality, and a cold day is when you roll down the windows and turn off the AC.


13 Mar 06 - 05:31 AM (#1691818)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle

I wonder if you're right about every town having a claim to fame. I think, all my life, I have dwelled in places of total obscurity.


13 Mar 06 - 06:29 AM (#1691855)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Hi there Jerri and everybody,missed the Kitchen Table Sunday.Had a late night Saturday,or more like an early Sunday morning, before we got home.Nice to see this "Kitchen Table" still going strong.The Lady and I are off to Germany end of this month,a 7hr drive from here.Talking of moving around,if any of you guys are my way sometime,we don't have much room, but you're very welcome to come and share it.
Take care

David


13 Mar 06 - 06:39 AM (#1691861)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Phot: When you're in Devon, swing up this way to Derby and stop in for a cuppa. We're about a fifteen minute drive from Devon. Devon, Connecticut. :-)

As long as people enjoy stopping in and shooting the breeze on this thread, I'll keep it going. When times are quiet, I'll just sit here for a minute, myself.

I'll keep the kettle on.

Jerry


13 Mar 06 - 06:52 AM (#1691869)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Jerry: Spelled your name Wrong.I Prostrate myself before you.How Can I get some of your music?

Divad


13 Mar 06 - 07:08 AM (#1691877)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thas awright, David: There is a Jerri in here who is a female type, and I always find it humorous how much alike we think on so many things.

I'll send you a PM about my music.... I have two CDs out on Folk-Legacy and am just finalizing a re-issue of Handful of Songs on CD. I have two other CDs I'm just finalizing... one made from cassettes of my own (and traditional stuff) and one of my black gospel quartet.

Jerry


13 Mar 06 - 07:26 AM (#1691887)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Thanks:I don't think I could find Folk-Legacy, along with a lot of other music which is hard to find here.Wish I could,because I like to trawl the out of the way record stores,you never know what you might find.OK,I'll look out for your PM.
Cheers
David


13 Mar 06 - 09:43 AM (#1691977)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: ranger1

Hey Jerry! It'd be great if you came to the Getaway! It would be wonderful to meet you and Ruth.


13 Mar 06 - 10:12 AM (#1691998)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Unless something comes up, we intend to be there for at least one day. Ruth and I are both enthusiastic about coming...

Jerry and Ruth


13 Mar 06 - 12:47 PM (#1692164)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers

Jerry - IF you and Ruth are Gettawaying , thats another good reason to risk personal bankruptcy to get over again !


13 Mar 06 - 04:01 PM (#1692348)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble

We had an old black walnut round table with a couple of leaves inserted that stretched it out into an oval, back when I was growing up on the farm in Maine.

The kitchen itself was farm command central, with seven doors, each providing access to a different domain. There was the door to the living room, the door up the back-stairs, the door down to the cellar depths, the backyard door, the pantry door, the backroom door and the door out into the front barnyard. There were times when things got quite busy in the kitchen with all the possible comings and goings of people, pets and vermin.

The door frames were interesting as well. Either the center of the house was moving up or the walls were sinking down, or maybe both were happening silultaneously. There used to be an old coal stove on one side of the room that the dogs slept behind, and a dry sink with a hand pump at one end against the back wall. There was also a mural of "Sweet Betsy from Pike" on the back wall, including the shanghai rooster and the spotted hog. No wall was safe from Mother! She also had painted a pair of small oval murals on the wall above the kitchen table between the windows, one of Molly Malone wheeling her famous cart and another with a shapely mermaid a-sitting on a buoy.

When my brother and I were younger there was no electricity. There were oil lamps for lighting, a real icebox that my parents cut ice for, and a battery operated radio that we loved to listen to for country music and radio drama. My parents also had some good friends who would come over for singing folk songs, and who would also consume huge quantities of food, hard liquor and beer. Some of the more interesting songs we only learned late at night by listening carefully from the head of the stairs. The acoustics were quite good up the stair well!

The farm kitchen is still a comfortable place where Mother in her late 80's is still holding court. The doorframes look even more weird but she's had the ceiling recently re-painted and is planning to resurface the floor. I stop by there once or twice a week to do some chores and swap gossip about various projects. She still enjoys the old songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


13 Mar 06 - 04:19 PM (#1692365)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

WOnderful remembrances, Charley:

I have many rememberances of my Uncle Ross and Aunt Ruth's farm house. And my Uncle Jim and Aunt Glady's, also. When we went to visit my Uncle Ross and Aunt Ruth, the highpoint would be coming into that kitchen in the evening after all the chores were done. The kitchen was blindingly bright, with just a bare light bulb exposed in the center of the ceiling. I loved the light in there and tried unsuccessfuly to get my Mother to agree to have a bare light bulb in each ceiling in our house. Aunt Ruth always seemed to have a batch of freshly made mollasses cookies and home-made ice cream waiting for us.

I ended up putting many of those memories into a song titled Uncle Jim. It was a composite of memories of both of my Uncles, and even some of my Dad.

"Old Uncle Jim he sits, sits in his chair he sits
Reading Reader's Digest for the 14th time
Puffing on a bowl of old Prince Albert
And sipping on some elderberry wine"

Later when I grew up, I made my own elderberry wine, and smoked Prince Albert for a long time...

Jerry


13 Mar 06 - 05:32 PM (#1692460)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble

Jerry-

Yes, even Prince Albert in his can! Father smoked a pipe for years and when he finally gave it up at the age of 60 my brother and I were pissed because we no longer knew what to get him for a birthday present.

Well, it was good that he gave up smoking the pipe – in the long-run it meant having him around for another 48 years.

We always had a patch of elderberries growing out back. Since the backyard door been converted into more kitchen shelving, it's been a little more difficult to interact with them.

We also made dandylion wine!

I don't suppose you have a story about how someone set the pressure cooker going on the stove, left the room to do an errand, only to hear a tremendous explosion from the kitchen. Not a good thing when one is processing canned tomatoes. The murals never looked quite the same. Maybe that helps explain why Mother finally painted over them.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


13 Mar 06 - 05:39 PM (#1692470)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, Charlie: We had elderberry bushes growing all down the length of our driveway. I enjoyed just picking them and eating them. Back in the days when I made about every imagineable kind of wine, elderberry was my favorite. I made danedlion wine too... din't like it much thought. Maybe it was looking at the occasional ant that I missed when I was sorting out the dandelions. What a way to go... drowned in alcohol.

Pressure cookers were dangerous. We had the top blow off ours once, but at least the pot wasn't filled with tomatoes..

Jerry


13 Mar 06 - 10:18 PM (#1692704)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Late this afternoon when we were done staining and painting for the day, I spent some time diligently cleaning paint brushes. Not the most exciting thing to start a thread about, mind you. But as I was cleaning them, I realized that is was my Father who taught me the importance of taking care of brushes and tools.

When I was a kid, my Father and I were at loggerheads most of the time. I didn't turn out at all like he wanted me to, and we seemed to disagree on everything. I seemed to spend most of my days trying to be the exact opposite of my Father. For a long time, I couldn't see that he had taught me anything. (And puhleeeesssss, can we not have anymore stupid books titled "Everything I Needed To Know I Learned from Our Garbage Disposal.") It's only been in recent years that I've come to realize how much my Father taught me, despite my deepest conviction that he didn't know anything worth learning. Kinda like the old saying, "The older I get, the smarter my parents are." It makes me wonder what my sons have learned from me. Maybe not all of the stuff that I harped on all the time. One thing that makes me laugh is that my oldest son Gideon learned the value of the phrase "We'll see." When his kids ask him if they can do something, he answers, "We'll see." They hate it as much as he did when I'd say it to him when he was a kid. Kids hold you to promises, not matter how impossible they turn out to be. Promise that you're going to take them to a movie and if you're in a car accident and have both arms and legs broken and don't take them, they'll cry, "But Dad, you PROMISED!" The trick is to say "well see." Now that my Grandkids know that their Father learned that from me, I've been diminished somewhat in their eyes... :-)

You never know what your kids are going to learn from you. Sometimes it's hard to realize how much you absorbed from your parents. Even if you tried your hardest not to listen to them.

Jerry


14 Mar 06 - 04:48 AM (#1692872)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

My earliest memories of the kitchen table actually take place in the other room. As a child I sat in there, bored, while the adults talked long into the night. As I sat there the talk would slowly fade and become muffled, the noises getting farther and farter away until, to my complete surprise my parents would wake me to put on my coat and go home. It usually disgusted me that getting out the door seemed to take forever and more than once I groused that they could have let me sleep for another hour.

My children have learned from me. I know I was a disappointment to my father but he seems to have gotten over it now. I learned a lot from him, some of which I had to unlearn to live happily in this modern age. My father could give lessons to Luddites.


14 Mar 06 - 08:51 AM (#1693057)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble

The other kitchen table I fondly remember is an extended octagon-shaped one that I put together for Rivendell Housing Co-op back in the mid-1970's when I was living in Lansing, Michigan. There were seven of us who had formed this co-op, we actually purchased the building with a joint downpayment and some incorporation documents, all friends who played folk music or at least loved the songs. The existing utilitarian Formica table just didn't cut it.

I wasn't skilled enough at that point to make an oval-shaped table and not experienced enough to realize how difficult an octagon table would be. However, it was easy to draw up the plans. And it was totally nomadic! Although I don't think anyone has ever moved it. The legs were attached to the top rails with dove-tailed joints, and the rails attached to the table top (a box-like structure underneath) with large dowels. The top surface was oak veneer, with solid maple routed molding, and the legs were solid maple. With this type of carpentry you get one chance to do it right, and I lucked out.

The damn thing actually got put together and has worked perfectly for over 30 years. However, I doubt if the present generation of Rivendwellers has a clue about the table's origin. The housing co-op still functions, remarkably after several complete turnovers, with some of its members still working at Elderly Instruments. Every year they send me a Thanksmas card (our reunion special event between Thanksgiving and Christmas) and I occasionally send them tidbits about the early house history.

One of our "house rules" was having at least dinner together and much of the stress of sharing a house with 6 other creative people was eased by our dinner conversations, far better than our more structured monthly house meetings. We were also very good about sharing the cooking and clean-up responsibilities with regard to the kitchen. That kitchen was cleaner than any place I ever lived in prior or since! Maybe that had to do with the large chore matrix taped to the nearby refrigerator door. The kitchen table was also a safe place to hang out with a few housemates late at night, although one did have to take care not to disturb the occupants of the three adjacent bedrooms; that kitchen had only 6 doors, unlike our old farm kitchen!

Some of my fondest memories were lazy breakfasts with performers who stayed at our house after their gigs at the 10-Pound Fiddle. We would load them up with strong coffee, omelets and toast, or homemade granola, and send them back out on the road to fame and fortune. If there had been a late-night after-the-concert party, and there were many of those, the breakfast was more likely to be a brunch. But, you're right, one learns a lot more about performers (and other folks) by sharing food and conversation around such a table.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


14 Mar 06 - 03:31 PM (#1693544)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Ron, been away from this table for a few days, Billy and I have just watched a wonderful TV programme with kathryn Tickell and Alistair Anderson, we do not often get folk music on English TV, but this was great,then I thought I would come back to the table and catch up. Billy was brought up in Pennsauken and came to the UK in the 60s with the US airforce.He remembers the Pine Barrens, broke down there in his car with sister Connie en route to the Jersey shore. He also remembers the pumping heart on a 5th grade school trip.
My favourite part of NJ has to be Cape May and an early breakfast at the Mad Batter. Later that day we watched the World Clam Throwing Championship.returning to the Essex coast in England and to the annual Folk Festival we were running we held the world Whelk Throwing Championship but it did not live up to Cape May( great fun though)
We are trying to trace our family trees, I have got back to 1723, wish I had paid more attention to Grandma at her table as it has been hard work and I have missed out on all the anecdotes that I listened too but did not retain. We do not have much information about Billy's family. their name is French in origin but we do not know when they emigrated to the USA.His aunt, now 87, tells us her grandfather was Frederick Simon the Pennsauken iceman, he delivered ice by horse and cart in the summer and in the winter by Horse and sleigh.( he also did weddings taking brides to and fro from church in the sleigh)He was approached by Fridgeadair to go into a partnership but did not think it would take off!! Oh well!
I love this thread it has brought back many memories and quite a few phonecalls to my cousins to see what they remember of our grandma.One cousin recalled that Grandma's house was hit by a V2 during World War 2 and the rescuers dug her out of the ruins, she had been hiding under the kitchen table!


14 Mar 06 - 05:53 PM (#1693745)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Maybe everyone was born at the end of an era. The pre-me era.

Reading some of these threads, I hear the last rumblings of an age now gone. I was born at the end of a lot of things that were commonplace when I was a kid... ice boxes and ice wagons, milk delivery, mail delivered twice a day, the circus coming to town on the train and parading down Main Street, barefoot summers with no television... All of that is so familiar to me, and yet it sounds like something out of an old movie to my sons. I guess my life is an old movie.

A friend of mine, Eric Garrison has slowly evolved as a songwriter. Eric is probably about 15 years younger than me. At first his songs were about love (found, lost, misplaced..) But through time, he started writing songs about when he was growing up. I found it very interesting to see his perspective and hear his life through his songs because even though he talked about hearing the Beatles as a little kid, his experiences sounded much like my own, growing up. We just had a different soundtrack. He can talk about the first time he heard I Want To Hold Your Hand. I can remember the first time I heard Earth Angel. Small town life is small town life is small town life. Admittedly, most small towns are dealing with drug dealing and occasional violent crime. But I look at the kids in our neighborhood here in Derby and their life doesn't look that different than mine was. I walked the neighborhood in the winter asking people if I could shovel their sidewalk, and kids are still doing that around here. They go sledding over by the reservoir and shoot baskets in their driveways. Their language may be saltier than mine was, but not all kids talk like the most foul-mouthed rappers and hip-hoppers. Life hasn't gone to Hell in a handbasket yet. Even if nobody knows what a handbasket is, any more...

Jerry


14 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM (#1693875)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble

Jerry-

We usually used a couple of big wash baskets, rather than a handbasket, when we were getting serious about working at the kitchen table. The washbaskets were full of peapods, or some such vegetable, and those assembled were responsible for shelling them pods and extracting the peas, generally for freezing but a few were popped into mouths. This was always a good time to sing sings as well, everything from the latest country western hit to old music halls songs, teerjerkers from the 1890's, calypso songs, and a few old ballads. We never came up with a shelling shanty, or created our own songs. But we sure did a lot of singing while we worked. The wash baskets were made out of woven wood, not plastic, and they're still in use for Mother's laundry.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


15 Mar 06 - 12:28 PM (#1694135)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Jim

Great thread!

Al Kirby and I (Kirby & Yates) released a CD last year called SITTIN' IN THE KITCHEN. The cover photo was taken in a pioneer kitchen at Lang Pioneer Village, near Keene Ontario where we play a regular gig. The title song was written by one of my favourite Canadian singer/songwriters, Bob Snider. I don't think it's been mentioned in this thread yet, but it should be:

SITTION' IN THE KITCHEN       by Bob Snider

Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do
I said, Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do
Well you can dine at the ritz
you can lie on the beach
but I like everything right in reach
I said, Sittin in the kitchen thats what I like to do

Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite place to be
lookin out the window, admiring the scenery
you got a smoke stack here, ventlator there
television areals every where else
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite where I like to be

my little kitchen has every thing I re-quire
its got a pot and a stove, and a light bulb hangin on a wire
I got meat balls simmerin, the lights on low
cause I got myself a dimmer and an even glow
I said, Sittin in the kitchen, you can¹t beat that for nothin

I usta have a room full of chickens come home to roost
I never have to go far to cook my goose
Well I¹d stay there till the cows come too
but if they look in the refridgerator they¹ll beat me black an blue
I said, Sittin in the kitchen thats what I like to do

I thought of going out once but I threw a party instead
we had dancing in the livin room , coats all on the bed
well the radio played the music and I played the host
long as I didn¹t have to leave the place like most
Sittin in the kitchen thats where I was all night long

there was a time when I roamed this land
it was pillar to post,Paul to Peter and hand to hand
it was rain, sleet & snow in ferenheight & celcius
I didn't have a kitchen so I used sombody else-cious
Well, Sittin in the kitchen I never get tired of that

Well I was sittin in the kitchen wailin' on the old guitar
I¹m thinkin of becoming the worlds most famous rock n roll star
well I 'd give it a shot, draw lose or win
but I dont think I can fit everybody in
cause sittin in the kitchenm is the only place I'd want to do somethin like that

Well Sittin in the kitchen all I want on my plate is chow
I 'm wishin I was Sittin in my kitchen right about now
I'll pick up a pizza from a joint up the street
cause I hate to cook but I love to eat
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing
I can even hear the telephone ring ..sometimes
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do

mrtom@bigfoot.com

I just googled the words to save myself the bother of typing them out again, so they're not exactly how I (or Bob Snider) sings 'em, but you get the idea.


15 Mar 06 - 01:19 PM (#1694189)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for contributing that song, Jim:

It captures the special feeling of a kitchen real well. Whatever the view is out the kitchen window, it works fine. I particularly enjoy looking out onto trees, shrubs and flowes just to watch the wildlife... but city scapes work, too. Somehow, even a brick wall four feet away seems "right."

Jerry


15 Mar 06 - 07:01 PM (#1694573)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

Speaking of views out of kitchen windows... Our table (here in Guam) sits next to the window looking at the back yard. There is a high bank about twenty feet out. The jungle stops at the top of the bank. My wife once dedicated herself to cutting back that jungle and was pretty successful for a time. Now the wild chickens, or should I say feral chickens, spend a lot of time up there. We have a family flock that hangs out, scratching for food and squabbling over things, in that area. There is one huge white rooster that is definitely in charge. He keeps the others in line and makes sure the other two roosters don't fertilize any of his hens.

The trees out there are mostly mango, coconut palm, and tagentangen. There are no houses out there because the ground slopes very steeply up to the top of the mountain. Wehn the mangoes ripen we sit at the table enjoying mango in our meals and blessing the day we deicded to rent this place. We often dream of buying it.


15 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM (#1694587)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Col K

Thanks Jerry for starting this wonderful thread ,and thanks to all those who have contributed so far.
I have very happy memories of sitting at Jerry and Ruth's kitchen table and singing with the Messengers the first time and just generally chatting one my second visit. I also remember with great pleasure going with you and Leadfingers to your last rehearsal with Derrick before he left for Florida. That evening was also very special because of the love for each other that was there that night.

What is it about kitchen tables----- all the best parties happen around them, never in the room that the hosts expect you to use.
I hope that one day I will be able to share your kitchen table again Jerry and also have the chance to share kitchen tables with many others, both here on the cat and with many other friends all over the world.
All the best,
Colin


15 Mar 06 - 07:44 PM (#1694642)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Gads. Naemanson, you make heat and humidity sound postively idyllic.


16 Mar 06 - 07:15 PM (#1695628)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

I've been enjoying this thread, just sitting in my chair at a corner of the table, cradling my cup of tea, listening in on conversations as I work my way through a nasty cold.
Kitchen tables haven't featured much in my life for many years- as a child, it was where I sat among beloved grownups and just listened and learned, not comprehending everything but enjoying the company (much as I've been doing in this thread).
In later years, it's been the couch that's the center of the house- where I (still) cuddle my kids (even though they're both taller than me!), where my closest friends and I share a woolly throw over our toes as we confide and shoot the breeze. My kitchen/living room is all one big room, which might be why it's so.
When I was young, my mom's best friend had a couch in her old Vermont kitchen - it's still there, or was the last time I visited a few years ago. It was the spot for shelling peas, taking the weight off the feet after kneading the bread, sharing a cup of tea after a meal- I've always loved having the couch in the kitchen.


16 Mar 06 - 11:31 PM (#1695804)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Billy Bob--

You were talking earlier about Cape May. I really like it too--associate it with great birding and with charming Victorian houses (charming--not in the realtor's translation, meaning "needs a lot of work" but actually full of charm.) Really have to get back there. But admittedly Sidmouth in festival week has more to offer than Cape May, to say the least, especially to a music addict --so Sidmouth is where we try to go every year. Hate to miss it ever. And there's only so much time.


17 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM (#1696087)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Had an interesting kitchen-table conversation yesterday. Except it was over the phone. I was talking with Jonathan, the director of the Greater New Haven Male Fellowship Chorus that I sing in. I've been looking for a tenor for my gospel quartet now for well over half a year, with no success. I probably know, or have contact with at least a couple hundred singers in various groups and choruses, and I can't come up with one tenor. My friend Jonathan is very enthusiastic about my three man quartet and called to book us to do a concert at his church. I'd talked to him before about finding a tenor, and brought the subject up again. He said that I was going to have a hard time finding someone, and couldn't recommend anyone from his male chorus, or any of the other choirs and churches where he plays. He saw the difficulty in finding someone who has a natural ear for harmony, and can stick with it. Before I started singing in a male chorus ten years ago, I assumed that all singers could hear harmony. Man, was I wrong! Hearing harmony is a gift. Almost all of the singers in male choruses I've been involved in have to be taught their harmony part, and if they don't read music, they have a terrible time retaining it. Most of the baritones sing the melody, because that's what they hear. In the baritone sections in the two male choruses I sing in, half the time there are more baritones singing the melody than the baritone harmony. That's a puzzlement to me.

As long as we're just sitting around the table, I thought I'd find out what your experiences are in singing harmony (if you're a singer.) I might add that some of the greatest singers I know can't sing harmony.

Some of the greatest singers I know can't hear the key that the song is in.

Some of the greatest singers I know have no sense of timing.

That makes me greatful that I'm not one of the greatest singers, because I have always been able to hear harmony, can tell if I'm singing in a different key than the accompniment, and know when to come in on the next line. I don't take any credit for it. I did nothing to acquire the ability. I just have it, through no great effort on my part. It amazes me to hear singers confidently singing in a different key than the accompaniment, or thinking that they are singing harmony, when they're singing the melody. And can't hear the difference.

Any thoughts on this?

Have another cup of coffee.

Got cold beer in the fridge..

Jerry


17 Mar 06 - 06:11 PM (#1696497)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

Just coffee, thanks. Yes, cream and sugar.

I can make up a harmony if the tune is simple enough. But I cannot do it easily. Usually I need to be taught a harmony and then I find I slip into unison singing if I'm not careful. I think it drove my fellow singers in Roll & Go crazy, at least those who could easily do their harmonies.

I even had trouble singing the melody line of one song a fifth higher than the lead. I kept wanting to drop down to his range. I've always attributed it to years spent singing with the radio on recordings.


17 Mar 06 - 10:47 PM (#1696643)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

That's interesting, Naemanson... Being a baritone, when most lead singers of popular music were tenors, I found myself singing harmony a lot. I couldn't hit the high notes on some of the songs. I think that I really got a feel for singing harmony by learning harmonies to Christmas carols as a kid. My Mother, my two older sisters and a handful of neighbors would go out Christmas caroling when I was a kid. (Now there's a lost tradition for you.) Byt the time rhythm and blues came out, I found myself singing harmony as often as I sang lead when I was listening to the radio.

One thing I've realized is that people who sing tenor (2nd tenor in a choir) almost always are singing the melody. They can be great singers, but have experience singing harmony. The first two tenors we had in our group had no ear for harmony at all... they were fine singers, but hadn't sung harmony most of their life.

I notice, by the way, that most of the baritones in the male chorus I sing in learn the baritone harmony by heart at a practice, but when the next practice rolls around, they've slipped back down to singing the melody.

Jerry


17 Mar 06 - 11:04 PM (#1696647)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry-

I've already said a bit about harmony but I can always find more to say--it's a passion with me. Luckily I've always found it pretty easy to make up harmonies--or, perhaps just as significant, to realize when I'd best listen a bit more before trying to do it. Suppose it's the old nature/nurture split. I was lucky enough to get it from both. A lot of musical exposure early--and I gravitated to harmony pretty quick. Having some piano, I'm sure, helps, since you frequently hear harmonies in what you play with the left hand, and eventually, with the right hand too. I've been playing the viola for quite a while (though not seriously for a long time--haven't been in any orchestra since college.) You better believe with the viola you have to get used to playing harmonies--about the only melody I can recall for viola in classical music (aside from Berlioz' Harold In Italy, where the viola is the solo instrument)--(take that, you viola denigrators!)--is in the second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony. But I just love being part of the musical texture.

I've also had a bit of theory--not enough to understand all the threads about theory I've seen on Mudcat--but enough to be dangerous. A bit of theory sure does help in choral groups--you can tell from the accidentals--now Bach's in D major, now in G minor, now in F major. That way it's not just note, note, note--you can see how the harmonic progressions go--and it makes the music much easier to learn.


Then on top of that, I've been singing in groups for over 25 years--all different sorts of groups, and different sorts of music--madrigals, Sacred Harp, doo-wop, classical, Gershwin, Irving Berlin etc., bluegrass, sea chanteys, lots of church music--and I love lots of other types of vocal music--including Bulgarian women's groups, 30s and 40s calypso, lots of country duets, early jazz, Western swing, lots of black gospel, Sephardic--the list goes on. I think, though I have no evidence for this, that the more types of music you like, sing, and listen to, the more you understand how harmonies work in various types of music --and it helps you put them together quickly--and change super-quick when you realize you guessed wrong.

But you also need a good ear--and I lucked out there also.

What do you think--do you think people can be trained to learn to make up harmonies? I don't see how you'd go about doing it. Somehow you have to hear them--how could you instruct somebody in that?

Hope we get more comments.


18 Mar 06 - 06:36 AM (#1696783)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

I too learned harmony singing at my mother's knee, or rather, at her side, in church. I remember being very young, and noticing that she wasn't singing the melody of the hymns, but was singing something that sounded very beautiful to my 6-year-old ears. So I just joined in and sang with her- I remember her startled glance and her smile- a tremendous incentive to listen more and try to figure out how music worked.
I've been singing harmony ever since! I never really knew what I was doing until I got a university degree in music- but even that didn't take the spontaneous joy from me when singing.


18 Mar 06 - 08:55 AM (#1696869)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Ron
you are so right about the charm of Cape May,the other thing I love about it (being English) is that few English tourists find it,and it is so unspoilt.We go there when we visit Billys folks in Pennsauken and one sister has a beach house at Wildwood.You are right about so little time , we have not been back to the states for thanksgiving for two years.Have   not been to Sidmouth for 15 years but have just booked to go this summer and 6 of my cousins are booked into the same pub,Hope they have a big table for our family reunion.The main reason for going is that I promised Dave Bryant I would join in with the middle bar singers singing "The leaf" (whats the life of a man) in his memory.Now there was a harmony singer!


18 Mar 06 - 10:55 AM (#1696943)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Billy Bob--

Hope to see you at the Middle Bar. That must be one of the absolute best things about Sidmouth--and some of the best sings in the world. And I love all the Middle Bar traditions. As far as I'm concerned the Middle Bar is what not just pub singing but folk singing is all about.


18 Mar 06 - 02:40 PM (#1697072)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

see you there Ron, looking forward to meeting you and all the other mudcatters.


18 Mar 06 - 03:44 PM (#1697123)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Not being able to "hear" the key of a song is a problem that is not limited to singers, by the way. In the last couple of years I've had the painful experience of hearing musicians blithely accompanying singers, playing in a different key. In black churches, it is commonplace for a singer or a group to get up and start singing, unaccompanied. It's the job of the instrumentalists to figure out what key they're singing in, and add the accompaniment. There are two men... one very short who plays electric bass, and one tall and thin who plays "lead" guitar. I keep coming across them. When the singers launch in to a new song, they quickly figure out a key that they can play in and they're off and running. Never mind that it isn't the key that the people are singing in. They are so transfixed by their guitars that they rarely even look up, other than to look at each other. Meanwhile, the singers are left twisting in the wind. I've seen this happen so many times in the last couple of years that I am convinced that they simply cannot hear that they are playing in the wrong key. They're nice enough guys when you talk to them. Just oblivious.

Can you teach someone how to find their own harmony? I know I couldn't. I've been a teacher for long stretches of my life, but I know that I don't have the education to do it. I don't even know how you'd go about it. Seems like it's more productive for all of us to discover where our gifts lie and develop them. And where they don't lie. I could never be a good dancer because I'm not graceful enough. But I can sing harmony...

Ya takes what ya gets and does the best ya can with it.

Jerry


19 Mar 06 - 12:33 PM (#1697834)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

You're right about how important it is for instrumentalists to know what key the singer is in. If I'm acccompanying I always ask before the singer starts. As a singer, I always tell everybody before I start.

But it's a real problem, I'm sure, when the singer is going up against electric instruments who are determined to play in their own key.    Basically the singer has no chance.

I have a recording by Milton Brown (I think it's "Garbage Man") where the band is playing in an entirely different key from Milton--for at least a whole verse. It's hilarious--but probably wasn't intended to be so for that reason.

If the singer doesn't know what key he or she sings in, that has to be ironed out before the song starts.

I don't have a wonderful range. Without falsetto --(thanks to the Beach Boys my falsetto is strong)--I wouldn't be in any choral group. So when I lead a song I usually tell people "I sing in 2 keys, D and probably D". And in fact, it usually is D. So when it's going to be in G or A, I warn people. Then there's "Faded Love". Though a lot of recordings change keys at the chorus so the singer can sing it, I think it's much better if you can stay in the same key.   I've figured out that I can sing the whole song in one key--but only if the key is F (not instrumentalists' favorite key). But at least guitarists are usually willing to use capos. I can play it on the viola and sing it--in F. And people are willing to let me do it--fortunately for me.


19 Mar 06 - 03:24 PM (#1697992)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

As an uneducated singer that is a problem I have run into time and time again. Musicians who know waht they are doing tend to ask what key I use for a song. But I don't know! My music comes from the heart and comes out of me at a key that sounds good in my head and fits into my vocal range.

Which brings up another point. Music must be one of those areas where the practitioner doesn't need to know what he's doing to succeed. There are plenty of successful (i.e., making a living on music) singers out there who don't know one key from another. They depend on their co-musicians to tell them. I can't point fingers because I am one of those people but then, I've never tried to make a living with music.


19 Mar 06 - 03:58 PM (#1698019)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Don't feel bad, Naemanson: I often don't know what key I sing songs in either.

An interesting obesrvation. When a new person joins the Men's Chorus that I sing in, the Director asks them to sing a song, and then he figures out what key they're singing in. He says that that's their key... just as Ron's key seems to be D. Whe I questioned him on that, because I sing in several different keys, depending on the range of the particular song, he said that every singer has one key that's "their" key. So, I went back to my list of songs that the Gospel Messengers sing, to see if there was any validity to his generality. What I found was:

I sing songs in G, A,C,D, E and F (I don't seem to do any songs in B, but tha'ts probably because it's awkward plays a song in B on guitar. (Although Charlie Christian did The Blues In B.)

Our bass singer Joe sings in E, F, A & B

Frankie, (another baritone like me) sings songs in A, B, C and D.

Maybe it's because we all have a pretty large range. All of us can sing bass, baritone or second tenor on most songs. Joe is our best bass singer, although I sing bass when Joe is singing some of his leads. Frankie is our best tenor, although he is basically a baritone, but I sing second tenor when Frankie is singing lead. And Frankie has a fine falsetto, which he sings, except occasionally when he's singing the lead and I sing a passable, but not great falsetto to get above him.

With a trio, you do what you gotta do..

Jerry


19 Mar 06 - 07:52 PM (#1698183)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

In an informal situation (fortunately, that's the vast majority of them), somebody who's not sure what key he or she sings a given song in can hum either a snatch or maybe a full verse of a song before actually starting--by the end of the verse, instrumentalists can virtually always figure out the key. In a large portion of country songs, for instance, the key is the note sung on the last word sung in a chorus.

Then after instrumentalists do figure out the key, they may ask the singer to just go up or down a half step (particularly going up to C (no sharps or flats) from B (5 sharps--not the choice of fiddlers, for instance)--though Bill Monroe, I understand insisted on singing a awful lot in B (just to be cantankerous?--or to test his sidemen?--who knows?)

I've always thought that adjusting a half-step should be no problem for a singer. A full step--that's a different story.

But if you want instrumental accompaniment, it's eminently reasonable that the singer should be guided onto a specific key (not in between keys)--if he or she has no idea what key they sing a song in.


19 Mar 06 - 10:29 PM (#1698264)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Whew. Had an emotional day so it feels good to be back here. Yes, I'd be happy for a cuppa. Thanks.

Today we had a memorial celebration for the long years and many events that this community lost a week ago. It was called McPhetres Hall, attached to a church that was also used for music. Gold Street Music, our new folk club, was born and nurtured there, along with many other events for more than two generations. Scarcely a person in Juneau does not have a connection with that hall.

It all went up in flames last Sunday in the early morning. Nothing was saved and it moils the heart and mind to see it today. About the only thing left intact is the three story chimney rearing its bleak head. There is a tall chain link fence around the site while the investigators do their thing. The church was built in 1895; the community hall some forty years later. Everything was made of wood, of course, as befits this forested land and everything was tinder dry.

Today there were many testimonials and reminiscenses from the audience, interspersed with 10 or so live music sets. It was all well done and each song was appropriate, including a song still in process by our resident bluesman, Pat Henry. He sang that the building is gone, it's gone, but the church still stands...


19 Mar 06 - 11:21 PM (#1698281)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for sharing that, Ebbie:

You know, the nice thing about this thread is that there is no such thing as thread drift. I started this not as a nostalgia thread (although God Knows, I've done more than my share of nostalgia-mongering in my day.) It's a "sitting at the kitchen table, talking about whatever comes to mind kind of a thread, so everything is equally valid to talk about. I really appreciate the specific threads, and have learned an enormous amount from them. (Tonight I printed my first label on a CD for my Gospel Messengers CD and am ready to go into production.) I don't know that I could have done that without all of the help from my friends in here.

But, this is just a nice, late-night kinda thread. I just got off the phone after talking with one of my sons for almost an hour and a half. I hadn't heard from him since Christmas and was concerned about him. Turns out, he's going through a lot of stress at work and has been wiped out emotionally by all the turmoil. Our conversation was very much a kitchen table kind of talk... minus the kitchen table.

I'm so sorry to hear what happened up your way, Ebbie. That's a hard loss to deal with. Oddly, it brought back memories of a tragedy where I worked. A young man (early 30's) who was a beloved Boy Scout leader of a pack sponsored by the place where I worked was accused of sexually molesting young boys, years earlier. His current pack stood up for him as character witnesses, but a couple of adults came forward saying that he had molested them several years earlier. When it became clear that it was going to be made public and taken to trial, the man who worked for me committed suicide. Hung himself in his Mother's garage where he lived. His Mother came out and found him. Some tragedies defy any rational explanation. They just hurt. There's no sense in trying to figure out "why." You just have let the pain out, release it and try to comfort each other. It sounds like that's what you and your friends did, Ebbie. Good on you!

Jerry


20 Mar 06 - 01:57 PM (#1698819)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Sitting at my table with a glass of wine bemoaning the fact that my iron just blew up and the pile of ironing is far too high,So I thought I would look in at the mudcat table and Ebbie and Jerry just made me put things in perspective!I have snowdrops in the garden, snow is forcast here in East Anglia, but it is the spring equinox and summer will come soon.Mothers Day here in the uk next Sunday Gerry , makes me feel so much for that young mans mother.Must count my blessings, all the family coming home on Sunday and a grand child on the way.


20 Mar 06 - 03:04 PM (#1698900)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'm sure that it will be a Grand child, billybob.

You got me nervous about Mother's Day... it's not until May 14th, here. Can't forget me Mum..

I raised my two sons alone. That still don't make me a Mum, though.
Maybe they should have Surrogate Mums Day for all those who raised kids what didn't have a Mum around.

Maybe I'll e-mail Hallmark..

Jerry


20 Mar 06 - 03:32 PM (#1698934)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Thanks Jerry, bet it will be a Grand grandchild,it will be our first and we are over the moon,
we always had a problem for mothers day as in the UK it is always the same sunday in Lent so the date changes year by year, but we always had to buy an extra card and save till May for Billys mother in Pennsauken.I was always worried that I would put the card away somewhere safe and miss the day!I have to admit it did happen ocasionally,
Great idea about Surrogate Mums day, maybe we should have a day for everyone who loves kids that would include mums,dads, grandparents ,uncles, aunts and numerous friends and family.I was on my own when the kids were young before I met Billy and I have to say that the best friends I had were from folk clubs and morris teams and they all became very supportive to my daughter and son,many of them came to my daughters wedding and indeed played during the wedding.
These friendships have grown over 35 years and now I find are continuing in Mudcat,best they all draw up a chair at this table?


20 Mar 06 - 03:38 PM (#1698939)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Plenny a room at the table. How many people have raised discarded kids from their children or relatives? That kind of loving commitment is staggering to me. In a way, it seems even more of a lifetime generous act than raising your own children.

Jerry


20 Mar 06 - 10:22 PM (#1699220)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Hi All,

Nice to be here at the table to talk a bit! I have had a very trying day and I would like to add to the harmony discussion but if you don't mind, I will just drink a glass of wine and reflect on you all a bit til I gather my thoughts. Jerry and Ron and Naemanson and Ebbie and BIllybob seem to make a good table full and a vast source of info on music and harmony. I will be back soon to write a bit. We may all meet at getaway and if we do, I want to sing the great chorus, Farther Along that Jerry and I discussed one night on the phone! I can hear the harmonies ringing right now, and yes, Ron, D is a fine key! grin


20 Mar 06 - 10:27 PM (#1699221)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, it would be great to sing together at the Getaway, Jimmy. Even if it does mean that you get to sing bass. I'm pretty good at filling holes in the harmony, though and content to do that.

By the by, I've got a batch of Gospel Messenger CDs about ready... as soon as I find out the composer of one of the songs, I'll be ready to print the booklet and back. I already have a batch of CDs recorded, with labels printed on the CDs. I'm hoping to see who holds the copyright on the song tomorrow. I certainly want to give songwriters due credit. If I pay royalties, they'll end up getting a check for a cool $1.63 six months from now when they add up..

Jerry


20 Mar 06 - 10:33 PM (#1699226)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Jerry I only love singing bass on Do-wop. Otherwise,I rather enjoy inner harmony parts and baritone is great for my tastes! sounds like you are doing great with your CDs COngrats   jimmyt


21 Mar 06 - 10:32 AM (#1699257)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: ranger1

On the subject of fine folks raising kids not theirs by biology, I would like to thank my steps for being such wonderful people. When I speak of my parents, it usually means my mom and my step-dad. A wonderful guy who wasn't particularly into having kids but took raising us like a duck to water. When people ask him about kids, he always answers: "I have two daughters." There's never any mentions of us being his step-kids, we're his kids.

My step-mom was also a fantastic person and what she was doing with my dad, I never did figure out. But I'm sure glad she was there. It made weekend visits not only tolerable but also fun. She's been dead for 10 years now, and I still miss her very much.


21 Mar 06 - 11:27 AM (#1699307)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ranger:

Yeah, I'm not much into step-folks. One of the things that please me is that my son Pasha from Ruth's first marriage introduces me as his father. I refer to him as my son, and it has felt natural from the beginning for us, even though he was in his late 40's when Ruth and I were married. He was kinda an instant son. The folks at the bank say, "Your son was in here the other day," and that's sweet too because Pasha is black and last time I checked, I was white. Our daughter Dee from Ruth's first marriage has always introduced me as "This is my Mother's husband." That's fine, too. Whatever people honestly feel is fine with me. But, the other night when we were out somewhere, she introduced us as "This is my Mother, and this is Pops." I liked that. I'll take "Pops" any day. Beats Step-Pops.

Jerry


21 Mar 06 - 11:41 AM (#1699316)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: ranger1

Yeah, Jerry. I have to bite my tongue around my sister a lot because of the whole step-parent thing. I love her dearly, but she falls squarely into the evil "step-mother" category. And she can't figure out why the kids act up around her. When they're out with me, I introduce them as "this is my niece/nephew." I don't have any kids of my own, but I am blessed with twelve wonderful nieces and nephews on my side of the family and three on Jason's. Some of them are related by blood, some aren't, and I don't care. I love 'em all and wish I got to see all them more.


21 Mar 06 - 01:21 PM (#1699405)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Hi there Jerry,a pretty crowded table you got here,hope you got enough chairs!I'm sure you do.Things are fast going down hill here at the moment,student strikes,unions calling for a general strike etc.My son Vladimir,goes off to college in the morning, and is back in 20mins.Exams are coming around soon,things are going every which way.Talking of children,one of Vladimir's friends,a real nice kid,lost his parents,the father at Christmas and his mother the following Easter.We became his Foster parents.Fabien was 10 at the time,he's now been with us 9yrs.It wasn't all roses at first,getting to know each other's habits,adjusting etc.But along with Fabien we found a whole new family,his aunts,uncles,their children who took to our own son as one of theirs.We've been all around Europe,over to my friends in London,to my wife's family in Croatia.I can't tell you what he has brought to us as a family.Just wanted to share that with you.Put the kettle on!

David


21 Mar 06 - 01:33 PM (#1699422)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Polly put the kettle on..

Hi, David:

Always plenty of room at the table. Good for you and your wife for being foster parents... a noble, extremely demanding responsibility to take. Not without its rewards, as you have discovered.

Jerry


21 Mar 06 - 05:53 PM (#1699652)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

This seems like a good place for a bit of humor. Several years ago, here on Guam, Several years ago we had an election and one of the candidates was named Geri. Her name was on signs all over the island. The Japanese tourists were surprised, puzzled, and somewhat disgusted to see these signs. The Japanese word for diarhea is 'geri' pronounced (geh-li - hard 'g'). That has spawned an interesting bit of urban legend here on the island. No babies have been named Jerry (or any variation of that name) since them. People on the island really believe the word means diarhea not realizing they are not pronouncing it correctly.

A rose by any other name...

As to parents, I was very lucky that I have two great parents and that they still live in relatively good health. My sister's husband was not a good parent and early on she asked me to stand in as a role model for her son. I did my best. We ended up in a role playing game that ran on for 8 years. Her son and my kids formed a solid allegiance that found its headquarters in my home. Now they are all grown and gone off to live their lives but they still remember those long evenings playing a game around a table and laughing with family into the wee hours.


21 Mar 06 - 06:07 PM (#1699665)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

And good on you helping your sister's son, naemanson. Diarhea, eh? I've been called a lot of things in my life, but never that.. :-)

Funny how I got my name. My Parents wanted to name me Lars, after my Grandfather. Now, that would have been a cool name. I bet it doesn't mean diarhea in any language.. But, my oldest sister had a terrible crush on a boy in our neighborhood named Jerry and she bugged my parents so mercilessly that they finally relented and named me Jerry. Of course, the romance between my older sister and the love of her life faded. She was only five years old at the time..

My son Pasha started calling me Jeremiah, the Old Prophet not long after he first met me. Now, Jeremiah sounds a lot more dignified. Than diarhea.

Lars (Don't I wish)


21 Mar 06 - 08:32 PM (#1699781)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

When I married Billy he had a son and a daughter and so did I.Right at the begining we said we did not believe in "steps" children have a mother and a father and "steps" are bonus parents as they choose to have you.
I think we got it right, Billy has been a wonderful bonus dad to my two,( we would have to ask the opinion of his two as to what they think of me!!)My proudest moment was my daughter getting married and her two dads walking her into church and giving her away and then both giving speeches at the reception as father of the bride. I always feel sad when young people are getting married and one parent or the other(when divorced) dictate that if the ex comes to the wedding then they will not.A young lady who used to work for me got married far away from home in St Lucia with neither parents there as her mother refused to be in the same room as her ex husband and the bride did not want to upset either of them at great emotional expense to herself, we all have issues, but our children should come first.
Loving this late night table Jerry, glass of wine then off to bed, night all


21 Mar 06 - 11:01 PM (#1699858)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, Billybob, I love stopping in here to see who has settled in for a moment. And I know that others have stopped by but didn't feel moved to post at the time.

Tonight was a beautiful one for me. My friends Joe and Frankie of the Gospel Messengers are such wonderful men. Like many wonderful people, they've passed through life almost unnoticed. They are both fine singers, and even finer people. Frankie will hit 80 early in May, and Joe will follow right behind him later in the month, hitting 82. Like all high-mileage models, they're spending more and more time in the repair shop and it becomes increasingly difficult for them to make the kind of commitment that is needed to keep a group growing. But tonight... I gave each of them their first 6 copies of our CD... it's hard to know how much it means to them. I know that Joe is very moved by it. After a life-time of singing whit his whole heart and soul, he finally has something he can hold in his hands, and give to others. I feel very honored to have been able to give this to both of them, and they are soooo thankful. It does my heart good to see good people get their just deserts.

Of coures, they have to eat their vegetables first. Joe and Frankie have been eating their vegetables for 80 years.

Now it's desert time..

Jerry


21 Mar 06 - 11:31 PM (#1699890)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Gee Jerry, what did they do to be sent into the desert? (Just kidding).


21 Mar 06 - 11:49 PM (#1699899)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

LOL, Ron: I guess I must be tired. Maybe that's what they mean about being retired. Ever since I retired I've been tired again, and again. Re-tired.

Joe and Frankie are getting their just desserts.

Jerry


22 Mar 06 - 06:33 AM (#1699996)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--I didn't mean to be presumptous. I just look for humor everywhere--and therefore find it. I love puns and other wordplay. I suppose that's why the copycat threads these days don't bother me at all--they're often based on puns, misstypings and other wordgames.

I suppose this also illustrates two possible hazards of the Internet. At a real kitchen table, typing wouldn't be important since you would have pronounced the word. Also, at a real table, you would be able to see that I was kidding from my expression. I just felt that we were informal enough so I could venture that facetious remark. Probably shouldn't have--but I'm glad you took it in the right (joshing) spirit. I was picturing a possible Far Side cartoon in which a guy was telling some others now they would get their just desert--and pointing out into a waterless waste.

Oh well, I should learn to restrain myself. It ain't easy.


22 Mar 06 - 07:05 AM (#1700022)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

"presumptuous". Physician, heal thyself.

"Young man home from college makes a great display
"'With a fancy adjective that he can hardly say"

(Both directed at myself)


22 Mar 06 - 08:42 AM (#1700098)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I thought it was pretty funny, Ron:

Sometimes funny uses of words flow naturally. Once I was playing a board game (In graduate school) with my roommate and I need a sxi, rolling the dice. I rolled a 4 and a 2, and without even thinking said, "how fortuitous." :-)

I can deal with the most obnoxious person on earth. But put me in the company of someone without a sense of humor and I'm in trouble.

I also so a photo mislabeled, by the way, of my wife and I stopping for desert...

Jerry


22 Mar 06 - 11:26 AM (#1700262)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

When my father turned 80, he and two friends went out for a celebratory breakfast. Both his friends had turned 80 earlier in the same month; my father was the youngest of the three.

At one point my father said, You know, we've about got it made. They say very few people die when they're 80.


My father died when he was 93. Strangely enough, each of the three men died in the order of their births.

Speaking of a sense of humor, that is the one place where my mother and father were well matched. My father loved to make people laugh and my mother loved funny things.

Another cup, Jerry? Can I get someone else a cup while I'm up?


22 Mar 06 - 11:50 AM (#1700291)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'll take a cup while you're up, Ebbie:

Getting back to harmony.. of the musical kind. Last night I had practice with my friends Joe and Frankie. We've been together now for over 9 years and because we all have a good, natural sense of harmony, none of us has stepped forward to do "arrangements." At least that's the way I've perceived it. In truth, I guess I have been the one, although I have never felt capable of doing it. So, even when I've been doing a lot of the arranging, I would never call it that. Sometimes I think that things we think we can't do are often things we just haven't done yet. Or realized that we've been doing them all along. Last night, I tried something different, because we were having trouble finding good harmonies on a song we all love. Because our tenor is gone, we've had to rework a lot of the harmonies, and it's been a good experience. Joe, our wonderful bass singer has an enormous range and he decided to come up and sing Frankie's baritone harmony. That pushed Frankie up into a high tenor range, which was too high for him, so he slipped down underneath Joe's harmony. That left us with our bass singer tenor and our baritone singing bass. And we really stunk (Whoops, that's being judgmental!) By the time we realized it and went back to what we used to do, we'd lost everything. So, what I started doing was at each chord change, I stopped and showed the guys what notes they could hit that were in that chord. It was a breakthrough for us. After all these years. When we found our notes at each chord change, then it was relatively easy for the guys to hear where they were going. Along the way, I realize that I was "arranging" our harmonies. Considering that I can't do it, it worked out fine. :-)

When we are singing in the Male Chorus we all sing in, I have reached the point where I can hear the baritone harmony on the piano. I think that's because when a chord is hit, you hear all four harmony notes simultaneously. It's different on guitar, and harder for the guys to hear. That's why stopping and playing the individual notes of the chord was so helpful.

I'm curious to hear from you Catters who really know what you're doing, "arranging" harmonies..

Jerry


22 Mar 06 - 12:03 PM (#1700307)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Boy! This I want to hear.


23 Mar 06 - 11:16 AM (#1701071)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, I'm waiting too, Ebbie: (I just sent off a long e-mail on the subject and would be glad to forward one to you if you PM your e-mail address.)

One thing about kitchen tables. Sometimes, you just sit down by yourself and have a cup of coffee and reflect on friends and old conversations. I lived alone for a long slug of time in my life, when the only company I had at my kitchen table was my two cats. They were good company, and listened attentively when I spoke to them (as long as there was some food in the deal.)

There's a line in a song that Carmen McRae sings that seemed very wise to me, and it applies to all conversation. The song is about looking back at the mistakes we've made in our lives:

"I Never stopped to listen, never missed a chance to speak."

Sometimes, it's good to just sit and listen to the silence. Old conversations come floating back to you and it's as if you are once again sitting at the table with an old friend.

So, if you don't mind, I'll just sit here and have a cup of coffee and talk with my wife. Perhaps someone will stop by, later..

Jerry


24 Mar 06 - 11:36 AM (#1701823)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry-

I wish I could help with explaining about arranging harmonies. My hat's off to those can arrange music, as it is to composers and writers like you.

But as for arranging--no,no, no it ain't me babe, it ain't me you're lookin' for, babe. In the groups I've led, either the entire arrangement was already written out or we just filled in the chords as they changed, trying not to duplicate. It wasn't easy.

In the bluegrass group I was in, it was even harder--bluegrass seems to prescribe only specific harmonies for specific voices--I was used to making up harmonies according to what I could do and what I thought the song called for--but wound up poaching on others' vocal territory, it seems. They seem pretty strict about that in bluegrass.

By the way, I will be very busy for the next 3 days---hope to get back to the Kitchen Table perhaps Monday.

I do know some people who have arranged music. Maybe next week I can pick the brains of one arranger--who, interestingly enough, arranges black gospel--to get some pointers from him. It sure sounds like an arcane science to me.


24 Mar 06 - 11:46 AM (#1701838)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Well, have a good weekend then, Ron:

Not to excessively oversimplify bluegrass harmony, but it seems like it could all be entered in to a computer. It's one of the reasons that I don't personally enjoy most bluegrass. (There are some exceptions, like our own Barbara and Frank Shaw's group, Shoregrass... they are probably more to my taste because they don't seem programmed.) Coming to harmony through folok music probably makes me more amenable to looser harmonies. Some of the stuff I really love in traditional folk allows for a lot of freedom, including individual harmonies to change at times, even within the same song. Some folks find security and pleasure in tightly worked out, close harmonies. Just call me too-loose Latrec.

Jerry


24 Mar 06 - 04:30 PM (#1702025)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: lady penelope

Heh.

Hi guys, haven't been round for a bit. Life's been a bit ....... strained. Any way, Richard Digence's definition of harmony is to "pick a note an move it around till the person next to you stops whincing....." It's advice that worked for me for years. :0)


24 Mar 06 - 04:45 PM (#1702033)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey Lady:

That sounds like my approach to playing chords on guitar. When I first started out as a teenager, I wanted to be a jazz guitarist. I barely knew the basic chords, but I could hear the music in my head. I worked out an admittedly somewhat primitive arrangement of one of my favorite pieces, Little Girl Blue with fairly sophisticated chords way up on the neck, played in a less than graceful approach due to my limited experience. I wonder what it would sound like now, if I heard it. I'd probably do some wincing (not because the harmonies were wrong, but because I didn't have the facility to make the music flow smoothly) but I'd probably laugh at my audacity and naevity. For me, it has always been a matter of moving my fingers around until what I hear in my head comes out of my guitar. Even today, I play many chords that I have no idea what they are. They just sound right.

Singing harmony can be the same way. I have the musical literacy of a cave man, but I know what sounds good (and what sounds sour.)

Sorry your life has been a bit strained lately... and glad that you stopped by for a minute..

Be sure to come back..

Jerry


24 Mar 06 - 07:05 PM (#1702202)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

My seat at our kitchen table is next to the back door. Now that we are into the dry season we often open up the house in the cool of the morning. We have a flock of wild chickens that wander through our yeard every morning, the roosters crowing and the hens cackling and clucking to each other. The other day I picked the last piece of crust out of the bread bag and threw it out there for them. They scrambled and squabbled over it and generally appreciated it as only a flock of chickens can. Today I tossed them another piece of bread and then some cooked rice. I enjoy feeding them. They are very skittish, being wild, but also greedy enough to overcome that skittishness if I don't move too much. The roosters are big beautiful birds, very colorful and proud. The hens are pretty in a variety of colors and markings. One is almost all black and very dark green. Another is white with brown speckles. I'm hoping to see chicks soon. I love to watch them chasing around under the mother hen's feet.

It makes for good entertainment from my kitchen table. Much better than TV.


24 Mar 06 - 08:21 PM (#1702252)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Chickens are indeed good entertainment. As I mentioned earlier, in the years that I lived in the Gate House at the Stamford Museum where I worked, chickens would wander down from our small farm to search for food on the lawn outside my kitchen window. I always got a kick out of watching them. They were quite aggressive if I put food out, not being intimidated by the crows who always appeared within 30 seconds out of nowhere, or the squirrels.

I also has a banty rooster as a pet when I was living at home for my first year of college. His name was Herbert, and I wrote a song about him. Chickens aren't just good for eating.

Jerry


25 Mar 06 - 05:58 AM (#1702417)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Morning all, thought it was time to stop work for a coffee ,at last Spring has come to England , after weeks of very cold weather yesterday was dreary,wet and grey but this morning the sun is shining , the sky blue and the temperature is warm.Looking out of my window people walking by are smiling and chatting in the street, happy to spend a few minutes to gossip and put the world to rights.
I may go for a walk by the sea at lunchtime.We are only a few hundred yards from the beach but never go there in the winter, one sunny day and the place comes alive.
Loving all your talk about harmony, I can do it but have no idea how!
Used to sing in the church choir when I was young so maybe old memories from a time long gone?
Coffee smells good.


25 Mar 06 - 06:43 AM (#1702430)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers

I HATE Computers !!! Just wrote a real screed about Harmony singing ,
only to have my electronic monster eat it and NOT send it of to Mudcat Central ! I'll try again later - Going to get my crossword now (Good for the Torygraph) - Be trying again later ! In fact , start the kettle for a strong coffe and I will be right back !


25 Mar 06 - 11:08 AM (#1702562)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Terry:

Occasionally, I wished that I had a formal musical education so that I could express myself more intelligently. There's a particularly British/English harmony that I can recognize and yet can't identify what it is about it that makes it sound like the Copper Family, not the Carter Family. Friends of mine took one of my very American songs, Milwaukee/St. Paul and gave it an, English sounding harmony. I thought that they did a nice job on the song (they recorded it) and appreciated their support. But why did they make it sound English? It's about a railroad line in the upper Midwest.

Two things I notice when there are sing-alongs at Folk Festivals in this country. That English harmony thing is very prevalent. I actually like the sound of it a LOT, but it gives a different feel to the songs. They all start to sound like sea chanteys.

The other thing I find, interestingly, is that when The Gospel Messengers are leading singing in a folk festival workshop or concert in a folk club, the audience likes to hold out the notes at the end of the line ... kinda savor them. Black gospel is often very rhythmic and the way I describe it is that you "snap" the last word of a line, rather than hold it out. There's often a subtle tug of war going on when we sing for a folk audience, trying to get them to get into the rhythm of the music rather than slowing down the rhythm to fit their usual style of singing. It's a challenge at times, but great fun, too. Once you accept that it's a different style of singing and get into it, it's very liberating and invigorating. Wouldn't work very well on a sea chantey or murder ballad, but it really drives the music home in black gospel.

Always nice to hear from you, Terry

Jerry


25 Mar 06 - 02:15 PM (#1702636)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers

I'll try again ! Jerry - you're mention of the bantam reminded me of Jake Thackeray 's Bantam Cock - Very Funny and definately NOT politically correct !
When I was involved with Fools Gold , we did straight three part harmony , with all sorts of instrumental backing ! I had always 'had a go' at harmonies in choruses sometimes even getting away with it . With the Gold , it was a different ball game as the other two members had been singing harmony for EVER ! In rehearsal there would be a cry of " WHOA !! You're on MY note there" - OK , whats the melody note ? YOUR Harmany is what ? OK , the chord means I want something like X to fit . - Sounds long winded , but as we all three had portable tape recorders , we had an aural reminder of each rehearsal , so it was easy for me to memorise the harmony I needed . A steep learning curve , but it DID work , and there were a lot worse semi pro groups on the local scene .


25 Mar 06 - 02:29 PM (#1702647)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Tape recorders are a help indeed, Terry. And when you sing harmony, people can get very possesive of "their" note. I did a gospel album many years ago and used The Beans (Jim Bean is a sometimes visitor in here.) When I'd hear them working out harmonies, I thought that it was very humorous. Talk about pride of possession.

You're right too, Terry about instruments carrying harmony too, as other "voices." I use my guitar to fill in "holes" or strengthen the lead. And when we have it right, I love to stop playing guitar and just listen to the voices. Nothing tops four (or three) voices in strong harmony when you hit that perfect blend and it becomes one sound. At least, not for me.

Jerry


25 Mar 06 - 05:14 PM (#1702737)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: lady penelope

I know what you mean about 'english' harmonies. From the viewpoint of being english, I listen to american stuff and notice that the harmonies that tend to be prevelant (well at least in the stuff I've heard) are noticeably different to those used over here.

I think it has to do with accents. How you speak a sentence and how you sing it are not so different unless you have a different accent and working vocabulary. I reckon that people pick up on the sounds they're used to. Also the 'english' harmonies are more straightforward. Or, if you like, less subtle..... :0)


25 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM (#1702813)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

Ah, The Beans. After Dave Parry died (a terrible shame, that) I shared a stage with them at a memorial concert. That was a great experience. Next time you see any of them tell them Brett Burnham remembers them and wishes them well. I doubt they'll remember me. At the concert I did a recitation of C. Fox Smythe's Ships That Pass. They might remember that.


25 Mar 06 - 10:00 PM (#1702869)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'll pass along my regards, Brett. I've done several of the Gospel In Black And White Workshops I host with the Beans as the "white" gospel. They were a delight to work with on the gospel album that I never released... no fault of theirs, as their singing was right on the money. They really opened my eyes to the whole process of working out harmonies when they worked on my gospel album, too.

Jerry


25 Mar 06 - 10:25 PM (#1702885)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

People, it has been grand being here UNDER THE TABLE all this time just listening like crazy to all the music and the talk. (Bet you never noticed I was down there!? Right?)

It reminds me of the time when I was about 20 years old and me and a couple of friends would go into the bar at Second City in Chicago---circa 1961. The talk and the camaraderie down there was simply grand. Several times that year, when I had nothing much better to do, I'd wander in there and order some food and a Coke--since I was too young to drink. They didn't seem to mind as long as I stuck to soft drinks. Del Close was down there holding court then--and Nelson Algren, writer of 'Man With The Golden Arm' too. The conversations were mesmerizing and they'd let a kid say something once in a while too. One night Algren kept after me to have a beer but I didn't want to get anyone in trouble--especially myself. He'd had several already I yhink, and he just slid his own beer down the bar to me and winked at the bartender--who turned away exasperated. No way was he gonna argue with the pretty well known writer. (I actually didn't know much about the guy then.)--- Sure, I'd had beer before, but that was actually the first beer I ever had sitting at the bar in a real saloon. ------ After that I read his books and found out who that cantankerous surly guy was.----
Them are real fond memories from another kitchen table that really wasn't one at all. Seems like a dream all this time later.

If youll let me get up from bein' under here, it's about time I headed to the john...

Art Thieme


26 Mar 06 - 07:06 AM (#1703042)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Interesting comments, Lady Penelope. When Colin Kemp has visited here and stayed with us there would be times when he'd start speaking rapidly and I couldn't catch everything he was saying. When he did that, I'd jokingly tell him, "Speak English, Colin!" There are words where the accent falls on a different symbol in the two countries, and that will have an affect of phrasing (although not necessarily on harmony.)

From my perspective, American harmonies are not more subtle than English.. just more varied. That makes sense, because as the movie says, "This is a big country." It's harder to say what American harmony is. If I had to make a copmarison (And it should take 30 seconds for someone to shoot this down,) I'd compare English harmony with bluegrass harmony.. not because they sound at all alike, but because they seem to be pretty much "all worked out." I wish there was a better way to describe that. In bluegrass, you don't have to figure out where your harmony line is (or the bass runs on guitar.)
Somebody already figured it out for you fifty years ago. It seems much the same in English harmony (again an overgeneralization.) There seem to be some distinctive chords that are protable from song to song. (I really enjoy English harmony a lot, and don't think of it as less subtle, by the way.)

When Colin, Theresa, Noreen and Sussex Carole (and Terry) have been here, they've sung with the Messengers, and it's been a great deal of fun. Sea chantey singing and black gospel seem to mesh very naturally, as far as harmonies are concerned... pretty straightforward four part harmonies. The rhythms may be different, but Colin would make a fine bass for the Gospel Messengers. And Joe could handle sea chanteys just fine.

Interesting to get your perspective, Penelope...

Jerry

What could be clunkier and less subtle than the Carter Family? And I love them..


26 Mar 06 - 09:55 AM (#1703142)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: lady penelope

It's more in the tone of various accents. You pick up on the tone of a voice and that can vary what sounds good as the next note along..... I dunno if I'm saying this in a coherant fashion.

I guess it's also a case of what you're used to. I find english harmonies straightforward, but then that's what I grew up with.


26 Mar 06 - 10:26 AM (#1703162)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Good stuff here! On arrangements, I try to write out the melody first. Then go back and lay down the chords at the right places, usually written if root position (CEG), knowing that if necessary I can change the chord to 1st inversion(EGC) or 2nd inversion (GEC) if it fits the 'voicings. THen I write the bass line which has the usual jumps in it. From there it is pretty much a connect-the-dots as the one or 2 inner harmonies are comprised of the missing note from the triad. Obviously if the song requires a really close harmony with lots of trash chords MAjor 7ths, sixths or ninths like you hear in the blueeyed do-wop I do, it requires a bit more tweaking to keep from having the 3 big problems I hear in poor arrangements, 1 odd lines in the inner parts, 2 parallel 5ths, 3 missing part, ie no third of the chord so it sounds like Gregorian chant on that note. Mind you, all of these issues I also see used for EFFECT by good arrangers, but it is a bit like painting, you need to be able to draw a picture of a horse first, then you can make the horse look odd with cubism. Well I have rambled on enough about that, but would like your thoughts ! jimmyt


26 Mar 06 - 11:17 AM (#1703182)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for your imput, Jimmy. It's always a pleasure listening to someone who knows what he's doing. While you are far more musically sophisticated than I am, it's at least encouraging to see that you build harmony lines from chord to chord. I will most likely never be able to approach arranging the way that you do, because I don't have the background to do it. I don't even understand what you're talking about.. :-) I just admire folks what knows what they're doing. I have to do things by ear. Fortunately, I've had singers to work with who had a good ear for harmony and the "arranging" has been a group process. Kind of a "That doesn't sound right.. let's try this... oh, that sounds good!" Or, "That's even worse!, let's try something else." If anything, I function as a harmony policeman, stopping the guys when I hear something that doesn't sound right. Again, coming back to the chord helps to find where the harmony has gone astray.

Hopefully, someone who knows more than I do will come in and respond to your post, Jimmy..

Jerry


26 Mar 06 - 01:10 PM (#1703228)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Jerry, you forget more about music every day than I will ever know. It is in your heart and soul. I always approached music aurally even when I was a little kid.   In the 4th grade I got a trumpet and joined the school band program. Even before we got off the first page of the Belwin Band Builder book, I had learned to play three notes,E,( first two fingers), G (open) and C (open) I figured out that this was the theme of "In the Mood" the great old Glenn Miller song. Within a couple days I found out an amazing discovery for a 4th grader. If I started on low C, and played the same pattern, but made it CEG instead of EGC, I played a part that I KNEW was a companion to the "melody" I really didn't know what harmony was per se but I could "hear" the melody as I played this rudimentary harmony.

Well, that pretty much was all I needed to run with the ball. I always resisted learning to read and am still a poor reader, but Harmony just made sense to me in a very elemental way. I still get more out af a beautiful chord progression than I ever do from the melody line or the words to a song. I just enjoy the "Fabric" of music, the harmonic relationships.


26 Mar 06 - 01:14 PM (#1703230)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

By the way, I have, in my mind at present, writing an entire piece for musical theater named HARMONY, which will feature all of the different voicings from chant forward, through our modern harmonies, barbershop, etc. sort of a Music APpreciation course on stage! It is still in the very early thought stage, but I just know it is a do-able idea. WIsh me luck!


26 Mar 06 - 01:58 PM (#1703255)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Jerry,my family were never "clunky!" well maybe just a wee bit!And they certainly were never accused of being "subtle".
You didn't hear my mother play the banjo,a sight for sore ears,I can tell you!

I'll get me banjo
David


26 Mar 06 - 02:07 PM (#1703261)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

LOL, David!

I knew Janette Carter and loved her music, and her family's. The Carter family is the bedrock of much of my music. Maybe you were that "other" Carter Family I heard about? I love Maybelle's chunka chunka rhythm. If only they'd done some Mozart... I would have loved to have heard them. Maybe that's why one of their cousins was named Amadeus.

Jerry


26 Mar 06 - 02:19 PM (#1703267)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

We were not known for "Twining with our Mingles",that's for sure!Probably why we rocketed to oblivion!

A P


26 Mar 06 - 06:32 PM (#1703428)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

Would you say that gospel music is easier to make harmonies on? I find, when listening to gospel, that I can actually come up with harmony lines. This is something I can not do with most other styles. Why is that I wonder?


26 Mar 06 - 08:12 PM (#1703466)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I think that the old gospel music really came out of group singing, either in church or in the living room. Wherever the individual song originated, I think that they were tempered in the experience of singing them together. Contemporary black gospel (at least) comes out of mass choirs to a great extent, but the musical influences are less the old style of singing than hip hop and contemporary R&B. funny the way things evolve... rhythm and blues and soul music came out of black gospel, and now contemporary gospel is coming out of R&B and hip hop. Not Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino or the Moonglows. Definitely not James Brown or Tina Turner. Somewhere along the way, R&B got smoothed out and lost its individuality... probably about the time that corporate motivations over-rode creative ones.

I was kidding my son Pasha the other day when we were working on refinishing floors and he had a contemporary R&B station on. I said that if you eliminated all songs that had "ooh," or "baby" in them, you'd have trouble coming up with enough songs to make a top 40.

But, the old southern gospel, black or white had straightforward melodies and chord progressions and simple harmonies. There were also a lot of call and response songs, and songs where just one word would be changed in a verse, and it would be sung again. Plenty of time to pick up the harmonies.

Jerry


26 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM (#1703486)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Yeah, Neamanson. It is pretty straight forward for 2 reasons. Melodies that you are familiar with, and predictable chord progressions. A bit like the easiest way to learn to ad lib instrumentally is on a straight blues progression. You know where it is going all the time. Try to follow celtic music if you want to go batty trying to predict harmonic progression. It is totally unpredictable to our American ears and does not dwell on the 1,4, 1, 5, 5(7th) stuff that we sort of know at a primitave level. Celtic harmony is frequently 1, 7 ,1 sort od pregression that is a bit like having a staircase with the steps spaced randomly. But Gospel is definately a nice place to get harmonies locked in your head.


27 Mar 06 - 07:31 AM (#1703724)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Well, I think I have done it again! Killed another thread! Sorry folks, but when I join in, it seems to be the death knell for a great discussion! Jerry, you should't have invited me! grin


27 Mar 06 - 08:34 AM (#1703766)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The thread ain't dead, jimmy. This thread is about anything anyone wants it to be. The harmony I'm most interested in is between people, and you bring everything to that.

One of the things that has struck me these last few months is how different retirement is to what it's usually thought to be. Maybe for some people, retirement is spent watching tv and planting flower beds with supper at McDonald's. But that's certainly not an accurate generalization. What has surprised me about retirement is that for every door that closes with diminishing health or resources, two open. It's a matter of recognizing the doors and walking through them. I've felt that particularly, these last few months in my own life. I'm sure there are other Catters who are retired who have discovered the same thing. Those, like you and Jayne, Jimmy who are still highly engaged in a career have more to look forward to in retirement than you realize.

For me, finally taming the wild computer and recording software has opened many new doors for me. The new insights into harmony (new only for me, and obvious for others) makes singing as a group completely new and exciting. Revisiting books long since read and half forgotten, and discovering new writers is a return to the excitement and refreshment of literature.

For some people, getting older is a time of gradual shutdown. It doesn't have to be that way. If you have good health, it's easy to step through those new doors. If your health is bad, there are some who have the bravery and hope to find ways to go through the door, even if they're wheel chair bound.

It's all in the attitude..

And as I said... this is a kitchen table... conversation is open to all, and listening is the other half of a conversation not to be minimalized..

Jerry


27 Mar 06 - 06:33 PM (#1704145)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Just sat down at the table, today is my daughters birthday,sitting here remembering the day she was born and looking forward to the grandchild due in September. Yesterday was Mothers Day here in the UK, I spent the day with my daughter and her husband, my son and his beautiful girl friend,my mother ,father, brother and of course Billy. How blessed am I!
And now I can sit and listen to the talk round the table,carry on folks, I will just sit back listen and enjoy.


28 Mar 06 - 08:55 AM (#1704564)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Just got a friendly PM from Weelittledrummer asking what's been going on in my life. I realized that the answer lies mostly in this thread. It's turned out to be a welcoming place to come for us to talk about just that... what's going on in our lives. Or, what's going on in our heads.

This afternoon, Joe, Frankie and I are going to sing in a nursing home for a church Mother (an honorary title in the black Baptist church) who celebrated her 104th birthday in February. There was a snowstorm that day and I wasn't able to get there when the Men's Chorus we all sing in sang at her party. So, Joe, Frankie and I are pulling off a surprise party for her. They're really excited about it at the nursing home because she has no idea that we're coming. No more excited than we are.

I'm looking forward to Ron Davies pulling up a chair for a coffee break today. So, how was your weekend, Ron?

And everyone else.

Ruth and I went to a Muslim Mosque's celebration honoring 8 women who have made a difference in the community... a great antidote for all the ugly news surrounding conflicts between the extremists of religious sects. The food was good, I ate too much, and the company was good, too. It's time that people of good will step forward and express love for each other. That's always true.. but especially true in these times. My wife Ruth's two sons (and now mine) are Muslim, her daughter (and now mine) is a Baptist minister and Pastor of a church, my oldest son is Catholic and my youngest is Agnostic and a member of a Unitarian Church. We got a spiritual United Nations all in the same family. And we all love and respect each other's faith.

That's how it's supposed to be.

Jerry


28 Mar 06 - 09:16 AM (#1704583)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Gosh Jerry, what a shame this lady of 104 cannot join the table,what wonderful stories she could tell, what do you know about her life, she will have seen so many changes.


28 Mar 06 - 10:34 AM (#1704645)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hey there Jerry,

Didn't sleep too well last night, so I'd like to sit down at your kitchen table with a strong cup of coffee this morning. You are blessed to have a 104 year-old in your life. The elderly are great treasures who have been needlessly cast aside in our hyperactive "modern" world. I had a dear friend who lived until a couple of weeks past her 105th birthday. Her mind was as sharp as a tack until the end. When she felt her body slipping, she insisted that it was her time, and did not want to be kept alive with medical procedures. Although I miss her terribly, it is difficult to mourn when someone draws from a deep inner well of creativity and spirituality, is curious and excited about the world around her, yet has the wisdom to know when the gig is up.

When I grow up I want to be like her.

Elmer


28 Mar 06 - 11:12 AM (#1704675)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Elmer: Thanks for stopping by.

The elderly. Now there's something I can talk about forever. Or at least until next Thursday. But before I do that, I'm going to post this message. The Cat is acting up for me and I want to see if it will post this message..

Jerry


28 Mar 06 - 11:21 AM (#1704687)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

That worked...

The first "date" that I took my wife on was to visit a woman in her mid-90's who was bed-bound on an upper floor apartment. She lived with her younger sister, who was in her upper 80's. Mother Turnage has since passed, and now we visit her sister, who is in her early 90's. Even though Mother Turnage was in her 90's and bed-ridden. she was very flirtatious when we came in. She wanted me to sit on her bed. She didn't even offer a place for Ruth to sit down. Ruth and I both got a good laugh out of that. There have been several times over the years when we've visited an elderly woman who was downright offensive to Ruth, and flirtatious to me. Once she said to me, "You can come in, but tell your wife to wait out in the hall."
I just ignore those kinds of comments, and so does Ruth. We think it's beautiful that people still want to be attractive, no matter how old and bed-ridden they might be.

My faorite story in that regard was when I visited at a nursing home many years ago where my Uncle was the Director and his wife the Office Manager. I was talking with them when this woman can rolling in at 90 miles an hour in her wheel chair... right over my Uncle Walt's foot. As soon as she was in the room, she dozed off for a minute. That was the way out conversation went. She'd say a few sentences, and then doze off for a couple of minutes. My Aunt Ruby asked her to tell me how old she was, as sh'ed just celebrated her birthday. She said "I'm 105 years old.. a man came in the other day and I asked him if could guess how old I was. When I told him that I was 105 years old, he said "You don't look a day over 100," and she beamed very becomingly.

Welcome to the table, Elmer.. I just fixed a big mug of coffee and a couple of pieces of English Muffin bread, toasted with Splenda and Cinammon on it. Ambrosia... I can throw another couple of slices of bread in the toaster and heat up a pot when you've got the time.

And, nice to see you this morning, billybob.

Jerry


28 Mar 06 - 12:15 PM (#1704752)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,maire-aine

What a delightful conversation. I'll try to drop by after our session tonight.

Maryanne


28 Mar 06 - 04:31 PM (#1704951)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Thanks for the strong java, Jerry. I needed that. The English muffin was some good, too. I agree that elders have earned the right to be a titch ornery. We whippersnappers can let those little zingers roll off our backs. Cute comment about the 105-years-young woman. I think it was William O. Douglas who remarked upon looking at a lovely lady, "Oh, to be eighty again!"

I read somewhere that a group of researchers studied a number of the cultures around the world known for longevity, looking for commonalities that might cause their people to live extraordinarily long, active lives. Was it something in their diets? Exercise? Environmental conditions? Often the societies were quite impoverished, with poor diets. The women had given birth to 10-15 children. The people worked very hard. So what was up?

To the surprise of the scientists, the one commonality among the various societies was that elders were revered. Old age was considered a desirable thing, and seniors had the highest status. There's a lesson in this for our youth-obsessed culture, in which people are afraid of growing old.

Elmer


28 Mar 06 - 09:11 PM (#1705165)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Well, I am drinking up and pushing back my chair for a few days. I will be on holiday with JAyne and my daughter and son-in-law, but hope to check in from time to time if I can find a computer handy. I will enjoy the conversation when I get a chance to read it. See you all soon.   jimmyt


28 Mar 06 - 11:44 PM (#1705279)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Just got back from rehearsal. We're going to do the Mozart Requiem soon--one of my all-time favorite pieces. Since the film Amadeus I always envision parts of the movie when we do the piece. It's not often a film has such an impact that doing the music will recall the film. But there's a movement (Lachrymosa) which I believe is used while Mozart's body is carried to the paupers' grave, thrown in , and more lime is tossed in afterwards. Incredibly vivid--and the music now conjures up that scene every time we do it. Maybe it's the contrast between the beauty and glory of the music (the text also fits perfecly)--and the horror of the mass paupers' grave.

I meant to get back to this thread earlier but I didn't have the time to read it last night--and I like to read what's been said since I last said anything--I suppose it's trying to be well-informed--and not make stupid questions or repeat what somebody else has already said. Other threads, not as lively as this one, are much easier to keep up with.

Now, of course, it's late, and I'll be going upstairs to Jan. So, absurdly enough, I may have to wait til tomorrow night to get back to the discussion--or even say anything about the weekend--other than that it was wonderful--great singing, great stories, and great companionship.

Hope to be back at the table tomorrow.


28 Mar 06 - 11:45 PM (#1705281)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

"perfectly"


29 Mar 06 - 03:40 AM (#1705411)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle

I love that film Ron. When I first got the video . I just rewound and watched it again. and then again.

It got so many things right about a musicians life. The self absorption, the dodginess of most commercial proposals in a very speculative business, the fun of creativity........you don't have to be a genius like Mozart to live in that world.


29 Mar 06 - 09:54 AM (#1705608)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Guess we'll just have to do without you for awhile, Jimmy. Have a great trip with Jayne and your daughter. One of these times, you've got to swing by here and stop for a while at our kitchen table...

Jerry


29 Mar 06 - 05:11 PM (#1706002)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Ron, we were so looking forward to meeting you in the middle bar in Sidmouth, however just got news that the pub that all my cousins and I were going to stay in in Sidford has burned to the ground.It was 14 th centuary, thatched roofed and a beautiful building...so sad.
So has anyone any ideas where eight family can book in together to enjoy the festival?We are all past camping, been there and worn the tee shirt as they say!
Past coffee, need a brandy!


29 Mar 06 - 05:26 PM (#1706028)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The excitement of electricity. Now, there's a thread title for you. While I've played acoustic instruments all of my life, I play electric guitar with the Messengers (in respect for tradition, and so that I can hear what I'm playing.) Yesterday morning, I plugged in my electric guitar to run through some of the songs, and much to my horror the sound kept cutting off. It must be all those times we've stepped on the guitar cable. So, I had to rush out to a neighboring town and buy another guitar cable. Then when we got to the nursing home, I set up my PA system to discover that two of the four inputs weren't working right. I have a separate amplifier for my guitar but I need three vocal mics. It took a lot of finagling to get three mics working, and they weren't well balanced. So, today I was back out, looking for a portable PA system I can run four mics off of. We have a couple of concerts coming up where I'll need decent sound equipment. Now I know where some of out income tax refund is going...

Not that I have any complaint about the PA system that just went on the fritz. I've had it close to 9 years and it's been lugged half way around the world. And I bought it used...

Think I'll get out my banjo and pick out a tune..

I bet Mozart never had to deal with this..

Jerry


29 Mar 06 - 11:59 PM (#1706250)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Billy Bob--

That's just horrendous news about the pub in Sidford. I certainly have no idea about accomodations in Festival week in the area--but I bet that if you resurrect the thread about Sidmouth 2006--or possibly start a new one explaining the situation, there will be knowledgeable and helpful people responding.

WLD--

I agree, Amadeus is such a wonderful film on so many levels. One of my strongest memories of the film is how easy it was to sympathize with Salieri--who after all tried to do everything right--only to be hoplessly upstaged by this filthy-minded (based on fact, I undertand--his letters sure were often scatalogical)--arrogant youngster--just because that youngster was taking dictation from God--creating masterpieces was that easy for him. It must have been--to churn out so many in such a short time. Of course Schubert did pretty well too--in even less time.

Now I have Amadeus on DVD--really looking forward not just to the movie again--but to all the extras the DVD is bound to have.


Jerry--

Mozart may not have had to deal with the vagaries of electric instruments--but it sure must have been hideous being just about at the mercy of your patron. The first composer to beat this problem--thanks to the cult of the composer that started with him--was Beethoven. Since then, as you know, it's been "the public" you have to please if you want to make a living at music--which ain't easy either.   BIrth of the Modern (1815-1830), by Paul Johnson is a book I never get tired of re-reading--lots of information---and great stories about this development--and so many others. Paul Johnson has written a lot of great, factual but very vivid histories. And I find history so fascinating I'm not even tempted to read fiction.

It's so great to be in a thread where there's not even theoretically a topic.

But here it is--late again--had another rehearsal tonight--for a totally different concert. Hope to get back here tomorrow night--at least there's no rehearsal.


30 Mar 06 - 12:02 AM (#1706251)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

It might be interesting to visualize what being "hoplessly" upstaged would be like--but it would be different from being hopelessly upstaged.


30 Mar 06 - 07:02 AM (#1706452)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sometimes it's just the shear pleasure of singing.

Last night my wife and I went to a wake for the Mother of our Pastor. She was in her mid-90's, and a feisty old woman right up until the end. We visited her a month or so ago and she was determined that we help her get up and walk, despite long ago having lost the strength in her legs to do it. B[[[[[[[[[[[[=[=--[[[[=-----------[p[=============================================================================================== (just spilled some oatmeal on my key board and was getting out from between the keys.)

Black Baptist wakes are often as lively as Irish wakes (without the beer.) Last night, the Men's Chorus that Joe, Frankie and I are in sang for two hours, without taking a break. That's a lot of songs. And, because we didn't have a practice, it meant that we did a lot of songs that we hadn't done in as long ago as a year. Our Director Dan would play the opening piano introduction and we'd all look around to see where they guy was who did the lead. There was a lot of folks what turned white momentarily last night, when they realized they were going to have to go up and sing lead on a song they hadn't sung in a year. Frankie sang lead on Nobody Knows The Troubles I've seen (and didn't sing it Nobody knows de troubles Obscene) and Two Wings, Joe sang Lord, Teach Me How To Rest, and I lead Trouble In My Way and There's A Leak In This Old Building (which I'd never sung before....) We were pulling old songs out of the hat, with Dan singing lead on several songs because the lead singer wasn't there (and Dan never sings lead.) It was quite a night. Whatever attitudes or beliefs Catters have, I'm sure that most people in here would have had a great time singing. It felt much like the shear pleasure of singing a whole program of sea chanteys, but with a different meaning for us.

When we finished, we all realized how tired we were. We sang standing, for two solid hours. And probably could have gone another hour..

Yes, Ron, there is absolutely no topic on this thread. Kinda like a conversation around a kitchen table. That was the whole point of starting this thread. Funny thing is, I went looking for a DVD of Amadeus yesterday because I too love the movie, and I think that my wife Ruth would enjoy it, as we visited so many places where he lived and wrote music on out trip to Europe last fall. I couldn't find it, but I picked up a widescreen copy of the new King Kong.

My tastes are nothing, if they aren't catholic. With a small "c."

Jerry


30 Mar 06 - 04:37 PM (#1706935)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: lady penelope

Brilliant film. I saw the original stage play. That was downright scarey, but the film wins for getting all the music in.

Sometimes there's nothing that can 'upstage' (heh) a good sing. I find it cathartic, uplifting, inspiring, intense and exhausting all at once. Wouldn't be without it.


30 Mar 06 - 11:12 PM (#1707173)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Phot--

If you are looking at this thread, maybe you can tell us about the time you and Cllr made the valley ring literally--sounds like a good story (from your 13 Mar 2006 4:05 AM posting).

Jerry--

Jan and I are finding out that Amazon actually works pretty well to get DVD's. If you get 2, shipping is free (over $25) and of course the price is already low. We've decided that if we will ever in our lives want to watch a DVD 4 times, we figure it's worth buying (at about $15). So now we have Saturday Night at the Movies in our basement. And DVD's are so great--the extras are fascinating.

We just watched a Zorro--I think the most recent one-and among other things the DVD told how the sword-fights were done--for instance since the swords were actually aluminum, every clash of swords was dubbed in.   Fairly obvious, I suppose, but I'd never thought of that. The Robin Hood ( the classic with Errol Flynn) DVD had outtakes of stunts that didn't work right--as well as a Warner NIght at the Movies--with trailer, newsreel, musical short, and cartoon--and a studio blooper reel from the time of the movie (1938?)--and on and on. It's like being back at an old moviehouse, but with even more features.


About the weekend (finally)

I had a dynamite time. Wound up playing viola on Saturday with a stunningly talented duo who did a lot of Kate Wolf songs--including the Trumpet Vine-which of course made me think of this thread. They even invited me to throw in a second harmony on some songs--fortunately the bass harmony was still available--it's a lot easier than any other.

But you always wind up missing something. By doing Kate Wolf, I missed a lot of C & W, which I also wanted to do--love doing country duets especially. Too bad cloning is not an option. But I figure you take your opportunities when you have 'em--and I'd never met that couple before.

Then in the evenings we did all sorts of stuff--Irish, Hank Williams, gospel (black and white), Bob Wills, 19th century parlor songs (with a zither-which just perfectly captures the atmosphere for something like the Vacant Chair), drinking songs, Carter Family, John Prine, and others. We had a guitar, viola, autoharp, and clarinet also for various songs. Saturday night we wound up at the end doing unaccompanied stuff-- Silhouettes, Under the Boardwalk, Goodnight Sweetheart, and other doo-wop type stuff, and Mamas and Papas and Everly Brothers.

Unfortunately Jan wasn't in great shape, went to bed early (about 11) and missed the doo-wop etc. She told me the next day we should have started with doo-wop and Everly Brothers so she could have been there. But you really can't force a sing to go a certain way. Hope she'll be feeling better next time.

The weekend was somewhat what the impromptu sessions at the Getaway sometimes turn into (though the weekend lacked sea songs, by and large----the Getaway large collection of rousing singers wasn't there).

Roll on, Getaway.


31 Mar 06 - 09:13 AM (#1707518)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

DVDs.... another point of connection. My wife and I love the old movies and frequent Turner Classics often. But, many nights there isn't anything that we want to watch on dish tv, so I've built up a big library of DVS over the years. It's a lot less expensive than going to a theatre (and there aren't that many contemporary movies we want to see) you can watch in a bathrobe (which is frowned on in local theaters, for some reason) and the popcorn doesn't cost $4 a tub. If any of you are into watching (and buying) DVDs, click on efilmic.com. Your head will spin. Most of their DVDs are $8.99, with many on sale for $6.99. They have a hundred or so DVDs of classic movies... nothing released recently, and a limited list to choose from. But, they are all great titles. I went there initially because they have Song Of The South on DVD... the only legal source to buy it (the company is in Canada, where it is legal to sell.) I recently picked up a copy of The Informer, which I'm really looking forward to seeing again. Now you, Ron.. you sound like a man after my own heart. I know you'll be excited when you see what they offer.

Yesterday, I solved another Mystery Of The Reluctant Computer Software and printed up my first copy of the Handful Of Songs CD.
I have to do some final editing on the booklet and back cover, and I'll be in production. It will be a real accomplishment to finally release that album on CD after all these years. I think it's the best album I've done. My next project will be to release a CD I've already recorded and mixed, taken from older cassettes of my own songs, and some traditional material. I figure another month or so, and I'll have those three done. And then, I want to start work on a new folk album. I had to smile this morning when a working title came to mind..

Knights Of The Kitchen Table.

Jerry


31 Mar 06 - 11:26 PM (#1707985)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

efilmic.com sounds great. I'll have to check that out.

Some great news--Jan just saw her MD who had performed an amazing operation on her neck in December--replaced 3 crushed discs and fused 4 vertebrae--using a technique and some material only known in the last 2 years. (It was a near thing--we almost had another MD who would have been nowhere near as good.--but, after bragging about his skill, he bugged out.) And this is all on Blue Cross--no special plan.

Anyway, Dr. Cooney says Jan is his star patient--recovery far ahead of schedule. She's already back to work--often 10 hours a day (though I keep telling her she shouldn't be pushing it so much). She loves her job more than anybody I've heard of--the job is taking
care of kids. And--as you might imagine, she's in huge demand.

Without the operation, she was facing paralysis from the neck down (though we didn't know it at the time). She had started to experience numbness creeping down her face--and we did recognize that might well be serious. Now there is no danger of that--and she's enjoying life--and is full of life herself. Actually she always has been very lively and positive--and this is one of the reasons Dr. Cooney thought it would be successful. So I've learned there is something to the cliche of "positive thinking" after all.


01 Apr 06 - 08:05 AM (#1708125)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Well done Jan, positive thoughts.
We are having a great day, I am work in the beauty salon we have, we are raising money for Dr Barnardo's. We have just waxed the legs of a young man who is running the London Marathon in three weeks time, raising loads of money today. I am amazed by the ladys who came to watch, they really enjoyed the poor lads pain.
If you would like to sponsor Andrew pm me and I will give you details.Billy and I and the staff are planning to go up to London and cheer him on, we will be by Tower Bridge if anyone else wants to join us!


01 Apr 06 - 10:15 AM (#1708179)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

You and Jan just made my month, Ron! You had mentioned that she was having health problems but I had no idea it was that serious. What joyful news!!!! Tell Jan that we are dancing in the streets up here in Derby!!!!!!

Jerry


01 Apr 06 - 10:50 AM (#1708199)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Scrumptious, Ron! Makes my day too. Bless you both.


01 Apr 06 - 12:37 PM (#1708252)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

I stand corrected. Or more accurately, I sit corrected. I just bought a DVD of The Body Snatcher with Boris Karloff for $7.99 from efilmic.con. I get E-mails from them often (by my choice) telling me which DVDs are on sale... they are always having sales, and the cost is usually anywhere from $6.99 to $8.99. I don't remember ever buying a DVD from them that wasn't on sale. Just a matter of waiting until movies I want are put on sale. Their DVDs that are not on sale are generally less expensive than amazon.com, but can go as high as over $20.00 (rare exceptions.)

Even seated, I can still say that it is a great website, and I've probably picked up over a dozen movies through time.

I saw The Body Snatcher when I was probably 11 or 12 years old with a buddy of mine. There was one scene in the movie that really cared the crap out of me... one of the most frightening movie moments of my life. I will know it's coming now, so I know that it won't have the same impact, but I'm looking forward to watching it. My wife Ruth doesn't like horro movies, so I'll watch it alone.

Ooooowheeeee-oooooh!

Better make some extra popcorn.

Jerry


02 Apr 06 - 03:13 AM (#1708644)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Fourteen years ago on March 15 we lost a very special young man. He was from Victoria, Australia in Shepperton. He came to Juneau the first time in 1990 and was here for about a year then went home for his only sister's wedding. He was back here a oouple of months later and the Juneau community took up with him again as though he'd never been gone.

He was vibrant, in love with life and it appeared, everything in it. The most remarkable thing about him, probably, was that whoever he was with, that is the person he was with. His energies were not scattered. He loved to dance - in bare feet- he leaped high and energized the dance practically by himself. He loved Australian wine and beer and complained that our bartenders were not aware that they were supposed to pour a full pint when they drew the tap. We loved him.

On March 15 1992, a Sunday, he went hiking up Mount Jumbo alone. He was tired of our long wet winter, and March 15 dawned crisp and cold. He wanted some fresh air. He went over to the house of his most special friend in Juneau and asked if she and her friend wanted to go climbing with him. Both of them had other plans and he left alone. It was already fairly late in a winter day- almost 3:00 - and they didn't set up a buddy system, as is common in these parts. So when he didn't come home that evening, no one knew for several days.

When his housemete returned from Europe on Thursday he could tell that no one had been in the apartment for a number of days. Alarmed, he took a photo of our friend around downtown asking whoever he met whether they'd seen him- that he was missing. At that point most of Tony's friends didn't know his housemate and we didn't know. We didn't know.

That evening I was playing for a dance as we usually did when a friend - a Mudcatter - came in. In a low voice she said in my ear, Tony is missing. He went up the mountain and didn't come back.

I've never forgotten my viseral reaction. I said, No. No. It's not true.

It was a really heavy time for us all.

Tonight we had a "Toiny Dance" with the money remaining from those days. We had raised more than $7,000 in just a very few days to bring his parents and two cousins over from Austraiia and for the cremation of the body.

When he died, he was 29 years old.

Tonight I miss him very much.


02 Apr 06 - 08:41 AM (#1708734)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

That's a hard story, Ebbie: I would expect that last night was overflowing with emotion. Tony must have been quite a spirit to have lasted so strongly in your hearts and minds. People like that are rare. In here, Rick Fielding was certainly one of those people.. someone who is remembered and loved by everyone whose life he touched. I such a brief life, Tony made a great difference in the lives of many. And continues to make a difference.

Thanks for sharing that with us, Ebbie..

Jerry


02 Apr 06 - 01:11 PM (#1708838)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Thank you, Jerry.

After he died there were a couple of memorial services. At the first one there was a large paper banner where people could write whatever they wished. A friend remarked that whoever didn't realize that one person could change the world was not there that night.

It was amaxing how many people had had personal connections with that boy, and on so many different levels.

One reason last night was an emotional event is that it was like a step back in time; so many of the people who were there were the same ones who were there 14 years ago.

When Tony died some people started writing songs who had never written a song before. (Some have never stopped.) Last night a person told me that we should compile and releaxe those songs.

Thanks for listening! Yes, I will have a second cup, thank you.


02 Apr 06 - 02:28 PM (#1708875)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

An interesting story for you, Ebbie (and all):

Three or four years ago now, Lee Hagerty, one of the founders of Folk-Legacy Records with Sandy & Caroline Paton passed away. They had a memorial service for Lee, and Ruth and I went. As most of the people there were musicians, we went around the room, with each person either doing a song, or talking about a particular favorite memory of Lee. I did a song I'd written, titled May My Heart Find Rest In Thee. The chorus is:

   And in the darkness, give me the eyes of faith
   In my sorrow, send down your saving grace
   And on my journey, may my path be straight
   May my heart find rest in Thee.

A few weeks later, I received a phone call from a man whose wife had just died. As it turned out, she was at Lee's memorial service and was very moved by my song. She didn't come over to speak to me, so I had no idea who she was. She knew that she was dying of cancer, and asked her husband to call me after she passed to ask me if I'd sing that song at her memorial, and bring the Gospel Messengers along to sing. And we did. They had a beautiful service out in the woods... very informal, and we sang a half a dozen songs, including May My Heart Find Rest In Thee, which I did unaccompanied, as I had at Lee's memorial. It was a beautiful, touching experience, perhaps even made morseo by the fact that the woman and her husband (and almost everyone else there) was Jewish.

I ended up singing that song at two memorial services in a span of about six weeks... once for someone who as far as I know was an Atheist, at a gathering of people who were mostly non-believers, and once at a Jewish memorial service. No matter. Most people were moved by the song. We all have times when rest is our greatest need.

Jerry


02 Apr 06 - 04:06 PM (#1708961)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: KT

Is the coffee still on? Or actually, how 'bout tea? Hot water will do...It's the company that counts. I've popped in from time to time but haven't been around for the whole conversation. I guess that's what kitchen tables are about.

I was brought in this time by Ebbie's talk of Tony. Ah yes, a remarkable young man, who is with us still, I believe. I too, remember the intensity of those days, while we held out hope against hope that he'd be found alive, and just waiting for us to find him, and the disbelief when we learned that that was not to be. And the dreams....and the songs that were born as a result.....But one of the gifts of his life is that we are left with such joyful memories of who he was to us. I don't know a soul who can recall him without smiling. So it was while he was here in the flesh, eh, Ebbie?

Ron, I'm so glad to hear about Jan's successful treatment. Rejoicing with you both!

Jerry, thanks for keeping the pot on. It's lovely to drop in from time to time.
Have a wonderful day, all.
KT


02 Apr 06 - 05:33 PM (#1709011)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Nice to see you, KT:

Some are Ring Bearers who are called to heroic acts. Some are just pot boilers, like me. I intend to keep the kettle on, even if no one stops in on any particular day. It makes no difference where the conversation goes.. I just enjoy the company..

Jerry

Bought a new sound system yesterday,,, after I try it out, I'll make some comment on it. My sixteen ton PA system finally gave up the ghost last week, after 9 years of faithful service...


02 Apr 06 - 05:40 PM (#1709018)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Old, reliable things are nice, Jerry, but there's something to be said for state-of-the-art, brand-spankin' new too, isn't there! Is that why we love babis so much? :)

So true, KT. Tony always made us smile and still does. And it is something I should remind myself of more often than I do. The problem is that one grief leads inexorably to other griefs- and it's hard to remind oneself that we haven't really lost them.

Absolutely glowing and almost transparent. The image keeps coming to my mind.


02 Apr 06 - 11:55 PM (#1709263)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Thanks to everybody who commented on Jan's close to miraculous operation. She's really lively--and feisty.


03 Apr 06 - 01:29 AM (#1709292)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

That is fantastic, Ron. I hope someday to meet her. Does she ever come to Getaway?


03 Apr 06 - 06:27 AM (#1709371)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Yes, Ebbie, she does. But up to now at least she's tended to go to bed early (11 or so)--so has missed some of the best singing. She also has had throat problems--possibly related to the neck, I suspect) which made singing difficult. And she unfortunately has other issues---totally against singing in a circle, for one thing.

And she's a very strong vegetarian--thinks Getaway fare should be more overhauled in that direction. She is one opionated gal.

We are trying to work up some duets--if her throat permits.

Hope I can persuade her to come this time.

By the way, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss of McPhetres Hall---and of Tony, in March, 14 years ago.


03 Apr 06 - 08:37 PM (#1709839)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Back at the table,thanks for the coffee,enjoyed my day sitting in the garden reading a good book, with a CD playing quietly, music of the Italian Renaissance by Shirley Ramsey, pure bliss then my favourite Eric Bogle CD.I love my day off , back to work tomorrow.
Listening to your talk round the table re Jan, makes me say again " count our blessings" When someone close to you is very ill it is very hard,sometimes I think it is harder for those closest than the person who is ill.That sounds very trite but I am sure you know what I mean, you wish it was you instead of the one you love.
Away with sad thoughts, tomorrow is another day, spring is here, the birds are singing,and the dibblers are playing in the grass!( dibblers = rabbits, John Peel BBC Radio 1970)


03 Apr 06 - 08:48 PM (#1709847)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I thought rabbits was nibbler, billybob :-)

And you're right about the toll that illness takes on the care givers. I've seen it time and again. My wife and I being praying folks, we always make sure we include the family and loved ones (and friends.) If you love someone, when they hurt, you hurt. Sometimes sympathetic pains hurt mor than the real ones. (I realize that "sympathetic pains" normally has a different meaning.)

Speaking of pain... OOOOOH, my back. I bought a portable PA system last Friday, and was all excited about it. They swore that it was portable because they put a handle on it. Putting a handle on an elephant don't make it portable. But the swearing part came in handy. My excitement quickly faded when I managed to get the thing home with my wife and I killing ourselves getting it up the steps (think Laurel and Hardy in the Piano without a laugh track,) I set it up and started to use it. I don't know what was worse... the lack of power or the sound quality. I mean, it looked COOL, sitting there. Maybe turning it on was the mistake. Anyway, I took it back today and upgraded to a Yamaha Stagepro 300, which not only has fantastic sound, it's light enough that my wife can carry it. Not that I'd ever let her, of course. But tonight, my back remembers that first PA system that I took back today. I'm feeling a little bit like Gabby Hayes tonight. But, the sound system is great! I can hardly wait to use it with the guys.

Jerry

Or is it quasimodo.

Are songs that feel like they are modal Quasimodal?


03 Apr 06 - 08:56 PM (#1709852)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

An elephant with a handle! LOL


03 Apr 06 - 09:07 PM (#1709860)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

get some lavender oil Jerry and ask the wife to massage your back.
Nibblers?/ dibblers?,John Peel was from Liverpool....all these years I had it wrong, but he was a wonderful broadcaster, he died last year, every Saturday morning I listened to him on BBC radio and many of us miss him.He started off in radio in the USA.
Hope your back gets better find a good aromatherapist if not, we can cure anything.


03 Apr 06 - 10:46 PM (#1709909)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Dibblers-- sounds like there's a story behind that word--is there?


03 Apr 06 - 11:15 PM (#1709934)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Raptor

I'll take a cuppa tea.

And I'll raise it to Ron's Jan and also Ebbie's Tony.

And to My Heide!

To those with us and whom have left us.

Here's to you all Me Hardys!


Raptor


04 Apr 06 - 03:38 AM (#1709988)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Hear, hear! Thank you, Raptor.


04 Apr 06 - 05:27 AM (#1710044)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Dibblers Ron,
In the 60's John Peel was broadcasting on the pirate radio ship "Caroline". He used to be on air very late at night. He had a wonderful Liverpool accent( although he was not from there) and a beautiful voice.He used to sign off with a poem that finished with something about the perfumed garden,and the dibblers playing in the grass, all around us is beautiful and love is in the air. I always thought he meant rabbits? Anyone round the table know?
Lovely cup of coffee, thanks Jerry


04 Apr 06 - 08:24 AM (#1710126)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks, folks:

My wife rubbed my back with alcohol last night... the closest thing there is to a wonder drug in my wife's mind. It's much better this morning.. glad I got rid of that stoopid 80 pound sound system.

A couple of things..

I can identify with your wife, Ron. There are group folks and one on one folks. I think of people like Catters Guy Wolf and many others who could sit up singing and playing music until dawn. Delightful people and in some ways, the heart of a folk festival. For them, the festival begins after the formal program ends. I enjoy their company and have occasionally stayed for the late night sings. My wife and I are more one on one folks. In a small group, I am pretty outgoing. But in a larger group, I seem to be more content just to sit and listen. The larger the group, the more content I am to sit quietly. I don't know why. Maybe my Mother was frightened by a turtle while she was carrying me. Ruth becomes even quieter than me, as she isn't a "folkie." She has found the folk community to be very welcoming, and really enjoys the people but the music was never a part of her life so she doesn't have the same appreciation that dyed-in-the-wool folkies have. For me, talking over a cup of coffee, or finding a quiet corner to just sit and play music with one or two others is more my speed. Or lack of speed. If Ruth and I make it to the Getaway this year as we're planning, don't be surprised, or offended if we leave early (11 p.m is early? Sheesh!!) We love you all, but that's not our style. And don't be surprised if we want to linger over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table long after you're ready to get up.

Something else.. how beautifully music can bring comfort.

Last week, I sent off a copy of the Gospel Messengers CD to my brother-in-law Everette in Brooklyn. Everette is one of my all-time favorite people... endlessly appreciative, warm and loving. And generous to everyone he comes in touch with. Everette's wife had several strokes over a period of years and he took care of her all those years when she was wheel chair bound. Despite the seemingly heavy burden, he was always cheerful and thankful for any small kindness. When I first met Everette, I really liked him and when I found out that he loved the 50's and 60's rhythm and blues groups, I made many, many cassettes of that music for him and his wife to listen to. Everette would tell me that when his wife was really feeling low, she'd ask him to play one of those tapes. She couldn't stand alone or walk, but she always loved to dance. Everette would lift her out of her wheelchair and support her while they danced, with her standing on the tops of his shoes, like a little girl. I tell you, when Everette would talk about how much those tapes meant to him and "Bootsy," and I pictured them slowly dancing around the room to Earth Angel or My Prayer with Bootsy standing on his shoe tops, I was so moved that it would be hard to talk. Bootsy died a couple of years ago, and Sunday was her birthday. Everette received the Gospel Messengers CD on Saturday and Sunday evening he went to a church gathering and they played the CD through six or seven times. One woman particularly loved a song When I Get To Glory and every time it came around, she'd just get up and quietly walk back and forth in the room, totally absorbed in the song.

Everette called yesterday to tell us how much the music helped him to get through Bootsie's birthday. That's enough reason just in itself to make me thankful that I struggled for a year trying to learn how to make it.

Music soothes the savage beast, they say. It also soothes the aching heart.

Jerry


04 Apr 06 - 11:08 AM (#1710214)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Aw Jerry, I don't usually start my day with tears in my eyes. Beautiful story.

I suspect that we still don't really understand music. Perhaps it iis connected with the pulsing earth itself and puts us in that cradle of sound.


04 Apr 06 - 10:38 PM (#1710773)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Just got back from rehearsal. It seems some of us ( a fair number--most of us are baby boomers) are starting to notice hearing loss. And I've heard that just a group of our size (about 180) generates a fair amount of decibels--and just singing (and contributing to the volume) in the middle of such a group--over say about 20 years--which several of us have done-- can have such an impact. But, it's also a real high--so I'm not about to give it up.

I already have to turn up Jon Stewart louder than Jan would like. But at least I'm trying (sometimes) to not turn up the radio or tape player real loud in the car--although that's a high too. I suppose we have to make adjustments.


04 Apr 06 - 10:43 PM (#1710774)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Funny thing is, Ron. I don't know if you've noticed but as I get older, people don't talk as loud, anymore. Why are they always whispering?

Jerry


05 Apr 06 - 06:37 PM (#1711473)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Jerry
Glad the back is better, ask your wife to try a base oil like grapeseed oil with a few drops of lavender,camomile and geranium, perfect bliss!
Have to go to bed 11.23 here , love this table but have been sitting up till the early hours of the morning listening to the conversation....or ...ok put the coffee on...keep me awake.


05 Apr 06 - 09:19 PM (#1711559)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for the concern, billybob. My back is coming along. Got a rough throat from a cold too, but I went to Men's Chorus practice tonight and my voice and back both loosened up to the point where I pretty much forgot about them. We're getting ready for a concert at the end of the month and we sang tonight with a jazz trio led by a brilliant young pianist. We're doing Oh Happy Day with him, and His Eye Is On The Sparrow, with a saxophone duet added. Really exciting stuff. The Messengers are guests, too so it will be a great night.

Been a slow day at the table, as happens. I've been excited checking my e-mails as our CD is now on the internet and I'm getting inquiries from places I never suspected... sent a prom copy off to someone in Poland who has a radio show, and one to a blues critic in England who will review the CD for severtal magazines... and one to Florida to a promoter down there who likes our sound. Small potatoes, admittedly, but fun.

I see my buddy Jimmy is in Venice. I'll have to invite him to stop by for a cup a when he gets back..

Bedtime's a comin'..

Jerry


05 Apr 06 - 09:37 PM (#1711567)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Keep in mind, Jerry, that in 'virtual reality', Jimmy can pop in here as he pleases and go right back to Venice.

Think I'll write a story about lives being lived at arm's length! Actually I think it's already been done- life size images thrown on the wall for chatting and courting, brief interludes for procreation and back to 'making our own reality'. Hmmmmm Where did I hear that phrase before?


05 Apr 06 - 11:30 PM (#1711602)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Jerry--

Oh, Happy Day--is that the one by the Edwin Hawkins Singers? That was the best thing about the entire year of 1969--admittedly not a good year for the US. But I remember being totally hypnotized, caught up in that song even on a tinny radio--and totally flabbergasted that it was such a huge POP! hit--got up to #2 nationally, I think. It is such a wonderfully joyous rocking song--I know avowed atheists who really love it--(what do they do about the words?)


06 Apr 06 - 01:43 AM (#1711639)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Ah yes, I remember it well. In February, 1969 on radio station KSAN-FM in San Francisco, the late, great DJ Voco (Abe Keshishian) introduced a track by The Northern California State Youth Choir. Their director, Edwin Hawkins, had entered them in a singing competition at a youth convention in Cleveland. To raise funds for the trip they recorded eight songs on a two-track machine in the Ephesian Church of God in Christ. These were made into an album, Let Us Go into the House of the Lord, of which a thousand copies were produced to be sold at the convention. One track, "Oh Happy Day," was a call-and-return led by a young singer named Dorothy Morrison. A friend gave Voco a copy and he started playing and promoting "Oh Happy Day." It caused thousands of hippies to start praising the Lord for such authentically far out music. Things went a little crazy for the choir, bringing on some of the various complications of instant fame. However, even as they continued to sort themselves out, San Francisco continued to have a happy day for many months.

Elmer


06 Apr 06 - 08:20 AM (#1711776)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yes, yes... and yes.

"Oh happy day, Oh happy day
   When Jesus washed (3 times)
   Oh happy day (2 times)

He taught me how to watch
Watch and pray
And live rejoicing ev- every day, every day

Pretty simple words. I still have my 45 rpm of the song by the Edwin Hawkins singers. The Men's Chorus where I sing does the song, pretty much with the same arrangement as Edwin Hawkins, but the lead singer does an even more exciting job on it.. at least my wife and I think so, and we both love the Edwin Hawkins version. The Men's chorus isn't as good, musically but they more than make up for it with their exuberance.

The version we did last night has the feel more of Ahmad Jamal, the jass pianist, if you remember him doing The In Crowd and Wade In the Water. The lead "vocal" is done by the piano, and we make the response. Very, very exciting. The pianist's name is Christian Sands, and he has a couple of cds out... going to see if I can find them at amazon.com and pick one up. He's a young kid who is gaining a national reputation in the jazz world. May still be a teenager.

Jerry


06 Apr 06 - 08:25 AM (#1711786)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Christian Sands has two CDs on CD Baby. He is FIFTEEN YEARS OLD!

Jerry


06 Apr 06 - 11:28 PM (#1712353)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

I know we're not discussing politics around the table--and if you think this is not a good topic, I'll drop it-- but I'm getting more and more interested in the controversy about illegal immigrants--I'd be very curious what people think. To me it's clear they should be put on a path to citzenship--but I'd like to hear your views.


07 Apr 06 - 09:10 AM (#1712552)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

A discussion about politics is fine around a kitchen table. There aren't many "discussions" about politics in here. It's a rapid-fire interchange of people who already know all the answers.

My own theory about politics is that it's ultimately the wallet that drives people... wealthy or poor. Morality rarely gets in the way of political decisions. And to me, even that is understandable. When it comes to immigration, one's attitude will be determined by many things that have nothing to do with philosphy or morality. For starters, it depends on where you live. If you live in a small town in Minnesota, the effect of illegal immigrants is most likely different than if you live in one of the border states, or a large city. It also depends on your level of education. If you are a manual laborer in an area where jobs are scarce and you have an influx of illegal immigrants willing to work for less money than you can live on, you're bound to have a different attitude than a computer programmer in Boston. If you are a business man and you can make a far greater profit hiring illegal immigrants, you're at least going to be tempted to look the other way when workers are hired. It may just mean that dream home in Aruba and sending your kids to Harvard. If you're poor but there is very little influx of illegal immigrants that threaten your job secvurity, and you can buy a product or service at a lowere price because someone is hiring illegal immigrants, you aren't likely to complain. There are probably another half a dozen scenarios where your attitude is driven by the impact illegal immigrants have on your life... among those, the effect on social services.

There was a time when illegal immigrants congregated mostly in ghettos in large cities. That's not so true anymore. Wherever there's a need for cheap manual labor, you'll find illegal immigrants no matter what the size of the town.

My opinion on the topic? (and it's just an opinion, formed in part because illegal immigrants aren't a major presence here in Derby, Ct.) I can't see the practicality, let alone the moral foundation for sending everyone back to where they came from. And here's where it gets fuzzy. If they've been here five years and have a steady job and are being responsible citizens, then I'd think it was fair to let them apply for citizenship. If they came yesterday, I'd send them back and make them apply for citizenship. Giving them green cards for a limited aount of time to work in this country isn't a bad idea. If they do it for Europeans, why not Mexicans?   This seems like a problem that calls for measured compromise.

I don't know what the answer is... these are just some of my thoughts. As for our Canadian and European friends, they'll have a different perspective. Europeans aren't concerned about Mexicans sneaking across their borders on a moon-less night. They get a flood of refugees from the middle East that create similar problems, financial and social. I'd be interested in getting their perspective.

Jerry


07 Apr 06 - 11:53 PM (#1712971)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

You're right, Jerry--it seems to hinge on whether somebody perceives that his or her job is threatened by illegal immigrants--or can imagine a scenario where they would be competing with illegal immigrants for the same jobs. But legal immigrants would offer the same threat--and supply and demand means that the immigrants will come here, legal or illegal, regardless of the outcome of this particular bill. In fact, if someone were concerned about pay at the lower levels, I would think they would want the immigrants to be legalized--that would lessen chances of exploitation--and raise pay for everybody on the low end of the economic scale.


08 Apr 06 - 06:52 AM (#1713061)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

That's a real good observation, Ron: reducing exploitation and raising pay for everyone on the low end. Exploitation always pits one group of the poor against another... usually along racial lines.
Reducing illegal immigration could possibly raise all boats. At least that's more likely to benefit the poor than the "trickle" down" theory. Make me richer and the crumbs from the table will be better.

Ultimately, this is more of a humanity and justice issue than a political issue. Politics tends to offer two inadequate choices with the selection based on emotion or prejudice. The one who can make people hate each other holds the power. I know Little Hawk sees it this way, too.


08 Apr 06 - 07:59 AM (#1713079)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Donuel

But we just raised the minimum wage back in 1997

Ah 1997... the days when the beeper reigned supreme

Asking corporate Amerika to provide a liveable wage is like asking Tony Soprano to give up his skim.


08 Apr 06 - 08:05 AM (#1713080)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Can I have a cup of coffee? We just got back from Italy last night and since I was jet-laggewd I logged on to the webcam and saw ANdrew and Carole get married today in Wales!   What a wonderful thing technology is...or can be!   Anyway, glad to be back and will catch up on my reading of table topics soon! jimmyt


08 Apr 06 - 09:06 AM (#1713101)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi folks, coffee ready? Thanks,
you are right the feeling in Europe is rather different,unfortunatly the press here only focus on illigal people arriving here and then living of our benefits system, free housing, free medical care, not getting a job etc,they very rarely talk about genuine refugees who come here to avoid persecution.So the innocent get a bad name due to the bad behaviour of the others.
After July 7th bombs we have had much bad feeling.I was brought up in London and have to admit that when I was a child it was unusual to see a foreigner but now London is very multicultural.
The crazy thing is Billy still has an American passport, having lived here for 35 years, we thought it might be a good idea for him to apply for British citizenship as well, when we saw the form to fill in, nearly as big as the bible, I took umbridge and said do not bother!
I really think as he has a business here and pays his taxes, has never claimed a penny from the state he should be fast tracked!
It is funny when we go back to the USA the immigration guys at the airport are very suspicious, like... how long are you staying?Why are you here? Billy no mates???
Back to work, thanks for the chat ,Wendy


08 Apr 06 - 09:08 AM (#1713103)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Welcome back, Jimmy!

Table topics is whatever anyone wants to talk about. Can you imagine... well over 300 posts and not a single ugly, insulting one?


SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jerry


08 Apr 06 - 01:10 PM (#1713218)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Jerry--

Hey, it seems everybody else has a copy of the Messengers' CD. Is it available through Camsco?--I like to try to buy folk CD's there to support Mudcat. Or if not, can I buy one through you--I insist on paying.

Elmer--

If you're still checking this thread, that was fascinating information about the background to "Oh Happy Day"


Billy Bob--

I can certainly understand your feelings about US Customs at the airport---since I go to Sidmouth almost every summer, I've had occasion to notice the British Customs authorities are nowhere near as paranoid as the US ones.

Favorite story here is Jan's entry to the US, coming back from Sidmouth a few years ago. She loves Heinz baked beans. But though Heinz is a US firm, we can't get them here. So she gets them in the UK and brings them back in her suitcase. Well, the shape of a baked bean can is of great interest to the machine that checks luggage. So the Customs people wanted to know what was in the corner of the suitcase. She told them. As you might imagine, they wanted proof. So she showed them a can. So then what's in this corner here? They couldn't believe she'd imported 4 cans of Heinz baked beans. But she had.


08 Apr 06 - 03:28 PM (#1713303)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

No, it's an illusion. Not everybody on Mudcat has the Gospel Messengers CD. It's available through cd baby on the internet, but I'm selling it for less to Mudcat members... $10 + $3 for shipping & handling. It's $13 + S @ H on cd baby.

What's been fascinating to me is that a reviewer for several british blues magazines liked it alot, listening to samples on cd baby and wanted a copy to review. And, someone with a blues program on radio in Poland liked it and asked for a copy as well. I hadn't thought of a blues venue as a place to send copies, but I guess I'd better re-think things.

For our canadian friends, when we were in Vermont, we drove north to the Canadian border, and turned around before crossing the border. The entrance check is a mile or so inside the U.S. border, and we had to go through customs, even though we hadn't gone to Canada. We explained what we had done and they asked a few questions and let us through without a problem.

And as for beans.. I struck up a conversation at the airport with someone scanning our luggage and he said the most suspicious object to avoid bringing into this country is peanut butter. It has the same consistency as plastic explosives. So, if you're planning on bringing in gourmet peanut butter from England, think twice, it ain't alright..

Who would thunk?

Jerry


08 Apr 06 - 10:23 PM (#1713503)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'll stick a CD in the mail for you tomorrow, Ron:
Jerry


08 Apr 06 - 10:47 PM (#1713517)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson

Hi, been gone for a while. Mind if I sit down? My dogs are killing me.

Living in a territory on the other side of the world brings a slightly different perspective to the whole immigration thing. The population of Guam is a true melting pot. The Chamorros were first on the island arriving about 6500 years ago. The Spanish arrived in 1521 with Magellan and subsequent 'visits'. They colonized the islands here in the 1600s. Over that period they brought in Philipinos, Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese. Then in 1898 the USA took the island from the Spanish. That brought in the overwhelming influence of the land of the 'free'. The Japanese took the island and held it for almost 4 years. Since 1944 it's been an American base and has been influenced by the USA to a great extent. However, it is also a vacation mecca for the Japanese and, to a smaller extent, the other Asian nations. Because Guam is so urbanized and so busy we get islanders from all over the Pacific living here. It is not unusual to hear 6 or 7 different languages as you walk around the mall.

So on this island people tend to be puzzled about the big deal back on the mainland. Of course, mainland politics don't get much attention here anyway. We cannot vote in national elections, our congressional representative has no power and can only make requests of congress, and our income taxes go out to the feds and then are returned to fund the island government. None of my taxes are being spent in Iraq.

Added to all that is the general tropical attitude of 'Chill out and enjoy life.' People are very good at planning parties. There are businesses set up here that kust support parties. The hotels down on Hotel Road are doing OK, could be better but then the Asian economies are a little wishy-washy right now. Life goes on in this tropical paradise...

I wonder what my point was when I started this thread? Oh well, guess I'm late for my hammock.


09 Apr 06 - 05:57 AM (#1713621)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Naemanson--

And here I thought this was going to be a hard-hitting expose on the plague of dogs in Guam--"My dogs are killing me".

LOL


09 Apr 06 - 08:24 PM (#1714117)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Naemanson--

I suppose you're really tired of answering this but I probably missed it if you talked about it. One of the things Guam is famous for right now is the brown snake. Are they really everywhere? Do they have them under control yet? Were they really responsible for the disappearance of several bird species on Guam?

Hope you don't mind talking about them.


09 Apr 06 - 08:28 PM (#1714118)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

It's Sunday night, I have a whopper of a cold (which I've had now for four days) and I'm sitting here thinking how blessed I am that that's all I have to be concerned about. I had a brief window, Friday night, where I was able to sing with the Messengers, and then I got socked in right after the program.

Saturday morning, the Messengers came up for practice and I had my new sounds system set up to try out. I can't remember when I had more fun singing (even though I sounded like a goat with it's tail in a vice.) The system has a powerful, rich bass range to the speakers and Joe sounded so wonderful. I could see how much fun he was having. Singers know how exhilarating it can be when you have a sound system and mic when you can really hear you voice. I didn't think Joe was going to leave. It does my heart good to see good folks feeling good.

So, if you drop by, sit on the far side of the table, and I'll be sure to cover my mouth if I cough.

All will pass. I'm singing three times this week, so it better..

Jerry


11 Apr 06 - 12:15 AM (#1714937)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Jerry--

Hope your cold goes soon. Guess most people are busy now--not many left (temporarily ) at the table.

I have rehearsals tomorrow night and Wednesday night and a concert Friday--I'll try to get back when I can--I hope tomorrow night--but it'll be late.

After work, saw lots of people dressed in white, who evidently had come from one of the pro-immigrant demonstrations. Haven't heard of any violence. Sounds good.   Parallels are being drawn with the civil rights movement of the '60s.


11 Apr 06 - 08:53 AM (#1715103)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey:

If you're interested in movies, search IMDb. I just stumbled across this site, looking for an old movie, Boomerang (not the Eddie Murphy lame comedy that has nothing to do with this movie.) As it turns out, the movie is not available on DVD. (I have it on video.) This website not only has extensive reviews and information on over 3,500 movies, it links to web sites where you can buy the movie, by country. I can see I'll be going back to this for a long time.

Yesterday, I got my DVD of The Body Snatcher (considered by some to be Boris Karloff's best film.) It came from China (not the alternate title of the movie.) I picked it up through eFilmic for $6.99. It's a quality print and is in English, but has chinese subtitles. When I tried to get rid of the subtitles, all the instructions in the menu are in Chinese... :-) It took some experimenting to figure out how to get rid of the subtitles, because there are 7 choices. Six of them are for other oriental languages, from the looks of it. I finally tried the 6th choice on the list, and it removed the subtitles. I had to laugh at the subtitles because they are very complete. Unlike movies where the character is speakeing for a minute and the English subtile is "Hello," the subtitles are so complete that in some scenes they almost cover the complete screen... you have to try to figure out what's going on behind all the chinese characters.

Now that I've figured out how to get rid of the subtitles, I'll watch the movie tonight when Ruth is safely ensconced upstairs watching the decorating channel. She don't like scary movies, and while this movie is not at all explicit, visually, it is definitely very creepy.

Your schedule sounds like mine, Ron. I cancelled my service at the nursing home this morning because my cold is lingering... much better, but still here. I had practice last night, and last Saturday, and have practice on Wednesday night, too. And preformances with my group and both of the Male Choruses I sing in coming up, and have just agreed to be chairman of one of the Male Chorus annual concerts. As I said to my brother-in-law, my plate is full, but it's all deserts..

Jerry


11 Apr 06 - 11:30 PM (#1715774)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Hi Jerry--

Looks like it's still just thee and me.

Just got back from rehearsal.

Had an interesting experience on the way out on the subway. Sat next to a guy, about 18-20, who had a notebook with English on one side and a language I didn't recognize on the right. Turned out he was a Turkish student studying English. So, as I like to do with a new language, I asked him how to say hello and goodbye-- in Turkish. When he told me I wrote it down in Cyrillic--since it was actually easier to write what he said that way than in English--English doesn't have exact equivalents to his words. It's interesting that knowing something about another language--in this case Russian--helped write a third--Turkish. There are certain guttural sounds we don't have. So that was fun.

And I sat next to a friend at rehearsal who couldn't figure out what I had written--even though he's a Russian expert. So I told him he need not be concerned not recognizing the words--since it was Turkish.

How's that for small talk--(pretty small)-- around the table?


11 Apr 06 - 11:36 PM (#1715781)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Hey, Ron and Jerry. You are not alone. I'm napping in the corner.


11 Apr 06 - 11:48 PM (#1715796)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

ROn I just was at the tomb of St. Cryil in ROme and this seemed to hit home to me! I get very confusied with Glagolythic writing!   Had a great expericence in ROme though!    jimmyt


12 Apr 06 - 09:37 PM (#1716840)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sit down, take a deep breathe and a vacation from Mudcat Wars.

A small incident.

This afternoon, Ruth and I did some shopping and ended up in that limbo when it was really too early to eat supper (it was about 4 p.m.) but by the time we got home, too late to make it because I had to go out to practice this evening. Suddenly, the excruciatingly slow service at Friendly's seemed just what we needed. If we were waited on and served quickly, we wouldn't be hungry enough to eat. But thanks to the complete inneficiency of Friendly's it took almost a half an hour to get our food and by then we were hungry.

While we were sitting there waiting to get hungry, I noticed a man in the booth behind Ruth. He must have come in just before we did, because the waiter came over and took his order before us. He ordered a 5 scoop ice cream sundae, and the anticipation showed in his face. He looked like he was in his 80's and looked very pale and fragile. When he got his sundae, I watched him eat it, as he was directly in the line of sight behind Ruth. Talk about savoring!
He lifted each spoonful out and looked at it with great satisfaction before taking it into his mouth. I had the feeling that this was a ritual for him... something he really looked forward to. And because he was alone, I suspected that he was widowed and perhaps was carrying on a ritual that he had enjoyed sharing with his wife.
When he finally had scooped every last drop of ice cream out of the large dish, he quietly folded his napkin and asked for his check. When the waiter came over all he said to him was "That should do me for awhile." When he got up, I realized how fragile he was. He couldn't stand up straight and almost lost his balance and fell. He had to hold on to the booths to walk and was listing dangerously to one side. He finally got enough balance that he was able to hobble across the room for a trip to the Men's Room.
When he came out, it was a real struggle to make his way across the restaurant and out the door. We watched him walking to his car, concerned that he would fall over, but he made it. And I thought, "How sweet the simplest treats can be when you are old and living alone." And I knew that could be me some day. I could understand that... the pleasure of breaking up a lonely day at home by going to Friendly's and getting the largest ice cream Sundae they make. Damn the calories and the cholesterol. For a few minutes, the man could savor the time when it was just him and that big bowl of ice cream. And perhaps a one or two sentence conversation with the waiter. I didn't feel sorry for the man. Or fear that I might end up that way. There can be great pleasure in the simplest of things that we think nothing of.

Jerry


13 Apr 06 - 12:11 AM (#1716993)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

Hi Jimmy (if you get a chance to check this)--

My understanding is that the Glagolitic alphabet came first. The Cyrillic alphabet was derived from a combination of Greek and Glagolitic. We sang a piece--can't remember the composer--and as usual it's late--called the Glagolitic Mass. And it wasn't the same as Russian.

I like the way the Cyrillic alphabet looks--so much that I've been writing my name in Cyrillic in all my books for years. Cyrillic even has some exact cognates with English-- so ATOM is exactly the same in Russsian and English.


Jerry--

You're absolutely right about the importance of simple things--and the importance of companionship. Mudcat has the potential to be a source of long-lasting companionship for quite a few of us, I think. The love of music--and learning, I'd say--could make a real community--as long as there's a bit of tolerance, which there seems to be in most Mudcatters.

Your oasis here is wonderful.


13 Apr 06 - 10:57 AM (#1717267)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Seems to be just you and me these days, Ron. But that's awright.

Last week at the Men's Chorus practice we did the ultimate overdone song: Jesus Loves Me This I Know. Just about everyone who was taken to church as a kid learned that song. It's kinda like a Christian Skip To My Low or She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain. By the time we're six or seveen years old and we are mature, we associate that song with little kids. Who wants to sing a BABY song? Certainly not a seven year old. And then the song sinks back into oblivian, along with all those other old staples, like Shortnin' Bread, Someone's In The Kitchen With Dinah, and the rest.

When I heard the piano introduction of Jesus Loves The Little Children, it caught me off guard. It was done very slowly and soulfully. And then when I heard the lead singer come in, I was darned near overwhelmed with the beauty of the song. I mean, here is a guy in his 70's singing Jesus Loves Me with all the power and spirituality of another song we're doing... His Eye Is On The Sparrow. The song sent chills down my spine. Afterwards, I spoke to the guy ... don't even know his name, and siad "I've sung that song all of my life, but when you sang it, I heard it for the first time."

Two other old chestnuts come to mind that have been miraculously transformed by a completely fresh interpretation... one moving, emotionally and one moving the hips. I think that Ray Charles has claimed America the Beautiful as his own and I am deeply moved whenever I hear him sing it. The most emotional experience I've had listening to his recording was on a boat cruise one night around the New York Harbor. Ruth and I were standing on the deck in a fine mist, with limited visibility and when we came close enough to see the Statue Of Liberty lit with flood lights, they played Ray's version of the song over the loud speakers. Whewww! What a rush of emotion!

The other song is Shortnin' Bread recorded by one of my favorite groups, The Tractors. They do it as a boogie shuffle... maybe the way that Canned Heat might have done it. They've taken another, old familiar overcooked song and made it fresh and new.

Anyone else think of a song that's been reborn?

I'd start a thread on this, but I'm not sure that I want to walk into the BS jungle that it's become.

Jerry


13 Apr 06 - 01:13 PM (#1717319)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I know what you mean when you say that some of the simplest songs can stun one when they're done reflectively and with intensity. I too have had that experience at times, times when I could have wept- and did.   

I don't suppose this song of Buddy's is appropriate in this context but it came powerfully to my mind.

Jesus Loves Me More
                Buddy Tabor, Juneau, Alaska
Oh I know it's cold sleeping in your car
But you really are to blame for where you are
I can see that you're down to skin and bones
But it's not my fault you're starving all alone

You surely cannot punish my success
Just because my way of life has been so blessed
The reason why you ain't got no food or any shoes
Is 'cause Jesus loves me more than he loves you

While millions starve I'm putting on more weight
But that's not my destiny, not my fate
Oh, I'd love to help you out but you have sinned
And I know you'd only go and sin again

But at night when I lie down there's's something wrong
Thee's no joy when I try to sing your song
There's a little voice that will not go away
Telling me that I've judged and I have strayed

But you surely cannot punish my success
Just because my way of life has been so blessed
The reason why you ain't got no food or any shoes
Is 'cause Jesus loves me more than he loves you

Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me more than he loves you

Thank you, Lord.


13 Apr 06 - 01:41 PM (#1717351)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for the song, Ebbie: It's quite a song and a serious warning to all of us... not just those other people who are judgmental and hypocritical. One thing I firmly believe is that if someone is:

   1. Blessed
   2. Lucky
   3. Fortunate
(Take your pick of words depending on your belief) along with that
(1, 2 or 3) comes a responsibility to be more loving, more generous and more sensitive to those who are not so (1, 2 or 3.) My word of choice is "1." And my response to that belief is that I am "Blessed to be a blessing." Whatever goodness is in my life is there, not because I am so terrific or deserve it, but so that I can share it with others. The more my life is blessed, the more humbled I am. There is no way to take pride in something I am not responsible for.

This morning, over our barberry hedge, I was talking to my neighbor, "Poppa" George. We were talking about long life and he was commenting on someone on television who has lived to be 100 who takes full credit for it, because he has lived healthily. I believe that we should all take care of our health because I look upon it as something not to be taken for granted. That said, I've known people who have lived the most responsible life, eating healthily, excercising and avoiding all those things that can shorten our health, only to die very young. To me, nothing is guaranteed... certainly not health, and definitely not financial security. The only thing that is guaranteed in life is insecurity. Whether someone believes that they are "blessed" or "lucky" or more commonly, "Deserving," disaster can be lurking right around the corner.

I wrote a rather heavy-handed song back in the early 60's called Words Of A Bum. I have thankfully forgotten most of it, but one line applies here:

"The difference between a bum and a good man is like the line on the beach between water and sand."

I am also (pick 1, 2 or 3) that I know very few Christians who are as smug and judgmental as the one in the song. I know that they exist. Being judgmental is a human weakness that knows no religion or belief, or financial level. It's something I have to be on guard against, every day.

Jerry


13 Apr 06 - 02:04 PM (#1717373)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

One of the most tellingly obvious things about you, Jerry Rasmussen, is that you are living an "examined life". I don't know where you learned it or when, but it is a valuable approach in this world. I have no doubt that because of it your blessings are great. Not that ours are not - mine certainly are- but unless a person is 'aware' he or she may not even recognize it.


13 Apr 06 - 08:17 PM (#1717665)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers

Jerry - Its SO SO nice to sit at your kitchen table and get pleasant conversation , instead of the nastiness which is so prevalent now in some parts of The Cat ! - And NO sugar in the coffee , thanks Ruth .
Now I will just sit and relax !


13 Apr 06 - 08:51 PM (#1717689)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

I too have been sitting quietly in the corner of the kitchen for some time, and loving the conversation.

on hearing someone sing a song in a new way, I heard Neil Adam perform "Ye Banks and Braes" at a folk festival in Canberra some years ago. He sang it very slowly, mournfully, and I realised I'd never understood the song before. It is a bluesy, moody song, and I was very moved by his singing of it.

Another song that was transformed for me was "Moreton Bay", sung to the Queensland version of the tune, by Kate Delaney, a wonderful singer from Sydney. That song was so powerful and moving, I felt in awe of her singing and of the song.


freda

(stepping back to the corner chair)


13 Apr 06 - 10:02 PM (#1717751)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Terry and Freda: How nice to see you both! I thought that was the two of you over there in the corner.

A humorous remembrance. Many, many years ago in a country called Pittsburgh, they held a regular Ceilidh. One night, a young man got up to sing that wonderful Arms-akimbo, Aran Sweater, lusty-voiced song with the chorus, Tima rideo, Tima rideay.. I don't remember the name of it any more... You know, the "I crack my whip and I bring the blood." The Makem Brothers, hands on hips song. This was a young kid who didn't know from nothing... a farm kid. When he got up, he sang the song draggingly slow and irritated the Hell out of everyone... oh yeah, It's Kilgarry Mountain. When he finished he was immediately attacked for doing the song so slowly. I mean, it's supposed to be done fast, with arms akimbo! But this was a farm kid who didn't know nothin' about arms akimbo. But he knew oxen. He asked, "You ever seen oxen move?" They don't gallop like horses. They move real slow." And the song made sense the way that he did it.

Reminds me of the lines from Mountaineer's Courtship:

"Oh what will you bring to the wedding, the wedding, the wedding
Oh what will you bring to the wedding, my dear old batchelor boy?

I think I'll bring my ox sled, my ox sled, my ox sled
I think I'll bring my ox sled, that is if the weather is good

Why don't you bring your buggy, your buggy, your buggy?
Oh why don't you bring your buggy, my dear old batchelor boy

My ox won't work with the buggy, the buggy, the buggy
My ox won't work with the buggy, 'cause I never seen 'em trot."

Sometimes, a song reveals itself just by placing it in the right rhythm and time.

Jerry


13 Apr 06 - 10:14 PM (#1717761)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

and that reminds me of.. the Wagoner's Lad

Oh hard is the fortune of all womankind
They're always controlled, they're always confined
Controlled by their parents until they're a bride
Then slaves to their husbands the rest of their lives

Oh I am a poor girl, my fortune is sad
I have always been courted by the wagoner's lad
He courted me daily by night and by day
And now he is loaded and going away

Your parents don't like me because I am poor
They say I'm not worthy of entering your door
I work for my living, my money's my own
And if they don't like me they can leave me alone

Your horses are hungry, go feed them some hay
Come sit down beside me as long as you may
My horses ain't hungry, they won't eat your hay
So fare thee well, darling, I'll be on my way

Your wagon needs greasing, your whip's for to mend
Come sit down here by me as long as you can
My wagon is greasy, my whip's in my hand
So fare thee well, darling, no longer to stand..

another song with a wagon in it.. and a little confronting..


13 Apr 06 - 10:27 PM (#1717768)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

We're on the same page, Freda: That's a favorite song of mine that I've sung for most of my life... a good burr under the saddle song with a lot of truth to it. There's nothing like those old songs... One Morning in May, Mary Of The Wild Moore, Omie Wise, John Johanna..
It's funny. People started calling me a singer-songwriter a long time ago because I wrote a few songs. But I've never lost my love of traditional music. You make me feel like getting out my banjo, Freda.

Just got off the phone with a wonderful sounding man from a radio station in Florida. He heard our CD on the internet and asked for a copy. He's been playing it on his radio program and getting a wonderful response, and he just wanted to talk with me. Wants tyo get us down to Florida. He sounds like somebody I'd like to know.
I'll tell Joe and Frankie tomorrow and they'll be all excited. If this keeps up we'll end up selling 25 cds before it's all over... :-)

Great to have you stopping by, freda. I've missed talking with you..

Jerry


13 Apr 06 - 11:09 PM (#1717803)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Ron Davies

That's just great, Jerry, that your CD is opening doors in Florida. I would bet that the more people hear it all over the country, the more of those calls you'll be getting.





Tonight I unfortunately have a serious question: what can you do for somebody who will not stand up for herself?

As I said earlier, Jan loves taking care of kids. And the parents keep asking her to do more. She can't say no. This week it was 4--just about all week--including 17 month old Henry, who is her usual charge. (She herself thinks society is screwed up that a woman can't stay home with her 17-month old) (But the family is heavily dependent on the mother's earnings--it's certainly not her fault.)

At any rate, she's had a terribly sore throat all week--partly from talking all day. Also the neck is trying to heal. And 2 days ago, Henry rose up unexpectedly and hit her in the face (unintentionally)--which forced her neck back. Added to that, last Thursday at the dentist, the dentist forced her neck into a painful position--for an hour and a half--since the dentist appears to have botched the job the first time--so it took much longer than it should have. Jan kept telling her over and over about the long plate in her neck (4 vertebrae). The woman kept apologizing--but then immediately forgot--it never registered. Jan's neck has not been the same since.

And I've just asked her what her plans are for next week. She has no plans to cut back.

Why?

What if anything can be done?


14 Apr 06 - 12:23 AM (#1717834)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

That's a tough one, Ron. The problem with developing a solution is that the habit of thinking she can do it is a long-ingrained one. Even though she recognizes it as a problem she may not respond in time. Maybe the best thing would be for her to have a frank talk with her doctor and have him or her arm her with concrete facts.

It's a lot easier to say NO when you can quote an expert on what the long-term consequences could be.

In the meantime, I do hope her neck heals quickly with no further damage done.

Ebbie


14 Apr 06 - 12:32 AM (#1717845)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

I would do anything for a family member or close friend, Ron. I minded a friends little girl while she finished her uni degree, and I babysit my own grandaughter weekly, or more if I can.

But.. I would not do it for someone out of my inner circle, especially if my own health was at risk.   I don't know what the answer is for Jan, but she is a very caring person.

freda


14 Apr 06 - 10:21 AM (#1718069)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

First, Ron, allow me to laugh at us. You often mention how you are out several nights a week practicing music, often not getting back until very late. Your posts on here are often after midnight. I often mention how many times I am out singing in one week. Let's see... I sang last Friday, had practice up here on Saturday, had practice on Monday night, cancelled doing a program/service at a nursing home on Tuesday because of my cold and went to another practice Wednesday night. Why is it that other people can't see that they're trying to do too much. Please permit a large GUFFAW! here. I think the truth is, Ron, anyone worth their salt does too much. It's not just the inability to say no. It's seeing something that needs to be done and stepping up and doing it. When I think of the people I most value in my lifem they're ALL like that... And so are we, Ron. And I suspect so are Ebbie and Freda and many others who we respect and enjoy. The catch is when you start destroying your own health by taking on more than your body or spirit can handle. It sounds like what Jan is doing. It's what my dear friend Joe has done most of his life, what my dear friend Willie C does, and my brother-in-law Irving and his wife Sarah do. It goes beyond not knowng how to say "no." It's a lack of concern for their own health. With some, like Joe, he took himself down by pushing his body endlessly after he had fallen and severely injured his back. He reached a point where he was in such pain where he couldn't stand up or even walk across a room. He ended up having serious back surgery and many months of recuperation. He's finally learned his lesson. Kinda. He does take better care of himself, and while it kills him to say "no" sometimes he does, now. But it took him completely breaking down to at least partially learn his lesson. I could give many other examples and unfortunately, it seems like it has taken a serious breakdown of health before there was a change in life style. Hopefully, Jan won't go that far.

I see my good health as a gift. I feel that I am responsible for taking care of it. I wouldn't buy a new sports car and never service the engine. And yet people do that all the time, with their bodies. Unfortunately, if we run our bodies into the ground, we can't go get another one. Not yet, at least. There are times (like this week) where I cancel a commitment to take care of myself. I figure that if I don't respect my body, it's not going to be available when I want to help someone.

All of this is the flip side of a wonderful quality in people... the desire to help others in an unselfish way. All of the people I respecdt and love most have that quality... humility and a desire to serve others out of love. It's a matter of helping people to understand that if they don't care for themselves first, they will not be able to care for others. People forget the second half of the golden rule"Do unto others AS YOU DO UNTO YOURSELF." Don't mean to yell, but I don't know how to underline or italicize. If you want to give love, or help others, you have to first love and take care of yourself. You can't do much for others if you[re flat on your back in a hospital bed.

If Jan really wants to help others, encourage her to be loving and caring of herself and her own body, first. Then she can have a long, loving, giving life of service. And only then.

Jerry


14 Apr 06 - 09:51 PM (#1718479)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

It's Friday night and I'm beat, as in dog-tired. I'm a-gonna set down at the table with a cup of joe and listen to the rain on the roof and some restorative music. A friend just sent me a CD of Tracy Nelson singing soul music. She's still got industrial-strength pipes after forty-something years of delivering spectacular country, blues, gospel, and outside-of-any category songs to melt your heart. Wish I could turn up the volume loud enough for y'all to hear it.

I hope Jan takes care of herself. Blessed are those who also stand and wait. We're human BEings, not human DOings.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter, wherever you are.

Elmer


14 Apr 06 - 10:16 PM (#1718483)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Elmer:

Tracy Nelson! Man, I haven't heard her since the 60's. "We are Human BEings, not Human DOINGS." Great line.

One of the most powerful songs we sing in the Male Chorus I sing in offers the simplest of advice. The title is "Stand still." I noticve the advice is to either stand and wait, or stand still. I wonder whether it would be alright to sit for awhile..

Have a wonderful Easter too, Elmer..

Jerry


14 Apr 06 - 11:11 PM (#1718503)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hey Jerry,

Tracy Nelson is touring these days with Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel, Sam Lay and Corky Siegel as the "Chicago Blues Reunion." How's that for some heavy wattage? They've got a website (www.chicagobluesreunion.com) with streaming audio, if you want to check them out.

Good point you make. I do believe the advise is to "Be still and know God," not to "run around like chickens with your heads cut off and know God." That's something of which I need to be reminded upon occasion in these hyperactive times. Your kitchen table is a good place to take a deep breath and remember, and I thank you for that.

Elmer


15 Apr 06 - 02:04 AM (#1718535)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry and everybody else at the table--

Just got back from my concert (actually about 2 hours ago), and tried to go to bed. But as frequently happens after a concert, I was really revved up. I'll tell you more about the concert later.

But I just got your CD (Gospel Messengers), Jerry-- and I decided to listen to it. Well, it's revved me up even more.   It's just DYNAMITE.!!!

I just absolutely love that kind of gospel-----almost entirely close-harmony voices with just bare-bones guitar.

How Much Do I Owe Him?--just hypnotic

Oh Why?--it's really fascinating how you can see the link between gospel and doo-wop. They're all so close, it seems--gospel, blues, and doo-wop.

Your own songs are so strong--the chorus to " Healing Water" seems so traditional---it'll go right into the tradition and everybody will be singing it.

And "When I Get To Glory"--   WOW!!!!!!!!!!!----it makes you feel so good to hear it--I'm gonna have to learn that one this weekend. I just love the way it changes from the slow verse to the rocking chorus.

I'm Just Waiting On Jesus--what a rouser!

Your voice-good rich baritone--a real joy to hear-sounds like you're about 35. And the other members of the group--what a good strong sound!

HEY EVERYBODY--YOU GOTTA GET A COPY OF THIS CD!!!!


15 Apr 06 - 08:48 AM (#1718665)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

Ron, I agree - I listen to the Gospel Messengers and love them, as I do all gospel music. Jerry's music will drench you with good vibes - just like the man himself.

it's saturday night here - i've had a very busy day doing bits & pieces. went out with friends tonight and talked over dinner. now its time for soft music and sleep.

keep that music happening in the kitchen!


15 Apr 06 - 09:21 AM (#1718680)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Freda: I posted words to a song that I wrote about the morning sunlight in response to a post of yours on the Today Is Beautiful thread..

You mention the song, When I Get To Glory, Ron. Early on, not long after I started the Messengers, Frankie's sister-in-law died and his brother asked us to sing at her funeral. It was held in a very small church, and we sang with our backs against the casket at the front of the church. We sang When I Get To Glory, and some of the women got up and started dancing in the pews and into the aisles. I'd never experienced anything like that, but it seemed right.. it's a joyful song. As you've heard, the rhythm shifts abruptly between verses and the chorus. I've never written a song like that, but it's the way it happened. When we sing it. people start clapping enthusiastically during the chorus, and then the verse is very slow.. I didn't mean it to be frustrating to clap to. You can imagine dancing to it... kinda like shifting back and forth between the Charleston and a waltz. That didn't create any problem at the funeral, though. During the verses, the women would just move very slowly and expressively, and then joyfully during the chorus.

Whatever moves you..

Jerry


15 Apr 06 - 01:56 PM (#1718893)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

And Ron: I understand the phenomenon of being too wound up to go right to sleep after a concert. There's something abnormal about having people focus all of their attention on you for a couple of hours, and you're trying to get through it without making a mistake. For me, two hours of not making a mistake is daunting, and ultimately very tiring. That's even more exagerated when I am doing a concert alone, or with the Messengers. In a 40 man Male Chorus, there's room to hide. That's not true with the Messengers. If you mess up a harmony, people are going to hear it. I don't get tired preparing for a concert, no matter how demanding the practices may be. Hey! You're expected to make some mistakes in practice. But after a concert, I am worth nothing for awhile...

Tell us how it went... sounds like it was a good night for you.

Jerry


15 Apr 06 - 06:34 PM (#1719167)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry and anybody else interested--

Yes, it was a good concert for me. Much less pressure than a lot of others--Mozart Requiem, one of my all-time favorite pieces. I could talk about it for quite a while--hope people don't get bored.

One of the things that jumps out at me is that the whole thing is really well-written and frequently moving. Yet all evidence indicates that Mozart did not in fact write the whole thing--a much lesser composer wrote most of the last 2 movements, at least. But I really can't tell--and I don't think many others can either. As I understand it, Mozart sketched out the whole thing, and may have written the bass line for the whole thing.   But it seems that's all he had to do--it sure came out right.

I only sang the Mozart--there was another piece you could volunteer to sing--but it was a modern (classical) piece about the Crucifixion. Fairly obviously going to be quite jarring--and take a lot of rehearsal. So I declined. Fortunately, there are a lot of people in the group with more tolerance for modern dissonance than I have. We (the Mozart only folks) didn't have to be at the concert as early as the others. As I was coming in, a couple in a car stopped me to ask about parking--I always park on the street--do not like parking garages---and don't ever mind walking (For one thing I can sing on the walk--something like Amelia Earhart's Last Flight, Lorena, Arthur McBride, Sammy's Bar--usually fairly long songs.) I've fallen off-topic already. Anyway, the couple wanted to know about parking for the Mozart--they had no intention of even trying to be on time for the modern piece.

And I sympathize with them, actually. I don't really want to go to a concert to hear a musical depiction of modern chaos--which is what happens when people break (musical) rules just for the sake of breaking them, and consciously assault the ear.

In some ways, I'm quite conservative--certainly musically--except that I like a huge array of different types of music.

I'm just not a big fan of classical music after Resphigi, Gershwin, (obviously edging into popular music), some Copland, and some Bernstein. Aside from these, the pieces that interest me after the early 20th century are few.

Sorry to keep rambling on--as I said I could talk about music forever--basically all the time I'm not making it.

Last night I also got a real compliment after the concert from a guy in the row ahead of me. The conductor is always saying "more consonants", especially beginning ones, and ending ones to some extent. A tenor ahead of me told me said "If my consonants were as strong as yours, I'd give myself a hernia." He was obviously impressed.

And a young woman (late 20's?) told me afterwards she'd heard many performances of the Mozart--ours was the best. It was really fun talking to her--and she was wearing a stunning evening dress. As a married man, I suppose I shouldn't get TOO interested in talking to her--but it sure was easy to do.


15 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM (#1719215)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Nice to see you posting to this thread before 2 in the morning, Ron.
I'm very impressed with your ability to sing complex music. I only read music at gun point. Actually, I'm getting a little bit better, over the years. I just was never motivated, because the music I want to sing doesn't exist in sheet music.

Many years ago, I did a version of Cryderville Jail. I say "a version" because I learned it directly out of the Folk Music Of North America Lomax book. The first time Dave Van Ronk heard me do it, he really liked it. He asked where I'd learned it because he'd never heard anyone sing it the way that I did. I told him that I learned it out of the Lomax book. He said, it doesn't anything like that the way it's written down by Lomax. That's one of the little known benefits of not being able to read sheet music very well. You can discover totally original variations in the commonest of song books :-)

Jerry


15 Apr 06 - 09:41 PM (#1719316)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

... just sitting here enjoying listening to the quiet....

Jerry


16 Apr 06 - 10:59 AM (#1719465)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Just sauntered home this morning to sit peacefully at my window with my coffee, listening to the early morning birds and breezes. It is Sunday morning and the world is slow to wake up.

Last night I walked my Cairn Terrier, Meggie, to a friend's house for dinner and a pleasant evening. They have two Cairns of their own and the three dogs look like short-legged sheep as they cast about together.

This morning Meggie is still asleep- she got to bed late.


16 Apr 06 - 06:40 PM (#1719715)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Easter Sunday, woke up to the dawn chorus, we have a wren nesting in Billy's shed so we cannot close the door.
We have four days holiday so we should have rested, but on Good Friday I had this urge to spring clean! Washed down the paintwork in the dining room then saw the curtains(drapes) so washed them,washing machine gave up and sprayed black oil into wash drum....new curtains? Washed all the china on dresser,dresser needed tender loving care, very old.Polished! Sitting room, washed all the crystal in cabinet, noticed paintwork looked sad....sent Billy out for paint,took down paintings, mirrors and photos, took 5 hours to transform room from green to coffee and cream,had to send out for take away supper no time to cook!
Back to this morning , woke up to dawn chorus, lept out of bed, photos, paintings back on wall,crystal back in cabinet, no time to worry about no drapes!!Ma and Pa coming for Easter lunch at 2.0 ,madness in kitchen, lamb undercooked, potatoes burnt!
Sitting after lunch over coffee in sitting room with CD of Pavarotti playing.Ma and Pa loved food,have not noticed change in colour scheme, just happy to share Easter Sunday with us!
count my blessings again! Happy Easter, with love to you all around this table, Wendy.( black coffee please, strong, thanks!)


17 Apr 06 - 10:02 AM (#1720171)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

My life makes sense. For much of my life, it didn't.

I guess I've been thinking about that because I wonder how you folks ended up where you are, doing what you are with whoever you're doing it with (if you're doing it with someone.) I've talked to so many people whose life turned out to be a real surprise to them. Most of my life I've lived with the reality of the statement, "If anybody told me ten years ago I'd be doing what I am now, I would have told them they were crazy." And yet, my life makes sense. Even the stupid, self- destructive things that I've done, and the times when my life seemed to be spinning out of control.. times when I could make no sense ouf of my life. All of my life seemed to be preparation for my life today. I wonder if any of you feel that way.
How did you end up in Alaska, Ebbie? When you were a little girl, did you think... "When I grow up I want to live in Alaska?" Or are you a "native?" When I was a little boy, I surely didn't think, "When I grow up I want to be married to a black woman, living in a little back-water town in Connectiut." It not only makes me reflect on how I got here, but WHY I ended up where I am. And who I am. For me, it all makes perfect sense. I could be more specific, and may end up being, but mostly I'm wondering if your life makes sense to you. In a way, it doesn't really make any difference what you're doing in your life, where you're doing it or who you're doing it with (if you're doing it with someone.) The only thing that really matters is if you have the comfort of knowing that your life has some purpose, not matter how modest that might be in someone else's eyes.

Anybody want to share anything around the table? I promise it won't go out of this room.. :-)

Jerry


17 Apr 06 - 10:57 AM (#1720201)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Interesting you should bring that up, Jerry. I've been examining my life in that context for some time. Sometimes I look around outdoors and ask myself what I'm doing in Alaska, of all places. The answer invariably is that I am more at home here than I've been anywhere in my life. I don't have family here and every one of the people I know and love here I met after I was 52 years old but my roots have sunk deep.

Actually, my first dream was Australia but eventually I decided Alaska was easier to get to!

I wrote a song some time ago that kind of addresses life's trip. I call it Sun and Rain although its working title was 'Opposites'. I tried to find and pair gradations of emotion.

"As I dwell on the mem'ries of so many years
And on the lives of most people I know
It surely does seem that we learn from extremes
Let me show you that it's really so.
There is sun, there is rain, there is pleasure and pain
There is friend, there is foe, there's the stranger that I know
Laughter and tears, hopes mingled with fears
The joy and the grief, the rapture and woe.

"There are giggles and sighs, hellos and goodbyes
So many of each in our lives
Promises broken and words left unspoken
Things idolized or despised
Anger and gladness and happy and sadness
The loves and the hates, the births and the fates
The pathway supernal, the broad road infernal
The blink of a day such long years away...

"Through the years I could see my life blown by the wind
Soaring high and then dashed to the ground
Finally I wondered just how much I'd squandered
Having every wind that blows toss me around
A good man's not always right, nor the bad one always wrong
Things are not always black or white as I'd thought my whole life long
Instead of haste, I've learned patience, deep gratitude for questions
The answers can wait. That, at last, I have found.

"I don't know all the reasons for life's changing seasons
But whate'er they may bring is what must be
So in all of my dreams through all of life's extremes
I'll take each moment and let it shape me
I'll take the sun, face the rain, take the pleasure, bear the pain
Love the friend, love the foe, love the stranger in my home
Life's extremes are the means, fertile seeds that we need
To live and to love, to give and to grow

Yes, there's anger and sadness and happy and sadness
The loves and the hates, the births and the fates
The pathway supernal, the broad road infernal
The blink of a day such long years away
The blink of my day a thousand years away."


17 Apr 06 - 12:47 PM (#1720298)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for sharing that, Ebbie: It's a very wise song.

When I look at the things that have shaped me in my life, I think that it's the failures and the mistakes that have changed me the most. Sometimes I feel like a mule that has to be hit between the eyes with a two by four in order to get its attention. Of course, it's the love of others when I couldn't love myself that had the most lasting change. There have been times in my life where I prayed for (and received) pre-hindsight. I think that we all can look back at dark times in our lives and see the good that came from them in hindsight. There've been times when I didn't feel that I had the luxury of waiting years for hindsight. I needed it up front... needed to understand what was good about something that seemed so bad at the time. Through time, I evolved into realizing that understanding will come in its own time. I don't feel that I have to understand everything as it's happening. I believe that all will be revealed when I have been prepared enough to understand. As your song states beautifully, if we can embrace life in all its "goodness" and "badness," and understand that all things can work for our good, with time is takes a lot of anxiety out of life.
I wrote a song many years ago that I'll share...

Pebble, Wheel & Seed

Take a pebble in your hand
Crush it in to a grain of sand
And maybe then you'll understand
Life is never ending

The truth is there for all who yearn
Spin the wheel and watch it turn
All things that pass someday return
Life is in the spinning

Share the water, plant the seed
All who hunger to be freed
And all who ask will be released
Love is the beginning

Jerry


17 Apr 06 - 01:56 PM (#1720359)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I love the image of crushing the pebble, Jerry. So many things affirm that nothing ever dies- or is wasted. Thank you.


17 Apr 06 - 08:52 PM (#1720663)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

I am back for a while I had just been home for a couple days when Jayne got called to Ohio with serious family health issues. Her mom was having chest pains etc (84) and her sister was taken in for emergency surgery with both arm SUbclavian arteries totally blocked with plaque and still in danger of losing one or both arms. All kinds of issues goin' on up there. Carrie, my youngest, and I went to Ohio on Thursday evening and just got back last night and JAyne is on her way right now having come a day later.    Some times family issues are really difficult to deal with. I feel very blessed with good health and same with Jayne.   Her sister has had some real issues, having a son killed by a car when he was 5 and losing her husband last year. She is seriously depressed and has some compromised health issues. Y'all keep us in your thoughts! It is a little difficult right now!   Miss you all! jimmyt


17 Apr 06 - 09:00 PM (#1720667)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Ahhhhh, Jimmy:

That's part of kitchen table conversation, too.. concern for those we love.    There's something completely draining about dealing with serious health concerns. Somehow everything else shifts back into its proper perspective.

I know hearts will go out to you, Jane and your family Jimmy. Some, like Ruth and I will lift up prayers. Others will light a candle or just send positive vibrations and concern. It's all love. Just comes in different sizes and shapes...

Jerry


17 Apr 06 - 09:06 PM (#1720674)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Somebody once said, You mean, as a last resort you're going to pray? And someone answered, No, it's the first resort.

{{{{{Hug for Jimmy}}}}


17 Apr 06 - 10:15 PM (#1720728)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Wow, Jimmy--her son was killed by a car at age 5?--that is really rough to take. All our best to her and the rest of your family.



Welcome back.

You're an impressive guy--both a dentist and a skilled musician--even writing your own musical revues. How's the latest one coming--the one you were talking about?


17 Apr 06 - 10:18 PM (#1720730)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Thanks from you 2 wonderful catters! I love you !


17 Apr 06 - 11:08 PM (#1720769)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

U2 Ron! THanks for the kind words! Always wanted to perform the Requium. Instead i do mindless Do-wop! Oh well,


18 Apr 06 - 05:48 AM (#1720897)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

and a hug from me, jimmyT.

Ebbie and jerry, I would like to hear those songs some day.

freda


18 Apr 06 - 10:57 AM (#1721113)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Maybe someday, freda: That would be quite an accompishment to get you, Ebbie and me in the same room. Take about 10,000 miles of traveling, I think. But you never know.

Now that I've put my Gospel Messengers CD to bed, I'll finish a CD of my folk songs... I've already mastered the CD and just have to complete the art work. It will have Pebble, Wheel & Seed on it..

Do you have a tape or CD with your song on it, Ebbie?

I must say, I'm really appreciating the respite from all the controversial threads. When I read of Jimmy and Jayne's problems and think about all the people we're keeping in prayer with life-threatening health problems it makes all the in-fighting in here seem very inconsequential.

"You better come on, in my kitchen
You know it's going to be raining outdoors."

Jerry


18 Apr 06 - 01:46 PM (#1721269)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Thanks. I want to hear your Pebble, Wheel and Seed, Jerry. I'll be watching.

I'm not a performer. I decided some time ago that when your heart thuds high up in your throat, your system is trying to tell you: This ain't fun!

However, my singing partner and I use my mini disc recorder from time to time. In the past we have created a CD and sent it to a friend we used to sing with and who moved to Spokane when he retired. I could teach her 'Sun and Rain' and we could record it and put it on a CD. (I'm speaking very tentatively here!)

I'm very glad that other people do enjoy performing and that I can hear them.


18 Apr 06 - 10:20 PM (#1721545)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Tired. Drove down to Frankie's for practice tonight. It's a one hour drive. When I got there, Frankie was nowhere to be found, but his daughter's friend was just leaving and let me in. I'd spoken to Frankie earlier today so I was pretty sure that he hadn't forgotten. I'd also left a message on Joe's machine reminding him of practice at 7. By ten after I was the only one there when the phone rang. It was Frankie, and he was on his way. I called Joe and he had forgotten all about practice and was out buying groceries. So, I sat around practicing guitar and working on a new song. Frankie arrived first, a half hour late (to his own house.) He was really feeling terrible... he has severe alergies and this time of year he is usually wiped out by the end of the day. He runs a paving business, despite soon turning 80. Joe came in another ten or fifteen minutes later, totally stressed out and so exhausted that he refused food. Joe refusing food is like... hmm, can't think of anything as radical as that. And, he was too beaten down to even want to sing... which is even rarer than not wanting to eat. So, we just sat around and talked. And Joe and Frankie unloaded. Joe felt badly that I had driven all the way down when we couldn't practice, but I told him I was glad that I came. When life is dragging a friend under, that's when you want to be there. And I know so many friends who are struggling just to stay above water. But it was good. We talked about Joe's problem and I encouraged him to do some things (and get some help) to try to deal with his situation, and Frankie was encouraging, too. And being who we are, we also spent some time in prayer.

Life is fragile. Beautiful, but precarious at times. Joe, Frankie and I are closer than most brothers and we give thanks that we can just sit around (not at the kitchen table) and just minister to each other in conversation and music.

So, now I'm home and worn out, and deeply appreciative for this evening. It's a blessing to have a chance to lift someone up who is sinking down.. especially, beloved friends. And this thread is a blessing too.. a place to come and plunk down knowing that you are among friends. Let the controversies rage, and I wish all well who are caught up in them. As for me, I'll just kick off my shoes, relax here at the table and give thanks for friends to share my days with.

Jerry


18 Apr 06 - 10:57 PM (#1721581)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Donuel

I told my friend CT about a blind guitarist I met at a grade school family night. I had introduced myself of course but knew in the back of my mind that he was certainly a musician and probably a sting player, which turned out to be correct. It turned out CT is a chair person of a guitar concert series so I gave him Kevin's number and he went over to hear Kevin play. He was very moved by Kevin's orginal composition called River. Kevin's wife Boo from Tunesia is also blind and is amazingly asute politically and historicly. The only sighted person in the family is their daughter.
Unfortunetly when CT was going to bring them all out to dinner he discovered his car was towed. Those damn garden apartments have these kidk back deals with A&G towing and soak the residents and vistors for thousands of dollars. CT called me up for a ride home. I dried off from the hot tub and drove over to get CT, said hi to Kevin and went on to Potomac. Back at CT's house he didn't want his wife to know he had lost his car... then he played the new CD of his violin concerto that Public TV had recorded and that I had written the program notes for. The second movement was like following arroyos of the great southwest with gushing water that opened up into a grand oasis meadow and blue green water falls.

I came back home and opened the mudcat to jot down my latest experiment and decided to put it on the kitchen table.


WHICH IS>>>
I have been drawing with a power washer.

I leave the old patina of dark concrete for the dark contrast and paint with the clean light color the power washer leaves. So on one back yard patio I have done a sun compass with a smiling visage and the solar system as well as an abstract cubist theme. Next I'll do a series of Hirshfeld portraits on the sidewalk out front. The power washer lends itself nicely to line drawing but it does an amazingly good job of gradient shading too!


19 Apr 06 - 10:29 AM (#1721787)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Donuel:

The power washer thing is fascinating. Last summer, I tackled a concrete walkway around the above ground pool we have (it came with the house..) Much of the walkway is in the shade and in places it was almost black. A cherry tree also added a nice dark maroon patina to the concrete. I used bleach and a stiff brush first, and then power washed it, an my wife was really excited about how great it looked. She wants me to do the front sidewalk soon. Of course, not everyone is a fine artist. Maybe I could do a ducky and a doggie on ours..

Many years ago I met a wonderful woman at a folk-gospel festival, Kathy Lee Johnson who happens to be blind. Not that it has ever slowed her down. Her life story is so horrible that it would have destroyed a lesser person. After the festival, we kept in touch through a marvelous machine he had that could "read" a typed letter out loud. She ended up meeting a wonderful man who is a minister, a musician, and also happens to be blind. I was very joyful for her, and him... two beautiful people who seem gifted to see better than the "sighted."

Thanks for stopping by..


Jerry


19 Apr 06 - 11:16 PM (#1722458)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry and anybody else here--

Just wanted to tell you, Jerry, that the Gospel Messengers CD is a huge hit here--not just with me. Jan loves it--wishes you could bring the whole group to the Getaway. And Henry, her 17-month-old charge, also really likes it.

My group has started work on our next concert--a combination celebration of our conductor's 70th birthday and the group's 40th anniversary. So we'll be doing a lot of our "greatest hits", referring to events in the group's history. Like Va Pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Verdi's Nabucco--you may not know the name, but I bet you know the song. Wonderfully stirring.   Suggested as the Italian national anthem--it's a lot better music than the one they now have. And Ave Maria from the Rachmaninoff Vespers (in Russian). Again a really emotional piece--so evocative of Russian churches--and our trip there in 1993.

Anybody who can sing is truly lucky and blessed--and those who don't are missing so much. And the more types of music you appreciate, the better.

During the break at rehearsal last night, I heard about a 93-year old who goes to nursing homes just to lead the singing.

We all decided that's what we'll aim for.


20 Apr 06 - 12:50 AM (#1722504)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Good evening Jerry, Ron and others around the table,

I wanted to call your attention to a thread I posted today above the line which I think is up your alley, but might not be obvious from the title: "Threshold Choirs, Inspiring Volunteers." It is about choirs that sing at the bedsides of the sick, the dying, women in childbirth, people in comas, in neonatal units, wherever their presence at a bedsides of people in need of comfort are requested. Their website URL is given.

One such choir sang to a musician friend of mine as she died after a long, hard struggle with lupus. They sang to her throughout the night until the end of her life on earth. They had come to her several times in the hospital in the previous weeks, and their singing brought her great joy.

Elmer


20 Apr 06 - 09:29 AM (#1722731)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for drawing the thread to my attention, Elmer. I've been singing in hospitals and nursing homes all myu life (almost) but it never occurred to me to sing at a bedside. (Frankie and I did go to visit Joe after he had very extensive back surgery, and walked into his room singing Roll Jordan, Roll.) Then, we got Joe to sing with us and we sang another two or three songs for the nurses and his roommate. It was a lot of fun and really lifted Joe's spirits.

One of the most memorable "concerts" we ever did was for a woman who inexplicably had gone blind, just a year or so after her husband died. She was in her early 90's (She's now in her later 90's) and living alone, so the concert was just for her and her health care provider. We have to do that more often. We've started occaswionally inviting others to our practices (Col K and Leadfingers came to our last practice before our tenor moved away.) That's something we should do more often... practice in the home of people who are housebound.

Thanks for inspiring me, Elmer.

And Ron... I couldn't agree more about loving a variety of music. You may be the first person I've ever met (who I haven't yet met in person) who has a wider musical taste than mine. I made a crazy cassette a few years ago that I had a lot of fun with titled "Huh?"
It was a free association flow of music, letting each song suggest the next, with no boundaries. It had everything from rhythm and blues and soul music to folk, jazz, rockabilly, classical, blues...
I pulled it out recently to play it in the car after not having listened to it for years, and it jammed in the player and broke. I still have the box, though and may end up making a "Huh? II" one of these days. Except I'll put it on CD and send you a copy. I don't remember if I sent you a CD I put together titled The Gospel In Black And White. It's ten gospel songs done by a white group and a black group, in wildly different styles. Like Wade Mainer and His Mountaineers and The Swan Silvertones both doing Working On A Building. Or how about The Carter Family and the Staples Singers both doing Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

Anyone else want a copy, if you PM your mailing address, I'll glad send you one.

What is music, if not to share?

What a great way to start the morning..

Gerald Elmer Rasmssen


20 Apr 06 - 10:13 AM (#1722758)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

My brother Elmer was a musician and my greatest inspiration. He didn't write songs but loved hearing them and suggesting new avenues. We 'collaborated' by long distance telephone on several songs. And he had the most retentive memory for lyrics I've ever known. I could call him out of the blue and say, In the second verse of so and so how does the third line begin? He might not have heard the song in 50 years but he never failed me.

He and I were the two youngest of a large family, and except for one time when I knocked him down, we never quarreled. We debated lots of things though because we rarely agreed. If most of the time I have learned to stick to the subject rather than attacking the person he is responsible. He died at age 62 in 1999 of lymphoma after 12 years of battle.

So you can see why I'm fond of the name, Elmer.


20 Apr 06 - 10:53 AM (#1722797)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Good morning, y'all! You have just made my day and I'm only revving up to face the world, or at least my tiny corner of it (which is daunting enough).

Ebbie, your brother sounds wonderful. You must miss him terribly. I am sorry he left too early, but what a gift that you were so very close. Music is a transcendent bond. Thanks for describing him.

Jerry Elmer (Get OUT!! Really??!!), I posted something in response to your post on the "Threshold Choir" thread. Your "Huh?" compilations sound like a hoot. There is a local former DJ who makes CD compilations for his friends of eclectic music loosely linked bythemes. I've been the fortunate recipient of music inspired by a rainy day, "Life is Messy," a compilation he made for a friend who was going through relationship troubles, and "Bittersweet," a philosophical grouping of songs about life in general.

Have a great day.

Elmer (a name I will wear a little more proudly)


20 Apr 06 - 11:24 AM (#1722838)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Elmer: My father's name was Elmer Henry. When I got in trouble, he'd call me Gerald Elmer Henry Hornsbuckle Rasmussen. Never figured out where he got the "Hornsbuckle," although he always called Sears and Roebuck (before it became just Sears) Roe and Searbuckles. Of course, I rarely got in trouble, being such an ideal child. :-)

I just ordered The Five Bridges Suite by The Nice for their medly of Dylan's Country Pie and the Brandenburg Concerto. It was on my "Huh?" cassette and if I am going to recreat it, it's one of the essential tracks, leading from rock and roll to classical. One of the bridges. If I recreate the cassette on CD, I'll let you know, Elmer and share a copy with you..

Jerry


20 Apr 06 - 05:03 PM (#1723162)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Donuel

At sixteen the accident left Kevin blind.
He might have settled down in his home town
but now without sight his horizons were infinite.
Soon he went to music school for the guitar among the rolling hills of Roanoke Virginia.
Now as he performs his own song 'River' I see aqua marine and waterfalls as he plays.
Beside him is his sightless wife Boo from Tunesia
and their 10 year old daughter whose eyes guide
both mother and father.
Boo is a most wise cosmoplitan yet very plain to see,
which makes me think that it took Kevin to go blind, to find a beautiful mind.


20 Apr 06 - 09:51 PM (#1723436)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Starting working on a new version of "Huh?" Ordered a couple of CDs from amazon.com to fill crucial holes. It's interesting working on it because I've heard a lot of music in the ten years since I did the first one, and I find myself being carried in directions that didn't occur to me the first time around. Probably will have more jazz and blues on this one. Each track suggests the next one, and sometimes I get painted in a corner and have figure out how to get out..

Great fun..

Jerry


21 Apr 06 - 11:50 AM (#1723828)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Out of appreciation for the night shift, I thought I'd just pop in for a moment. Being retired, I'm as likely to post here in the morning as at night. But, you working folks, or ones who are a different time zone, like ebbie may end up normally posting late at night. So, here's to the night shift... Ron is one who often ends up posting in the Midnight Hour, that Wilson Pickett used to sing about.

So, see you later, folks... I'm not sure where Elmer Fudd lives, or what time zone he is in. Maybe Leadfingers and I have to start encouraging people to post a member's profile. Doesn't seem like people are doing that any more...

Jerry


21 Apr 06 - 01:24 PM (#1723933)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

And speaking of mysteries, I have no idea where you are from, either nonuel. Jimmyt is in Georgia, and Ruth and I visited with him and his lovely wife Jayne last summer. They are the dictionary definition of Southern Hospitality. I've also had the pleasure of Terry's (Leadfinger's) company when he was over here at the Getaway last year. Looks like I won't be at the Getaway this year as Ruth and I had planned, as we're committed to the NOMAD festival here in Connecticut the same weekend, but I'll be surprised if we don't meet Ron and Jan Davies before the next Getaway... either up here in Derby, Connecticut, or down at their place. Sitting at a real kitchen table is definitely in our plans. So, Elmer and Donuel.. when you stopping by, here in Derby?

Jerry


22 Apr 06 - 12:28 AM (#1724420)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

The Gospel In Black and White sounds fascinating. I don't yet have a copy. But allow me to pay for it--how much?

I used to sing Sacred Harp all the time--at least once a month, anyway. But lately I find I can't do it more than about 20 minutes--it blows my voice out.   In style what it mostly reminds me of is sea chanteys--certainly the same full speed ahead, no holds barred approach. It sure is good gutsy stuff--hypnotic--it's easy to get caught up in it And it sure does capture the flavor of the early to mid 19th century--very Hobbesian view of life. Lots of people evidently had such trouble in this life that they really looked forward to the next. By far the most joyous, rollicking songs in Sacred Harp are about death.

But after having sung Sacred Harp for a long time, I had a chance to hear a black Sacred Harp group--some of the same songs--but a totally different approach musically--and not written down, as I recall. Of course, as you know, shape-note singing in general was to be in place of standard European notation. These days the Sacred Harp books are on the normal staff--so I find it's easier just to read the music. But you wouldn't need to read music--just recognize the shapes. Do you know of anybody who's learned music that way?

Anyway, the Gospel in Black and White sounds like a great idea.



One of the reasons I post so late frequently is that Jan also works all day and wants access to the computer at night. And of course she wants us to spend more time together--so doesn't want me to spend a lot of time on Mudcat. She's even written song parodies about spending too long on Mudcat. Ah well, there's just not enough time (as you also know).


22 Apr 06 - 12:52 AM (#1724431)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

HAH!!!!!!! Ron:

Posting later than you, tonight. I'll include the Gospel In Black and White in my next installment when I finish the Huh? CD... got it all laid out and am just waiting for a couple of CDs to arrive in the mail that I picked up on the cheap on amazon.com.

Pay?

Hey, do you pay people for the Christmas presents they give you?

I didn't think so.

If I gave 100 CDs to friends, I'd still have given less than I've received. Just trying to catch up with the generosity of others.

I'm also burning a CD of some of my favorite, more obscure 45 rpms from the 50's... not the usual stuff, but mostly records that haven't been re-issued.

Just having a lot of fun up here.

Today has been a stressful day... good stress, I believe. But I'm having a hard time settling down, so I thought that I'd drop by the kitchen table. Gotta get up at 5 and have a full day. Should be interesting.

Life is never boring around here...

Jerry


22 Apr 06 - 06:18 AM (#1724520)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Good morning. Or is it still yesterday? Not exactly sure.

I have a CD of black shape-note singers, Ron.

If you're interested...

Jerry


22 Apr 06 - 10:30 AM (#1724624)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

Yes, a CD of black shape-note singers sounds great. I suppose I can't ask my usual question about paying.

We're listening to the first R & B CD every day (roots of R& B). I've memorized "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" (of course it helps that it only has one verse). There are so many songs, especially on that one, that I'd heard of but never heard all the way through. I only remember "When the Swallows.." from a Popeye cartoon, I think, when Popeye and co are on a beach and it's playing on their radio. Then a big wind comes up and sweeps them all away--so you only ever hear the first line.

Similarly with "You Only Hurt the One You Love"--I'd only ever heard the first line. So now I've memorized the song (again it only has one verse).

I'm also learning "Old Rocking Chair's Got Me" including the call and reponse part.


The Gospel Messengers CD, as I said, is a huge hit here. Jan plays it every day for 17-month old Henry, and claps along with it. So now Henry also claps along. Jan says it's the kind of gospel she's been looking for in the US--and used to hear in the UK when she went to a black church.


22 Apr 06 - 10:45 AM (#1724631)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

There's a great version of Old Rocking Chair's Got Me by Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden. When Jack sings, "Come here 'fore I tan your hide," Louis answers. "My hide is already tanned, Father."

Jerry


22 Apr 06 - 11:49 AM (#1724678)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

LOL, Jerry.

I think Fats Waller and Jack Teagarden had some great duets too. I think one was "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You".

I like it when somebody has a call and response in a song or comments on what the main singer is saying. I really like Bob Wills' comments--even though I understand it made it hard sometimes for Tommy Duncan to sing the song straight.

But Jan doesn't like Bob's comments at all--thinks he should let Tommy get on with the song. It's hard for me to explain the appeal of Bob's contributions to a serious song. But my understanding is that particularly if the song was depressing, Bob intended to undercut that--the Depression was depressing enough. And virtually all the Playboys' material was for dancing.


22 Apr 06 - 12:36 PM (#1724712)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers

I always liked Louis dueting with Bing ! They had a great rapport .
Oh and by the way , 400 Posts to this table !!


22 Apr 06 - 12:45 PM (#1724723)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I thought that I'd be gracious and let someone else take the 400th thread. Couldn't happen to a better mate, Terry.

Armstrong made everybody sound better when he did a duet with him. If he was still around, he could even make rappers sound like music. It's hard to say which of his duet partners I enjoyed the most, because he was indeed great with Der Bingle and Jack Teagarden. But there was something really special about his duets with Ella Fitzgerald. It sounds as if he was just improvising his harmonies and asides like a trumpet solo. And he probably was. Man, I love those duets with Ella! My favorite is Let's Call The Whole Thing Off.

Onward to 500..

Jerry


22 Apr 06 - 01:19 PM (#1724751)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hey Gerry Elmer Henry,

Heartily agreed about the Ella-Louis duets. Those two voices, smooth caramel next to rough sandpaper, work perfectly. And to think that they were recorded over 50 years ago; they are so fresh and contemporary. Ella and Louis sound like great friends having a terrific time, and their exuberance is highly contagious.

I especially enjoy the spoken asides they make to each other during the songs, little in-jokes that the listener hasn't a clue about, but you laugh anyway because they are having so much fun.

During "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," after Louis sings "You like pajamas and I like puh-jaahmas," you can almost see Ella rolling her eyes to heaven as she says sarcastically, "You've GOT puh-jaahmas!"

I also love their duet on "Stompin' at the Savoy." As Ella scatter-sings, Louis talks to her, including something about, "Remember something-or-other about Lionel Hampton? We won't talk about THAT!" and cackles at the memory.

And at the end of "Gee Baby, Ain'I I Good to You?" after listing all the fancy things she buys for her sweetie, Ella gets in the last word on the final refrain, "Keeps me paying taxes for what I give to you / Gee baby, ain't I good to you."

I could go on....

Elmer


22 Apr 06 - 01:28 PM (#1724758)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, yerself, Elmer:

Glad to hear you have the same love for those Ella/Louie duets as I do. Funny that I was just listening to them a week ago. The one thing that strikes me is how comfortable and relaxed they sounded, singing together. It all sounds like its off the cuff, and from what I remember reading, the sessions were pretty casual.

Now tell me you can't hear Hard Hearted Hannah enough by Ella and I'll think you're my long lost brother, Elmer..

You know I wrote a song about how my Father met my Mother, reffering to him by name...

Jerry


22 Apr 06 - 02:46 PM (#1724785)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey, these Louis- Ella duets sound great--where can we get them? Any particular album you recommend?


22 Apr 06 - 09:34 PM (#1724991)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron: Maybe the CD Fairy will throw a copy or two in the mail to you..

Jerry


23 Apr 06 - 11:18 AM (#1725322)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Jerry-- this generosity on your part is just getting out of hand. C'mon now, let me pay for this stuff. You are an amazing treasure trove of wonderful music. Every time I turn around you have another great idea.


23 Apr 06 - 11:32 AM (#1725330)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Tell you what, Ron. Do something generous for someone else...

Did I tell you about the stranger who sent me 19 cassettes of gospel, plus several videos, when I'd only met him once.

I got a lot of catching up to do. Some folks are really generous. I'm not in their league...

Have to talk in here later about Doo Wop... having a very exciting conversation with someone I just met yesterday who lives right here in Derby and has a classic a capella doo wop group.

Jerry


23 Apr 06 - 08:59 PM (#1725686)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry--

How about that conversation with your local do-wopper? Are you ready to tell us?

Ron


23 Apr 06 - 09:40 PM (#1725710)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

I have a pretty decent collection of Do-wop groups and a couple wonderful Acapella Do-wop groups as well, ROn   Let me know if you would like them I will burn you a few CDs in the spirit of Jerryizing! YOu 2 of course Jerry!


23 Apr 06 - 10:01 PM (#1725722)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Ron & Jimmy... yeah, I'll keep you informed about the local group. They sing a capella and are respected as one of the best groups in Connecticut. All I've heard is one song by them so far but Jimmy, they definitely do not need a bass singer (unfortunately.) The guy I'm just getting to know sings bass with them and he is really great! I've already talked to him about doing a workshop at the NOMAD festival this fall, "Church and Street Corner Harmonies. He sounds real enthusiastic about it. I thought it would be fascinating to share the workshop with the Messengers and his group. They are a white doo wop group, and I'd be interested in hearing how they'd differentiate between the black groups that often came out of churches and the white groups. You know I'll have a million questions, Jimmy. The thing that impresses me about the group is that while they have a lot of fun singing, they are very committed to doing the finest versions that they can of the old songs and arrangements.

Hopefully, Ruth and I will get to hear them, the Five Satins, The Jive Five, The Emotions and the Chiffons saturday night. If we do, you know there'll be some talk about it around this table...

Jerry


23 Apr 06 - 10:38 PM (#1725738)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jimmy--

ALL RIGHT!!--sounds great! I love doo-wop--have wanted to be in a doo-wop group for years--came close to starting my own--in desperation. I'd love copies of those CD's you're talking about.

How often does your group rehearse?

And,by the way, how''s the doo-wop show you were writing coming?


24 Apr 06 - 01:50 PM (#1726145)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

I will burn you a few odds N ends then ROn. My Do-wop group is real infrequent in the last year or so as one of our members is recovering from colon cancer . We normally get together a few times if a gig presents itself and run over some stuff. Have not added any new material in a long time which is sad. The show is still in my head mostly. The previous shows I have written always have a big opening and a great bit of PT Barnum Trickery just before intermission. Last one We actually started the band vamping "at the Hop" as we drove in in a 1960 Impala convertable, jumped out ran on stage to start the song. I also had a biker ride on stage for leader of the pack I had arranged for Girls trio. I am a big one for bells and whistles or smoke and mirrors! I thought I might begin this one by answering a ringing phone onstage and going into CHantilly Lace to open the show.

RIght now I am trying to get a new upright bass as mine is pretty much shot so I might be flying up to Mystic Connecticut within the next few weeks Jerry. There is a bass shop called Upton Bass in Mystic where they have a terrific selection and you can get the luthier to set it up for you. If I make arrangements to come up I would love to see you and Ruth. jimmyt


24 Apr 06 - 03:15 PM (#1726210)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Jimmy:

That would be GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! We even have room for your bass. Just so you know our schedule, The Gospel Messengers are doing a concert, following a spaghetti dinner on May 20th. The bass singer of the doo wop group hopes to come. We are going out to Janesville on June 3rd and will be gone for about 9 days. It would be a crimnal act if you came when we were gone..

Gotta run..

More later..

Jerry

You could come up too, Ron.. and bring Jan


24 Apr 06 - 05:20 PM (#1726326)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

With ROn and Jerry and me and our propensity for Do Wop, I feel a Da Do Ron Ron coming on!!!


24 Apr 06 - 05:21 PM (#1726327)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

I shall work my appointment in Mystic around your schedule if possible Jerry! I won't have a bass with me. i am going there to see what I want and after it is set up I will have it shipped to me!


25 Apr 06 - 08:45 AM (#1726821)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Jerry, I have missed the table for a few days,hearing you talk about sacred harp brings back lovely memories of Dave Brient, he organised a sacred harp workshop at the Walton on Naze festival one year, no one really had a clue what it was about, by the second day he had about thirty singers , people passing the hall popped their heads round the door and joined in, they were so good that by the Sunday evening I added them to the concert programme. They brought the house down,wonderful happy memories.


25 Apr 06 - 09:03 AM (#1726836)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Mrs. Billybob:

Conversations do wander all over the place in here, which is what I hoped for. I can't say they digress, because they don't "gress" to
begin with. I wonder what happens when conversations always gress. Sounds boring. I've encouraged Ernest to drop by after exchanging several PMs with him. He lives in Berlin and would certainly bring some fresh thoughts to the table. He loves jazz and old-time music among other things, but didn't feel he had anything to add on doo wop. But, we keep movin' on in here, so any topic is up for grabs.
Jazz happens to be one of my major, major loves... both traditional, New Orleans style jazz and that quaint, old-fashioned jazz of the 50's like Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, Shorty Rogers that used to be called "Modern" jazz... or West Coast Jazz.

I've always found Sacred Harp music interesting to listen to for short periods of time, but have never tried to sing it. Maybe I'll have to try it on for size one of these festivals...

And, there'll be some more conversation on Doo Wop, and harmony in general as the days go by...

Or we could talk about how much fun it is to play Go.

Jerry


25 Apr 06 - 10:18 PM (#1727548)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Came home dragging. Tonight, I had practice. My back has been hurting the last few days from getting overtired and then lugging a full cooler with ice and sodas in it up a long stairway. It's an hour's drive down to Frankies, and it was raining. I had to stop to get a cup of coffee just to keep going. Frankie has serious alergies, and when he sings Crying In The Chapel, he could just as easily sing, Crying in the Kitchen, or Crying while getting something out of the refrigerator. I know it doesn't have the same ring to it, but Frankie's eyes are tearing up constantly, and he works outside all day on top of it. Joe had carpal tunnel syndrome on his left hand (and he's left handed) and has been dealing with an enormous amount of personal matters as well. I was kidding that we are downright laughable, the three of us.. half the time when we have practice, someone is dragging, or being dragged down by stress in their lives. But we all show up.. maybe short on energy and focus, but we we manage to make it. And once we start singing, all the weariness, aches and pains and worries are washed away.

On May 20th, we're doing a concert and I'm going to surprise them by having a birthday cake for them. They both have their birthdays in May. Frankie will be 80 and Joe 82, so it will just say, Happy Birthday Joe and Frankie: 162 years of serving the Lord.

Sometimes our best practices happen when we don't think we have anything else to give.

Jerry


25 Apr 06 - 10:56 PM (#1727582)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Joe_F

Jerry R.: Just happened on this in a magazine article today:

...Michael Oakeshott, the late British philosopher, thought conversation should have a distinctive lack of purpose. Conversation "has no determined course, we do not ask what it is `for,'" he said. It is "an unrehearsed intellectual adventure." As with gambling, "its significance lies neither in winning nor on losing, but in wagering."

A distinctive lack of purpose. %^)

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: If you did not wish to be ridden, why did you become an ass? :||


25 Apr 06 - 11:08 PM (#1727592)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'm all with you, Joe F. I think the best conversations are open and free-form. Not that they can't focus for an extended period of time on a particular subject, but there should always be the openness to move on. If conversations were partitioned into "threads" like they are of some necessity in here, I'd find them very limiting. At the same time, I appreciate the threads because it's a chance to draw more people into a slightly more focused discussion... as focused as threads ever get. :-) I've moved a couple of discussions from the kitchen table into their own threads... like the ones about 50's music, and Italian roots of Doo Wop. I'm enjoying them because they are drawing in many Catters who haven't stopped by the kitchen table.

Yet.

Jerry


26 Apr 06 - 10:58 PM (#1728479)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Recently I ran across a review of a book about the decline of conversation. Allegations have been made that the early 18th century, especially in coffeehouses, was the peak of conversation. But the book pointed out quotes from that time complaining about the quality of conversation in supposedly cultured (whatever that means) households. So as usual, another generalization has problems.



Just got back from another rehearsal (had one last night too--on a different concert.   This one was nowhere near as much fun as they normally are.   The reason is that it wasn't led by our conductor. It 's really remarkable to what extent a conductor sets the tone of the whole group. We're lucky enough to have a conductor who combines extreme competence with a relaxed style--even a self-deprecating sense of humor---really, really rare in a conductor.


26 Apr 06 - 11:32 PM (#1728498)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hi y'all,

I've a bit of catching up to do.

Ron, the Ella/Louis CD I have is called "Best of Ella Fitzgerland and Louis Armstrong on Verve." It has fifteen tracks selected from three albums recorded for Verve Records "in the interwar period,' and it's pretty darn fantastic.

Gerry Elmer, I am embarrassed to say I have never heard Ella sing "Hard Hearted Hannah," but I'll root around for a download or a recording tout de suite. In the meantime, can I be your dorky little brother anyway? My Ella faves are mostly from the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook, with the Cole Porter and Harold Arlen Songbooks as a close second and third.

Conversation and coffee houses: In the 1700s in England, coffee houses were known as "penny universities," because for the one penny price of admission, you could sit all day and listen to enlightening conversations. Also, the coffee houses provided newspapers, and philosophers, politicos and others would communicate their ideas by publishing broadsides and distributing them in the coffee houses. (John Locke was one who did this.) Literate people would read the newspapers and broadsides aloud to the illiterates.

Today coffee houses often seem like places of isolation, with people sitting alone with headsets on, hunched over laptops.

Later gaters,

Elmer


27 Apr 06 - 12:53 AM (#1728526)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

PS: Oh, and another compelling topic that zoomed right by: doo-wop. The Persuasions are a fantastic a capella harmony group that performs righteous doo-wop. I especially love their album, "Chirpin'," with everything from the goofy, "Papa oo-mau-mau" to "Sixty Minute Man" (which was used on the soundtrack for the movie, "Bull Durham").

Link to the Persuasions history and recordings:

persuasions

Okay. Nighty-night,

Elmer


27 Apr 06 - 06:48 AM (#1728645)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alba

Also refresh...ing


27 Apr 06 - 07:08 AM (#1728653)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Just when you thought it was time to turn the pot off, in comes a group of friends..

Ron: I've had practice the last two night myself. Last night at a practice for the Fellowship Male Chorus I sing in, we were doing a last run-through of the songs we're singing this weekend (The night before last, the Messengers practiced their songs for the same program.) We have a wonderful, fun-loving but demanding director and on one song, the 1st tenors sing a line twice, then the second tenors sing their harmony, and then the baritones come in next (and then we all sing together. The 1st tenors were fine, but each time the second tenors would come in, they'd sing the samd melody as the 1st tenors. Our Director, Jonatahn was getting more and more frustrated and after the third time he saidas to the second tenors.. I'm trying to make a BLT, the B's are Fine and the T's are fine, but we need that L to make it a BLT.. so I called out, "Give e'm L, Jonathan." You don't get set-ups like that very often.

Elmer: Yes, I love Ella and her songbooks. I have Hard Hearted Hannah on a 45 r.p.m. and for years it wasn't out on CD. I finally found it on a two or three CD boxed set, and much later I discovered an import CD of songs from Pete Kelly's Blues (One of my very favorite movies.) Ella has a small role as a singer in a small black speakeasy and sings the song in the movie.

"Imagine a woman as hard as Hannah
She's got the right name, the Vamp of Savannah
Anytime a woman takes a great big pan
And starts pouring water on a drowning man
She's Hard-hearted Hannah, the vamp of Savannah, GA

An evening spent with Hannah sitting on your knee
Is like traveling through Alaska in your BVD's..

Great lines, great delivery.

Peggy Lee sings three or four great songs on the CD, too..

I have two different Ella and Louie CDs with a major overlap on songs. One is on Verve (the one you have, Elmer) and the other is on Decca. I ran across a third one recently but didn't buy it because it only had one or two songs that aren't on the other CDs..
A copy of one of the CDs is on its way to you, Ron.

And you're right about coffee houses these days, Elmer. It seems like technology is being used to qrap each of us into our privatge little wombs, even when we're in public. Between cell phones, MP3 players and Laptops, the individual reigns.

Glad you stopped in, Alba...

Jerry


27 Apr 06 - 10:59 PM (#1729082)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I thought I'd try the Cat one more time before I went to bed, after not being able to get on all day, and by golly, here it is.

Just an odd footnote. Yesterday, I ran into a friend of mine who sings in a black gospel group, and she asked if she could help sell my CDs. Another woman who sings in the same group as my friend has a beauty parlor, and they're going to have a case in the front to sell gospel CDs by local folks like the Messengers. So, I gave her five on consignment. My friend Willie C, who has a barber shop told me that if you want to find good singers, put up an announcement that you're looking for one in the black barbershops. I think that it really is true that much of the communications that flow through black communities passes through the beauty parlors and barber shops.
I sure never tried to sell my folk CDs through them... :-)

I'm off to bed, but I've been thinking about the comment about coffee houses no longer being places for conversation. There are several other gathering places, though... barber shops and beauty parlors being two good examples. There are opthers that I see around me... wonder if anyone else does... where do the retired folks congregate in your community? Is it all old men, or old women (using the term "old" in a complimentary, flattering way, being old, myself.) I'll talk about where they do here in Derby, CT and in small towns all across the United States.

Tomorrow..

Jerry


28 Apr 06 - 12:14 PM (#1729241)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Jerry--now you're becoming a barbershop quartet (quintet? sextet?)

Book clubs are one of the new ways people are getting together to have meaningful discussions. Coffee houses aren't a total wash; there was one in my town where a group of men, whose lives were otherwise quite disparate, met every morning before work for sixteen years for their wake-up javas. They became great supporters for each other through life's ups and downs. It was only the closure of the coffee house that caused the daily meetings to disband. I am sure the friendships remain.

Elmer


28 Apr 06 - 01:57 PM (#1729326)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

LOL, Elmer: Or maybe we're becoming a Beauty Parlor Quartet.

Yes, they have book discussion groups at some of the Borders bookstores on the East Coast. Admittedly, the conversations are mostly focused on a particular book (I imagine, not actually having been in one, or overheard one for any period of time.)

McDonald's is one of the gathering places for Seniors around here. My wife and I often go for a morning walk on a Riverwalk they constructed recently here in Derby. There's a McDonald's about 100 yards from the start (and end) of the Riverwalk, and even though neither of us can stomach the lunch and dinner menus at McDonalds, we like the sausage bisquit Egg McMuffin's and we often stop in for one after our walk. There is a cast of about eight or ten "regulars" who are always there, up until 10 a.m., when they stop serving breakfast. The men usually sit in one area, and the women in the other with the men outnumbering the women three to one. I suspect that some of the men go there to get away from their wives.. :-)

In my home town in Wisconsin, it was a Hardee's where everyone gathered... again the men and women in different sections. I gathered that most of them were widowed (and apparently in no rush to get re-hitched.)

Both places were a good spot to gather, as you could sit there for a couple of hours just nursing a cup of coffee. McDonald's coffee is more in need of a Doctor, than a nurse. I don't think I've ever seen anyone actually eating anything.

Jerry


28 Apr 06 - 04:54 PM (#1729452)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

McDonalds is inexpensive and probably has a senior discount, so it makes sense that people on fixed incomes would go there. The food is ruinous, though. Have you ever read "Fast Food Nation?" It's a real wake-up call about McDonalds and what goes into the so-called food they serve, its health consequences, as well the larger economic influences of the behemoth corporation that dishes it up to the world.

Low income seniors frequent free adult education classes, free talks by authors at bookstores, and free concerts and events sponsored by the city in parks and the library. Twelve step groups also seem to serve as social circles (wow--there's some alliteration!) for people to whom they are applicable.

Elmer


28 Apr 06 - 07:13 PM (#1729559)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Some Senior Centers provide a place for people to gather, just to break the boredom of sitting home alone. Not that that's all that goes on there. I don't use the one where we live now, but went to Excercise classes where we lived before we came here. They also have computer classes, but for the most part I don't find much of interest. Our local Senior Center foes a lot of bus trips, and we've taken one... very inexpensive and we had a good time. I think just about everybody else on the bus had gone on many trips before as they all seemed to know each other.

Of course, bars offer companionship and conversation (even if the speech may be slightly slurred..)

Come to think if it... what's the difference between a bar and a pub?
I'd like to hear some comments from my Brit and Oz friends. I have some op[inions, but it's much more fun reading what others have to say..

Jerry


28 Apr 06 - 10:50 PM (#1729698)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry and anybody else at the table,

Jerry, I've received the CD's you sent--looks just great. I've only had a chance to listen to the Gospel in Black and White--and it sure is fascinating. I was sure I had figured out the difference in approach--the black groups were much freer in their vocals--while still keeping a steady beat in the background. But then I heard one of the white groups which had a very liberal way with the melody--and then I heard one of the black groups which stuck pretty closely to the rhythm in the vocal. You just can't generalize-without being willing to make a lot of exceptions--or throw out the generalization.

And I really love the Gospel Boogie--never heard anything like it. And the lead singer sounded a lot like you! Is Lee Roy Abernathy one of your stage names? Really, he does sound like you.

And, by the way, congratulations on that great set-up for "Give 'em L". We love to look for that sort of thing in my choral group. There's always a lot of humor at any of our rehearsals. Right now, with our next concert being a celebration of our 40th year and our conductor's 70th birthday, we have an assignment to look for quotes by our conductor that we've written in our music. I've been doing that for a LONG time--I'll have to see what I can contribute. I bet I have some good ones.


29 Apr 06 - 12:28 PM (#1730001)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Good to see you, Ron: Yeah, that Gospel Boogie is a reeal kick. I've talked to the guys about doing it, with me doing the spoken parts and Joe keeping a running bass. When we get back to a trio again, we may just try it.

Tonight, Ruth and I are going to hear the 5 Satins, The Jive Five, the Emotions, The Chiffons and The Sentinels (The a capella group that my new friend Ken sings bass with.) When Ruth and I were married almost 8 years ago we thought long and hard about the song we wantyed played first at the reception... the first song that we'd dance to as Mr. & Mrs. My Prayer received serious consideration, but ultimately we choose To The Aisle by the 5 Satins. Hopefully, they'll sing it tonight.

Tomorrow night is the concert where I will be singing with the Greater New Haven Fellowship Male Chorus, and then with the Gospel Messengers as our Guests. I'm really looking forward to that one, too.

In the meantime, I've been pulling weeds all morning.

Jerry


29 Apr 06 - 02:47 PM (#1730071)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

I had another rehearsal this morning (Mahler Symphony of 1,000). Jan points out this is against the Trades Description Act in the UK (in the US, Truth in Advertising)--we'll only have about 500, including orchestra.

More to the point, I was severely tempted to cut class and go out to the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival--it's a GORGEOUS day. The Celtic Festival is where the sea chantey group I used to have performed. We called ourselves all sorts of names--including St Elmo's Quire--found out later a group on the west coast had the same name. We'd rehearse with whoever (out of 7) were able to make it--usually about 2 rehearsals per year--then go out and sing lots of sea songs with good choruses--so the audience could join in. Having been in audiences at festivals, I know that's always a big plus. And some offbeat songs--a version of Lorelei that Ella Fitzgerald, I think used to do--really sexy solo by one of our gals--who really put the song across. (We all looked forward to that). And we did songs like "Tanqueray Martini-O".

Then one year, we couldn't even get one rehearsal with all 7 of us (floating membership ,anyway). So we went out there anyway. And they liked us just as well. After all, sea songs is a genre you can have rough edges on.

Then afterwards there were great parties. At one of them I heard Cicada Serenade, sung by a Mudcatter (pre-Mudcat of course)--I think it's Skivvie.

And I decided I wanted to learn that. So about 16 years later, I got access to a tape with it. Jan and I learned it--and sang it at the Getaway--the year before the next cicada visitation in our area. And Jan even had a whole repertoire of stage business and gestures for it.

But this year we're not making it out there at all--also, Jan is not really in great shape--especially for clambering around hills like they have out there. My mother and her husband wanted to go out there too so I was going to take them out there. But now an old high school chum of my mother's will be in town. That obviously takes precedence--after all, the Celtic Festival happens every year.

My father died the same year as Cay's wife.   Both couples had been in the same church for 30 years. Cay and my mother got married the next year. It's a great match. Cay loves music and has a great sense of humor--as far as I'm concerned that's bingo. He's also a 92-year old kayaker--he's in amazing shape.


29 Apr 06 - 04:50 PM (#1730127)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Oh, by the way, Ron:

Nice to see you posting during daylight hours. I was beginning to wonder if you were a vampire.. :-)

Jerry


29 Apr 06 - 08:52 PM (#1730269)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Right you are, Jerry. However, the problem with posting during daylight hours is that Jan can think of, say,.... about a million things I should be doing instead. (Of course, her feeling about evening hours is not dramatically different.)

However, we just got back from a garden store-- bought a boatload--to attract butterflies, fight erosion etc.--so she's in a good mood.


30 Apr 06 - 11:54 AM (#1730548)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

By the Bye, Ron:

I did a lonnnnng thread about the difference between black and white gospel. Don't know how to do blue clickies, but the title of the thread is "Jerry R's "Black/white Gospel Workshop." You might find it interesting reading. I'd love to do one on the difference between black and white Doo Wop but don't feel as qualified commenting on the topic. Maybe I can get my new-found friend Ken to give me his thoughts...

Jerry


30 Apr 06 - 11:06 PM (#1731024)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi all,

Just a quick one--to keep the coffeepot on. Jan and I spent the afternoon--til dusk--planting--to attract butterflies and fight erosion.

Now I have to go upstairs to her--she's probably overdone it--though she loves it-- and her body is telling her so.

Ron


30 Apr 06 - 11:30 PM (#1731038)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Hi All,

Ron, you go ahead and run upstairs, I will finish the coffee down here in the kitchen.

Jerry, Thanks for the heart-warming message on the answering machine. As you may have guessed, I left Thursday pm and drove to Ohio to spend the weekend with Jayne and Family and just got home about an hour ago. I called Jayne and related the message from you and she said to tell you how much she appreciated it. As she was relating the message to her sister, she and Sandra were both moved to tears. You Da man, Jerry!

SHe will probably be returning to Georgia later this week if all goes well. Meanwhile, I took my grandson, Ben, to Ohio with me and I gotta tell you, I can think of no better travelling companion. period! He was absolutely terrific. He was happy to talk, to philosphise, to just ride quietly, to sing along with the CDS ( including Jerry's) or to give me some peace and quiet while he played video games or watched a DVD pn the portable player. He is six years old! The last half hour of the 9 hour return trip today, we just told each other" "you da man" for thirty minutes!

On my birthday, last Wed evening, he phoned me to wish me a happy birthday, interjecting quietly two questions, " when can I spend the night?" and "When are ya gonna take me fishin'?" (He is not allowed to solicit these type things so he had to do them soto voce (How about that, ROn?) I got up Thursday the 27th and decided I would drive to Ohio, take him with me, and go fishin' all in one weekend which went absolutely smashingly! We caught 7 fish which we took home in a bucket for all to see then returened them to the lake to watch them all swim away with that "Second chance" look on their faces. He was just the right touch to take to where there is so much suffering, both physical and emotional. He seemed to just lift the spirits of both Sandra, (JAyne's sister), and Iclye (her 84 year old momma.) My daughter, Missy, flew up also and we were able to get lots of needed work done and interject some joy and laughter into a rather downcast houseful.   I think Jayne was delighted to come of 24 hour nursing duties also. Anyway, I am back and glad to be here at the table!   jimmyt


30 Apr 06 - 11:41 PM (#1731044)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Speaking of Lee Roy Abernathy, (which I read above a while back) A few years ago, back in 1993, I was in a musical called Smoke on the Mountain, which incidently is the reason I started playing the bass as it was my Character's instrument in this bluegrass gospel musical. I remember opening night and in my mind most of the music was pretty obscure and certainly most folks would not have heard it before.   The second number in the show just after the applause died down down from the opening was me singing "A WOnderful TIme up There." It was a bit disconcerting to have an old guy sitting in the front row that apparently knew the song better than I did! At intermission I mentioned it to the cast and they said, " yeah, he sang in a gospel group back in the 40s and 50s with Lee Roy Abernathy, who wrote that song." "Y'all are lying to me! I said. "No, and if ya wanna really be freaked out, Lee Roy was my uncle." said Denise, one of the characters. Her name in real life is Lori Abernathy Etheridge.


01 May 06 - 07:48 AM (#1731158)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Glad you are back, Jimmy: I'm going to start a thread (may be very short-lived) about singing bass. I don't want this thread to become a Doo Wop thread... don't want to lose the folks who stop in with other things on their mind. I know that you and Ron can add something to it...

Catch you later... still keeping you and your family in daily prayer..

Jerry


01 May 06 - 11:32 AM (#1731273)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

We had a wonderful concert Saturday night... we really enjoyed a young jazz pianist, Christian Sands who performed with his trio, and then with the male chorus I sing in, doing Oh Happy Day. There was also a fine sax player who did a long instrumental, just with piano accompaniment of Amazing Grace, starting out very slow and soulful, slowly moving up to a higher key and increasing the tempo until he was rocking like the wildest rhythm and blues sax player, and the pianist was doing a pretty good approximation of Ray Charles. Brought down the house.

And Saturday night, we went to the Doo Wop concert, which was so memorable.

Today, I'm planting grass and my wife is painting a shed.

Back to reality.

Are any of your gardeners? I haven't had a vegetable garden in years, but always loved it. It just seemed like my summer vacation occured right when the vegetables were coming ripe, and by the time I got back they'd passed their peak. Fortunately, we have local farmers who provide freshly picked produce to the nursery right down the road, so I don't want for fresh vegetables during the summer. Nothing like a freshly picked tomato..

Jerry


01 May 06 - 05:44 PM (#1731492)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Col K

Welcome back to the table Jimmy. I hope all is as well as can be and that Jayne is also taking care of herself properly. Sometimes it is very easy to concentrate on others and to ignore ones own needs. You are all in my thoughts.


01 May 06 - 07:39 PM (#1731569)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Jerry, Just got in from planting some tomato plants, some basil and lavender plus a couple different parsley varieties. Beautiful day here in the southland


01 May 06 - 09:40 PM (#1731686)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Just stopped by for a cuppa. That concert sounds like it done shook the rafters, Jerry Elmer.

I can't stop listening to this Tracy Nelson double CD a friend gave me: "Homemade Songs" has an eclectic mix on it, and "Come See About Me" is a collection of Motown and Stax soul songs, such as "Hold On, I'm Coming," "Your Love is Like a See Saw," and of course the title track. Tracy's voice makes me want to melt into a puddle, and the arrangements are terrific. Nelson never played the big corporate promo game, but she has a devoted cult following since her days with Mother Earth. I used to sneak into night clubs to hear her way back when. Never got carded neither, hee hee.

Elmer


01 May 06 - 11:15 PM (#1731747)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi everybody,

Jan was just here, She'd like to share with everyone her African orange mango tea, and imagine sitting on the front porch in Africa while the elephants wander through the front garden (we'd say front yard) on their way down into the woods to find some tasty leaves of their own. She was sitting on the front porch with her eyes closed imagining this--hearing beasts thunder by--our cats were chasing each other from one forsythia bush to another.


01 May 06 - 11:46 PM (#1731771)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

And, Jerry, both those concerts you went to recently sound fantastic--both concerts to remember for a long time. All those classic groups represented at the doo-wop concert--and that lively gospel concert. You're right in the heart of some of the best music going.


02 May 06 - 09:17 AM (#1732009)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Oddly enough, you are dead right (not that you always aren't) about this area. New Haven (which is a ten minute drive from where we live) has always been a center of vocal music. The Collectible Label (the pre-eminent company that does re-issues of "Oldies") even has a CD of New Haven Doo Wop groups. You might expect that there'd be a CD of New York, Chicago or Philadelpia groups, but not necessarily of New Haven. The best known groups were The Five Satins and The Nutmegs but there were many, many more. When I lived in Stamford, CT, just 30 miles from here, the Gospel Messengers were the only black gospel quartet in the immediate area. Here in the New Haven area, when groups have their Anniversary, they commonly invite 20-25 area groups. For some reason, New Haven has always been a place where vocal groups have flourished. And then, there's classical music presented at Yale, and there's a strong jazz and rock community as well. Just about anything you want to hear. For all the great music at the Doo Wop concert (3 hours of wonderful singing) the ticket price was just $15. To hear these groups in New York City, it would cost more like $50, plus the expense and hassle of driving into New York and paying a minimum of $20 to park your car.

As a died-in-the-wool folkie, we received a valued compliment for the Director of the Male Chorus on Sunday. He said that of all the groups in the area, we are unique because we present authentic old black gospel... something people no longer hear. Doing black gosp-el quartet music, for me, is no different than doing country blues or southern Appalachian music... I try to do all of it in an authentic style, out of respect for the tradition. It makes me feel good that someone I respect as a gifted musician appreciates that we are presenting the music with authenticity.

And Hello, Colin! Colin had the pleasure of hearing the Gospel Messengers twice, and singing bass with Joe. Hopefully, that will happen again some day, and will with you too Ron... and Elmer and many more of my Catter friends. Maybe we can get the Doo Wop group over here, too and really have a memorable occasion.

Jerry


03 May 06 - 08:06 AM (#1732780)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Been working my way through nine Val Lewton movies. A month ago, I had no idea who Val Lewton was. As I mentioned in another thread, I think it was Martin Scorcese who said that there have been three geniuses in the history of the movies... Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disnet and Val Lewton. I just bought a boxed set of Lewton's 9 movies he produced, and a documentary about him. The best known of his movies is The Cat People. I've always been fascinated with movies, and Lewton's are always interesting to watch. What he does on a low budget is masterful. These were all "B" pictures with no money for special effects, even though they are all "horror" movies.
RKO would give him a title for a movie, with no story line, and he'd write the story and actively engage in the direction of the movie, although he was not the Director. He was given the title The Cat People to cash in on the popularity of the Wolf Man. Wolf Man/Cat Woman. Hollywood level of creative thinking.

As an example of how he made movies, in The Body Snatcher, Boris Karloff is a grave robber who digs up bodies to sell to medical school doctors. When security is too tight and not enough people recently buried, he kills a young woman. The first scene in the movie, there is a young, blind girl singing a beautiful ballad on the street. She appears again, fleetingly in the movie. When Karloff is in need of a body, he follows her in his carriage as she is walking home. She walks under a darkened archway and you hear her singing. The carriage follows and suddenly, there is just a small catch in her voice and the singing stops. Now, they'd show her guts splattering all over Karloff's face. To add to the complexity of the movie, the Doctor is able to restore the ability toi walk to a crippled girl, by practicing the operation on the body of the blind girl.

Anybody else in here a lover of old movies?

Check out the Unforgettable Scenes From Movies thread if you haven't.

Jerry


03 May 06 - 08:07 AM (#1732782)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

still sitting here in the corner, Jerry & co. Tomorrow I'm flying to Vienna - it's a long way from Sydney - to spend time with my daughter and her husband. I'll be checking in here & there - and will spend a quite a bit of time by the kitchen table in the little cafe where she works!

I may have some Austrian anecdotes to pass the time!

freda


04 May 06 - 12:07 PM (#1733125)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Always good to see you at the table, Freda~ Have a wonderful time..

These last few days have done a reasonable approximation of real life... with some joyful times at two concerts, and some very stressful times that have drained me completely. It was the concerts that carried me through the stressful times: especially the chorus of a song we sang at the Sunday concert. That chorus was constantly running through my mind during the times of great stress, and it did a lot to carry me through. The chorus is from a song titled On The Other Side Of Through. The cause of the stress has been joyfully resolved, so I type this today "on the other side of through." For those of you who haven't reached the other side of through, this is the chorus:

"On the other side of through
There's a blessing, waiting for you
Hold fast, hold fast, your troubles will not last
There's a blessing, yes a blessing
On the other side of through."

Things are beautiful here on the other side... hope you all can join me..

Jerry


04 May 06 - 02:51 PM (#1733164)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I have a story to tell. And as the song says, there was a blessing "on the other side of through."

When we bought this house five years ago, that first Fall I wanted to turn off the outside faucets so the pipes wouldn't freeze in the winter. When this house was built, 50 odd (very odd) years ago, they finished the basement by building a second interior wall with about a 12-14 inch space between it and the foundation. It gave a nice finished look to the basement, but all the pipes are between the two walls. When I finally realized that the shut-off valves for the water were between the two walls, and I had to squeeze through a rough-cut panel that had been cut out for access, I started getting real nervous. When I removed the panel, the shut-off vale for the main water was about five feet in from the opening. It looked like the shut-offs for the outside lines were back there, too. My wife was upstairs, so I squeezed myself in between the wall studs and managed to get back to the shut-off valves. After I was back in there and could see better with a flashlight, I realized that the valves were all for lines in the bathroom, so I started to come back out. About half way out, I got thoroughly stuck between the outer wall and one of the studs. And visions of the Canterbury Ghost, walled in to die a miserable death came flooding through my mind. So, I sucked in my stomach (the best I could) and kept trying to squeeze a watermelon through a key hole.
The more I got wedged in, the more I panicked. Finally, with a great effort, I dislodged myself and crawled out into the light. I was really shaking with fear. And then I realized that I hadn't turned the lines to the bathroom sink back on. The thought of going back in there really freaked me out, and then I got an idea. I went in the garage and got my saber saw, drew a profile of my belly (just like Alfred Hitchcock used to fit into the line drawing on the tee vee program) and cut out a profile of my stomach. After I'd done that, I was able to squeeze back in relatively easily and shut off the valves. It was still a tight fit, but I was never in doubt that I could get back out.

That's the first blessing on the other side of through... and the other side of the washing machine. I'll tell you the second blessing on a separate screen.

Jerry


04 May 06 - 02:59 PM (#1733167)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Blessing number 2:

This afternoon, there was a knock on the door and it was a young man from the water company. They are replacing all of the meters in town, and we were next on his list. I brought him downstairs and after moving a few things, showed him where the cut-out in the wall was. He shined (shone) his flashlight back between the walls and let out an audible "gulp." The meter was back where I got stuck. And I would have needed a chain saw to cut out a profile of HIS stomach. But, thank God I had cut the notch out. Even then, he knew he couldn't work back in there, even if he could squeeze his way back between the walls. And then he noticed the the medicine cabinet in the bathroom was cut out very close to the meter. So, we went into the bathroom and with a lot of tugging and cutting out caulking, I was able to remove the medicine cabinet. The meter was close enough so that he could get at one side of it, but the other side, he'd have to crawl back between the walls. I offerred to do it for him (I've lost 30 pounds and I could get between the walls now without the cutout profile. But, he was able to squeeze between the cut out stud and the wall and reach the pipe he had to disconnect. Blessing number 2. When he was putting the new meter in, he needed me to go between the walls and hold one side of the meter. With my new semi-svelte shape, it was a piece of cake. I felt thoroughly vindicated. I must admit, I went in and out from behind the wall mores times that I probably needed to, but I just wanted to show the wall who is boss in this house!

When the guy went out to his truck after the job, I went out to check the mail and I could hear him telling his boss what a nightmare the job was. I told him he'd be telling his grandchildren about this job.

Maybe that's blessing number 3 on the other side of through..

Jerry


04 May 06 - 06:58 PM (#1733266)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Huh! That's quite a tale. a bit like something out of "A Prairie Home Companion."

I awoke the other day to a racket that sounded like John Henry was going at the side of my house with a sledgehammer. It was a guy putting in a new gas meter. It must be a national contagion. Spring, and a young man's fancy turns to meter replacement.

Hey, JerryElmer, a while back on this thread you wrote, and I quote, "You know I wrote a song about how my Father met my Mother, reffering to him by name..."

Any chance you going share those lyrics with us?

Elmer


04 May 06 - 08:50 PM (#1733336)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Elmer:

The song is Alfred. One summer night when I was home visiting my family and we were all sitting in lawn chairs, my Mother started kidding around about her old beau, Alfred. I had never heard his name mentioned before so I asked more about him. My Dad (Elmer) seemed a little uncomfortable about the whole thing, but Mom plunged ahead. When my Mother was a young woman, she was in nurses training at the local hospital. At that time, she was going out with Alfred. It was only after I had written and recorded the song that my Mom 'fessed up and admitted that she was engaged to him. Alfred was a classmate in high school with my Mother, in a very small town with less than 20 students in the senior class. He was the Captain of the basketball team. (I wonder if they even had enough boys to have a football team.) Anyway, my Father ('course he wasn't my Dad back then) came to the hospital to visit a friend of his and we he saw my Mother, he was very attracted to her and asked her out for a date. He wanted to take her to the vaudeville show, and a couple of the other girls in nurses training were going to be in the show, so my Mom agreed to go. When Alfred showed up at the hospital that evening, the nurses let the cat out of the bag.

To make the story more complicated, my Mother and Alfred's classmate Velma had a crush on Alfred, but Alfred wasn't interested in her. Alfred also had a sister, who ended up marying my Mother's brother, Walt (I had never even heard of his first mariage as Uncle Walt's first wife died before I was born and he remarried.) There were many revelations that evening, sitting in those lawn chairs.

And here is the song:

Alfred told my Mom that he would be her one and only
But she'd have to be his one and only, too
And if he ever caught her going out again with Elmer
That their courting days would sure be through

CHORUS:

'Cause Alfred loved my Mom, but she was crazy 'bout my Dad
'Course he wasn't my Dad back then
And Alfred hardly noticed that Velma existed
Though she thought he was the living end

Elmer bought some tickets for a night at the Apollo
So that they could see the vaudeville show
And even thought she knew that she was bound to catch the Devil
Still my Mom decided she would go

After work that night when Alfred came around to callo
They told him that my Mom was at the show
And when he found she'd gone with Elmer Alfred blew his top
Just to think that she would dissapoint him so

Alfred told my Uncle Walt who married Alfred's sister Edna
That the day my Mom and Dad were wed
He took a train to Appleton, or maybe it was Fondulac
Because it made him feel so bad

After Mom and Dad were married, Alfred finally noticed Velma
And he came around to call
And when he finally got areound to asking Velma for her hand
She thought the wait was worth it all

A double happy ending..

The song is on my album Handful Of songs, which I've finally had remastered, and will have ready to release in the next couple of weeks.

Jerry


04 May 06 - 09:14 PM (#1733346)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Haw! I'm chortling into my coffee. (Uh-oh! It's starting to dribble out my nose.) That's just great. Thanks for taking the time to post the lyrics. I like the line about "He took a train to Appleton, or maybe it was Fondulac," just in case the listener isn't getting boggled enough following the story.

Kindly make a big, virtual noise when you release Handful of Songs.

Elmer (sputtering java down his shirt)


05 May 06 - 05:37 PM (#1733576)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Da kitchen iz now open for bizzness! Mudcat seems to be either Catatonic or Catalyptic these days. Maybe just as well... I haven't had much time to spend in here the last couple of days, it being Spring and all. I just thought I'd put something in here to keep the thread from disappearing off the bottom of the screen..

Jerry


05 May 06 - 11:51 PM (#1733813)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry,

I meant to say--a while ago--that's it's no mystery why you're in the middle of some of the best music going--you and your groups are making some of the best music going.

Between Mudcat hairballs and my own schedule--rehearsals Tuesday and Wednesday--and again tomorrow--I haven't been able to even bring this thread up for a while.

Your plumbing adventures are very impressive--I'm not sure I could have emulated you.



One of the things on my list now is to collect "Normanisms"--things our conductor has said over the years--to be printed in a book we're going to give him at our next concert--which is a combination 40th anniversary of the group/ Norman's 70th birthday.   I've written a lot of them down in my music. For instance a bass line that wasn't very clear he called "a real wine-cellar special"--as if we'd visited a wine-cellar before we sang it. He had a lot of good comments like that--as you know, they really liven up a rehearsal.


06 May 06 - 07:09 AM (#1733922)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hi, Ron:

I know busy. But at least I'm retired, so I can take breaks pretty much when I want to, most days.

When I scan the BS section of Mudcat these days, I think the prefix should be changed to "Oh, Yeah!" And the them song should be The Storms Are On The Ocean. The BS section seems to go through the vortex pretty regularly. There used to be more periods of calm between storms than there seem to be, now. It's more like reading the news headlines: 8 killed in terrorist bombing, Iran lvows to destroy Israel, riots sweep Paris, etc. That is part of reality, but not all of it. Even on my worst days, I see many examples of generosity and quiet commitment to trying to help other people. For some reason, there are people who believe that "reality" is all the ugly stuff, and the beautiful things we see around us and in each other are just "wishful thinking." Or that we're out chasing butterflies in a field. Reality is the whole deal. It's not just the meanness, the destructiveness and the selfishness. It's the kindness and generosity, too.

Today we're practicing up here at the house. That's a hardship for Joe and Frankie, but they're happy to do it. Frankie will be 80 in a few days, and he still works seven days a week, running his pavement company. He'll be up early this morning and working hard, right up to the time that Joe picks him up. Joe has a stressful day, as most of his days are, but he's sacrificing to make the time to come up here. It's an hour's drive to get here... one I'll make, going down to Frankie's this Tuesday night. Joe and Frankie are very "real." They aren't out chasing butterflies in a field. They have committed themsleves to something that they believe in, and they'll honor that commitment if they can crawl. Frankie came directly from the Emergency room to a concert once (for which we weren't getting paid.)

If we sound good, it's not from wishful thinking...

Jerry


06 May 06 - 08:02 AM (#1733943)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Jerry, what's this harsh anti-lepidopterist line you're taking? We lepidopterists are just about ready to come up and picket your house. We (our cats, anyway) have no choice--we have to chase butterflies. And that's where we find them--in a field. And just think of all the aerobic exercise we get chasing them. It's no wonder that in a scientific survey, 58% of doctors found butterfly chasers to be much less likely than folk musicians to be overweight, and in better condition in general. Of course Jan and I are now trying to plant milkweed, also known as "butterfly bush"--to attract butterflies (specifically monarchs). But if we do, we won't be chasing them anymore--they'll come to us. So maybe, in the interest of our own health, we should rethink this.

(Sorry--I'm in a whimsical mood--I actually know what you're talking about--and I applaud you--and anybody else who makes music.)


06 May 06 - 08:06 AM (#1733944)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

And when we get together, we'll have to see if we can get Bill D too--he does a great job on "The Storms Are On The Ocean".


06 May 06 - 10:12 AM (#1733997)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron: The chasing butterflies in the field (while singing, la,la,la,la,la) is how a certain member of the Cat characterizes my positive attitude toward life.

I know about you butterfly chasers... catch the little buggers and then drive a pin through their abdomen and while they're making their silent screams, you mount them on a board. :-)

Jerry


06 May 06 - 10:44 AM (#1734012)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

I haven't found any butterflies here in Carinthia (down south in Austria) Jerry and Ron, but this morning I went for a long walk with my daughter. we wandered along by a river, past rows of trees blossoming with pink blossoms, with ducks resting under the trees and looking across to the Alps,

I think I like the idea of chasing butterflies!

freda


06 May 06 - 11:44 AM (#1734049)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

What you have to look out for are butterflies that chase you. They might be rabid.

And I have other plans for Bill D, Ron. I wabt to do Working On A BillDing with him,

Sounds beautiful, freda..

Jerry


06 May 06 - 01:57 PM (#1734122)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Not guilty, Jerry--I swear I haven't done that to a butterfly since about age 8. And yes, I caught the reference. But consider the source. Or perhaps ignore the source--when the source only draws from the sewer, it's not likely anything of value will result.



Anyway, how's the weather up there. For some reason, we're getting a real spring this year--not segueing from very early spring directly into summer the 3rd week of April, as sometimes happens.

And it's wonderful. We had our rehearsal today on the National Cathedral grounds. They were having their big flower mart. And I stayed outside til the last possible moment--too bad the rehearsal wasn't outside.

Jan is at the 4th birthday party of a neighbor she has taken care of--and still does from time to time. Then we go to an azalea party cum sing. One of our hard-working cats is lying on the chair next to me; another is asleep in a cardboard box she's decided she likes. They seem to have no interest in this gorgeous day--go figger.

Here's hoping the Mudcat doesn't have more hairballs for a while.


06 May 06 - 01:58 PM (#1734123)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Jerry, your speaking of the kindness and generosity reminds me of the bemusement and mindboggled reaction I so frequently feel these days.

Since the church and community hall (where I work part time) last month, I am simultaneously utterly amazed and admiring of humankind - and proud to be one.

There are contributions coming from all over the country, along with heartfelt and heartwarming reminiscences of past history.

I don't remember- did I tell you about the tiny local church that donated its entire own building fund ($7000) to the Restoration Fund?

There are also many, many donations from individuals of $200, $400, even $1000. And some of $25, which may be even more money, coming from them, than the larger amounts.

I'm not a member of this church - or a member of any church, truth be told - but I'm looking forward to payback time. I think all of us that are involved have become more generous these last 6 weeks.

Sure! I'll have another cup. Thanks.


06 May 06 - 08:22 PM (#1734203)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hi, Ebbie:

Before I joined the Bpatist church where I'm a member now, I was a member of a Lutheran church with a Scandinavian history. When they celebrated their 100th Anniversary, they decided to donate $100,000 to other needy organizations. One of the things that we bought was a bus so that family members of people in prison who were too poor to afford the transportation to visit could go to see their family members. I know that meant a lot for Mothers or Fathers in prison
to be able to see their children. Another bus was bought for transporting the handicapped who were served by a very financially limited service organization. I thought it was beautiful that the chose to celebrate by helping those so sorely in need. I was proud to be a member of the church. It's a good reminder that the villification of churches in here, and other places speaks to only a small part of the true story.

Jerry


07 May 06 - 01:06 PM (#1734571)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

It's true--churches have done a lot of good over the course of history--and continue to do so. It's too easy to dwell on the Inquisition and religious wars in general--and Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson's idiocies these days---and ignore the other side. I suspect that a lot of people who talk only about the abuses of Christianity would not assume that all Moslems are in the mold of Osama. The double standard is pretty blatant.

And I don't consider myself religious in the least--and hardly ever attend church.


08 May 06 - 09:40 AM (#1735313)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

My, my, my! Heaven's to Betsy! (I wonder what means?) All's not well in Mudville. That makes it especially pleasureable to pop in here once a day to see what's going on.

This morning, I got an e-mail with my performer's application for NOMAD. It was very refreshing to receive it. NOMAD is one of my favorite festivals. It's also a good nudge to find out whether they would approve of a Church and Street Harmonies workshop with the Gospel Messengers and The Sentinels (the a capella Doo Wop group I've recently come to know.) It sure would be fun. Too bad NOMAD is the same weekend as the Getaway, or we coujld maybe have Ron and Jimmyt up here to join in.

Gotta go water the lawn..

Jerry


08 May 06 - 10:07 AM (#1735328)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Jerry...watering the lawn? Here in eastern England, the driest part of the UK, it has rained non stop for three days! Oh to be in England now that spring is here? The blessing side is the trees are all in blossem, the clematis is in bloom , a beautiful pale lavender, the wisteria that Billy brought back from New Jersey has buds of flowers for the second time in 7 years.We have a wren and Robin nesting in the shed and I have heard the cookoo.
Next weeek we are cottage sitting while our daughter and son in law holiday in Malta, they live on the bank of the Orwell river in the middle of a vineyard, very peaceful and lovely walks by the river.so I am looking forward to a quiet few days and catching up on reading some good books.
Loved your story about the plumbing and your escape.
Helping myself to more coffee thank you.


08 May 06 - 10:52 AM (#1735358)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey Mrs. billybob:

How come no one ever wrote a song, When It's Springtime In New Jersy? For those who only know New Jersey through the Jersey Turnpike, that might sound ridiculous. But, New Jersey IS the Garden State, and it's aptly named. We have mockingbirds nesting in our shrubs again, along with Cardinal, Blue Jays and Robins. This is a beautiful time of year... probably my favorite.

I was thinking of Freda when she dropped by the other day, and while we're welcoming the Spring, it's Fall Down Under. That's always hard to remember. But then, one of my sons and his wife paid for Ruth and I to visit them in Florida in February, and we drove two hours through the worst ice storm I've seen in years to get to the airport in Hartford, here in Connecticut, and arrive in Fort Lauderdal with the temperature in the 70's. My greatest culture shock was in the 60's when I spent a summer on a floating iceberg in the Arctic Ocean, 800 miles NORTH of Alaska. At the end of the summer, when the runway was frozen enough for planes to land, I was picked up, brought back to Point Barrow, Alaska, and then flew back to New York City. I went from below freezing weather with 24 hours of sunlight on an iceberg to the subways of New York City in early September. But, it was a memorable summer... not many people have stared a Polar Bear in the eye, in the wild with nothing around you but ice.

Jerry


08 May 06 - 11:47 AM (#1735383)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I have a friend who spent a work season at the opposite end of the globe, Jerry, as a construction worker. The two of you should meet.

One of the sadder facets of encroaching old age, in my experience, is that some things you never got around to doing are just not available any more. For instance I can't tell you how many places I've driven through or spent a brief time in that I told myself that I was coming back someday to spend a year there - and never did.

Many other things.

It is also true that I got to do some pleasurable, serendipitous things that veered me into another direction, so it does even out.

Watering the lawn here would be just bizarre. We've had a VERY wet April and so far this month. That wouldn't be bad, except that the rain has been very cold.

This morning, however, at just before 8:00 the temperature is 40 degrees so maybe we'll get to 45 today.

The trees and bushes are just beginning to leaf out. No color yet but the leaves are beginning to unfurl. My office window overlooks a hillside that is bare but I'm looking forward to when it greens up.

And yesterday a friend told me that there were six bears feeding on roots and greens on a slide slope which is where the first bears of the spring can be found. Someone else told me once that he had seen six but the most I've seen at one time is three.


08 May 06 - 12:58 PM (#1735415)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yes, Ebbie: Some experiences seem limited to the young. The three months I spent on the Ice Island depended on youth, and that dumb youthful conviction of invulnerability. All the time that I was there, we were completely inaccesible to air support, as our runway was the surface of the iceberg, which was rife with potholes from melting, during the summer. If we had a medical problem, our "Doctor" was a botanist who fainted at the sight of blood. We had all the surgical equipment and were told that we could do emergency surgery, being walked through it by a Doctor on the mailand, 800 miles away. And yet during the time when we were first there, we'd lose radio contact with the plane as it left, before we lost sight of it..

The summer after I was there, someone had appendicitis and died on the Island. There were also two plane crashes on the pack ice, over the years. But, when you're young, you don't give much thought to those things, and the staff who recruited us made very little mention of the danger involved. Even being out on the pack ice, where there were polar bears, without any weapon to defend yourself was stupid.

Ah, to be young and stupid again.

No thanks...

Jerry


08 May 06 - 02:13 PM (#1735468)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Wow, Jerry. There are some places that OSHA doesn't reach, huh. On top of the isolation, you were also in surroundings and conditions that made frequent accidents almost inevitable.

My friend at the Antarctic says that it was an interesting experience and he was invited to come back but he says he doesn't think he ever would. He did save a nice chunk of change, though.


09 May 06 - 03:59 AM (#1736000)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hey there Jerry Elmer,

I can't sleep, so I thought I'd mosey over to your table instead of pacing. Got a big shock on Friday about a dear friend--an inoperable cancer diagnosis--and the news is keeping me awake. The lady is 85 years young and has had a grand life. She says she's ready to go and is downright cheerful about it. But me and the others who love her are going to be stuck living without her, and that's a very gloomy prospect.

--------------------

There IS a song about spring in New Jersey. Michael Feinstein sings it. It starts out:

"When it's apple blossom time in Orange, New Jersey,
We'll be a peach of a pair!"

Now there are some inspired lyrics...

---------------------

Ice Island, huh? It sounds like a description of when hell freezes over. However, in spite of the dangers, it probably was quite an adventure at the time.

--------------------

Okay, back to grovel before the sandman. Maybe he likes granola? I could make him a peanut butter sandwich. Guess it's time to go shopping...

Elmer


09 May 06 - 07:17 AM (#1736083)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey Elmer Jerry:

I like:

Everything is peaches down in Georgia
It's a peach of a clime, for a peach of a time
There's a preacher waiting down there for ya
He's just waiting to say, "Will you love and obey?"

Probably my favorite singer of all time (as if there is only one) is/was Clancy Hayes. I wonder if anyone else in here has even heard of him... think I'll start a two or three post thread.

Man, it's getting reallllll nasty in here! I left once when it got this bad a couple of years ago. It didn't occur to me at the time that all I really needed was this little corner and a kitchen table.

I've got all the stuff I need now to put together a "Huh?" CD. Except time. But that's coming, soon.

Yesterday, I made our airline reservations to fly out to Wisconsin for my Mother's 99th birthday. My youngest son lives 45 miles away, in northern Illinois and my other son, his wife and two kids are coming, so we can have a real family reunion.. I have two older sisters who live in the same town where my Mother lives Iand I was born,) and a gazillion other relatives, so we'll have a good time. May have to entrust the table to someone else while I'm gone.

A designated table Meister, or Meisteress.

Jerry Elmer Henry Hornsbuckle


09 May 06 - 10:40 AM (#1736165)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Just leave your door unlocked, Jerry, and we'll keep the seats warm. This is a wonderful home by the wayside.


09 May 06 - 11:40 PM (#1736824)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Jerry what's the rest of "Everything is peaches down in Georgia". Who did it? Never heard of it. Sound like from the '20's? Is that a good guess?

There are always new songs (to me)--that's one of the best things about Mudcat.


10 May 06 - 08:19 AM (#1737067)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Now you know, Ron, music doesn't sound right reduced to squiggly black lines. So, I pulled out a CD of Bob Scobey that I put together of my favorites, and if this mouse will just move over here, Voila! there's a copy for you. It has Everything Is Peaches Down in Georgia on it. And many other favorites... Sailing Down To Chesapeake Bay.. Right now, I'm playing Peoria. "Why you can pick a morning Gloria, right off the sidewalks of Peoria." Ive spent some time in Peoria.. "Why did I ever roam with those sailor boys? I should have stayed at home in Illinois." It's great stuff to my ears. Maybe to yours, too.

It's a rainy day today, with many more forecast. That means rather than being able to work outside all day cleaning up, cutting, trimming and taking trips to the dump, I'm stuck down here in my office listening to great music and burning CDs for friends. Some guys have all the luck.

You know, Ron... I'm not picking on you by sending you stuff. I just haven't gotten Ebbie, Elmer and some others to PM their mailing adresses to me so I can pick on them, too.... hint, hint..

Had a great time yesterday morning. Ruth and I went to do a program/service at a nursing home where we did a program every month for about four years. It's been a coincidence that we haven't been there for four months... one month I was sick, one they had to cancel because there was too much sickness at the nursing home, and once because they were doing construction. It was very touching that the room was jammed with people. And so many of them went on and on about how much they missed us, and how happy there were that we came back. The Pastor of one of the churches we support gave a short message, and I did three songs. One of the nurses aides knew the old black gospel... young black woman and sang along on a couple, and then got very excited about the Messengers's concert coming up. She's bringing her husband and some other friends. I finished with a "new" song I wrote a year and half ago, but have never sung in front of anyone... even including Ruth. It just seemed to flow naturally from the message that Ken gave. It's a straight R & B vocal group sound... the first two lines and much of the melody come from one of my favorite recordings by the Penguins: Troubles Are Not At End. I really need the Penguins to back me... or maybe just you, Ron, Jimmy (we gotta find out what Elmer sings... and you know, Ebbie, the Platters had a woman singing with them..)

One a these days..

Jerry


10 May 06 - 10:44 AM (#1737191)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

humming along here in the background Jerry - what a great post. I spent the day with my daughter, picnicing and lying in the sun, by a beautful Austrian lake, surrounded by mountains..

freda
(still enjoying the warmth of the kitchen..)


10 May 06 - 11:31 AM (#1737236)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, freda: It must be getting a little nippy down there in Austrailyer. When does Fall start, for you?

When I'm away visiting me Mum in Wisconsin, I'll definitely leave a key under the front door mat in case anyone wants to drop by for a cuppa while we're gone.

One a these days, or years, we'll forgo the cyber-coffee and brew up a fresh pot in out kitchen, when folks make it up, down or over to Connecticut...

Jerry


10 May 06 - 12:37 PM (#1737289)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

that was an AUSTRIAN lake Jerry (spring here in the Northern hemisphere!) - yes, I hear it's getting nippy back home in Oz! :-)


10 May 06 - 10:51 PM (#1737720)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Had a wonderful night tonight, doing what I wanted to do.. no work, just pleasure. And what is more pleasurable than putting together CDs for my own listening enjoyment and to share with friends?

That's what I did most of the night. I just sat and listened to "Huh?" and thoroughly enjoyed it... it's a free-form flow of songs with each song suggesting the next. It starts out with the Promenade to Pictures At An Exhibition, segues naturally into Ape Man by the Kinks, and along the way includes Randy Newman, Carmen McRae, J.J. Cale, R.E.M. The Tractors, LeRoy Carr, the Chico Hamilton Quintet and the Lighthouse All-Stars. It may not be for the faint of heart and it's sure to include some tracks you won't like, but if you're feeling adventurous, PM me and I'll send you a copy.

Jerry


10 May 06 - 11:27 PM (#1737741)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry--

I love those songs--Peoria, Sailing Down to Chesapeake Bay, etc.   I've been meaning to learn Peoria for a long time--it has an amazing number of verses. And I have a part of Sailing Down To Chesapeake Bay on tape done by the Red Clay Ramblers--but not the whole thing. And I figure that being close to the Chesapeake Bay, I really should know that song.   It's so amazing to me how much we share in musical taste.

Of course in the case of Peoria I bet it has something to do with sharing an addiction to shameless puns.


Totally new topic: Jan is sitting here and says she's totally disgusted with all the US dentists she has seen. Does anybody in the US have a good dentist? We've tried 5 in the past 3 years-- and "they're all rubbish". She says she thought British dentists were bad--but they are actually better than "the tits over here". (Can she say "tits" at the kitchen table?) (Actually chickadees are very much like great tits in the UK). Jan hopes you all know about blue tits, great tits, cold tits and long-tail tits, (the last ones she used to get in her garden once a year--in January. About 1 to 3 January.) She is bringing to the table this evening her very sore mouth and a cup of hot peach tea.

Jimmy--we have a seriously dissatisfied customer of US dentistry here--can you offer any counsel?


11 May 06 - 12:09 AM (#1737762)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: KT

Hi Gang! Is the kettle on? I've just returned from my gig at the outdoor restaurant and could use a cuppa hot! It's COLD out there! The calendar says mid-May, but that don't mean nuthin' 'round here! 'Specially this year! There was fresh snow on the mountains this morning!

Jerry, those songs you're talking about sound like they'd be great ones to add to my repertoire. I meet folks from all over the country (and world) all summer long. Some are even from Peoria!

I may just need to call you one o' these days and chat about your nursing home gig. I'm thinking of commiting to do the same on a more frequent basis.

I love this thread. I don't have time to read it (!) but I love knowing you're all there, enjoying each other's company over a hot cup.

KT


11 May 06 - 12:16 AM (#1737766)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

KT--

It's so great to hear from you again. Please drop in and give us a couple of lines any time you have a spare minute. It doesn't have to take long--and it's wonderful to ( well, almost) hear your voice. Hope the music (and life in general) is going well.


11 May 06 - 09:33 AM (#1737970)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

He3y, KT! How nice that you dropped by. Ebbie was just talking about you, yesterday. Today is another rainy day and I've pulled out my 6 Bob Scobey, Clancy Hayes CDs and am looking forward to putting together a "favorite tracks" CD. When you mention songs about places, it occurs to me that Bob Scobey and Clancy did a lot of those kinds of songs... could do a whole CD just of those:

Here are some:

   St. Louis Blues
   Coney Island Washboard
   Beale Street Blues
   Sailing Down To Chesapeake Bay
   Wolverine Blues (about the Wolverine state, Michigan)
   Chicago
   Peoria
   Hindustan (Where we stopped to rest our mighty caravan)
   Memphis Blues
   When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam
   Mississippi Mud
   Parson, Kansas Blues
   Mobile

If you're interested, KT, I'd be glad to send you a copy of the CD I'm putting together... it won't have all of these songs on it, because there are so many other great songs that I want to include.

Long Gone, which I will put on as one of my favorites has the line "He's long gone from Bowling Green" and "The Guard forgot to close the Golden Gate."

I listened to the "Huh" CD I put together three times last night (and it's close to an hour long. Music soothes the Gentle Dane.

Jerry


11 May 06 - 11:33 AM (#1738048)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hey Ron,

I happen to like my dentist very much. He loves his work, keeps up with the latest advances in the field, cares about his patients, and inevitably carries on a highly entertaining monologue while my mouth is full of instruments (dental--not musical). The last time I was in for a cleaning he talked nonstop about all the Grateful Dead concerts he attended while he was in dental school, and he described the antics of the Deadheads. I received a full education about the rituals of that particular subculture. What a hoot. All that and clean teeth too. Such a deal!

Elmer


11 May 06 - 11:47 AM (#1738072)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I have a great dentist, too, Elmer. And he's closer to Jan than yours. I kid my dentist that I am disappointed when I don't have any reason to come back and visit for a couple of months. There's even some truth to it. He has a great sense of humor, and I hit it off with him immediately. On top of that, his Dental Hygenist is one of the most delightful people I've met in a long time. Like my dentist, she has a good sense of humor, and all the people who work there are very positive and upbeat. We invited my Hygenist and her husband to come over for a Gospel Messengers practice, as they'd expressed a strong desire to hear us, and we had a terrific morning. My Hygenist (name being Gail) and my wife hit if off in a way that I've never seen in all the years I've known Ruth. Yesterday, Ruth and I had to run out on some errands and we swung by my dentist's office to drop off a couple of fliers for the Gospel Messengers concert coming up, and Ruth cane in, just to see Gail. What fun!

Dentists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You Gotta Love 'em!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jerry


11 May 06 - 09:37 PM (#1738550)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Been listening to the Bob Scobey and Clancy Hayes CD I just put together... real nice stuff... a copy will be coming to you, Ron, and any others if they want one..

If you can share a love, why not share and share a "like?"

Jerry


11 May 06 - 11:08 PM (#1738615)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Ron. I assume you are in Silver Spring/Takoma Park and I cannot help you in that exact location but I have a couple good friends who are excellent dentists in Frederick who I would recommend. Paul Gauthier and Dan Mc Keown. In the same office   BOth excellent dentists who are generally good guys to boot and if you call them mention my name and tell them that if they piss Jan off I will come up and kick their asses. About all I can do from this far away! I am sorry she has had a bad experience@! jimmyt


11 May 06 - 11:28 PM (#1738633)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Thanks, Jimmy. We're getting desperate "A lesser woman would have jumped off a bridge by now" she says.

She's always taken very good care of her teeth. But she's at the mercy of these people--and they can affect you so drastically. She says that in the UK people have even committed suicide over botched dental operations.


12 May 06 - 09:40 AM (#1738965)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Surely there must be a blues song concerning dentists?

There are plenty with lines about, "I went to see my doctor..." and the doctor tells the guy he's got the blues, or is in love, or needs jug band music to cure what ails him, or needs a mojo, or has a boy-child coming who's gonna be a sonavagun....

How about, "I went to see my dentist..."

"and he told me, son, you need a woman named Flossy," or "you got a brush with greatness comin'," or " you need to wash your mouth out with soap..."

Time for the first cup of coffee of the day ; > )

Elmer


12 May 06 - 10:02 AM (#1738973)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Good ones, Elmer:

How about,

"I went to see my dentist
'Cause I was feeling down in the mouth
He asked me why my baby left me
And all I could say was mumble, mumble, mumble"

Jerry


12 May 06 - 12:37 PM (#1739100)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Just got a very moving e-mail from an old friend. Back in the 50's, he had a couple of regional rock-a-billy hits and answered the siren of musical fame. His "fame" burned out very quickly, but he kept playing, singing country music in bars... living the Merle Haggard life without the recognition or financial rewards. All those years of playing in bars left him with asthma, and now he has to be on a breathealotor (or whatever they're called) at times. He's moved back to him home town where his Mother and Father are in a nursing home, and he can't find work.. having a tag sale just to try to meet bills.

So, along with the other CDs I'm burning to send out to some of you folks, I'm putting together a package for him. He can't afford to pay for anything, but I love doing this kind of stuff, so we're a good combination. I have the blessings, he has the needs. Sometimes, just knowing that someone cares about you is the greatest gift of all.

And, I've got a batch of CDs ready to pass around the kitchen table, too..

Whoops... I think the mailman is coming..

Jerry


12 May 06 - 01:28 PM (#1739152)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

"And all I could say was 'mumble, mumble, mumble.'

Good one!


13 May 06 - 12:14 AM (#1739578)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Got my baby a gold crown.
A root canal, and a brand new partial too;
I told her, "Ain't nothin' too good
For that sweet little smile you do."

Now she done run off with the dentist,
And I'm stuck here with the bills;
I'm gonna cry into the toothbrush glass
And then head out for the hills.

--Blind Lowdown Elmer Bicusp


13 May 06 - 02:50 AM (#1739636)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Got a bill from my dentist down by the San Francisco Bay,
And my HMO sez they ain't gonna pay.
I didn't mean to need a new bridge.
Heck, it costs more than my fridge!
I'll kiss my credit good-bye,
I'm gonna swear off pie,
This bill's enough to make a grown man cry.

Now my Visa's overdrawn and my accountant won't give me the time.
And my mouth hurts so bad I think I'm gonna lose my mind.
When the lidocaine wears off for good,
You'll hear my sobs all over the 'hood
'Cause I got the acci-dental blues down by the San Francisco Bay.

Uh, it's after my bedtime. Nighty-night.

Lockjaw Elmore


13 May 06 - 07:51 AM (#1739720)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

You're on a roll, Elmer: I just hope that it's sugar-free.

Jerry Elmer


13 May 06 - 09:10 AM (#1739763)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

YOu folks are all on a roll, albiet at my expense! grin


13 May 06 - 09:11 AM (#1739764)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

FIVE HUNDRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


13 May 06 - 09:15 AM (#1739768)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Just imagine, if you will, a grown 58 year old man sitting at the computer at 9 AM in his underwear, then suddenly jumping up yelling "WOO HOO!!!!" just wanting to high five someone purly based on getting rhe five hundredth post. I know it may be a touch childish but it was a very good feeling to know that as far as the number thing, in this thread, at least for the present, I AM DA MAN!!! now I need to go shower and get busy. Thank you all for allowing that outburst.


13 May 06 - 09:38 AM (#1739776)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Now, jimmy, if you were really WITH IT, you'd realize that Levi has a brand called the 501 blues. I'm glad you didn't get the blues, posting the 501st post.

Maybe we can reserve the 600th post for you..

Always good to see you in here, jimmy. I hope that you, Jayne and family are getting some relief. And that we'll see you (and Jayne, too) after we get back from Wisconsin. We're coming back the night of the 11th of June.

And, it looks like a "Go" for the Church And Street Corner Harmonies workshop at NOMAD in November. My new-found friend KIen is confirming it with the other four members of his a capella doo wop group, and so far, the powers that be at NOMAD are enthusiastic. What a time that will be! This summer, I'll invite the group, The Sentinels over for a sing around with the Messengers.

Great Day in the Morning!

All day, that day.

Jerry


13 May 06 - 07:53 PM (#1740219)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Jerry's State Of The Onion Address:

Onions are pleasing to hold in your hands. They have a delicate, paper thin outer skin, and a silky smooth inner skin with a diaphanous film separating the two. Onions bring zest to the blandest of foods, are easy to raise and extremely inexpensive. They are the food of Kings, yet available to the poorest of paupers.
But like most thin-skinned organisms, they cry easily when cut or bruised. Or more accurately, they make the beholder cry. Now it may be true that people who allow an onion to make them cry are not tough-skinned enough. Probably the kind of people who are hurt by vile insults on the internet.

Here around the kitchen table, let us hope that the only tears that are shed are because of onions. Let the wolves howl outside the door, or rant incessantly.

This is a good place to be.

Jerry


13 May 06 - 11:40 PM (#1740325)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,KT

If there are tears shed around this table, (aside from onion induced ones) , they'll be tears of compassion for fellow travelers on the journey. A good place, this kitchen table.

And yes, Jerry. I'd love a copy of that CD, thank you!

KT


14 May 06 - 03:37 AM (#1740370)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I LOVE ONIONS
by Donald Cochrane and John Hill

I don't like snails or toads or frogs
Or strange things living under logs
But mmm, I love onions

I don't like to dance with Crazy Ted
He's always jumping on my head
But mmm, I love onions

{Refrain}
Onions, onions, la-la-la
Onions, onions, ha-ha-ha
Root doot doot-doot, doot doot doot
Onions, onions, la-la-la
Onions, onions, ha-ha-ha
Root doot doot-doot, doot doot doot

I don't like rain or snow or hail
Or Moby Dick the great white whale
But mmm, I love onions

I don't like shoes that pinch your toes
Or people who squirt you with a garden hose
But mmm, I love onions


14 May 06 - 08:43 AM (#1740449)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

It's a new--and much brighter day--on Mudcat-and, finally, not just on this thread.

May the spirit of the kitchen table spread--and onions are great.


I have to get up now and go sing in church.


14 May 06 - 10:45 AM (#1740498)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, KT:

I'll stick a copy of the Bob Scobey, Clancy Hayes CD in the mail to you. I sent some stuff to you, Ron, on Friday, and have four more packages ready to go to the post office tomorrow. I wanted to mail them on Saturday, but we went to a baby shower. Man, those babies hurt like Hell when they land on your umbrella!

We didn't pick any up..

Jerry


14 May 06 - 12:46 PM (#1740568)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi all,popped in for a coffe and just thought I would say Happy Mothers Day to all the ladies, we had our mothering Sunday some weeks back in the UK. I hope you all got breakfast in bed and get taken out to dinner. Have a lovely restful day girls.
I remember when my children were little being woken up at the crack of sparrow with a tray of tea made with cold water, had to drink it of course!
Tears at this table? How about tears of joy and tears of laughter?


14 May 06 - 01:39 PM (#1740605)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

"crack of sparrow"--is that rhyming slang--or what's the story behind it?   Bet it's a good one.


14 May 06 - 01:51 PM (#1740609)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Ron, not sure where crack of sparrow came from, but I think crack of dawn is part of it, dawn chorus... sparrows? Maybe some one will know who is a cockney? I am from the wrong part of London to hear Bow Bells.


14 May 06 - 05:47 PM (#1740769)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

It's been a beautiful Mother's Day here. Talked to me Mum and she is doing fine, and getting all wound up about our coming out to visit. Ruth has loved her day - took her out to eat, went to her daughter's church where she gave a powerful sermon on the strength of women (and their need for a mutually supportive relationship with their husbands) Ruth liked her gifts, and we had a beautiful afternoon... just the two of us. We'll have a simple supper, and watch a movie together.

I can't believe that life gets better than this.

Meanwhile, the storms are raging... what a sad state of affairs when so much of Mudcat has became an 8 car collision, with everyone pulling over to watch (and comment...)

It's just real nice to know you folks..

Jerry


15 May 06 - 01:01 PM (#1741018)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Got to the post office today, so there are a bunch of CDs taking flight.

With Mudcat down for half a day, I thought I'd just throw something in here so the thread doesn't slide off the table. It's been raining now for a week and a half. If this keeps up, I'm going to start building an ark. Until then, I mowed the front lawn in the rain... something I've never done in my life. When the grass is higher than the windows, you have to do something..

Jerry


15 May 06 - 01:44 PM (#1741059)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

As much rain as we've had the last six weeks I really wasn't surprised to see an ark in the ocean in front of downtown Juneau. Actually, there were four of them, huge behemoths indeed.

We're deep into the tourist crusie season already.


15 May 06 - 02:37 PM (#1741103)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Probably better spell that 'cruise'.


15 May 06 - 05:18 PM (#1741279)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

With all the mudslinging going on around in the catbox, mebbe some of us are better off hiding under the kitchen table!

Or mebbe we better start building that ark just in case. Right. What's a cubit?

E.


15 May 06 - 06:00 PM (#1741310)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Interesting that you would ask "what is a cubit?" Elmer. We do two or three songs about Noah and I offer some helpful little tidbits, introducing them. A cubit is the distance from your elbow to the tip of your fingers. My cubit may be longer than yours, but not nearly as long as Chombo Chimp's. Depending on which translation you read, the ark was either made out of gopher wood, or shitim. I kinda prefer saying it was made out of gopher wood.. :-)

Yeah, if all this furor keeps happening, maybe we'll all have to break into a rousing chours of Katie get up and bar the door...

Jerry


15 May 06 - 07:17 PM (#1741364)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Aha! Bill Cosby's question answered at last. I'll bet those songs about Noah are really great--lots of room for creativity with that theme.

My arms aren't very long, so somebody else better volunteer theirs for the requisite cubit.

Well, if people keep on hootin' and hollerin' around here, and if the rain keeps falling and the creek keeps rising, please pass me a cup of coffee UNDER the kitchen table. I feel a lot safer down here, giving a new meaning to the phrase, "duck and cover." (There are a few of our web-footed friends paddling in from the rain and quacking in dismay at all the racket their opposable-thumbed friends are making.)

Elmer


15 May 06 - 08:34 PM (#1741414)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

My main question with the Noah's Ark thing is, if he took two rabbits on board, how many hopped down the gang plank when Noah found dry land?

Jerry


15 May 06 - 08:56 PM (#1741422)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Well, let's see. Let's assume the rabbits were young but of breeding age. So they were at least 4 months old. The ark traveled for how long? The rain continued for 40 days and 40 nights but how long did it take the waters to recede? Anybody know?

The gestation period of rabbits is approximately 30 days and the average litter is about 5 kits. So we can safely assume that the number of rabbits coming off the ark was only about 7.

But in the next 6 months? Wow!


15 May 06 - 09:28 PM (#1741441)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I know one thing, Ebbie: There'd be a lot more rabbits in six months than folks. Maybe rabbits would have evolved into a Master Race and they'd be trapping us for stealing carrots from their gardens.

Maybe it's best not to have these kind of thoughts... :-)

Jerry


16 May 06 - 07:38 PM (#1742176)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Refresh so the door doesn't accidentally close, and lock perchance.


16 May 06 - 08:26 PM (#1742202)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hey, you're talking about wascally wabbits in fwont of the wrooooonnnnnggggg guy!!!!!!!!!!

Elmer


16 May 06 - 10:10 PM (#1742233)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The world is safe, as long as we have you, Elmer..

Jerry


16 May 06 - 10:26 PM (#1742244)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Had a great practice tonight with the Messengers. And was reminded of something far more important than a good practice.

For the last several months, we've had a hard time accepting that we're a trio. We kept thinking of ourselves as a quartet. missing a member. That was undertandable because Derrick, who was with us for seven years was such a fine singer, and an even finer person and friend and we still miss him terribly. But recently, we've come to accept that we are the Gospel Messengers. Not the Gospel Messengers minus one. I was talking with Frankie and Joe about that tonight, because our singing was really inspired. It made me think about one of the greatest qualities about my Father. My Father was far from a perfect man. But we all have strengths and wisdom to pass on to others. One great wisdom that my Father passed along to me was not to complain about what you've lost, but be thankful for what you still have. At 70, he was in a 10 mile walk to raise funds for some charity. By the time he was 80, he could walk about a mile. But that was good enough for him. He knew a lot of people who couldn't walk a mile. When he had to use a walker, I bought hima bike horn to blow when he passing slower people with their walkers. And that was good enough for him. When I'd ask him how he was doing, he'd always say, "Pretty good .. there are a lot of people who can't do what I can." I'd kid him and say, "Dad, if I ask you how you're doing and you can't walk any more, you'll say, pretty good .. I can still crawl across the floor. There are a lot of people who can't do that." My Grandfather was like that. He lay flat on his back in a bed for six or seven years before he finally wasted away and died. When you asked him how he was, he always said, "pretty good."

So, if you wonder how the Gospel Messengers are doing, we're doing "Pretty good." We're no longer a quartet, missing a tenor.
We ARE the Gospel Messengers and we're not missing anything. We're just greatful for what we have.

A good attitude to have, whatever you've lost. Be thankful for what you've got left.

We're going to have a fine time, Saturday night. They've already sold at least 80 tickets for the dinner, and I wouldn't be surprised if they hit 100.

Still room at the table...

Jerry


17 May 06 - 12:51 PM (#1742432)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

My kitchen table used to be a gathering place, especially when I had friends in town who were new mothers like I was, when our kids would be playing together and we would be having coffee and talking. Over time, those friends moved far away. Then, as I became more involved with music, the kitchen table was the place our band gathered and practiced. My son grew up and my time was consumed with working. I didn't go to the session or get the band together like before. Now, I am focussed on getting out of debt from the child raising years, and my kitchen table has become the largest desk in the house, piles of paperwork and forms, a flow of accounts to call on, accounts sold. Hopefully, when my finances are healthy, I will be able to take back the kitchen table and it will once again have a vase of fresh flowers, clean wooden surface without work papers, and cups of coffee or tea with new friends.


17 May 06 - 01:21 PM (#1742457)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

How nice of you to drop by, Alice!

Don't be a stranger..

Jerry


17 May 06 - 07:35 PM (#1742701)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Hey, Jerry, missed you at the old Mudcat Campfire!
The beginning of that thread was lost in Mudcat crashland, but still has some life to it.

Seems like my kitchen table, session, campfire, performing, singing time has been on hold for a couple of years. I may go
back to our session here again, but the venue has changed, and once again it is in a corner of a bar with bad acoustics.
I haven't even been singing in the shower!! ;-)

alice


17 May 06 - 10:26 PM (#1742835)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry and everybody else,

I wanted to tell you Jerry, that I've received the 2 CD package (HUH? and the one with Peoria, Everything is Peaches Down In Georgia, and Down On the Chesapeake Bay--and lots of others.   They're great--and there are all sorts of songs I've never heard before--what an added bonus! But my rehearsal schedule--rehearsal last night and again tomorrow, for instance-- has been such that I've not had a chance to hear HUH? When I do, it may test Jan's tolerance- she used to complain when I had part of My Music or Prairie Home Companion at the end of a classical tape. I gather HUH? keeps switching music types constantly. I'm looking forward to hearing it, myself--each one has a link to the next?

Flash!!!!!--Jan says the Dixieland CD (Peoria etc) is a smash hit with 19-month Henry. Jerry--you're going to monopolize the entire 5-CD player----2 of the other big hits with Henry (and us) are the Gospel Messengers CD and The Gospel in Black and White. Jan says Henry bops to them all.

And we still haven't had a chance to hear the Louis-Ella duets. I keep thinking I can set aside about an hour to do that and nothing else--I don't want to be eating or anything else when I hear that one--but I can't seem to find an hour.


Thanks again,

Ron


17 May 06 - 10:33 PM (#1742840)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jan also says I should tell you I just brought a glass of orange juice to the table. Would you all mind if I sat here and ate my Dutch Apple yogurt? I try to buy as many as I can (I'll buy 25 if I can do it)--and eat one a day. I'm afraid I'm pretty boring in food tastes. (Jan says Amen).

I used to be accused of eating only orange food at home--orange juice, carrots, apricot yogurt, cheese.

I've branched out--a bit.


17 May 06 - 10:49 PM (#1742847)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, Ron: The CD "Huh" is not for the faint of heart. I only know two people on the planet who might conceivably enjoy that CD... you, and I'm not so sure about the second... he's my son Pasha from Ruth's marriage. He listened to the first few tracks when I gave it to him, and he took all the style swings in stride. He loves all kinds of music.

Glad you like the Bob Scobey and Clancy Hayes CD. Other table-sitters have packages on the way, too... different CDs, trying to fill other's interests..

Jerry


18 May 06 - 07:49 PM (#1743564)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Kinda quiet around the kitchen table today. Some days are like that.
Glad that they are, too.

I've been having some fun these last couple of days trying to pull old songs deep out the the crevasses of my mind. Yesterday, I got out my guitar to play a song that I've played a million times, give or take a few... Old Man At The Mill. I kinda remembered that I did it in a sepcial tuning, but I wasn't sure. It took about five minutes of awful noise before I dredged it back up to the surface, but it felt good playing it again. I'm dusting off some favorite songs I haven't sung in so long I almost don't remember them in preparation for a Songs From The Atticv workshop I want to do at NOMAD this fall. If nothing else, I sure am having a good time doing it.

Jerry


18 May 06 - 11:18 PM (#1743644)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I'm gonna be away from the table for a spell, so y'all have a good time now. I'll bring back some coffee beans for the pot, a bag of bagels and maybe a few new stories and songs to share.

Elmer

PS to Jimmy T.: Those dentist blues songs were all in good fun. Just thought that doctors shouldn't corner the market on blues songs and dentists should get their fair shake. Just wait until someone gets going on art historians--or exterminators--or ESL teachers--or day traders...the mind fairly boggles.


18 May 06 - 11:23 PM (#1743647)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

We'll save a chair for you, Elmer..

I'll be gone from June 2nd until the night of the 11th. I am counting on someone keeping the kettle on, while I'm gone, too.

Jerry


19 May 06 - 08:08 PM (#1744245)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Winding down for the night.... and checking in at the cat. With Elmer gone, I may end up talking to myself in here. Not that there's anything new about that. It's when you start disagreeing with yourself that you got to start worrying.

Jerry


20 May 06 - 12:17 AM (#1744323)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Well Jerry, believe it or not, this is the first time since Wednesday that I've even had access to the computer. Didn't get back from rehearsal last night til after 11--and Jan was still on--and stayed on til midnight. No rehearsal tonight--but again Jan was on til midnight. So I stayed upstairs and played the piano. Among other things she's concerned about some junk e-mail we've been getting. Fake names, addresses untraceable. She's now set up the computer to send all that stuff (it's all the same type)--immediately into the junkpile--and then to trash. But we'll have to try harder to find the source.

But I'm not about to lose any sleep over it. We'll try again tomorrow.

It seems to me the 'Cat has calmed down recently--would you agree? All we need now is for Shambles to go back to fighting PEL's (which is definitely a good cause)--and things will be the best they've been in years.

I certainly should be able to help keep the coffeepot on while you're gone in June--I'll have Mahler rehearsals and concerts and bluegrass and folk festivals--but I can certainly come into the kitchen (though obviously it can't be a soliloquy.) It's the least I can do for the cause.


20 May 06 - 08:46 AM (#1744435)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sheesh, Ron! And here I think that I am busy. But then, you're a young tad.

This morning, the Men's Chorus (one of them) had a practice at 8 a.m. I live an hour's drive away and with great reluctance, I decided not to go, even though I have the greatest admiration for our Director and in some ways, I know he counts on me to lead the baritones. It took a lot of consideration to decide not to go (and some strong "suggestions" from Ruth.) This evening, the Messengers are doing a concert and it looks like it is going to be a sellout (can you have a "Sellout" if the admission is free? Maybe it will be a Free-out. The evening will start with a dinner at 6, so I have to get there at least by 5 to set up my new sound system and see if I can also set up to record the concert. I have a lot of work to do during the day, so getting up at 6 this morning to make it to practice by 8 just seemed like too much for one day. Now, if I was as young as Ron, maybe I could just whiz through it. But I'll be 71 in a couple of weeks and I guess it's time to make a few minor concessions to my age. When you're in your 40's, or even 50's, you look to retirement as a time when you can do all the things you don't have the time or freedom to do when you're still working. If you are blessed with good health, you can do a lot of the things you've always wanted to do. But not all, because your energy level gradually subsides as you get older. I see it in many of my friends who are mule-headed about cutting back on how much they are doing. I notice that I have long ears when I look in the mirror sometimes, myself.

So, today, I'm going to ease back a little nad prepare myself physically and spiritually for this evening. I encourage Joe and Frankie to do that, so I guess I'd better take my own advice.

Soliloquy? Isn't that just a polite word for talking to yourself? I tell you, Ron. When you get as old as I am, you'll be soliloquying like crazy....

Jerry


21 May 06 - 03:43 PM (#1744861)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Somebody locked the door, and nobody could get to the table!

Real mixed emotions this weekend. My old friend Howard Glasser, who ran the Eisteddfod for so many years was in intensive care for several days. Thank God he seems to have turned the corner and is out of intensive care. And then I see where another old friend, Margaret MacArthur is dying. I connect them in my mind and heart because I drove up to Massachusetts to hear Margaret at a concert that Howard was doing. We did it to suprise Howard, and to meet Margaret. My 37 year old son was still in diapers then so it's been a long time.

At the same time, we had a beautiful concert Saturday night. a big turnout for the dinner, with family friends, neighbors and strangers all enjoying each other's company. I used my new sound system for the first time and it was magnificent, and we all sang better than we have in a long time... amazing what a good sound system can do for you.

I've been trying to get an answer about the Church And Street Corner Harmony workshop and was getting frustrated because the guy from the Doo Wop group hasn't responded to my e-mails. Got an e-mail today and he's been dealing with family crises and apologized for not responding.

That's the way life shakes out... Thank God for the beautiful times.. they help to get through the hard ones..

Jerry


21 May 06 - 04:49 PM (#1744904)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Metchosin

Thanks Jerry for the offer, I think I will try to take a break from being a human doing to be a human being for awhile. When it rains it pours, eh?

My table looks like Alice's right now and I just can't muster the enthusiasm to physically sort through all the debris that's accumulated there in the past few months, so if I can sit at yours for awhile, it would be a pleasure. Although considering some of the stuff coming down, I did think twice about submitting this message, but guessed that some stuff never gets said if you hold off waiting for exactly the right time.


One thing I did do at my table the other night though, that I also haven't done for awhile, is dance around it, so that's a good start. I danced for almost an hour, full tilt, while my favourite Mr. Dave and Wally Ingram provided the accompaniment . With the dancing, the full realization of what I had just been told by a doctor started to sink in.

The doctor I saw this week was Rheumatologist. After reviewing the file my GP sent to her, my blood work, a further grilling for information and a physical exam, she's fairly certain I have a rare auto immune disorder called palindromic rheumatism. It is thought to be an abortive form of rheumatoid arthritis and in about half of the cases it does eventually become rheumatoid arthritis. Goody! something that finally fits all my symptoms right down to a reoccurring eye infection over the years.

You might think it odd that I'd dance in such a celebratory manner with that knowledge, but given what I'd been told beforehand and getting my life, my heart and my brain around what I had been told, prior to seeing her, as a diagnosis, this doesn't suck.

I was diagnosed with leukemia awhile back. Not your run of the mill leukemia, if there could ever be such a thing, but some really rare kind affecting my T cells, with a very bad prognosis; a type that is usually found in elderly men and doesn't respond well to even the most current treatments with three to seven months max, as the bottom line.

Not being an elderly man or feeling like an elderly woman come to think of it, it did seem an odd diagnosis. Other than a slightly elevated lymphocyte count, which has dropped on occasion....hmm....... I thought the problem with these cells is that they won't go away and die like good TCells should....hmmm.... I also don't have any of the symptoms usually associated with it.....nope.... I'll check again.... no lesions showing up today....hmm.....no extra lumps, aside from my breasts .....hmmmm. A CTscan also determined my spleen and liver, despite their prognostications to the contrary, were in very good nick,...nope, no swollen spleen....dang!...... now that seems a little odd too.

But hey, I was assured that the cancer guys in Vancouver I was sent to are amongst the best in the business, linked to the best in the business in North America. You're in the right pipeline, I was assured. The pipeline guys also assured me, in a rather patronizing manner when I queried them, that, no, my slightly elevated lymphocytes could not possibly be the result of a virus or an autoimmune disorder, good cancer guys can tell a malignant T Cell from one that isn't, how dare you ask! Are you in some sort of denial? And while, they reminded me, we're surprised that you're in such good working order, this aggressive sucker is a matter when, not if.   

Also, they told me, my intermittent joint pain, which was the reason I went to my doctor in the first place, was nothing to do with the leukemia.

I danced after that too, all night, to a friend's reggae band. I needed the sort of zen state that it puts me in and was so thankful they were here from Toronto, at the right time, to remind me, I like my body, especially when its in sync and immersed with the music.

Soooo, here's where I stand for now, trying to ignore the sword of Damocles over my head........ In my mind the probability of having a very rare disease is, well..... very rare, but certainly not impossible. But now, the probability of having two very rare diseases, simultaneously, would seem to be really getting out there.

When the rheumatologist asked if I wanted a second opinion, regarding the leukemia diagnosis, even though that is not the reason I finally managed an appointment with her, it got me thinking. Why not? A cranky old lady with gnarled hands like my old aunty? Seems better than getting ready to kiss my ass goodbye in the short term. Awaiting the return of even more blood tests and yet another visit to my GP to decide, where do we go from here?

Oh yeah, there is more going on in my life right now too, but I think I'll save that for another time. And I think I'd better keep my dancing shoes handy.


21 May 06 - 06:08 PM (#1744946)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Ah, Metch, I'm sorry. I hope you get better news soon - even if it means that they have to admit they were wrong! TWO rare diseases sounds a bit overly coincidental to me. Let us know how that shakes out.

In the meantime I love your dancing! Surely- since we are so blessedly susceptible to the suggestions that our systems give us - surely when the body gets the information that you will be dancing, it will help speed all the bad stuff right out.


21 May 06 - 07:38 PM (#1745002)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Metch:

I'm so glad you stopped by. Yes, I do manage to keep the table cleared off. I have an enormous, invisible cyber-waste basket sitting next to it. But you know, sometimes, it's good to put the frightening things on the table, look them in the eye and tell them that they will not prevail. One thing that I know for sure. Not everything can be explained, or understood. I used to tell a friend of mine, who was constantly denying all good things as being "not real," that she was just dragging herself down with her deep-seated belief that everything happens for the worst. She'd stop in to my office every morning, trudging up the steps, to plunk herself down at my table. Yes, I had an old wooden table in my office that was much more of a kitchen table than a piece of office furniture. Every day, she girded her loins (figuratively) in preparation for Hell to visit our neighborhood. 99% of the time, it didn't happen. When she'd get very depressed, I'd point out to her the countless times she'd come into my office, pronouncing one doom or another that never happened. Her attitude was that she was just "preparing for the worst." Just in case it happened. Truth is, there is no way of "preparing for the worst."
You're a lot better off preparing for the best. How can you prepare for the sudden loss of a child, or finding out that you have cancer?
I don't mean to minimize depression, because I had a depression and committed myself to a psychiatric ward. I know what it feels like to wake up every day, dreading that moment when you swing your legs over the side of your bed and put them on the floor. But you know, people sell you a faulty bill of goods. Too many people say that it's unrealistic to be hopeful. As if reality only came in one flavor. I notice that when "Shit Happens" became such a catchy bumper stick wisdom, no one said "Good stuff, far beyond anything you could even imagine, happens too." (You see I'd make lousy bumper stickers.) They'd only fit on Hummvies.

The truth is, Doctors don't know it all. The good ones are quick to acknowlege that. I could give endless examples of what were either miraculous cures (or phenomenal miss-diagnoses.) A recent one will do. I came to know a woman in a black gospel Chat room who was becoming increasingly distressed at her physical state: for good reason. She's a single Mom with a child to support, working in an office, entering date into a computer all day. She was getting stabbing pains in her wrist and arm to the point where she could only type short sentences in the chat room before the pain became too excruciating. I talked with her about my friend Joe, who had just undergone carpal tunnel syndrome surgery at the age of 81, and waws coming along well. But, she was trapped. If she had the surgery, she couldn't do her work and she'd lose her job. As the sole/soul provider she was afraid that she and her child would end up on the street. Despite being in increasingly severe pain, she managed to keep working, but she had no idea how much longer she could bear the pain. She wasn't able to sleep at night, and saw no way out. And then one morning, she woke up pain free. No explanation. Her Doctor could offer no explanation. The pain had been very real, but so was the healing.

If I started a thread talking about all the miraculous healings I've seen in the last few years, it would become one of the longest threads on the Cat. Being a realist, myself I know that not every
story has a happy ending. But many, many do. Believing in healing is the best medicine you can take.

Thanks for laying your "haunt" on the table, Metch. We'll all put our hands on it and tell it if it doesn't behave, it's going into that gigantic, invisible garbage can.

Jerry


21 May 06 - 09:41 PM (#1745083)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Just wanted to check in to say hi to you all. Jayne is at the airport in Atlanta getting on a flight to Cleveland Ohio where her sister is presently undergoing extensive tests. She has Giant Cell Arteritis, an extremely rare condition that sometimes (usually actually) causes blindness and kidney failure leading to death. In her case, no kidney involvement, no ocular involvement, but the irony is she has lost complete blood supply to the main artery to her arms, the subclavian. BOth sides, both arms sort of dying on the vine with no real reason or great cure. She lost her husband a year ago, but shortly before he died of a sudden heart attack, he bought her a grand piano because the only real joy she gets is playing the piano. Now the piano sits quietly in the livingroom and she can't hold a spoon or button a button. SHe is scheduled for a surgery this Thursday where the doctors will put a length of artificial teflon artery in her arm to see if it is successful. Keep us in your prayers or thoughts if you will. Crazy world we live in, but glad I have the kitchen table to drop this stuff on.


21 May 06 - 10:27 PM (#1745102)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for dropping by, Jimmy. Ruth and I have been keeping you, Jayne and her sister and all the family in prayer. Sometimes it seems like we catch it from all directions. When I see the suffering around me (and we see plenty, as Ruth and I visit the sick all the time) it brings life into an even clearer focus for us. All is illuminated... the fragility of life and that tomorrow is not promised, but also the courage and beauty that surrounds us in our lives... so often going unnoticed.

Let me tell you about beauty and joy.

Last night, we had our concert at First Baptist Church. This last year has been very difficult trying to keep the Gospel Messengers in a positive frame of mind. We really miss Derrick, and for a long time, our singing sounded empty without his voice. And his positive spirit. In a way, this last year has been mostly downhill. Frankie has been losing ground physically and he is so preoccupied with his business (paving) that he loses concentration when we're singing. He has terrible alergies and in the Spring has a constant flow of tears from his eyes. Joe is dealing with extremely difficult issues in his life which are most likely to get worse as the months go by. It has taken all my enthusiasm to keep them believing that we still sound good as a trio. Last night was the reward. It started off with me setting up my new sound system, trying it out for the first time. It's a small system, and I had no way of knowing whether it could handle a mid-sized church. When I set it up, it was exciting, because I had the volume on 2 out of 10, and we had all the power we needed. And our voices sounded better than I've ever heard. After we had a wonderful dinner together, with many family, friends and neighbors there to celebrate, Joe and I went upstairs to try the sound system. Frankie got waylaid, talking to people, so Joe and I did a couple of songs as a duo. There were a couple of people sitting in the back, and they were really excited about how good we sounded. It was a gift to us, because Joe realized that even the two of us can still make good music together. When Frankie came up and we started singing, we sounded so good, we hated to stop for the people to come in. There was a lot to celebrate last night. We celebrated our 9th Anniversary as the Messengers, with Joe and Frankie by my side from the beginning. We celebrated the first Anniversary of the new Pastor of the church and what he's done to resuscitate the church in a very modest, humble way. We celebrated Frankie's 80th birthday, belatedly by two days, and Joe's 82nd, coming up on the 27th of May. And then we just celebrated being together as one with many family members, friends and neighbors. I don't think that we ever sounded so good, and if there was any doubt in Joe and Frankie's mind that we can carry an evening without Derrick, it was washed away last night. I say that out of thankfulness, not boastfulness. This last year has been very hard, and last night was the reward. Sometimes just keeping on is the best we can do. It too has its rewards..

Love,

Jerry and Ruth


22 May 06 - 10:33 AM (#1745389)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

{{{{Jimmy}}}}}


22 May 06 - 08:26 PM (#1745765)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Thanks guys! (ebbie included)


22 May 06 - 10:29 PM (#1745800)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Hey!!!!!! I just got the enthsiastic thumbs up from the Doo Wop group that they want to do the Church And Street Corner Hamony workshop at NOMAD. Now, I have to get the applications in and hope that the Nomad Committee approves. If so, the only question that remains is, What are you doing Saturday, November, jimmyt, Ron and The Villan?

Oops... didn't forget you, Elmer! We can do What A Fwiend We Have In Jesus.. Or Wed Sails In The Sunset..

Jerry


23 May 06 - 11:05 AM (#1746047)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi all--

Had to take Jan to the emergency room last night. A very severe asthma attack. Albuterol did not do the trick.

We got home about 3. I'll take her to see her doctor this afternoon (who, fortunately is also a pulmonary specialist).


23 May 06 - 12:59 PM (#1746081)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Ron:

That had to be very frightening! I'm glad that you're back home, but you both must be completely drained. We'll keep you both in prayer..

Keep us informed, please..

My friend Howard Glasser, who was in intensive care is much better, and in a regular hospital room, able to receive visitors. I appreciate good news wherever I can find it..

Jerry


23 May 06 - 02:38 PM (#1746117)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Metchosin

Thank you Ebbie and thank you too Jerry. I will keep you updated when I periodically pop in, even if I don't manage to sit for long. All my best to the others as well.


23 May 06 - 04:42 PM (#1746226)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Hmmmm. My post disappeared- just as the Cat fled.

I want to reiterate: Ron, Jan and you have gone through so much. I hope that her system will soon overcome all the stuff that's been thrown at her. (Not to imply that you are throwing dishes, Ron. *G*) Give her our love and share with her our concern.


23 May 06 - 06:04 PM (#1746250)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Donuel

Hi all, its been 3 weeks since my last confession...

Since then I had a horrendous fall while trying to get a seed pod of a Paulina tree. A six inch bolt protruding from the rear of a guard rail slammed into my ribs right at the heart region.
Because I had taken a small amount of a cox 3 inhibator about a year ago, my blood pressure can sometimes go way up and stay there for several hours. Merck Inc is not going to do any studies concerning how long any damage from Vioxx may persist but it was recently leaked that even a year after taking the drug the risk factor is the same as ir one never stopped taking it.

I have been meeting some remarkable people by accident lately. Some are obscure and some are famous. This Sunday Congressman Waxman came over and sat down for lunch next to my family at a little Italian Restaurant. I thanked him for being one of the good guys... No I did not smoke :)
This month I will be meeting with various people including Maria Alsop and Joan Collins regarding a composer friend of mine. I'm going to see Joshua Bell this June. If anyone here knows him (via 6 degrees of seperation) let me know so I may pass along a message or just a hello.

I have been spending time listening to some of the greatest thinkers alive today like Thomas Friedman and Charles Osman. Now I'll have to catch up with the greatest thinkers on mudcat and see whats going down lately...


23 May 06 - 10:26 PM (#1746356)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Ron, I know that was a difficult evening for jan and you! I hope all is well. Jerry, I may be tempted to attend the Nomad! Tell me more about it!   jimmyt


24 May 06 - 12:19 AM (#1746388)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Well, it seems we live in "interesting" times (in the Chinese sense) and have "interesting" ailments--Metchosin, you sure do. Hope things improve for you (and everybody else).

Jan keeps talking about how she needs a "body transplant". There's a gospel bluegrass song called "I'll Have A New Body--I'll Have A New Life"--but that's not really what she means.

She had to go back to the ER today--her doctor insisted on it--though we protested strongly. They man-handled her arm--giving her IV's--she has huge bruises now--, didn't feed her at all til about 8 this evening--when they gave her two pieces of Wonder Bread and 2 slices of cheese. I think it's partly since she's a vegetarian--and they have no idea what that sort of animal might eat. They also virtually ignored all the other problems she has--if it didn't have to do with the pain in her chest, they had no interest.

It seems they always have tunnel vision--can never treat the entire patient--or even let us do it. Finally I left the ER--where nothing was happening-- came home and got a boatload of food, drugs and other items she wanted.

And of course now they plan to wake her up again at 4 AM. So she'll get hardly any sleep and nothing to eat (except what I brought)--but at least she's finally been moved to a real room--albeit one with beeping for long periods with nobody doing anything to address any problem that might indicate--until, again, I called it to their attention.

But with hardly any sleep and virtually nothing to eat, how can they expect anybody to improve their health?

And pneumonia rampant in hospitals it seems--I'll tell you, we're going to spring her as soon as humanly possible.


24 May 06 - 07:47 PM (#1746933)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Jimmy:

If you want to get an idea what NOMAD is like, go to nomadfest.org and click on the workshop grid for 2005. That will give a good overview of how diverse the music and dance is. We are a twenty minute drive from the shuttle bus parking lot, so it's really easy for us. The festival may be a little thinner this year because of the conflict with the Getaway, but there'll still be more music you want to hear than you could possible get to.

Jerry


26 May 06 - 10:23 AM (#1747872)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Jerry Rasmussen

Hmm... don't remember needing to type in a "From," before. Maybe this is all part of an upgrade.

And Elmer, I sent you a PM, which went to PM heaven, I guess. At least for the time being. I just wantyed to thank you for the beautiful surprise that I found in our mailbox a couple of days ago.

You wascal, you!

Jerry


26 May 06 - 10:25 AM (#1747874)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Jerry Rasmussen

I are a guest in my own kitchen! Hmm... has my cookie crumbled?

Strange things are happening

Jerry


26 May 06 - 10:28 AM (#1747878)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Naw.. Just had to reset my cookie...


27 May 06 - 09:04 AM (#1748429)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry and everybody else--

I tried to pull up a chair last night, but the kitchen was closed--sure hard to get a meal when the hours are so erratic. But I understand that may be improving drastically--and soon.

At any rate, I finally rescued Jan from the clutches of the evil Hospital Monster. That happened at 5 PM on Thursday.   (Actually her jailer (doctor) let her go.

Now she has another boatload of drugs to take (including steroids--her RBI is already so high--can't imagine why she has to take them) Actually those are to taper off--had a lot in the hospital--and can't go off them cold turkey.

She's SO glad to be home--and so am I.


27 May 06 - 09:14 AM (#1748438)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Donuel

Ron, congratulations on your successful rescue.


27 May 06 - 11:25 AM (#1748489)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

That's great news, Ron: Give Jan our love... we'll keep you both in prayer.

And Jan must be so proud! It sounds like she has more RBIs than Barry Bonds.

Way to go, Jan!

Jerry


27 May 06 - 07:17 PM (#1748788)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sounds like the kitchen Klatch could use a vacation... Don't hear much from ebbie these days, and Elmer is off somewhere stalking the WereHare. Anybody seen Wallace and Gromit and The Curse Of The WereHare? That soudns like just what I need tonight. I could use a few laughs, myself.

You know, it's funny to think of it but we all need vacations, even after we're retired and it would seem like life is just one endless vacation. But sometimes, it's just important to step away from all the daily grind when it becomes larger than life. That's what we'll be doing this Friday. I've tucked the Gospel Messengers away for the summer, and after the first weekend in July, I'll be free of any commitments to both of the male choruses that I sing in. I sense the strong need for stepping back in many of the folks here on the Cat, and in my non-cyber life as well.

When you can't step back, sit down and have a cup of coffee...

Jerry


27 May 06 - 10:14 PM (#1748833)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Aw, Jerry don't leave us (until June anyway, when you had said you would). Obviously it can't be a one-man show. But I'm sure there are folks around who'd drop in once in a while. Now that Jan's out of the hospital, I should have more time, certainly.

Now here's a little story about the Net and music. I was thinking of checking Mudcat since it's probably too late for Saturday Night at the Movies--(Jan and I like to watch a DVD around now--especially for the extras.). Anyway, I was looking for music to check Mudcat by--I check classical stations since it's not easy to write sensibly when I listen to vocal music--I get easily distracted. Making sense is a goal of mine on Mudcat--not that I always make it.

So I was checking classical stations on the Net and the first one was doing an opera. Definitely not what I was looking for. So I tried the next one--(Charlie Baum had told me about)--VPR.

But what came out?---doo wop!!!--and what's more, nonsense doo-wop. An hour of nonsense on a show called "My Place". Great stuff!!! I heard about the Rivingtons, who evidently backed Thurston Harris on Little Bitty Pretty One. But more than that, they were called something else on other recordings. And both the Rivingtons and the other name (can't remember) were streets--one in LA and one in NYC.

But not only that, they also did Papa Um Mau Mau (which I think is a version of another R & B song. And, since that was a hit, they did (I've just learned)....................Mama Um Mau Mau. And, this DJ said, they also did The Bird (which as I recall, starts out as Papa Um Mau Mau.) (And I thought the Trashmen did The Bird--now's there's an earthshaking issue--who really did it?

Anyway, another song was Oo-Shoo (sounded like it anyway) by Shirley Gunter and the Queens (1954). Shirley Gunter was the sister of Cornell Gunter--who was one of the Coasters.

I only wish I'd heard the whole hour.

There's always more to learn about music. I can't get enough.


28 May 06 - 11:25 AM (#1749018)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron: Glad that Jan in home, and hopefully will continue to improve.

The times they are a'changing indeed. It seems like many of us in here are dealing with change (the most dfreaded four letter word for most people.) Last night I got a call from a dear friend of mine telling me that the Director of one of the Male Choruses I sing is i leaving... actually he is leaving today. The retired Director was still active at the church until about a month ago, when he died, so there is no musician or Director for the Male Chorus, or the other choirs. Talk about change. There are a couple of other changes taking place in my life that are disturbing, that I'm trying to deal with. And then of course, there are the health problems that strike close to our hearts.

But yesterday, I was driving in the car, trying to figure out what's going on in my own life right now, and The message I put in a Christmas card a few years ago came to mind.. "Step out on faith." And that's what we all have to do, many times in our lives. When you can't see where you're going, or understand why things are happening to you, you just have to suck in your gut, and "Step out on Faith." Gotta be a song in there...

For you doo woppers, I just bought a rare CD of 30 tracks of doo wop done a capella by well known groups who never released songs that way. It's a fantastic CD, with such familiar songs as The CLoser You Are by the Channels, Sunday Kind Of Love by the Harptones, Sh-Boom by the Chords, and My True Story by the Jive Five. There are even three cuts by the Moonglows, a capella. I think most of the tracks were recorded informally, as there is a party atmosphere in the background of several of them. Some may have been audition tapes. With one or two exceptions, the sound is very good. And, without instrumental accompaniment, the bass singer has to lay the foundation and is far more creative than they would be iaf the song wasn't done a capella. I'm behind on getting out CDs at the moment, and am busy getting ready for our trip, but you never know what might appear in your mailbox, someday.

Nah... I ain't leaving the table yet, except for our trip. As long as people stop by once in awhile, I'll keep the pot on. But, all good things run their course, in time.

Jerry


28 May 06 - 11:26 AM (#1749019)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Here I am, empty cup in hand. I'm in a lightened mood this morning.

My little Cairn Terrier had her ACL repaired on Wednesday and as of last night she's feeling better. Little children and dogs going through trauma that one cannot explain to them break one's heart.

She's pretty perky this morning.

And we have our misty rain back this morning. The last four or five days it's been hot - I think it hit only 70 degrees but 70 is hotter up here than it is down south (That may even be true!)- and bright and sunny. It isn't bad for a change but most of us welcome our normal weather's return.

So how is everybody?


28 May 06 - 12:37 PM (#1749046)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, ebbie: Good to see you. This is sounding more and more like a baseball discussion... first RBIs and now ACl's (a common injury that occurs in baseball players.) As long as no one strikes out in here..

Jerry


29 May 06 - 08:48 AM (#1749355)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Donuel

Jerry. the meaning of your card reminds me of the song 'Where would you be without love'.


29 May 06 - 08:56 AM (#1749361)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Donuel:

You sure you haven't been listening to my quartet? We do a song titled "Where Would We Be?"

Reminds me of a story a minister/friend of mine told me once. He was a young Pastor, just starting out in a small church in Minnesota. At his first bible study he asked each person to say which passage in the bible gave them the greatest comfort when they were suffering, and as they went around the room, many people recited the 23rd Psalm... "Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.." When the turn finally passed to an old farmer, he said that the passage that he always thinks of when he is suffering is, "And it came to pass.." He figured that if it came to pass in bible times, it surely would for him. :-) Never mind that "And it came to pass" was a literary equivalent to "Later, Dude." Or, "back at the bunkhouse," He took it as a promise..
No sense correcting him. Whatever helps you keep on keepin' on.

Jerry


29 May 06 - 10:30 PM (#1749800)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Jerry--

What's an ACL in baseball terms? (I thought I was doing well to drop in RBI--I was even able to explain to Jan what that is, even though I know very little about baseball.) The thing I know most about baseball is Damn Yankees. I sure remember hapless Senators (I mean the baseball kind)--and it made perfect sense the Senators would have to have somebody sell his soul to the Devil for Washington to win a pennant. First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League--as I recall.

And the Devil had the best lines (as the old complaint goes) or at least the best song in that show: "Those Were the Good Old Days"

"Like the hopes that were dashed when the stock market crashed"
"Those were the good old days"

I used to have that one memorized--another good one to cut lawns by--like songs from Camelot, Music Man and lots of Gilbert and Sullivan.


30 May 06 - 12:53 AM (#1749830)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Funny you mentioned Damn Yankees. It's one of my favorite musicals and I picked up a DVD of it recently. We watched it two nights ago. It's still a lot of fun. "Heart" is my favorite song, although there are several great songs... including the Devil's that you mentioned. Another favorite, with a great dance production is Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, Mo.

An ACL isn't an abreviation for ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union.) It stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament. A torn ACL is common in any sport where there is a lot of stress on the legs. It's common in football, too... especially among semi-pro teams of out of shape guys who work in an office and participate in local amateur sports leagues. My next door neighbor had one from playing football last year... only reason that I know about it.

The knowledge exchanged around a kitchen table may be of limited value, but it sure is esoteric..

Jerry


30 May 06 - 09:25 AM (#1750002)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Jerry
please keep the coffee pot on, it is the best part of my day, popping by to see who is at the table!Sometimes I just sit back and enjoy the conversation,and it is great to find out so much about all your lives the other side of the Atlantic.It is so good to take out a few minutes in a busy day, I can always put the pot on if you are out !!


30 May 06 - 10:46 AM (#1750057)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, billybob:

It's always nice to see you in here... and to find out what's going on over your way.

We had a great weekend here in Derby (Darby, to you.) We heard some great singing (and did some) Sunday afternoon and yesterday we had an impronptu family gathering at the house. I went out in the morning and bought some fixin's and baked up a double batch of baked ziti, which along with barbequed chicken, salad, garlic bread and watermelon made a nice, light meal. It's always good to have family here. Ruth grew up in Brooklyn, so her side or our family is all around us. Long ago, they become my family, too. Ruth is a wonderful cook but as you women know, after you've prepared yout ten thousandth meal, the pleasure starts to wear thin. I raised two sons alone so I like to cook, and so far no one has complained about the food. Ruth does at least as much as I do in welcoming guests, so we make a great team. There's no "his" or "hers" when it comes to our relationship. Just ours. Same with our family and friends. They are all "ours."

We also honored those who have given their lives in the endless wars we've lived through. We didn't want the day just to be a cook-out.

Jerry


30 May 06 - 06:27 PM (#1750292)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

My in-laws have been visiting, and tomorrow I drive them to Salt Lake City to get the train.

But over the long weekend, friends from Cincinnati came 'round as well as relatives from Carson City, Nevada. It was cold and rainy out, so we sat around the dining room table (seats eight with comfort) and got acquainted and re-acquainted. For two and half days.

I cooked chicken and hamburgers, we drank good beer (Moose Drool, Fat Tire, Polygamy Porter, and others), and in general had one heckuva time.

As for Memorial Day -- a retired Colonel, a former Sergeant, and a current Colonel were there.


30 May 06 - 06:54 PM (#1750307)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Good to see you, Rapaire:

Thanks for dropping by..

Back to one of our favorite topics, dentists!

Hooray for dentists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been having a recent problem with a molar, and went back in today to have it checked out. My Dentists squeezed me in during his lunch hour, because he really wanted to figure out what to do before I went on vacation. He spend about a half hour examining the tooth, trying probes, temperatures tests and looking at x-rays, and finally took one more x-ray to make sure he knew what he needed to do. After I was finished with the appointment, I went out to the desk to find out how much I owed for the appointment and the x-ray and he said that there was no charge. This is the second time that he's done this, and he always takes a substantial amount off his usual charge, for me. And he's not the only dentist I know who does good stuff like that, without seeking any recognition. One of them is a Mudcatter, in fact.

As best I can, I've partially re-paid my dentist by giving him music... gave him the Gospel Messengers CD, which he was very enthusiastic about and is going to play in his office.. It wasn't much to give, but I just wanted to show my appreciation for how kind he is to me. I have three more CDs of mine, so each time I go, I'll bring another one..

I know another Catter who has received a lot of free medical care with no public recognition of the Doctor's generosity. There are a lot more beautiful acts committed every day than we know about. In part, that's what makes them especially beautiful.

Jerry


30 May 06 - 10:03 PM (#1750378)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I went to the oral surgeon today. I'll have my implant stems screwed in on June 29th. I asked for general anesthesia, so I can get some sleep.
Then, 10 days or two weeks later, they can start constructing the new bridgework....


30 May 06 - 10:15 PM (#1750386)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Rapaire:

OUCH!!!! my dental work sounds downright pastoral... I know it will be good for you to get all of this behind you.

Jerry


30 May 06 - 10:23 PM (#1750388)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I hope so! I haven't touched my trumpet in months because of this stuff, and I miss it. The keyboard just isn't the same.


31 May 06 - 07:42 AM (#1750541)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle

Hi there folks!
Seems like this place is the last refuge in the BS section away from Northern Ireland.

any coffee going....?


31 May 06 - 09:08 AM (#1750587)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

There's MOAB, but the drinks are strange there.


31 May 06 - 09:33 AM (#1750595)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Weelittledrummer: How nice to see you. Yeah, the coffe pots on, and I have a nice tin box of tea that Colin Kemp brought over last year (and a second box from another Catter, so I am well set for my Brit friends if they find American coffee not to their taste.)

Mudcat goes in fits and spurts... there always seems to be some threads to get people riled up and feeling ornery. We're the tortoise, not the hare. Just ambling along and enjoying the scenery.
Reminds me of a song a friend of mine, Jerry Rau wrote... Driving In The Right Hand Lane. It was all about the rewards that come when you take your time and enjoy the world around you.

No need for speed bumps in here..

Jerry


31 May 06 - 08:35 PM (#1750869)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hip Hop sneakers?

I tell ya.

This afternoon, I went shopping for sneakers. At the mall. I just wanted some comfortable, mostly white walking sneakers for a reasonable price. While Ruth was checking something else out, I walked into a store that just sells sneakers. I was the only one in the store over 22, I think. They had TV monitors blasting away, showing the latest hip hop videos and the two "sales persons" were engrossed in watching the videos and looked at me as if I had toilet paper stuck on the back of my worn out sneakers. But made no offer to help. The few other customers in the store were all under 21, from the looks of them, and they were busily engaged in looking cool.
The sneakers were all wildly colored, with transparent panels in the heels and lights. They were sneakers a kid would kill for. And sometimes they do. The cheapest pair that I looked at were $100. I figured that the only people who could afford to spend that much money for sneakers were the parents of a 15 year old kid who had to have them to look totally dissinterested in everything. Like the $400 game systems that only parents of fifteen year olds can buy. Meanwhile, people studiously avoided eye contact with me, so I quickly left.

On the way home we stopped at a discount place and I found a pair of mostly white K-Swiss sneakers for $34.99. The sneakers I was wearing were the same brand and they were very comfortable and lasted a long time. I was really delighted to find them, tried tham on and they fit just like that old magic slipper. I knew I could walk down a deserted street at two in the monring wearing them, and no kids would jump me for my sneakers.

Remember when we were teenagers and the world didn't revolve around us (no matter how much we tried to make it?) Hey... in the 60's the slogan was "Don't trust anyone over 30." Now, I think it's "Don't trust anyone old enough to drink legally."

Imagine what it must be like to feel old when you're 25!

Yikes!!

Dad Gum!!

By Cracky!

Jerry


31 May 06 - 09:59 PM (#1750911)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Thanks for the nice dentist references, Jerry. We get some every now and again but not too often! Last Saturday I had a friend call me in a panic. His 10 year old daughter had been to a birthday party and while jumping on the trampoline she decided it would be a good idea to grab the safety net with her teeth! Bad Idea. One of her front teeth got ripped completely out. Mom panicked and asked for milk to put the tooth in. None was available so she put it in Vanilla Ice Cream. I wonder what in the heck the poor tooth was thinking when this happened! After sitting in the emergency room for nearly 2 hours, they called me in a panic to see what if anything I could do. I had them come right in to the office, I got her numb, put the tooth back in place and splinted it there with some tooth colored adhesive. Next day she auditioned for the lead in Alladin, and later on had a piano recital, both of which she was able to perform perfectly. A good feeling to get that kind of results on a youngster.


31 May 06 - 10:20 PM (#1750924)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

My dentist is so nice, Jimmy, that I pray for cavities. I bet your pateients do, too..

Jerry


31 May 06 - 10:29 PM (#1750931)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

MY dentist (or at least my oral surgeon) is nuts. But nicely nuts.

He's going to give me some general anaesthesia on June 29. This time he's going to use a RUBBER mallet, because the wooden one left noticable dents.

Actually, he's going to open up my gum and screw posts into the sockets he's already put there. Then I'm going to get a permanent bridge put in.

It's really amazing what dentists can do these days. My first dentist was incompetent, a public health dentist who rarely used anaethesia even for extractions -- he was later convicted by the state of Illinois of fraud, among other things.


01 Jun 06 - 08:19 PM (#1751384)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sitting here with a final mug of coffee. Ruth and I are flying to Madison, Wisconsin tomorrow morning and will be gone for more than a week. If I can get my hands on the internet, I'll try to stop by, but that's unlikely. You folks will just have to keep the home fires burning until I get back. Even though I've gone back "home" countless times over the years, this trip will be different. My Mother isn't really up to galivanting around like she has for so many years, so our visits will be shorter and less strenuous. I have a son who lives just 45 minuts away, so we may end up seeing him a little more, and do more with my two older sisters. We're also looking at some day trips on our own, just to make it a vacation, as well as a family gathering.

I don't know about your family, but mine has always been held together by my Mother. Even when my father was alive, it was my Mother who organized the picnics and gatherings. After my father died seven years ago, I became the Patriarch of the family. There wasn't even an election. But, I can't be much of a Patriarch from 1,000 miles away. Even in my Mother's advanced years, she's still the one who has organized a family gathering when we're out there... perhaps more than one. When she is gone, I think that my sisters and their families will function independtly from each other and family gatherings will only happen when Ruth and I come out. There's a natural passing of the guard. I expect that's happened in your families, too.

But, it will be good to gather one more time around Mom. I inow how much she will appreciate seeing her family together. There just won't be a kitchen table, anymore. Not one you can sit at, at least.

It will be good getting back and seeing how you all have been doing..

Jerry


01 Jun 06 - 08:28 PM (#1751389)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

My father died when I, the oldest, was five. My mother held things together for another 31 years, and then she must have decided that enough was enough and she went to join father.

We hold ourselves together now. A couple weeks ago I went to visit first my youngest brother and my sister and then the middle brother. We sat around kitchen tables and talked, we walked around backyards and talked, we sat around living rooms and talked.

Saturday my wife will arrive in Chicago, rent a car, and drive down to see our nephew graduate from high school. She'll sit around and talk with my family, and then drive to our friend's house in Indiana.

Talking keeps people together.


03 Jun 06 - 02:57 PM (#1752293)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Rapaire--

What kind of stuff do you play on trumpet--hot jazz, dixieland, orchestral? Have you been in groups?


03 Jun 06 - 06:43 PM (#1752394)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I play (when I play -- dental work has really done for me in the past few years) whatever comes into my mind and is to hand. Alone, usually, in my office in the basement. When I get my embouchre back and solidly in place I'll blow some stuff I make up as I go. I've never been good enough for even Second Chair, so I have fun instead.

I laid off from about 1965 to 1993. Completely. Had the horn and never picked it up. Then I took a notion to recover what I could, and ended up playing in my High School Band's 50th Anniversary Concert in 1995 along with others I played with Way Back When. We had a great time, renewed old friendships, caught up on each other's doings.

Here's an odd thing. When I picked up the horn and was playing, I knew the fingerings! I knew the fingerings for notes I rarely, if ever, played -- notes like G flat -- and I could play them, although I might be using an alternate fingering instead of the prefered one. Of course, I didn't and don't care.

All I can think is that the mind processes information even when, or perhaps especially, when you're not using it or likely to do so in the immediate future.


03 Jun 06 - 08:28 PM (#1752424)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

..Talking keeps people together.. My parents are both gone now, Rapaire, and my sister and my two brothers have kept the family intact. we all live in different places, but talk regularly by phone and meet up a couple of times a year.

I'm just back from Austria, where I've been listening ,talking, listening, talking, with my youngest daughter, her husband, friends & family for a month. Have been back in Oz for three days doing the same again here with my other daughter, her husband and my granddaughter.

but while I was away, I read this thread several times a week & enjoyed it so much. The only live music I heard was the local Carinthian all male choir. I saw them in the local church, where they sang hymns, gospel & some African songs (none of which i recognised), in three part harmony.

best wishes

freda


04 Jun 06 - 10:27 AM (#1752704)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Rap and anybody else--


That's interesting about your fingers knowing the right positions. I had something similar. I play viola--therefore had to read the viola (alto) clef. Last time I played viola in a classical setting, I found the alto clef came back to me. But when I tried to read it without having the instrument in my hands, I found I couldn't read it. (Of course now it's been so long I'm afraid I couldn't read it at all. But I suppose you never know.) These days I play bluegrass and country viola--which consists of making up the harmony as you go along. It's great fun--and amazingly well appreciated.

I really like the trumpet--everything from Dixieland to the Haydn Trumpet Concerto. And sopranino--ever play that? Evidently lots of Baroque music for sopranino.   And valveless trumpet. Can they really do all the notes just by changing the configuration of the lips?


04 Jun 06 - 10:55 AM (#1752716)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Yup. Lipping is perhaps 75% of brass work. Tonguing -- double or even triple tonguing -- is perhaps 15%. I could triple tongue in High School, but these days I'd settle for playing well enough to please myself.

My brother plays trombone, bass and treble clef baritone (euphonium), and can fake it on bugle and trumpet. As I said, I just play to please myself.

It's hard to describe the lip work. You "buzz" to set up the vibrations that create the note, and the amount of pressure, smallness of the lip hole, and other things create higher or lower notes.

Consider the bugle or the hunting horn or any horn without valves and with fixed tubing -- you only have your lips and tongue to create the notes, and yet you can achieve a very wide range of sound.


04 Jun 06 - 10:48 PM (#1753090)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

I've heard of double and triple-tongueing. I always thought it was impressive to just have enough air to be able to play a line on a brass instrument. I think Haydn has some triple-tonguing in his trumpet concerto--or at least that's the best way to play one particular line. As I recall, Maurice Andre is (or was) a great trumpet soloist-I think I've heard the Haydn done by him--and I think heard about triple-tonguing in reference to him.   Is it true that the French horn is even harder than the trumpet?

I always thought Garrison Keillor was being unfair in his "Young Lutherans' Guide to the Orchestra" when he said something to the effect of "Most people who perished at concerts were victims of long trumpet solos--and they were glad to go." Of course he wasn't very kind to violists (nor is anybody else, of course). He said something like "Violists have a dark moody streak--maybe it's from the realization,, after decades of playing in the orchestra, that nobody can actually hear them in the audience. You think you're hearing the violas, but it's really the second violins. Violists go out to abandoned parking lots and cook chicken on wire hangers and think of absconding to Mexico with a girl named Rosa."


04 Jun 06 - 11:01 PM (#1753097)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

French horns can play in treble, alto, and tenor clefs. In that respect I'd say they're a real pain to play! Trumpets usually play in treble clef. To paraphrase what used to be said about polygamy, "Isn't one clef enough?"


05 Jun 06 - 04:55 PM (#1753523)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST

Summer here and breakfast in the garden, ah this is living !


05 Jun 06 - 06:41 PM (#1753601)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Clarinets have their gnarly mouth positions too.

Honeys, I'm home! Heard some terrific live music at Wavy Gravy's 70th birthday bash. The best was Mickey Hart's smokin' drum group playing "Iko-Iko" with Joan Baez singing and dancing along. (She also sang "Happy Birthday" to Wavy Gravy while wearing a clown nose.) Also heard Ali Akbar Khan, now 84, play a luminous sarod concert accompanied by his two sons, and musicians from the great San Francisco rock bands playing John Cipollina's music on the anniversary of his passing at a party at the very man's childhood home.

Sigh. Now, back to the daily grind, with some occasional levity at the kitchen table.

Elmer


05 Jun 06 - 07:53 PM (#1753648)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Just got back from the dentist, a new crown in place, and feeling like not doing much more than typing on the keyboard.
I recently started wishing for a danceband in my town that I could sing with. Would love to be singing for ballroom dancers, those slow tangos and American standards and....
Well, even the dance teachers have to use recorded music now for their ballroom dances. Not a big enough town to have a live band at the Spring ball. I recall about 10 years ago that I went to the Valentine Ball and there was a nice dance band with a girl singer. I wonder where they disappeared to?


05 Jun 06 - 10:47 PM (#1753776)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey GUEST 4:55 PM--is that you, Jerry?


05 Jun 06 - 10:52 PM (#1753780)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Alice, are you saying that there are no more gigs for dance band singers anymore? What do you think would cause that? Are you saying that since sythesizers are so sophisticated these days, there are few gigs for actual bands, and therefore few for real singers?


06 Jun 06 - 08:39 AM (#1754025)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

I recall in the '90s there was a real stir among union musicians in Las Vegas. A town where a musician or singer could usually find gigs, the establishments were changing over to recorded music. It isn't just my little town that has a shortage of gigs for live music.


06 Jun 06 - 09:45 PM (#1754621)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Bands can't get a gig anymore. Even weddings have "disk jockeys" and recorded music.


06 Jun 06 - 10:26 PM (#1754643)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

I feel so Guilty for doing this...


06 Jun 06 - 10:26 PM (#1754644)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

SIx Hundred!!!


06 Jun 06 - 10:35 PM (#1754648)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

now that that is out of the way, Rapaire, we have the trumpet in common! I find myself sitting sometimes listening to a trumpet and looking down to find my right hand playing all the correct fingerings!   I love the trumpet and actually worked my way through college gigging in dance bands on trumpet. I played blackfaced minstral shows in the mid sixties and lots of dixieland also. I played French horn in college and studied with Samuel Ramsey in Silver Spring, Ron, who played in the Baltimore Symphony as well as a lot of Orchestral stuff around DC area.

I never felt I was very good on French Horn, however. It is an extremely difficult instrument to master as the harmonics are in a wierd place on the register of the horn so all the fingerings for treble clef area are a couple harmonics higher on trumpet and thus the amount of alternate fingerings and close harmonies makes it a difficult instrument to master.

We just rehearsed for an upcoming gig that wants a couple hours of music and my group is getting lazier all the time whern it comes to getting together to rehearse! It is frustrating to me, but we got through 24 songs tonight so a couple more run-thrus should get us reasonably ready.


07 Jun 06 - 08:01 AM (#1754859)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jimmy--

I know what you're talking about re: convincing people it's important to rehearse. As I said earlier, I had a sea chantey group, of 7 people. One year I couldn't convince them to rehearse even once, for our only gig. But it turned out it didn't make any difference--the gig went fine anyway--somewhat undercut my argument.   But sea chanteys are definitely a genre where you can leave some rough edges on.

Then over the weekend I saw a skiffle band of 12 people who also had never once rehearsed some of the songs they did (as a group). But again we (the crowd) just thought it added to their ramshackle charm. And I know they had done some of the songs before--just not that exact group.

On the other hand, man o man have we had a lot of Mahler rehearsals--last one tonight--then 3 performances (Mahler's 8th).


07 Jun 06 - 08:45 AM (#1754885)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I think you have to find the point where practice and performance balance. You can over-rehearse, just as you can under-practice. (Rehearse: to ride in a hearse again?) I've been to performances which were over-practiced and they were wooden and "dead." That balance point can be elusive!


08 Jun 06 - 12:36 AM (#1755519)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

I have to say I've rarely seen a performance so over-rehearsed as to be wooden (nor have I ever been in one--(as far as I know--admittedly I'm not an unbiased observer.) I've always felt we could have used more rehearsal--in virtually every concert. The Christmas concerts by Choral Arts in particular are amazing--we sometimes get new music 2 rehearsals before the concert. Now however I've been in the group long enough that even new music at Christmas is often music we did a few eons ago.

The Mahler is definitely one which needed all the rehearsals we had. Just figuring out which line to sing was sometimes a challenge to start with--there are 2 separate choruses plus a childrens' choir and soloists--and Mahler sometimes, for instance had the basses-- or basses from one chorus but not the other--drop out and come back in pages later. Then there are also divisions between 2 balcony choruses and a stage chorus. And we had to cut through a massive orchestra--loaded with brass. Fortunately the conductor immediately realized that--and told the orchestra to not assume that his expansive gestures --so all the singers could follow him from anywhere in the hall they were stationed--meant the orchestra should pump up volume. Mahler is very clear about which voices should predominate at a given time--and when the orchestra can come crashing through.

Evidently at the first performance there were 600 kids in the childrens' choir--that gave them a good start towards 1,000--and they did have over 1,000. So it's called the Symphony of 1,000. But we'll only have about 500--Jan says that's against the Trades Description Act (in the US, Truth in Advertising).


08 Jun 06 - 05:29 PM (#1755806)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Symphony of 1000/2 !!!


10 Jun 06 - 12:21 PM (#1756751)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Good live music is everywhere these days. I was coming out of the Foggy Bottom metro stop yesterday on my way to the Kennedy Center to sing the second of the 3 Mahler concerts when I heard a a lusty 4-part harmony version of "Battle Cry of Freedom". It was a group of about 20 young people--probably college age, belting it out. I stood there in my tuxedo beaming at them--and mouthing the words. They had all 4 or 5 verses memorized. Very impressive. Ethnically mixed--black, white, oriental,, Hispanic. Virtually a model for the UN. They beckoned me up to join them.

Nobody else was even stopping to hear them.

Then one of their number (not singing) came up and handed me a brochure about Lyndon La Rouche's crackpot latest wild-eyed conspiracy theory---this time, " Rohatyn: The French-Nazi Connection." And I knew there was no way I'd sing with them.   He wanted to talk to me--so I shushed him--told him I wanted to hear the singing.

So I told them the truth--that I had a concert to sing in about an hour and had to get to the Kennedy Center. Could they sing another one?

They did--they said it was a German piece--didn't sound German to me--couldn't pick out any German words--and I speak German somewhat--2 years in Germany---and I'd never heard it.

But it sounded good.

So as I left, I told them I may not agree with them politically---but they sounded great.

Nothing like good live music.


10 Jun 06 - 12:42 PM (#1756762)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

The International Choral Festival is coming to Pocatello this summer. Choirs from around the world will perform. Last time a choir from Estonia performed at the Library, and I'm trying to be a venue again this year.

See here for more info. (And come if you can -- it's worth it.)


10 Jun 06 - 11:03 PM (#1757128)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Rapaire--


Sounds great! When is it? Jan and I would love to come out West and see a choral festival. I couldn't tell from the link what the schedule actually was.

It turns out Chorus America is having some sort of convention in DC this week--and there were about 600 choral directors at our Friday Mahler concert. We got standing ovations every night--so they must have liked it on Friday.

Tomorrow I'll be singing bluegrass and country at the Deer Creek Fiddlers' Convention--and playing bluegrass viola--which consists of making up the harmony as you go along (which I can do on slow songs)--or throwing in a break.

Really looking forward to that.


10 Jun 06 - 11:07 PM (#1757133)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I'll hear on Monday if we're a venue and when it is. Usually in August, I think.


11 Jun 06 - 09:18 PM (#1757603)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey!

Thanks for keeping the kettle on. It's great to be back, and I just finished reading all the posts since I left. I must say, I didn't expect you guys to get so horny...

I haven't even unpacked yet, so I probably won't talk too much tonight. But, we had a great, great time... did a concert for Mom for her birthday for her and the Assisted Living Gang, enjoyed all of her other birthday celebrations, spent some joyful time with my youngest son who we hadn't seen in a year.. went to Old Wisconsin.. a large scale historic reconstruction of several early Wisconsin ethnic communities, and, and, and, and..

Got some interesting things I want to talk about but I must admit, it was a real pleasure to read all of the posts with me not here...

Glad to be be back...

Jerry


11 Jun 06 - 10:35 PM (#1757667)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Glad you're back, Jerry. The talk was interesting while you were gone ("horny", indeed!) but we missed the voice from your corner.


12 Jun 06 - 10:57 PM (#1758570)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Today's weather reminded me of just how different our climate - and our perceptions and expectations - are from that of most of the country.

It was very warm today. I walked home seven blocks (uphill all the way) and as long as I stayed on the shady side of the street I was OK but did not loiter in the sunny spots. In Juneau one does not often sweat but today was one of those days.

We had a high of 73 degrees.


12 Jun 06 - 11:09 PM (#1758575)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Ebbie--

Your high was about the same as ours today (DC area)--and we were really happy to have it. We have been incredibly lucky so far this spring--got a real spring--not just early spring segueing into midsummer about mid-May----as has happened before. I don't think it ever hit 90 in May this year--and it usually does.

Jerry--

Hope you can tell us about your trip soon--I'm especially interested in the old Wisconsin ethnic communities--I bet one of them was German--right?


12 Jun 06 - 11:28 PM (#1758587)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hi, Ron:

Old Wisconsin is the largest historic restoration museum in the country, I believe. Unlike most Historical Museums, it primarily represents small farms. Each small farm is separated by enough distance to that they feel isolated. You can either walk from farm to farm if you're adventurous, or catch a free tram that runs about every fifteen minutes. All in all there are 8 or nine ethnic communities represented. Because it is so spread out, and we could only spend a couple of hours there, we ended up seeing only a small portion of the farms. The German farm was one of the more complete, with several buildings. There is also a Danish farm (which we wanted to visit because of my heritage... my Grandparents were both born and raised in Denmark.) The most recent addition is an African American community. Not many people realize that there were freed slaves living in Wisconsin. There were two active communities, and blacks and whites got along reasonably well together.

All the buildings on the property (with one exception which was built from old photographs as an exact copy) are from Wisconsin and were transported to the site.

Like most historic restorations, there are workers in costume, doing chores, gardening and caring for livestock, as well as preparing food and makign crafts. Having been to umpty-billion historic restorations, and being Director of a Museum with an early New England farm for many years, it long ago ceased to be a novelty seeing eartly American resorations. The thing I found most different about Old Wisconsin is how distinctive the architecture was. I'm used to Sturbridge Village, Mystic, Hancock Shaker Village, Colonial Williamsburg, Plymoth plantation and the like where the architect is somewhat the same. I found the styles dramatically different at Old Wisconsin, and that made our time there more interesting for me.

Jerry


13 Jun 06 - 08:19 AM (#1758772)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

All is well... glad to be back, sitting at the table. I see that Elmer is back too, from his latest hunting exposition. I'm still enjoying the time I had with my Mother and family. Made me think about how young some old folks are, and the reverse. My Mother is feeling mildly irritated because she hasn't learned to use a computer. She probably felt that way the first time she turned on an electric light. When I did a concert for the folks in Assisted Living, she asked me to do a song that I wrote about her and her family when she was a little girl. I hadn't sung the song in at least ten years... probably closer to twenty. I never thought it was a particularly good song, but when your Mom asks you to do something, you'd better do it.

Starts out:

Throw all the kids in the old hay wagon, and point the horse to town
The stones are loaded on the wagon floor and the blankets all turned down
The night is cold and the moon is full, and the horse he knows the way
And it won't be long 'till we get to town, and we all can hardly wait.

CHORUS:

And over in the corner, there's a fiddler, and the kids will all want to dance
And though Mom says "no," you know she'll go, if you give her just half a chance.

My Mother's Mother was actually a very strict "hard-shell" Baptist who thought that dancing and card playing was a sin. As I introduced the song, I said that my Grandmother never danced in her life, but she danced up a storm in the song.

"And when he swung her 'round the room, you could hear those floor boards creak.
And you'd swear she's having so much fun, it will last her for a week."

I never knew my Mother's Mother, as she died when my Mother was 13.   But, she's remembered in songs. "And the bible my Grandmother bought her last Christmas, that she gave to my Mother, now she's passed it on."

Good to think of the old times...

Jerry


13 Jun 06 - 10:22 PM (#1759417)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry--

Thanks for the information about the old ethnic communities. Do you think the architecture was in imitation of the Old Country? (be it Germany or Denmark).

A great book I have read (Albion's Seed, by David Hackett Fischer) had the thesis that early British settlements in North America were made in large part by specific areas of Britain--New England being colonized primarily by settlers from East Anglia--as indicated by similar attitudes toward authority, toward education, toward religion,--as well as similar food, games, many of the same names of towns--including Dedham, Cambridge, and Boston--------and architecture.

He also draws similar parallels in the mid-Atlantic colonies, the South, and Appalachia.

A fascinating thesis--and very persuasive.


13 Jun 06 - 10:38 PM (#1759436)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

And probably true. Only it falls apart (except for certain instances) as you move West. Sure, there were pockets of ethnic and nationalistic influence -- Bishop Hill, Illinois for instance -- but they quickly became "assimulated" into the dominant, eclectic, culture. This can be shown by the words those in US used in the past and still use today: Okay, calaboose, lariat, dally, sauerkraut, rendevous, cache, to name but a very, very few. Simply looking at the local phone book demonstrates the ethnic and national diversity of this small city, with names like Schmidt (German), Martinez (Mexican), Smith (English), Jones (Welsh), Flowers (originally French), Homan (I don't know), Kasilimetes (Greek), Suenaga (Japanese), Gabiola (Basque) and many, many more. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the Indians who were already here!

The United States is not so much a melting pot as it is a stew, with each ingredient enhancing the other ingredients.


13 Jun 06 - 11:30 PM (#1759461)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

There certainly have been conclaves of ethnic groups in this country. There were many in Wisconsin. My brother-in-law is Polish and comes from Milwaukee, which had (and has) a very high concentration of Poles and Germans. When early rock and roll was sweeping the country, the top ten selling records in Milwaukee usually included at least two or three by Louis Bishell and His Silk Umbrellas. A friend of mine taught school in Neenah-Menasha in Northern Wisconsin and most of the kids in his class had Polish names that were almost impossible to pronounce.

One of the best folk festivals I've been a part of was the North Country Folk Festival in the upper penninsula of Michigan. They involved all the local old European immigrant communities in presenting traditional music dance, dress and food from their native countries. I spent a weekend eating food I'd never heard of before (or since.)

Jerry


13 Jun 06 - 11:40 PM (#1759463)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Much of it I suspect had to do with work. You wouldn't think to find a fairly large (percentage-wise) population of both Japanese and Greek ancestries in Idaho, but they were and are here. The Japanese came in the 19th Century to work on the railroad, and the Greeks were brought over in the 19th Century to work in mines in Utah; when the mines played out they too came to work on the railroad. Unlike the Irish and the Chinese, neither of these groups are usually thought of as railroad builders. Thus for many years Pocatello has had a Greek Orthodox church (it's on the National Register).

Likewise, Butte, Montana has the highest per-capita population of Irish ancestry in the US. They came to work the mines there. Many people of Finnish and Welsh ancestry went the to UP of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin to work the mines and in lumbering.


14 Jun 06 - 06:50 AM (#1759588)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Fischer's only allegation is that the original English settlements on the East of North America (in what became the 13 original colonies) were settled in this way. He does not claim the same thing obtains as you move West.

In fact, tracing the ancestry of presidents, he finds that the majority come from only one background--the Borderers (border of Scotland and England) --who have an exaggerated sense of honor, place much emphasis on the extended family, place not much value on education, and believe in solving problems with violence. George Macdonald Fraser makes a similar point on the first page of Steel Bonnets--at the inauguration of NIxon--with Johnson and Graham in attendance--representatives of 3 of the roughest Border families.


14 Jun 06 - 07:42 AM (#1759619)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The premise isn't all that unbelievable. In some ways, it seems like Catters have settled into their own communities in here.

Birds of a feather flock.

Jerry

Wow! Two posts before midnight!!!!!!!!!


14 Jun 06 - 08:46 AM (#1759661)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Yes, it probably does work for the East and the South. And it would work for the American Southwest and California, up to the point when settlers from the US moved in.

You can still see it in the architecture of "Mormon" settlements and today in places like Phoenix, Arizona where retirees and emigrants from the East replace the native vegetation with things they are familiar with -- and allegeries to the pollen of which many of them left the East to alleviate!

We like that with which we are familiar, whether it's appropriate to where we are or not.


14 Jun 06 - 08:23 PM (#1760254)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

and btw - happy birthday jerry!

8-D !!


14 Jun 06 - 10:13 PM (#1760321)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Gee, Jerry--we get a chance to wish you happy birthday on 2 threads. You deserve it on all the threads. Welcome back--hope you can tell we missed you.


14 Jun 06 - 10:23 PM (#1760331)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

It's great to be back, Ron: I'm feeling very enthusiastic this evening because I'm going to attend practice of another male chorus, looking for new Messengers. The Director is a friend of mine who just took over the Chorus and he thinks there are a few guys there who would be fine. Being a trio these days, with one member trying to deal with a lot of other pressures makes me feel vulnerable. As my friend Joe says, when we talk about the possibility of losing our third member at some point, "One monkey don't stop the show." But, I'm running out of monkeys. If that happens, we'll be down to two monkeys.

So, in a couple of weeks, I'll be out scouting for new monkeys...

Sounds exciting..

Jerry


14 Jun 06 - 10:30 PM (#1760340)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Happy Birthday to one of a kind!   jimmyt


15 Jun 06 - 11:12 AM (#1760675)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks all for the birthday greetings. So far, as anticipated, today is even better. I must be older, but wiser.

This is a burning CD day. I have a big backlog of CDs I've promised to people, and I seem to be in low gear, so I'm just enjoying burning, and then listening to the music after I've copied it. Listening to a Carmen McRae CD at the moment which will be going out to the Mother of one of my favorite Catters.

I like these slow days.

Jerry


15 Jun 06 - 08:24 PM (#1761044)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I cranked up the CD player and have been listening to the smokin' CDs Jerry sent (I guess that's what happens when you burn 'em huh?) and gonna bop till I drop to doo-wop--and jazz, righteous solo Jerry and also the Gospel Messengers.

I also recently found a great new (to me) CD called "Fathers and Sons" with Chicago blues "fathers" Muddy Waters and Otis Spann playing with "sons" Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay and Buddy Miles. It's sum good.

I've been wondering: How come some cultures have lots of singing, but no tradition of harmony singing? Anyone have any ideas?

Elmer


15 Jun 06 - 09:03 PM (#1761060)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Funny thing, Elmer, but there are a lot of folkies (or at least there were in the 60's) who discourage harmony singing. For a variety of reasons, none of which I really know. The folk scene (at least in Greenwich Village) was pretty much a solo thing, with some notable exceptions. I tended to be in that mode, myself as I did mostly traditional music with very few choruses. When I moved away from the Village scene, I started writing a lot of songs with choruses... most of my songs have choruses, and realized what a kick it is to hear people singing along. I was never into the Follow The Bouncing Ball approach to singing (although I remember cartoons that encouraged just that, when I was a kid.)

I've seen just the opposite environemtn in folk festivals and folk song societies, where singing along on choruses is encouraged. Some time, I'll pass along my observations on folkies singing along on black gospel... a humourous difference in approach.

Interesting subject, anyway.

Jerry


15 Jun 06 - 11:42 PM (#1761127)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

I understand that singing in choruses in folk music is quite a recent development in the UK, for instance. There certainly is a long tradition of harmony singing in classical choral music. Then I suppose there are cross-over genres, as it were--like Sacred Harp in the US and West Gallery singing in the UK. West Gallery singing, I understand did sometimes combine tunes from the pub (actually I think the tune from Rosin the Beau--I think that's how they spell it)--is used in Sacred Harp)--but West Gallery singing uses more pub tunes. The west gallery in the church was where the hired choir members sat--who sometimes slipped out to the pub during the sermon. At least that's what I've heard.

Anybody from the UK who can confirm, deny or otherwise elucidate this topic?


16 Jun 06 - 04:38 AM (#1761188)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ernest

Singing choruses may have been associated with heavy work (like shanties) or military (marching songs) or sometimes propaganda (esp. in non-democratic countries) - and maybe people didn`t want to be reminded of it....
Best
Ernest


16 Jun 06 - 07:51 AM (#1761266)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Interresting point, Ernest. Glad you stopped by. Harmony singing has been used to bring people together, whether it's in church, in war, at work or for political reasons. Over here, folk music in the 60's became predominantly protest music. Many years ago, during the days when I was bookly a folk concert series, I booked a bluegrass band. The audience was almost completely different from my usual one, and when I asked the audience to stop by as they were leaving and comment on why they never came to the folk concert, the two most memorable statements were that they didn't want to sit around all night listening to someone sing protest songs, and that folk music was for intellectuals and bluegrass was for working people. The first statement was much truer in the 60's, and ironically there is a lot of truth to the second statement. Maybe I'll start a thread about that... should stir up some interesting responses...

Jerry


16 Jun 06 - 07:59 AM (#1761268)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

"folk music was for intellectuals and bluegrass was for working people. " I've never heard anyone say that before jerry, very interesting. whatever, I love both.

freda


16 Jun 06 - 09:19 AM (#1761332)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Probably because it was collected and preserved by "intellectuals": the Library of Congress, the Child books, and so on. Then in the '50s and '60s it was popular with young people, many of whom were in college -- and the US has long had a love/hate relation with higher education. The whole thing is ironic because folk music came originally from the people themselves.

Bluegrass is just one of the variants of the music played by the folks, but it doesn't have "intellectual" and "education" splashed all over it.


16 Jun 06 - 09:42 AM (#1761353)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ernest

Freda: maybe people like you and me are working intellectuals... :0)


16 Jun 06 - 10:32 AM (#1761400)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Happy Birthday Jerry,
Reading the last few days conversations, we live in East Anglia a few miles from Dedham and also near Harwich where the captain of the Mayflower lived, his house is still standing.
In a little village called Grotton near Lavenham there is a lovely little church out on its own in the fields, the church has always been very popular with visitors from Massachusetts as the Winthrop family went from Grotton to the USA and I believe Winthrop was the first Gov. of Mass.
I believe many of the people on the Mayflower were from East Angia as it sailed from Ipswich in Suffolk before going on to Plymouth.
Certainly looking at the east coast of the US there are very many familiar town names from this part of the UK.


16 Jun 06 - 01:34 PM (#1761591)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I love harmonies, and I suspect that even when a song is sung in unison our ears and brains pick up the harmonies surrounding each single note.

I grew up Amish. Congregatinal singing in the Amish church is in unison and yet one of my fondest memories is of listening to the rise and fall of their songs; the tones ranged from bass voices up to the silver sounds of female voices, making a dense river that flowed over rocks and around bends and down the occasional waterfalls, rough here and smooth there...


16 Jun 06 - 02:50 PM (#1761634)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Incidentally, these songs were German lieder. To this day I love opera, especially if I don't know the language.


16 Jun 06 - 05:35 PM (#1761761)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I was musing about various Asian singing traditions, which, to my knowledge, don't include harmony singing. That's what got me started on this question. In some cultures people sang together, or in call and return, or in note combinations that sound atonal to western ears, but not in harmony. Harmony seems like such a simple concept and it is so pleasing to the ear that I'm wondering why it didn't take hold universally. I'm not anywhere near being an expert on musicology or music history, so I thought some of y'all who know lots more than me might have some thoughts or knowledge.

elmer


16 Jun 06 - 09:35 PM (#1761890)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Different cultures, different ways of seeing, hearing, and believing. Are the sounds of nature harmonious?


16 Jun 06 - 10:01 PM (#1761896)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Well, following that reasoning, there are a lot of sounds that humans make unlike any found elsewhere in nature. (I could make a crack about certain politicians, but I won't.) But maybe it's just as uncomplicated as you say, Rapaire: different strokes for different folks.

E.


17 Jun 06 - 12:17 AM (#1761952)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Ebbie--

When you say the Amish songs were German lieder, do you mean they used the melodies from the lieder but changed the words--since lieder are often about--what else--romantic problems?


17 Jun 06 - 03:00 AM (#1762009)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Not in the way we used the word, Ron. We used it in the sense of a hymn as in das geistliche Lied. Lieder,. to us, were basically church songs.


17 Jun 06 - 05:52 PM (#1762429)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

So, Ebbie, did you grow up speaking German--or a form of it? Did they speak it at church services? It's amazing the number of people who don't know that Pennsylvania Dutch is actually Pennsylvania Deutsch.


17 Jun 06 - 06:41 PM (#1762469)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Probably platt deutsch and not hoch deutsch.

I was in a store in Amish country once (this is the first time since 1971 that I have NOT worked in Amish country) with my wife and a friend. The friend was quite fluent in German, and she later regaled us with what the Amish "girls" (not yet churched) were saying. She was especially tickled when one of them made a comment about her and she answered in German -- the young lady was embarassed! (Never use a language that is not your own for making comments about others!)

(The same sort of thing happened to the father of friend in Sneem, Ireland -- the man's home town. He was sitting in the pub, quietly having a pint or six, and he overheard a couple of locals talking about "the yank over there" in Gaelic. Well...I leave the rest of story to your imagination. Suffice to say that the man is very fluent in Irish....)


17 Jun 06 - 07:01 PM (#1762481)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

It is definitely fun to do what your friend did, Rapaire. I even had the opportunity to do it--I had bought 20 Dutch Apple yogurts at the Super Giant (of course this is in the US). I love it--with cinnamon in the recipe. A little German girl behind me in line said to her mother (as I can recall) "Du, Mami, er hat 20 davon! (Mommy, he has 20 of those!)   So I turned to her and said "Stimmt". (That's right). She turned beet red.

There are lots of good reasons to speak more than one language--that's really a very minor reason--but fun.


17 Jun 06 - 08:38 PM (#1762528)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

It's funny how different cultures and congregations differ from each other. Where I grew up - in Oregon, in a small church - as soon as an English-speaking person came along we switched to English. Had we known the word 'gauche' that is what we would have thought it to not include them in the conversation.

Then when I was almost 14 my family moved to Virginia to a large Amish church. And there the 'jungen' spoke 'deutsch' as soon as English speakers appeared. (Strangely enough, a great many of the younger generation spoke English even at home to their parents; the parents spoke deutsch, they were answered in English. When my best friend eventually married and had 5 children they never taught deutsch to their kids. This friend and her husband left the Amish and went to a Conservative Mennonite church.)

Ron, your quote, as written, would literally be: "You, Mommmy. He has 20 of them." More likely she would have said the equivalent of 'See' or 'Look', Mommy. I can't find the German form of Look; we used so many idioms and colloquialisms that the 'hoch deutsch' sometimes gets lost. But the words we used was 'guk' (sp?), pronounced like 'look'.

At home we spoke the dialect- not Platt Deutsch. Platt is a separate dialect as is 'Schweitzer Deutsch'. My mother's family emigrated from the Alsace in the 1700s; my father's family from south Germany somewhat later.

One thing the Amish do is keep good records. My father's family is traced back to the 14th century when it was spelled differently but still recognizably. Many books have been written with the material taken from the records of the 'old countries'. Most Amish - ex or not - have these books and I'm no exception.

My family spoke our German dialect at home until we started caring for foster children (of whom my parents adopted two); after that we all spoke English at all times. (And no, I didn't teach German to my daughter.)

We spoke the dialect but read the High German. Nowadays, because the dialect is an unwritten language, speaking High German is easier.


17 Jun 06 - 10:50 PM (#1762572)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Ebbie, Uri Byler was someone I will always consider a good friend. Uri was also very probably the most intelligent person I've ever met -- and I've dined with Bucky Fuller, among others. Uri was the author of several books, and he testified in the Amish Schools case. He literally wrote the book(s) on Amish teaching, school rules, curriculum, and such stuff in Ohio. Another of his books was "Our Better Country," an American history for the Amish schools.

Anyway, this is a story I heard from another, and very reputable, friend named Frank, who was a long-time friend of Uri's.

Frank was sitting in a bar in Middlefield, Ohio, having a quiet beer at the bar when Uri walked in. Uri sat down, ordered a beer, and lit a cigarette. Then he turned to Frank and said, "Well, I suppose that this will be the last beer and cigarette I'll have for some time."

"Why, Uri? You have health problems?"

"No, no. They've just elected me bishop."


17 Jun 06 - 10:54 PM (#1762576)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Yippee! Jerry, my CDs from you came today! They're all in fine shape even though the the envelope looks like it was caught under a rubber tire, or maybe a conveyor belt. It shows that it was mailed on May 15 and it took until June 17 to get here. Now, that, I believe, is a record for me. The longest in the past, I think, was 11 days from Tulsa Oklahoma to here. I tell people that obviously the airplane wasn't full yet.

Anyway, I played the first one- The Gospel Messengers in Washington DC - three times before I got myself stopped. I love it. I love it. I've always loved black gospel music since I was a teenager in Virginia where black groups would sing in local white churches and everyone would flock to hear them.

One of my mortifying memories I have is of sneaking to the woods next to a black church and hunkering down so I could listen to the music inside. I can't imagine why I thought anyone would object.

I haven't listened to the 'Jerry Rasmussen Sampler' yet and am looking forward to it. I've got 'The Gospel in Black and White' on right now, and Roy Acuff is singing.

Jerry, thank you.


17 Jun 06 - 11:01 PM (#1762580)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hallelujah, Ebbie!!!!! One of the sled dogs must have stopped to have puppies. I'm glad they finally got to you, though.

Enjoy!

Maybe if I send you some for Christmas and mail them by Monday, you'll get them just in time...

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 02:35 AM (#1762629)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Oh, dear. I just know that was one of Rapaire's sled dogs. Ask him.


18 Jun 06 - 09:32 AM (#1762743)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Ebbie--

I was 2 years in Germany. I've heard a lot of German--in the Umgangssprache--and I had an intensive German course before I even went over there--8 months, 5 days a week, 6 hours a day .   I've aways been very interested in languages--that's why I was curious to know about the German spoken in Amish church services.

Germans, informally, do in fact express themselves as I have indicated (starting with "Du", for instance. It would be the equivalent of "Hey" in English. (As in "Hey Mom").

Another question for you--can you tell us anything about "rumspringen"-supposedly a custom whereby Amish teenagers can get a dose of the outside world--possibly innoculating them against it?    Is this so?


18 Jun 06 - 09:48 AM (#1762749)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Ebbie--

The little girl could have said, "Guck mal, Mami" (look, Mommy) (as you suggest)--but she could also have said--"Du, Mami"--which I believe she did. I suspect if we wanted to, we could confirm any questions about colloquial German with Wolfgang or another German Mudcatter.

It's dangerous to insist on translating literally from one language into another, especially in colloquial speech. In fact, the only direct German-to-English slang expression I know is "klar wie Schlamm" (clear as mud)--which I find very useful--and I've taught it to Jan.


18 Jun 06 - 10:03 AM (#1762756)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I dunno if it's a custom or not, but back in Ohio, the pre-churched Amish boys were hellions. Saturday nights they would come to town, get drunk, get in fights, and in general cry havoc. One bar had a specially reinforced section of ceiling into which the bartender could fire a .44 to quiet things down. When the bars closed the boys would either stagger outside or be dragged and men would come with a farm wagon and load 'em up. When the wagon passed the home farm gate they would either fall off or be carried off the wagon and laid in the grass (or snow). Sunday evening they'd go into town and collecter their wagons and horses from the stable where they'd left them.

Church services, especially if they were at the home farm of one of the carousers, could be interesting (or so I was told).


18 Jun 06 - 10:09 AM (#1762762)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Good stories Rap. Do you know the "firing a 44" etc. to be true?


18 Jun 06 - 10:16 AM (#1762768)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I was told that by the Director of the local historical society and museum village, who'd lived in the area all of his life (except for going away to college and the Army). He wasn't one to stretch the truth even a little bit (although he was known to deflate the pompous).

Because the Amish tend to deal with problems themselves and don't like officialdom, they rarely call the police. This leads to some awful stuff -- in Indiana, Amish men were beaten and robbed; in Ohio, Amish girls would be raped; and VERY recently a 67-year-old Amish widower in Ohio was blackmailed for his life's savings by two people who said they had evidence that he'd tried to solicit a prostitute.


18 Jun 06 - 02:53 PM (#1762963)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

My wife and I had a humorous experience at a historical society museum a couple of years ago. It is in Milton, Wisconsin where my Mother grew up. I knew the history of the town quite well and wrote a song about it. Milton is a fascinating little place... was a well documented stop on the underground railroad, has the first concrete building constructed in the United States, which is hexagonal, was founded by a teetotaler and member of the Cold Water Society and was originally named Paradise Found, in honer of Milton's Paradise Lost.
At the beginning of a tour of the Museum, they had an opening film giving a history of the town and while the screen was still black, someone was playing guitar and singing. Ruth said, "That sounds just like you!" And it was. I had sent them a tape of the song probably 20 years earlier and had never received any acknowledgment that they had received it. When I mentioned to the Curator that I was the one singing on the film she was very excited. They'd found the tape in a drawer with no indication of who the singer was, and just used it on the sondtrack.

For a town of just a few 100 people, Milton had a fascinating history. You'd never realize it, driving through the town. I wonder how many other towns have amazing stories to tell that are now forgotten..

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 03:00 PM (#1762969)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Jerry-

How about telling us about the Cold Water Society? Garrison Keillor talked about the "Cold Water Brethren" who believed in baptism only in cold water. Any similarity?


18 Jun 06 - 03:04 PM (#1762972)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

And Jerry, congratulations on your role in Milton. What was the name of the song?


18 Jun 06 - 03:10 PM (#1762978)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The Cold Water Society was a teetotaler organization which required taking the "Cold Water Pledge" never to let anything stronger than water cross your lips. The Founder of Milton was a member of the Cold Water Society and started the town as a Utopian community where all alchoholic beverages were banned. He deed a large park in the center of the town with the stipulation that there would never be a tavern in Milton. Some enterprising (and thirsty) residents eventually started Milton Junction... a suburb of a town with no more than three or four hundred people, so that they could have a bar. In the 70's, a young lawyer researched town records and could find no legal restriction on bars, a vote was taken legalizing alchohol in Milton, Milton Junction was assimilated into Milton and no longer exists, and someone built a bar called the Park View, overlooking the Park donated by the town's founder with the promise that no liquor would ever be consumed in the town.

It made an interesting song.

Last line of the song, in honor of the town's founder..

"If your worth your salt you'll hold on to your dreams
They're still the best measure of man."

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 04:17 PM (#1763034)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

"can you tell us anything about "rumspringen"-supposedly a custom whereby Amish teenagers can get a dose of the outside world--possibly innoculating them against it? Ron"

The only way I ever heard 'rumspringen' (literally, 'running around') used was in reference to young people who had recently started attending the evening events, signifying, basically, that they were ready to start dating. They might or might not be members at that point.

You'll have to keep in mind that my experience was not typical. In my Amish life I first lived in a small community, something like 20 families. In fact, my own father's friends were not the Amish people but 'English' or 'hoche' people. I do know that the boys of the community did some drinking and they went to the movies and I know that my oldest brother and his Amish friends did some fraternizing with non-Amish girls. Except for parental guidance - and worrying - no punishment was brought to bear onto the boys as long as they had not yet joined the church. After joining, they were subject to some serious strong arming, I understand.

I don't know if the same kind of thing went on in Virginia. The 'young folks' there were much more overtly pious than those in Oregon. They even ahd Bible study groups.

The very large Amish communities in Ohio and Indiana and to a lesser extent in Kansas, had/have a bad reputation among many Amish. My parents made a point of telling us that they would never relocate the family there.

I consider the Amish religion and its structure and its strictures to be a crime against its children. Any community that holds knowledge and 'book learning' in contempt is a community that has a tremendous potential for abuse and ignorant beliefs. The way of life is fine- my father was a horse trainer and we kids always had lots of riding horses and outdoor activities and many of my fondest memories revolve around them. But the religion teaches/taught strict obedience to the church rulings without recourse. If one rebelled against such a ruling one was considered to be rebelling against God. As one example, I wanted to be a school teacher - and I was told that Amish people don't become teachers, nor do they go to college.

Things have changed a great deal in many areas so I really don't know much about conditions any more. In Virginia, after I left, the Amish opened their own school and they earn high school diplomas. Many Amish now go on to college for a teacher's degree. Many of those who do, however, eventually leave their Amish church and join a more liberal church such as Mennonite or the Conservative Mennonites. It's hard to convince someone who has been exposed to other views that Jesus abhorred car ownership.

Believe me, there are many, many different degrees of Amish life. To this day I can tell you if an Amish woman is from Pennsylvania (Lancaster or Somerset County) or Ohio (Geauga or Holmes County) or Indiana, just by seeing the style of headcovering. and the 'halsduch', (literally, 'neckcloth') a kind of self-material chest covering.

I have many cousins scattered across the country, primarily in Michigan, Indiana, Kansas and Iowa but I rarely see any, more than every ten years or so.


18 Jun 06 - 05:28 PM (#1763112)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Rapaire, I missed your post above about Uri Byler. So far as I know, he's not a relative of mine- although I have cousins, living in Kentucky, named Byler.

Depending on the church, smoking is sllowed or prohibited. The Oregon church allowed it, the Virginia church did not.

Some Amish churches grow tobacco commercially, even though their church does not condone smoking. (Hypocracy is unknown among the Amish. *G*)

In Kansas I have relatives who make their own wine. And I had one uncle who kept some whiskey in the cupboard for 'medicinal purposes". My father scoffed at that, though.


18 Jun 06 - 05:35 PM (#1763119)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rockhen

Thanks for pointing me to this thread, Jerry...interesting reading the last few posts but I'm just at the listening stage, at the moment.... until I get braver!
Hope to maybe pop on and contribute before too long. I like the idea behind the thread...although I feel slightly wistful that we don't all have the time to actually call round on friends and park our feet under the table for a drink and chat, quite as often, as in years gone by. Typed conversations can lose a little bit of warmth or be misunderstood, more easily than face-to-face chats with the extra clues of body language and tone of voice.
Congratulations, though, at starting and maintaining a very good attempt at the kitchen table chat session! Please excuse me interrupting it!


18 Jun 06 - 07:01 PM (#1763181)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Ebbie, I worked for 12 years in Geauga County, Ohio and 16 years in Elkhart County, Indiana.

Uri Byler autographed his book "The Long Summer" to me with the words "the best librarian on the planet." I thought that was stretching it a little, but not by much! It's a fictionalized account of his decision to stay Amish -- the town where I worked had promised him, as a community, a scholarship for as far as he wanted to go in his education.

That book is sitting next to his real autobiography, "As I remember it" on my bookshelves, about eight feet from me.

When it's available, I buy "The Budget."

I told a library patron and a friend of mine named Yoder that I was moving to Elkhart, Indiana. He said, "That Amish country, you know." I said, "Yes, and you know, I can't hardly stand them folks." He took off his hat, stroked his beard, and said, "You know, I can't hardly stand 'em sometimes myself."


18 Jun 06 - 07:09 PM (#1763187)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

hahhah One of the best Amish traits imo is their love of laughter.


18 Jun 06 - 07:17 PM (#1763193)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Glad you stopped by, rockhen... stop in regularly. You never know what the conversation is going to be about.

Yes, actually sitting at a kitchen table would be far better than a cyber table, but this is still pretty good. The atmosphere in here is warm and friendly, and after more than 650 posts, we've yet to have anyone get offended (or try to be offensive.) Says a lot about the quality of the regulars in here..

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 07:18 PM (#1763196)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Whoa!!!!!!!!!!! I just made the 666th post... the Devil's post... let me outta here. I'll let our librarian explain why 666 is considered a symbol for the Devil..

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 07:21 PM (#1763197)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Quick! Quick! Under the table wit' ya.


18 Jun 06 - 07:25 PM (#1763199)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I give up. Why is it?


18 Jun 06 - 07:26 PM (#1763200)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Just checked it out. Scarrrrrrry! At Armagedon, the followers of the Anti-christ will have the numbers 666 written on their forehead or hand. If you check my photo on here, you'll see my forehead is clear, but my hands are hidden.


Hmmmmmm.....

Honest... no numbers on them..

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 08:04 PM (#1763224)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Peace

That's what they all say, pal.


18 Jun 06 - 08:38 PM (#1763248)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Get your kicks, on Route 666.


18 Jun 06 - 08:46 PM (#1763253)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, Elmer... but eventually you come to the toll gate..

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 09:58 PM (#1763281)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

True story: A woman named her son Damien (spelled that way, which I think is not the spelling of the character in the movie.) Around the time the first "Omen" movie came out, she got a call from his school. On the back of his head was painted 666. He denied knowing anything about it. His mother was asked some pointed questions.
(Eventually he confessed to her that he had in fact done it himself).

He had been a hellion before that too--but now he's a very successful businessman--and a generous person.


18 Jun 06 - 10:02 PM (#1763284)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

All I gotta say is if this thread every reaches 999 I'm not touching it with a ten foot pole. I hear the Devil likes to hang upside down by his heels like a bat. Maybe if none of us takes 999, jimmyt won't be able to sneak in here and get 1,000.

Jerry


18 Jun 06 - 10:06 PM (#1763286)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

1-866-666-6666 is the toll-free number for The Beast. Just in case you want to call or something.


19 Jun 06 - 12:17 AM (#1763353)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Tollbooth, Jerry? Ya gotta pay admission???!!! Here's a little ditty that sprung forth while washing the dishes (gotta clean up the kitchen table every 666 posts or so):

ROUTE 666

If eternal damnation is your quest,
Travel my way on the highway that's the best.
Get your kicks on route 666!

It starts with Armageddon,
And brother I ain't kiddin;
Then you'll point your lorry
Towards purgatory.
Don't be a no-show.
At Dante's Inferno.
Basking on the pyre
In everlasting fire,
Perdition,
Hades,
The pit
Is it!

If you take heed of this timely tip,
When you take that rapture-unready trip.
Get your kicks across the river Styx!
Get your kicks on Route 666!
Get your kicks on Route 666ssssssssssssssssss…..


19 Jun 06 - 06:23 AM (#1763487)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Good one, Elmer. Washing dishes is prime time for writing songs. I wrote Ten Pound Radio in completion (not that there's a lot to it) taped it, was playing it back and starting to sing harmonies to it, all while washing a single load of dishes. Admittedly, as a single man working a demanding job and raising two sons alone, my single load of dishes didn't resemble anyone elses...



When The Messengers sang at Dave Para and Cathy Barton's Big Muddy Festival in Boonville, Missouri, Ruth and I went out early, rented a car in St. Louis and took stretches of Route 66 over into Arkansas. There's a new umpteen lane superhighway parallel to the old route 66, and not all of it is still there, but we got off the superhighway every once in awhile and wandered along (relatively speaking) on Route 66, stopping to eat at a diner, and just enjoying an older way of travel.)

I grew up on Highway 51 in Wisconsin, and was talking to Ruth about it when we were visiting my Mother a couple of weeks ago. I used to fool around on a railroad overpass, over Highway 51, and I have a lot of memories about it. My Mother worked at Parker Pen, which was on Highway 51, as well. It's not quite as famous as Route 66, because Nat King Cole never sang a song about it, but Dylan's second or third album was Highway 51 revisted.

Then, I was plunked down last night after a very busy day of singing and family gathering and when I turned on VH1 they were talking about Rockford, Illinois where my youngest son lives, and where I was planning to retire until I met Ruth. The rock group Cheap Trick is from Rockford, and they just released a new album simply titled "Rockford." Not the smartest move commercially, but I thought that it was cool to do it.

Lucky they all weren't from Weehawken.

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 09:00 AM (#1763593)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Hey, Burr shot Hamilton in Weehawken. I mean in the geographic area known as Weehawken. There's no body part called Weehawken as far as I know. Weehawken is famous, at least among folks with a mind for trivia.


19 Jun 06 - 09:24 AM (#1763622)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thank you, Rapaire: I'll remember that the next time that I drive through Weehawken. There was an ambidextrous baseball pitcher from Waxahatchie who once pitched a double header in the minors, pitching one game right hand and the other left handed. He ended up being a very successful General Manager in the big leagues... gotta scratch my head for a minute to recall his name... seems like he was GM for the White Sox and his last name was Richards.

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 10:52 AM (#1763708)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST

Çool that you have travelled that famous road. I think Route 66 has been designated a historic monument.

Lots of towns where you wouldn't plan your next vacation have been lauded in song (Mostly starting with "I'm going to ______"): Brownsville, Newport News...

Heck, if Gary, Indiana can have a love song written to it, what can't?

Not to rain on the parade, but Dylan's album was Highway 61 Revisited...but who's counting?

Elmer


19 Jun 06 - 11:59 AM (#1763771)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yu're right, Guest... I must be getting old. And I have the album, somewhere... been a long time since I've played albums. At this point, I only use them to copy songs onto CD, and I'd need the trans-Atlantic cable to reach from my turntable to my computer...

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 01:13 PM (#1763826)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Highway 51, by the bye, runs from Northern Wisconsin all the way to New Orleans. It, Route 66 and Route 1 on the East Coast are (I think) the three longest highways in the United States.

It just ain't Highway 61. I still thought there was a blues called Highway 51 Blues, but maybe that was Highway 61, too. Don't ask me.

Now I have to check to see if Highway 51 runs through Dixon, Illinois. It's been a long times since I've been to Dixon, but I wrote a song about the town. Had the lines:

"Used to be was all I knew was Dixon
But Dixon never meant that much to me
When you're working five to nine
And you hear that highway whine
It makes you think the road can set you free"

Gee, and here I said I never wrote any songs that had whining in them.... :-)

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 02:26 PM (#1763876)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Why shouldn't you, Jerry? Tom Paxton did:

Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine....


19 Jun 06 - 02:39 PM (#1763892)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Working 'Five to Nine'? L O N G hours. orreallyshort.


19 Jun 06 - 02:51 PM (#1763901)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Glad you caught that one, Ebbie: It was intentional. Growing up in farm country, those are a farmer's work hours... up at 5 a.m. to milk the cows and fee the livestock, and often working until 8 or 9 at night.

Wrote another song about my Uncle Jim and my cousin Howard:

"Old Uncle Jim he said, said to his son, he said
Wake up Howard 'cause it's almost dawn
The snowdrifts have covered up the old hay wagon
And we got 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, 'casue there's no one else to do it
'Cause the sky is getting cloudy and it looks like snow"

When my youngest son Aaron was little he picked up on the line "So we better hop to it, 'cause there's no one else to do it," and when I'd tell him that we had to do something, he'd sing those lines in this little kid sing-song voice. It always cracked me up.

When I was a kid, we'd go out to my Uncle Jim's farm... or my Uncle Ross's or my Grandfather's farm and it was a real treat for me. I'd play around most of the day with my cousins, but it didn't slip my attention that My Uncle (and Aunt) would be working all day, well after the outside lights were turned on by the barn.

Farmers would consider a nine to five job a vacation.

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 02:56 PM (#1763903)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Peace

I can't believe I read this whole thread and really enjoyed it. Thank you, Jerry.


19 Jun 06 - 03:01 PM (#1763910)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks, Peace, and it's great to see you stopping by for a cuppa these days. It feels like a real kitchen in here.... people just talking about whatever comes to mind. Nothing earth-shaking. But then, most of our lives aren't earth-shaking, either.

Be sure to come back...

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 03:32 PM (#1763936)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I know that you are right about the long hours on a farm. That's where my life began.

There are good things about it too - excellent things, in fact. Not excluding the hour-long nap after mid-day dinner!


19 Jun 06 - 03:56 PM (#1763956)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ebbie:

When I go to visit my family in Wisconsin, I have to shift gears (and terminology.) Out there, they have breakfast, dinner and supper. No "Power lunch." Not even a "Power Dinner." Out here in the East, it's breakfast, lunch and dinner. No sense singing for your supper around here. They don't even have it.

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 04:10 PM (#1763964)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Calvin Trillin was on the radio this weekend, speaking from his Missouri roots that the motto of the entire Midwest is "No Big Deal." I can second that.

Elmer


19 Jun 06 - 04:18 PM (#1763969)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Since I got back from Wisconsin, I've spent a full week trying to figure out why I can't get power mower to run. Last night, just taking it easy, it occurred to me what the problem might be. Of course, it's been occuring to me what the problem might be all week, and every time I tried something to get it running, it didn't solve the problem. Today it did, and I mowed our lawn. It was almost 90 here today and my neighbor told me that it was too hot for me to be mowing the lawn. I told her that I didn't care if it was 500 degrees... it took me a week to get my lawn mower running again and I was mowing the lawn! Nice that people are concerned about you, though and I thanked her.

My motto which has carried me through life quite nicely (without too many disastrous experiences) is "I wonder what happens if you do this." That's been my approach to playing music, learning instruments, learning the computer and getting lawn mowers to run.

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 04:21 PM (#1763970)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

As we approach the 700th post, I feel the presence of jimmy. I thought I just caught a glimpse of him peaking out from behind the credenza.

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 09:06 PM (#1764177)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

That Jimmy! Opportunistic is what he is.

By the way, I have gotten into trouble in various ways in the utilization of that philosophy, Jerry. When I didn't know what I'm doing, I learned the hard way on the computer not to 'delete'.


19 Jun 06 - 10:22 PM (#1764225)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

If we learn by our mistakes, I should be a genius by now...

Jerry


19 Jun 06 - 11:17 PM (#1764253)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Jerry--

Your motto is "I wonder what happens if you do this?" LOL. Just magnificent! But I think I've seen cartoon characters with the same attitude--getting electrocuted, etc. We're all SO glad you're still with us!


19 Jun 06 - 11:44 PM (#1764266)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

At the risk of aiding and abetting those nefarious individuals who might possible be waiting to pouce on 700, I'd also like to say:

Elmer--that's just great! "If eternal damnation is your quest"..."Get your kicks across the River Styx". I wish I had inspiration like that when I did the dishes. My only muse is one of our cats--so I've written 2 parodies about her. But that would be thread creep--I think.


20 Jun 06 - 01:20 AM (#1764324)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I've got you now,


20 Jun 06 - 01:20 AM (#1764325)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

you wascally wabbit!!!!!!!!


20 Jun 06 - 01:21 AM (#1764326)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

700!!!!!!!


20 Jun 06 - 06:03 AM (#1764453)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Eat your heart out, jimmy!!

Jerry

There's always 800..


20 Jun 06 - 06:04 AM (#1764455)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

This thread has no topic, Ron. It's 99.4 100ths percent drift,as is.
Share a song about your cat, and I'll throw one on here too.

Jerry


20 Jun 06 - 12:47 PM (#1764766)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Thanks for the compliment, Ron. The lyrics I've posted on this thread are the only songs I've written in my life (with the exception of the opening number to a musical version of "The Scarlet Letter" involving a chorus line of tap-dancing Puritans). So puhleez do let us in on your cat parodies. This thread doesn't drift, it meanders in the manner of a long conversation.

Elmer

PS: to the tune of "That's Entertainment," sung in crescendo:

When a town
Finds a sinner among
And instead
Of having her hung,
Gives her an A
To wear over her lung,

(big flourish)

That's a scarlet letter!


20 Jun 06 - 05:48 PM (#1764983)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly

Hi, everyone. I've been sitting here quietly for a while, enjoying the company and the conversation. Thanks for inviting us in, Jerry. Ron's mention of his cat parodies brought back to my mind a cat song Dean and I came up with about the time we married,(over 20 years ago, now,)to the tune of "I Wish I had Someone to Love Me":

         Tonight is our last night together
         This cat and I surely must part
         This morning I found my best pillow
         All shredded and torn apart

      Chorus - I wanted a kitten to love me
            To cuddle and call him my own
            But now that he sleeps with me nightly
            I wish I was sleeping alone

There was more, but you get the idea. We had three cats living with us at the time; our bed was cozy, but sometimes crowded. It occurs to me that I don't believe I ever wrote a parody until I fell in with Dean, but together we produced quite a few. I wonder what this says about us, and our relationship? So, Ron, what were your cat parodies?

Carly Gewirz


20 Jun 06 - 06:19 PM (#1765002)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hi, Carly:

Glad you came in to sit down for awhile and join in the conversation... yes indeed, cats can take control of your life. In the long run you live with your cats. They don't live with you.

I wrote a children's song, each verse for a cat I knew (or owned.)

This verse was for my cat, Jennie:

"Old lady Jennie,
She'll kiss you for a penny
If you're feeling sad and blue
She'll even take an I.O.U."

My other cat at that time was named Barney, who I sometimes called Beeswax:

"Old Uncle Beeswax
Never paid his income tax
Got a letter in the mail
Threw him in the county jail"

The song was a lot of fun, as all my friends with cats wanted a verse written for them...

Jerry


20 Jun 06 - 07:30 PM (#1765087)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Wow, well if people are actually interested in mine (some may have heard them)

Background--Lucy is not exactly svelte. She also has some other habits which may be familiar to cat households.



I'll be seeing you
In every closet full of bags
In every pile of dirty rags
I love the way your stomach sags
I'll see you on Jan's head again
And when the night is through
I'll be trying to read my book
But I'll be seeing you


The other one is to the tune of "The Old Dope Peddler" (Tom Lehrer)

As the dawn outside is breaking
Comes a feline everyone knows
It's our old friend Lucy
Making noise whereever she goes
Every morning you will hear her
As you lay snug in your bed
It's our old friend Lucy
Scratching rugs and clawing your head
She rips the carpet daily
She scratches on the stair
She makes the choice real easy
"Feed me now--or lose all your hair"
Here's a cure for too much sleep time
Here's our daily pal----and pest
It's our old friend Lucy
Our beloved pet------more or less


20 Jun 06 - 11:40 PM (#1765232)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Ron, those are hilarious!

"I'll be trying to read my book
But I'll be seeing you."

That particular cat has been making the rounds. Thanks for the laughs. Well done!

Elmer


21 Jun 06 - 02:44 PM (#1765743)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I'm continually surprised by how perceptive animals are. When you are reading, how does a cat know to get between you and the book? If I were to stare into space, I don't think he would come get into my face.


21 Jun 06 - 03:51 PM (#1765821)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

My current favorite comic strip is Get Fuzzy, which centers around a self-centered cat named Bucky. (are there any other kinds of cat?) Check Yahoo Comics for Get Fuzzy and check it out... the strip really cracks me up.

Jerry

I used to have these dreams about being chased by one thing or another and not being able to run. I'd finally wake up and discover my cats sleeping on my feet. I finally had to lock them out of the bedroom at night, just to get some sleep.


21 Jun 06 - 09:40 PM (#1766102)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

well, I missed it!   GOod for you, ELmer! you da man!    I am playing jazz tomorrow night! woo hoo! something out of the keys of G, D and A!!!


21 Jun 06 - 09:44 PM (#1766109)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I think I'll play something in the keys of H, M, and O#. It's tough I know, but someone has to do it. It would be nice if the dogs didn't howl when I played, though.


21 Jun 06 - 09:49 PM (#1766119)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I locked my keys in the car once.. Does that count?

Jerry


21 Jun 06 - 10:12 PM (#1766145)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Gee it's amazing how fast conversation can move on (well, not really surprising if you can only join in once a day, I suppose)

But I wanted to thank Carly and everybody else for their cat songs and parodies (also thank Elmer for his kind words on mine)--and agree with Ebbie that cats do seem to know exactly where your focus of attention is. And if it's on a newspaper or book--well, there's no excuse for that. The cat knows your attention should be always on him or her--and will plant itself on your newspaper or book--thus attaining the goal. It works every time--you'll have to do something about the cat--and the chances are you'll pet it or feed it.

Totally brilliant.


21 Jun 06 - 10:16 PM (#1766147)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Well, Jimmy, to stay true to character I shoulda taken post #699 and let it go at that, but aw shucks, that keyboard and "submit message" button were just glowing and beckoning in the dark of night...so Fudd bagged his wabbit just this once, metaphorically speaking.

Had a cat once who was scared of the sound of the dryer, the sound of the ironing board being opened, the vacuum cleaner (aren't they all), and the sound of running water. Judging by the cat, any attempt at housework was attempted cat abuse.

Elmer


21 Jun 06 - 10:22 PM (#1766148)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

The keys of HMO, Rap? Sorry, but your request has been denied because of a key-existing condition.

E.


21 Jun 06 - 10:41 PM (#1766154)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Cat stories, ah yes..

My cat Barney was endlessly inventive. He and Jennie liked raw liver, and on occasion I'd buy a small amount and treat them. When Barney had his fill, I saw him walking into the living room on three legs, a piece of raw liver hooked on the claw of a front leg he was holding up in front of him. He walked over to one of my boats that was on the floor by the couch, looked me dea in the eye, and dropped the raw liver in my boot. And then took off like Hell.

From that point on, I always checked my boots before slipping my foot into them... like cowboys checking for scorpions. I was checking for raw liver.

Jerry


21 Jun 06 - 11:22 PM (#1766173)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

hahahha That is so funny. You gotta wonder...

My cat was 11 years old when I got him (one year ago exactly - I got him on June 21)- he was a one-owner cat whose family had discovered that one of their adopted boys was allergic to him. My point is that archy (There had been a Mehitabel but she came to a fittingly bad end, they told me) was a well loved cat with habits and quirks and foibles of his oen.

One of his habits is to lie on one's lap and extend his paws up to one's face to sleep. It's a very confiding gesture that charms the socks off one.

However from time to time he has hooked his claws into my face. One night he did that- just enough to hurt - and I moved his feet away. He did it again and I told him NO, moved them again and held them together away from me. He growled and wrenched them away and up to my face and held on.

This time I said, NO, and with one finger rapped his nose. With a yowp he jumped off my lap and off the chair. I hadn't had him long and I thought, Oh, dear, he's not going to forgive that.

But he didn't take even one step away. He stood beside my chair thinking deeply. Suddenly he turned and leaped up to my lap and murmuring under his breath he rubbed his head under my chin. When I petted him, he lay down and reached up his paws. Like velvet, they were.


22 Jun 06 - 04:03 PM (#1766863)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

My late friend Steve had a cat named Sam. Sam was a tough old alleycat who got along with Steve quite well. He even got along with other people if they fed him.

Every morning Sam would jump on Steve's chest around 7 a.m. and lick Steve's face to get him up. One day, just to see what would happen, Steve didn't awaken but laid in bed watching Sam through half-closed eyes.

Sam rubbed his head against Steve's face. Same gently touched Steve's nose. Nothing.

Sam sat back on his haunches, apparently in thought, and then gave Steve's face a full-force, claws out, swipe.

Yes, Steve awakened.


22 Jun 06 - 04:29 PM (#1766885)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Dog to cat: "My owner is sooo wonderful. He feeds me. He lets me sleep at the foot of his bed. He pets me. He brushes me. He calls me a good dog. He must be a god."

Cat to dog: "My owner is sooo wonderful. He feeds me. He lets me sleep at the foot of his bed. He pets me. He brushes me. He calls me a good kitty. I must be a god."

Elmer


22 Jun 06 - 10:56 PM (#1767137)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Well, Jan is THOROUGHLY hooked on Shakira--she's bought 3 CD's by her--and I'll have to admit, she's damn addicting--with hypnotic rhythms--and even a good sense of humor

I never really knew she could dance like this
She makes a man want to speak Spanish
Como se llama, bonita, mi casa, su casa

Yesterday Mendelssohn--Fingal's Cave, today Shakira--and I'll have to say it's not as easy to type with Shakira.

And Jan is practicing the Shakira moves right next to me--this is some wild girl. The same one who had 3 discs replaced and 4 vertebrae fused-nothing slows her down


22 Jun 06 - 11:04 PM (#1767143)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Sorry for the dramatic change of topic


23 Jun 06 - 10:24 AM (#1767498)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Not sure this is the smoothest segue from your last couple of posts, but I'm sitting here paying bills and listening to Thelonius Monk. My most recent musical project is a three CD sedt of my favorite tracks by my favorite jazz pianists. It's not a comprehensive overview of jazz piano (as my five CD set of rhythm and blues groups was.) There are some noticeable absences, like Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, and George Shearing, and minimal representatition by Oscar Peterson. Just my personal tastes. It's heavy on some of my favorites... well-known people like Dave Brubeck and Thelonius Monk and a wonderful cut with Count Basie and John Coltrane. But heavier still on Gene Harris, Claude Williamson, Marian McPartland, Barbara Caroll and Cyrus Chestnut. Like everyone else, my favorite music is scattered around on endless CDs. I love to bring them all together so that I can enjoy them...

and then share them...

I've discovered that when Elmer Fudd isn't hunting Bugs Bunny, he likes to listen to jazz. Soothes his nerves.

Jerr


23 Jun 06 - 11:17 AM (#1767572)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Glad to hear that Jan is doing so well again, Ron. I tell people that the really hard times are prepayment on into the future. She - and you - are bound to have some really great years coming up.


23 Jun 06 - 09:47 PM (#1767793)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

This is turning into what table conversation is really like--several different topics at once.

Hey Ebbie-what's the weather like these days up there? (And thanks for your words about Jan's health).


24 Jun 06 - 01:20 AM (#1767867)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Ron, glad Jan is up and shimmying.

Ebbie, I hope the weather is fine and your cat is still carressing your face. There's nothing like kitty love.

Jerry, jazz or no, my nerves have been shot since about 1956. But "Kind of Blue" helps matters. Or Ella or Sassy crooning sweet and lowdown in my li'l ear.

Good night one and all,

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Elmer


24 Jun 06 - 03:51 AM (#1767898)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Well, Juneau is in a temperate rain forest so rain and mist is not only expected but essential. However, we are doing some really odd things- In March our 'Taku Winds' (really strong, clear cold winds) lasted 6 days, when about 3 days is the norm, then in April we had some really hot weather (Not hot for 'down south', like Minnesota but hot for us) that took the temperatures into the mid70s and then we veered into lots and lots of rain, heavy rain instead of the mist that is most common.

And now not only is it wet but it's chilly. The highs have been right at 60, the lows at 45 to 50. This is not only the middle of summer but we are still in what normally is our driest weather. We always say that the July 4th is hot and July 5th brings rain. We'll see.

Yes, ol' archy is fine. I enjoy the feller.


24 Jun 06 - 03:15 PM (#1768205)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Working day shift, here at the kitchen table. Elmer, Ebbie and Ron work the graveyard shift.

Over here, it's pouring like crazy and has been all day. We had a wonderful weekend planned (all out doors) and everything is cancelled. Tonight, Ruth, Joe (our Best Man when we got married and the Gospel Messengers bass singer) and I were going to hear the 15 year old jazz pianist who performed with the male chorus I sing in. He was going to do a concert with his quartet, but it's been cancelled because of the rain. It's kinda sweet that he's doing full concerts with his quartet but isn't old enough to drive.

Tomorrow is Derby Day, here in Derby. It's and all afternoon an evening event in and around the town square, with music, food, music, food, crafts, and food. We lived here 4 years and this was the first time that we were free to go to it. Now, everything has been cancelled but the boat races..

So what's a fella to do? put on some music, burn some CDs for friends, have a leisurely dinner with my beautiful wife, put on a movie and have a romantic evening.

So, who's complaining? Sounds great to me... all the pleasures of life without having to leave your home...

Jerry


24 Jun 06 - 03:37 PM (#1768215)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Ok, here is another topic for the mix.

I've been having a recurring bad dream that jolts me out of
sleep in the morning. It is similar to those nightmares about missing a final
exam in school, and the stress is wearing on me.
It relates to my job - lots of contract paperwork, forms, etc., that have to be
filled out correctly for each customer I work with and then sent in to the
publisher I work for by Fed Ex every Friday afternoon. Each week's orders
that I've sold get sent at the end of the week, and all forms must be done
to the letter or they get rejected. So far, I've not had a single rejection
after 6 months of work and about 100 contracts, even though my co-workers have....
BUT in spite of telling myself positive thoughts about how everything is
fine and nothing is left undone, I have this anxiety nightmare every morning
before I wake that SOMETHING didn't get filled out... there's a form
UNDONE - yikes, I've not sent in paperwork that was supposed to be
finished! In the dream, it is a mystery form that doesn't really exist and
I actually feel disoriented when I wake up figuring out if there is really
a form I forgot or one in my imagination.
We are one week away from a deadline for an annual issue publication
and I know this is part of my anxiety.

Anyone have a way to stop a dream like this? I've been doing self hypnosis
before I go to sleep hoping that the positive will be implanted in my head
and the stress will stop, but to no avail.

Anyone ever go to a hypnotist for therapy?

Good news, I moved the pond fish and plants from inside the house
out to the little pond and turned on the pump/waterfall. That was nice
to get done today. Gorgeous weather. I love June, my favorite month
here. The cold is gone, it isn't too hot, and everything is lush and green.


24 Jun 06 - 04:20 PM (#1768235)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Alice:

Recurring dreams.... eccchhh!! Like you, I've had ones that kept coming back for years. Why are recurring dreams always nightmares? I'd say that if you at some point can remove yourself from the situtation that is causing all the stress that the dreams will stop. If doesn't seem to work that way... or at least the don't stop anywhere near fast enough.

When I was at Columbia University a couple of centuries ago, I dropped out of a German class after the first few weeks. I had decided not to complete my Doctorate, and was just filling out a teaching assistant commitment that I'd made until the end of the year. It made all the sense in the world to drop the class. It was Scientific German (I'd already had two years of German) and I had no intention of continuing in the profession I was majoring in. But, for several years after I had this disturbing dream that I was in the class and going to a final exam, with no possibility of passing it. In my dream, I was concerned about how an "F" would look on my transcript (which made zero sense as I had moved on, had a wonderful, fulfilling job and no need for a college transcript.) Some of these fears seem to be so deeply ingrained in us that it takes a long time for them to finally subside.

Actually, I probably wasn't afraid of failing the German test. It was probably a deep-seated fear of brocolli.

Sorry I can't give any sensible advice. I don't know if hypnosis can affect recurring dreams or not..

Have you considered cutting down on your brocolli?

Jerry


24 Jun 06 - 04:32 PM (#1768244)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Jerry, I've had EXACTLY that type of college nightmare, and even in my 50's it still comes back!
The dream is that I was enrolled in a class that I either forgot to go to or didn't know about the exam and will be getting an F on my transcript!
Weird how our high achieving personalities can cause us so much stress.

I find this job dream to be very much like the final exam/forgotten class nightmare. I want to do this job perfectly, but of course perfection is impossible. When the publication/contract deadline for the Bozeman directory is over, I'll be moving on to work on the Butte and Billings directories, which have months ahead before their deadline. Then, I'll start up again working on the following year's issue of Bozeman the end of this year when Butte and Billings finish. A cycle of annual books that will each build up to a stressful deadline. Did I mention I like my job? ;-) www.phonedir.com


24 Jun 06 - 06:52 PM (#1768318)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hi, Alice:

Bozeman, Butte and Billings? Maybe when you finish the B's you can move on to the "C's."

Yeah, there is something about the built-in pressure to succeed, based on the expectations of others. When I was at Columbia University, I was completely lost. I was the only one who didn't have a clear idea of what I should do with my life. Of course, no one agreed with anyone else. I had just started writing songs, and the very first reasonably serious song I wrote was called Rambling On My Mind. I didn't say that it was original... (alright, so it was trite..) I don't remember the whole song but a couple of lines really apply to what we're talking about:

"They said I had a great career
They planned my life for me."

The nice thing about having some years on you is that you reach the point where you can say to others (and yourself,) "This is about as good as I'm going to get. Sorry if I've disappointed you, but it was your dream, not mine."

Jerry


24 Jun 06 - 07:32 PM (#1768332)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Yes, but with the years on me..... why am I having that kind of nightmare again?

I just met last week with the top executive who is our district manager (my boss's boss). She is a grandmotherly type, as it turned out, and no pressure at all. Being the end of the canvass for this directory, she was here to meet with staff and help plan for the next one. I'm obviously the one who is being the hard taskmaster on myself about getting everything to be perfect. I think because I can design ads myself, which is not what most reps can do, I have that added burden of wanting it to look great, not just getting the contract done. Yeah, overachieving yet again.
When I was in college, I knew what I wanted to do. I started in fine art and finished in fine art, no deviation. THEN I found the art world was nothing like art school "painted" it to be.


24 Jun 06 - 07:50 PM (#1768337)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Amazing how many sites come up when you google "nightmares and final exam".

Found this idea to stop repetitive bad dreams.
-----
The raw emotions of repetitive, intrusive nightmares can be "tamed" by a simple, easily learned technique called Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT). If you have multiple recurring nightmares, select just one for the IRT process and use the process every night until the nightmare has been resolved; when that nightmare has been resolved, repeat the process for other nightmares.

1.Write out the text of the nightmare. Tell the story, no matter how frightening, in as much detail as you can remember.
 
2. Create a new ending for the nightmare story and write it out. Be careful, however, to make the new ending peaceful. Remember that the nightmare is grounded in emotions such as raw anger that have been provoked by a trauma. The point of a new ending is to "tame" the emotions, not merely vent them in violence and revenge.


24 Jun 06 - 07:52 PM (#1768338)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Wow. Found more on that same page.

---------
Sometimes people complain of having disturbing dreams with unpleasant images, despite leading a seemingly peaceful waking life. And so they wonder, "What is my unconscious mind trying to tell me?"

There can be several reasons for such dreams.

First, the dreams could be unconscious advice. Maybe in some way you are betraying yourself, forgetting something, or not fulfilling a potential. For example, persons on the edge of a midlife career change may have dreams about being in school and searching for a missing classroom, or they may find themselves in a class about to take a final exam while realizing that they completely forgot to attend the class all year. Thus the feeling of panic in the dream points to the real feeling of panic in their current life about the failure of their present career.


24 Jun 06 - 07:58 PM (#1768344)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

I think this dream of the final exam for a class you haven't attended must be extremely common.
We worry about failing.


24 Jun 06 - 08:33 PM (#1768386)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Heck, I have that dream all the time. Even now, years and years out of school. Usually I want to go to see the teacher of the class I haven't attended only his or her office door is bricked up, or I wander through the building (it's the same as it was when I was in college, not as it is now) and can't find it.

I figure that it's just my unconsious mind working something out. I have other recurring dreams, too.


24 Jun 06 - 08:42 PM (#1768394)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

Alice

For over 15 years I had occasionaly recurring dreams about an enormous black hairy legged spider leaping down on me from the ceiling while i slept. I would wake up terrified, unable to breathe, and made my ex check the sheets, bed, blankets and room for a spider before going back to sleep. The dreams were very vivid, one time i was so frightened i jumped out of the way, right on top of him, and refused to move. He had to turn around to get me off and sprained his back!!

Strangely, after a while the dream changed and I had three when the spider was in a cupboard drawer looking at me. In the last one, I looked back at it and closed the drawer. I haven't had one now for nearly a decade, and hope that was the last!!

freda


24 Jun 06 - 08:57 PM (#1768404)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

My recurring nightmares through like have had several themes.
The first one I can remember from the time before I was 5 years old. I would wake in the morning with the image of an oval, young, pale asian woman's face (I'd never met anyone asian until years later) and as I saw it in my mind's eye, it would age like a time lapse film, turning old and wrinkled. At the same time, I would get this unique taste/smell that went with the image. I was too young to talk about the dream at that time.

Since then it's been the school/exam nightmare.
Nazis executing me after I've tried to hide, but they track me down.
Mafia hit men executing me after I've tried to escape from them.
During my brother's time in VietNam, being in the midst of battles there in my dreams.

The arms of Morpheus can be a scary place indeed.


24 Jun 06 - 09:08 PM (#1768409)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

My mother had a recurring dream for years- of a wizened little man who peered at her from around corners wherever she went. Finally one night she "shot" him, went over and picked him up and he had shrunk to a white handkerchief with a bullet hole in it.

She said she never dreamt about him again.

Alice, your five-years-old dream sounds like a bleedthrough blast-from-the-past.


24 Jun 06 - 09:34 PM (#1768424)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

When I was very young, around six or seven, I'd have a dream in which perspective was out of whack. Close things were small, distant things were large, and even one finger would be larger than its neighbor. Very strange, but eventually it went away.

Fast forward to about 1985 and my eyesight was corrected to a close to 20/20 as possible. And again comes The Dream....

When I was six or seven I started to wear glasses, which corrected my vision as much as was considered possible (I had uncorrected amblyopia and one eye is far stronger than the other -- in fact, I'm both nearsighted and farsighted). When the ophthmalogist asked my in the mid-80s if I'd like to try for near 20/20 correction (and he explained the hazards to me), well, it was back to corrected vision and back to The Dream!

As far as I can tell, in both cases my brain was opening up new pathways for seeing AND for coping with what I was seeing. The brain is a wonderful thing indeed.


24 Jun 06 - 09:43 PM (#1768431)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

I just made a list of all the forms that need to be filled out in my job, six for each order. I checked off each one DONE, DONE, DONE, and hopefully this will set my brain at ease. I think I'll go over this checklist right before I go to sleep at night and see if it makes the nightmare go away.


25 Jun 06 - 12:31 AM (#1768484)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The flip side of all of this is that I've had some disturbing, recurring dreams that finally stopped, and I've also had some (now that I think of it) that were fascinating and enjoyable. I've also had major sections of new songs come in dreams. Without That Night, which is the tile of our Gospel Messengers came to me in a dream (which in that case was a nightmare that has never recurred.) I also dream in technicolor (which is apparently uncommon among men.)

My guess is that, as we slowly work out deep-seated problems in our lives, the dreams dry up for lack of anxiety. That's kinda the reverse of psychotherapy where you try to understand your dreams so that you can work things out in your waking life. I notice that I rarely have dreams about getting beaten up any more. One thing that I've done is to go back into dreams immediately after waking and rewrite the ending. I've also gone back into a dream-state seeking additional lines or verses to songs that began in a dream. That's my kinda song writing... Man, I could do that in my sleep..

Jerry


25 Jun 06 - 10:22 AM (#1768658)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

The re -written script technique worked!
I wrote down a different, positive ending to my dream, and read it over a few times before I went to sleep. No nightmare!


25 Jun 06 - 12:50 PM (#1768733)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

A waking hours concept... I heard an intersting comparison in the sermon at church this morning (which relates to believers, and non-believers equally.) The comparison was between a thermometer and a thermostat. I must say, I've never reflected at length on the difference between the two, or how it might relate to the way that I want to live my life. The basic difference is between being passive and being active. A thermometer tells you what the temperature is. It's of no use in changing the temperature. It just tells you whether you're comfortable or uncomfortable. A thermostat tells you what the temperature is and allows you to change it. A thermometer is passive and a thermostat is active. I want to be a thermostat.

Turn on the news and it's a thermomometer. It tells you what's going on in the world but rarely gives you any direction as to how you can change it. I know a lot of people who are thermometers, too. They're quick to point out what's wrong with the world (and everyone else in it) but they don't do anything to change it. Or themselves.

Mudcat at it's best has a little bit of thermostat to it. That's what keeps me coming back.

Jerry


25 Jun 06 - 02:00 PM (#1768783)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Cookieless Rapaire

No, Jerry. Your own body tells you if you're comfortable or uncomfortable. A thermometer simply tells you that you might find it comfortable or uncomfortable.

For example, I'm comfortable with a long-sleeved shirt in temperatures that cause my wife to wear a coat. A thermometer simply provides data.


25 Jun 06 - 02:37 PM (#1768816)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

You're right, cookieless Rap:

The principle still applies, however...

Jerry


25 Jun 06 - 02:49 PM (#1768828)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Oh, sure. I'm just a pedant, that's all.


26 Jun 06 - 09:05 AM (#1769273)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

When I was walking in the mall the other day, I saw a surly looking young man walking toward me, clutching his crotch. Black t-shirt... pants down to his butt crack. For some reason, I thought that it was funny. When I was a little boy, I'd always hold off until the last minute before going to the bathroom. There was always something far more interesting to do. And I, like so many other little boys, would clutch my (dare I say it?) penis to keep from losing control. When a little boy does that, the Mother always asks dutifully, "Do you have to go to the bathroom?" and little boys invariable release their grip momentarily and say, "No... not me."

Now, it's considered cool for young men to walk around clutching their crotch.

As the young man passed me, I was tempted to ask him "Do you have to go tinkle?," but he was bigger than me and looked like he was already in a nasty mood.

Or maybe I could have said, "They sell Depends (adult diapers) at the pharmacy"...

Some thoughts are better left unspoken. But around a kitchen table, it's alright..

Jerry


26 Jun 06 - 11:12 AM (#1769359)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I haven't seen anything to that extent, Jerry, but I suspect that I would be tempted to giggle.

Speaking of low, low trousers, I recently watched a teen run up the street ahead of me, his left hand clutching his pants and lifting them so that he could run. How cool is that!


26 Jun 06 - 11:46 AM (#1769381)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Then there are the shaved heads. I call it "The Eunuch Look."


26 Jun 06 - 11:59 AM (#1769387)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ebbie: I came very close to laughing recently too when a young man had to pull his pants up in order to sit down in a chair at a restaurant, and then when he got up, he pulled his pants down. I wonder how they stay up, in honesty. I guess that it's because the young still have waists... :-)

Jerry


26 Jun 06 - 12:24 PM (#1769406)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Yeah, a waist is a terrible thing to mind.


26 Jun 06 - 12:37 PM (#1769417)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Can you imagine 25 years from now when those guys run slide shows from the past for their families!

Someone said recently that he believes that the eventual - and inevitable - development evolving from today's droopy pants will be thongs, that tomorrow's cool kids wouldn't be seen dead wearing pants!

I just remembered- it was Dana Carvey, the comedian, who said that.


26 Jun 06 - 05:47 PM (#1769614)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

When I was a teenager people groused about the Beatles' long hair, boys not tucking in their shirt tails, and girls piercing their ears and wearing dresses so short their knees showed. I enjoy looking at teenagers and their outfits: kids trying out different identities, trying to be one of the crowd or to distinguish themselves from the mainstream, flaunting newfound sexualities, and all the sundry things adolescents do.

Elmer


26 Jun 06 - 05:48 PM (#1769616)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Reminds me of a song I wrote a long time ago, Elmer:

First line:

"You know you're getting old when you start to say
I don't know what's the matter with the kids today."

Jerry


26 Jun 06 - 06:48 PM (#1769647)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Please excuse me, but I have to brag a bit.

About a year or so ago we began discussing how to bring service to areas of the city outside of the library. Bookmobiles were expen$ive,
branches and stations have to be staffed and operated -- not to mention building them! The idea of small trailer, towable by the Library's Subaru station wagon, was conceived.

We discussed how to fund such a project, what it would look like, what
it would do -- and then the community got involved and things moved
quickly.

Rollout was on June 14. The three Rotary Clubs in town, the Portneuf
District Library, and other organizations are partners in the project.
You can see a picture of the Book Trailer at our web site
-- if you click on the picture it takes you to the Book Wagon page.

The Wagon is 8 feet long, 5 feet wide, and is towed by the Library's
Subaru station wagon. It will accomodate about 500 books on the shelves and of course more can be carried inside. Total cost of the project has so far been under US $5,000.00 -- the trailer sales company provided it at their cost and picked up the cost of larger side doors than we originally thought we would have. There is no connection (yet -- we're working on it) to the [library's automation system]; circulation is done by the paper & pencil method. On one side are books from this library and on the other are books from the Portneuf District Library. Both libraries staff the Wagon.

We are taking the Wagon to parks, the farmers' market, and similar
places this Summer; last Saturday it was at Riverfest. When Summer is
over we plan to take it to schools, nursing homes, the Senior Center,
the community recreation center, even up into the neighborhoods. Being small it can visit where a bookmobile can't go -- and it costs far, far less to operate.

Does it work? Well, since June 14, 495 people have visited the Book
Wagon in the parks, at Riverfest, and elsewhere. Seven new patrons have been registered at the Marshall Library. 15 volunteers have told or read stories. 65 children have signed up for the summer reading program.


End of brag time.


26 Jun 06 - 07:39 PM (#1769682)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Metchosin

Oh Wow! Congratulations Rapaire, what a splendid thing. Some of my best memories of summer as a child are centered around the visit from the Bookmobile.


26 Jun 06 - 07:46 PM (#1769696)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Very cool, Rapaire, job well done.


26 Jun 06 - 08:02 PM (#1769737)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Good job Rapman! You are thinking outside the box but inside the trailer!   jimmyt ( by the way I am one of the mudcat trumpeters also!)


26 Jun 06 - 08:21 PM (#1769780)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Way to go, Rapaire! Congrats and felicitations for spreading around one of the last bastions of the civilized world, not to mention the first amendment. (Now, you ain't packin' heat on the job, are ya?)

Elmer


26 Jun 06 - 08:27 PM (#1769792)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

When the day comes that I have to go armed to work, I'll quit and take a job shoveling out stables. But I must admit that there have been times....

As far as I know, that Book Wagon is the only one of its kind in the US. Small trailers of books ARE used in Africa, but they are pulled by animals. This has really cool possibilities for small and rural libraries -- and it was used by the Chicago Public Library in 1940. (Horse drawn book wagons were used in Maryland at the turn of the 20th Century, and the public library in Baltimore used one as recently as 1945.)

This might be back to the future -- I've always felt that we can learn a lot from the past that can be adapted to the present.


26 Jun 06 - 10:24 PM (#1769888)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Coming late to the table (again) I just wanted to add something to the recent discussion of young male fashions.

As you know, the Wall St Journal can always be counted on to grapple with the weighty issues of our times

In that spirit, on 20 June the WSJ had an article on an offshoot of the baggy jeans phenomenon: "Perpetrator Problem: It's Hard To Run Away In Falling Trousers" "Cops Say Baggy Jeans Trip Up Many A Thief"; Hey Dude, Buy A Belt"

My favorite incident:

"Ill-fitting pants aren't suited for jumping either, as Noah Donell Brown of Hendersonville, NC learned. The 24-year-old tried to leap over the counter of a Subway sandwich shop during a robbery attempt, but he stumbled and came crashing down in front of several startled store employees. Mr. Brown, armed with a gun, got up and fled into a nearby residential neighborhood as the police were notified."

"Police didn't have work hard to arrest him. As Mr. Brown tried to scale a picket fence in someone's backyard, he caught his pants, according to the police department. He was found dangling upside down, his pants at his ankles and tangled in the fence."


26 Jun 06 - 11:31 PM (#1769910)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Yep, the future definitely will be of thongs. They won't hang up on fences. lol


26 Jun 06 - 11:34 PM (#1769912)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Then someone will be able to say, "But officer, you have the thong, man!"


27 Jun 06 - 09:24 AM (#1770126)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi folks, just catching up on the conversation. I've been away from the table for a few hectic days, celebrated a big birthday last week,Saturday we had a bar b q in the garden for 100 people, the weather was wonderful and Billy and my son and daughter did all the food. I was on strict instructions to stay out of the kitchen! We had 35 family for lunch on Sunday so you can imagine all the catching up talk we had.
I had some wonderful gifts, the best from one of my cousins is 10 days in a fantastic hotel in Galway.. never been to Ireland, always wanted too, how lucky am I?We are planning to go next spring.My cousins wife is from Galway and has 7 brothers all who sing and play instruments, it should be a great holiday.


27 Jun 06 - 10:16 AM (#1770191)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, Billybob! And you must have been wiped out, afterwards. When my wife and I had our 5th wedding Anniversary (we're up to 8, now) we had about 80 people at our house. It was great, great day... very joyful. We renewed our wedding vows with our Pastor, and had the house and our marriage blessed by a wonderful Pastor up here where we live. There was a ton of food, and a lot of music. Even though several family members and friends worked very hard, it's impossible to stay out of the kitchen. No one knows where stuff is, and you end up working anyway. At least we did. Byt the time everyone rolled out, we were bleary eyed, but very happy. If we ever celebrate our 5th Anniversary again, we'll do the same thing! On our 10th Anniversary, we'll most likely go on a trip... either a cruise, or another trip overseas.

One thing I was wondering about sitting here at the table is what type of music do you find yourself listening to most often. I realize that this is a folk (and very secondarily blues) site, but that doesn't necessarily mean that folk music is primarily what everyone on here listens to. Funny thing is, I much mostly enjoy playing folk, by myself and with other musicians, or listening to it "live." I find that in recent years I rarely listen to folk music on records, cassettes or tapes, even though I have a large collection. As far as listening goes, jazz is on my "turntable" most frequently, followed by rhythm and blues and soul music, and then rock, blues, reggae and gospel (mostly the old stuff.) There are some country singers or groups I listen to on occasion, as well as some classical music, and folk, but they don't receive as much air time.

What about the rest of yuz?

Jerry


27 Jun 06 - 10:46 AM (#1770212)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Lately I've only been listening to music on the car radio. It's contemporary pop. A loop of the top stuff currently on the charts - my window into the current world of 21st century US culture. I think I burned out on listening to my own music collection.


27 Jun 06 - 12:32 PM (#1770295)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

At this moment I'm listening to a CD of my 'own'. My singing partner and I have been recording some songs that I will then put on a CD and send to our old singing partner who retired to Spokane, Washington, so he can play along with us. It's great fun and sometimes we are even pleased with what we hear through our headphones!

In about an hour today a musician friend will pick me up to go spend the day high above the town. He and his family in the summertime play for the tourists in the restaurant or gift shop at the timberline, reached by tram.

I'll be doing the recording of them today, and later make a promotional CD for them.

This is a talented family (fiddle, mandolin, upright bass, guitar that are passed around among them, and vocals) that consists of the parents and three kids, the oldest almost 15, the youngest 8.

This fall Paul is taking a three-month leave of absence from his work (he is a park ranger) and they plan to take their family across the country in an RV and playing gigs wherever they find them. They put on a good show. I'll let everyone know if they come into your area!


28 Jun 06 - 07:41 AM (#1771008)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I suppose everyone also listens to different kinds of music, depending on their mood. That's why it's a blessing to enjoy a variety of music. Sometimes I'm not in a banjo and fiddle mood. I need a wailing, or soulful sax. I also listen to different kinds of music at different times of day (with some glaring exceptions.)

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time late at night, listening to music with the lights off. If I try that now, I fall asleep. :-)

Jerry


28 Jun 06 - 11:23 AM (#1771193)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Although I love a variety of music, there are a few albums I listen to over and over again, like bedtime stories that children never tire of hearing: "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis, "Ella Fitzgerald Sings George and Ira Gershwin" with the Nelson Riddle orchestra, "Otis Redding Blue," "Susannah McCorkle Sings Johnny Mercer," and various Chicago blues artists from the blues revival of the 1960s.
Soothes my nerves. : > )

Elmer


28 Jun 06 - 12:24 PM (#1771254)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The two albums that do that for me, Elmer, are Brazilliance by Laurindo Almeida and Bud Shank, and Something Cool by June Christy.

I here from a reliable source that when Bugs Bunny wants to chill out late at night down in his hole, his favorite album is Spike Jones: For Music Lovers.

No wonder your nerves get Fwazzled!

Jerry Elmer


28 Jun 06 - 11:45 PM (#1771716)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Well, Jerry, as you might imagine, I'm all over the map on this one.

When I get up these days, I'm throwing on an old Prairie Home Companion tape (not that old--recorded off the radio this year).

Not only does it have "Early"--a song I've loved for years, and meant to learn--and now, thanks to this morning routine, have done so--but it also has a skit spoofing both Democrats and Republicans--and a bunch of other things.

"Lives of the Cowboys"--Dusty and Lefty come into Vermillion, South Dakota, and go into the Democratic saloon. Among other things, Lefty sings to the waitress (while she is filling out a form so he can flirt with her--(no flirting unless the person you want to flirt with has given her permission in advance and in writing). So Lefty is singing "Treasures Untold",-- (another song I've meant to learn for years--and so have just learned.) Anyway, a man-- "I'm a Democrat, I'm here to help"--comes up, takes the lyrics sheet, and pushes for changes in the lyrics to the song.

Instead of "And since I've met you just now/ I'll tell you of my love somehow"--("now that's a weak line", he says---he plumps for "And now that you're here by my side/ I can tell you I'm sure gratified" or "Since you are in my vicinity/ I appreciate your femininity." "Now, that's much better", he says.

And Lefty pulls out a pistol--"Don't ever change a writer's work without his permission"--and has to leave the saloon, of course. So he goes to the Republican saloon right across the street. In that saloon, in addition to Rush Limbaugh railing against the "Hillary crowd", and a life-size statue of Ann Coulter--"Hi sailor, I'm Ann,--wanna dance?" there is a jukebox--but the only song on it is Mr. Bush singing "My Way"

"And now the end is near--some folks are seeking my removal"
"We're midway through an election year--with 33% approval"
"I've done the best I could to stay on the Right side of the highway"
"But I'm poplar in South Dakota--that's up near I-o-way."

And Lefty's drink in that saloon sends him into a dream where, among other things, there's a pair of ducks singing Jimi Hendrix--(Purple Haze) (with appropriate duck imitation by the sound-effects man).

Humor and music--perfect to get me going off to work in the morning.

I don't want to ramble on forever--so I'll wait to talk about other music I'm listening to other times of the day.


29 Jun 06 - 01:05 AM (#1771740)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Jerry, speaking of Spike Jones, there is a recording he made during WW II called "Der Fuhrer's Face" in which the sputtering voice of Donald Duck is the voice of Hitler. I used to play it as a teaching aid in a history class.

I wrote to Disney Studios' public relations department on my school's letterhead stationary because I heard there was a Donald Duck cartoon that accompanied it. I was hoping they'd donate a copy to the school. Instead, a received a letter from their legal department written in legalese about how the recording was not representative of Disney's image because it could be construed to mock Germans, and forbidding me to play it in any public setting or else get sued!

Sheesh! Talk about the mouse that roared...

Elmer


29 Jun 06 - 07:37 AM (#1771894)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Elmer:

Your story reminds me of a close encounter that I had with D.C. comics. When I did my second album for Folk Legacy, we did a split photo cover of me in a suit, carrying an attache case stepping in to a phone booth, and standing on the other side of the booth with jeans, a flannel shirt and holding a guitar. The Title of the Album is "The Secret Life Of Jerry Rasmussen" (recently released on CD.) When my sons were young, they were very much into collecting comic books, and I collected some older ones myself, just to share the time with them. I have an old Superman comic and the cover is a photo of Superman sweating bullets, while changing in a phone booth (he'd get arrest for indecent exposure these days) with a shadowy figure in the corner of the drawing. The caption was "Who is the one man Superman is afraid of?" I thought it would be a great image on the booklet that Folk Legacy used to do with their albums and requested using it. I got a chilly, almost threatening letter back from DC denying approval, saying that "Here at DC, we are very protective of Superman." Wadda wimp! It wasn't like I was going to include a free piece of Kryptonite in each album.

I remember In The Fuhrer's Face well. Sheesh!!!!!!! Donald is hardly P.C. He's got the most explosive temper of any cartoon character, which was the funniest thing about him.

I bet Donald could beat the crap outta that wimp Superman!

Jerry


29 Jun 06 - 07:47 AM (#1771901)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Donald loses whenever he really loses his temper.

But yeah, political correctness has been carried to extremes and I include taking offense over historical issues. I'm of German ancestry and I've never been offended by "Der Fuehrer's Face" and neither were my parents or grandparents OR my uncles who fought against Japan and Germany in WW2. But then, being really super careful about possibly perhaps offending anyone anywhere maybe keeps corporate lawyers employed, off the streets, and out of both politics and trouble.


29 Jun 06 - 12:30 PM (#1772083)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST

Jerry Rasmussen wrote:

"I suppose everyone also listens to different kinds of music, depending on their mood. That's why it's a blessing to enjoy a variety of music. Sometimes I'm not in a banjo and fiddle mood. I need a wailing, or soulful sax. I also listen to different kinds of music at different times of day (with some glaring exceptions.)"

I feel the same way, Jerry, and so does Chris Wall in my favourite country song:

I FEEL LIKE HANK WILLIAMS TONIGHT
(Chris Wall)



Well, I could live my whole life, without a phone call
The likes of which I got today.
It was only my wife, said "hello" then "goodbye".
And told me she's going away.

Well I didn't cry, It was all cut and dried.
I hung up before I realized.
Turned up my stereo, I walked to the window,
Stared at the storm clouds outside.

Chorus:
I play classical music when it rains,
I play country when I am in pain.
But I won't play Beethoven, the mood's just not right –
Oh, I feel like Hank Williams tonight.

There was no explanation, not even a reason,
No talk of the good times we'd had.
Was it me, was it her, I don't know for sure,
And that's why I'm feeling so bad.

Chorus:
I play jazz when I am confused,
I play country whenever I lose.
Bird's saxaphone, it just don't seem right
No, I feel like Hank Williams toight.

Lately I've been thinkin', I just might quit drinkin'.
Now I don't know after all.
I just might stay home, get drunk all alone,
And punch a few holes in the wall.

Chorus:
But when I'm rel high I play rock'n'roll,
I play country when I'm losing control.
I don't play Chuck Berry quite as much as I'd like,
But I feel like Hank Williams tonight,
I just feel like Hank Williams tonight.


29 Jun 06 - 12:47 PM (#1772095)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

A great song, Guest! All those moods and associated music keep me going. (Although I must admit that I never seem to be in a mood to listen to Beethoven anymore.)

And then there's music when I'm driving my car. Acid Rock and Heavy Metal? Naaaaah. There's enough frustration on the road without adding to it..

Jerry


29 Jun 06 - 12:48 PM (#1772097)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Post 777... hey what about that?

Beats Hell out of 666... which I also did.

Save 888 for me..

Jerry


29 Jun 06 - 09:22 PM (#1772400)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Hear hear, Jerry. Much more auspicious than the 666th post. While we are on the subject of sequential numbering (gee, are we on that subject?) my stream-of-consciousness hath taken me to my very favorite winner of the Bullwer-Lytton bad fiction contest for the worst opening sentence of a hypothetical novel:

She wasn't really my type, a hard-looking but untalented reporter from the local cat box liner, but the first second that the third-rate representative of the fourth estate cracked open a new fifth of old Scotch, my sixth sense said seventh heaven was as close as an eighth note from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, so, nervous as a tenth grader drowning in eleventh-hour cramming for a physics exam, I swept her into my longing arms, and, humming "The Twelfth of Never," I got lucky on Friday the thirteenth.

--Wm. W. "Buddy" Ocheltree, Port Townsend, Washington (1993 grand prize winner)


29 Jun 06 - 11:26 PM (#1772436)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Here I am, late as usual--but I just wanted to add something to a recent important topic I feel has not been explored sufficiently--Donald Duck.   I always identified with Donald--in the Mickey Mouse Club show when he would cover his ears with cymbals to avoid hearing everybody else yell out "Mickey Mouse". (I suppose it's partly since we had cats--and I always thought they got a bad rap in most cartoons--and were always the butt of the joke--while the insufferably goody-two -shoes mice always won) (especially Mighty Mouse and Mickey Mouse).

Also there were some great Donald Duck cartoons during World War II--I just got a bunch of cartoons on DVD. One of my favorites has to do with Donald at the draft board physical. They hold up a red card labelled "Red" and ask Donald what color it is. He says "Red". So they hold up a blue card, labelled "Blue" and ask him the color. "Green" says Donald. "Close enough" says the draft board examiner.

After tomorrow I'll be gone for a week. We'll have a house-sitter--and maybe I can persuade her to sit down at the table. She's a talented musician.


30 Jun 06 - 08:49 AM (#1772683)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

When I got home from Ne's Chorus practice last night, my nerves were as fwazzled as poot Elmer's after a long day of hunting Bugs. And then it hit me. No, I didn't say "I could have had a V-8." I thought, why be fwazzled when I can have Something Cool. And no, I didn't go to the refrigerator. I pulled out my CD of Something Cool by June Christy. And it did the trick. My nerves were completely unfwazzled in no time.

An interesting side note. When the re-issued the album they added a lot of songs. Some were singles that had never been on an album and some were tracks from other albums. I know that it's a good sales gimmick and I liked most of the songs that they added. But, the intermixed them with the songs on the original album which was more or less of a "concept" album. It's like taking Frank Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning album, which was a classic of programming and sticking in a samba or two. Something Cool is just that... late night, reflective and lightly swinging songs that create a special atmosphere. So, sometime this weekend, I'm going to burn a CD with the tracks from the original album first, just to recover the mood, and then add the additional tracks they've included that fit the mood.

When I look through my albums I find that most of them have a few tracks I really love, and usually at least as many that I don't like.
It's a rare album where I love it as a whole piece. I'd probably have to scratch my head to come up with a half a dozen that have the consistency to make them a uniformly enjoyable listen. The other album I mentioned, Brazilliance is one. There are probably a few others for me. Not that they'd be necessarily that way for you.

Jerry


30 Jun 06 - 09:04 AM (#1772690)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Oh, and another thing...

I suppose that we all have strong associations with certain albums and that emotion comes rushing back with the first notes of a song.
I'm talking about something different than straight nostalgia... listening to Chuck Berry while washing your car and remembering the first time that you heared Maybelline. It's more the remembernace of a mood, or a time in your life where everything was opening up, or you were feeling lost... whatever the emotion, it has become a part of the music.

For example, I remember the album Something Cool from my early 20's when I felt totally lost. It seemed like everyone else had their act together and I was just faking it. I didn't know who I was or where I was going in those days and it was hard trying to pass for a confident young man. At night, when I put a few special albums on like Something Cool, or a Gerry Mulligan record and turned off the lights I could somehow just be myself and feel good about it. Life is never "figured out," and that's alright. The album transports me back to that state, and I am thankful for how my life has unfolded.
Life has turned out to be alright.

Jerry


01 Jul 06 - 11:23 AM (#1773534)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

NO, THIS THREAD WILL NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT!!!

Friendly conversation will make things all right.



(See you when I get back). There'll be a house-sitter at my place.


01 Jul 06 - 11:25 AM (#1773536)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

And other people dropping in, no doubt.


01 Jul 06 - 12:19 PM (#1773567)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Catch you when you get back, Ron:

I ain't going nowhere. And I know That the e-team (Ebbie and Elmer) will stop in from time to time, too. And, there's nothing wrong with putting on some music, getting a mug of coffee and sitting at the table alone.

I also expect that jimmyt is lurking, waiting until we get to post 800..

Jerry


01 Jul 06 - 01:33 PM (#1773605)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I'm not lurkin', just workin'. So many subjects, so little time.

Ron, about that ol' Donald Duck: His voice and bad temper used to scare me when I was little. Mighty Mouse is a character out of the Twilight Zone--I wonder what archeologists studying our era a thousand years from now will make of him. But I did love the times when he would try to whip the mouse masses into action by yelling, "Are we men or are we mice?" and they'd all yell back, "MICE!"

Jerry: I don't remember the first time I heard "Maybelline," but I definitely remember the first time I heard Chuck Berry's "Nadine." I was about 14, and crammed into the back of a station wagon with a group of people joining Cesar Chavez's picket lines for a week in the California grape fields. A woman sang "Nadine" in a beautiful, slow, plaintive manner, evoking a man wistfully longing for a woman ever beyond his reach. I was surprised at the faster tempo in which Berry sang it when I eventually heard the original version on the radio.

Elmer


01 Jul 06 - 02:15 PM (#1773628)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Carole King's Tapestry (which of course everyone in the world owns) reminds me of the summer of 1971. I was living alone and spent lonely days while my boyfriend at the time had gone back home to Chicago. I played it over and over, and now when I hear it, it still brings a hurtful memory. "Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore, it would be so fine to see your face at my door..." I would wait every day for the mail hoping I would get a letter from him.


01 Jul 06 - 04:33 PM (#1773683)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Alice:

Carol King's Tapestry is one of those unusual albums that has an emotional wholeness to it. Like a couple of albums that I've mentioned. Compiling Greatest Hits albums often destroys that wholeness. Somehow, it breaks the spell.

I just put together a June Christy CD for myself and to share with friends, and even though I included wonderful cuts from other albums in addition to Something Cool, I included every track from Something Cool and put them together as a body. The additional tracks that I selected kept the mood of the original album..

Jerry


01 Jul 06 - 05:13 PM (#1773705)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly

I'm splashing around and jumping up and down in a water aerobics class last week when the music changes to Simon and Garfunckel's "Mrs. Robinson," and suddenly in my head I'm back in my dorm room, singing along with the album. That would have been fine, but suddenly the woman next to me in the pool says, "How do you manage to sing and exercize at the same time?!" Now half the class waits for me to burst into song every session. They say they like it; it amuses them that I know all the words! If I drown you'll know the real story...

Carly


01 Jul 06 - 06:42 PM (#1773747)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for dropping by, Carly:

It's funny to see how the music that sounded so new and fresh when we were younger now pervades our commercials and excercise programs.

Too bad I won't be around to watch folks get all teary eyed about the stuff that's popular today..

Jerry


02 Jul 06 - 06:35 PM (#1774294)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

ANybody seen Jimmy on other threads recently? We're getting dangerously close to 800 posts. I know how heartbroken he will be if he doesn't make it.. :-)



It's been a nice, uncommonly quiet weekend here. I did have practice with one of the Men's Choruses that I sing in, Saturday morning. We're in final preparation for our Anniversary concert this coming Friday. But today was a breather. Time to catch one last large breath before plunging into the rest of this week. I have practice on Monday and Thursday nights, the concert on Friday night, the Men's Day picnic on Saturday (for which I have no greater responsiblity than eating) and then singing at the Sunday service. I think it's only fair that, with Ron gone I post a dizzying schedule of singing. Unlike Ron though, I don't have anything scheduled until our Church and Street Harmonies workshop in the fall, with the a capella doo wop group and the Messengers. And I hate to think of that as work..

Hope you all had a good weekend...

Jerry


02 Jul 06 - 09:25 PM (#1774393)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

The music that we enjoyed in younger days is now commercials?!?!! "Cops of the World"? "Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation"? "We Didn't Know"? "Don't Bogart That Joint"? "Bottle of Wine"? "Love Me I'm A Liberal"? "There But For Fortune"? "How Can I Keep From Singing"? "The Great Mandela"? "Bastard King of England"? "Roll Me Over In The Clover"? et al.?

Nah, I can't see most of the songs I enjoyed in my younger days EVER being made into a commercial.

On a more serious topic, my Father-in-Law died today at 90 years of age. A veteran of Normandy (D+21, I think it was) and the Bulge, he'd been hospitalized for 28 days at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD. My wife's on the way out now, I'll be going out later when more is known. The funeral will be the end of the week, probably; the burial in Arlington will be in a month or more -- I understand that's the backup now.


02 Jul 06 - 09:44 PM (#1774398)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Real sorry to hear that news, Rap: When Ruth and I were in Europe we visited some of the famous battle fields in Normandy. It was a sobering experience.

And then to think a Rockefeller had the gall to name one of their sons Normal D.

Well, yeah, Rap: I can think of some of the songs I liked when I was younger that will never be made into commercials, but there are plenty that have been.

You say you want a Revolution? Who ever woulda thunk..

Jerry


02 Jul 06 - 09:49 PM (#1774399)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Whoops: Norman D. Or was It Norman D. Rockwell..

It's late at night and my brain is fried.

Another song that will never become a commercial..

Jerry


03 Jul 06 - 01:24 PM (#1774856)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. From what I understand, it's not celebrated in England. Funny thing. Come to think of it, if we hadn't won the war here in America, we'd be English, and Bush would be rustling cattle and selling them to illegal immigrants down in Texas. And tomorrow would just be another day. We'd wander down to the local pub, quaff a few with the lads and sing some rousing songs. Maybe even with arms akimbo.

And there wouldn't be Walmart or McDonald's.

This is more complicated than I thought... :-(

Would my name have to be Jerome?


03 Jul 06 - 01:55 PM (#1774878)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Hieronymo. Or maybe Geronimo. As TS Eliot wrote, "Hieronymo's mad againe."


03 Jul 06 - 03:14 PM (#1774942)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I've got you now, you wascally wabbit!


03 Jul 06 - 03:14 PM (#1774943)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

You can't get away this time!


03 Jul 06 - 03:15 PM (#1774944)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Don't try to get away from me now, you wascal you, you, you...........


03 Jul 06 - 03:34 PM (#1774965)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

It would appear that 'Norman' Rockefeller was a cousin of John D's. Jerry. He was the son of Godfrey who was the son of William who, I think was John D. Rockefeller, Senior's, brother. (I got tired after awhile and stopped.)


04 Jul 06 - 11:44 AM (#1775698)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Ehh, what's up, Doc?


04 Jul 06 - 08:43 PM (#1776160)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

It's 8:30 at night (not that I have to tell you that,) and it's been a long, leisurely, thoroughly (mostly) enjoyable day. I just made myself a hot mug of coffee and thought that I'd sit down here at the table a few minutes. I guess the thing that I'm most thankful for tonight is that I didn't let a lot of dumb stuff weigh me down so much that I couldn't enjoy the good stuff. Wisdom according to the Three Stooges. I've been working on a project which I could normally do in a couple of hours, that's spun almost completely out of control because so many competence-challenged people have interferred. One of the great abilities of life is to be able to "set things aside." I'm not all that great at it, but once in awhile I do manage to keep my focus on all the wonderful things that are happening in my life, while "S**t Happens." If you don't do that, all these great times go slipping away, almost without notice:

"How many good times are taken for granted, and only remembered when they've passed away?"

Today I've been able to set the stoopid stuff aside and enjoy my son and daughter-in law and my wife. I could look around me at our home, and our small deck and back yard and believe that no one is as blessed as I am.

Chalk up one day when the good times were not taken for granted.

And now, back to more serious things... my mug of coffee that is sitting patiently, waiting for me.

Hope you all had a good weekend. Even if for some of us it came on a Tuesday.

Jerry


05 Jul 06 - 09:13 AM (#1776572)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi everyone
popped by to say hope you all had a good July 4th. No we do not celebrate it here in the Uk but Billy and I always meet up with an old family friend who lived in NJ for some years and is now back in the UK with his wife from San Fransisco. We had a bar b q and talked till very late last night.The weather is very hot and humid but we sat by the pool and finished a bottle of champagne and toasted you all over there.


05 Jul 06 - 09:27 AM (#1776597)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

It was a weird 4th for me, mainly because I had to deal with a barking/shaking dog reacting to constant booming fireworks. The neighbors for blocks around me really went at the noisemakers this year, starting on Sunday. Didn't sleep much Monday night or last night because my dog was barking every time a boom went off. I put a soft muzzle on him last night, but that didn't completely stop it. The fairgrounds is only about a mile from my house, and that is where the main city fireworks were held. Windows rattling, dog barking, went on til about midnight or later.
Sometimes I have a pot luck party at my house for the 4th, but this year I spent it alone. Worked some on paperwork for my job and generally felt exhausted from sleep deprivation.


05 Jul 06 - 09:41 AM (#1776605)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: *daylia*

Yesterday we celebrated both Canada Day and Independence Day by seeing 'Superman Returns' at the IMAX theatre in Toronto. Really enjoyed it! The Man of Steel has turned to be quite the indestructable 'Canamerican' creation, ever since 1933 when DC Comics lucked out on the talents of Canadian artist Joe Shuster and American writer Jerry Siegal.

I was impressed with the latest re-make of that story, not only because of the technological wonders of the (3-D) IMAX theater (amazing - you DO really feel like you are part of the action!) but by the enduring nature of human "male hero" myths.

I found the not-too-subtle images of Jesus used in the portrayal of Superman a bit lame (ie sacrificing his life to save us all, falling back to earth in 'crucifixion' pose after the heroic deed was done etc). And I noticed shades of Hercules too (the 'man-god' demoted to earthly existence and raised by an older, human 'foster couple') -- and even of Atlantis (the legend of a doomed continent/civilization whose technology was based on exploiting the power of crystals - like the story of the planet Krypton).

Anyway, just a couple heroic breakfast-table observations. Thanks for listening!

daylia


05 Jul 06 - 11:28 AM (#1776695)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

How nice of you all to stop by. Today is a beautiful, rainy day. Nothing on the schedule except to enjoy being married to a beautiful woman, and enjoying the day together.

I'll take it...

Maybe the jazz CD I ordered from Japan will arrive today. It will replace a long worn out album from the 50's which I haven't listened to in ages. It would be a great day to listen to those songs again.
And then complete two more jazz piano CDs that I have laid out.

As the song says, "I love A Rainy Day."

Jerry


05 Jul 06 - 12:17 PM (#1776752)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Alice, I once had a dog who was terrified by the sound of fireworks. Nothing could soothe his fears. He would hide under the covers in our bed and tremble and whimper for the entire night on July 4th and New Year's Eve. If I could do it over again, I would have had him sedated on those two evenings because it was miserable for him and us too.

This was my first July 4th alone. I have always loved having time to myself and found solitude to offer breathing room for creativity and contemplation. But somehow, when it becomes a constant and involuntary condition, its wide-open spaces can morph into small, dark corners once in a while. "Family" holidays can trigger that. So, sad to say, on a personal level I am glad this one is over.

Elmer


05 Jul 06 - 12:40 PM (#1776784)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, Elmer: Sometimes good memories hurt.

I know all about that...

Jerry


05 Jul 06 - 01:12 PM (#1776804)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

{{{{{hugs}}}}}


06 Jul 06 - 12:23 AM (#1777284)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Sedation for pets scared by fireworks was really covered by our local news a lot this year. It was on every tv news cast for several days leading up to the 4th. It definitely is a problem with all the legal fireworks in town and the "big one" the city does late at night. They also suggested putting pets in the basement where the sound would be more muffled. It certainly is painful for them to suffer through.


07 Jul 06 - 09:54 AM (#1778206)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Allright out there, you dogs can relax now. All is quiet heading into a busy weekend around here. Tonight is the 29th Anniversary concert of one of the Men's Choruses that I sing in, tomorrow REuth and I go to the Men's Day picnic and I sing with the Men's Chorus on Sunday. Then it's vacation time!!!!!!!! Whoopee!!!!!!!!!!! You'd think that being retired is a permanent vacation and I suppose that it is if you chose to make it that way. I know many people though who retire for a few months and start to go crazy because they are bored. Boredom is something I've heard about buy never personally experiences. No need for me to take a part-time job at Walmart just to get out of the house. Too many interesting things to do. More than a lifetimes' worth.

Jerry


08 Jul 06 - 08:39 AM (#1778852)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Slow days at the table. Ron is gone, Elmer's off hunting, jimmyt's off the map.. but I'll keep the kettle on and see if anyone comes back.

Last night the primary Male Chorus I sing in did our 29th Anniversary concert. It was a great night... a reward for several weeks of practicing three times a week. It's a push for me, as it's almost an hour's drive each way. But it all seemed worth it, last night.

Now, I gotta get some rest.

As I say, I'll keep the kettle on and the thread open until someone stops by. Slow days are part of the natural flow of things. They have their value, too.

Jerry


08 Jul 06 - 10:06 AM (#1778893)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Jerry, we just had an international choir festival in Montana, held in Missoula. I saw/heard some of the singing on our local PBS station. The South Korean choir in particular was stunning.   Here is a link to the list of choirs participating from around the world, Australia, Wales, Estonia, India and more.
http://www.choralfestival.org/2006/schedule.html
Read the About Us history of the festival.... choruses from all over the US and world. Maybe you should contact them about your chorus!


08 Jul 06 - 11:38 AM (#1778916)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Sounds fantastic, Alice: Only in Missoula. I've been in Missoula, ny the way. Many years ago, when I was in college studying geology. We went on a field trip out west. Two years ago, my wife and I were in Montana long enough to take a picture to prove that my wife was there. We were on our way out to Yellowstone and took a side trip just to go into Montana briefly. It's a beautiful state.
And all them choirs? That must be exciting!

The thing that I like about the Men's Chorus (Choruses) I'm in is that we don't sing from sheet music. Push comes to shove, we can do it... and did sing two "arranged" gospel hymns last night. But, 95% of the songs that we sing we learn by ear. I like the freedom of being able to sing without looking at a sheet of paper. Everyone to their own tastes, and singing without music limits the complexity of the arrangements. But then, we are not a Chorale. If we were, I guess we'd just be the O.K. Chorale.

Couldn't resist...

Jerry


08 Jul 06 - 11:48 AM (#1778924)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

ooooh, Jerry. But good. :)


08 Jul 06 - 01:15 PM (#1778949)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

The PBS program about the festival showed a group informally singing outside. I think it was footage from a previous festival. They were from a country in Africa, I think, and sang their national anthem. It was cool.


08 Jul 06 - 07:33 PM (#1779144)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

It was a men's choral group from Angola singing the Angola national anthem. Got to see a rerun of the progam this afternoon, documenting the 2003 festival. Click here


09 Jul 06 - 01:41 PM (#1779564)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi all,

Back from the beach--early. More on that later.

Great to see the old diner is still open.


Alice--

International choir festival--sounds great. As an enthusiastic choir singer as long as I can remember I'd love to see and hear it. And in Montana! A big plus. That may mean I can entice Jan to come too. She's not really happy, to be honest, about the pattern she sees--the accusation-- ( based purely on circumstantial evidence with no basis in fact--just a long track record)-- is that we never go anywhere unless music can be involved.

What she really wants to do is visit Glacier National Park--and I'm up for that too. What about distances? Is it practical to try to do both? Unfortunately I don't have unlimited leave--and she's even more conscientious about taking time off from her job.




Re: pets and the 4th. In a nutshell, that's why I'm home early. One of our 3 cats is really really skittish about loud noises. This 4th I understand there were both fireworks and an impressive thunderstorm. I had a housesitter for our trip--the niece of a co-worker.   She has a wonderful voice, and is an excellent pianist--(and hasn't yet started in the work world--needed some cash)--so of course she'd be a perfect housesitter. That's my logic--I suppose. And it's just possible that I should have considered other factors. Don't worry--Jan has already read me the riot act on this.

Well, anyway, our housesitter had no idea if Avery and Fern had been seen since the 4th or not. That's a problem.

So I had to come home early and find out the story. I really lucked out--when I got there Lucy was in a chair on the front porch, Avery was already inside, and Fern--the real concern--just came up around the bushes to the front door as I walked up to it. Maybe she recognized the car's motor--Lucy sure does.

So--auf Deutsch--Ende gut, alles gut--all's well that ends well.

And truth be told, I'm REAL glad to be home.


09 Jul 06 - 04:45 PM (#1779684)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Welcome back, Ron: Nice to have you stop by. I'm shredded today after four straight days of celebrating our Men's Chorus 29th Anniversary. But it was worth it..

Yeah, Glacier National Park would be very exciting to visit. I've seen most of the Plains states and the Rockies but never quite got up that far North.

Glad your kitties are fine. They do like to instill insecurity in their owners. And then when you come back they usually feign indifference.. :-)

Jerry


09 Jul 06 - 05:24 PM (#1779721)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hey Jerry, hope you get the time to tell us about the 29th anniversary celebrations--lots of concerts? Reunions? Stories?


09 Jul 06 - 10:27 PM (#1779936)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Let me tell you a little about the Men's Chorus I sing in, and our 29th Anniversary.

The first time I heard the Union Baptist Chorus sing I was blown away by their power and their sincerity. Like many of the Men's Choruses in black churches, very few of the singers read music, and far fewer are musicians. Even fewer still have ever sung in a choir.
Our Choir Director plays what I kiddingly (and appreciatively call) Store front church piano... the kind of piano you'd expect to hear walking by a small store front black church. It's very rhythmic and simple. Dan is not a highly trained musician... he was a High School Assistant Principal until he retired.

We learn the songs a part at a time, slowly building them together. Before we even sing the song, Dan has us read the lyrics together out loud. He wants us to absorb the meaning of the song, because in gospel, if you're not singing the meaning (in a church setting) then you're just doing it for show, and you'd best not do it at all. (I'm not talking about non-believers singing along on gospel because they like the music... that's fine and Dan and I would not have a problem with it.) Through time, Dan has helped to train the ear of the men, most of who have never sung in a group. He will play a chord on the piano and then ask each section of the Chorus to sing their note. It's a wonderful way to train the ear of someone who is not a natural singer. Some of the guys never learn to hear harmony, but many do come to hear it after awhile. On the rare occasion when we sing from sheet music, he will walk us through each part, repeatedly teaching us the value of the different shapes of notes, rests, etc. We're still not good sight readers (I am a little ahead of some but I am not a trained musician, either.) But, we eventually have learned some more sophisticated choral arrangements through a combination of our somewhat limited sight reading, and learning our harmonies by ear.

We learned 8 new songs (which is a lot) and sang five others that we'd sung before, for the concert. We had a guest performer.. a friend of Dan's from his High School Days, who is white, plays an acoustic Martin and sounds earily like Elvis doing gospel. At the concert Friday night, he did Peace In The Valley, and we were the Jordanaires..

After the program was over, I was asked to make a few closing remarks, as I chaired the program. I had thought a lot about what I wanted to say and I ended up putting it very simply. I said that the commitment of the men in the chorus is to "live what we sing."
And I'd have to say that's a true evaluation of the men, and of our Director. Because we learn most of our songs by ear and don't sing with sheet music or lyric sheets, the lyrics become a part of who we are. I often find myself singing a line of one of the songs we do, when I'm feeling overwhelmed or confused..

"The battle is not yours but mine, said the Lord."
"I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me."
"Have I given anything today? Have I helped some needy soul on my way?"

And countless others.

I have no desire to make this thread about religion, and I respect my friends who stop by and don't share my beliefs. But, I can't separate what I believe from how I live. If I could, I wouldn't be living what I sing.

Jerry


10 Jul 06 - 08:34 PM (#1780682)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

Every day you get up and decide whether you are gonna have a good day or a bad day. The rest is just random. Your day is totally within your power. jimmyt


10 Jul 06 - 08:57 PM (#1780687)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Alice

Ron, the festival is held in Missoula, which is near Glacier National Park.
The web site says it is held this year July 12-16. I think it is held every three years.
HURRY You might miss it!


10 Jul 06 - 10:39 PM (#1780719)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Welcome back, Jimmy. There is a lot of truth in what you say. Looking at it another way, to a great extent we get the life we perceive. The same experience can happen to two different people and one will only be able to see the negative side, while the other will be able to see the good, even in a "bad" day.

A long time ago, I started collecting little "Credos" that people I've known live by. They say a lot about the kind of life they end up having. I came across one yesterday from a woman I worked with and with whom I had countless lengthy conversations: "People who can forgive themselves aren't very deep."

Guess what kind of a life she had?

Jerry


10 Jul 06 - 10:47 PM (#1780722)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I've been looking through old correspondence and came across this. I just wanted to share it with everyone. I ended up using sections of this as a Christmas card one year:

LOVE THEM ANYWAY
Author Bishop Muzorewa :Former President of Zimbabwe

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
   Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
   Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
   Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow
   Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
   Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest folks with the smallest minds.
   Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
   Fight for some underdog anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
   Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you help them.
   Help people anyway.
Give th world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
   Give the world the best you've got anyway.

Jerry


10 Jul 06 - 10:56 PM (#1780726)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

On the other hand, Jerry, I read that the secret to a happy old age is a bad mamory. :)


11 Jul 06 - 11:55 AM (#1781080)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Jimmy:

This morning, I was looking at this day and found myself getting more and more irritable. Which made me think of your comment about being in control of whether we have a good or bad day. So, I made an attitude adjustment. Everything else about today is exactly the same... same problems and irritations. But my day is very different. I started to focus on all that I have to be thankful for and the beauty of the day, and this is turning out to be a good day. At least not bad for bad. All it took was an attitude adjustment.

And the best attitude is gratitude. Or is that a platitude, Dude?

Jerry


11 Jul 06 - 11:26 PM (#1781500)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

OK, Jerry and everybody, I have a question I hope you can help with.

As you know, my housesitter didn't really do a sterling job--couldn't even tell us which of our cats had been seen in days. So I had to come home early. But it didn't really bother me. And I still love to hear her play the piano and sing.

But now--Jan is so annoyed at her she says she never wants to see her again--i.e. she will never be welcome in the house if Jan is there.

So what--if anything--can I do about it.? As far as I'm concerned the more friends the better. And it's self-defeating to cut yourself off from somebody--without really good cause---especially a talented musician. (OK so I'm not an unbiased observer here.)


11 Jul 06 - 11:36 PM (#1781502)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Sometimes you just have to let things sit. It brings to mind a line from a song that I wrote (don't even remember the song anymore..)

Somebody told me that Time was my friend.

It may not help that you really enjoy listening to your house-sitter sing and play piano. I'd probably stay away from that statement for awhile, too.

Give Jan some time to loosen up a little and put things in perspective. I hope that she does. It sounds like your house-sitter is a friend you don't want to lose. And it definitely doesn't sound good when Jan says she doesn't want the sitter in the house while she's there. Might even be worse if your house sitter came and the two of you enjoyed music together when Jan was gone.

My major caveat is that I have messed my life up grandly, many times. I am no one to give advice. But seein's as how you asked, I didn't want the request to be ignored..

I hope that things will level out and you and Jan can enjoy the company of your house sitter together.

Jerry


11 Jul 06 - 11:54 PM (#1781512)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry-


"worse if you two enjoyed music while Jan was gone". BINGO. Jan always tends to read into my enthusiasm for musicians more than is there. But my music addiction was there long before I ever met Jan--and she knows it. Every symptom of addiction is there: Do you make excuses for not doing other things? Can you not live a day without it? Do you ignore what else is going on? Do you constantly seek out people who share your addiction?

Guilty on all charges--and a bunch more.


12 Jul 06 - 10:33 PM (#1782276)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Maybe you need to join MA, Ron:

Musicians Anonymous.

I think that it is very difficult for someone who doesn't have a hunka hunka hunka burnin' love for music to really understand what it is like. For many people, music is and always will be "background music." Kinda like the soundtrack of their lives, paid real low. Many people are permanently linked to the music they heard at the onset and fever pitch of puberty. That's why "Oldies" stations thrive. Once in awhile I'll meet someone who just loves music. In 57 flavors. My son Aaron is much that way, although he isn't quite as catholic in taste as I am. But, he's open to listening to a lot of music and not locked into a time frame when music usta be good. Like. My son Pasha, who is technically my son-in-law as he is from Ruth's first marriage is as close to me as anyone I've ever met in just plain loving music.

Years ago, I met someone who would become a very important friend, Pat Conte. Pat has one of the largest collections of ethnic folk music of the world IN the world. Pat loved to "turn me on" to exotic stuff I'd never heard... like Chants from the Easter Islands, or Fuji island accordian music (made the last one up, but much of his collection is as weird as that.) I told him that I was his "Unplowed Field." Anyone who loves music needs friends who are at least in some areas "Unplowed Fields." That what drives me to share so much music with people I really don't know well... like you, Ron, and many other Catters. I've been someone else's Unplowed Field and I'm just thankful that I can introduce others to music that they may not be totally familiar with.

It's hard for people who have a casual interest (or next to none at all) in music to understand that..

Jerry


12 Jul 06 - 10:42 PM (#1782284)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

I have an old college buddy coming by tomorrow to spend the night with his wife. Jayne and I have not met her and only seen him once3 in 38 years. I am excited and can't wait for the opportunity to renew an old acquaintance.

Brookwoods rehearsed this evening for a couple hours and annoying as it is to not rehearse enough, we sounded like we been playing every night! I love to play music. I am vowing to perform more this next year!   

Last week my 7 staff members took me to Six Flags, a roller Coaster amusement park, and made me ride everything there! It was great fun and although I didn't look forward to it, it turned out to be a hoot!

Carrie, my youngest, is in England this week and is going to visit a friend who is also a chef who has parents with a home on the golf course that the British Open is being played on this weekend. She is really looking forward to this, but most importantly, Carrie is one of those people who firmly believes in " do something. Take a chance, go out on a limb. She has lots of great life experiences but mostly because she puts herself in a position to " get lucky" by simply doing stuff. The other night she held the phone out thew window in TOrino Italy so I could hear the folks cheering for an Italy goal in the WOrld cup match. SHe has been working as a pastry chef in a castle hotel just for room and board this summer and is now doing a bit of last minute travel before returning to the mundane work world.

Life is a journey, not a destination. I hope you all have a nice night and hope to hear from you all tomorrow. By the way, tomorrow is Bastille Eve, so sharpen up your guillotines!


12 Jul 06 - 10:51 PM (#1782293)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Well, Jerry, Jan does like music--though I'd say that, like you, my tastes are far more wide-ranging than hers. She can't stand Sephardic music--I find it haunting. She has a low tolerance for madrigals. Doesn't like reggae as much as I do. Finds Bob Wills' interjections in his songs really annoying--I love'em. Not enthusiastic about Bulgarian womens' groups. I'm fascinated. Has a lower doo-wop threshhold than I do. Etc.

She does like "art-rock"--Emerson Lake and Palmer, etc. a lot more than I do.

And she's absolutely and totally hooked on CMT--loves country music videos, of all things-- and country music as on the radio now--which is really 70's rock under another name. And I like a good bit of it--at least the part that shows a sense of humor. Which even Toby Keith does, amazingly enough.

Fortunately, she loves to do duets with me. Unfortunately her throat is a problem for that
these days.

The problem with MA is that I suppose you have to actually want to change--and I'll have to say the will is not there.


12 Jul 06 - 11:08 PM (#1782308)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

I can appreciate Bob Wills, etc. and even the yodelling, even if it's not my cup of tea. I can appreciate Baroque art, Gaudi's architecture, Sartre's plays, and good rap the same way.


13 Jul 06 - 09:46 AM (#1782616)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Man!!! Your tastes are so catholic that you make me feel downright Protestant!!!!!!! I suppose a major part of the difference is that I am not a trained musician and didn't grow up hearing classical music or chorales. There are individual pieces and composers I explored and discovered that I appreciated, but my tastes in classical music are eclectic.

Bob Wills? Echhhhh!!!!!!!!

Let me tell you why. Music carries baggage. Some of it is good, and the music becomes an oldie for you. Bob Will's and Western Swing (and you can toss Lon McAlister in there too) will always be associated (for me) with the morning hog reports. The house I grew up in (and was born in) was very small. I didn't have a bedroom until my older sisters both moved out, as we only had two bedrooms. My bedroom as a teenager was directly off the kitchen and because the kitchen was very small, we had the refrigerator in my bedroom. And because my bedroom was very small, there was no way to have a door to close, because the refrigerator was in the way. Every morning around five o'clock my parents would get up to get my Dad off to work and they'd turn on the radio in the kitchen. It might as well have been in my bedroom. They played a lot of western swing and 1940's to early 50's country music on the radio, and when the morning hog report came on, they'd start with someone going Soooooooooooweeeeee!!! If you were awakened in the morning segueing from Bob Wills to the morning hog report, you'd understand why I can't really deal with Western Swing.

Or Lon McAlister.

Or shirts with simulated pearl buttons and little arrows sewed along the top of the pockets.

Eccchhh!

Brings me back to Back When I Was Young

"We were all much smaller then, and everything was bigger
There was a kid lived down the block, had a dog the size of Trigger
Our prairies all were empty lots, our mountain just a hill
And for a dime at the corner store, a kid could eat his fill

CHOREUS:

   And the three mile Crick was four miles long, back when I was young
   And I knew the words to every song, known to the human tongue

We'd listen to the radio, and drink our Ovaltine
Decoding secret messages with our Captain Midnight rings
And for a box top and a dime, we'd wait a month or more
For a hand-tooled belt that glowed in the dark, just like Lone Ranger wore

Cowboys all were honest then, their horses all were trusty
And when they slept out in the rain, their guns never got rusty
And when they fought they never lost, but they never won the girl
And the buttons on the shirts they wore were simulated pearl

Jerry Rasmussen


13 Jul 06 - 10:02 AM (#1782627)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Jerry, do you know the reason for those snaps on cowboy shirts?

It's because if a horn got caught in the placket (opening) of the cuff or shirt front the snap would unsnap free but a button might not and you'd be hurtin' bad as that cow stomped you or flung you around like a rag doll.

Of course, gaudy is gaudy....


13 Jul 06 - 09:32 PM (#1783075)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry-- who's Lon McAllister? Is that Leon McAllister (of Steel Guitar Rag fame)? I'll have to admit that only having heard the Texas Playboys long after leaving home--and at a time of day I was a lot happier with than I would have been first thing in the morning, mixed with hog-calls----my experience with them is a lot easier to take.

The only songs I find sometimes hard to take are associated with former girlfriends--and my own foolishness.


13 Jul 06 - 09:47 PM (#1783092)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Talk about free association... Lon McAllister was a cute, dark-haired little guy who seemed to be in a lot of forgettable movies in the 40's. The best know of them was Stage Door Canteen. What does he have to do with Bob Wills and Western Swing. Taling about three degrees of separation. I always linked Lon McAlister with Audie Murphy... both cute little guys, and Audie was in a lot of B picture westerns, and wore them dumb little shirts with the arrows sewed on the top of the pockets. As far as I know, Lon may have hated Western Swing.

Jerry


13 Jul 06 - 10:14 PM (#1783104)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Audi Murphy? I thought he was a World War I hero. How confused am I?


13 Jul 06 - 10:19 PM (#1783106)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Audie Murphy was supposed to be the most-decorated soldier in WW2...at least in the European Theater, in the US Army.


13 Jul 06 - 10:52 PM (#1783115)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

"The only songs I find sometimes hard to take are associated with former girlfriends--and my own foolishness."

Ron, are you referring to that George Strait song, "All my Ex's Live in Texas?"

All my ex's live in Texas,
And Texas is a place I'd dearly love to be.
But all my ex's live in Texas
And that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee.

Rosanna's down in Texarcana; wanted me to push her broom,
And sweet Ilene's in Abilene; she forgot I hung the moon,
And Allison in Galveston somehow lost her sanity,
And Dimples who now lives in Temple's got the law lookin' for me.


13 Jul 06 - 11:35 PM (#1783135)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Yeah Elmer, that's a great song--and I play it a lot--love the western swing approach--and of course the lyrics. That guy is a real role model. Never could live up to that. My great-grandfather did a passable imitatation. He was an artist--specialized in nudes and melancholy landscapes. And--you guessed it--had 2 separate families--one with his favorite model. Soon after his death-- in Italy, in murky circumstances-- the model and her daughter turned up on the wife's doorstep.

That's a hard act to follow.


13 Jul 06 - 11:57 PM (#1783141)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

What I meant was I "play" the song--on the CD player. Wish I had the talent to play in a Western swing band--but I sure don't.


14 Jul 06 - 05:57 AM (#1783246)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yes, it was the Second World War that Audie fought in. When the war was over, thre was a best-selling book about his exploits titled To Hell And Back and they made a movie of it, starring Audie. I don't believe he had any previous acting experience, but he was handsome and did a passable job. He made several westerns after that, but his best and best-known movie was probably The Red Badge of Courage/

Jerry


14 Jul 06 - 10:05 AM (#1783393)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Monday night, I went looking for a tenor or two. The Director of one of the Male Choruses that I sing in has taken the position of Music Director at a new church and invited me to come to a practice of their Men's Chorus. He knows that I'm looking for a tenor or two as replacements in the Gospel Messengers. I went, expecting to sit in the back of the church, just listening to the guys but when practice started there were only about 6 men there, and I was handed the lyric sheets along with everyone else. This is a new Men's Chorus and that was immediately obvious. And the group is almost all tenors. As guys trickled in, there were finally nine or ten guys, with just two baritones and one bass. I ended up moving up to sit with the two baritones who seemed totally lost. I talked with the guy I sat next to and asked him if he is a baritone. He said that he didn't know. He'd never sung in a choir before. The other baritone seemed equally adrift so I found myself quickly picking up the baritone harmony and helping the two guys to learn it. With the exception of one song, I hadn't heard any of the ones we sang Monday night, but after almost ten years in a Men's Chorus, I can pick up most of the baritone harmony off the piano as the Chorus Director is playing it.

The practice turned out to be a lot of fun, and the guys asked me ifg I'd come back to help the baritones and the bass singer. I explained to them that I was really there hoping to find a tenor for my group and was already singing in two Men's Choruses, but they were still encouraging. I'll go to practice one more time, this coming Monday as two of the best tenors weren't at the practice I went to. And then Ruth and I will go to a service to hear them sing.
I figure that I'll never find another tenor (or two) sitting at home waiting for a phone call from a complete stranger.

The practice brought back memories of the first time I went to the Men's Chorus practice I've been in for almost ten years now. I went and sat in the baritone section because I recognized the only person I knew. Turns out, he is a baritone, and so are I. Glad I didn't sit with the First tenors...

I also find it very appealing to see so many men joining Choruses who are coming just for the love of the singing, and to support the church. Some aren't very good as singers, but they often are the most loyal. Some have never sung except when they are alone, and turn out to be fine singers. But, they all are dedicated, and because being in a Male Chorus in a black church (at least) doesn't require any experience or the ability to read music, as most songs are learned by memory.

Jerry


14 Jul 06 - 11:22 AM (#1783445)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

Jerry, I'll be happy to lend you a tenor. Even a twentyor.

Seriously, I know what you're doing and you can get pretty frustrated along the way. As they say, "God will provide," but....

A town was flooded, and a rescue boat went out to collect people.   At one house there was a man sitting on the front porch, and when the people in the boat said, "Get in and we'll take you to safety" he replied, "God will provde." Sometime later another boat came by and made the same offer, and the man said, "Thank you, but God will provide." A couple hours later a helicopter flew over and saw the guy sitting on his roof, flood waters swirling around the eaves of the house. Again he refused aid by saying, "God will provide."

Shortly thereafter he was swept away and drowned. Sopping wet he arrived before the throne of God and stammered out, "Why, Lord, didn't you provide for me?" And God replied, "Don't start, dude -- I sent two boats and a helicopter."

Good luck in the search!


14 Jul 06 - 10:08 PM (#1783948)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Jerry--

I can imagine the difficulty of the search. After all, there's even a play called "Lend Me A Tenor". I bet you and I would both like it--or have you already seen it?

What's involved in being a tenor in your group--does that just mean the highest voice?

I can't remember what it means in bluegrass--maybe there's tenor and high tenor.


I've had occasion to sing tenor fairly often--mostly second tenor. I even wound up singing alto once in church--it was falsetto all the way--and way up in the treble clef. (God bless the Beach Boys).

I used to volunteer to sing tenor in madrigals all the time--there were usually enough guys to sing bass--and the tenor part was often more interesting than the bass. Though sometimes all the parts had a lot of meat to them. Those are the best.


14 Jul 06 - 10:51 PM (#1783964)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

Here's a job description for our tenor:

Must believe and try to live what they sing
Must always put the message before the performance
Must have a good sense of harmony singing, and enjoy it
Must be able to work out harmonies and arrangements jointly with other members, without the use of sheet music
Must have a good sense of rhythm
Must have a good time singing
Must enjoy and encourage the singing of all other members of the group
Must be willing to practice regularly, perform mostly without pay
and take enjoyment in lifting the spirits of others
Must enjoy the old, simple style of gospel singing with four part harmony, no keyboards, drums or other acoutremonts

Is it any wonder that I can't find anyone. Who would take a job like this? I've seen plenty of people who are good lead singers but have no sense of harmony, or rhythm (or even hearing the right key.) I've met some puffed up types who want the attention of singing leads but quickly get bored when others are getting the attention. I've had those who want to perform, but not practice. I've had those who consider themselves too good to need to practice.
I'd take most of the requirements above, as long as the person is deeply committed to bringing the message to those who are often overlooked or forgotten... the homeless, those in nursing homes and senior centers and hospitals. Some things I can work around. Being "puffed-up" isn't one of them....

Joe, our bass singer, Derrick (our tenor for 7 years until he left) and Frankie have all shared the most important of these requirements.
We've worked around the rest.

Jerry


15 Jul 06 - 09:10 AM (#1784166)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Sounds great, Jerry. I'd sign up in a minute--except I'm not really a tenor--actually a bass. I don't know if I could sing high all the time.

It must be a real challenge to make up harmonies without the aid of sheet music. Somebody must be the main person who does it--and the others must agree that it sounds good. Sounds like an awful lot of diplomacy is involved. Suppose you have 2 people each thinking that his harmony sounds the best? Do you take a vote? And once you have the harmony do you rehearse it so it's ingrained in everybody's mind--and voice?

I remember having some of these problems when I had a sea chantey group--we also used no sheet music. But of course we had an even worse problem--we couldn't even find a time when all 7 of us could rehearse. Fortunately sea chanteys are a very forgiving genre--rough edges are just fine.

I wouldn't think gospel is quite so easy-going.


And you have everything memorized--just amazing.

I'll tell you, my hat is really off to you guys--what you've done on the Gospel Messengers CD is just great.

And I think the idea of doing it with no instruments is just right--it's so easy for electric guitars and drums to overwhelm the sound--and kill your voice.

I've done a lot of singing in nursing homes, hospitals etc.--but we always had sheet music. (Which is of course another problem--people seem to lean on it pretty heavily as a crutch--even when they are so close to having the part memorized.   And it's so much better--and really important especially there--to make eye contact with your audience---and to smile at them.)

Sure hope the tenor you need is out there--in your area--and you make contact soon.


15 Jul 06 - 09:33 AM (#1784188)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for the encouragement, Ron:

The only thing worse than not having a tenor is having the wrong tenor. We tried someone who is a terrific singer, has a fine sense of rhythm, sings harmony just fine and believes what he sings. It didn't work because he was more interested in singing lead than singing harmony, and he didn't like the straightforward four-part harmony the rest of us do. He wanted something more like Take 6 or the Hi-Lo's (from years ago.) And he really got no enjoyment out of anyone else doing a fine job on a lead.

In music, being a fine singer isn't always enough.

Jerry


15 Jul 06 - 09:41 AM (#1784192)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

That's a real shame about that guy not enjoying somebody else's performance. I just like to be part of the musical texture. Just being part of a group making good music a cappella is incredibly satisfying. (And you don't have to take any instruments).   And it's particularly wonderful when you use no sheet music. When we used to sing madrigals a lot, and had quite a few memorized, I found that as long as I could sometimes get cues from other voices coming in where they're supposed to, we could sing a lot of songs that way.

And it was a real kick.


16 Jul 06 - 05:23 AM (#1784728)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST

I have been away from this table for a few days, popped by this morning and found no one here!Shame as I have a lot to get off my mind so I will make the coffee and ramble on by myself.
Last weekend my daughter and son in law had just about settled into their new home, unpacking all done.We had planned a day in London looking at things for the nursery. Then they got a phone call that the business centre where they had a unit( he has a picture framing business and gallery) had had a serious fire in the early hours. 68 businesses just about lost everything.Davids unit was smoke and water damaged, to make things worse he has not been allowed back into the building to collect anything salvagable.The company who are the landlords have been very unhelpfull, no information or contact, to add insult to injury they cashed the rent cheque after the fire!
The good news is that we have found a new unit close by so Billy and friends are there this weekend building a new shop.My job to provide dinner when they get back.Hopefully they will be able to start up again soon and the customers will stay loyal.More good news the baby is due in 10 weeks and my daughter is feeling well despite all the worry of moving house and now the fire.Count our blessings!


16 Jul 06 - 05:34 AM (#1784730)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

ooops, that was me! lost my cookie.


16 Jul 06 - 05:49 AM (#1784736)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Hi there Jerry and everybody
In a bit of a daze this morning,had some friends round last night/this morning.After a fine dinner, somebody put on my CD.Everyone started dancing!Well,there's no accounting for taste!as me mammy used to say before she abandonned me in a passing bullrush!
It's a fine morning here in Paris,it's going to reach about 31 today,I'll have to water the cat again!
I gotta go now,scrape the wife out of bed.We're invited to lunch.
What a busy life I lead!

Clunky


16 Jul 06 - 07:55 AM (#1784773)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, David: Paris? Paris!! Paris!!!!!!!! I assume you're not talking about Paris, Illinois. Man oh man. When I proposed to my wife, I asked her where she wanted to go on our honeymoon. She immediately said, "Paris!." I told her that's what I'd try to arrange, but if I couldn't get reservations, what would be her second choice. And there was dead silence. I still kid her about that. Second choice to Paris? And that's where we had our honeymoon, with a day trip to London.

Last Fall, we went on 1n 18 day tour of Europe and we started out with two days in .... Paris. It was wonderful coming back. I don't speak a word of French, and yet we went on our own for most of those two days as the tout group went to places we'd seen on our first trip. We wanted to revisit some of the places we especially loved on our first trip. I found Paris very easy to get around in, even with the language barrier. I felt very much at home there, even though the city has a bad reputation about not being welcoming to tourists .. especially ones who don't speak French. We loved it.

We also loved Switzerland and Italy and Spain and the other countries we've visited, but Paris is very special.. The guest room in our home is decorated with a Paris motif.

M
Good on you.

Jerry


16 Jul 06 - 08:12 AM (#1784776)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

And good to see you, billybob. Itr's no wonder you haven't stopped by for a cuppa with all that's been going on in your life. Sounds like good may be coming out of bad, though. That's happened to me so many times that it helps to be calm when things seem to be coming apart at the seams.

And I'm not talking about clothes from Walmart.

Jerry


16 Jul 06 - 09:36 AM (#1784807)
Subject: RE: BS: Kitsching At The Sitting Table
From: Severn

Good luck to you and family on everything, billybob and I hope the business thrives and the red tape from the fire and previous landlord is held to a minimum. Thanks for making the coffee, but I have to meet my mother and sister for brunch, so I can't stay for breakfast. I told Jerry I'd drop by, and now that I have, I will continue to do so in the future.I may drop back later today.


16 Jul 06 - 09:45 AM (#1784810)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, nice to see you Severn. I was trying to figure out where you live, but the Member's Profile doesn't give a clue. It's just kinda nice to be able to place people where they live. I live in Derby, CT.. the smallest city in the state. If someone says, "I want you out of town by sunset," I just say, "No problem... give me five minutes. Derby suits my style, though... no traffic jams, friendly people, mostly quiet, safe neighborhoods and a beautiful valley where the Housatonic and the Naugatuck rivers join. I was bo0rn and raised in a small town but in comparison to Derby, it was a metropolis. And, we're still close enough to New York City (and hour and a half) in case I ever get nostalgic for anxiety...

Jerry


16 Jul 06 - 10:19 AM (#1784834)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Severn

I live in Laurel, Maryland near Washington DC. Lived in this area all my life. I even went to high school with tablesitter Ron Davies.
I work for the Postal Service in Rockville, MD. I guess my profile must be an amateur file. I'll have to beef it up a bit, like you folks in Darby do with your stories about that ram.

But I've gotta ramble.....

Later!


16 Jul 06 - 08:46 PM (#1785221)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

When you're little like Derby, Severn, you gotta talk big to get any respect.. :-)

Jerry


17 Jul 06 - 10:31 AM (#1785521)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

In response to a comment you made in here about working out harmony arrangements by ear, I started a thread upstairs... Music By Ear. I'm sure that you have a lot to offer to the discussion. And, you can read my comment about how the Gospel Messengers come up with their harmonies.

Jerry


18 Jul 06 - 10:15 AM (#1786367)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Jerry,
well the good news is that Billy and co. have fitted out the new workshop, it is in a better location than the old one.David got the all clear to go in to try and save anything not smoke or water damaged today, they are having to wear protective clothes as there may be asbestos contamination!
The weather here in England is fabulous, the hottest day since records began, so yesterday we chilled out all day by the pool.
Looking forward to Sidmouth Festival and listening to some great singing, may even join in!
Too hot for coffee ,any iced tea?


18 Jul 06 - 11:39 AM (#1786413)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for the update, Billybob: Some of the greatest blessings in my life came from short-term disasters. There was a time in my life when I seemed to be getting it from all directions and just for survivals sake I developed what I jokingly called pre-hindsight. It's easy to look back on terrible things in our lives that turned out to be blessings, but I had so many difficult things happening that I couldn't wait for enough time to pass for hindsight. I guess what I was really asking for was instant-hindsight. No waiting necessary. While I joke about it, it was a very helpful attitude to have. Sometimes I'd have to laugh at everything that was coming at me and I say to myself, "O.K. God, tell me why I should really be thankful that this is happening." Sometimes he did.

Without a sense of humor, I never would have made it.

Jerry


18 Jul 06 - 09:05 PM (#1786801)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

A couple of days ago, I went to the Post Office to mail a package to Al Whittle (in case you stop by, Al, it's on its way.) As I was coming down the steps, a man was bounding up them and said, "Man, it's hot, today!" He was mvoing past me when I touched him on the shoulder and said, "Hey, wait a minute, don't you know me?" I could tell from the blank expression on his face that he didn't. I'm usually the guy in that situation. In that moment of awkwardness he said, "it was good to see you," and started into the Post Office. So, I touched him on his shoulder again and said, "Marty, don't you
remember the Stamford Museum?" And his face lit up. He suddenly realized who I was. And then, I couldn't get him to stop talking, he was so excited.

Back in the 60's during the Vietnam War, I was Director of Education at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, where I ended up becoming Executive Director and worked until my retirement. Marty was fresh out of college, looking for work. He wanted to go into Optometry but had to work for a year to save up enough money. So, he was hired as a Maintenance Man. He was just happy to get a job. But, there was something about him that I really liked. He had a childish Gee-Whiz! enthusiasm for everyone, and I thought he'd make a great teacher. We had an opening for a nature instructor and even though he had no teaching experience and precious little knowledge of nature, I hired him. He approached his new position with tremendous energy, and I spent a lot of time teaching him about the local birds, plants and animals, as well as Colonial life and Native Americans (all of which we taught.) The first time I saw him take a class of five year olds, I knew I'd made the right decision. He had a real connection with kids that can't be taught, and the kids loved him. He stayed at the Museum for a year, earned enough money and went to Optometry school and became an optometrist. I ran into him once after that, and we talked a few minutes. That was probably twenty years ago. So, it's no surprise that he didn't recognize me (despite the fact that I look EXACTLY THE SAME as I did thirty years ago.) Marty hadn't changed much.. has grey hair now, but is just as excitable and enthusiastic. His memories of the Museum just came tumbling out, along with his appreciation for what I'd done for him. Because he was teaching that year, he had a deferrment and din't have to go to Vietnam (no small gift.) Giving him the chance had a major impact on his life, and it made me feel really good to know that.

Marty is one of several people I believed in and hired, who had little or no experience. I hired a young black man who was working in a necktie factory who was fascinated with reptiles. He had no teaching experience, and just a high school education. Again, he was a wonderful teacher, ended up using his time at the Museum to get a wonderful job at an exclusive private school, and went on to appear on television programs, write books and become a resource for animal use in movies... going on location around the world on film crews.

I hired a woman who had just gone through an ugly divorce and needed a job badly. She had no teaching background or nature background, but there was again something about her that made me believe that she could be a great teacher. And she was. She used her experience to go on to writing a weekly nature column and when she moved to Florida, had a successful career as a lecturer.

It's not that I taught these people everything that they knew. I just gave them a chance and a leg up and they ended up passing me along the way. There were others, too.. all they needed was a chance. And someone who believed in them.

Jerry


18 Jul 06 - 09:53 PM (#1786821)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

That's great, Jerry. You must be a great judge of people--to recognize quality so quickly.


19 Jul 06 - 08:14 AM (#1787168)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

What a wonderful story Jerry, it must have been great to watch those people do so well with your encouragement.Sometimes I worry if my judgement is flawed, we recently hired a new therapist who enthused about working for us and was so in awe of my manager and me because of all our knowledge, I really enjoyed training her and gave as much time as possible to nuture her.You guessed it, she has left and set up in competition, hey hoo!!
Good news on David, they managed to rescue most of the things from the shop, including a pair if Shirley Bassey's shoes that he was box framing for a Charity auction.The BBC have heard what happened and are filmimg him for the TV news programme tonight.So some good publicity for him and the charity.


19 Jul 06 - 09:27 AM (#1787203)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

......of course, I haven't mentioned the stupid mistakes I made, hiring people.

I ain't Claire Voyant.

Jerry


19 Jul 06 - 10:49 PM (#1787863)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Just turning of the coffee pot for the night. It's been a good day today ... cooler by about 15 degrees than yesterday, and we appreciated it. Got a call from my oldest sister tonight, though, and she says Mom is losing ground. That's upsetting, although she's been given very little chance of living so many times over the years and surprised everyone that she may be doing better than people think. Whenever it comes it will be a hard loss to deal with. I know some of you have gone through that already. I've just been blessed that Mom has lived so long.

Makes me think maybe I'll stick around a while, myself.

Catch you tomorrow...

Jerry


19 Jul 06 - 11:21 PM (#1787881)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Well, Jerry, regarding hiring: I haven't had occasion to have hired many people, but my track record is, shall we say, absymal. Most recently of course, my house-sitter.

I figured--how hard can that job be? I can help Betty out and possibly get a chance to hear her play piano and sing. No downside.

Wrong. It turns out Betty, among other things (problems with cats) also put a lot of kitchen utensils, etc. where Jan would not think of looking for them. Looks like I'll never hear the end of it. So any time Jan accuses Betty of some heinous crime along these lines, I've started telling her I did it myself.

I've never dealt with a female as possessive of things domestic.

But, obviously in the grand scheme of things, these concerns are. let's say, not exactly earthshaking.

Fortunately that's not required at the kitchen table.


20 Jul 06 - 08:54 AM (#1788143)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I don't think it's the can opener or the spatula, Ron. I think it's the piano.

Jerry


20 Jul 06 - 10:49 AM (#1788242)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Ron, when ever my mother comes for dinner, she always insists on doing the dishes, I spend the next week searching cupboards for everything from plates to the cork screw, its a woman thing! Never put anything back in the right place in another girls kitchen 'cos it will be bound to be the wrong place!
Mind you I think Jerry is right about the piano!
Talking of women, I never understand that when Billy has lost something and can never find it, I can find it in seconds and it is always where he swears he just looked? Most of my friends say the same thing!Man thing??


20 Jul 06 - 10:31 PM (#1788805)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

I've got to share my good news and here's a good place to do it!

Where to start...

The state-owned museum where I'd lived and worked as the caretaker and docent (And I was a decidedly decent docent!) recently received money to do some upgrading and renovating, takiing down the lath and plaster and putting up insulation and drywall so I had to move.

I moved to a small apartment in a building I've taken care of for years and started looking for a permanent (ha! Is there such a thing?) place to land with my dog and my cat. I didn't/don't want just a normal rental- the idea of paying thousands of dollars a year just for a roof over my head bores me; I like interesting things and novel concepts. What I mostly dwelt on while I was looking was the idea of renting a large house in my name and then finding my own renters. But I also considered some other things, things like another caretaker position or doing in-home care and a bunch of other stuff. So I never did focus on any one thing which made it difficult to bring it to pass.

In the meantime, the apartment house sold (the owner died in 04 and her heirs put the place up for sale). I told the new owner that I don't want to pay rent on this apartment because it is so substandard on so many fronts (I nearly froze in last March's cold snap- there is no piped in heat) and we agreed that I'd be out by August 1. Along about the middle of July I saw that wasn't going to happen and talked with them again. We agreed I could stay until September 1.

Anda that's where I was until a couple of hours ago.

Just got back from the grocery store where I ran into the wife who bought this place. She aaid she wanted to talk with me and joined me at a table.

The upshot: They are asking me to stay because in due time they want to turn this apartment house into a kind of bed and breakfast with emphasis on tourists in the summertime and legislators in the winter, and they think I'd be perfect for the project. I'll check them in and out and ride herd. Mostly just rent free, unless we work out something else in addition.

This is right up my alley- I operated a motel for years and later trained managers for other motels. I like working with people, I like doing research, I like helping people have a good time.

Oh, and they're putting in a Monitor stove.

So hoist those cups and celebrate with me!


20 Jul 06 - 10:43 PM (#1788813)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

I really am cracking up-- the excuse will be it's the hideous pressure of explaining what Betty has done. But I really can spell "abysmal" ( I'm actually not an abysmal speller). Usually I can tell by looking at a word if it's spelled right. My instinct let me down.

And how many more generations--with the Net etc., where anything goes--will it take til there is no such thing as correct spelling?


21 Jul 06 - 08:43 AM (#1789042)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Don't feel bad, Ron: nun of us is perfict when it comes two speling.
That's the good thing about sitting around a kitchen table. When you talk, you don't have to spell the words.

As evidenced by other threads, some folks can real supercilious about their command of the English language. It's a way of expressing your superiority, which seems a little sad, to me. I value people more on whether they have something valuable to say than if they use perfect English saying it. And, so much is dependent upon the family and social status you were born into. (OOOOOH, I don't think I used "born" correctly.) next thing you know, I'lll split an infinitive! Some of the wisest, most generous-hearted, delightful people I've had the honor of knowing in my life have had a very limited education. It's not their grammar that I hear. I hear what they have to say, and the wisdom of it. My brother-in-law only went through 10th grade, and his speach showed it. His Father was an itinerant carpenter and he grew up moving from town to town. His speech was never a barrier between us. I've always just felt blessed that I had such good English teachers. I still remember much of what they taught me, but I must admit, I don't sweat an occasional split infinitive or a misspelled word.

It's the seasoning in conversational stew.

Jerry


21 Jul 06 - 09:15 AM (#1789055)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,KT

YAHOO! Ebbie, that's GREAT!!! (Amazing what developments can take place over a mere 12 hours) Everone else....hello, hello....just getting my feet on the ground after returning from the lower 48, so haven't had a chance to read your messages yet.....Jerry, I've come home to a package from you, which I've not had a chance to even open yet. Thanks SO much! More later, and best to y'all!
KT


21 Jul 06 - 11:22 AM (#1789122)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

After being accused of ending a sentence with a preposistion, Winston Churchill said, "That's the kind of nonsense up with which I will not put."


21 Jul 06 - 12:07 PM (#1789157)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

That's wonderful news, ebbie: As I was telling Elmer, sometimes blessings blindside you. What a way to be blindsided. I have a strong sense that something very good is coming in my life, and I have no clue as to what it will be. I'll let you know when it gets here. And it will. I feel it coming.

Glad you got home, KT. Nothing like coming back home. Enjoy the CD..

Jerry


21 Jul 06 - 01:19 PM (#1789204)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Thanks, KT. I told BevelAnn the III last night when she came down the hill for music. I'm thrilled about it- and understand why nothing meshed before.

I love having a niche. It's hard to beat riends and music and the north.

As in the third verse of a song I wrote some years back:

"Music and Laughter are friends of Delight
I'm loving and loved and I'm free
In this land of mountains and the great Northern Lights
The first time my world smiled on me"

Thanks for this table, Jerry. It is Life.


21 Jul 06 - 11:01 PM (#1789596)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Ebbie--

Let me join in congratulating you. You certainly deserve all good fortune.

Sounds just great.

Ron


22 Jul 06 - 08:25 AM (#1789789)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Every morning (except Sundays and rainy days) Ruth and I go for an early morning walk. She is bothered by the sun, so we get up before sunrise, and are on our way. About a year ago, they completed a river walk here in Derby and it is a delight. Derby is seated at the confluence (don't get to use that word often) of the Naugatuck and Housatonic Rivers. The walk runs along the Naugatuck until it joins the Housatonic, and then follows the Housatonic up-river through the back yards of downtown Derby. Even before the walk was officially opened, people were using it, and there is a steady flow of "regulars" (us included) every morning. The total length of the walk, round trip is 3 and a half miles, and Ruth is working her way up to it. We did two and a half miles today for the first time and I know that well before the summer is over, she'll be up to three and a half. I've always been a walker, and have walked as far as ten miles when I'm by myself. But, I'd rather walk two and a half with my wife. I'm very proud of her, because she is building her strength every day and is intent upon doing the whole walk. I know that she'll do it.

One thing about getting older (which starts the day you were born) is that you become more conscious of what you need to do to maintain your good health, strength and mobility. I'm actually much healthier now than I was five years ago, as is Ruth. It's a good feeling, taking care of yourself better. Shoulda done it years ago.
If our body is a Temple, mine was closer to the City Dump (exagerating slightly, here.) I'm learning more all the time about how the body works and what is good for it... I suspect that there are others sitting around his table who are doing the same thing.

Don't look for any donuts or pizza at the table (both of which I love.) But, if you stop by in real life, I'll serve you more than carrots and seaweed. I'm discovering healthy, good-for-you recipes all the time.

Drop by for supper some time. I'll put another plate on the table.

Wrote a song about a dog once, along those lines:

"Put another bowl on the floor, Mildred, I think Rosco's got a friend
Coming back home at all hours of the night, and he don't say where he's been
Walking kinda funny with his legs stuck out, and his tail's hanging at half-mast
I don't think he's going to live to see another winter, if he don't stop living so fast"

Jerry


23 Jul 06 - 07:23 PM (#1791107)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

The kitchen table, where the conversation is always good and the pot is always on...

Just keeping the home fires burning..

Jerry


23 Jul 06 - 11:03 PM (#1791269)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Congratulations to you, Ebbie. They are lucky to have you under their roof. I'm sure you'll raise the rafters in song!

Elmer


24 Jul 06 - 09:50 PM (#1792197)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

All good things come to those who are beFuddled.

Jerry


25 Jul 06 - 12:00 AM (#1792325)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

It really was fascinating to hear the various perspectives and backgrounds on the Music by Ear thread, wasn't it? It's particularly interesting to hear the different methods employed to try to teach ear-training. It seems it is possible to do--which I hadn't realized. It must be a slow process--my hat is off to the teachers who do it.


25 Jul 06 - 09:19 AM (#1792633)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Today is Ruth and my 8th Anniversary... what great memories. And the greatest thing of all is that our love and joy is so much deeper than it was the day we got married. And that's saying a LOT. Today is a day of remembrance shared with Joe, my bass singer in the Gospel Messengers and our Best Man. At our wedding, Joe sang the lead when the Gospel Messengers sang "Only Believe." "All things are possible, if you only believe." I can surely attest to that.

This morning, Ruth and I went for our daily walk on the River Walk here in Derby. We like to get out early to beat the sun and just enjoy the sunrise along the river. And in celebration, we walked the full 3 and 1/2 mile walk for the first time. I've done it before, but this was a first for Ruth. I'm very proud of her because she was at a point a couple of years ago when one mile was almost beyond her capacity. Now, she motors along quite nicely for 3 and 1/2 miles. We walk between four and six mornings a week, and it's a great excercise, a beautiful walk and a time we look forward to, just being alone together. O.K., there are a lot of other people who go on the walk, but it is still a private, relaxed time for us.

Later this summer in late August, I'm taking Ruth to Las Vegas, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon. Ruth really wants to see The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. They've constructed a large area of Venice, and we'll go on a gondola ride there, as we did in Venice last Fall. Romance never wears thin.

But, that's four weeks away. In the meantime, I'll keep the kettle on here in the kitchen. Seems like we have a lot of people gone at this time of year, so the conversation may get a little thin at times, but it's still a good place to sit down for a minute.

Jerry


25 Jul 06 - 09:41 AM (#1792653)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Happy anniversary Jerry and Ruth, enjoy a beautiful day.


25 Jul 06 - 11:01 AM (#1792716)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Here, Jerry. I picked a celebratory bouquet of colorful wild flowers on my way over here. Got a vase handy? We'll put it in the center of the table, if that's ok. Congratulations to you and Ruth. Happy for ya.


25 Jul 06 - 11:37 PM (#1793312)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Happy Anniversary, Jerry and Ruth. May you neither be beFuddled nor Hornswoggled, and always have a bright and shining path beneath your feet for your walk together through life!

Elmer


25 Jul 06 - 11:38 PM (#1793313)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Congralations, Jerry and Ruth! What a great way to celebrate!


25 Jul 06 - 11:40 PM (#1793314)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

And congratulations, too!


26 Jul 06 - 03:51 AM (#1793407)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Congrats Jerry/Ruth from me here in French France,not Illinois!
A nice life you got yourselves there.Enjoy your trip to Vegas/Venice.
My better half and I spent our honeymoon in Venice,you know,that one in Italy!Happy daze!
We is off to Croatia in a week or so.Through Germany,Austria,Slovenia then into Croatia;About a 2000 klms drive.Possibly go into Bosnia to Mostar,look at the famous bridge.We crossed it before that terrible war took place.Actually,we were there during the war.May drive out to Sarajevo,see some friends who where stuck there during the siege.We're coming back through Italy,so it's going to be Venice again!Oh well,you do what you can!
It's on the "warm" side here too.The air,what there is of it,is so thick with pollution,it's like hacking through porridge!I like porridge,but even so...
Take care Jerry,Ruth and everybody at the TABLE
David


26 Jul 06 - 04:00 AM (#1793412)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Hope it's a happy trip, David. And you take care.


26 Jul 06 - 05:10 AM (#1793468)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter

Hi Ebbie,thanks.Don't know if your'e able to get away yourself,hope so.Whatever,take care of yourself.
David


26 Jul 06 - 07:56 AM (#1793560)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: bbc

Happy Anniversary, Jerry & Ruth. I'm so happy for you both! The trip sounds great. I love the Southwest. I visited there last summer. This summer was the Northwest--Portland & Crater Lake--pretty special, too!

Barbara


26 Jul 06 - 09:48 AM (#1793641)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for all the well wishes, friends.

David: you trip sounds like it will be fantastic! I really envy you (Whoops, envy is a baaad thing to do... how about if I say I'm really happy for you?) Our trip to Europe last Fall is something that we regularly talk about... We'd love to have a couple of months to explore more of Europe. I recently picked up a DVD of Amadeus, which brought back wonderful memories of our trip to Salzburg. Ruth spends an hour just about every day watching a program, Passport to Europe, so the places that we loved so much stay fresh in our minds. For us, Paris is the number one city on earth with nothing faintly comparable. After that, I think we'd have to take Venice. Somewhat to my surprise, Ruth loved Switzerland and Austria. I was really looking forward to visiting both of those countries and it was a special pleasure that She enjoyed them as much as I did.

Growing up in the Midwest, I was half-way to everywhere in the United States. As a teenager, I prefered thinking of it as being in the middle of nowhere. Ruth grew up in Brooklyn, so the far West started in Philadelphia. (I actually saw a photo in the New York Times of Robert Kennedy visiting Philadelphia, with the caption, Kennedy vists the West.) Wisconsin has proven to be a good staging ground for showing her the rest of this country, piggy-backing trips onto our annual trip out to Wisconsin to visit my family. We've explored all of the upper Midwest and most of the Plains states out to the Rocky Mountains. We still have some of the south central United States left to explore and the Pacific Northwest (although I've been in Washington.) Between us, we've been in close to 50 states. Next on our agenda, God willing, is Scandinavia, Buenos Aires and Mexico. Most immediately, our very next trip we're looking forward to is a cruise in the Carribean. Never been on a cruise, myself. But it should be fun.

The greatest thing of all is that we had a terrific day celebrating our Anniversary, and the furthest we traveled was about 15 miles to go out to dinner. When you can stay at home and have a beuatiful time, then you know that you are blessed. All the travel is just delightful frosting on the cake.

bbc: It's great that you were able to get out to The Pacific Northwest. We'll get there eventually, but will probably catch Newfoundland and Greenland first, just because they['re closer (and less expensive.)

Elmer: I'm walking around singing to myself, Bewitched, Bothered and BeFuddled. Softly, though. Don't want to be committed. At least not in that way..

Jerry


26 Jul 06 - 10:54 AM (#1793693)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

As we approach that mystical 900th post, I wonder who will be the lucky one to take it. Is jimmyt lurking in the wings, waiting to pounce?

Or might it be Joe Offer?

Jerry


26 Jul 06 - 01:44 PM (#1793801)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

You can't get away from me this time..


26 Jul 06 - 01:45 PM (#1793802)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

You wascally wabbit!


26 Jul 06 - 01:46 PM (#1793805)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

I've got you now! I weally. weally do, you wascal....


26 Jul 06 - 01:52 PM (#1793810)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Cllr

I have no idea t ythis thread is about but im sitting in the kitchen at the table and i thought why not Cllr


26 Jul 06 - 04:25 PM (#1793919)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

From the looks of it, Elmer, you were extwemely gwacious and awwowed Cwwlr to take the one hundrewdth post.

What a generous way to welcome a new person to the table!

Jerry


26 Jul 06 - 05:37 PM (#1793976)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Wlecome to the table, cllr. Pull up a chair and tell us what's going on in your life, these days. You aren't listed in the Mudcat profile or locator, so maybe a little introduction would be in order, if you don't mind.

Glad you stopped by..

Jerry


26 Jul 06 - 06:45 PM (#1794033)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Well cllr, for heaven's sakes pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and start a topic, any topic that's on your mind. That's what we all do. The 900th post gets you a bagel with lox and cream cheese to go with the coffee (I recommend the poppy seed bagels.)

Elmer


26 Jul 06 - 10:24 PM (#1794189)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

What do we talk about in here? Only the most intellectual and philosophical of topics. For example:

Tonight I got this idea that if I mixed peanut butter in my No Sugar Added vanilla ice cream I could make peanut butter swirl ice cream.
I was thinking, maybe Elmer and me could go into the ice cream business. We could call our ice cream Elmer & Jerry's.

Our first flavor would be Peanut Butter Squirrel. (You have to be terminally clever to catch the eye of the L.L. Bean crowd...)

Jerry

By the way, the ice cream was pretty good, despite the laughter my wife blurted out with when I told her what I was doing...

Jerry (of Elmer & Jerry's)


27 Jul 06 - 09:20 PM (#1795012)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Hey, where is everybuddy?


27 Jul 06 - 10:06 PM (#1795051)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Nobody stays at home anymore, ebbie... Elmer is off on an expotition, don't see much of jimmy these days.. and so it goes. Good to see you, though

Finished watching Amadeus with Ruth tonight. Hve been revisiting Mozart... my favorite composer. Been too long since I listened to his music, and I have a fair amount.

Ruth and I are rocking down the full 3 and a half mile river walk every morning now... Just very thankful that we can do it and are still in such good health.

Jerry


27 Jul 06 - 11:07 PM (#1795085)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Halloo. I'm out where the corn is as high as an elephant's eye, and you can sit on a rocking chair at night and watch the fireflies and listen to cicadas make a racket--that is, if a thunder-and-lightning storm isn't playing drama queen up in the sky. I heard a new acoustic group perform the other night, by the name of Railroad Earth. They are part of the new, underground scene of young people who are avoiding the corporate hit-making cookie-cutter megalith. They were quite good.

info here

Elmer


28 Jul 06 - 08:02 AM (#1795341)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Speaking of rabbits... Ruth and I were on our morning walk and came across a Mother rabbit and her little baby. There's a stretch of the walk that goes through a lightly wooded area, and she was out with her baby feeding on tender new sprouts. They were no more than six feet from the walkway, and we stopped to look at them (and talk to them, of course.)

When we stopped, the Mother hopped about three feet away (not to safety) as unobtrusively as she could, from a grassy area where she was very visible, to a dirt area much the color of her fur. She lay as flat as she could get her body with her hind legs stretched out behind her so that she blended in with the color of the dirt, and kept a close eye on us. The baby was still too, but wasn't going to get into any of this stretched out stuff... "C'mon Mom! We could outrun them easy... aren't you over-reacting a little?" But the baby at least stood still. After I carried on a brief if albiet one-sided conversation with them, we went on our way. When we came back, Mom was nowhere to be seen, but the baby was still there, eating. He didn't move, but he had a big stalk of clover in his front paws and kept right on eating. "She told me not to move, but she didn't say that I had to stop eating..."

Kids... they always find a way to ignore their parents...

Jerry


29 Jul 06 - 12:26 AM (#1795947)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Sure is amazing. We've just gotten past 900, while the "Gaza Strip" thread has breezed by us and is closing in on 1,000. All it takes is controversy--preferably heated. The more people stake out positions at either end of a spectrum, the faster the count goes up.

So it's obviously better to just keep chugging along. After all, conversation is not a race-- nor a competition of any kind.

That's what makes the Table a refuge--and it's great.


29 Jul 06 - 08:01 AM (#1796110)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Mornin', Ron:

Actually, I see it very differently. This thread is approaching 1,000 posts in about 6 months. I have no idea how many threads ever hit 1,000 (unless they're about Bush, or the Mother Of All BS.) 500 posts is a lot. And some of the threads that are longer have been running for years. I don't see it as a competition, either. If it is, then we're the tortoise, not the hare. But a souped up, four on the floor tortoise. When I started this thread, I figured it would amble along for awhile, stopping to enjoy the scenery and dissappear when it lost it's appeal. I had no thought as to how long that would be. But I wouldn't have expected it to last this long. If it reaches the point where I have to artificially keep it alive by doing 90% of the posts, then I'll just let it fade away.

One thing that I like about this thread is that people participate regularly for awhile when there's something they want to talk about, and then wander away. Often, they'll drop by later when there's something they want to talk about, or respond to. Good friendships are like that. They carry through the quiet times.

This is a verse from a song that I wrote way back in the 60's about my friend Luke Faust, who lived in Hoboken:

"If we had money, we'd stop for a beer
Or walk by the water and sit on the pier
Sit and we'd talk 'till there's no more to say
But we never needed words, anyway"

Listeners are half of a conversation. I know there are people who drop by regularly, have a cuppa and just listen to the conversation. They don't show up in the number of posts, but if someone just wants to drop by to get a load off their feet for a few minutes and not say a word, that's fine too.

That's what kitchen table conversation is all about..

Jerry


29 Jul 06 - 01:12 PM (#1796257)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

"...held no competition--just knowing that the other was a good friend to have"


29 Jul 06 - 02:05 PM (#1796294)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for taking 9/11, Ron:

Jerry


29 Jul 06 - 03:57 PM (#1796374)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Holy mackerel, Jerry--numerology is becoming a minefield! Round numbers are good, 666 not so good.   13 ? Now 9-11? Sorry I missed 7-11--that should have been better. Well, when we get above 1000, we'll have a lot more historical dates--1066, 1215, 1349, 1415, and so on. Can't remember what was going on between 900 and 1,000--I believe the founding of Russia (at least Kiev). I know there was a lot of apprehension at the approach of the millennium. And probably a lot of relief afterwards.


29 Jul 06 - 04:30 PM (#1796392)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

A few thoughts for my companions 'round the kitchen table:

Spread the table and contention shall cease.
    —English proverb

This night I hold an old accustom'd feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you, among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
    —William Shakespeare

All's well that ends with a good meal.
    —Arnold Lobel ( American writer and illustrator)

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.
    —Oscar Wilde

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink.
    —Bible, Old Testament

They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy.
    — John Milton, Paradise Lost

Take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry.
    —Bible, New Testament, Book of Luke

Fools make feasts and wise men enjoy them.
    —John Clark

Their tables were stor'd full, to glad the sight
and not so much to feed on as delight.
    —William Shakespeare

He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
    —Bible, Proverbs 15:15

Dear Moore,
I have a breakfast of philosophers tomorrow at ten punctually. Muffins and metaphysics; crumpets and contradiction. Will you come?
    —an invitation to a friend from Sydney Smith (1771–1845); English clergyman and essayist

Great is the meal which brings together people who are distant to each other.
   —Babylonian Talmud

Pull up a chair, y'all!
    —Elmer


29 Jul 06 - 04:42 PM (#1796405)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

"Fools make feasts..."---wow, that doesn't sound very complimentary to women who often prepare them.

Or to others--"Here's a health unto the master--he's the founder of the feast".


What do you suppose he meant?


29 Jul 06 - 06:55 PM (#1796513)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

What a great batch of quotations, Elmer!

I'll add one more kitchen table image from the bible:

Revelations 3:20

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

I wonder how he takes his coffee?

Jerry


30 Jul 06 - 05:42 PM (#1797200)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Well, possibly a cappuccino would do, since it is named for the Capuchin monks: the coffee represents his brown robes, and the white crema on top is his tonsured head.

Elmer


30 Jul 06 - 07:18 PM (#1797261)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Elmero # 1:

I thought cappucino was named after the monkeys. Besides, if he didn't like it the way I fixed it, he could always change it to a glass of wine. Miracles must come in handy.. :-)

Jerry


30 Jul 06 - 07:51 PM (#1797284)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Very funny, Jerry!

Coffee made its entrance into Europe from Constantinople to Venice. Legend has it that priests appealed to Pope Clement VIII (1536-1605) to have the use of coffee forbidden among Christians. They said that Satan had forbidden his followers, the heathen Muslims, to drink wine because it was used in Holy Communion, and instead had given them "hellish black coffee." It is said that the pope relied,

"Why, this Satan's drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it."

Elmer the caffeinated


30 Jul 06 - 08:17 PM (#1797297)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Remember the instant coffee, Brim? "Fill it to the rim with Brim." I have it directly from an unreliable source that Brim was really short for Brimstone...

Ooooooooweeeeeeee..

Jerry


31 Jul 06 - 07:54 PM (#1798288)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Had a good walk this morning... beautioful, cool morning even though it got up to 90 this afternoon (with even hotter weather coming.) We saw the baby bunny this morning, with no Mom in sight. I guess she figured that she'd done her job and it was time for the kid to fend for himself. He was far more interested in eating than he was in us.

The exciting this is that we saw several river otters this morning. Not that you can really get a good look at them, but you can see them swimming around like speed freaks, catching fish.

One of our sons and his wife want to walk with us, but we told them we leave at a quarter to six at the latest, and they have about a 25 minute drive to get to our place. They'll have to get up yesterday. We started today two minutes after sunrise, and there were already people finishing their walk. I didn't see any flashlights on them, but it must have been dark enough to use them when they started. This year, I am very aware of the sun rising a minute later each day... means we can get up a whole minute later, ourselves.

Now, if any a you folks ever make it over this way, you can take the walk with us and when we get back, I'll make a nice, big breakfast to enjoy around the kitchen table...

Jerry


01 Aug 06 - 05:34 PM (#1799216)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

A nice big breakfast sounds good! Especially since it's 4:30 PM. And now, after all that coffee glugging, to give tea some equal time:

Tea was first described to Europeans by sixteenth-century Venetian traders. Portuguese merchants and Jesuit priests shipped tea from China along their newly charted sea routes.

Dutch seafarers were the first to take on the Portuguese for the tea trade, but eventually the British East India Company dominated tea importation to Europe. Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese Infanta and wife of Charles II of England, is credited with hooking the British on tea with the leaves she brought in her dowry. She is also credited with initiating the ritual of the tea party.

Hooked doesn't begin to describe the habits of Samuel Johnson, who daily downed thirty to forty cups, calling himself "a hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who has for many years diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the morning."

Elmer


03 Aug 06 - 02:12 AM (#1800286)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Well! I'm glad to see the tzble even if no one is evident around it at the moment. I'll just pour myself a mug - thanks for the steaming pot, Jerry - and sit here and wait for someone to pop back in. I have something on my mind.

This Saturday night I have committed to doing a 20 minute set at our first-of-the-season folk club, Gold Street Music.

Since I am an uncomfortable performer I wouldn't have chosen to do it but I'm the booker for the performers and being in the middle of summer there are so many people out of town that I panicked about getting five sets.

In the 'uncomfortable performer' phrase is my problem. I'm not sure where it started but I really do not like to perform. I love to jam and when I'm with friends I love to sing but I don't like to get up on stage. I've done quite a lot of it but almost entirely in support of a lead player or singer. I have never sung on stage. - I take that back- at our local folk festival each year there is a Songwriter's Showcawe and one year my brother was visiting and he really wanted to sing a couple of songs I wrote so I did it. But that was at least 15 years ago and I was most uncomfortable.

Oh. And last year at the first Gold Street Music I joined a Buddy Tabor set and sang Hank William's song 'Dear Brother'...

I know some of the tricks, of course. If I find myself roped into doing something the one thing I make sure of is that the audience does NOT how nervous I am. Worse than performing itself would be the knowledge that people are feeling sorry for me. So on stage my persona is pretty breezy.

This year I will be surrounded by good musicians and that will help. There will be my singing partner playing guitar and singing harmony as well as leading one song, the John and June Carter version of Terry Smith's 'Far Side Banks of Jordan'; there will be her husband on the autoharp; the aforementioned Buddy Tabor doing guitar breaks; and the local city attorney on the mandolin. He is very good.

We'll do 'Will You Meet Me Over Yonder', Far Side Banks, Dear Brother then two mando instrumentals, 'New Camptown Races' and 'Done Gone' back to back and then end with Mudcatter Dan Schatz's lovely 'Daylight's Song.'

It's a good line up and in a jam situation I enjoy it a lot. We are practicing each evening and I like the dense, tight sound we're getting. It's just that I would like to do it for its own sake, not for an audience.

Does anyone have words of encouragement and/or advice? Short of telling me not to do it- I don't really have a choice in that.

Ebbie


03 Aug 06 - 10:56 AM (#1800560)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

That sounds like a great set, Ebbie:

Performer heebie-jeebies... like everyone else, I've had them. The only cure for them is to "put your hand on the ha'nt." (haunt) Your approach sounds good to me, though... practice, practice, practice is the best short-term approach because the more you practice the more it can build your confidence. The first many times I performed, I was terrified. I had been playing guitar, singing and writing songs for ten years before I ever found the courage to get up on stage... and that in a small coffee house at a hootenanny where expectations run low.

I suppose that there's some underlying generality in all of this... the more you can focus on something other than yourself, the easier it is. Doing it is the trick. As you're doing some gospel, I'll offer up the experiences I've had in the last year in that regard.
They fall into the general category of not thinking about yourself when you sing.

I've been singing now for going on ten years with a male chorus, as I've commented on many times. Initially (and for a long time) I was very self-conscious as I'm normally the only white male in the church. When I sang a lead, I was thinking about myself too much, wondering what people were thinking about this old white guy getting up there to sing a lead. The experience was really no different than singing a song at a hootenanny. A couple of years ago, I started praying before I went up to sing a lead. (It works for me, but not necessarily for anyone else.) I prayed that the Lord would take charge of me, and sing through me. The experience has been overwhelming on several occasions and people have commented that they've never heard me sing in that way. There've been occasions when I've brought the whole church to it's feet and we couldn't stop the song. They wouldn't let us. When that has happened, I almost felt like I had an "out of body" experience... as if I was standing next to myself, watching the Lord sing through me. It's a difficult feeling to verbalize. You have to "be there" to really understand it.

A more secular observation I'd add is a question... one that I've asked the guys in my group when they've expressed anxiety about what people will think. "What will Johnny C think?'" was a concern I heard expressed too many times to appreciate. I finally started asking the question:

"Who are you singing for?"

It's a loaded question, and has a different answer for different occasions. For us, singing gospel, we're singing for the Lord. Not for Johnny C.. But, the same question can cause reflection on why we are singing. If I'm singing to impress people so that they'll think that I'm good and I forget a line, I'll consider it a disaster. Of course, when you step up on stage, the most obvious answer is, "for the audience." If that's the case, then try to focus all of your attention on the song and the audience. The less you think about yourself, the less nervous you will be. It may help to focus on wanting to share the song, too. That may help to take some of the pressure of the "performance" off of you. In folk music, sharing a good song is a primary motivating factor. You could argue that it is THE motivating factor. In gospel (for us) bringing the message is the primary motivating factor. That is a release too, because it becomes less about the performance, and even less about the performer.

It also helps some people if they zero in on a few friendly faces in the audience, and sing to them. Again, it has the effect of focusing on something other than yourself.

All I gotta say is, Good on you, Ebbie! It sounds like it's going to be a wonderful set. I wish I could be there to hear you. If you get a good tape of it, I wouldn't be averse to receiving a copy...

Hint, hint..

Jerry


03 Aug 06 - 12:08 PM (#1800629)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Thanks for your response, Jerry. Lot of food there.

One of the problems (?) is that I would much prefer a focus for a set. I've told the group several times in the past that if we come up with a Carter Family set they can count me in. But as soon as I waver like that, they start planning an eclectic set, so we've never done it. They are natural performers and they'd like to rope me in; I think they plan to get me to the place where I start to enjoy it. I appreciate their good will but it's just not likely to happen.

I always record Gold Street Music which I then present to each set in the form of a CD so if it's a good (enough) recording I'll be happy to send you a copy, Jerry. I love the CDs I got from you.


03 Aug 06 - 05:02 PM (#1800845)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly

What a remarkable world! We just returned from a trip to Alaska, one day of which we spent in Juneau with Ebbie and KT ( and it was a truly wonderful day!) and I wander back to the table to find Ebbie here! I'll probably dither at length some time about my first visit to Alaska, but I wanted to address Ebbie's concern, since I have always suffered from stage fright, and I have done quite a bit of performing over the years.

Certainly being well-prepared helps, and having a setlist that makes sense to you. (Having said that, I have been known to change my setlist mid-concert; fortunately, I've had great singing partners who trusted me to go where we needed to go.) But, my biggest issue by far concerns why I'm there. If I get into the mindset of "these people have come thinking I'm a great singer with a great voice, and they are going to be disappointd the moment I open my mouth and prove I am not-so-great," then I am a mess. I have to put into and keep in my head the mantra "I have done my work, I can present this music so that others will understand it, and the song is so powerful, or so beautiful, or so affirming, that they will love the song, and forgive me any lapses." Of course, this means I have difficulties singing songs I don't feel passionate about, but that is usually my choice, and if I'm singing with someone who just loves something I'm not so excited about, I can usually borrow some of that enthusiasm by talking to them about why they love it so.

I also look into the audience for sympathetic faces, and I solicit audience participation whenever I can (we're all in this together,) as well as ignoring some mistakes in the knowledge that it all goes by so fast, you can often fudge. If all else fails, and I do something no one can overlook, I laugh at myself, rather than being tragic. (My very first full concert, many years ago will be forever highlighted by my singing a line in "Misty Moisty Morning' 'I'll plow and sow and reap and mow, and you shall spit and sin' which was NOT how we had practiced it.)


03 Aug 06 - 07:36 PM (#1800965)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Hi Carly! I didn't know you were in the neighborhood! You'll find this is a wonderful place and Jerry is a great host.

As for performing- well, I expect to survive Saturday night and I'll probably even feel that parts of it were fun- Actually most of it will be fun: There are four other sets besides the one I'm in and they'll be fun.

The lineup for the evening (7:30-10:00) is

1) A singer/songwriter- young, talented, host of an Open Mic at a local pub and with a great fanbase.
2) Us. brrrrr
3) A Klezmer group
A 20 minute break then:
4) Buddy Tabor- a prolific songwriter, probably the best known musician in town
5) A bluesman to close. He has some great songs, songs like (We're Biting Off More than We Can Chew so What are We Going to Do- We'll Just 'Leave it to Our Children' and 'Intrepid Airline', a rip of our local airline monopoly.

It will be fun.

I'm grateful that there are people who enjoy performing- where would we be without them!


03 Aug 06 - 11:58 PM (#1801131)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Ebbie, what helps me out is to repeat a little saying:

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly."

Whenever I get nervous about getting up in front of a group I start thinking of all the ways I could really screw things up: mangle the lyrics, spit on someone in the front row, have my pants fall down, fall off the stage, etc. etc. Pretty soon I'm laughing at the thought of TRYING to do all the things I'm afraid of doing by accident, and the jitters go away.
Works for me.

Elmer


04 Aug 06 - 09:49 AM (#1801395)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

You know, we could all learn a lot from that great American Icon, Elmer Fudd. Does he worry about failing? Does he worry about what people will think of him? Not Elmer!!!!! He knows in his heart that he was born to hunt wabbits, and that's what he does.

Nothing breeds confidence like failure.

I don't think you'll ever find that statement in a fortune cookie. But there is a lot of truth to it, if you have the indomitable spirit of E. Fudd, esquire.

When my youngest son first moved out on his own, it wasn't really by choice. He had just graduated from college and I married Ruth and moved out of my house. There really wasn't a place for him to live with his Dad any more, and my son knew it was time that he stretched his wings. It took an enormous amount of courage on his part to move to a different part of the country with no job in hand and no money other than what I could afford to help him with. And his worst fears weren't as bad as reality. The first six months, he couldn't get ANY job, despite being willing to do just about anything and he stayed in a run down, depressing old motel in the worst part of town. I know he nearly starved, because I couldn't send him as much money as he really needed. On every level, his life looked like a failure. But, he persevered, despite the ugly circumstances of his life and finally got a decent job and was able to move into an apartment. That was 8 years ago. Since then, when he's had to face other hard challenges, I remind him that he came through those first six months, and if he handled that, he could handle anything. And each time he has survived a hard time, or made stupid mistakes that he paid for dearly, his confidence has strengthened. He knows he can get through hard times now, and that if he makes a stupid mistake he can "Get right up, dust himself off and start right over again." That's a wonderful lesson to learn.

All of this applies to performing. When your worst fears are realized, and you forget lyrics to songs or do something really embarassing on stage, you discover that people don't ridicule you. If you laugh at yourself and keep on going, the audience's heart goes out to you and in an odd way, you've won them over. Everybody knows failure. It's something that we all an relate to.

I've seen Gordon Bok forget lyrics to a song when doing a concert in a large auditorium to the point where the finally had to just acknowledge that he couldn't remember the words. Gordon is confident enough in himself that he'd just laugh and acknowledge that it happened. Or more likely, he would acknowledge that it happened because I remember it. But he's probably long since forgotten it. Mistakes go with the territory. In a way, it's just as well that you make them early on so that you understand that mistakes don't do any lasting harm. Who ever walked out of a concert and said... "Man, I had a great time... he didn't make a single mistake!" And he probably did, anyway.

When life gets you down, just think about Elmer. He was born to lose, and yet he triumphs anyway.

Now, Daffy, Duck... that's a horse of a different color.

Jerry


04 Aug 06 - 01:51 PM (#1801580)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly

You are so right, Jerry. We can all relate to failure, and most of the time an audience is sympathetic if you are honest, and don't dwell on the moment too long.

This conversation got me to thinking about ways we make ourselves comfortable (or not) when performing. A case in point; my husband, Dean, and I do much of our singing, (as well as having important conversations!) during car trips. Dean enjoys driving, which means I am usually sitting to his right. On occasions that we have sung in public, Dean is clearly more comfortable if he can stand or sit to my left. And I know a performer who will move heaven and earth to have a high stool to perch on, which doesn't strike me as particularly comfortable. Do you have any on-stage rituals to keep yourself happy?

Carly


04 Aug 06 - 02:41 PM (#1801616)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Carly:

Somewhere along the line over many years of performing, I seemed to have overcome my nervousness performing. The only exceptions now are when it's been too long between my folk programs, and I am rusty on some of the material. In the years when I was performing folk very regularly I became comfortable enough to reach the point where I didn't even do a set list. I'd have a list of songs and keys on stage in case I couldn't come up with a song, but for the most part, I let the audience create the flow. It's very helpful if you can "read" the audience. After two or three songs you should have a good idea what they're responding to. A set list composed in your living room three days before may not be the best choice of material for that specific audience. If you're just doing two or three songs at an open mike, or as part of a program with several other performers, this doesn't apply. It's also difficult to do that when you are in a band. Maybe impossible. But as a solo performer, I find it a much better way to make a connection with the audience.

When I play with my Gospel group, I may decide spur of the moment to do a song that we haven't practiced because it seems like the right song to do next. We sing together enough, and my guitar is the only instrument, so we can usually step right into the song with confidence. In the male chorus that I sing in, it's not at all uncommon for the Director to decided to do a song we haven't done in months. If you sing the lead on the song, you'd better recognize the piano lead-in and get up there to the mike. It helps to pray as you approach the mike that the words will come back to you. It's almost as hard for the rest of the chorus, because they have to quickly remember their lines and their harmony part. A couple of months ago, we were asked to sing at a funeral. The funeral was two hours long and we sang without taking a break. We ended up doing songs we hadn't done in a couple of years. It was a real stretch, but exhilarating too. We did a pretty good job on the songs (all done from memory, as we don't sing from sheet music or lyric sheets.)

Only goes to show

Jerry


04 Aug 06 - 07:12 PM (#1801832)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

"I'm just turning the pages now, and every one is a good one."

I spoke with my Mother today. Since we came back from our visit to Wisconsin for her 99th brithday, she's been steadily losing ground. Thinking back to our visit, I am even more grateful that she was able to muster what little remaining strength she has so that she could really enjoy our visit. My Mother and Father loved to go for rides in the country. When we got out there in early June, it had been more than half a year since she'd been able to go for a ride.
My sisters don't have the strength to load her wheelchair and the oxygen tank into and out of the trunk of the car, and neither do any of her friends. But I do, and that was one of the first things that she wanted to do. We took her for a ride out into the country on the old country roads that my Mother and Father raveled on for countless times in their life together. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed it immensely. My Mother hadn't been out of the retirement complex in almost a year, but we took her out to dinner with my sisters, her closest friend and a minister and his wife who've been dear friends for many years. She also managed to summon the strength to have two birthday parties, and I did a concert for the residents of Assisted Living which mean a lot to her and my sisters. At the time I think that we were all aware that each instance might be the "last time."

Since we've been back, Mom has slowly been failing and she has a Hospice nurse checking in on her regularly. Her oxygen level is very low, so she is on oxygen most of the time. (That doesn't stop her from going to Vespers in the chapel there, playing Bingo, or getting her hair done. But now, that's about all that she can do. She has Adult Macular Degeneration severely enough that she can no longer read, and television is a blurry image. So she sleeps a lot. She needs help to get dressed and get into her chair, and the only real break from the monotony is mealtime, vespers on Sunday and her hair dresser appointment on Friday. She knows that she is winding down now, and isn't likely to see Christmas again.

When I talked with her this morning, she was very animated because her wonderful friend (who is in her 80's) was due any moment to take her to the hair dressers. When I asked Mom how she was doing, she said that nothing has changed. She is very weak and sleeps most of the time. And then she said something very beautiful:

I'm just turning the pages now, and every one is a good one."

That's my Mom.

I told her that the coming days and weeks would be good ones because no matter what comes, it will be good. She is looking forward to being reunited with her Mother who died when my Mother was 12 or 13 years old. I recited the lines to a song the Gospel Messengers sing, and it says it all:

"Have I given anything, today?
Have I helped some needy soul on my way?
Just to know I've done my best
When I come to take my rest
And my name be written there, today"

That's all there is..

And as we turn the pages together, each one will be a good one.

Jerry, blessed


04 Aug 06 - 10:47 PM (#1801941)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Lovely. I begin to see where you're from, Jerry. Congratulations on choosing wisely!


05 Aug 06 - 07:48 PM (#1802402)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

You got that right, ebbie: I am my Mother's son. Her only son, AND her favorite son, all rolled into one.

Looks like errbody is gone away these days... Ron is away, and Elmer has been on a rabbit hunting safari to Iowa, although I think he's due home soon. Don't know where Bro Jimmy is these days. Guess it's up to us what is around to keep the home fires burning. And the pot on the stove..

It's an honor to share my life with all of you..

Jerry

Esther's son.

You think Gerald Elmer Henry Hornsbuckle Rasmussen is old=fashioned sounding? My Mother is Esther Adelaide Holliday Rasmussen... a shirt-tail cousing of Doc Holliday. Esther was a grand woman in the bible. And in Wisconsin, too..


05 Aug 06 - 10:15 PM (#1802463)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

This is good to read, Jerry. My son-in-law's grandmother ("Yaya") was a beautiful, elegant, kind lady. She was very old and has been in care for a few months. She died yesterday.

I spent last night reading about death and the afterlife. I think Yaya will be enjoying her time in the light, now.

freda


06 Aug 06 - 09:43 AM (#1802652)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'm sorry to hear that Freda. Sorry for those who mourn, but not sorry for your son-in-law's Grandmother. I'll try to remember the joy that is part of the sorrow when my Mother has her home-going. Whenever that may be. Life is worth celebrating. Perhaps even more so at it's end.

Jerry


06 Aug 06 - 10:12 AM (#1802666)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Severn

My best wishes for the health and happiness of your mother, Jerry.

Mine is still going pretty strong at 91 and is within visiting distance, so she gets visits from myself (and two of my sisters as well) at least once a week. She gets to go out with her old neighborhood friends, and everyone at Asbury Home in Gaithersburg MD seems to love her and they take good care of the elderly there.

It's good to keep in touch and spend valuable time while you can. In the case of my mother, while she misses my dad, by whom she was always somewhat overshadowed personality wise, since he passed away and she doesn't have to constantly tend to him as she did for 13 years after his initial stroke, she has really blossomed on her own. We see parts of her personality and sense of humor that were never really let out fully and some things we didn't really know were there at all! she is a pleasure to be with and even a source of constant surprise to add to the regular amount of joy one gets from being with a parent. As circumstances change, one finds out how to still apperciate gaining new knowledge to match the old, and find new ways to give back in return.


06 Aug 06 - 10:55 AM (#1802691)
Subject: RE: BS: Kitsching Again At The Sitting Table
From: Severn

By the way, thanks for the coffee, and I'll have to get the recipe for your delicious Jerry-Razz-Muffins!


06 Aug 06 - 01:28 PM (#1802762)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Severn:

Thanks for stopping by. You touched on an interesting point.. the flowering of some women after their husbands are gone. My Mother existed to keep my Father from being unhappy. That wasn't all that uncommon a role for women of my Mother's generation. "Don't get your Father mad!"

When my Father died 8 years ago (and there was much that I loved about him, and I miss him,) suddenly Mom could be Esther Holliday again. Not just Elmer's wife. The first thing we did after the memorial service was to go out and buy a stereo for Mom. Dad didn't like music in the apartment and when he didn't like something, he made sure that you couldn't enjoy it either. After I set up the system and bought Mom some CDs, she wanted to go out to eat at one of her favorite restaurants she hadn't been to in years because my Father got mad once when he thought he was overcharged and refused to go there. When I ordered a burrito, she ordered one too, even though she wasn't sure what it was and wasn't too good on spicy food. She ordered it because she could. She's been blessed with eight years of being herself after almost 70 years of interruption...

Go WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Free at last!

I say that, despite loving my Father. He was to some extent a victim of his own generation, too.

Jerry


06 Aug 06 - 02:07 PM (#1802790)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Severn

As was mine. And being one of those people who had never been sick a day in his life, when the stroke came, he found himself completely helpless for the first time and had to call her if she was gone over 10 minutes. While maintaining as much of the tone of being completely in charge as he could, of course. Part of our visits were to come see him and talk to him, but some were to occupy him for long enough to let mom finish a task or two, as well. He'd fret whenever she was off tho the grocery or hairdresser while striving to still sound and feel dominant. He could never just let that part of him go. We loved him dearly, but he could be quite difficult and unbending. Definately a product of both generation and some failures he percieved in his father he never wanted to duplicate.


06 Aug 06 - 02:15 PM (#1802796)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

My Father is the only case I know of of someone who literally died laughing. He'd had occasional strokes and finally had a serious enough one that he was sitting in his Lazy Boy chair, attended by two nurses awaiting the arrival of an ambulance. My Father could be very entertaining, and he had the nurses laughing at all of his jokes when the Big One hit him dead on and he keeled over onto the floor, dead.

Other than the occasional widely-spaced strokes which passed with no lasting damage, my Father was quite healthy. But like many elderly men(and women), he insisted that my Mother be with him at all times. For the most part, she was held captive even if only just to be there because he didn't want her to do anything without him.

Unfortunately, negative qualities that are just infuriating when we're younger can become completely overbearing when we get too old to take care of ourselves, physically or emotionally. You can be too old to take care of yourself, but you're never too old to make others miserable.

Jerry


06 Aug 06 - 03:18 PM (#1802847)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Your saying that about repeating a parent's weaknesses rings for me, Severn. My brother, who had a difficult time with our by-the-book father, caught himself up short one day when he suddenly realized that he was doing the same thing to his children. (And that is very definitely TO children, rather than WITH) From then on he worked at parenting, and it paid off for them all.

Incidentally, my debut on stage last night went off better than I had feared. Playing back the recording I note how uneven my speeds were but at least I didn't make anyone feel sorry for me. That was my main worry.

Jerry, if you PM me your mailing address I'll send you a copy. Thanks for asking/"hinting".

Ebbie


06 Aug 06 - 03:27 PM (#1802852)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Congratulations on your performance, ebbie! I'd love to hear what you did. I'll PM my mailing address to you...

Always nice to see you at the table.

Jerry


06 Aug 06 - 03:31 PM (#1802855)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Ah yes, Ebbie: The ultimate gag reflex: when you realize that you've just done the same thing that you hated in one of your parents.

Done that.... ecchhhh!!!!!!!!

What's that about the sins of the Fathers being visited on the sons (and daughters too.)

Jerry


06 Aug 06 - 04:48 PM (#1802904)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Aw, Ebbie, you mean you didn't mess up the performance? What a shame...

Congrats and felicitations. It sounds like a real milestone that you got through it and saw for yourself that you deported yourself well. It'll get progressively easier each time. And I'll bet you enriched the lives of folks in your audience, more than you'll ever hear about.

Elmer


06 Aug 06 - 05:07 PM (#1802921)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Yeah, in one sense, Elmer, I agree. People are often surprised, I think, that at my age I still play. Singing in public at some length for the first time at age 70 is a bit over the top!

On the plus side I frequently am told by people my age - and younger - that my activity inspires them.


06 Aug 06 - 07:44 PM (#1803039)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I dunno, Ebbie: I think of you as a young woman. At least, you're younger than me. I've known people in their 20's who were older than you.

Jerry


06 Aug 06 - 08:27 PM (#1803068)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,stranger

You have a beautiful way of speaking ive scanned down the whole thread and your turn of phrase reminds me of my father.
Parents are irish and as i was growing up the kitchen table was the centre of everything music,card games,tears,laughter.I remember seeing my father sat at the table being told his father had died,also when his mother had died,I remember him smashing his fist down on it when i was a boy and he caught me stealing his fags,didnt hit me but by hitting the table for some reason it was more effective his frustration i guess i dunno .Anyway im rambling just a passing stranger and felt like saying Hi and for some reason Thanks.
      peace fella i like your style and Thanks again


06 Aug 06 - 09:13 PM (#1803092)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Don't be a stranger, stranger.

I remember our kitchen table. Very 1950's. It had a quasi-formica top with an aluminum edging about 2" wide, with several horizontal ridges in it. It had a leaf that could be pulled up. Our kitchen was very small... as I've said, not even enough room for the refrigerator, but the five of us... my Mother and Father, my two older sisters and I managed to squeeze in around that small table with our backs up against the stove on one side, and Dad just about through the door into the dining room. Houses were sure set up oddly then. Our kitchen was very cramped, and yet we had a large dining room with a beautiful walnut table and six matching chairs. We probably at at that table five or six times a year... mostly on Holidays, and maybe a birthday. The rest of the time we crammed ourselves into the kitchen. But, respectable families had a dining room.

For many years, we ate on an oil cloth cover on the kitchen table. Anybody remember oil cloth? I wonder if they even make it any more...

Jerry


07 Aug 06 - 11:58 AM (#1803532)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

You know, Ebbie, back in the 60's most of us tried to sound old and toothless, gumming the words with imagined tobacco spittle running out of the side of our mouths. We wanted to be authentic, which to us meant old. We copied Clarence Ashley, Uncle Dave Macon and the rest, trying to get their phrasing down. God help you if you had any vibrato in your voice. Actually, I think God would disown you if you did. Dylan sounded like he'd just crawled out of his coffin when he was 19.

Time takes care of everything, though. No need for us to try to sound "old."

We Iz.

That said, I heard Almeda Riddle when she was older than you and I are now, and she sounded wonderful to my ears. Not that she ever would have been confused with Joan Baez.. not even when Almeda was in her twenties, I bet. The great thing about folk music is that age is venerated by many. Not the angst-ridden crowd, but at least among those who love traditional music.

I think I'll pass on gumming songs with tobacco spittle running out of the corner of my mouth though.

By Cracky..

Jerry


07 Aug 06 - 06:57 PM (#1803942)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

THOUGHTS ON BEING 70 FROM SPIFFY SEPTUAGENARIANS:

Life has got to be lived—that's all there is to it. At seventy, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You know that 'this too, shall pass.'
        —Eleanor Roosevelt

To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
        —Oliver Wendell Holmes

AND ON BEING 80 FROM PERSPICACIOUS OCTOGENARIANS:

At eighty, I believe, I am a far more cheerful person than I was a twenty or thirty. I most definitely would not want to be a teenager again. Youth may be glorious, but it is also painful to endure. Moreover, what is called youth is not youth, in my opinion, it is rather something like premature old age.
—Henry Miller

When I was young I was amazed at Plutarch's statement that the elder Cato began at the age of eighty to learn Greek. I am amazed no longer. Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long.
        —W. Somerset Maugham

SOME WAY COOL COMTEMPLATIONS ON OLD AGE FROM A COUPLE OF TOTALLY AWESOME TRANSCENDENTALISTS:

We do not count a man's years, until he has nothing else to count.
        —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Youth, large, lusty, loving—
   youth full of grace, force,
      fascination.
Do you know that Old Age
   may come after you with
      equal grace, force,
         fascination?
        —Walt Whitman

THE LAST WORD, FROM THAT GREAT WRITER, ANON.:

He who laughs lasts.
        —Unknown


08 Aug 06 - 02:16 PM (#1804599)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Went to the Doctor today for a check-up and got a glowing report. My Doctor says that I am his most boring patient because I take such good care of myself that he can't find anything wrong. Since I was diagnosed as diabetic two and a half years ago, I've been a real bull-dog about taking good care of my health. I know I wouldn't be in the shape I'm in if the diabetic diagnosis didn't wake me up.

I'm surprised in a way, that there isn't a lot of conversation on the cat about diet, natural remedies and excercise. I occasionally see a passing comment on one thread or another, but very little more than that. All that I've learned has been through the internet and reading.

And Elmer turned me on to cinammon.

Jerry


08 Aug 06 - 09:44 PM (#1804946)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Great news about your check-up, Jerry. May you ever bore your doctor with normal blood sugar levels. However, you won't be able to cop Eubie Blake's line, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!"

Elmer


09 Aug 06 - 07:53 PM (#1805723)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Whar's errbody gone to? Sure would be nice to have some company. Me and Elmer's holding the fort these days. I know August is vacation time and some of our reg'lars are away. Ruth and I will be gone for five days late this month into early September so someone will have to hold the fort.

The old saying is "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." The way some of the threads are heating up in here, I think if has become "If you can't stand the heat, come in the kitchen."

Jerry


09 Aug 06 - 11:27 PM (#1805879)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

On my way to music- Jerry, I sent off a CD to you yesterday. Judging by Juneau's usual habit you should receive it by early September. :)


10 Aug 06 - 05:01 PM (#1806601)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

We have a 6 foot by 20 foot strip of lawn on the other side of our driveway that joins our neighbor Mike's lawn. When we moved in here five years ago, I conscientiously took my lawnmower over there and mowed the little strip. Half the time, Mike would just mow my strip of lawn when he was mowing his, and finally he told me he'd just do it with his lawn because it only takes him a couple of minutes more and it doesn't make any sense for me to do it. So, Mike does part of my lawn.

We have a barberry hedge in the backyard, jointly shared with George and Marie, who live behind us. George takes great pride in keeping the hedge beautifully trimmed, and when I bought a hedge clipper, he made it clear that he'd really appreciate continuing to do our side. He likes to help others, and he is an artiste with a hedge clipper. So, George does our side of the barberry hedge in our backyard. And when his hedge-clipper broke, I gave him mine with the proviso that I could borrow it when I needed it.

We have a high hedge of a variety of shrubs that separates our yard from Bill and Joanne. Bill is almost blind from too many years of doing arc welding without protecting his eyes, and he can hardly walk out to the car. So, I do their side of the hedge between us, as well as our side. It's a Hell of a job, which I just finished this morning. There are a lot of grape vines (which never produce grapes) on their side of the hedge and they climb all the way up into our dogwood trees, They are a real pain (mentally and physically) to cut back and strip out of the trees, and they grow faster than Jack's beanstalk. It took me two hours to cut their side of the hedge this morning and it will take another couple of hours to haul several loads of cutting down to the dump, one at a time in the trunk of my car. But, I was especially pleased to do it this time. Early in June while we were out celebrating my Mom's birthday, they had a torrential downpour around here and flooded Bill and Joanne's basement so badly that they had to rip out the flooring and the walls, air hammer a channel and install a sump pump. That was no sooner finished than Joanne's younger sister, who'd been a heroine addict for many years committed suicide. They are really hurting, over there. So I cut their side of the high hedge. George does their side of the barberry hedge that separates his property from theirs.

This morning, I was up on a step ladder struggling to reach across the top of the hedge (which gets as high as ten feet tall) to cut the new growth. George saw me struggling and came over to help hold the ladder. He was cleaning up the branches he'd just trimmed off the barberry hedge on Bill and Joanne's side of the hedge and was just leaning over to pick up a big handful of branches when he noticed me and stopped.

After George helped me, he went over to resume his work and noticed something shining in the pile of trimmed branches he was about to pick up before he stopped to come over to help me. He hadn't noticed them before. When he looked more carefully, he saw several large pieces of broken glass from a bottle he'd seen on Bill and Joanne's lawn before the guy came over to mow their lawn. They all ended up mixed in with the branches that George had been about to pick up. He didn't see them when he was first going to pick them up, and probably would have cut his hands, because he wasn't wearing gloves.

George told me this whole story when he came back over to talk to me. He said, "You know, when you help someone else, God sends someone to help you. If I hand't come over to help you, I would have cut my hands all up, trying to help Bill and Joanne." Now, you can interpret what happened in any way, and that's valid. I do believe that when you are focused on helping others, you often discover that something happens to prevent you from getting hurt, or helps you in a way you probably wouldn't have been helped if you hadn't helped someone else. I told George, "When I burn CDs and send them off to people on the internet (Mudcat) who I barely know, they want to know what they can do for me. I tell them, do something unexpected for someone you barely know, and you'll be doing it for me."

What goes around comes around..

Jerry


13 Aug 06 - 05:06 PM (#1809020)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi all, here I am, back from the sidmouth folk festival, wanting to tell you how wonderful it was and no one is here, I will put on the coffee pot and sit and reminise.We had not been back to Sidmouth for 15 years, but promised an old friend, Dave Bryant, before he died that we would go back this year. So glad he made me promise, we were only there 3 days but have booked for the whole week next year, it was like going home, so much music and so many old friends to catch up with,It felt a bit like sitting in the corner here, sitting in the middle bar in the corner listening to the sing around lots of mudcatters, maybe next year I will sing again myself but really enjoyed joining in the choruses.The morris dancing made me think about getting out my clogs!( or maybe common sense will prevail?)
Anyhow Bily and I had a wonderful 10 days away in Devon and Somerset,back to earth tomorrow.


13 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM (#1809140)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Good for you!


13 Aug 06 - 09:06 PM (#1809172)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Billy Bob:

I'm glad that you and Billy had such a great time at Sidmouth. I know some other Catters who went there, including someone who has been sorely missed, here around the kitchen table. It seems like everyone was gone at the same time, and I was getting kinda lonely sitting here all by myself. Elmer kept me company, but you know that he's a man of few words... The Gary Cooper, strong and silent type.

We had a great time last night. Ruth and I went to a surprise 16th birthday party for her/our Grandson, Little T (who now prefers to be called Terry.) He and his Mother are up here visiting from Virginia Beach, and he was completely surprised at the party because his birthday isn't for a couple of weeks. Our son Pasha, his wife Nina and their son (who still likes to be called Little Pasha) our daughter Dee, and her two daughters and one son were there with four grandchildren and a lot of friends. We was the designated old folks. They had a dj and played dance music most of the night, with everyone ('cept me and Ruth) getting up to dance. The music is all young black dance club music, and a lot of the teenagers had all the moves down cold. It was a lot of fun, watching them have such a good time, and to watch Mothers dancing with sons and grandkids. My Father's nickname for me when I was a kid was Slewfoot. I think that says it all about my dancing finesse.

But man, am I a great watcher!

Good to see some friends dropping by again. Who knows, Ole buddy Ron may pop in soon...

Jerry

Keeper of the Pot..... hmm... that doesn't sound as impressive as I thought....


14 Aug 06 - 01:23 PM (#1809588)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I've been collecting memories these days, with my Mom slowly slip-sliding away. I've kept copies of letters I've written and special ones that I've received, going back to 1974, so I have a ready-made family history filed away.

Today, I was looking through my old files and came across a letter that my Mother wrote to me on Christmas Eve, many years ago. She described her Christmases as a child, in wonderful detail. I am so thankful that she wrote it, and that I have those cherished meories to pass on to my sons and the other members of our family. And to share with Ruth, who immediately adopted Mom as her Mother the minute that she met her.

If you have old correspondence, hang on to it. It is a treasure in the making.

Jerry


14 Aug 06 - 06:35 PM (#1809880)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Jerry
your party sounded great, lovely to have family gatherings, we did that in June for my big O birthday 80 family and friends.It was so special for my parents 86 and 83 to see all the family together.
Sidmouth was really special as 8 of my cousins with wives and husbands joined us, all back next year!
Who are the mudcatters that came over from the USA? I ask because there were 3 Americans staying in our B and b (Lavender Hill) they were at the festival then going on to Broadstairs.I feel very guilty that we did not have a long conversation, call it English reserve?
However I had a great time, although in the middle bar I sat and listened in the corner just like at this table, next year who knows?
Four weeks to go to meet our new first grandchild I went to the hospital today with our daughter to see the latest scan, all goes well, counting my blessings
Wendy


14 Aug 06 - 08:32 PM (#1809944)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Wendy:

Nice to see your name. Beats calling you Billy Bob. When we were at the party, our grandson,(on Ruth's side)his wife and their new baby was there. She's only a few weeks old, having been born on June 14th... on my birthday. It's really special to have a family member born on your birthday. I had a cousin who shared my birthday, who was ten years older. I'll never forget a birthday... I was probably six or 7 years old when he walked over to our house on that hot summer's day to bring me a pair of socks as a birthday present. He had a glass of cold lemonade and then walked home. we didn't own a car, so we couldn't give him a ride back. He lived in a neighboring town about ten miles away. How could anyone forget such a loving act... a twenty mile round trip walk to bring a kid a pair of socks on his birthday? Nothing have ever touched that birthday present. My cousin is long since dead, but he was a sweet man and I loved him dearly. When I was living in New York City, he came to visit once and I took him to the Gaslight Cafe. Tom Pazton was playing that night, and Tom was a friend, so he was especially warm and friendly to my cousin Kenny. Kenny didn't really know folk music, but he asked Tom if he could do the Wabash Canonball, which was one of his favorites. Tom obliged.. made Kenny very happy. It was a sweet gift to a sweet man.

Jerry


14 Aug 06 - 08:38 PM (#1809950)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Jerry, you meet the coolest people and have the sweetest times! Wonder why? :)


14 Aug 06 - 10:09 PM (#1809996)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Now it can finally be told, friends:

Ebbie sounds jes fine, and the set she did a couple of weeks ago with her friends is great fun. I know because Ebbie was gracious enough to let me hear a recording of them... wonderful southern mountain music from the northern plaines. Felt like Old-Timey music at Clarence Ashleys, or a Sunday afternoon picnic at the Carter's.

You got a lot of catching up to do, Ebbie, making good music.

Thanks so much for sharing it with me.

Jerry


15 Aug 06 - 11:05 AM (#1810355)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Thanks, Jerry. Can you believe that with my low Appalachian voice I love opera? True. Sad, but true.


16 Aug 06 - 07:11 AM (#1811018)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

So do you sing opera too, Ebbie? Nice to have an eclectic mix in one's repertoire. Why get stuck in a rut? Around the house, I sing from a whole spectrum of music as the mood strikes. Sometimes I'll find myself unconsciously singing some song, the lyrics of which reflect whatever is on my mind at the moment. If I catch it, I have to stop and laugh at the subject matter, and what it is telling me about my state of mind.

Elmer


16 Aug 06 - 10:12 AM (#1811150)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'm with you, Elmer: If you love the music, go ahead and sing it. Maybe not all of it on stage, but in the house or driving in the car (with the windows all rolled up) sing whatever you feel like singing.
There's no "shouldn't" when you are singing for your own enjoyment.

The funny thing is, when I was a kid and even into young adulthood(until I reached 60) I sang along on the lead, whether the lead was a baritone, tenor or bass. A lot of the time, I had to stretch it, or go into falsetto, but whithout realizing it, I think that I developed a wide range for singing. Thank God nobody told me I shouldn't do that... or even worse, that I couldn't.

When my son Pasha and I are working together and we listen to the old rhythm and blues, it was a revelation to him when I sang falsetto. He didn't realize that's what some singers are doing, and he was trying to reach those impossibly high notes in his own voice. It opened up a whole new world for him. We make a pretty good ltwo man quartet.

I just received notice that my Church And Street Corner Harmony workshop at the NOMAD festival is ON, so it's time to get back to work with the Messengers. That should be a ton of fun..

Jerry


16 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM (#1811185)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

oooooh. I phrased that badly. I meant that it is ironic that given that I have such a low voice that I love opera. No. I don't sing it.

Has anyone here heard of Byron McGillvary (sp)? He is a voice coach who travels around, at least on the West Coast. Anyway, he claims that I was meant to be a soprano!


17 Aug 06 - 07:40 AM (#1812129)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Hi Jerry
I love singing in the car, Billy and I sang along to CDs all the way back from Sidmouth last weekend,helped us along as the journey was dreadful,eight hours of heavy traffic and then a terrific thunder storm as we passed Heathrow airport with torrents of rain, glad we were not catching a plane, security scares and lightning...no thanks!
Billy only ever sings in the car, he has a good voice but would never stand up in front of people,in the car he thinks I cannot hear him as I drown him out.
Yesterday we went to see my son who is starting a new job in September as manager of a restored theatre, built in 1820!A great opertunity , I will let you know how he gets on.Is the coffee ready?
Wendy


17 Aug 06 - 08:27 AM (#1812170)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Wendy:

Any chance you could drive your car up on stage and let Bily Bob sing with the windows rolled down? It's much easier than having a shower on stage. Or a Men's Room. Those are the other places where shy folks burst into song. It's all about a contained space, I think.

I've written a majority of my songs over the years, while driving.
It just seems to be a fertile environment for creation (I'm talking front seat creation, here.) Over the years, I've had a habit of just singing a line that comes out of nowhere. Most of the time, I'd look like an idiot, if somebody heard me. Which is why I sing with the windows rolled up. But once in awhile, a line comes out that really interests me, and it evolves into a song.

Some first lines, out of nowhere that became songs:

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

"Old Dog Trey, he's out on the backporch sleeping"

"It was a nice night, at least I thought it was nice"

"ooh-wee, wouldn't you liked to've been there? Wouldn't you liked to've been there in the morning?" (This one never became a song, and I still don't know why I would've liked to have been there in the morning.

There are many others... not all of which came while driving. But, even those that initially came out of some other situation (dreams, as often as not) became songs as I kept singing the lines that I had, while driving.

The disadvantage of writing songs while you're driving is that it's dangerous to actually "write" them. My attitude on that is that if I can't remember the melody the next day it is by definition, not memorable. And who wants a melody that isn't memorable, anyway?
Besides, I can't write music, so I couldn't "write" a song if I was sitting in a Barcalounge wearing a velvet smoking jacket with leather elbow pads.

Jerry


17 Aug 06 - 08:51 AM (#1812201)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob

Jerry
sitting in the traffic jam last week, singing along to John Denver, we had the windows down, got some strange looks from other drivers, but who cares, they got stress from the going nowhere and we were on " country roads"


17 Aug 06 - 12:05 PM (#1812312)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

A severe curve here:

Last night I was at the outdoor salmon bake where KT sings and got to talking with this tourist from Portland Oregon.

He said, I get so tired of talking with people on the far left and with people on the far right. On any question you already know what they're going to say. It is the people in the middle that I want to know; they are the problem solvers.

Struck me.


17 Aug 06 - 01:03 PM (#1812349)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ebbie:

I could say that I really like your curves, but that might sound sexist, so I'll say that I'm with you on this one. I prefer conversations; not impatient interchanges of inflexible opinions. When I was in college, I studied fossils. But I never enjoyed talking with them.

And here's a curve, right back atcha.

I talked to my Mother this morning. Since Ruth and I celebrated her birthday with her in June, she's been rapidly going down hill. She's reached a point now where she is so weak that it's difficult for her to talk. Most of the time when we call, she doesn't even answer the phone, although she keeps it within reach next to her bed. She's just too worn out to talk. So, we leave messages on her answering machine, and she appreciates that. It's what she needs these days... just hearing our voices, knowing that we love her and are praying for her. Yesterday, she had severe stomach pins, dry heaves and nauseau and it just about took her under. They wanted to put her in the health care center, but she knows that when she goes in there, there's only one way out. She'd rather stay in her room in assisted living, surrounded by the few things she's been able to keep that remind her of happier times.

Even though I could barely hear her when she talked, and she was having trouble hearing me, I wanted to tell her that I am doing a book about her life, with her memories, mine and the rest of the families, some family history and photographs and songs that I've written. She was very enthusiastic about that. I told her that I was sending her copies of two treasured letters she sent to me, long ago about her childhood memories. She was so happy to hear that, and even though she'll have to have someone else read them to her, I know that they will take her back to the days when she was a young girl, and her Mother was alive.

One paragraph relates to our kitchen table, so I thought that Id quote it:

"In the fall there was extra work to harvest the food and can and store it for the winter. I can remember sorting Navy Beans; we had a big table and we'd all sit around it and sort the good beans from the bad. Then, Mother stored them to make good baked beans and side pork in the winter. We had lots of good family banter while we were working. Brother Howard tuaght me the alphabet in German, which he was studying in High School. I have never forgotten it. We have some good singers in the family and Mother would get us going on hymns. Now and then we would digress and sing some rounds of Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and a song that went "Put on your old grey bonnet with the blue ribbons on it, and we'll hitch old Dobbin to the shay. Adn ride out to Dover through the fields of clover on our Golden wedding day." Dad and I took a trip to New Glarus on our 50th, and would you believe we sang that song? We did!"

She introduced her writing by saying "There was lots of work to do, eight children and a farm to run. I will try to tell you some of the things we did that kids now would really complain about, but they were a part of my life and I think it was beautiful."

The letter is mighty long to post here, but if anyone would like to read it, e-mail me at geraldrasmussen@SBCglobal.net and I'll e-mail a copy to you.

Jerry


17 Aug 06 - 01:15 PM (#1812361)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Jerry, go ahead and post that letter! According to Joe there is no limit here to the length of that kind of thing. I think we'd all like to read it.


17 Aug 06 - 02:09 PM (#1812394)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

o.k. Ebbie:

A letter from my Mother:

Dear Jerry: I don't know what in my childhood would be suitable for a song, but I'll recall what I can.

My happiestr memories were from the "Waterman Farm" we rented from Mr. Waterman. I think you can remember the place. It was two miles this side of Milton. Soon after we moved to Milton, Mom died. I was 13, and after that my life was miserable. Dad was bitter that Mother was taken away from him and it was as if we weren't there, and the brothers were mean to us. Gladys and Helen were married, and Helen moved to Minneapolis; there was no one to talk to, so I don't care to recall that part of my life. But, on the Waterman Farm, I can recall many happy memories. There was lots of work to do, eight children and a farm to run. I will try to tell some of the things we did that kids now would really complain about, but they were a part of my life and I think it was beautiful.

We made our own butter; I can remember turning the crank of the butter churn until my arms ached, but when that sweet butter and good, fresh buttermilk were ready, the taste was heavenly and the work seemed worth the effort. We turned the crank on the ice cream freezer too, but somehow that didn't seem like work.

In the fall (see paragraph in my previous post..)



We also had to go out in the fields and help load the pumpkins and squash, and pick up potatoes and sack them. The air was nippy, our cheeks would be rosy and our noses and feet cold. If we could keep remembering all the good food Mother would fix gor us come Winter, it would relieve some of the discomfort.

Summer was more fun. We had a beautiful woods and we loved packing a lunch and walking down the lane to the woods. On the way, we'd pick black raspberries and there was a choke-cherry bush and they were good, too. I remember one hill in the wooded area that in the Spring would be yellow with butter cups. There also were violets, Jack-in-the-pulpits, shooting stars, yellow lady slippers and daisys. Sometimes at night if Mother and Dad weren't too tired, they would go with us and we'd build a bonfire and roast wieners and marsh mallows.

Fourth of July was always a big event, too. There was always an all-day celebration in Milton Park, starting with a parade and ending in fireworks. We saved all year to have 50 cents to spend for ice cream cones, Cracker Jacks and other good things. It is amazing how much we could get for 50 cents.

Then there was the Sunday School picnic. We'd meet at the church and get on hay wagons, horse drawn, and go to Lake Koshkonong. There would be ball games, swimming, horse-shoes and of course, lots of good eating.

Wash or laundry days weren't so much fun. There wasn't any washing maching. Everything had to be scrubbed on the scrub board. The sheets and men's overalls were the worst: all the wringing and rinsing out! The water had to be pumped from the well, carried in and heated on the stove. There were eight children and Mother and Dad, so that was no small task. Then the ironing was done with the iron that had to be heated on the old wood stove.

We didn't have electricity, so another disagreeable task was keeping the chimneys on the kerosene lamps clean. It seems like the bot black awfully fast.

We had carpets made of rags, they were tacked to the floor and every Spring they had to be taken up, put on the line and beaten clean with the carpet beater and tacked back to the floor again. The mattresses had to be opened up, the old straw removed and new straw put in. The pillows were filled with chicken feathers and they had to be replaced, too. So, Spring housecleaning was some different than today.

There was one thing I recall with nostalgia. The cows were always in the pasture in the woods. Every night, someone had to go drive them to the barn for milking. Buster, our dog, was good at rounding them up. To hop-skip and run down the lane, probably a mile, with Buster at our heels was something I loved to do.

Then there was threshing day. The farmers would exchange days until everyone had their grain threshed and stored. We'd be up early in the morning to see the big threshing machines come in; then all the farmers.

They would have dinner at the place they were working and each wife would try to outdo the other for the meal. The dinners were fantastic: tables full of pies and cakes, tons of potatoes, hams, chickens roasting, the smells coming out of the kitchen were so good you'd think you couldn't stand it. We had one farmer that was especially fond of cake and he's always get more than his share, if he could get there first, which he always seemed to do. Mother thought she'd slow him down by not cutting the cake right away, but that didn't stop him. He took the whole top layer.

We had a cook stove in the kitchen, but other than that, a big pot-bellied stove in the living room had to heat that old-fashioned farm house. Needless to say, there were many cold spots! Mother kept big stones in the oven of the kitchen stove and awhile before we'd go to bed, she'd take them upstairs and put them in our beds. We'd undress by the pot-bellied stove, then dash to our beds before we got too cold.

Another thing we used to do was take the Potato bugs off the potato plants. We'd get a penny for each ten bugs. We had a can with kerosense in it and a stick, and we'd knock the bugs off with the stick, into the can.

Then Dad and Mom bought the farm in Milton. We had electricity and a more modern home. Dad bought catlle and started a milk route. We loved to ride along in the milk wagon. Many of the townspeople would send their kids out to the farm for mil.. they could get it cheaper. They came early, sometimes 10-15 of them, and we'd play run-my-good-shee-run, red light, follow the leader and Aunty-over-the woodshed. Such fun!

To many, this would seem like an unhappy childhood, but to me it's the best time of my life. We never got into mischeit when our work was done because there were so many enjoyable things to do with our precious free time that it nhever occurred to us to get into trouble.

Mother's deep religious faith in God was an integral part of our lives, too. No matter how tired she was, all eight os us were bathed, dressed and taken to Sunday School. We walked to Milton (2 miles.) Dad didn't want the horses worked on Sunday. We didn't miss unless we were sick.

I wish my Mother could have lived. Remembering all these things has brought her back so vividly in my mind, and all the years I ached with longing for her.

Well, back to reality. I hop[e seomthing in this will be helpful. I doubt if I can get Dad to do this, but I'll try."

This letters spawned several songs. The verse and chorus I'll include here is a fitting response to the longing she's had for her Mother, all these years:

"I'm going to see my Mother
You know she left so long ago
What a blessed, sweet reunion
When I meet her on that shore"

From When I Get To Glory...

Jerry


17 Aug 06 - 04:01 PM (#1812465)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Thank you for that, Jerry.

Funny thing- your mother's childhood wasn't so different from mine as an Amish kid.

Do you have anything else she wrote?


17 Aug 06 - 10:00 PM (#1812738)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I have a few letters from my Mother, Ebbie. Not a lot. I have a wealth of material, though. I've kept many letters I've received over the years, and a ton of copies I made of letters that I sent, not counting old newspaper articles and notes that I've taken over the years, talking with my parents. Just for the fun of it, a couple of years ago, I went through copies of letters I've written (which go back all the way to 1974) and pulled out all the comments I made about my two sons as they were growing up. I ended up with over 30 typewritten pages, and was able to add a few letters and articles they'd written as school projects. What fun. Some of the things I described in such detail in letters (most of them to my friend Art Thieme) I'd forgotten all about. I still keep copies of some e-mails and PMs, sent and received. They are a wonderful diary, and full of wisdom I've been blessed to receive from others.

I also have a couple of tapes, interviewing my Father and other family members. The memories will not die.

Jerry


17 Aug 06 - 10:08 PM (#1812745)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Carly

Thank you for sharing your mother's letter, Jerry. Her story brought back some of my own childhood memories, although in some ways I grew up in a more modern world. We had electricity and indoor plumbing, cars and washing machines. But I remember vividly hanging laundry to dry, and learning to sew on my Mom's old Singer, which was a treadle machine that had been converted with a small motor. It sewed one size stitch, forward. If you wanted to sew back, you turned the garment around. Buttons, hems and detail work were all done by hand.

We always had a garden, and fruit trees: apple,pear and cherry. I loved picking the ripe tomatoes and string beans, but I hated weeding, and we would spend hours in the nearby blackberry patch, picking buckets of berries that ended up as jam, shortcake or pies. We lived at the edge of town, so we had space for a big garden, and my Mom had a lovely bed of roses beside the house. Dad would buy her bushes for their anniversary and her bithday. I can smell them now, along with the lilac and honeysuckle; the scents of our childhood summer evenings, playing tag and red rover in the dusk.

Carly


18 Aug 06 - 10:17 AM (#1812953)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

A song for Jerry, our host at the kitchen table, on this Friday morning:

IT'S A PLEASURE TO KNOW YOU
(Carl Williams)
0.7742 in the DigiTrad

Chorus:
It's a pleasure to know you, a pleasure to see you smile
A comfort to know we'll share the road awhile
Pleasure is fleeting, and comforts are far between
It's a pleasure to know you and the comfort you bring.

1. I came to your city after I'd left my home
And I was a stranger, dressed up in stranger's clothes
Favors I needed, but charity's out of style--
Rare as the beauty in the face of a trusting child.

2. Now they say life's a journey, a highway from birth to death
Mapped in despair, and traveled in hopelessness.
Well they may believe it, but just between you and me
The trick to the travelin' is all in the company.

3. Now lovers may leave you, lovers may turn away.
Children may scorn you--you know that they will someday,
Seasons are fickle, and fate isn't known as kind
But friends's the diamond, and trouble's the diamond mine.


18 Aug 06 - 10:43 AM (#1812970)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Well thanks a lot, Elmer:

Aw shucks...

Back in the 50's, they had all these "answer" songs... in that tradition, if I had the time, I'd post the lyrics to

You Got A Friend

Still Jerry After All These Years


18 Aug 06 - 12:58 PM (#1813077)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I was talking with my good friend Calire Voyant today, and she predicts that by this time tomorrow, Ron Davies will magically reappear.

We missed you, Ron.

Claire didn't say nothin' about Jimmyt, though.

Jerry


18 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM (#1813093)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

Thanks for the song you posted, Elmer Fudd. While I was out with my little dog this morning I was reflecting on the years that I have been in Juneau.

I came up here from Oregon 18+ years ago and I have never regretted it. I like Oregon and I would like to be with my birth family more often but I love Alaska and I love my friends up here.

I think I am a most fortunate person.

And I too miss Ron Davies. Whar he bin?


18 Aug 06 - 02:03 PM (#1813141)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Aren't Ron and Jan on vacation?

We're getting within spitting distance of the 1,000th post, so maybe that'll lure jimmyt back into the fold. On the other hand, mebbe, jest mebbe, I'll bag that wabbit thiiiissss time....

Elmer


18 Aug 06 - 10:20 PM (#1813495)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Just back from the UK yesterday. Great to see that the knights and ladies of the round, square, or whatever shape Kitchen Table are still going strong.

Had the best Sidmouth I've ever had--in great part since I rented a viola in Sidmouth and found lots of little groups who appreciated a low harmony.

And it was sunny and 60's-70's virtually the whole week.

I've put a lot more detail on the Sparkling Sidmouth thread.

Had a bit of a problem when friends didn't get along with each other--don't know if I dare to explain in detail since Jan is involved and this is her computer too.

And still tired--better go to bed soon and post more tomorrow.


19 Aug 06 - 10:11 AM (#1813744)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Welcome back, Ron: I'm glad that you had a great time at Sidmouth. It sounds like a great festival. Sorry to hear that there were problems involving friends. I can relate to what you aren't saying.

We missed you, these last couple of weeks. Pull up a chair and unload. Ironically, I was shopping for a new coffe pot yesterday. A real one, not a cyber pot.

cyber coffee is a little on the weak side..

Jerry


19 Aug 06 - 12:55 PM (#1813832)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Well I'm sure torn. On one hand I'm listening to Scheherezade now--and they're playing the whole thing, not just one movement. So there's no way I'll be doing anything else for another half an hour or so. And I definitely have a lot to say--and would like to ask for counsel on what to do. On the other hand this is the opposite of secure as far as Jan is concerned--she could easily check and see exactly what I've written--and explode at me again--she's already told me she doesn't want anything she tells me passed on to anybody. But I'm totally the opposite of her on that--she doesn't want to tell anybody anything--and I feel that if you can ask for counsel, it's always worthwhile--a new perspective, and somehow, sharing the burden. And Jerry, you invite me to "unload".

But I suppose I'd best wait awhile--at least.

Anyway, the movement of Scheherezade they're now playing is called "The Young Prince and the Princess", I think. I definitely remember playing it in a high school production of "You Can't Take It With You"--I was Ed--and my wife was a ballet dancer--so I had to play some music for her to dance to. I learned how to play the xylophone for the occasion-- and I picked this movement since it was a waltz.   It was great fun to do it on stage.

We're having a drought now--evidently have had one for weeks while we were away. So I was out trying to perk up a wilting forsythia by setting up a hose between 2 rocks to spray in that direction. (After that I set it up in other areas of the garden.) Anyway, the water was coming through the leaves of a dogwood we have in the front yard--by the way, the English call it a front garden. But if that's so, what do you English posters on this thread call the garden which is in the front yard (or front garden)? Sure seems confusing to me.

Well OK, back to the story. Anyway, we have had a hummingbird feeder on the deck (in back) for months now--no visitors at all.

Today, while Jan and I were talking, she was facing the front windows and I was facing away. She noticed there was a hummingbird sitting in the dogwood--enjoying the impromptu shower provided by the spray from the hose. Flexing her wings and revelling in the spray.--it was a female ruby-throated. Just wonderful. Don't recall ever seeing a hummingbird do that before--certainly not in our yard.

Then we also saw the first monarch of the year in our budlia (AKA butterfly bush). And if we'd been out shopping or doing anything else "productive", we would have missed them both. Thinking now we should put the hummingbird feeder in the dogwood. Does that sound reasonable?


19 Aug 06 - 01:31 PM (#1813847)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

You're wise, Ron:

This really isn't a good forum for "unloading." Unless you have a
good shipment to unload. That's always welcome. I talk very differently to friends in e-mails, less so in PMS, because it's not clear to me who can read my PMs in here. Besides, with e-mails, I can always delete anything after I've written, or read it. That's a lot better than in the old days when I'd have to quickly eat a letter, if someone was coming in the room.. :-)

You know, I was just thinking this morning, how good my life is. Not that I can take any credit for it. "Exuberant" isn't an every-day word in my vocabulary, but it's the best word I can think of about these days. And that's said, realizing that the next phone call I receive could be my sister telling me that my Mother has died.

I'm preparing for a workshop that I'm doing with Barbara Shaw (of Mudcat) and her husband Frank. It's titled Songs In The Attic. There's something odd about being a performing folk singer for so many years. A notch up from being a performing bear. Most of us have a great love for traditional music. I surely do. And yet, because we're performing there is always the subtle pressure to do new material. If all folk singers in the past were performing constantly, they would never have preserved all the wonderful songs that were sung a thousand times. That's why I'm doing the Songs In The Attic workshop... asking Barbara and Frank to dust off some of those old, wonderful songs that we still love but never sing. One that I'm dusting off is one of my own that I wrote in my callow youth. What is "callow?" Isn't that they make candles out of? The chorus applies to my life, these days.

"For the good old days are still to come
Though the hard times are not over
For we must wear that thorny crown
To walk the fields of clover"

Funny thing is, sometimes the good old days come disguised as hard times. It's only later that we realize that the times were so hard because we were being ripped out of patterns in our lives that were denying who we are, and were meant to be. Change hurts.

These days, I'm finally completing a new CD of Songs From The Attic, and will be putting Handful Of Songs out on CD for the first time.
And through the encouragement of a friend, I am finally doing some focused writing. The writing is coming together because my mind is very much on my Mother and her life. That's leading me to write about her life, interweaving letters, songs, photos and reflections I've collected over the years. It's the pain of anticipating the loss of my Mother that is producing something very positive.

Why, I am so exuberant that I even crawled under my computer knee space and cleaned the floor! I was so happy! I didn't find anything dead, back there.

Life is good, but rarely easy.

Jerry


20 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM (#1814394)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Came across this sentence, reading this morning:

"It is worth while experiencing suffering and sorrow if that experience will enable us to help others who are struggling.."
Without that little word "if," suffering and sorrow have no meaning.
The "if" is why we turn to others who have come through trials similar to ours, and why others turn to us if we have experienced trials similar to theirs.

And where in the world is jimmyt? I hate to think that my friend Jimmy is just lurking, waiting for the 1,00th post... :-)

Jerry


20 Aug 06 - 10:15 AM (#1814417)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Phot in the Gulf

Hello all, just passing so I thought I'd pop my head round the door. I'm out in the Gulf again, at least people arn't throwing rockets over the fence this time! I'm on HMS Kent, on patrol in the Gulf, and of all places to find an internet terminal, I'm on a totally wrecked oil platform. Still I should be back home before Christmas, its just a shame I'm missing all the festivals Pixie and I usually get to! Have a good time guys.

Wassail!!! Chris.


20 Aug 06 - 12:12 PM (#1814461)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Glad you could drop by, phot: You have to win the prize as our most esoteric neighbor. Back in the early 60's, I spent one summer working a iceberg reasearch station 800 miles north of Alaska.. (Remember the song North TO Alaska. by Johnny Horton?) We were 800 miles north of Point Barrow. I shared a quonset hut with the guy who was the ham radio operator, and when we made contact with people in the states, they freaked out. Happened to catch a guy once in Massachusetts who was driving in his car and had his CB radio on. Just about drove off the road, once he realized who he was talking to.

Exotic is good. Mundane is o.k. but kinda boring.

Think I'll p.m. jimmy..

Jerry


20 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM (#1814463)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Just saw an interesting article about how people on "Inactive Ready Reserve" in the National Guard in the US are being "activated"--and sent back to Iraq. Some who've been out of the Army for 2 years.


20 Aug 06 - 12:49 PM (#1814476)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I read that one too, Ron: The National Guard: The units that never stop serving.

Jerry


20 Aug 06 - 07:25 PM (#1814679)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

hello all!   Jerry I am so happy to have received your note! I am fine but have just been going in lots of different directions and I can assure it is nothing about the cat. Jayne is going bacvk to Ohio on TUesday to see about her mom and sister. She is SO tired of making that trip but sometines we just have to do what is needed. All is well with me. I have been playing a bit but not enough. I am frustrated with music right now. Not being stimulated musically but don't have the energy to go out and creat some new opportunities. On a bit of a creative ebb right now. Anyway, thanks for the kind words and a will be nosing in from time to time    jimmyt


20 Aug 06 - 07:31 PM (#1814684)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks so much for dropping by, Jimmy.. You know, post number 1,000 is right around the corner...

Keeping you, Jayne and family in prayer...

Jerry


20 Aug 06 - 07:57 PM (#1814705)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Gee Jimmy--you shouldn't feel the need to constantly create something new in music--you've more than earned the right to rest on your laurels for a bit--and possibly review some doo-wop for the Getaway?


20 Aug 06 - 08:29 PM (#1814734)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Never having rested on laurels, I would think they'd be kinda uncomfortable. If it's anything like lying on mountain laurel branches, I think I'll pass.

How about resting on your cotton wood tree? Sounds more comfortable.

Jerry


20 Aug 06 - 08:44 PM (#1814750)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Resting on your cottons?--well, it does sound softer. Resting on your woods--as opposed to your irons? Both pretty lumpy--won't get much rest.


20 Aug 06 - 09:08 PM (#1814756)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

You wascally wabbit, I've got you in my sights...


20 Aug 06 - 09:09 PM (#1814757)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

You're not going to get away from me this time!
I'VE GOT YOU NOW! I'VE WEALLY, WEALLY GOT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


20 Aug 06 - 09:41 PM (#1814767)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: jimmyt

one thousand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


20 Aug 06 - 10:03 PM (#1814779)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

A truly "grand" thread!


20 Aug 06 - 10:21 PM (#1814786)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

You can have post 2,000 Elmer..


20 Aug 06 - 10:44 PM (#1814793)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

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

Elmer


21 Aug 06 - 04:41 AM (#1814908)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Pastor Greg

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


21 Aug 06 - 07:06 AM (#1814983)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Welcome to the table, Greg.

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

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

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

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

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

Reminds me of another line from a folk song.

"I know where I'm going."

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

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

Jerry


21 Aug 06 - 09:00 AM (#1815046)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

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


21 Aug 06 - 09:26 AM (#1815064)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

And the correct line is:

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

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

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

Jerry


21 Aug 06 - 04:48 PM (#1815390)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

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

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

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

Elmer


21 Aug 06 - 05:08 PM (#1815417)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'm with you, Elmer:

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

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

My home country..

Jerry


21 Aug 06 - 09:40 PM (#1815661)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie

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

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

Does anyone here know the song?


21 Aug 06 - 09:56 PM (#1815675)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

First come, first served.

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

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

Jerry


21 Aug 06 - 10:46 PM (#1815717)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

Great stories!

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

Elmer


22 Aug 06 - 10:52 AM (#1816157)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee

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


22 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM (#1816232)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

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

Elmer


22 Aug 06 - 05:15 PM (#1816420)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: freda underhill

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

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

Murrumbidgee Waters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

best wishes

freda


22 Aug 06 - 06:54 PM (#1816516)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Thanks for sharing that one.

Jerry


23 Aug 06 - 06:43 AM (#1816841)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

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

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


23 Aug 06 - 09:35 AM (#1816956)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks, Ron:

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

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

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

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

Jerry


23 Aug 06 - 11:04 PM (#1817555)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

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


24 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM (#1817597)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jenny


24 Aug 06 - 09:53 AM (#1817807)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Jenny-o:

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

In my mind, I've fossicked Clemens Flat.

Jerry


24 Aug 06 - 09:02 PM (#1818304)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

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

Elmer


24 Aug 06 - 09:21 PM (#1818319)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

The things you learn in here.

Jerry


24 Aug 06 - 09:33 PM (#1818329)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Jerry


25 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM (#1818418)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO

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

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


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

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


25 Aug 06 - 10:10 AM (#1818714)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm signing up for a writing course.

Jerry


25 Aug 06 - 10:25 AM (#1818723)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO

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


25 Aug 06 - 06:08 PM (#1818992)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Elmer Fudd

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

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

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

Elmer


25 Aug 06 - 08:47 PM (#1819073)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

A story:

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

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

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

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

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

Victory never went to the faint of heart.

Jerry


26 Aug 06 - 01:10 AM (#1819196)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO

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

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

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

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

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

Jenny


26 Aug 06 - 10:01 AM (#1819386)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hi, Jennyo:

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

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

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

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

Jerry


26 Aug 06 - 10:39 AM (#1819404)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry and everybody else,

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

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

Congratulations !


26 Aug 06 - 12:20 PM (#1819453)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

It's a deal, Ron:

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

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

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

Jerry


26 Aug 06 - 01:20 PM (#1819488)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jenny


26 Aug 06 - 01:24 PM (#1819493)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: JennyO

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

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


26 Aug 06 - 02:33 PM (#1819538)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Wolfie:

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

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

Jerry


26 Aug 06 - 03:01 PM (#1819558)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, JennyO:

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

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

PARADISE BAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jerry


26 Aug 06 - 03:10 PM (#1819567)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

Jerry


26 Aug 06 - 10:10 PM (#1819790)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Trying to hold on:

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

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

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

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

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

There are every day stories of courage all around us.

But, she knows that she will be allright.

Jerry


27 Aug 06 - 06:27 PM (#1820252)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies

Hi Jerry-

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

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

Any comment, esp from UK 'Catters?


27 Aug 06 - 08:31 PM (#1820323)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Ron:

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

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

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

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

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

Jerry


28 Aug 06 - 11:51 AM (#1820751)
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen

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

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

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

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

Hit it outta the park, Mom!

Jerry


28 Aug 0