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Archive for January 12th, 2003

Last Holiday Gathering

Sunday, January 12th, 2003

Today Brian and I went to the Elderly Instruments employee holiday party. Brian has worked there for over a decade. Since they are a retail (music) store, having the party after the crazy days of Christmas orders are over makes it so that people can actually enjoy themselves.

Lynn with her 1998 New Beetle, JoyWhat a group of creative and talented folks these are! During the entire party there is live music, performed by employees and their friends and family.

Opening the “Concert” of the party was a group of old timers playing acoustic stringed instruments in a style rarely heard anymore. The star of that group was Dorsey, Brian’s banjo-playing friend who will be turning 94 next month. He is a ray of sunshine, always a smile on his face. These days he doesn’t get out much when it is cold, although he is still living in the home he built in 1959-60. He was delighted to be there and we were delighted he could perform!

The next group was Brian and I, as “The Fabulous Heftones.” I got to sing my new song, “Tellin’ it to the Daisies,” that Annette Hanshaw number I mentioned about a week ago here. It went over well and was very fun. In previous years, I haven’t sung many pieces because I didn’t take the time to learn new tunes. This time I sang a bit more than usual and got a lot of lovely and kind feedback that people enjoy my singing. That was a wonderful development!

OK, so they already know how good Brian is on the ukulele and so they may take him for granted. I sure don’t!!! But good feedback is always a delight, especially since I enjoy performing so very much.

To keep warm, I wore a beautiful stole that was given to me my friend Altu. It was hand-woven in Ethiopia of hot pink silk and very fine white cotton threads. It has really long and flowy silk fringe, and is a large piece of fabric. It was just the thing to perk up my black dress. There is nothing like wearing a piece of art to make a woman smile!

I don’t buy black garments much any more. I only wear dressy clothing on stage these days (meaning I don’t choose to buy new clothes for parties, I would rather save my money for yarn). This is a lovely dress I’ve had for a number of years, that fits me really well. In addition to the stole, I made up for the lack of color in my dress by wearing a turquoise lace shell peeking out the neck, and hot pink tights with violet shoes. With a violet scarf tied in my hair, I think the overall effect was not black!

The other musicians were all excellent, and quite varied in style. I especially liked the family who sang Andean music and other South American pieces. The one daughter who was about 11 years old, was playing two drums very capably while also singing. I was so happy for her!

I would have played drums in 1969 when I started band, but that was just not acceptable for a girl at that time in my community. I would have been good at drums (I have always been very good with rhythm), and I would have loved it! But instead my father gave me two choices: clarinet or trumpet. I would have loved flute as well, but Dad did not consider that an acceptable choice for whatever reason. I never liked clarinet, and therefore never became good at it.

Fortunately, I also wanted to play guitar and Dad thought that was OK. He got me a guitar about the same time, and I played it pretty much constantly until I went away to college. I gave up my music for over a decade and picked it up again when Brian encouraged me to learn to play the Heftone Bass (click the Fabulous Heftones link above for a picture) that I play with him now. I love playing the Heftone! I found it easy to learn after playing chords on the guitar for so long. And it’s so small, it fits in the back seat of my 1998 VW New Beetle as well!!

(Here’s a picture of me with my car, whose name is Joy. OK, I know it is sort of corny to name a car, but most of my cars have had names and I was so joyful to get her, there was only one name she could have!)