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Archive for July 30th, 2008

Music and Family at Altu’s

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Saturday evening, Brian and I performed as The Fabulous Heftones at my friend Altu’s Ethiopian restaurant. It was an extra special evening because the crowd included my mother and my brother, Eric Oscar. I don’t see Eric enough. It was his birthday just after the 4th of July but this was the first I had seen him since then.


Mom invited everyone she knows, or something like that. She knows many loyal friends and three of them came out. Also, Regina (friend from Working Women Artists among other places) came and sat with my family and the friends. Not only that, we had other folks come out just to hear us who we know just because we play this music. Fans. Imagine that!

It was too bad that Eric’s wife, my friend/knitter Diana, couldn’t make it. We missed her but sent food home so she could enjoy that part, anyway.

It was a hot day so it was perfect for wearing the Ethiopian dress brought to me by Altu’s sister a year or two back. It’s so lovely and so cool in this weather, and I especially love wearing it at the Ethiopian restaurant.

For the textile lovers out there who read this blog, the fabric is a very fine semi-transparent gauze which is handspun and handwoven cotton. The bodice is shirred with elastic thread (a modern style) and the full gathered skirt has a built in slip. The wrap is one loom-width of fabric with synthetic colored woven trim on both ends. They use synthetics where there is color, to avoid dyes running.

In Ethiopia most people do not have a washer and dryer. If you are well established, you typically will have a maid/cook who will hand wash your clothing for you. Therefore, easy upkeep is valued highly. Synthetics have been embraced to avoid dye-migration problems in otherwise lovely woven items. I noticed much embroidery was also done in synthetics, no doubt for the same reason.

So here we are, the three of us who grew up together so to speak. Mom was widowed at age 38, I was 14 and Eric was nearly 13. At the time we had zero relatives in Michigan. It was the three of us, a team, for better or worse. There were difficult years but we have all come out strong and happy. There is nothing like a good ending, don’t you think?


(Thanks to Regina for taking second photo: Mom’s longterm friend Fred, Mom, Eric, Me, Brian.)