Archive forJuly, 2007

Bumps in the road…

We’re on our way northward (to our place in the U.P.).

We’re only been home from Evart for nine days, but it seems like it was a looonnnng while ago.

We got home on Sunday (the 22nd) and Wednesday (the 25th) we played music for our monthly Haithco Concert with our club (Saginaw Subterranean Strings). It started out iffy weather-wise, because it was raining until about 30 minutes before we played and therefore our audience was small. But we had a pleasant evening.

One of our performers was Ralph Beyersdorf, the “character” of our club. He’s the kind of guy who loves to get under your skin but everyone enjoys his humor. Ralph was in fine form Wednesday at Haithco.

Thursday about 9:30 a.m. we got a call from Ralph’s daughter. Her dad had died of a massive heart attack that morning. We were in shock.

Wednesday morning we’d lost the husband of another member (Carol Ellis’s husband, Dick, but that had been expected because he’d waged a long battle with cancer, but with Ralph there was no warning. He was the picture of health Wednesday night and gone Thursday morning. Ralph was 67.)

So within the past few days we’ve had two funerals for friends: Saturday was Dick’s funeral, Monday was Ralph’s.

We’d just as soon have stayed home and gotten some stuff done, but we haven’t been able to visit our place yet this summer, so we figured we’d better look in on our investment. Today’s Tuesday. We’ll probably head home Saturday a.m.

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Headin’ Home from Evart

A couple weeks ago, I posted to this blog and said the Evart FunFest would soon be starting. Now here it is Sunday, July 22nd, and we’re headed home.

As usual after one of these events, I’m filled with affection for the festival crowd, basking in the warmth that is shared. It’s a wonderful event, steeped in tradition.

We had a grand time. Was it the best time ever? No, but it was much better than the last few have been and I attribute that to a change of attitude on my part.

There were sad parts: Rick Thum’s dad died during the festival so he left quickly and I found that a dear friend has lung cancer that has metatistized and spread so he said his “good-byes” to me which tore at my heart. He was so brave when he told me he won’t be back to Evart. I could tell that he’d enjoyed the festival and those memories were going to be savored. When I kissed him on the cheek, he said, “That helped.” So I did it again.

The music is always special. Our friend, Judi Morningstar wrote a beautiful new aire. It was a high-point of the festival, especially when played with Cece Webster (on harp) and Renzo Hutchinson (on flute).

Saturday I had kind of a mystical experience: a monarch butterfly took a liking to me. I had just put on perfume so maybe that lured him. He stayed on my hand and my shoulder for about an hour. When we went to dinner, I was concerned about him flying down to the ground and being stepped on because the crowd was huge, so I took him over to the fountain which is surrounded by flowers and placed him on one of the blossoms. He returned to me twice before I could convince him to stay. He was gone when I checked about a half hour later.

We had a lot of long conversations and enjoyed listening to a lot of music but really didn’t have time to make much ourselves. As usual the time before the festival was best.

My job as workshop coordinator was complicated by 18 or 19 class cancellations by instructors. All reasons were understandable, and I was able to “fill most slots” with substitute instructors who stepped up and volunteered. I’m sure some of the fill-in classes were better than those originally scheduled. There were a total of 208 classes.

I was distressed by some rule changes that seem arbitrary. For instance the golf carts are now so restricted that I’m really wondering about the cold heartedness of some of the board members. (No help for handicapped, no rides for newcomers, etc.)

Hopefully these things will be reviewed at the fall meeting.

We’re tired and ready be home. It’s nearly 7:00 p.m. It’ll feel soooo good.

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Thursday, the 12th

A week before the start of the festival.

It’s been a cool day and right now it’s raining. Hopefully the weather will improve before the start of the festival.

The Tent City area, where we camping, is still pretty empty. We’ve been here for five days. No one has arrived since we came in. I have a feeling that’ll all change tomorrow. Lots of folks will arrive after then get off work tomorrow. We’ve enjoyed playing with the Conklins, who are next door. Today I spent the day practicing the dulcimer, which I rarely play. It was fun.

I’ll write more later.

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We’re here at the Evart Festival but..

it seems that we’re waiting for the fun to begin. Many of our Evart friends haven’t arrived yet and although we needed some down time, we’ve now rested up and we’re “READY.” Since it’s only Wednesday, we still have at today and tomorrow before folks will show up.

We went to a jam in the Swine Barn last night. (John had also participated Monday evening.) It was a nice gathering. I counted about 20 dulcimers and 10 other instruments. Many of the musicians were the ones who had been at Rose Wark’s Florida gathering in March. We played about an hour and 15 minutes.

The weather was hot the first few days we were here, but today the outside temperature (at 9:30 a.m.) is only 61 which is a tad chilly. Actually we’re going to have a few cool days, and then a gradual warm-up to the start of the festival in about a week. Next Wednesday and Thursday (which is as far out as the weather forecast goes) show temperatures in the low 80’s with over-night lows down to about 60.

I have a new digital recorder which I’m looking forward to using. I tried it out last night, but really haven’t had a chance to see how it worked.

Yesterday afternoon, Wayne and Linda Conklin spent the afternoon playing music under our canopy. It was fun.

I’ll write more later.

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I wrote this Saturday (July 7th)

“Headin’ to Evart”

There’s a tune by that name written by our friend, Bill Robinson. But as I write this, those words accurately describe our destination. We’re about 15 miles from home and finally on our way to the biggest festival we attend. It’s also the event where we’re in charge of workshops. (I say “we” but technically it’s my job, nevertheless, without John’s help, I couldn’t do it.)

It’s always a chore to get ready. Yesterday we were busy all day picking up the workshop programs and the copy machine, getting the paper for copies plus all the other stuff that we need to make the workshops run smoothly.

This morning we were up about 7:30 and by 8:00 we were packing. It took us until 4:30 of steady, hard, physical work.

My old body isn’t up to that kind of abuse. I’m plum tuckered out!

We didn’t even stop to eat so all I’ve had is a 2” x 2” brownie, and a few chips washed down with a diet ginger ale.

We definitely take more stuff when we go to this event than when we traveled across the country, and also lots more than when we go to Florida.

But we love the whole Evart experience. It’s like “going home.” Many of our best friends are there, we get to enjoy the most fantastic music imaginable.


I wrote the above in the truck while riding. Haven’t had time to post it before now (Wednesday the 11th). We are now at the fairgrounds relaxing in anticipation of the festival. I’ll write a more current up-date shortly.

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