24 May 2011

Rose in Black and White

Here's the latest ink drawing. I like this medium almost as much as watercolor.

20 May 2011

Songs My Father Sang

My father used to like to sing. Most of the songs were from the First World War, like "Give My Regards to Broadway", "Over There" and "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag". But the one that I remember because it was a humorous ditty went like this:

I run the old mill over here to Reuben's-ville
My nane's Joshua Ebenezer Frye.
I know a thing or two,
You can bet your life I do,
They don't ketch me for I'm too darn sly.

I've seen Bunco men, allus got the best o' them,
Once I met a couple on the Boston train.
They says, "How be you!"
I says, "That'll do!
Travel right along with your darn skin game.

Wal, I swan!
I mus' be gittin' on!
Giddyup, Napoleon! It looks like rain.
Wal, I'll be switched!
The hay ain't pitched!
Come in when you're over to the farm again.

There were a lot of verses to it, and I've heard it on the radio only once in my life, back in the 70's, by some folk singer whose name I never did learn. If you ever hear the number, let me know.

17 May 2011

Our "Band"

Here we are, "The Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" in all our glory. In the foreground are Gina from Taiwan and Laura. Back from left to right are Michelle, Michael, me, Jonteel, Dorothy and Lou. Gina and Laura were the student instructors, Michael their supervisor. Laura has graduated and is on her way to Seattle; Gina is going to Chicago. Lou is holding the guitar his wife bought him a few years ago. At the time, he said he would wait until he was 90 to take lessons because he was just too busy. When the opportunity came for the ASU sessions, he signed up, even though he's a year shy of 90, just to have someone tune his guitar. Jonteel was so taken with the first couple of sessions with drums that her son bought her a snare drum; she has since been taking lessons from a professional drummer. One of these days, I'll look into buying a guitar; right now I'm too busy with other activities. But I do know all the notes to "Love Me Tender"!

15 May 2011


I've been thinking of my father a lot lately. He was quite a craftsman. He made desks for my brother and me as well as our children. Bookcases and storage cabinets. A train table for me. Tools for building model airplanes. In his later years, he worked on some projects at his church, including building a new set of steps. He was a mason/bricklayer by trade, having worked with his father and brothers since he was 13. He lost his mother when he was 8 and quit school at age 13 to help the family - his father and 7 siblings. He suffered from a form of pemphagus, which caused large sores to form on his neck and under his arms. Treatments in those days, before it was diagnosed correctly, included radiation, boric acid salves, zinc oxide ointments, all to no avail. It was difficult to work because he couldn't always raise his arms to plaster ceilings. But he always managed to live through the attacks. He took time off from work to build houses for my brother and me after we married. He collected books on the West and Spiritualism; he belonged the the Spiritualist Church in Rochester, NY, and was active in Lily Dale, NY. He died recovering from prostate cancer surgery; the surgery was successful, but the cause was a pulmonary embolism.

03 May 2011

Music Therapy Finished

Monday was the last in a series of classes at Arizona State University Music Department, and it was sad/happy. Sad because it was the end and we would probably not see the student teachers again. Laura would graduate this month and move on to the Seattle area; Gina (from Taiwan) would be spending her summer in Chicago. Michael, their supervisor, will stay in the Valley to teach and play in drum circles, so we might run into him from time to time.
Happy because we got to record a song we wrote the lyrics to, had photos taken of the group, and had a CD cut of us singing our song. Laura, Gina and Michael put together the CD with some of their favorites, along with Jonteel reading a poem she had written thanking them, as well as "The Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" singing our song.
We did also have time to play all of "Love Me Tender" on guitars, so we are ready to go out into the world and serenade. Are you ready, world?