Sunday, March 8, 2009

For fun

Hi folks
in case you are worried -- i really am having scads of fun here, not just splitting firewood and feeding the stove.
Take last night. I went to the Blue Mountain Old Time Fiddle Show. The County Fair Board served a dinner ahead of time. June signed herself up to play and we rehearsed in the "powder room" (yes they called it a powder room). The evening then proceeded in an orderly fashion, with a jovial MC and a lot of guitar accompaniment. It was all anchored down by a few family members and old friends who passed instruments around on stage. Each fiddler would come up and play their three tunes, and someone would play the bass, and all the others would be on guitar or mandolin. Everyone knew all the tunes. June and I broke the pattern, and let the others leave the stage while we played Irish tunes with minor chords in them, but everything else was G, D, or A. Some entries stretched the definition of "fiddler," but no one fussed. An ancient woman played three waltzes in a row on an out-of-tune piano. An elderly "hall of famer" had died recently and was buried that morning, "or else," they said, "he'd'a been here playing tonight." My favorite performers were the Prairie Creek Girls, three teenagers in matching plaid shirts who played Dancing Bear and Little Brown Jug in nice tight harmonies.

Speaking of really cool teenagers, a few weeks ago my inner teenage geek was ECSTATIC to find a monthly square dance at the "Odd Fellows Hall" in the next town over. Over the course of that night I jumped in and out of the band, trading with the other bassist, and next time I'll call some dances too. Half of the band members were younger than thirty, and the dancers were even younger by far. I have a deep (primal) memory of being a teenager at square dances populated by old tired people, longing for more of my peers to come dance (but they were too "cool" for that.)

Also. I heard some girls from Future Farmers of America give a presentation on the re-introduction of wolves to Oregon (posing as a debate between environmentalists and ranchers). This was part of The Big Read (community reading programs) which, here, focused on The Call of the Wild this year, along with other Jack London or wolfish literature.
Full Disclosure: being from, ahem, New York City, I had never encountered FFA before, and when I first heard of them I thought it was a joke. No, these kids are good at what they do, and they speak publically with great confidence and expertise.

All in all, this wouldn't be a terrible place to be a teenager!

No comments:

Post a Comment