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Requiem And A Weekend At The Ranch

September 24th, 2019 Jorma 31 comments

(There’s always late breaking news. Sometimes good, sometimes bad… and sometimes it just is. I got a call early this morning from a friend who told me that Robert Hunter had just passed. ‘Don’t say anything,’ he said. The family hasn’t announced yet. That’s what they wanted and that’s what I did. My orbit tangented Robert’s from time to time. I played on his Amagamalin Street. double LP back in the 80’s. We never really hung out, but over the years we occasionally worked together and… in a distant way he was a respected friend. I shall miss sharing the same astral plane with him.)

Robert, Jorma and Bob

Robert, Jorma and Bob

This picture was taken fifteen years ago easily… there we are, frozen in time for the times to come.

Fall is beginning to wrap its leafy fingers around us all here in Southeast Ohio. The end of another year is underway and even before it arrives I know that Spring will come again and the world will continue to spin. If indeed there is another destination for us when we shuffle off this mortal coil, I hope that Robert is there surrounded by people who will challenge his intellectual curiosity.

Fair winds and following seas my friend.

Back to the Ranch Diary

Yeah, it was a great road trip and he gigs were some of the best ever… great venues, great people to play with… good times! Sometimes I hear, ‘Yeah, you’re going home. Gonna kick back for a while?’ Are you kidding? Kicking back is not part of my existence, and for me that is a good thing! The detritus of the atmosphere in the bus finally caught up with me and as the week evolved I started to show signs of something. Tour Kennel Cough we call it. That said, I had two motorcycle rides to lead. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!

The Sportsters fuel up in Nelsonville.

The Sportsters fuel up in Nelsonville.

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

The big bikes all had five plus gallon fuel tanks so the gas stops were for the two Sportsters with peanut tanks. There were some detours due to Fall construction and the ride wound up being 130 plus miles… then back to the Fur Peace Ranch, a class, dinner and the concert with Rob and Trey with me opening the show.

Nessa blos the conch shell for dinner

Nessa blows the conch shell for dinner

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

As time approached for set opener I had no voice at all. I grabbed John Hurlbut and asked him if he wanted to do the gig with me, and do all the singing. He said ‘Sure,’ and started to make up a set. What are friends for?

The Kaukonen/Hurlbut Allstar Review:

Embryonic Journey…..Jorma
Ballad of Easy Rider…..JK and JH
Kansas City Southern…. JK and JH
Oklahoma Hills…….JK and JH
The Old Homestead….JK and JH
Summertime…….JK and JH
Driftin and Driftin……JK and JH
All Along The Watchtower…..JK and JH

Thanks Brother Hurl, and… we gave the folks a great set!

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley were awesome as they always are! Love these guys.

Before you knew it, Sunday came with Student Open Mike ans pictures et al.

Cameras anyone?

Cameras anyone?

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The collective classes

The collective classes

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Well… fall is coming but it’s warm today…

Rob, Jorma & Trey

Rob, Jorma & Trey

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

A great weekend with good friends!

Two wheeled friends blissfully together

Two wheeled friends blissfully together

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

Rockin’ At The Rocks

September 9th, 2019 Jorma 3 comments
Start Climbing

Start Climbing

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Yep back to Red Rocks opening for our pals, Dark Star Orchestra! We were here a couple of years ago with Tedeschi/Trucks and it was more than awesome to be here again!

What an awesome place.

What an awesome place.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The weather turned with some much needed rain.

The storm begins!

The storm begins!

But then ended in time for our set.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Hot Tuna 38, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
Opening For Dark Star Orchestra
@ Red Rocks
Morrison, Colorado
Sunday, September 8, 2019

1. Been So Long
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Walkin’ Blues
4. Bowlegged Woman
5. Trial By Fire
6. Good Shepherd
7. Hit Single # 1
8. Baby What You Want Me To Do?

In spite of the weather delay our Dark Star Brothers and Sisters gave us our full hour… We had a blast! After the gig I was joined on the bus by a gaggle of Fur Peace Ranchers and we got to chew the fat for a while… Awesome. Then we saddled up and headed north for Billings, Montana.

Sunrise on I-25 in Wyoming

Sunrise on I-25 in Wyoming

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Onward!

Modern Times, Age… And The Apprehensions Of LIfe

August 7th, 2019 Jorma 31 comments

So it’s been a busy week filled with things that were occasionally frustrating, often rewarding and never dull. Last Thursday my pal Smiles and I were working in my barn/shop replacing the ballast in some fluorescent lighting. My phone made that noise that tells me that the Weather Channel was trying to warn us about something. I looked down and there was a warning that a lightning storm was approaching. A lighting event was only four miles away. I looked at the radar. It looked like it was going to just miss us so we kept on working. Looking up, the sky looked like the Mind Flayer from Stranger Things was suddenly hovering over us. I had to rethink my position. A little rain. How bad could it be? The Mind Flayer cloud wrapped itself over the Fur Peace Ranch and in the blink of an eye we were deluged with rain. Hurl was running to his truck to close the sun roof and as we looked out into the rain, the parking lot lit up with the closest lightning strike I’ve ever witnessed.

When we had our first lightning strike in the early 90’s over at Hillside Farm one of my buddies philosophically said, ‘Jorma, lightning goes where it wants to… when it wants to.’ True that. In a millisecond, TV’s were fried… phones were fried… the Ranch internet was fried… and more. The mother board for the Generac fried and the breaker to the pool pump gave up its life to save the pump and the salt generator. Friday we were planning to have a pool party for Izze and twenty of her friends so this was really a potential disaster in the making. Vanessa jumped into Repair Mode as she does and Friday morning Smiles replaced the pool breaker. The party went off as planned and while the kids enjoyed moderate mayhem poolside, Nessa and I sat by the fire.

By the sacred fire pit.

By the sacred fire pit.

Selfie by us

The fire pit sits on the location where Grandpa Wallace Black Elk built a sweat lodge in 1998 and where I heard the Thunder Beings circle the lodge. Wallace Black Elk passed on ‘04 but sharing his spiritual space in ‘98 will never be forgotten.

The space is still sacred!

The space is still sacred!

Timed Selfie

There were no thunder beings today, but the laughter of kids is a good substitute.

Good times!

Good times!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We found ourselves in an internet free zone, both a blessing and a curse. I had phone service, but I’m not fond of doing internet work on the phone. In any case, Sunday was a beautiful day and I allocated it’s beauty to a motorcycle ride to Ritter Park in Huntington, West Virginia.

Ritter Park

Ritter Park

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Back in the 90’s I had a dear friend named Butch, aka Taylor. When he found he had cancer he had me record a six hour oral history to leave to his family. He lost a lung but kept on talking and playing his harmonica into my microphone. The cancer came back. I guess he figured ‘What the heck,’ so he started smoking again. I remember recording him while he smoked and breathed oxygen. ‘Don’t blow me up,’ I said. In any case, Butch was also an artist and spent the last year or so of his life creating the stainless steel sculpture I had come to see again in Ritter Park. He called it his ‘Earth Portal,’ and indeed it was, as I shall explain.

The Portal... Sunday in the park...

The Portal... Sunday in the park...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

As I was walking towards the sculpture from my bike, a father and son stopped to look at the work. They were walking away as I was approaching it and I called to them, ‘My friend built this twenty years ago before he passed. He would be thrilled to know that families are still enjoying it. They regarded me with suspicion, but that’s OK. These are suspicious times, and I said what I had to say. Less than a week after Butch saw the work placed, he walked through his own Earth Portal… and was gone. My friend Jerry was there that day when the statue was placed and he got to spend some time Butch. ‘There are no ripples on my pond,’ he said.

What more could one want.

...and he lives on in a way!

...and he lives on in a way!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The new week came and each day we worked to fix the burned out items. We have a camp this weekend so it was imperative to get everything back to normal, which we did… an hour ago.

And so it goes, people coming, people going. As my friend Gretchen Peters would say, ‘Good times come, good times go. If it lifts you up, it will lay you low. People leave and they don’t come back. Life is a disappearing act.’

Trials and tribulations notwithstanding, so far so good.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Arts & Minds At The Fur Peace Ranch

July 22nd, 2019 Jorma 6 comments
Never A dull moment

Never A dull moment

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The day before Arts And Minds… this tree came down at the entrance to St. Clair Rd.

Yep... this is a big boy!

Yep... this is a big boy!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The county and the township had been waffling about who’s responsibility this tree was. Nature made its own decision.

That was Friday… Saturday was the Arts & Minds Craft Fair.

The temperature was triple digits so we mover the performances into the Station.

Holding forth

Holding forth

Foto by Dennis Kane

Jorma Kaukonen 11, 2019
Arts & Minds Festival
Fur Peace Ranch
Darwin, Ohio
Saturday, July 20, 2019

1230 to 1330 Show

1. Dime For Beer
2. Search My Heart
3. Candy Man
4. Been So Long
5. Barbeque King
6. Heart Temporary
7. Death Don’t have No Mercy
8. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
9. Trial By Fire
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Trouble In Mind
12. How Long Blues
13. San Francisco Bay Blues

1530 to 1615 Show

1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Come Back Baby
4. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
5. Things That Might Have Been
6. Whining Boy Blues
7. Sleep Song
8. Good Shepherd
9. True Religion

Myron sat in with Rob McNurlin and then did a set of his own. Cool beans!

Rob and Myron twangin' it up!

Rob and Myron twangin' it up!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

What would Arts & Minds be without our good friend Heidi Holton.

Sing it girl!

Sing it girl!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

It was more than hot… but it could have been worse. At least we had a breeze.

Then it was showtime!

The Brother Brothers

The Brother Brothers

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

David and Adam Moss… are delightful… sensational… really, really good!

I really dug their show.

Michaeil Glabicki and Dirk Miller were there to close out the evening. Back in 1999 or thereabouts, the Tuna guys recorded ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want,’ wih Rüsted Root. Michael and Dirk asked if I would sit in with them and with a little review, than answer was a resounding , ‘Yes!’ Of course I used my 1962 Fender Super 2×10. The tremolo was delicious!

Michael and Dirk

Michael and Dirk

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

A long day… chilled on Sunday, working in the rain on Monday and looking forward to Floyd Fest this weekend.

Indeed…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

Funky Feat At The Station

June 18th, 2019 Jorma 35 comments
Our Labyrinth from the air

Our Labyrinth from the air

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

While we were waiting for Paul, Fred, Kenny and Gabe to show up there was a break in the endless rain we’ve been having and I took the opportunity to put the bird up.

Bird's eye view of the station

Bird's eye view of the station

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

They were running a wee late, so I just kept on flying.

In control... for once.

In control... for once.

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Then the boys showed up… and so did the sold out crowd!

Yup, the lot was full!

Yup, the lot was full!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We had been trying to get these guys for a decade, and it was worth the wait!

The men rock the Station!

The men rock the Station!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The sleek, stripped down Funky Feat delivered the goods in spades!

Fred's got my Jazzmaster and Paul has one of Myron's Strats

Fred's got my Jazzmaster and Paul has one of Myron's Strats

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Again, so grateful the guys spent two days with us!

Fred, me, Nessa, Hurl, Kenny and Paul

Fred, me, Nessa, Hurl, Kenny and Paul

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

I got to sit in on Dixie Chicken and Spanish Moon… Thanks guys… for everything!

Back in my little world our Espresso machine was on the fritz. I talked to the folks at Whole Latte Love. ‘It’s the solenoid,’ the tech said, and he emailed me instructions. I ordered the part and it came the other day. There are more tiny little parts in this machine than Carter has Little Liver Pills.

Teeny, tiny parts... and lots of them.

Teeny, tiny parts... and lots of them.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I took pictures at every step of the disassembly so I could reverse the process. It worked!

Mmmmm.... java, java

Mmmmm.... java, java

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

A fine week indeed…

ps

The ROK Espresso Press in front of my Dad's old radio

The ROK Espresso Press in front of my Dad's old radio

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The ROK unit is awesome! Check the link. This is not a stove top boiler… and it’s all billet!

jk

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Milestones And Music

May 23rd, 2019 Jorma 16 comments

So another camp here at the Fur Peace Ranch has come and gone.

The guys from last week.

The guys from last week.

Foto by John Hurlbut

The great Woody Mann was teaching last weekend as well as myself. I gave a songwriting workshop and I have to tell you, I am impressed and humbled by the hard work and honesty these guys all manifested.

Me and the guys...

Me and the guys...

Foto by John Hurlbut

Each one of these guys came away with five songs in various stages of completion. Truly awesome!

Saturday night with had our first guitar free concert… and I say this with a benign smile on my face. It was a jazz shows featuring Eric Alexander on Sax, Peter Dominguez on upright bass, Larry Willis on piano and Victor Jones on drums. So we’re live streaming the show from our Fur Peace Ranch channel and I’m occasionally going backstage so I can weigh in on comments. Most people really dug the transcendence of the show, and I’ll get to that in a moment. One soul simply said, ‘I don’t understand jazz.’ I found this interesting. As someone who likes a great and utterly disparate landscape of music, I never found I really had to ‘understand’ anything. I just liked it or I didn’t. Now there are lots of different kinds of jazz just as there is a great variety of rock etc. Some touches me and some doesn’t. Eric and his A Team of players were playing songs and exploring an ever changing musical universe of changes and sonic delights. Again, I’m not a jazz player and I never will be, but I love good music, and theirs touched my soul. Thanks guys! I appreciated this evening more than you will ever know. It was first rate music played by world class guys!

Live on the Fur Peace Station stage!

Live on the Fur Peace Station stage!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

More of the guys

More of the guys

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

Larry Willis on the 1903 Chickering

Larry Willis on the 1903 Chickering

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Anybody who owns anything knows that constant maintenance is well… constant. Nessa and I as owners of the Ranch are constantly called upon to step up to the plate, metaphorically speaking. We had some water problems again and here’s how we dealt with it.

Nessa... in the mud up to her knees with a leaky pipe

Nessa... in the mud up to her knees with a leaky pipe

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Notice, She’s in the hole… I’m taking the picture.

That’s my girl!

Plumbing problems sort of in the rear view mirror, I took some updated drone shots of the Ranch in between storms.

Looks nicer greened out!

Looks nicer greened out!

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

All this excitement notwithstanding, our daughter, Izze, joined here classmates for their Eighth Grade Class Trip to Washington, D.C. Now Izze has been to D.C. a lot… with Mom and Dad. I know this one was different for here… and different for Nessa and myself as parents. Time is slipping through our fingers like water. Our girl and here pals will be in high school next year. I know this is all good… and as it should be. Still and all, it is a bittersweet moment for us.

Izze and her friends at the Korean War Memorial

Izze and her friends at the Korean War Memorial

Foto by Izze Kaukonen

There have been many wars during my lifetime and the monuments in D.C. are more than powerful. Vietnam of course, is a war that defined my time in many ways, but for some reason, the Korean War Memorial has always had an effect on me.

Well… the kids are growing, the world is still turning and all I can say is… so far so good.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

A Foray To Eastern Long Island

May 13th, 2019 Jorma 19 comments
Thirty Years

Thirty Years

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I had a private event in Montauk so it made sense to stop by The Stephen Talkhouse and pick a set. I’ve been working for Peter Honerkamp for thirty years and the good old Talkhouse just never gets old. My good friend G.E. Smith stopped by and we had some big fun!

Brother G. E. and me!

Brother G. E. and me!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Jorma Kaukonen 10, 2019
Stephen Talkhouse
Amagansett, LI
New York
Friday, May 10, 2019

1. Dime For Beer
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
5. Death Don’t have No Mercy
6. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
7. I See The Light
8. Candy Man
9. Embryonic Journey
10. Sleep Song
11. Watch The North Wind Rise
12. Trial By Fire
13. Good Shepherd with G.E. Smith
14. Worried Man Blues with G.E.Smith
15. How Long Blues with G.E.Smith
16. Denomination Blues with G.E. Smith
17. Trouble In Mind with GE. Smith
18. Long Gone From Kentucky with G.E.Smith
19. Nine Pound Hammer with G.E. Smith
20. Encore: Water Song

A truly great night for us! Thanks to Peter and all my old friends at the Talkhouse and G.E. Smith as well!

Then this great gal Kim through a 60th birthday party for her man Johnny… a long time Hot Tuna friend. With the help of Joynny’s sister, Jennifer, and a host of friends we all conspired to surprise the Birthday boy… and surprise him we did!

Setting up... the calm before the storm.

Setting up... the calm before the storm.

Foto by Phil Jacobs

They had the Jan Hanna Band playing some great music before and after my set. Johnny didn’t know what was coming.

The Jan Hanna Band and me

The Jan Hanna Band and me

Then it was my turn.

Jorma Kaukonen 11, 2019
The Secret Party
In Montauk

First Set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Second Chances
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Barbeque King
5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
6. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
7. Serpent Of Dreams
8. Sleep Song
9. San Francisco Bay Blues

Second Set:
1. New Song For The Morning
2. True Religion
3. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
4. Come Back Baby
5. Waiting For A Train
6. Serpent Of Dreams
7. In My Dreams
8. Watch The North Wnd Rise
9. Sea Child
10. Trial By Fire
11. Good Shepherd
12. I Know You Rider

Nice... very nice

Nice... very nice

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

To see so many old friends come together and include me was… truly awesome!

Time stood still....

Time stood still....

Photographer unknown

A great weekend… and now I’m back at the Ranch getting ready for a songwriting workshop this weekend.

Good times!

Foto by Jennifer

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

A Fortnight At Fur Peace Ranch

May 8th, 2019 Jorma 10 comments
Yes folks... a typical Fur Peace Breakfast!!!!!

Yes folks... a typical Fur Peace Breakfast!!!!!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Well… Friday before last, G.E.Smith joined me for a weekends worth of workshops and on Saturday night he Joined foe Arlen Roth Band for an evening of cool Telecaster riffs.

My class was awesome too!

Pickers and Grinners

Pickers and Grinners

Foto by John Hurlbut

Then last weekend, our own John Hurlbut stepped up to teach The American Songbook class for our dear Spencer Bohren as he dealt with his own visitation from the storms of life.

Brother Spencer and Brother John

Brother Spencer and Brother John

Foto by Marilyn Bohren

The great Tom Feldmann ably assisted me in a weekend of spirituals and a grand time was had by all!

The Light Of This World Class

The Light Of This World Class

Foto by Stephanie Layton

Monday morning Hurl and i warmed up the breakfast crew, and then Tom Feldmann took the ’stage.’

In the shadow of the fresh fruit and bagels

In the shadow of the fresh fruit and bagels

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Monday, our daughter Izze and her friend Tess nailed a Billy Eilish song at the Middle School Talent Show. Double guitar and two part vocal harmony.

Life is good…

Onward

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Wishbone Ash And The Rides Of Spring

April 23rd, 2019 Jorma 42 comments
Wishbone Ash on the Station Stage

Wishbone Ash on the Station Stage

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Wishbone Ash with Andy Powell fronting Bob Skeat on bass, Joe Crabtree on drums and Mark Abrahams on guitar mesmerized a full house last Saturday at the Fur Peace Ranch. The music was as fresh as it was well… a long time ago. This is heady stuff and Andy and the guys really laid it down for us. Andy invited me up for the encore, a rousing rendition of Jimmy Reed’s ‘Baby What You Want Me To Do?” Always an existential question and always fun to play. Nothing like a slow shuffle.

Thanks guys! We sure hope to have you back sometime!

Red Bud at the Ranch!

Red Bud at the Ranch!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Spring has finally truly sprung here in Southeast Ohio and I’ve had a chance to get in two motorcycle rides this week. For me, there’s nothing like a good ride to clear the head and put things into perspective. Perhaps I’ll even get in another one before this weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch with me and G.E.Smith.

I know this one is going to be a great hang!

Time for dinner!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Brother Ray Heads For The Shore

April 15th, 2019 Jorma 20 comments
Ray at 24

Ray at 24

Poster by Kevin Morgan

Brother Ray Heads For The Shore
Monday, April 15, 2019

Here at the Fur Peace Ranch we just concluded another amazing weekend with Larry Campbell and myself as teachers and Larry, Teresa, Justin and Jesse as the concert. Well, they dealt me in for the second set and it is always a joy and an honor to hang with these folks. The circumstances the Ranch never ceases to elevate me from my daily world… always; The giving and receiving from friends, old and new sustains us… it really does!

Time moves on relentlessly, inexorably… because that’s what time does. There is no ‘pause’ button, no ‘rewind…’and absolutely no ‘do overs.’ Sometimes one is part of a story greater that oneself and one of these amazing stories in my life involves the Hurlbut family.

Jorma with Ray on his 95th Birthday

Jorma with Ray on his 95th Birthday

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

John Hurlbut has been our Ranch Manager for twenty some years but he and Vanessa and I go way back beyond that. I met Johnny in the early 80’s when Kurt promoted a solo Jorma show and Johnny was somehow involved. We became friends, he and I and his brother Pete, and his friend Wally and Jay the Bass player (now long gone) and a host of Columbus characters; some still with us, some on the shore of the River Of Time.

In 1984 I left twenty years of life in San Francisco and hit the road for the East Coast. It was a long-awaited homecoming. I always was an East Coast kid! I would stop off in Cleveland and Ray and Lucy Hurlbut would let me sleep on a couch in their basement as long as I needed to before the next stage of my journey They would tap me on the shoulder in the morning and coffee and breakfast would be waiting.

When Vanessa and I started out thirty-year relationship in 1988 in Key West, Johnny was down visiting his folks who were snowbirding. He stopped by our pad down by the Southernmost Point and as Vanessa was getting to know him she said, ‘I don’t trust him. He’s too nice.’ But that’s just who he was and that’s who the Hurlbut family is. Our daughter Israel carries the name of three strong women. Israel Love Diana Lucy Kaukonen. Love was my mom’s middle name, Diana was Jack’s beloved wife and Lucy was Ray’s other half. She was Mother to John and Pete and Mary Lou.

The Kaukonen’s will never cease loving and respecting the four generations of Hurlbuts we have come to count as friends and family.

After Lucy passed away eight or nine years ago the relationship that Ray and I shared changed. He was no longer John’s dad to me… he was more like an older brother .I embraced his counsel and he always had a relevant view of current events and family. I loved the man dearly… and still do. Time has a relentless way of leveling the playing field. Ray was born in 1921, flew as a radio operator in bombers in the Pacific in WW II. He had a long and productive life! Today at 1640, Ray Hurlbut went home for the last time. Johnny was able to be there and sing songs and then by the Grace of G_d Ray gently left us… like the passing of a tree. He was 98 years old~!

I could go on, but then I would start repeating myself. Nessa and I got to visit him last Wednesday and we were able to swap hugs and stories. He was still sharp as a tack… the Ray I had known for years. For some time, I had graduated from being Johnny’s friend to being Ray’s brother. It was honor I shall not soon forget!

At moments like this, we all say ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ The real loss would have been if I had never known the man. He was one of my many blessings. Our friend Wally and his wife Cat visited him the other day and Ray told Wally, ‘Tell my brother Jorma I’ll be saving him a seat next to me on the stage… but tell him not to rush.’ That was Ray.

I will miss the man of course, but the honor was mine to have known him and the rest of his family.

Anchors aweigh my brother and as always… fair winds and following seas.

The Bros...

The Bros...

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The Ladys Man at 98

The Ladys Man at 98

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags: