Archive

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

The Weekend That Was

October 10th, 2016 Jorma 68 comments

When I got back from the last little run, Fall was making its presence felt here in Southeast Ohio. Every time we sit down to eat I get to listen to Dad’s old radio and have Mom and Dad’s travel poster from the 30’s watch over me.

Mom and Dad's old poster... Dad's radio... nice memories at breakfast

Mom and Dad's old poster... Dad's radio... nice memories at breakfast

Pumpkins as of yet uncarved… it’s coming though!

Boo

Boo

Last Friday Vanessa and Izze and Ginger And Montana and I went up to the Ridges, where they had October hayrides around the grounds of the old insane asylum.

Some say it's haunted...

Some say it's haunted...

Such an interesting history… This asylum was still in use in the 70’s and it was built right after the Civil War.

Amazing

Amazing

We were riding around in an Amish horse drawn wagon… perfect in itself.

Vultures atop the ol power plant

Vultures atop the ol power plant

Whoah big fella!

Whoah big fella!

The girls stopped to take a look at the old cemetery.

We've all got to end up somewhere...

We've all got to end up somewhere...

Wait for the wagon... we'll all take a ride!

Wait for the wagon... we'll all take a ride!

Noble steed

Noble steed

Good times in the country

Good times in the country

Then as Saturday rolled around, my dear friends Marty And Jerry celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and renewed their vows.

Dancing to Unchained Melody

Dancing to Unchained Melody

This is good stuff… you don’t hear about a lot of 50th anniversaries these days. Love these guys!

Then in the evening, Loudon Wainright III came to the Fur Peace Station and, as always, gave a marvelous performance!

Just before the concert...

Just before the concert...

Loudon Sat down at Joe Berman’s old 1913 Chickering.

Loudon at the baby grand...

Loudon at the baby grand...

Loudon was marvelous, as always.

On Sunday, Vanessa and Izze and I sent to the Carpenter Inn to help celebrate Children’s Roshashana.

Izze contemplates a career as a baby sitter at the Inn.

Izze contemplates a career as a baby sitter at the Inn.

Carol and I played music for the service… my pleasure.

At home Izze sat down at the Yamaha and played ‘A Part Of Your World.’ Brought tears to my eyes!

I love this! Mom's Zubeida Aga painting looks on.

I love this! Mom's Zubeida Aga painting looks on.

Wonderful as Fall moves on!

Fall in the country.

Fall in the country.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Six Days On The River Of Time

October 4th, 2016 Jorma 9 comments
A beautiful Fall Day at the Ranch

A beautiful Fall Day at the Ranch

Last Wednesday as Myron and I were getting our gear together for the West Coast trip, we paused to get some delicious Pho at the Beatrice Love Kitchen here at the Ranch.

Right here in Meigs County

Right here in Meigs County

This is what I’m talking about… every ingredient local… our Chef… peerless!

Members of the Clean Plate Club

Members of the Clean Plate Club

Then we loaded up and headed to the Airport in Columbus en route to San Francisco.

In S.F., I was hungry again. A man’s gotta eat, right? so after checking into the Kabuki Hotel I wandered up Buchanan St. to Pai and Ray’s amazing Thai Restaurant, Jitlada. If you like Thai food… this is an absolutely must place when in San Francisco.

Jitlada...

Jitlada...

It’s always dinner with friends at Jitlada.

Then on Friday… down to Santa Cruz for a gig at the Rio Theater.

A great little venue

A great little venue

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 25, 2016
The Acoustic Duo
The Rio Theater
Santa Cruz, California
September 30, 2016

First Set:
1. Dime For Beer
2. Heart Temporary
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Been So Long
5. Barbeque King
6. Sleep Song
7. Sea Child
8. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
9. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
10. Come Back Baby
11. Candy Man
12. Things That Might Have Been
13. San Francisco Bay Blues
14. Good Shepherd
15. How Long Blues
16. That’ll Never Happen No More
17. I Know You Rider
18. Encore: Death Don’t Have No Mercy

Behind the curtain at the Rio

Behind the curtain at the Rio

Before we knew it… we were driving over to Golden Gate Park for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. It was such and honor to be included in this great festival again, and it occurred to us, that probably no one on that amazing bill had played Golden Gate Park longer than Jack and myself!

Tuna's dressing tent

Tuna's dressing tent

IN S.F., the weather can go a lot of different directions. The Saturday we were there could not have been more perfect.

Da Boyz

Da Boyz

Any time it’s warm in S.F. I consider it to be unseasonably warm… and it was thus!

An honor to be here!

An honor to be here!

Come on people, smile on your brother...

Come on people, smile on your brother...

Always good to have toys..

Always good to have toys..

We ran into lots of friends that day!

My very old pal, Bill Kirchen

My very old pal, Bill Kirchen

Always great to see Bill Kirchen. A great guitar player, and a noble soul!

I also got to say ‘Hey” to Jimmy Dale Gilmore, who played a great set with the Flatlanders! He’ll be at the Fur Peace Ranch next year.

Hot Tuna 26, 2016
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
The Arrow Stage
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Saturday, October 1, 2016

1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Good Shepherd
6. Bowlegged Woman
7. Come Back Baby
8. Hit Single #1

Jorma and Jimmy Dale Gilmore

Jorma and Jimmy Dale Gilmore

What a fabulous day in the park. On Sunday, Jack and I played the Great American Music Hall… yet one more time.

Hot Tuna 27, 2016
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen And Jack Casady
The Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, California
Sunday, October 2, 2016
First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. Things That Might Have Been
4. Hesitation Blues
5. Barbeque King
6. Sea Child
7. Sleep Song
8. Candy Man
9. I See The Light
10. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Dime For Beer
2. The Terrible Operation
3. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
4. In My Dreams
5. River Of Time
6. Watch The North Wind Rise
7. Living In The Moment
8. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
9. Good Shepherd
10. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning

A grand night indeed…

Sunday, before the show, Jack and I met with a very old friend. In 1964, as an almost penniless student, my first wife Margareta and myself found ourselves in San Francisco looking for some food. On Polk street we wandered into a restaurant called the Mandarin run by a wonderful woman named Cecilia Chiang. She welcomed us as if we were old friends… and indeed, over the years we did become old friends. You need to click this link and read her story.

Over the years as the 60’s thing evolved, we remained fast friends… As her business grew she continued to welcome us long hair freaks into her establishment in a time when this was not done. She gave us respect when the ‘respectable’ society of the time did not.

At 97 years old she is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met.

Jack, Madame Chiang and myself

Jack, Madame Chiang and myself

I love this great woman… it is such an honor to count her as a friend over all these years!

Well… that’s it for now. I’m in New York today and tomorrow I will be guesting with the amazing Tedeschi/Trucks Band.

My life is a surplus of honors.

Sacred Moments In The Fall Of Life

September 26th, 2016 Jorma 31 comments
We'll start with this... but that's not where it started...

We'll start with this... but that's not where it started...

It is Fall again… It is early Fall here in Meigs County, Ohio… for some of us in our lives, it is already late Fall. I was talking to my friend Jerry’s Mom, Shirley. Shirley is almost 89 and she said to me, ‘Jorma, I wouldn’t mind a second go round but I guess that’s not the way it is.’ Yeah, you start thinking about how time just slips through your fingers… Like water… like a will ‘o’ the wisp…You see it, you feel it, you live it… and then it is gone. It is so hard to realize how precious life is when you’re young, and yeah, I get it… it’s just one of those things you take for granted. I sure did. Now, it’s every gosh darned day. If not now… never…

This was our Pick And Putt (motorcycles, not golf) weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch. Our fifteenth year. At 75 I’m still able to ride with a modicum of vigor, and yes, sanity. I rode my first motorcycle at 13 and it has been a part of my life ever since. Thursday before the camp at the FPR, some friends on two wheels met up here at the Ranch and we set out for a 200 mile ride.

The eagles gather at the Ranch...

The eagles gather at the Ranch...

We headed up north through McConnelsville and would up at Seneca Lake east of Zanesville.

Time for a burger at the boathouse

Time for a burger at the boathouse

One of the guys had a minor mechanical problem, but we were almost home, so it was all good.

Camp started on Friday with David Wolff, Steve Kimock, Bobby Vega, Myself and Tom Feldmann ably and creatively assisting me. Good times indeed!

Saturday night after the Pick And Putt Ride (another 148 miles) Steve Kimock’s band gathered like eagles. There was Steve and Bobby of course, but also John Morgan Kimock on drums, and Leslie Mendelson on vocals, piano and guitar.

Leslie on the old Chickering

Leslie on the old Chickering

When my cousin Dan Birman’s dad Joe passed away recently, Dan graciously allowed the 1913 Chickering to come live with us on stage here at the Fur Peace Station. So far, Jonathan Edwards and Leslie Mendelson who played it exclusively all night. She never touched the electronic keyboard once… except to move it out of the way.

John, Leslie and Bobby get ready to rock while Steve tunes onstage...

John, Leslie and Bobby get ready to rock while Steve tunes onstage...

The show was awesome… of course! I joined Leslie and Steve for two acoustic numbers, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out, Mama Ain’t No Lie and then later on, I picked up the Firebird to join the band for two electric rockers.

Let it rock!

Let it rock!

This was a musical night that was surrounded by spiritual energy. Start to Finish!

Thanks for playing the old piano, Leslie!

Thanks for playing the old piano, Leslie!

Sunday, Leslie dropped by for lunch and Wally and I took here for a ride in the woods on the Kawasaki Mile… Lovely.

Then before we knew it, Monday came and time for a wrap up!

What a class... missing are John and Mike... they had to get home.

What a class... missing are John and Mike... they had to get home.

Like I said these moments in life… with the kids, with family… being a member of the human race…

I cherish every day!

Sunset at the homestead

Sunset at the homestead

Life is good! I’ll take all I can get…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Go To Any Lengths, But Go And Get Pho

September 14th, 2016 Jorma 39 comments

I just had to weigh in on the recent controversy regarding Pho. Of course these articles would come out the week we opened. The first is the controversial chef talking about his take on Pho and the second, which I really loved, is about why Pho is so important to the Vietnamese culture. I’m going to try and not put my foot in my mouth for fear that my favorite food magazine or news source decided to make me their poster boy in a negative way. Here’s why Pho is so important to me. I am a foreign service kid. My father was stationed is Southeast Asia for a good part of his career. The Asian culture was part of my life. My father’s identity as the first Secretary and Labor Attaché for the State Department in the Philippines, was in part shaped by the people in that region. He spoke the language, he and my mother adorned our home with everything from dragons to Buddha’s to beautiful artwork depicting the countryside. I went to schools there, my friends were there and I can became a man there. Fast forward to my days in San Francisco. As most of you may know, I lived a good part of my adult life in the bay area while being a part of the band, Jefferson Airplane. More stories for another time. I can tell you that the food that I ate while I lived there was mostly Asian Food. I know that Vietnamese cuisine did not really come to America until the 70’s after the fall of Saigon. That said, the regional specialties of southeast Asia have always been my delight when I could find them. Yes, I ate other things but my love of the “noodle” never wandered. I still eat at the same restaurant in Japan town that I ate at over 35 years ago. Mifuni (http://japancentersf.com/shopping/mifune-restaurant/) in the heart of japan town is where it’s at. I would never tell anyone how to eat their Pho. You don’t have to. The soup speaks for itself and that’s all I can say other than the choice to open up our own very small and very unique Pho restaurant in the heart of Appalachia is about that love. My chef, Justin Berry nailed it in my opinion. We live surrounded by farmers who care about their animals and care about their crops and we are so lucky to be able to offer most of our ingredients as local. Last but not least (I hope I have made some sort of point here) remember, it’s OK to slurp your noodles. I saw that on a sign in the Mifuni in the 70’s but I intuitively always knew that to be the case. Go check out a Pho restaurant in your own neck of the words. Hopefully, you won’t have far to go to get Pho to go.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food-cocktails/news/a63868/bon-appetit-pho-controversy/

Why Pho is central to Vietnamese identity.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

9/11/01 to 9/11/16 Fifteen Years In The New World

September 11th, 2016 Jorma 37 comments

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11…

In a way it seems like a lifetime… there are those who were not even born back then who are getting ready for high school now. I remember Vanessa and I were driving to Columbus for a doctor’s appointment. We were just getting off I-270 heading for Westerville when I get a cell call from my dear friend Michael Falzarano. He told me a plane had just crashed into one of the Twin Towers. I couldn’t grasp the reality of what he was telling me. ‘I’m parking, let ma call you right back,’ I said. Five minutes later my truck was parked and I called him back. By that time the cell towers were down in New York and there was no way to get through. Vanessa and I had our appointment but the phones were still out in the New York area. We stopped at a Sam’s Club of all places on the way home and on the screens of fifty TV’s in the electronic department, we saw the first tower fall. There was also the plane at the Pentagon, not far from where my son and his mother lived… the phones were out there too… and then the crash in Pennsylvania…

As the day unfolded it we learned that the first plane impacted the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald where our friend David Weiss worked… and that he and so many others… was gone. The world as we knew it was gone as of that day. There are so many who were not directly touched by that horror who seem to have forgotten, or perhaps never really knew, the impact of that nightmare.

The New York area has always been home to my friend Jack Casady and myself. No matter where we voted, New York was always home too. The extended Hot Tuna has always been richly populated with first responders and men and women on the job. Our FDNY friend Bob Kelley took Vanessa into the pit in November… his brother Tom was one of the Fallen. Bels Belson another fine man and music lover would never see another show.

There were so many… and in that horror, so many acts of bravery and love and commitment to our fellow man.

I shall take these memories to the grave with me.

This is not a perfect world, but I live in the greatest country on earth. My grandparents came here over a hundred years ago to follow an evolving dream. Nothing could ever make me want to leave. Time moves inexorably on as it does and current events become history. For me, 9/11 will always be with me… a day on which we saw the worst and best in humanity.

I have heard people I consider to be morons talking conspiracies… I have nothing to say to them.

On this day I honor all those who serve in New York, and in D.C. and those brave souls who died in that field in Pennsylvania. Those we lost will always live in my heart… this is not a choice… it is how it must be.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Labor Day Wrap Up!

September 7th, 2016 Jorma 37 comments

I was so blessed to be home with the family this Labor Day… and we did well… a lot of the things that I remember as a kid.

The grill on the deck... ready for action!

The grill on the deck... ready for action!

I bought this six man tent from Sportsman’s Guide about four years ago and never took it our of the shipping box. When we moved to the Fur Peace Ranch from Hillside Farm I rediscovered it and last week when Izze talked to me about camping I broke it out of the box. Now that we know ho to put it up, we could do it in 15 minutes. That said, it was under-instructed and it took us about 45 minutes to figure it out… which we did without raising our voices once.

A miracle!

The Slumberjack.. ready for action

The Slumberjack.. ready for action

Ready for a night under the stars!

A serious young lady ready for bed...

A serious young lady ready for bed...

We spent two nights in the tent, and it’s still up so there’s some more ‘camping’ in our future. The stars in the night sky have been simply spectacular!

The morning skies haven't been too shabby either!

The morning skies haven't been too shabby either!

After an exciting night in the tent… a walk on the old road with Maverick.

The ladies check their email while Maverick reflects...

The ladies check their email while Maverick reflects...

Just to be home with the family on this beautiful piece of earth… Priceless!

Then Izze and I went for a putt!

The Breakout, Izze... and Mary Catherine

The Breakout, Izze... and Mary Catherine

Never a bad time for a bike ride… but wait, there’s more. We went to the Skyview Drive-In up in Lancaster and saw Finding Dory and Secret Life Of Pets.

Same as it ever was...

Same as it ever was...

Then on Monday evening, we went to the lake at Stroud’s Run.

Izze drives the boat

Izze drives the boat

A happy girl at the helm!

A happy girl at the helm!

Well folks, that’s about as good as it gets! Fall is coming, my daughter is in 6th grade, my son is in college the Pho Peace restaurant opened today and life is good!

Twilight at the lake.

Twilight at the lake.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Pho Peace At The Fur Peace Ranch

September 3rd, 2016 Jorma 37 comments
The Menu At The Pho Peace Restaurant

The Menu At The Pho Peace Restaurant

So… we’re fearless down here in Southeast Ohio. The Fur Peace Ranch is a destination not a way point. We are in the country pretty much half way between Athens, Ohio and Pomeroy, Ohio and yes, we’re opening a little Pho Restaurant here in the middle of nowhere. We had our test lunch Thursday last with some select guests and the critical response… was well… not critical. We knocked it out of the park. Vanessa’s vision and her ability to give substance to her dream is amazing. Coupled with the superb kitchen staff we have, we’re good to go.

In case you can’t read the menu… here it is:

Beef Pho – Asian rice noodle, Dexter Run meatballs and thinly sliced beef in a slow cooked homemade beef broth $8.25

Vegetarian Pho – Asian rice noodle, tofu meatballs in a slow cooked homemade vegetable broth $8.25

Chicken Pho – Asian rice noodle, King Family chicken in a slow cooked homemade chicken broth $8.25

All Pho dishes served with a side of basil, mint, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, bean sprouts, Hoisin sauce, Sriracha and a lime wedge.

Pickled Vegetables Spicy and Regular with house seasonings. $2.00

Iced Chai Tea $4.00

Smoothie Ask for today’s special $5.00

Every Wednesday & Thursday 11AM to 3PM only

Pho Peace Restaurant – Located at Fur Peace Ranch

39495 St. Clair Rd.
Pomeroy, Ohio 45769
ofc: 740-992-2575

Tibetan Prayer Flags frame the Pho

Tibetan Prayer Flags frame the Pho

We have so many wonderful things going on here at the Ranch… this is just one more. Come on down for lunch 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM on any Wednesday or Thursday and join us for some delicious Pho!

The end of the day in September in Meigs County

The end of the day in September in Meigs County

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Come On Down And Join The Jubilee

July 11th, 2016 Jorma 21 comments

For some reason, yesterday I found myself thinking about my Mother’s passing. The writing that I’m doing is stirring up so many memories and it occurred to me again, as it has before, what an honor it was for me to be present when Mom finally freed herself from this earth and flew home. I remember it was the end of June, 1998. I called mom regularly but I had missed a couple of days. It was the opening week of the Fur Peace Ranch. Rory Block was there. We were wrapped up in nascent Fur Peace-ness.

Over the weekend, I called and asked to talk to Mom. My brother Peter answered the phone and said, ‘If you want to talk to Mom, you better get out here.’ What could happen in a few days? She sounded so there when I spoke to here forty eight hours or so before. I told Vanessa bout the call and she said, ‘You have to go,’ and started making plans. I remember I played Rory’s song, Mama’s Blues,’ with her on our little stage in the workshop and I wept… not even knowing yet what I was going to weep for.

In any case, I’m a huge Gretchen Peters fan and I had had yet to really get into her album, ‘Blackbirds.’ For some reason, the song Jubilee called out to me… and there is was, those last days with Mom.

Jubilee by Gretchen Peters

I got nothing, to hold me here
My old friends have all moved on and disappeared
It won’t be long now, till I fly
But oh my dear ones how I hate to say goodbye

So I sing holy holy from this prison where I lie
My arms reaching up to touch the sky
I sing holy holy, hallelujah I am free
Come on down and join the jubilee

I don’t hunger and I don’t thirst
There is nothing that I need upon this earth
My body’s broken but not my soul
You know it’s love and only love that’s made me whole

So I sing holy holy from this prison where I lie
My arms reaching up to touch the sky
I sing holy holy, hallelujah I am free
Come on down and join the jubilee

I’m an orphan thirty years on
How I miss my Father’s voice and my Mother’s arms
I was you once, and now you’re me
It’s in this circle that we make a family

So I sing holy holy from this prison where I lie
My arms reaching up to touch the sky
I sing holy holy, hallelujah I am free
Come on down and join the jubilee

Gretchen Peters
2014 Circus Girl Music

Check this link of Gretchen performing her amazing song… and while you’re at it… buy this great record!

My Mother’s last words to me as she held my hand, were ‘My dear one…’

She is now free over eighteen years and it is to us to join the jubilee…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8WiEO2u7Ao

It truly is in this circle that we make a family…

Categories: Thoughts Tags:

Happy Birthday United States Of America!

July 4th, 2016 Jorma 9 comments
Izze, Nessa, Ginger & Montana

Izze, Nessa, Ginger & Montana

Yeah, I know… you can hardly see anything, but there we were on the bike path in Athens, Ohio… waiting for the fireworks.

Family frivolity in the car and on the folding chairs… the way it was meant to be when families get together.

Happy Fourth Of July one and all… and Happy Birthday to this great land of ours that welcomed my family two generations ago.

G_d Bless!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

The Long Ship Sets Sail

June 24th, 2016 Jorma 21 comments

I was moved by my son’s graduation yesterday… of course I was. I am excited for him and proud of him, but as I intimated yesterday… one cannot deny that it was a passing of the baton moment.

Last night I was stringing my M-30 and quietly picking a little thinking about tomorrow’s gig at the Ram’s Head in Annapolis. I had just decided to hit the sack when Vanessa called me to tell me that Larry Miller had just passed. Who’s Larry Miller you might ask? Well… it’s time for a trip down a lane in my memory that has been unattended for many years.

I got married in 1964 to Lena Margareta Pettersson. We met on a ship to what was then called Leningrad in the summer of 1963 but this is a story for another time. Anyway, M came to this country in January of 1964, we got married and I had a seedy little apartment in Santa Clara in a large old wood frame house at 1159 Fremont St. I was teaching at the Benner Music Co. on Stevens Creek Rd. This would be the same place Paul Kantner and Pete Grant taught. I was playing out too, but most of my income came from lessons.

Anyway, I had my old Garrard turntable that I had inherited from my dad when He upgraded. I bought a Blaupunkt AM/FM/SW radio (mono of course… multiplex radio was still in its infancy) which had an input for a turntable. The input jack was a DIN plug so I had to do some re-wiring. In any case, I was so self marinated in traditional American music in general and finger style guitar in particular that I refused to listen to rock ‘n’ roll on AM radio. I was afraid it might pollute my sensibilities… or maybe I was just a pretentious stuffed shirt. In any case, when I would turn on the radio, I would listen to KJAZZ. This was a non-stop jazz station in the SF Bay Area whose programming tended to, well, very easy listening ‘jazz.’

As the 60’s got rolling and rock and roll mutated from more than bubble gum pop to a lighthouse of the times, a number of really interesting things happened, not the least of which was KMPX and multiplex radio.

FM radio was capable of hi fi and… some stations were beginning to broadcast in stereo which in the radio parlance of the times was multiplex. Stereo recordings were so important to those of us lucky enough to have record deals at the time that when radio broadcasting technology allowed us to showcase our art over the airwaves… well, it was momentous.

I had a Sony FM radio… it had a place for an adapter which would give life to an outboard speaker an amp and le voila… stereo music on the radio. The very first stereo station and for a while the only station I would listen to was KMPX and one of the most important DJ’s was Larry Miller.

Check this link out:

http://bayarearadio.org/stn_documents/kmpx_larry-miller-handbill_1967.shtml

Big Daddy Tom Donohue, Dusty Street, Larry Miller and more. These were our angels who kept us tuned into the word in sound as it descended from on high.

It’s hard to imagine today what an impact this media form… which was ours… had on our lives, sometimes minute by minute. The eclecticism on any given program was unmatched by any other radio station at the time.

We had no taste boundaries back then. We wanted to eat it all and Larry Miller and his colleagues were the chefs who would serve it up.

Larry came to the Fur Peace Ranch a couple of years ago as a student. He took finger style guitar from me, bass from Jack and brought memories of the glory days of FM radio. I had all but forgotten about it. I remembered him well as we re-established our friendship. He was a quirky as ever and we also shared a love of oddball Nordic Lore. He would come to the Ranch often and it was always a treat to see him. He had been teaching in Boston for a number of years and even though he had assumed a professorial look on some level, he was still the outlaw of the airwaves.

Back in May of this year (2016) he was supposed to come to the Ranch for a class. He emailed me to tell me that he was ill and would not be able to make it and could I just send him the tabs and stuff from the class so he could enjoy it at home. He wrote me this note on May 16, 2016:

‘Where do I start? About the time I was facing retirement back in 2008, I got the guitar of my dreams- the D18 VS. That led to Acoustic Guitar magazine, and that led me to the Ranch. That first visit, doing the workshop with you and learning Embryonic Journey and the Water Song made me a believer forever. This would have been my 9th visit.

I am so glad that I got to “re-connect” with you, and recall that mutual admiration connection that we had in SF back in the day. As you said, we are connected in more ways than I realize. Woody Mann, Roy Bookbinder, Vanessa, John Hurlbut, Larry Campbell and Happy Traum- getting to know these amazing people has been the frosting on my cake. And Jack. 4 bass workshops. When he personally praised my playing on Layla last year, it was a Golden Moment.

I had hoped that I had the energy to make at least one more trip, do one more workshop with you, play another duet with Jim Botsford. But alas, it is not to be.

I will stay in touch and let you know how I’m doing. I don’t want to bring you down, so smile when you think of me.

Larry

Presented with irony…

Larry’

Larry’s pain is over and he is in Valhalla which is where he belongs with the other sonic warriors of our generation. I am thinking of you my friend, and I am smiling. I’m sure you know how important you and all you cohorts were to us back when we and the earth were still young.

And so, there it is. Zach’s life is beginning as is our daughter Izze’s. Larry’s has ended and the world still turns. I cannot but pray that the world our children will inherit will be a kinder place where righteousness will prevail and if not, may they deal with it without their hearts turning to stone.

It could happen.

And Larry my friend, may the Dragon Ship that carries you to Valhalla by sleek and fast and may the beat always go on… and on and may the wind always, always be at your back!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags: