Archive

Archive for September, 2016

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:

Mitzvah In Philly… Paw Paws In Ohio

September 17th, 2016 Jorma 36 comments

So, Wednesday last, Jack and I went to Philly to be a part of the opening of the Bill Graham Exhibit at the National Museum Of American Jewish History… right down by Independence Hall… ground zero for our experiment in Democracy.

Beautiful day for a drive...

Beautiful day for a drive...

Our hotel was in the heart of everything… nice day for a walk.

Now this is a lobby!

Now this is a lobby!

We had some time before sound check to look around.

The steeple at Independence Hall

The steeple at Independence Hall

I didn’t notice you had to go through security to get in the area, so I jumped the fence. The police immediately pointed out my mistake.

George Washington looks on...

George Washington looks on...

All these years, and I had never stopped here before.

One great aphorism after another...

One great aphorism after another...

The museum on the mall was filled with really great stuff!

Couldn't have said it btter myself...

Couldn't have said it btter myself...

Yeah… this was a really great day!

The National Museum Of American Jewish History... awesome!

The National Museum Of American Jewish History... awesome!

Only in America... indeed!

Only in America... indeed!

Happening today!

Happening today!

At the Museum, before the hang...

At the Museum, before the hang...

Jack and I enjoy spending some memory time in Bill Graham Land!

We met some great folks… told some stories and played some music.

Hot Tuna 24, 2016
Acoustic Duo
Jack Casady & Jorma Kaukonen
National Museum Of American Jewish History
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

1. True Religion
2. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today
3. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
4. River Of Time
5. 99 Year Blues
6. Sea Child
7. Hesitation Blues
8. Water Song

Then Myron and I drove home to Meigs County… in time for the Paw Paw Festival in Albany.

Pulling into Paw Paw land

Pulling into Paw Paw land

The annual Paw Paw Festival is such a blast. Glad I was here to hang with Vanessa and the kids!

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

Yeah, I love those smoothies… but every now and then a man needs a dog!

Potato tornado

Potato tornado

We denied cotton candy, but knuckled under for a potato tornado!

Tents in the twilight

Tents in the twilight

Lots of friends and neighbors… good times!

The band gets ready to rock!

The band gets ready to rock!

Nothing like a little fun in the country! We got a ride in a cart pulled by a team of Percherons… under the harvest moon.

Harvest moon over the hill

Harvest moon over the hill

Great stuff… the best!

Tonight at the Fur Peace Ranch we are hosting Maria Muldaur.

On this lovely almost Fall Day… life is good indeed!

Onward!

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: