Another Labor Day Weekend
Hillside Farm
Meigs County, Ohio
September 1, 2013

We still make gags about not wearing white after Labor Day. What century did that come from anyway? Well, since I never wear white anyway, I guess a pass will be issued to me on this one.

To me, each season has become a milestone on the road of time. Of course, the road of time is a one way street so if you miss something en route, don’t look back… remember it if you must but accept the fact that it will never come again.

I have spent my life trying to find my right place in the world, and indeed I have wasted much time looking in all the wrong places… and that was my path. In today’s life I find that G_d indeed gives, and takes away. Some days He takes away more than he gives, but the gifts are always transcendental in a spiritual way.

Some of my friends who are younger than me say things like, ‘Seventy is the new fifty,’ or ‘You don’t look that old.’ Or whatever. Seventy is not the new fifty. Seventy something is well, seventy something. There are many things I used to do with ease that are difficult for me now. ‘Adaptation,’ my Dad used to say, ‘is the key to aging with grace.’ Easier said than done sometimes.

As an artist, I look at what is important to me in my art and craft. Sure, as a guitar player, I always look forward to improving my vocabulary. In my teaching and performing life I look at songs I wrote many, many years ago and I find that I still like and approach with fresh wonder on a regular basis. I taught my son, Zach, Been So Long while he was here this summer and he nailed it. I relearned Hamar Promenade so I could teach it to my Quah Class last weekend. I decided I’m going to bring the song back to our repertoire but the real point was I wondered about the creative process that was natural for me back then. I would never write a song like that today… I just don’t think musically like that any more. I used to focus on music first, now it’s the story… the lyrics that drive me. Today I see myself as a story teller and my music is the supportive wing that lets my little stories fly.

So much remains the same, but so much changes and sometimes one’s past life seems as ephemeral as a dream. You try to catch it in the morning… you can see it but it is as intangible as morning mist.

Labor Day Weekend… another year starts to slip away. I find myself starting to make mental lists of things I would like to accomplish while these goals are still realistic… Even as the list gather coherence, so of the items are already telling me, ‘You’re not going to get to me… but that’s all right.’ In the spirit of ‘Progress not perfection,’ it truly is one day… one mission at a time.

The world (which seems to keep turning in it’s own time regardless of my opinions on anything) is fraught with dangerous choices that I have little to say about. Trying to keep it real I just finished mowing about seven or eight acres and picking up all the grass clippings. Yes, yard care enthusiasts, I broke down and bought a grass sweeper to pull behind my tractor. When I went Lowe’s, I could have bought the thing assembled, but I figured, ‘How hard could it be? I’ll save fifty bucks this way!’ The instructions gave me an hour to complete the task… it took me two. BUT, I got it done and not only did I not lose any of the myriad parts, there were none left over. Reading instructions… what a concept!

My seven year old daughter is reading another chapter book upstairs. My almost sixteen year old son is enjoying the last couple of days of freedom before he is incarcerated in the system we choose to call High School. He is a sophomore and does not quite get the fact that the next three years will go by in the blink of an eye. I would like to slow down time for him but it would be like trying to hold back a river with your fingers. His moment of seniority will come.

Me… I’m going over to the Psylodelic Museum at the Fur Peace Ranch in an hour or so and sit around with guitar in hand hopeful that some citizens will stop by to enjoy what we have to offer. Perhaps I’ll get to share some stories, pick some music.

How did I get here today? Where did I come from? It just happened… like that dream I think I had.

There is still more to be written, but for now, I think I’ll cook my daughter some lunch.

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!


  1. Comment made on September 15, 2013 by John Foote

    Thanks, Jorma! One of the most moving posts you’ve ever raised upon these hallowed halls~

  2. Comment made on September 5, 2013 by jim hitchcock

    Ha, not wearing white after Labor Day was a fashion rule originally made up as part of class snobbery in the late 1800’s.

  3. Comment made on September 5, 2013 by Anna Stegemoeller

    THere exists a book, ‘An Angel Whispered’, by Patricia Tashiro that speaks clearly to some of your thoughts…and as to the the wearing of white? how those old timers, or present day greenclean types keep anything white is beyond me. Elbow grease, my mother would say. Maybe by Labor Day all the whites were so dirty, everything was put into the last big wash before winter. Thanks for your writings. Your blogs rock and deepen a sense of ones soul. BTW – somedays? I feel like 50 something is the new 70…oofta!

  4. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by Kevin =i=

    cool beans, we always say only the best for the best….thanks, Kevin =i= and team@Cat

  5. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by Bob B

    I enjoyed that entry, Jorma. Your Pal, Bob

  6. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by Cat

    sundown, that makes it official: happy fresh start. we need as many as we can get!

  7. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by John B

    Wearing white pants and white shirt. I look like Colonel Sanders. Chicken sandwich anyone? @Cat

  8. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by Cat

    now i just wanna wear white because it’s forbidden

  9. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by HOGAN

    Dear Jorma,
    Funny you should mention not wearing white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day, my granddaughter looked at me this weekend and said “You know Nana you can’t wear white after tomorrow,” I just smiled, I had heard that my whole life and passed it on to my girls who now passed it on to her. Silly traditions. Glad to hear that Zack has your gift for music maybe that’s a tradition he’ll carry on. Looking forward to hearing Hamer Promenade again that will be a nice treat, maybe you can do an electric Sea Child and it would remind me once again how nice……..
    Happy New Year to you and your family
    See you in the big city
    Take Care

  10. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by eaglesteve

    L’shana tova. On 9/5/2013 it’s 5774. Talk about “time keeps slippin on at a faster pace?” Go figure. Anyway, Happy New Year to all.

  11. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by John B

    I mowed the lawn with an old fashioned push mower that wasn’t powered by a gasoline engine. It was powered by John B.

  12. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by Cat

    take lots of layers to lockn’. crisp mountain nights, ya all.

  13. Comment made on September 4, 2013 by Cat

    is this a real tractor? i want pictures. i have a red tractor but lack the bravery required to ride.
    a wise 70 is wiser than a wise 50 and far wiser than the wisest 30 imo
    seriously it is alarming that youth is so revered. why don’t people brag and pretend to be older than they are. you don’t go through this world for so long without growth. acorn, sapling, oak.

  14. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    Since there is an audience here for farm/tractor talk:
    I will gladly post a paragraph, in appreciation of those here who may like the book Russell Schlagbaum and I are writing:

    “My brothers didn’t participate in those wars. After we had moved to the farm they were far too busy with all the farm chores and their sports. Even while we lived in town, my older brothers kept busy with jobs. Some were chores that were just part of being in the family:
    They mowed our lawn — about 1/2 acre, with an old-fashion push mower, until Dad bought a 1951 Simplicity garden tractor, with all the attachments.

    Dad and Mom, like almost everyone in town, had a huge garden for fruits and vegetables. My brother Gary, says he remembers Dad walking my Grandpa’s team of horses to town, to plow the garden. Grandpa sold his last team in 1949 and bought a new McCormick Farmall “C” tractor.
    That’s another association with my birth-year that I still hold dear.
    The new Simplicity was the walk-behind, two-wheeled tractor; with a 10-horse Briggs and Stratton.
    My brothers mowed most of the neighborhood for about 50-cents-a-time.
    It was so much easier than pushing that old hand-mower.”

    And that, my dear readers ; took place even before Russell left his family farm in Ohio, for the bright lights and big cities of the Rock ‘N Roll world.

  15. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    Oh, yeah: that’s a good movie.@jim hitchcock

  16. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by Howard

    Shana Tova, Jorma and family.

  17. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by chuck newman

    Sorry not the A but the Cub. Too much red paint to remember.

  18. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by chuck newman

    Jorma I almost forgot to mention that as one yard care enthusiast to another I’m still waiting to see the picture of that tractor. I used to have a nice International A with a mower under the belly.

  19. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by jim hitchcock

    Byrds related, the movie Grand Theft Parsons well worth watching.

  20. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by eaglesteve

    Ditto Captain.

  21. Comment made on September 3, 2013 by John B

    It’s about surrender not control. @Steve Singer

    @Steve Singer

  22. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Steve Singer

    Gene Clark WAS The Byrds. Wrote most of their best songs. They were never the same band after he left. A real shame he couldn’t control his excesses.

  23. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    I’m familiar with that Gene Clark album, as I also am with Josh White and Phil Ochs.
    They should never be forgotten, flowing as they are; in The River of Time.@chuck newman

  24. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by chuck newman

    @Barbara Jacobs
    Barb the food sounds great. I wanted to mention to you a couple of musical things I came across lately and had forgotten. I stumbled on to Gene Clarks album “No Other” while listening to some old Josh White and Phil Ochs. Really great stuff. I don’t know if most have forgotten Josh White. Shalom.

  25. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by John B

    Good stuff Chuck. @chuck newman

  26. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by chuck newman

    Always a smooth vibe from Jorma. I have found that those who say that 70 is the new 50 etc. are nowhere near 70. As for your thought about one’s place along the road of time I would say that, after many years of thinking about it myself, we all seem to be just about where we should be as time goes along. As far as going back to things all I can say is that I am grateful to know Jorma can pick up that guitar and what happens next is all the “time machine” I need and he can send me back or forward and it’ll all be right on time.

  27. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Jim

    As always an insightful and reflective post!! You discuss two of my favorite “Been So Long”& “Hamar Promenade”!! Welcome back & long live “Hamar Promenade”!!

  28. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Steve Singer

    You know, been playing with a guitar buddy since 1975 under the name “Crystal City”. We even advertised in the print Tuna Times back in the day. We loved playing Hamar, Hit Single & many more of your originals but never tried Been So Long. We pretty much played Tuna, Dead & Bob Marley. Never made money, but have had almost 40 years of great times. Thanks for all the fine music, Jorma.

  29. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Dan

    In your case sir..70 is the new 30. Thanks for all you do.

  30. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by John B

    You covered a lot of ground in this beautifully written entry Jorma. I am happy to hear that your song composition will story based and then the music. . I very much look forward to what I think will be a voluminous amount of wonderful songs to come.At One show that I was at some years ago you introduced a song that had yet to have lyrics added and you played just the music for us. Can’t remember the song (it will come to me) but it turned out t0 be one of my favorites . Inclusion of the spiritual aspect of your life is welcome . For me I find that when I start to move away from the spiritual ; away from God and his protection that things start to go of in a direction that may not be beneficial to . Your comment about life “so much remains the same…….” hit me hard and the analogy you used of the morning mist was just beautiful . It was your guitar playing that brought me into the fold but very quickly I became aware of what an absolute talent you have as a song writer . Exciting times ahead for us all as we slide toward Autumn .

    Thanks Jorma from sharing;

    John B

  31. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Joe

    Jorma , Thank you.

  32. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Cat

    virtual standing ovation to your webmaster. these sites of jorma’s are world class. they look great and they work like a clock. thx. (((webmaster)))

  33. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Cat

    How cool would that be–to visit the silo and find jorma inside picking out a tune. wow.

  34. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Richard

    May you and yours have a very Happy and Healthy New Year..L’shonah Tova…

  35. Comment made on September 2, 2013 by Joey hudoklin

    Jorma, your introspective post was most enjoyable. What you said about getting one thing done at a time and progress one day/mission at a time in a time continuum that is out of our control puts stuff in perspective. Things, for myself, don’t often go my way the more I try to control the outcome. So, I do the best I can, and let go of the results. After practicing this concept for a while now, it definitely makes me a more grateful individual. Hamar Promenade, huh? Can’t wait to hear it. Maybe this fall.
    I’ve been working on Been So Long for quite some time now. Always getting stuck on the descending chords near the end.
    It’s wonderful that Zack has chosen to learn the guitar. He has been blessed.

    Happy Labor Day!
    All the best to you & your family.

  36. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by Steve Singer

    Happy Labor Day & best wishes for a Healthy New Year. So glad you’re reviving Hamar Promenade. IMHO, one of your finest songs.

  37. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by phil Zisook

    Great words Jorma. Hope you and family enjoy a great labor day. And, may it be a sweet year ahead.

  38. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by kathy

    Happy Labor Day Jorma and family. i did nor know that white is suposed to be worn the day after labor day. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your holiday. I like the metaphors in your post. It has taken me awhile to figure out what a blog actually is and the politics of blogging. Ediquatte of blogs. Like e-mail their are certain ways to go about it and I’m long winded so it does not come easy for me to over do things. Yesterday I was online and discovered that My father was in the Sons OF The Revolution. So i was happy to find this document online with his signature their at the age of 20 somthing the year my brother was born, and I will be proud to pass this on to my son when he turns 18 in seven years. The symbol for the SAR is an eight sided cross with an eagle on the top and each point stand for a different ideal. I related to them. Today I thought of service and I tried to save a baby calf that had gotten separated from the heard on the outside of a barbed wire fence near a busy road . standing close to the herd on the other side of the fence you could not really tell it wasn’t actually in the pen. But I did because we used to have a farm and lots of polled Herford cattle. These were all white as white gets. Not a spot on them. The baby calf was so cute and looked so innocent, It brought back a lot memories. Thanks for your blog. I have my yahoo and I added your page to it. It had an option to do so. Your blogees are polite and posts are appropriate and you deserve nothing less. Today I went all the was to the south end of town and then back north to where I live. So me I don’t know, mayby I try to hard to go back to the past and bring old memories to life. I don’t want to let them go. But adapting is good and so is letting go at some point. Traditions remain if you are lucky enough to have them. Some memories are not always pleasant and myself personally am trying to not let myself react to things that remind me of painful experiences, And sometimes I take things out on the wrong. Nicest people or anyone. Thanks for the peaceful way in which you conduct your blog. It is a great example to follow or try to compare to.

  39. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    That’s a beautifully written blog-post, Jorma.

    No “U-turns” on the road of time.
    Learning, playing, enjoying family, mowing the acres of your lawn.

    Thoughts of your father.
    Thinking about your own kids:
    Your daughter upstairs reading a book, your son getting ready for another year of high school.
    You and Vanessa having quality time at FPR.

    Another summer gone by, next week: another Rosh Hashanah.

    I will be helping in the kitchen, a mere 55-year-old apprentice at the side of my friend’s 81-year-old mom:
    Kreplach, kishka, salmon croquettes, kasha varnishkes, tzimmes, rugalach…

    “Kimts arein, katshkes in gendz !”.
    “Time to eat, come and get it!” Literal translation: “Ducks and geese, come on in!”

  40. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by joe in dc

    ANd happy LAbor Day to you jK out in Ohio. Beautiful thoughts you penned for us..thank you…………..

  41. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by carlo pagliano

    Happy Labor Day to you all, Jorma!

  42. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by Cyndy Consentino

    Dear Jorma,

    3 words this Labor Day Weekend.. I love you.
    Thanks for being such a wonderful presence in my life for the last 40 or so years!

    Stay well,

  43. Comment made on September 1, 2013 by Juliet Barr

    Thanks for letting us in today, Jorma. Just brought my youngest son to college yesterday and I feel that time is getting by me a little too quickly as well. Your words really rang true, perhaps the balm I need will be a dose of your music!

  44. “The World keeps spinning and I can’t wait…” Keep on dreaming Jorma and enjoy the day.

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