Posts Tagged With: band



Murphys has a beautiful Veterans Park. The Ceremony to honor our veterans began at noon, the sun overhead, it was very difficult to get good photos and I must confess that I’d never been to the park before yesterday. I would see it go together, piece by piece in the newspaper on fleeting trips off the road. I’d estimate a crowd of about 2oo people were in attendance.


You can see my shadow as I tried to get a picture of the base of the flag pole. A local scout group raised the flag. The day became quite warm.


Our district Supervisor Oliviera spoke with these World War II vets, one who flew 93 missions over Germany, another who was part of the occupation forces in Japan. We are lucky there are WWII Vets left in our area to tell their stories. They had every branch of the service represented.

I was able to take five pictures and my battery went dead in my camera.

Jim took this picture of me looking for some of my husband’s friends, Norman Tanner, Leroy Parades was another. Dan Darby.


The whole community was involved, with our local community band, playing and singing the theme songs of every branch of service. It was so well done, it brought tears to my eyes at several points.

Jenifer Berry’s class of students read papers they wrote about appreciating veterans. They all had relatives that were veterans. Jim and I have seen veterans celebrations on the road, but none as thorough and comprehensive as this one. Murphys is one great place to live.


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Barbar Grogan, Madelaine Krska,Patty ?

We call ourselves girls, as in girl friends, girls night out. I guess when we are 90 we’ll still be girls. Girlfriends are the best, we decided.  Barbara Grogan, Madelaine Krska and Patti Johansen, are from north county. It was touch and go as a fire had the road between San Andreas and Angels Camp closed for a while. They got through and we gratefully hoisted our drinks, and nibbled on appetizers on the patio while the band set up.

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We moved inside to listen to the music and chat. Madelaine talked to Bob Leemans during a break. Men Of Worth will be playing Camps for over a month of weekends, so if you want to catch them, go for it. Their singer is in his eighties and still has a powerful voice. He is a former musical arranger for a host of Hollywood greats, now retired and living in Sonora. We didn’t dance, but others took to the floor.

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Barb, Maddie and Patti are old friends of Laurie and Bob Leemans.  Laurie decided to attend her husband’s gig another night. Barbara and I did a fair amount of people watching. A table near us had a couple who couldn’t see any one else but each other in the room. We chuckled a bit. Been there done that in another life. Before leaving Barbara got a hug from Bob.

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Patti took advantage of Mark Twain’s sculpture at Camps Restaurant and Bar entrance,  and hugged him before we left. The sculptor captured Twain’s  rascally personality.  It was nice to step out with friends and get someone to commiserate with me on my car.

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We left just as the sun was setting. No matter how busy life gets, friends, music and time away, the perfect solution to off-set the day’s tribulations.

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Yesterday warmed a bit and we spent a restful day with a few small chores. Jim pumped up all ten tires and fixed a valve. I treated the sinks with a baking soda soak and scrubbed the cutting board covers on the sink. Image

Every morning, the little tree outside our window fills up with tiny flitting birds. We can’t see what they eat and they don’t stay long enough to figure out what they are.


It was warm enough for the jack rabbits to come out of their dens by afternoon. They are gangly; all legs and ears. You can tell this is a nursing female.


There appears to be nothing for them to eat, the grass is sparse.

We dressed up after dinner for a dance at the American Legion..


We arrived just as the band was setting up. I brought my pocket camera and the room here, especially after the music got started, was very dark with only the disco ball flashing lights about the room.


Jim has been promising to dance me. We dance about the motor home frequently but in public, he tends to be shy about dancing. He turned me around the dance floor and I lost my backless sandals on the first dance.  I’d never danced in them before and we struggled along twice, with my shoes wanting to come off, so I vacated the shoes and I danced in my stocking feet. Later, a gentleman asked me to dance, asking me if I like to twirl. I told him yes and he twirled and twirled me about the dance floor. He came back for a second dance and the shoe police made me leave the floor because I was in my stocking feet. The gentleman urged me to try again and I did, and again, the shoe police kicked me off the floor. I explained to him my shoes wouldn’t stay on my feet-to no avail. Jim and I danced once more, a slow dance where my shoes didn’t go flying, and then we left. It was difficult to understand why there is such a rule since most women’s shoes are scanty and thin, especially dancing shoes. In fact, this is the first American Legion we’ve been too where there was a security guard. Maybe they drink too much and get rowdy as the evening proceeds?


Could be, judging from this guy’s bottle, Machine Gun Kelly whiskey. He was very proud of his purchase and told me “I got the last one!”  He didn’t open the bottle, just showed it to everyone. 

The American Legion here only sells beer. If you drink anything else, you have to bring it and the bar provides you a cup and ice and will sell you mix.

I was having a great time before I got kicked off the dance floor, a first for me. We wanted to get home early anyway to see if the Harlingen PBS station would be playing Downton Abbey. (They don’t even broadcast on Sunday.)  Darn!




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I had never been to a Mudfest before and wasn’t quite sure what I would see. It was a first time event at Quyles Kiln/Brice Station Winery about two miles above Murphys. Pam Quyle runs the pottery, her sister and brother-in-law have a winery and tasting room.  Great combination. But I was there to meet  old friends from Alameda County. The first thing  I ran into was a dog-head with a ball in its mouth.  Not surprising since there are plenty of friendly dogs around the place who love balls.

The second thing I hadn’t seen before was this  magnificent dragonfly garden piece. The eye never rests here. But, I walked in the showroom looking for my friend Pam, who was nowhere to be seen.

The Quyle family has been making pottery here since 1928. Families come to replenish their dishes from one generation to the next. Always quality pieces, that never changes. I treasure my colanders, serving bowls, casseroles and berry dishes. But you can find any vessel here, made by Pam or other potters who sell their work  here.

Not only pottery, but other art flourishes. Water color and oil paintings, etchings and greeting cards, and then I see this poster of a dog story. The artist, Marilyn Pyle told me they are popular with school libraries and veterinary offices.

Pam has a potter working here who does faces and busts. I don’t know his or her name and didn’t get to meet the potter, but I did run into this sculpture:

And these delightful faces.

I often find galleries on the road and get my art fix, but here I am at home and able to  do the same thing. For the Mudfest, potters and other artists were invited to put up a booth and present  their work.

I guess when Cathi Newlin says, “Happiness is a lump of Clay” you can see the passion people have for working with clay.  Her rats  were so life-like I accused her of starting a plague.

She works in Angels Camp and does nice framed tiles and  photography as well from her shop at the  The Square Peg.

I poked around the booths until my friends arrived and Don Hall’s work caught my eye. He does highly decorated pieces and much of  his stuff has an Asian look to it. Delicate flowers and plant life. He has a website, He came up from Turlock.

Pottery can be so individual and I always love to see work that is exciting and different.


While I was looking I could smell the chicken in a barrel cooking.  Then Denise and Gary Lindsay, my Sheriff’s Department friends from Alameda County showed up and we enjoyed sharing a bottle of wine and food. The people catering the meals, I wish I had gotten their names.  Unlike some events, the portions were very generous and everyone was bragging about the food. It was excellent.

Gary and Denise had stumbled upon the Kiln and Gary, now retired and moved to Tuolumne County, is also a clay person. He does beautiful mosaic tables and since moving, needs a place to have his clay fired.  He came to the right place. Gary was an avid volunteer and served as treasurer for the Alameda County Archives for many years and was making cocktail tables even then for is fellow deputies. He has quite a following. I’m sure he’ll be just as successful in Tuolumne County enjoying his hobby.

We ate dinner, the band began to play in the meadow behind the tasting room and I again think to myself, how lucky I am to live here. I  hope they have another Mudfest next year.  And, they better have the same caterer.

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I grew up with Buddy Holly’s music, as well as Richie Valens, (La Bamba) and J.P. Richardson, The Big Bopper, (Chantilly Lace.)  A privilege is the only way I can describe getting to sit in a “live concert” with Buddy Holly and the others from the long gone past at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, Connecticut. “Whatta show!”  Gregg Hammer does a believable Holly and his backup musicians were amazing, especially the drummer. (It was unclear from the program who the drummer was. My only criticism.)
The Buddy Holly Story has been playing all around the country in various little theaters and my advice is get thee to one and see it. Well written and designed to showcase Holly’s short-lived musical career and personality. Pick a theater that can support good actors and musicians. That was the joy for  us last night in the historical, storied Ivoryton Playhouse.

The Playhouse will be celebrating its 100th year in 2011, an achievement of community support and pride for this summer theater.
We learned that Katharine Hepburn played here and many other notables were listed in Wikipedia, but not nearly the list we examined in the playhouse itself. Pictures and autographs of familiar and diverse talents such as Buddy Ebsen, June Allyson, Farley Granger, Shelly Winters, James Whitmore, Betty Davis, Phyllis Diller, Allan Alda and early greats before my time.
The theater holds 284 patrons, who file in from nearby towns and New York City. Its interior has been refurbished more than once, and boasts a great collection of elephants. (The ivory connection.) The spacious grounds with gazebo and plenty of ancient shade trees provides an outdoor arena for events. What a treasure this community has.

The lobby:

Stage and pictures around the walls.

The music from this show hit the walls and a standing dancing ovation capped the final scene. Much I didn’t know about Buddy Holly was revealed here and his potential was so great and unrealized that a mix of sadness follows you out the door despite an exciting evening.

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