Posts Tagged With: bands


One of the wonderful things about travel with OAT, is the many off itinerary things we do. After leaving Agra Fort, we have an all day travel to another UNESCO site. But, first, we visit Agra Marble Company. The boss who is seated explains the process to us.

The workers are from Iran, he tells us. These jobs are handed down from father to son, or brother to brother. It is a dying art, he explains. People don’t want to do this hard work anymore.

Cutting a gouge in the marble by scraping it with a sharp tool over and over again. Then the glass or pearl inlay is set in and cemented with a mixture of lime, water and and finely ground marble.

The glass is cut.

It’s outlined and assembled on the table top. Then the artist makes the cuts.

Each worker has a different skill.

The men would glance up at him furtively then at us, as though they were frightened of their boss. It was very noticeable. The boss even commented on it, saying something on the order of …they look at me as though I was going to beat them or something.  I suspect he wasn’t a kind boss.

Cutters permanently damage their fingers from the work. The cutter was asked to show us his little finger which gets stiff and unmovable after years of cutting. His index finger is scarred by a permanent dent in it where the blade is held and pushed into the hard surface.

The end product is beautiful, as you can imagine. This is the small two foot table I bought.

It was shipped to me in this cloth covered box. The box had reams of tape and those hard plastic fasteners. Then rope that my housemate and I had to remove. It took the two of us 45 minutes to get it out of the box. The stand was boxed the same way. Once the cardboard boxes were removed, the pieces were  enclosed in a heavy, coated blue box. Whew! What a job.


Because it was election day, the hotel personnel removed all wine and beer from our in room refrigerators. Drinking is against the law on election day. Ranvir provided a small get-together in his room with snacks and some rum with cola.

Theo drank  sprite or  lemonade.

Bands, bill boards, groups of people with signs-all part of  electioneering going on in the streets. I got one blurry picture of a band.

Pictures from a fast moving bus or train, don’t turn out well.

And one good one at a temporary stop. They gave an impromptu little concert.

Smoking is banned in India. It is really nice not to deal with second hand smoke and what a benefit for people to spend their money on food instead of addictive nicotine.  I saw two people smoking, both times in small towns. The scofflaws.

Other pictures I missed, students taking a test in a large field so no one can copy from one another. Dead cows on the railroad tracks.  I also did a search today for population figures. As I’ve blogged I began to question Mamju Sharmi’s statement that India is 80% Muslim and 11% Hindu. I re-read my notes and her statements. I think it was just a slip on her part. It is just the opposite. About 80% Hindu and 11% Muslim.  Tomorrow a two hour train ride and a five hour drive to Khajuraho.


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DSC08239 (Copy)I attended a Calaveras County Arts Co. Music In The Parks event in Arnold. On the way I stopped to visit with my old friend Paul Moeller. He was tired after a day at Big Trees State Park with his caretaker, Nellie. She is a marvelous woman who makes his end-of-life issues tolerable. He talks about hopefully passing on to meet his Martha in heaven-soon. It saddens me but I’m aware of how lucky he is to have so many caring people in his life. He is a legend in our community.

DSC08241 (Copy)Cedar Center Businesses in Arnold built a stage for events, starting with the Arts Council 25 years ago. Cathy Mazzafaro is our current Director, a popular, personable and capable replacement for retiring Mary Jane Genochio.  The only funding for these free concerts comes from donations. I call it small town amazing.

DSC08244 (Copy)The Wicked Sisters is a group of teachers who turned to music. Originally four women, they have a couple of stand-ins for when someone can’t make an event. All of them sing.

DSC08243 (Copy)An amazing variety of instruments are used. A banjo, ukulele, several different guitars, a mandolin, different percussion instruments, tambourine, a shaker.

DSC08249 (Copy)Musical numbers varied from “Summertime,” to rock classics and radio pop tunes, country and folk.  Interesting diversity, such as “My Ex’s Commin’ Back To Me”, and a couple really challenging pieces-I didn’t remember the titles but the music still strums through my mind.

DSC08245 (Copy)I met a couple of friends at the concert, but I made a new friend as well. Her owner told me she listened to everything I said.  (Of course, I told her how pretty and well-behaved she was.)


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A concert featuring cowboys, Gary Allegretto and Ian Espinosa both songwriters and musicians who love the blues and western music put on an outstanding show at the Arts Center in Angels Camp yesterday.  But the standout performer, Allegretto, is not a guitarist, but a harmonica virtuoso.  Never in my life could I have imagined the sounds and range of “vocals” that come out of a simple  carry-in-your-pocket, harmonica.  After the show, the duo sold and autographed CDs.

DSC08021 (Copy)A “people” person, Gary posed with a local admirer, Chris Doty. Some of the music he has written qualifies him as a comedian. His range of music from the foot stomping, “This Ain’t My Last Rodeo,” (number one on the charts for three years running) and a sing-a-long number, “But You Can’t Stay Here”, reflect his days as a bouncer in a Santa Fe bar. He reminds us that Santa Fe, when he worked there,  wasn’t all “pinky boutique” but a pretty rough shod place full of hard drinkin’, fists ready cowhands. His music is difficult to describe, a blusey-western mix; throw in an African American spiritual, and something akin to dance with Ian’s singing and playing on a guitar older than anyone in the audience, and you have a rave collaboration.

DSC08022 (Copy)Allegretto is internationally known for his humanitarian work with children. He brings to kids- be it Indonesia, Africa or Wales-the universal language of music. He can talk through that harmonica and leaves each boy and girl with a harmonica of their own with which they can play four songs. Now that is peace making on a very basic level.

DSC08026 (Copy)Calaveras Arts Council Director, Mary Jane Genochio brought them to Angels Camp and then on stage, gave a tearful farewell. Her house was destroyed in the Butte Fire and she said, “I am building a house and I must turn this job over to another.”  We will definitely miss her.

DSC08017 (Copy)Equally loved, former Director, Penny West, who held the reins for at least 20 years brought us Mary Jane. We in Calaveras County owe so much to the wonderful leadership provided by these two amazing women. Our Arts are strong, and we are so lucky and grateful.

DSC08028 (Copy)Another arts venue is involved in the simple act of story telling, poetry, writing and critiquing new writers. A powerful group also in Angels Camp under the Arts Council umbrella. Here Joy Roberts recruits wanna be writer, Lizz Emerson. The Arts Council begins its free music in the parks concerts in early June, just a mention here while I’m at it. But, back to Allegretto. You can listen to a sample of his music on this website: But more than that, this is one of the finest accolades I’ve ever seen:

“I cannot express enough gratitude for what you have done for the harmonica and for Hohner. 
Without you, we would be less of a brand.”

~ Clay Edwards, CEO, Hohner Harmonicas Inc.

You gotta see this guy!

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IMG_2779 (Copy)If you are going to have a birthday party as an adult, you expect to enjoy it. The band, dedicated their music to Carole Gordon, whose birthday was being celebrated.

IMG_2780 (Copy)I don’t know who they are, which didn’t affect my enjoyment of their music. I heard guest, Alan Test, say, “Oh, that’s Lightening Boy.”  Lightening Boy moved quickly and I never did get his picture.

IMG_2781 (Copy)Carole got up and danced-and the night was hers.

IMG_2789 (Copy)These two singers and players are personal friends of Carole’s.

IMG_2791 (Copy)They each wrote a song about their experiences in Viet Nam and sang them. The man on the left wrote and dedicated a poem to her.

IMG_2777 (Copy)The fellow doing sound and lighting reminded me of Rumbledore from Harry Potter.

IMG_2790 (Copy) Carole was a teacher at Michelson Elementary School when we moved to Murphys 37 years ago. As our kids grew up,  we were both involved in AFS (American Field Service.)  My exchange student, Linda, from Indonesia and her exchange student, Phillip, from South Africa, were good friends during their year together in Murphys.  AFS is a bonding experience, much like a family. Jim and Alisha Riggs were at the party, too. Jim had a student from Ethiopia before my family got involved in AFS.

IMG_2774 (Copy)Of course, the party wasn’t only about the band. Selections of wine, beer and water.  The hors d’oeuvres were fabulous, followed by a full dinner of ribs, chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans.

IMG_2778 (Copy)I missed taking a picture of this birthday cake before it got cut.

IMG_2792 (Copy)But, I did get a picture of one of the chocolate cakes. All came from our local bakery in Murphys. Needless to say, I went home stuffed and smiling with pleasure.

IMG_2788 (Copy)Where is that Lightening Boy?








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DSC07075 (Copy)After a late evening Doctor’s appointment, I returned to Murphys in time for Christmas Open House held every year on Main St.  Fire buckets up and down the street give light and warmth as folks make their way from shop to shop. Or for a bag pipe player to practice his craft for anyone who will listen.

DSC07078 (Copy)The Murphys Hotel, festooned on three sides, looked like the Fourth of July. A fellow was juggling and spinning lighted batons to entertain the crowds, but my picture was one big blur.

DSC07084 (Copy)Everyone is welcome to do their own thing. This fairy tale princess rode around town on a bicycle dressed just like her. She stopped for a cigarette.

DSC07072 (Copy)From the East end of town, I looked into a gallery and ran into Marlene Bradford, a friend and neighbor who tried to teach me to be a sculptor. I watched her make this fish so I took her picture with it. Then  five old friends I hadn’t seen in six months showed up, which for me, is why I like the Christmas festivities.

DSC07079 (Copy)Pam Quyle got separated from her friends, cell phones not on, so she waited for them to find her. We chatted until I got cold and ditched inside the shop…

DSC07081 (Copy)What did I find?  Like a golf hole, this apparatus is for frisbee players. Murphys, San Andreas and  Bear Valley now have a course. Frisbee is very popular. I took this picture for my son-in-law, Cedric, who is a tournament player. If we were a gift trading family…only $149.

DSC07085 (Copy)Since I hadn’t had dinner, I was searching for cookies. At Tanners Wine Shop, Amy was serving her decadent Cowgirl Apple Dumplings. She gave me a double since I hadn’t had dinner. Oh, yum. Better than cookies. She claims the secret is gravenstein apples and dumping a can of Mountain Dew over the whole works. “It is one of two delicious unhealthy things I make,” she told me.  “I never use mock whipped cream except for that pretzel jello salad, it doesn’t work with real whipped cream.”  I know, I’ve made it too. Ah, let us all praise decadent desserts.

DSC07082 (Copy)This gallery has a piano player every year. I missed all the choral groups on the street that played Christmas Carols.

DSC07090 (Copy)The Brew Pub had a good rock band and people were dancing, listening and having fun.

DSC07089 (Copy)At the tea shop? Bonanza!  Cookies and tea. I stayed and talked to the owner and was surprised to be reminded she has had the tea shop for 10 years. Businesses change hands, close, and each year you miss another one.  I often remember the business that was in the spot before. Beautiful Christmas trees in the shops were enjoyable.  I’ve off loaded a gob of ornaments, I don’t lavishly decorate, nor bake cookies now that Doug does a better job of it.  Hmm!  Maybe this year I’ll indulge.

DSC07071 (Copy)Though I was late, and I didn’t make it to the West end of Main St. I had a terrific time along with an unusual dinner.

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Friday night, the park hosted T/3, a two person band from St. George’s Utah. They set up on the grass and played for everyone from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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With the special effects of electronics they can sound like just about any musical group you have heard before. With a wide repertoire, they had something for everyone, from Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, some country, Nancy Sinatra’s, Boots, Franks, Something Stupid Like I love You, to some hard rock numbers, and fast dance numbers like Big Wheels Keep On Turning, Rollin’ On The River. I don’t have a good enough memory to cover it all, except to say, it was very enjoyable. Last year at Thousand Trails Palm Desert we heard one of the worst musical couples where most people walked out at the intermission. So, it was a happy comparison.

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T/3 stands for Troy, Tyra and their little dog Tinkerbell. She has a great, strong voice that can growl through the rock numbers and caress the softer music while Troy is a whiz with the special effects. We didn’t get to meet Tinkerbell.

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It was light out when they started playing, but by 9:00, the sun put on a beautiful display over the roof of the lodge.

Yesterday and Friday, I worked several hours on projects unfinished from home, but I like being busy even if the biggest appeal of the road is relaxation, carefree time away from daily cares and chores.

We got out late in the day and visited Tongue Point and the Semihamoo salmon cannery, and enjoyed a museum that was closed for the season on our last visit to Birch Bay. We returned by a circuitous route home, catching the scenery and I found a spot we hope to revisit for some pictures on another day.  We spotted a ranch that sells fresh green peas after we’d gone to our grocery for major shopping. The little beach store we stopped in on Friday had only bare necessities.  We were up late, woke late, a busy morning and I have Yoga, so, as my son Doug often says in his emails….yakatcha later.

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