Posts Tagged With: soul


DSC08170 (Copy)It is never the order of things that Stuart and Dolores (Quyle) Mast, or any parent should outlive their child.

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Sorrow and loss pinched hundreds of faces at the hilltop service at Quyle’s ranch, the property where Robbie Mast grew up, but there was something else there.

DSC08162 (Copy)The unquenchable spirit of Robbie himself, who left an indelible print on the wide world around him in his short 25 years.

DSC08165 (Copy)Principal of Avery Middle School, Michael Chimente, reminded us of his leadership role, as honor student, class president as a sixth grader and a young high school student who applied to be Principal at Bret Harte High School.

DSC08168 (Copy)The gang of six friends he grew up with helped us relish the humor, the mischief, the love of nature, beauty and friendship he brought into focus for them. Robbie liked to ride a bike, but he wanted to build bikes and ride around the world. It took him twenty-two months from New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Italy, France and England. As the son of  wine makers, he worked in vineyards wherever he went; volunteered at a self-sustaining farm and spiritual center. He touched people;  made friends; took lessons home with him.

DSC08166 (Copy)Ryan Anderson and Bryan Hitchcock, two older friends, remarked how Robbie came to them and said he’d signed himself out of Gym in High School. He preferred hiking and biking and camping and nature. They convinced Bret Harte that he had engaged in private Boxing lessons in place of Gym and he was allowed to graduate with his class. Robbie hungered to invent, to explore, to challenge himself, to enjoy life with humor. He was an artist,  an actor, a story-teller. Wise beyond his years, he made every second of his life meaningful.  DSC08164 (Copy)Each speaker revealed another dimension to Robbie’s  life.  In his own words, from eighth grade, “Life is a journey…judge not…help those less fortunate…stop and smell the roses…never be content…question and wonder…people are good…love is the strongest force in the universe…life goes fast…live like every day was your last…

If you see a shining  star never let it fade away.

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DSC07746 (Copy)Women treasure their friendships and plant deep roots with each other. Lizz Emerson is one of the strongest women I know. Out of a job? No problem, I’ll have one tomorrow. From a non-opportunistic background, with no education, she raised her children, on her own, since they were little. One daughter has been a city supervisor and is now running for congress. Another has her own catering business in Sacramento. Both success oriented like mom.  Lizz, called me and said, I couldn’t make your birthday party, so its belated birthday party time. I’ll bring the food, what do you like? I told her I like vegetarian food and, voila. Let it be done.

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DSC07739 (Copy)Hor’s de ouevres.

DSC07743 (Copy)A Mexican casserole with fresh corn, and olives rolled in lasagna noodles.

DSC07744 (Copy)A Greek spinach and cheese casserole. She brought the food cooked, and placed cheese on top before we put it in the oven to warm-up.

DSC07741 (Copy)She brought all the condiments, a Greek salad and dessert, too. I didn’t get pictures of everything. Plus, her instructions were that she wanted every guest to go home with food.

DSC07745 (Copy)First to arrive was Jan Stewart, who also couldn’t attend my 75th. I like to describe Jan as an expert at pushing all the negatives away, forgetting them and making haste to see sunshine in everything and everyone. She practices esoteric healing and she practices love. Love thy neighbor, love thy neighbor’s dog, love all children, help everyone you can. I’m grateful to be in her sphere and have felt her love and helpfulness.

IMG_4853 (Copy)Karen Phillips is my housemate. She’s been with me for 10 years. Loyal, conscientious, she literally keeps the home fires burning.  I could not have chosen a rambling lifestyle without her. Gathering my mail, watering my plants, keeping my place looked after and occupied. You name it, she does it. An excellent cook, she feeds me when I’m busy. This picture was taken in 2010.

DSC07747 (Copy)Margo and Pam were the last to arrive. Pam Quyle, raised a son on her own with no support.  Pam is a potter and drives a big truck delivering clay all over the Bay Area, besides making pots. She has one day a week off and arrived straight from work. Harried and tired and said, POUR THE WINE.

Margo Osborn has a son, a grandchild, divorced and in her late 60’s and continues to work. I love talking to Margo because she has such a diverse background and speaks with ease on any subject. Both she and Pam are associated with the wine industry. Margo’s winery was sold and she is the only employee retained from the former staff. Lucky for them, she is the most popular wine advocate in the county, as in “everybody knows Margo.” She speaks several languages and has a magic way with people. She was in Italy during my birthday party.

We managed to discuss all subjects important to women with no men around, as in breasts, bras, sex, men, food, life, shoes, healing our wounded souls and bodies as we age. Not necessarily in that order.

DSC07750 (Copy)Pam took a picture of all of us.

DSC07755 (Copy)And, someone took a picture of she and I. We share so many experiences. Lizz making me go out on New Years the year my husband died. Pam’s 25 year old son taking his first steps on my deck. Karen and I learning together how to deal with her adversarial boss. Jan performing reiki and meditative healing when my spirits were low. From Margo flows hiking club, zumba, health, sharing and “yes, let’s do it.” Our roots are deep. Girlfriends. Sisters all. Happy Valentines day.

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Sun Recording Studios of Memphis is a fun, fun tour. Its located on Union Street and if you grew up with Eivis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, this is where they got started, with a dream of Studio owner,  Sam Phillips.

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Sam Phillips was a unique character. He grew up around the Blues which according to historians started on Beale Street in Memphis. The slave music of misery,and white  sharecroppers alike singing out their woes; every street corner in the black area of Memphis had a jug band that played for pennies. Music flowed from black churches. The field hollers and rythmic beat of the black community made the streets course with energy  while radio stations only played country music and Grand Old Opry.  Phillips wanted to record the energetic blues.

Wildman DJ Dewey Phillips introduced white kids to "race" music.

There was one DJ named Dewey Phillips who played “race” music. Teenagers listened to it in secret. Dewey would screech out of his microphone,” If your momma don’t like it, all the better. Tell ’em Phillips Sencha.” His station was the Red Hot and Blue in Memphis, screaming to the kids and they loved it.

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What Sam Phllips did, (he and Dewey were not related) was open a recording service. He’d charge you to come in and record your stuff. He’d do a wedding, an anniversary, your poetry, anything at $4 a pop, hoping that someday, someone would walk into his studio and make it big. He recorded the Beale Street Blues and captured that raw energy. He didn’t care about white or black music, he would crank up the amps and distort it. He’d blend styles because he thought music should be fun. He wanted music to sound like a party in the room.

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Elvis grew up in Memphis and he walked in one day. But Elvis paid to record his ballads. Sam didn’t like  “You Are My Sunshine” and other such stuff. He’d try and get Elvis to play something with energy.  Elvis  played with the studio band for a year and a half before something happened that Sam liked while the he and the session players  were just messing around in the studio during a break.  It was the song, “That’s All Right.”   Sam brought it to Dewey who played it 14 times the first night it went on the air. Rock N Roll was born.

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A young John Cash walked in in 1954.  “I’m John Cash and I want you to hear me play”.  Sam listened but told him, “write me an uptempo weeper love song”.  “Cry, Cry, Cry” was released in 1955. Sam called him “The Giant Voice In Black.”

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But,  Sun Studio’s first biggest  paying hit was Carl Perkins, “Don’t you Step On My Blue Suede Shoes.”  Of course Sam was sending recordings to Dewey Phillips and Elivis was hitting the pop charts, crossing styles and fusing music. Carl heard Elvis on the Radio, as did Jerry Lee Lewis. It drew them  to Sun Studio.

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This is what the studio calls its Million Dollar Quartet, Jerry Lee, Carl, Cash and Elvis in one photo. Jerry Lee signed on as a session player (back-up pianist) but in between recordings he’d pound the ivories like a wild man, play with his feet until his piano sounded like a drum. He finally broke through with HIS kind of music with a “A Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Goin On” in 1957. And six months later, “Great Balls OF Fire” scaring the hell out of parents everywhere.

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I love this poster of Jerry Lee playing a burning piano. Lewis is the only musician of the fab four who is still alive and playing rock n roll.

Sam Phillips sold Elvis’s contract to a bigger studio. He was in debt and he knew he didn’t have the bankroll to really further Elvis’ career. A good move for both of them. Elvis didn’t want to leave. I enjoyed this tour very much. There are great pictures of great musicians here, some of their instruments and the recording studio itself. Even if you didn’t grow up in the 1950’s, you will enjoy the energy in this place. The tour guides are great. Lahna Deering was our guide and she is a musician with the Deering And Down band. You can hear her unique music on her website at this link.  I like it and hope she makes it big some day.

The rest of the studio tour is about the many great musicians that came here and made great music.

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A rare  picture of Roy Orbison without sunglasses.  Here he is, young and hopeful.

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Big Walter Horton, Blues Harmonica Giant

Big Walter Horton, Blues Harmonica Great.

B.B. King-Memphis Treasure

B.B. King.

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Jim Jaillet, my partner. We were invited to have fun, so we did, as did others. They encourage you to dance to the music and sing along.

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What a crooner!

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The way Roy Orbison usually appeared in public.

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Paul Burlison, a renowned session guitarist.

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Ike Turner, leader of the  Delta Cats Band.

Elvis with session guitarist Scotty Moore and base Bill Black.

Two of Elvis’ session players that were recorded with him at Sun Studios, Scotty and Bill.

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Rufus “Bearcat” Thomas Jr.

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Howlin Wolf.

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If you are an equipment junkie, it is all here.

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An old 45 RPM player. In fact, Sun Studios sells 100’s of remastered 45’s. They sell all of the wonderful pictures as well. It kind of makes me think about galleries who don’t allow pictures for fear you won’t buy any. They do a gold mine business selling everything and still allow photos. Kudos to them.

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Lahna demonstrated how Johnny Cash would put a dollar bill under his strings and loosen them up to get that special sound you hear  in “Folsom Prison Blues.”

A lot of information about Sun Studio, and all the greats that passed through its doors is on Wikipedia:

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They have especially great pictures you don’t often see of Elivis.

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Rosie’s Bar was a homey place, they say.  Gone now, but not forgotten.
We need art and music to sooth us. And, as the madness of the current election, the money raising frenzy, the lies, distortions and name calling, intrude,  I get my respite by cruising through my pictures and memories for awhile each day.

A beautiful Mardi Gras costume.There is a bit of trivia related to beauty. Caligynephobia is the fear of beautiful women.

The Blues Brothers and the famous Blue Dog from The Blue Dog Cafe.

I think his innocence is what appeals to us.

To have a gate like this is to state your individuality.

A block from a crazy quilt. Keeping warm while rescuing scraps of cloth to become a work of art. Now that is an accomplishment.

Glass so beautiful you feel like you could swim in it.

I like portraits because they make you curious about what is going on in that persons mind, setting, personal space. They evoke wonder. I sometimes wish  that I could paint, or play beautiful music. But, its enough to look and listen.

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