Bank Street Annex

Breakfast with Santa (or, as I termed it, Coffee with Dave) is my second time at this social event at the posh Bank Street Annex. It’s an event dreamed up by the Downtown Easton folks to encourage families to come downtown. It’s held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and seems to be a way to dress the kids and parents up for a society event.

I set up my small sound system and brought my bags of instruments for an hour and a half gig. As folks filtered in, I broke out my holiday material for the first time this season, added some of my kids material and did my thing.

The Nose Bros.

As the kids eventually finished up their breakfast, they started gingerly to approach my station. Some kids were familiar from last year and jumped into the bag of instruments, and away we went. The parents appreciate what I do and snap lots of pictures of the kids in action. I handed out noses later on.

Santa and Mrs. Claus made their grand entrance down the elegant stairway, with The Grinch not far behind. Santa read The Night Before Christmas and sang Rudolph while I tried to snatch some of the food for myself. I resumed playing music while the kids posed for photos and, soon, we were wrapping it up.

The Dude himself and me.

This Santa was particularly good in his manner and voice (now in his 78th year) and we put on a good show. As he posed with me for our picture, he said he wished he had my talent, a generous nod to me. I said he was good at his job.

The job was good for me, not having a whole lot of gigs these days. Marcie, the Easton planner was gracious and even fetched my car from the parking garage, paid for it, and I was able to load and leave efficiently. Quite the blessing these days. A good day and I was done before 11 am. Check in the mail.

Gigs are far and few these days so I’m especially glad to have a four-week after-school residency at a South Side school – Donegan ES. I’ll do an hour of work/play and hopefully come up with a song about climate change. We’ll see.

The first session on Thursday was fairly scattered as an assembly was wrapping up in the gym, the site for my session. The coordinators were running around, getting snacks and shuffling the other groups off to class rooms. I got a corner in the gym.

My group is a posse of five 4th grade boys, a challenge unto itself. As it turns out, these boys are pretty bright and responsive. One boy speaks a minimum of English, so that will be my challenge for this session.

I started out with I Like Peanut Butter, talked about the guitar, We Gave Names to the Animals and introduced rhythm bag and the rain stick. Through out all this, we chatted, joked around and I got to know the kids better. A couple kids are especially bright and we enjoy our company.

The kids wanted to know if I knew any of the songs from the film Coco, especially Poco Loco. I said I’ll work it up for next week. And, upon reflection during a head-session early morning (trying to sleep), I thought it might be a good inspiration for our climate change songwriting challenge. We’re somewhat crazy to be using carbon-centric fuels when we have wind, sun and tidal technology.

I even had the Peter Gunn tune in my mind. Sheesh….

Who says I’m wasting my time asleep? I have my homework cut out for me.

I had my second Bethlehem Farmers’ Market in two week today, having gone the whole season without any. I was blessed with another warm, sunny day in late October and made for a delightful set.

As usual, there were mostly Lehigh students streaming by, but, as I was setting up, I ran into Jack DeSilva, Bethlehem Area Schools’ Superintendent, out for a stroll during a break at the local Middle School. I then ran into Amy Forsyth, a friend, fiddler and artist, with her drawing class of students out in the public working on their craft. A good way to start the day.

A young lad and his grandmom stopped by and I encouraged the boy to sample the shakers in my bag, but was really shy, but he noticed the students with their pads, and motioned that he’d rather draw. He went over and one of women gave him a blank piece of paper and he scooted back with a smile on his face. That was great. He eventually warmed up to my bag of instruments (with the rain stick being the crack in the dam) and had a great time for the next half hour. It made my day.

Gregg, Bill and I decided to recast an evening we did five or six years ago: a song swap Dave’ Night Out. We had a great time. Gregg came up from Winston-Salem, NC and Bill from Morristown, NJ, and me from upstairs. Yes, it was a small audience but lots of Gregg’s friends came out so it was a fresh Godfrey’s audience.

I started things off and passed it to Gregg. Over the course of the evening, Gregg pulled out some great original tunes, including one he co-wrote with David Wilcox. Gregg’s a fine guitarist and uses some inventive tunings that really shape his sound. He also filled some nice leads on my songs. I supplied some mandolin on some of his songs.

Bill Hall, of course, has a delicious selection of original tunes, and he premiered a couple tonight, including one Legends, that is a nod to Gorka’s How Legends are Made and featured a phrase, “The Bard of Fourth Street”. As it flew by, it didn’t sink in that he was referring to me.  I don’t regard myself as a songwriter, but it was a nice gesture.

I did How Legends are Made, Don’t Call Me Early, Lessons from Pete, Ireland, Giants. I played pretty well and was glad I had several farmers’ markets recently to pull my chops together.

One question came up that spurred some discussion: What makes a Jersey song a Jersey song? Bill referenced John Gorka’s I’m From New Jersey about never thinking you’re good enough. I actually talked about my reticence booking Jersey songwriters while I was artistic director at Godfrey’s – too pushy. Gregg talked about his work with Christian Bauman. It was an interesting exploration.

I finished up with Lessons from Pete, and we disbanded after a very refreshing and stimulating evening, as are all of these Dave’s Night Outs.

Friday’s gig at Easton Public Market was one of the better ones, and it was special since my friend Steve Capwell sat in on harp. He’s got a good ear, good tone and knows when to play and not play. All fine traits for a side man.

There were more folks hanging out in the “dining area” and some families as well. that led to some great interactions a young brother and sister, another girl and special interaction with a two-year old girl. The nice thing about playing at the kids is that the adults tune in as well. The girls wanted to dance, which I encouraged, and turned out to be a good focal point for the evening.

The really interesting reaction was from mom and dad and their very young daughter, pre-talking age. As the parents told me, it was her first time listening to live music, and her eyes and attention just locked right in, something I really pick up on. Then, she started making this burbling lips sound, like a motorboat. She was loud, too. I had to stop and comment, “Where’s that sound coming from ?”

Cap’n Steve Capwell and his mule – Lehigh River Canal

Everybody in the place picked up on it as she continued her mouth music as we played. Incredible!

Good tips tonight, which I split with Steve, an artisan pizza for later at home, and good time had by all.

My first neighborhood FM of the year finally rolled around. I had one on the books back in July until the Canadian smoke machine cancelled it. Today was a gloriously sunny and warm day on the Southside.

I was a little concerned with my recent dearth of gigs, but it turned out nicely today. I had my Martin and Helicon amp in hand, and they both served me well. Clean sound and easy load in and out.

Per usual, the students cruised by with little acknowledgement, though I was successful in shaming a few for a buck or two – the ones that took time to sit in the courtyard with me. A few familiar faces stopped by, including my jam pal Dr. Ken who graciously stuck around for an early set. He gave me some intelligent ears to play for.

A young family and grandparents stopped by and I engaged the young son with We Gave Names to the Animals, and, interestingly enough, several Lehigh students in the process. The grand folks gave me a $20 tip. Nice.

It was great to have the opportunity to bang on the guitar, work on my repertoire and exercise my digits and brain. Deb, the market manager, said at the end that I played great, and I had to agree with her. A good day on the planet.

Not many gigs these days, but I’ll take note of them all. Saturday morning, I was asked to play for my friends at Flint Hill Farms for a fall farm tour date, one I like to do every fall (and spring). It was quite a rainy morning, with heavy showers in the forecast. But, my friend Dave Reber had swept up some sawdust in the barn and made room for me – a couple of benches and chairs and I was ready to roll.

My friend John Christie let me know that he and Sue were going to come out, so I invited him to bring his guitar (a fine Brazilian rosewood faux-Martin). That made for a nice session. There were few families out and no wagon rides, but the few kids that showed up picked up shakers and clatterpillars and played along. Again, that’s all I need to have the time disappear.

Following me was a local trio of a dad and his two twenty-year old sons. As they hung around to catch some of our set, one of the sons mentioned that he still remembers me playing at an assembly at Springfield ES when he was in fourth grade. This stuff happens frequently but I still relish these tales.

I got paid in cheese, and my friend Kathy, head-cheese at the farm, gathered some goat cheese and thanked me dearly for my regular supporting visits to the farm. A good morning for me.

Frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect for Dave Fry Day at Godfrey’s on Saturday. I knew my TAMA friend Jennifer Ridgway wanted to celebrate my time with TAMA and as a Teaching Artist, but she enlisted Ramona to pull together the local community to drop on by. It turned out to be pretty special.

Bethlehem Mayor W. Reynolds

First of all, I was not looking forward to any kind of spotlight but, in the course of the afternoon, came to appreciate the community I have around me, and it became an opportunity for us to all get together and socialize. I just happened to be at the center.

Daughter Rosalie and her new boyfriend Jordan showed up from RI and son Jaimie, his wife Chelsy and grandson Jayden came up from Pottstown. An unexpected delight for the afternoon!

MC Mark McKenna

Mark McKenna, TA and Touchstone alum, was the emcee and set the tone for the afternoon, as I was ensconced in a make-shift throne. To lead off, Bethlehem’s Mayor William Reynolds spoke briefly about how the arts are healthy for us individually and as a community. He presented me with a fine Proclamation that was particularly well written.

 

Jenn came up and spoke about my history with Teaching Artists of the

Jennifer Ridgway of TAMA

Mid-Atlantic (TAMA)

with several comments from my fellow TAs in the organization, and, indeed, our weekly Monday mornings during Covid were wonderful gatherings of some pretty extraordinary artists. We became good friends during a very hard time.

I was particularly glad that the festivities were to celebrate my career as a teaching artist, as opposed to my music and my Godfrey’s life. Folks from those slices of my life have no real opportunity to see my work in schools, and today was a good way to share the world of Teaching Arts.

Poet Marilyn Hazelton

I was also glad to see and hear from my good friends in our local Teaching Artists of the Lehigh Valley. Bill George, Marilyn Hazelton, Bill Christine, Mary Wright, Doug Roysdon spoke about how we have all benefited from our small, tight community, sharing demonstrations of our pieces. Lots of fooling around and being creative: movement, poetry, music, and other wonderful explorations over the last four years.

Bill George of Touchstone Theater

Bill Christine brought up a raft of friends to give me a rousing kazoo chorus, and special appearance of my grandson Jayden. Special.

Bill Christine’s Kazoo Chorus

I was pleased that other long-time Godfrey’s friends mentioned Cindy Dinsmore’s hand in Godfrey’s place in establishing the artist-friendly atmosphere here in  Bethlehem and good community friends like Anne Hills, LA Williams and others. She deserves a Cindy Dinsmore Day and I’m sure that will happen.

Good friend John Gorka phoned in to say hello. Special treat !

My friend Jaqi Tice presented my Lessons From Pete, adding a melody to my recitative version, and accompanied by good fellow Craig Thatcher. I appreciate her time and effort putting it together, as well as her many other contributions to the event. She remains a dear friend. There.

Having fun!!

I took it upon myself to insert myself in the festivities with my TA exploration Jelly In The Dish, one of favorite routines I use with kids. Few of the people in the room knew what was coming. I was really looking forward for this opportunity get everyone up, moving and playing with the scarves. Craig sat in on guitar. We pushed the tables back and filled up the space controlled chaos, dance, colors. Grandson Jayden really took the spotlight with his movements and big smiles. I think the event really prospered from the exercise, and I got to show my TA chops. I even included a reflection at the end where folks brought up what they liked: Scrapple, using the whole room, scarves in the air, mixing socially. Later, I came to appreciate that I had never experienced the volume of Godfrey’s so filled with such floor to ceiling movement and color. Mission accomplished.

Other folks came up and talked about my Covid series of daily posts, my radio work and other curious reflections on my work in the community. Anne Hills came up and sang a snatch of “Magic Penny” that encapsulates my philosophy well: “Love is something if you give it away, you’ll end up having more.”

There was cake, lots of snacks and soda and lots of folks talking with each other, reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. It was satisfying to have my kids experience the love and respect I enjoy in my home town. A special afternoon, after all.

Another under-the-radar gig during Musikfest at the Saturday Rose Garden Farmers’ Market.

After my nice Moravian Village the night before, it was good to have a low-pressure, two-hour gig under a shady tree, playing my stuff for folks walking by. Today’s gig had only a few kids, so I was able to uncap a bunch of my seldom-played adult material, semi-folk and roll stuff, and have the opportunity to chat with some good Bethlehem friends as well.

I was able to rationalize taking some chat breaks in order to have folks at the market enjoy some quiet and take in the refreshing sound of chatter on a gorgeous summer day, away from the hectic festival happening only a few blocks away.

As I was finishing up my two hours, I broke a string (nature’s way of saying it time to quit), one young family stopped by with their two-year old son. The family had stopped by a month ago, and it was cool to see the kids (and the parents) light up when they saw me and they sat down on the grass in front of me. The boy pulled out a couple of instruments, handed a couple to dad and mom, and I pulled out my mandolin for some tunes and we played. I put in some overtime but, of course, it was well worth the extra effort.

I packed up, chatted with some good friends, picked up my customary tomato (a standing tip from one of the vendors) and headed out for a Rita’s gelato, my personal post-gig treat. A fine Saturday morning in my home town.

This turned out to be an interesting gig for a retirement village gig. It started with the realization that these folk are not that much older than me. Phew.

It was held in a large outdoor courtyard inside of 5 floors of apartments. It was a beautiful evening and I was booked for a 7:30 to 9 pm gig. I usually have to mix some oldies in with my folk material, but, s I realized that these folks lived in Bethlehem for years and many knew of me, I decided to go with my good adult material. As I played my set, I was able to mix in recollections of my time in Bethlehem, at Lehigh, early Musikfest, my teaching artist vocation, as well as doing some of my weird stuff (The Irish Ballad, Giants, et al) for entertainment values. It mixed well with my customary humor and I felt that there was a good rhythm and dynamic to the flow of the evening. I came away feeling pretty good about the set.

Gertie Fox

One woman came up and said it was the best event in the series, and others came up a shared some of their recollections of Bethlehem events. One woman said she was a classmate of Mary Travers (Peter Paul and Mary) and we talked about the first Burnside Plantation festival, before it became The Blueberry Festival. We recalled Gertie Fox, the original eco-warrior, who patrolled the Monacasy Creek outing polluters.

I felt like a neighbor.

This was the last MF gig for me this year, my 40th, and, in spite of feeling a little miffed with a Monday / Main Street gig this year, it turned out to be a nice gig. Having Kris Kehr really helps out the whole gig with his solid bass and improvisational skills, as well. We were signed up for two hour sets at 12 noon and 1:30 pm.

There were forecasts of some nasty weather, but things turned out fine for our early set. As usual, the sound crew was professional and made for a great comfort zone for Kris and myself, no minor thing, as we could hear each other, had good monitors, fat guitar, etc.

It was a bonus to have Kris and his young friend Noah on hand to assist me getting to the gig. I’m finding myself increasingly handicapped with my recent bout with cancer. Praise the road crew!

Don’t Call Me Early, Shoo That Fly, Summertime Blues set the stage for an interesting mix of kids and adult tunes. Having kids in the audience is a great theatrical device, as the adults are drawn to the kids’ reactions. But I still have to serve up some “real” music to keep folks in mind of the concert situation. It worked really well today, and my chat in between songs seemed real and unforced. (I never have a real idea of how this works, but it does.)

I was able to chat with several folks during the intermission and I was able to get a grip on my place at this festival: folks coming up and commenting on various gigs over the last 40 years. I guess this is where I gained some sense of my part in this event for 40 years.

Kris and I finished up with very nice second set, with fewer kids’ songs, and some extending folky tunes like Giants, Dixie Chicken and Pay Bo Diddley, all songs giving more space to Kris’s fine musical work. We played well and strong, and I felt good about my musical muscles this afternoon. Great support from the audience, both kids and adults, no small skill that I have. Sold some CD’s, too.

I was interviewed by the local TV station, and acquitted myself in good form. I’ll check it out last on the web – Channel 69 Allentown.

It didn’t rain.

 

 

This is  nice run of gigs in the home town area. My monthly Saucon Valley FM was moved from my regular 9:30 slot to 11 am, due to the young folks from the Saucon Valley School’s Jazz Band. They actually filled the market with parents and other folks, so it was a bonus for the vendors, as well. I pulled up and set up my small sound system and cruised through two hours of tunes.

There are always moments of conversation, interactions with kids and parents, and time playing to the great expanse of lawn in front of me. I got some woodshedding done on my general repertoire and a good warm-up for my Musikfest gig on Monday. I’m glad I do what I do.

Thanks to the flexibility of the bluegrass festival, I was able to keep my gig at Musikfest at the movie theater on the Arts Quest site. I had a thirty minute set in the theater and set out at 6 pm. My good friend Bruce Gaston was in the audience for a brief slot in the middle.

There was a medium crowd for me with good sound. I started off with Don’t Call Me Early and went from there, chatting about the material as I went along, mentioning that I had played every MF for forty years. I mixed in a few kids songs with a couple of families in attendance. I felt comfortable.

Bruce Gaston came up to play his hands (manualist…) and played a couple of tunes that, of course, caused some great reactions from the audience. Roll Out the Barrel and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, classics, all. He’s been a part of some of my shows for over 50 years, and a welcome addition to my Musikfest gigs.

This was a good recovery from the day before, and though at a smaller venue than what I would have liked from MF, a good gig.

This was a tough gig. I was asked to do a kids’ show at this annual bluegrass festival in Wind Gap. I thought it a great idea, to provide some entertainment for kids of campers, and to give the parents a break, too.

I made a major blunder in mixing up the date with a Musikfest gig on Saturday. When it was pointed out that this was a double-booking, I apologized profusely and offered to cancel the MF gig. The festival contact said perhaps the festival could adapt and have me on the Friday. That was most gracious of them and spared me the ignominy of futzing with Mother Musikfest. I said thanks, and let’s do it.

The festival decided to bill it as Dave Fry’s Hootenanny, a pretty good title. As it turns out, there were very few kids for this session, a couple of adults, as we gathered around future campfire site. There were two brave kids, a couple of ladies with a flute and a mandolin and my bag of instruments. We proceeded to work with what we had, made some good music.

I felt pretty bad about the situation and refused the check if we could work on this concept for next year’s festival – better promotion, etc. I was feeling pretty low and decided to split for home with my tail between my legs. Tough gig.

My good friends at the Saucon Valley Community Center in Hellertown did an event at Reservoir Park near Hellertown this morning and afternoon. I was asked to play two sets with a magician in between. It turned out to be great weather, though a slim turnout for this event.

I set up in an open area and launched with some general tunes and I caught that one dad, mom and a very shy son had gathered nearby. The dad came up and played tambourine on a tune, but his son didn’t budge. I invited them to sit down nearby. There was nobody else to work with so I kept on with dad’s encouragement and his son’s reticence. Eventually, it became a rich experience.

As I found out, as we chatted between songs, Jesse (Dad) had emailed me earlier in the week and had made the trip down from Scranton to catch this set. He had seen me as a kid at an assembly in NJ 30 years ago, and had picked up my CDs and was playing them in the car with his son, Bennett and his wife. A true fan-boy.

We had a great time as I was able to draw Bennett into the music with Clattapillars, and other instruments, simple chatting, conversation with his parents, etc. so that, by the end of my first set, we were buds. He came up afterwards and asked for autographs for my CDs, including a cassette cover I autographed to his dad 30 years ago. This is pretty deep stuff.

I took a break for the magicians (they always command an audience) and followed with set of music for no one in particular. I wrapped up, apologize for the small turnout, ate a turkey hotdog and headed home. Life in the slow lane. Still, the work with Jesse and Bennett made it all worth it.

I wrapped up my short residency at Lincoln Elementary today, and I got the feeling that we made some friends over the last four days. At the end, one girl said, “I miss you already.”

I brought out The Cat Came Back and I Wanna Be a Dog, a couple of old favorites that I haven’t done in a while, along with Magic Penny at the very end.

I also got three kids to lead the group with The Tutti Tah, and, as I had hoped, the kids had taken ownership of the process and I could become a side member of the group. Ms. Dieter said that it displayed Lincoln Leadership, a great term that the school uses.

I introduced the Rain Stick, as one teacher, Lisa Dieter, googled cactus plants. We had a good session listening to that sound, and, later on, we got to apply it to our rendition of Tropical Vacation as we passed it around and sang the tune. The kids really latched on to this song.

I introduced All Around the Kitchen, taught the kids the chorus, got them up to dance and away we went. The kids came up with The I Don’t Know, The Flamingo and couple of other quirky dances, and, with some prodding, got the kids to sing and dance at the same time, something I’m striving to work on – multiple intelligences stuff. The teachers came up with The Swim and the Knee Switch from the old Charleston days. A lively and engaged session.

At the end, kids came up to give me a hug (they had to ask first) and that was particularly sweet. I mentioned that I felt we were now good friends at this point, and I feel that is quite true. It was nice to do a residency over four consecutive days that made it easier to connect a flow of the material and interpersonal relationships with the kids and teachers.

I’m glad this opportunity popped up in the middle of a fairly slow summer. I learned to access, with the help of the teachers, Google and material on my thumb drive to add visuals. It’s still frustrating about the absence of CD players in the classroom, though.

My third session out of four at Lincoln Elementary today.

We started out by playing Tropical Vacation and I Like Peanut Butter from my first CD, and we talked about the instrumentation, the vocals and a little about working with other creative people on the album – the designers, the musicians and others. It probably went over their heads a little. This process reminds me about the tremendous loss these students and teachers suffer with the demise of portable music devices like the CD player. There’s no long access to vast amounts of music in this culture.

We led off with two other students leading Tutti Tah and there was a remarkable improvement on memorization and group support on the project. That was nice to witness. They are taking ownership of the process.

I brought a different guitar today and we discussed some of the differences, and talked about being in tune. I followed up with Skip To My Lou, and talked about folk songs, songs that go back in time and are still sung today. And many of the kids knew this one, to prove my point. I brought out my verse “I got ants in my pants and they’re making me dance”, and everyone got up to demonstrate. Another example of the easy and comfort we share with each other.

I introduced We Gave Names to the Animals while breaking out the instrument bag. It was a little chaotic, especially since I had hoped to work on structure of the lyrics, but so it goes. It was time to mix it up and put something in their hands. The kids came around to playing as a group, and also caught on with the structure of the song, picking up on the rhyming clues.

With ten minutes left, I hoped to write a verse to this song involving an octopus. Luckily, we had assembled a vocabulary and fact list about octopi earlier so we were able to get to work on the verse right away. We came up with:

“I saw an animal in a dark hole in the sea / It had eight tentacles and it squirted ink at me (at me?!) / It has a boneless body and it moves with a squoosh / I think I’ll call this animal an octopus.” We sang it several times to see if everything fit, and we agreed that it did. The teacher then showed the octopus image I brought in on a thumb drive. It was a good ending to the session.

One more day tomorrow, and we’ll see if I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.

 I was looking forward to working with my core group of second and third graders again today. I had a vague idea of where I wanted to go today, to reinforce some of what we did yesterday.

I started out by playing Giants from my Playground CD, and encouraged the kids to listen and figure out the instrumentation. Just the fact that it was a CD was novel. They picked up the trombone, the drums but had to steer them to think about the vocals, the bass and the very subtle triangle. It was a rich, learning experience. Listening skills.

I followed up on my notion about turning over some leadership to the kids by getting a boy and a girl to lead the class in the Tutti Tah, with some success and some guidance. I hope to see some growth in this tomorrow. I did Down By the Bay and we worked on rhyming, active verbs and adjectives as well as singing out loud. This is a great set of engaged kids and we had some fun.

 

I then did some follow-up with Giants. I brought in a thumb drive of some picture drawn by some kids from about eight years ago, and, using the overhead projector, we explore the images and had a great conversation of art appreciation. The teachers chimed in, as well. It was another rich, non-musical art experience, and another learning extension for my, in my teaching artistry.

I broke out the bag of instruments and did a quick lesson on playing as a band. #1 – silence! #2 – with the beat. #3 – full-tilt shaking (big endings). They picked up quickly and gave us a good format to play together. I then launched into Shoo That Fly, with the kids up and moving and playing. It was a good way to wrap things up for the day.

I’m learning as much as the kids, especially by introducing some non-musical art excursions into the mix, amplifying the “multiple intelligences” theory into direct practice. We’ll see where we go from here.

As usual, I did a brief reflection on what we did as the kids got ready to leave for the day.

I have a four-day residency this week at a Bethlehem school on the Northside of town, Lincoln Elementary, set up by my friend and fellow teaching artist Doug Roysdon. I have an hour set from 12:45 to 1:45 each day with a group of about twenty 2nd and 3rd graders with their two teachers.

Today I started with I Like Peanut Butter, a great opening song that sticks to your brain, involves singing and movement. (The teachers really liked this one.) We did the Tootie Tah to further loosen things up and I plan on using this one as an opener each day, with different kids taking the lead (ownership).

I followed with Tropical Vacation with the kids adding hand movements while singing along. And, at the end, we all got up to do the Hula. I hope to play the CD version of this on Wednesday.

We did Peanut Butter and Jelly, Giants (and spent some time creating a giant on the board – a nice diversion into non-musical art) and finished up with Jelly in the Dish with the scarves. The time went quickly, the teachers were helpful and involved and I got a couple of hugs from two girls in the foyer on my way out the door.

I tasked the kids to draw their own giants and the teachers handed out blank paper for the kids to take home. A nice touch by them.

It was a good start to the week and the kids were polite, engaged and fun.

Father Folk is a date on my summer calendar that I always look forward to. It’s an annual gathering of musical friends on an undisclosed site south of Reading in a shaded grove, down a dirt road, in the middle of PA. This was its 25th iteration and I believe I’ve been to over 15 of them. It’s strictly word of mouth, with no mention on social media (thus the FF) in the lead above. It’s held on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a full sound system, a few food amenities, camping, jamming, etc. Friends put together 30 minutes sets, and some folks like me fly in to do a guest set. It has a great audience.

I signed up for a 5 pm Saturday set and got there around 3:30 to catch a nice trio of loose acquaintances do a fine set of folk, a short set from a young girl named Autumn on flute, and then it was my turn. I did my latest “festival” set with Don’t Call Me Early, July, Nadine, Giants, Giant and Lessons From Pete, a good mix of tunes and chat. Folks sang along on the appropriate tunes and I played well.

I ran into some my pickin’ friends, and an old band mate Bob Flower (Graveyard Skiffle Band) and we recalled that Bob was the one who turned me on to this gathering in the first place. I sold a few CDs, gave away a bunch to the kids in the crowd and hung out for a short bit before heading home. Invariably, I drive back to Bethlehem in a state of satisfaction and peace.

Oh, yeah. There’s no pay for this one, but worth the time and effort. Good for the soul.