Lopez Island Ergonomics Workshop


Ergonomics Workshop Wednesday Evening Oct 9

kayke[email protected], 301 257-3081 or 301 257-2981.

Musicians are invited for a 6:30 dinner at our house, 127 Lopez Road #14 with parking at Vortex, followed by Flip’s famous workshop, that she leads at the annual Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, which she founded 45 years ago near Port Orchard.

Here’s what Flip says about her workshop:

“Ergonomics For Musicians: how to be your own coach for form. Musicians are small muscle athletes. Learn how your hands, arms & shoulders work and how to apply that to an instrument. For example, guitarists will learn how to play an F chord with no pain and no strain.

If playing an instrument catches your heart, you are likely to make specific gestures a million times in your life. It’s good to know how to avoid setting up repetitive motion injuries. Problem  habits can be hard to spot since resulting injuries can take years to show up. We’ll look at How To Practice – how your brain and body interact. You can have shorter practice sessions with better results. I’ll also show you a helpful strategy for neutralizing stage fright.”

Please forward this amazing opportunity to any other musicians who might be interested in coming.

Flip requests a $20 donation.  RSVP in advance [email protected] so we can plan dinner.  Bring your favorite beverage or appetizer, s.v.p.

Any questions? Email [email protected]  or 301 257-3081 or 301 257-2981.

Beatles Sing-Along And Jam!


Saturday September 28, 2  – 5 PM, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship at 1207 Ellsworth St, Bellingham, Washington 98225

We’ll get by with a little help from our friends this coming Saturday afternoon when we all sing and jam along on the best of the Beatles! Joyful songs to lift our spirits, great harmonies, dancing in the aisles… We’ll have the lyrics projected on a screen up front, above the band. Music stands will be set up down front with matching songbooks so the words and chords will be waiting for acoustic guitarists, uke players, harmonicas, whatever! Fl!p will bring her four Sgt Pepper outfits to share. Last year we had the Blue Meanies. What will YOU wear?

Orchestrating this party are the “Seatles” – who have led the Beatles Sing Along at Folklife for decades. Peter Langston, Robin McGillveray, Mark Ouelette, and John Reagan have learned the chords, the licks, the lyrics, the harmonies, so they can lead us in style! Fl!p will help us sing along with all our hearts. She dreamed up this project last year, and has been waiting all year to get to do it again.

Your donation of $15, $20 or more (or less if you just can’t swing it) goes to benefit the Bellingham Folk Festival (last weekend in January) and Bellingham Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling – tools to prevent burnout in activists.

Fl!p’s intention is that we SING! And it really doesn’t matter if we’re wrong, we’re right. Where we belong, we’re right where we belong. All together now!

Fall Concerts: Seattle, Lopez Island & Decatur Island

It looks like we’re going to have a busy October!

We get to play a house concert on Thursday October 3rd in Seattle, up near the zoo, at our friends Karen & Dick Seymour’s house. RSVP to me. Karen is busy this month with her glass art, which is spectacular!  www.seymourstainedglass.com.  I can’t remember the last time we played a Seattle concert; I think it’s been a while. Lots of new songs, and if we miss an old one you like, just ask. We’d love to see you there!

And just a few days later, we’ll be headed for Lopez Island in the San Juans. Kay & George Keeler are hosting us.

We will be leading a free sing-along for the Lopez weekly Wednesday Senior Luncheon on October 9th. Zeke and I have been running through songs dating from about 1800 through the 1940s, revisiting our favorites and thinking about which are easiest to sing along with.

The next evening, Thursday October 10, we’re playing a full-fledged concert at the Center Church. Songs and instrumentals. Traditional, Contemporary and Original Folk. I’m planning to take the Twangoleum along. We are having a good time thinking of what songs we should definitely sing. Like Zeke’s Noah’s Rabbits song, because the bunnies in that song originally came from the San Juan Islands back in the 1940s.

It’s still up in the air, but we might get to teach a workshop on Ergonomics For Musicians the next day. That’s one of my passions! How to play an F Chord Without Pain for the guitarists. How to practice for less time and still learn more. Sustainable musicianship.

We’ll go back to the islands in mid-November for a visit to the tiny Decatur Island school. The school kids from Shaw will be joining us. Last year we got to go out for Pi Day on March 14 because it’s 3.14. For the mathematicians among you, we toasted Euclid at 1:59 PM. Our host teacher, Joann Wester, had made pies with the kids the day before (weights, measures, kitchen chemistry, life skills). Along with the Shaw kids, teachers, parents and pies – real science ensued. A bunch of interesting round objects and string to measure with, ratios, and discussions of what to do next when results aren’t what you expect. And we offered Zeke’s Pi Day song, and a bunch of traditional American PlayParties for adults and children together. I can’t wait to play with all of them again!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU2SpHgXZYs

We’re planning a trip to Oregon in March, and would love to play house concerts along the way if anyone would like to host. We may go all the way to Eugene!

Impromtu Birthday Concert In Bellingham


Tuesday August 27, 2019, 5:30 – 6:30 PM

Elizabeth Park Gazebo, Bellingham WA

I’m turning 69 on Tuesday. I used to throw a birthday concert every year for decades, until I got too caught up in caring for family members five years ago. I decided this morning that it could be fun to throw an impromptu mini-concert at the gazebo, and give myself the gift of friends and neighbors to sing with.  If there are enough of us, I’d love to lead a few Traditional American Playparties (simple singing and motion games). No PA, just everyone’s voices together. No seating unless you bring your own. Probably even no cake unless someone else shows up with one. No set up, no expenses, no logistics, no prep except running through some songs with Zeke today. But great sing-along songs, old and brand new. If nobody shows up, Zeke and I will sit around and sing with each other for half an hour or so, so no obligation either. We’ll bring the Celebrated Twangoleum as well as my Columbia guitar. We’ve been invited for dinner at 7:00 so this won’t be a long event. You’re all welcome!

Road Trip Report

We’re home and glad to be here. We learned lots, including that even 3 hours a day of driving is too much for real pleasure. But it was fun to visit with people and see them in their spaces and get to know them better. And see new vistas. Visit museums. Many of them had workers who were really happy to have us play a few songs. We took our instruments in to put behind the counter for safekeeping, which led to songs. Relevant songs. Fun to find the right song for each group.

And we ate at interesting places all along the way. On the way home I got into searching the internet for Mexican bakeries along the way, seeking a particular kind of cookie I like. It was interesting that the bakeries were clustered – none in Umatilla but three in nearby Hermiston. None in Kennewick but lots in Pasco. I was looking at the demographics of racism, and clustering of cultures as well. Good cookies too…

I brought a bottle of wine from Paul & Mardi Portteus’ winery in Zillah for a friend who has a restaurant. Dickensons (?) in town distributes their wine. Paul would love to see some more people be interested in Bellingham. We had an interesting story from him when we sang the Walla Walla Waltz. In the early years, 3 of the first four Walla Walla wineries bought their grapes from Paul. He is proud of that, but annoyed he didn’t get the credit. They built their reputation on his grapes. Anyway, we don’t drink but thought our friends might be interested so Paul sent along a couple of bottles.

I took some of Mom’s ashes to her family’s graves. And visited the ranch house where she grew up. The current renter had gathered her sweetheart, her best friend, and her young landlord, who has worked hard to restore the place. I brought old photos and stories, including one of the big vinegar factory that was right across the irrigation canal from the back door. And I took away new photos, and friendships, and pebbles & flowers from the locust tree the yard to take with Mom’s ashes to the graveyards. And had tears at the graveyards. Tuesday I will mail hollyhock seeds from our back garden and California poppies from the front to be planted at the ranch house. I have a sweet photo of Mom and her Mom (Alma) with Alma’s hollyhocks blooming along the side of the ranch house. There’s nothing there now but weeds and rocks, but Crystal has been working to restore the garden. They found some of the roots of Mom’s birth tree buried deep beside the road out front.

Zeke and I came out of it all closer to each other. A week of no internet didn’t hurt. And prepping for concerts.

And with an amazing gift! An offer from some retired videographers to record me and Zeke for free, to put on this website or do anything else we want with the tapes. They are coming here from Kennewick on June 8 & 9. Zeke and I are practicing up a storm till then.

I think our next tour will be MUCH closer to home. Seattle, Olympia, maybe Bellevue or Woodinville or such. Whatever we can figure. Once again to visit folks we know and do house concerts. And another tour to the Olympic Peninsula and maybe Victoria on the way. We think we’d like to take a train with an overnight berth to the Bay Area. Maybe not till next year. It’s nice to be home.