News: March 13, 2004
We had a
fabulous time in Michigan -- the audiences up there are great.
We had good visits (and good eats and good songs) with old
friends and new friends as well.
Speaking of old
friends -- you simply must hear Michigan artists Max and
sing. The sheer power and silky beauty of Ruth's voice
combined with Max's skilled bass lines and harmonies (not to
mention Ruth's incredible songwriting!) have truly come to
full bloom! We thought that they were amazing 20 years
ago (as 2/3 of the band Amaryllis) when we shared festival
stages with them, but they have truly come into their own.
And in different,
but equally powerful medium our friend Rick Plummer has put
together a one-man theatrical show about the WWII
correspondent, Ernie Pyle. He tours the show nationwide,
so you can easily contact him to bring the show into your area,
or pass the information on: http://www.westshore.edu/personal/rjplummer/new_page_2.htm.
Rick is so
dedicated to his craft that he has shaved his hair to be
partially bald and wears it Ernie Pyle style. (I almost
didn't recognize him!)
Discovery String Band (Meriwether Pranksters) is/are
really excited about some of the fabulous articles that are
being written about what we're up to. Most are not
available online, but some are. Some of these are easily
available at libraries as well.
Magazine: www.Singout.org. There
is a short but glowing review by Matt Watroba in the current
issue and COMING IN THE NEXT ISSUE -- A FEATURE ARTICLE!
Mountaineer Magazine: www.OzarksMountaineer.com.
A fabulous feature article by Anita Harrison in the
current issue -- well-written, beautifully laid out, nice
A front page feature article written by none other than
ace dance caller Mac McKeever.
(MO) Dispatch Tribune: http://www.dispatchtribune.com/artman/publish/article_2597.shtml.
Nice article written in this daily newspaper
about Discovery's appearance at the June 24th Lewis and
Clark event in Liberty.
must end this tome and get to my taxes, but I just have to
share one of the highlights of our days this last week spent
performing at and attending the National Lewis and Clark
Symposium in St. Louis. There were, of course, some
incredibly inspirational and informative papers and events,
but at the end of the day, we got to see the 1955 Lewis and
Clark movie, "The Far Horizon." This movie
features Fred McMurray as Meriwether Lewis, Donna Reed as
Sacajawea (!!!!), Uncle Charlie as Patrick Gass and Charlton
Heston as "Bill" Clark. After a rather intense
and serious day spent with some of the most knowledgeable
Lewis-and-Clarkies around, Paul and I spent the evening
watching this movie with the same folks and laughing
hilariously!! One of the highlights for me was when the
Corps decided to portage the 55' keelboat OVER AND AROUND the
Great Falls in Montana. They winched it up a mountain,
with Charlton Heston coming to the rescue several times.
with the taxes! Hold on everyone, spring is just around
Feb. 5, 2004
this finds you all warm, cozy and snuggled up. Paul and I
are heading NORTH to play in Michigan at the
end of this month. We're playing two venues that we've
never played before that we hear are great concert situations --
The Ten Pound Fiddle in East Lansing and The
Grand River Folk Arts Society in Grand Rapids. We're
also making a return trip to play for old friend Rick Plummer at
the wonderful Cultural Arts Series at the Westshore
Community College Theatre in Scottville. We're
looking forward to seeing our Michigan friends and making new
ones, too. If you're up there in the north country, please
pass the word on. (See
calendar for details.)
known fact about Paul and me is that we're frustrated cross
country skiers (none of that scary downhill stuff for us!).
You've all seen the Ski Missouri poster
with the skier straddling a muddy ditch. Truth is, we've
had a little snow (also plenty of freezing rain, ice, and even
snow showers) in the last month. Paul and I generally ski
in the cow pasture by our house or down in the bottom field by
Cedar Creek, and there has to be enough snow so that the skis
don't get hung up on the frozen cow patties. And then when
we DO get enough snow to cover the cow patties, we have to race
right out the door and start skiing because if the sun comes out
or the temperature starts to warm up, the skis may suddenly
start to ice up, which causes the skis to suddenly grab the
ground in mid-stroke while the body keeps rapidly moving ahead
at the speed the skis were previously going. You get the
picture! Hey! I hear that! As Paul always
says, "There's nothing funnier than people falling
will be our first trip to Michigan in the winter, and we hear
from Pete Alberda that there's a full foot of snow up in Grand
Rapids, so we're going to try to fit the skis in and do some
REAL skiing while we're up there.
month we were honored to play in the rotunda of the Kansas State
Capitol for the reception celebrating the kickoff of the web
This amazing website is a "virtual repository for Kansas
Territory history 1854-1861." You can see old photos,
see manuscripts, letters (in the writer's own hand!), and
documents from the era. There are even lesson plans for
teachers!! Kudos to those who have dedicated their time
and efforts to this end -- among others Matt Veatch, Virgil
Dean, and project co-leader Pat Michaelis. One of the most
wonderful parts of playing for the reception was getting to sing
in the Capitol rotunda. We began the program and
"gathered the energy" by singing the Abolitionist Hymn
acapella. This stirring anti-slavery hymn (which we
learned of from the ground-breaking Civil War music research and
recordings of our friends Cathy Barton, Dave Para and Bob Dyer)
is sung to the tune of the Doxology, and hearing our voices echo
through the rotunda was really
fun. We will be making a return trip to Topeka in April to
play for Kansas Territorial Sesquicentennial Family Day.
Should be fun!
the meantime, the Discovery String Band CD, "Most
Harmony" Lewis and Clark: A Musical Journey is
selling like hotcakes, much to our delight. I'm the
booking agent for the band, so I've been a busy woman in the
last few weeks, and as you can see from the schedule, we're
going to have a wild year. The band has been contacted by
venues as far away as Oregon and New York, and our dream is to
make it out west, over the Rockies and on to the coast some time
in the next couple of years -- just like the Corps!
always, come up and say hey if you see us out on the road.
Spring is just around the corner...
Paul & Win's
Quote(s) of the Month - Feb. 5, 2004
Jan. 19, 2004
I'm trying to learn to breathe deeply, utilizing my full
lung capacity, instead of the 30% that most of us use.
My friend Ken Green tells me that if I use my full capacity
I WILL slow down.
news! The new Discovery String Band CD, "Most
Perfect Harmony" Lewis and Clark: A Musical Journey
has been accepted as a Notable
Recording by the American
Library Association! It's been
selling like hotcakes and Discovery's small but mighty
marketing committee (Bob Dyer, Dave Para and Paul Grace) is
doing a great job of getting it into stores regionally and
nationwide. As you probably know, the Grace Family
Music Store debuted in November and we've been
selling lots of the new CDs the new-fangled way, as well as
by mail order. Thanks a million to our web mistress,
Kate Akers (www.Chivalry.com),
for setting it all up and for bearing with us as we learned.
In the midst of all this, the two sub-web mistresses, Leela
and I, re-designed this entire Grace Family Music web site.
Let us know if you discover any problems with it. Please
be our user testers!
String Band "Most Perfect Harmony" CD has had
great reviews from, among others, Gary Moulton, editor of
the Lewis and Clark Journals; Mac McKeever of Folkfire;
and Matt Watroba for Singout! (not published yet).
Someday I'll get it together to get them up on the web site.
My personal favorite feedback so far came, in French (!),
from James Higby, a retired French professor. He
complimented us on our French pronunciation! That was
great to hear -- It's been three years since Paul and I were
in France, with not a lot of opportunity to speak it here in
central Missouri. We had worried a bit that we would
sound like yayhoo hillbillies from Missouri, but apparently
we passed muster!
We are busy
booking the coming year -- and as you can see from the calendar
of bookings, it's going to be a whiz-bang year. The
reception to the November 22nd Premier of The
Discovery String Band program Lewis and
Clark: A Musical Voyage of Discovery just
amazed the five of us. We had essentially been working
on the program (and CD) for a year and a half, but not
presented it "to the world" as a band.
We just let it flow that night, and what a pleasure it was.
The audience rewarded us with a heartfelt ovation such as
I've never experienced before.
We went all
out for the Premier, brought ALL our instruments (at least
25 of them!) -- as Mac McKeever said in Folkfire,
the stage looked like a music store. Cathy Barton put
together an Overture (combining many songs from the program)
and performed it on the piano! Our friends at
Missouri River Communities Network (MRCN) brought a
full-sized teepee (25' tall!) to truly set the stage.
should have seen us the afternoon of the Premier. The
sound and lights were relatively together and we were
scrambling to do the rest of the setup, tune the
instruments, etc. Meanwhile the MRCN folks were
setting up the teepee on the stage. At one point, a
cry went out, "Everyone grab a teepee pole!"
The teepee, being normally set up on grass, was sliding
around on the wood floor and listing dangerously in the
direction of the instruments and the stage lights.
We found ourselves -- the entire band, the MRCN folks, our
stage manager Sarah Howard, house manager Beth
Horner, sound techs Leela
and Ellie Grace -- standing in a circle around the
teepee, each of us holding a pole and trying to right it!
In retrospect, this gave us a moment -- ALL of us -- to
"pull ourselves together as a crew," just as
Dyer says in his song from the new CD. We could
not salvage the current setup of the teepee, but at least it
didn't fall on the instruments or take out the stage lights!
So, the MRCN
folks and helpers took it down and started over. At
one point an hour or so later, I was looking for Sarah
Howard and heard her voice distantly, "I can't come out
right now!" It turned out she was inside the
teepee holding it up. But the good news is that it was
successfully set up with a new plan to hold the poles in
place on the wood floor! It was worth the trouble,
judging from the audience reaction. Look for pictures
of the Premier, provided by Don Shorock (who drove all the
way from Great Bend, KS to attend the Premier!) at the Discovery
String Band web site.
Paul and I
are enjoying a little time at home -- what a lovely place it
at the end
of the road in southern Boone County overlooking Cedar
Creek. We are really lucky -- Our home has passive
solar heat (south-facing windows), a solar water heater,
super insulation with 6-inch walls, and a wood furnace.
The house is so energy efficient that we don't even build a
fire in the furnace unless it gets below 15 or 20.
Much of the time, we heat the whole house with one of those
little oil-filled radiator space heaters. In the
summer, if it's hot, one 110 window AC unit will cool the
whole house! This is a rather simple house, not
expensive to build. Wouldn't it be great if more of
the new houses could be built like this? We could live
on less, be comfortable, burn less coal, oil and uranium!
I wish warmth
to all of you -- in your homes and in your hearts.
Grace-Ful News! Dec.
to you, Friends
five friends -- Paul and I with Cathy Barton, Dave Para and
Bob Dyer -- have joined together and poured our hearts and
minds into this CD of period, traditional and original music
commemorating the epic American journey of Lewis and Clark and
the Corps of Discovery.
Harmony" is a 70-minute CD featuring
a wide variety of traditional instruments, fine harmony
singing, excellent original compositions and a 28-page CD
booklet relating the music to the journals and the
journey. A list of the 17 cuts and instruments played on
the CD is below the calendars for Paul & Win Grace and
Paul and I, both being French-speakers, brought several
French songs and tunes to the group, including a voyageur
song, a rowdy low public house dance tune and song
(complete with translation!), French Canadian and Metis (mixed
French, Native, and Scottish) fiddle tunes. I have
learned Le Pied (seated clogging) and in the
long tradition of French Canadian and Metis fiddlers, perform
it while playing the accordion. On the CD, through the
miracle of modern technology, I am able to play the accordion,
the piano and the feet all at once! Paul, being the fiddler,
of course interprets the Corps' one-eyed Metis fiddler and
riverman Pierre Cruzatte. Paul also does a moving
rendition of After What I Have Seen, a song written
by Cathy Barton from the perspective of William Clark's slave
York as he pleads for his freedom at the end of the journey.
And there is so much more... but this message is long enough.
I wish for each of you the true peace of the season.
Consider yourselves as having received a virtual Grace-ful
and in peace, Win (Grace)
Paul & Win Grace
have joined with nationally-known central Missouri
musicians Cathy Barton, Dave
Para and Bob
Dyer to form The
Discovery String Band! The
band has produced a musical program -- Lewis
and Clark: A Musical Voyage of Discovery,
and in November, will release a 70-minute CD -- "Most
Perfect Harmony," Lewis and Clark: A Musical
Journey. They are now booking and performing
(nationwide!) this program of original, period, and
traditional music interpreting the epic American journey.
News - August 6, 2003:
We are back from Colorado
-- rested and renewed! Our audiences
at Rocky Mountain National Park were SO much fun, so receptive.
We just had a fabulous time playing for them. An audience
like that makes all the difference -- sometimes you find music
coming out of you that you've never heard before and didn't know
you were capable of! In addition to seeing friends
(Joe, Rosy, Barry, Andy, Mary, Jane, Larry), making new friends
(Brian, Lucy), and spending time sitting around the campfire on starry
nights playing tunes and watching the firelight flicker, we
hiked and biked all over the park. The glory, the views,
the multi-colored wildflowers, the waterfalls, the animals (I
got to see a snowshoe rabbit!) -- it was enough to give me a
chance to reflect on my place and purpose here on this earth.
Paul climbed the Ute Trail up to Trail
Ridge Road from the bottom up, and climbed up to Hallet's Peak
-- he truly loves the mountains! I walked and biked,
drew pictures, soaked in the beauty, took some deep breaths.
For the first time, we drove Trail Ridge Road (one of the
highest roads in the world) and walked to the top of Rock Cut,
where we could see the whole world in unspoiled
brilliance. We gained a new appreciation for our
National Parks from the top of the world as we could
see gorgeous, yet fragile mountains, forests, lakes and tundra
for hundreds of miles in every direction. This terrain
could easily have become one development, strip mall, or
parking lot after another. But instead it has been
preserved for the enjoyment and renewal of millions of people
from all over the world. Even if you must see this
beauty from your car, from a wheelchair, even if you don't
speak English or are low income, and of course IF you are
an avid outdoorsperson -- you can enjoy and drink in this
glory. Now THIS is a great thing for our government to
do for the betterment of its people! Thanks to all
those who are a part of this!
On a different note, I don't know how
much Paul enjoyed the driving part of Trail Ridge road, as I
held my breath, closed my eyes and tried to climb over into
the driver's seat with him. Those hairpin turns (where
there is no shoulder, you are looking out into the thin air
with a 2,000 foot drop-off) were truly terrifying to me with
my vertigo and accompanying overactive imagination. I
looked at all the people (lots of them!) driving Trail Ridge
Road so calmly -- how do they do it? Gee, if they could
do this, they could certainly play the accordion, don't you
got back from Colorado and jumped right into mixing our Lewis
and Clark CD with the Discovery String Band (Paul
& me, Cathy Barton, Dave Para, and Bob Dyer). I
don't want to brag or anything, but it's going to be FABULOUS!
I'll let you know more later, but if you want to find out more
about Discovery, check our web page: www.GraceFamilyMusic.com/discovery.
We also did our debut performance of our complete program Lewis
and Clark: A Musical Voyage of Discovery on
the River Explorer Barge. Again, it is thrilling to be
part of a group like this -- the talent, the variety, the
knowledge, (the jokes!) that we all bring to the group make it
See you out on the road -- come up
and say hey.
of the Month
for Aug. 6, 2003
News on June 1, 2003:
we're heading out to play at our second most-favorite place on
earth (second only to home), Rocky Mountain National Park.
Don't tell anyone, but we feel like we've won the lottery to be
able to be paid to perform here! We'll be in Colorado from
~July 16th to 31st and are looking for some other
"gigs" while we're there -- in Boulder, Denver, Fort
Collins, Estes Park, etc. We're happy to do children's
concerts, library programs, adult concerts, living history
events. Let us know if you have any ideas: Win "at" GraceFamilyMusic "dot" com.
happy to report that we have finished recording six songs with Cathy
Barton, Dave Para and Bob Dyer for our Lewis and
Clark CD, Passing
Through the Garden.
This CD (and this program!) is gonna be somethin' else! So
far we've recorded: La Bastringue (complete with
silly French words), Come Up Me (Cathy Barton's GORGEOUS
song written from the point of view of the Missouri River), Goin'
Up The River (another fabulous Bob Dyer original), Rakes
of Mallow (a raucous old-time tune with two banjos, fiddle,
Indian drum, and feet), Ursa Horribilis-Jefferson &
Liberty (Dave's song about the Corps' encounter with a
grizzly bear), The Banks of the Dee (a beautiful Scottish
delighted to announce that I've successfully debuted my exciting
new skill -- Le Pied, the seated French Canadian
clogging. What fun it is! I love doing it with the
fiddle, and in a triumph of coordination (which at any point
could go totally awry!) I managed to play the accordion and do
Le Pied at the same time!
of great places to be (like Colorado!), we just got back from Sam
A Baker State Park in southern Missouri. During the
Memorial Day weekend, the video about the St. Francois
Mountains, Mountains of Antiquity, was premiered.
As you'll recall, this is the video that we consulted on -- our
music was used extensively on the sound track. During our
concert at the park, we featured songs that were used in the
video and made the connection for the audience to the history,
culture, and beauty of the area -- including the Talking
Waters of nearby Big Creek and St. Francis River.
honored to be part of this video, which was so wonderfully
written and produced by Wanda Doolen and Gayle Mooney.
Wanda is the Interpretive Resource Coordinator for several parks
in this area -- and she truly makes a connection between the
city-dwelling tourists, the longtime locals and mother nature.
an extra couple of days to take a break from the rat race and to
get back in touch. And speaking of Big Creek -- wow! -- we
took an 11-mile float on these cool sit-on-top kayaks. We
read that this was a Class II or III float, but we've done a lot
of canoeing, so for the first 4 or 5 miles it was a complete
blast! We breezed through one exciting rapids after
another, sliding effortlessly through waves and white water,
with the kayaks sitting so high in the water that we hardly
touched bottom even in the shallow rushing waters.
has everything you want in a gorgeous mountain stream -- and
it's crystal clear. You can see to the bottom even in the
deepest pools. We were cruising along thinking, "Hey
we're pretty good at this. Class III is nothing,"
when we came flying around a turn and saw the first shut-ins!!
Oh me, oh my! Boulders of every size with water
pouring between and over them, 2 and 3-foot drops randomly
spaced, the overall level of the creek dropping severely through
the shut-ins so that you could almost not see the end of them,
but you could hear a waterfall-like sound down there, and big
bluffs on either side. We hadn't heard anything about
this, so Paul went ahead. He quickly jumped off the kayak
and tried to stop as best he could. We then gingerly
walked through the shut-ins, which in itself was no easy task
and pulled the kayaks over the boulders. That part was
surprisingly easy. We said, Ah, so THIS is Class III.
happy to report though, that by the time we came to the third
shut-ins (which we have to admit was much mellower), we went for
it! And we're still here to tell the story today!
for all of you is that you are able to find time to sit by a
stream, take a walk, drink in the beauty of mother nature --
smell the roses! Of course, all of you have your own ways
of finding that sense of renewal, so really I wish little
moments of peace for all of you -- wherever and however you can
Click here for Win's
"Quotes" of the Month - June 1, 2003
News on May 9, 2003:
Hello there everyone
pretty wild these days here in Missouri. Yesterday
we got 1.9" of rain
in 20 minutes. There have been tornadoes swooping down and
changing lives in seconds all over the
heartland. In 1980, our little farmhouse was hit by a
tornado (this being Leela's first memory), so we all have a
healthy regard for and awe of the beast. Yesterday it
was cold and rainy, and we
had to use a little heater. Today we felt the
touch of the first warm wind (a fabulous song by Kat
Eggleston!) -- it was 85 degrees with 85% humidity!
Nothing like living in Missouri I always say.
To all the mothers out
there -- and if you aren't a mother, then to your mother -- I
send all love! See the First
Mother's Day Proclamation -- in 1872! -- from Julia
Ward Howe on the Quote of the Month page.
Congratulations to our
friend Ruth Bloomquist (http://www.ruthbloomquist.com/)
who just won 1st place in the gospel category of the
Chris Austin Songwriting contest at Merlefest. She won for
her song By The River, which I've had the
pleasure of singing with her around a Michigan campfire.
Folks, this is no small deal -- There were 794 entries in 4
categories! We are so proud of you, Ruth! You
and I are really getting into the French songs (love those
voyageur songs!) and French Canadian tunes that we're learning
for our Lewis and Clark CD and program. I've learned how
to do Le Pied (the seated clogging that French
Canadian fiddlers and singers often do). I can even do it
while playing the accordion, although it's still a little
tenuous -- I'm likely at any moment to lose it!
The best of
this blustery blooming spring to all.
May we all find Peace.
Click here for Win's "Quotes"
of the Month * May 9, 2003
News on April 2, 2003:
With a lot of help from Paul, Leela and Ellie, on March 26th I
organized an event in Columbia that we called SingOut
For A Better World. Wow! For over two
hours, we (meaning everybody there!) sang (and
sang... and sang...) with breaks for little shoulder rubs and
stretches. The large room was packed full and
overflowing with wonderful people
who came together
to raise their voices in song; to overcome and leave
behind their sadness, guilt, confusion, anger and fear; and to
sing together in hopes for a better world. I was
certainly lifted up by the beautiful voices -- and many people
have commented that it was just what they needed.
We did only enough talking to introduce and teach the songs,
and we sang for a full two hours. Some people brought
instruments and jammed along on some songs and all
brought their enthusiastic and beautiful voices. When
the song was a sing-along the song leaders brought song
sheets, so that the singers took home some great song ideas
with them. Hopefully this idea will spread! The SingOut
was a perfect fit for Paul and me because well first,
we were worn out with speeches and talking and news and
second, because we don't believe in foisting our ideas on our
audiences. Instead we simply sing the songs,
letting the songs speak for themselves -- trying to bring a
smile, tell a story, raise the level of joy and community, as
our community eventually expands to include the whole wide
Besides making beautiful music and coming together as a
community we also collected $635 for Oxfam America (http://www.oxfamamerica.org)
to be used for humanitarian relief in Iraq. No matter
how you feel about the war, whether you favor it to liberate
the Iraqi people or you are against it because of the
suffering it will cause to the Iraqi people, this aid
goes straight to the Iraqi civilians in crisis to assist with
critical survival needs. Oxfam is privately funded and
has a policy of not accepting funds from any
"belligerents" in any conflict so that their aid
cannot be used as an instrument of foreign policy.
But back to the SingOut music! In order to keep the
focus on the music, I did not introduce the song leaders at
all or tell of the great events and the many good works that
are happening in the area that many of those in attendance are
part of. Paul and I started the evening
off with several songs -- and we were literally blown away by
the gorgeous and enthusiastic singing from those in
attendance. During the first song, the whole group
even modulated flawlessly in the middle of the song!
It set the tone for the evening. Leela and Ellie
(Grace) led a few songs and then great area
musicians led and performed songs, some complete with motions,
dance moves, even signing. The diversity of the songs
was amazing and it was almost miraculous as each song seemed
to come along at just the right time!
Meanwhile, back at
the ranch: We are looking forward to the Big Muddy Folk
Festival and practicing hard for our Lewis and Clark program, A
Musical Voyage of Discovery, which
will be previewed on Saturday night at the festival.
And here's to spring which has finally sprung!
all find Peace, Win
Click here for Win's April
3, 2003 Quotes of the Month!
News on March 10, 2003:
We are busy doing
fun stuff like taxes, booking summer and fall engagements, and
(real fun stuff!!) working with Cathy Barton, Dave
Para and Bob Dyer on a Lewis and Clark CD Through
the Garden, with recording tentatively scheduled
to begin in May. These songs and tunes will also be used
in a program for festivals, theaters, and schools entitled A
Musical Voyage of Discovery. We'll debut
some of the songs at the Big Muddy Folk Festival in
Boonville in April (See calendar.). It's quite simply a
joy to play and sing with these folk(ies)!
We're also excited
to be part of a tribute album in honor of our friend, local
folk legend Lee Ruth. We recorded a beautiful version of
Lee's song, Grow Garden Grow (a.k.a. Song for a Lady and
Leela and Ellie added gorgeous vocals
to the song -- I guarantee if you played this song for your
garden, it would grow faster, greener and more
beautifully than you would believe. Others adding their
interpretations of Lee's songs to this album are Chris
Vallillo, Jack Williams, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Lou
William, Bob Dyer, Ken Shepherd -- and many more! Thanks
to Steve Donofrio for coordinating the project and KOPN Radio
Last fall, Paul and
I were asked to consult and select music from our albums
to underscore the script for a film, The Mountains
on the history of Missouri's St.
Francois Mountains. We are thrilled to announce that
Steve Twitchell Productions received a national award for
audio production on the film -- a 2002 Communicator
Award, the Crystal Jade Award of Excellence.
film will be shown over Memorial Day weekend at Sam A Baker
State Park (in the St. Francois Mountains!) before our Monday
morning sing there (See calendar
Our five days at the international convention of the
North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance in
Nashville was exhausting (unofficial name, The Sleep
Deprivation Festival), exhilarating, refreshing,
uplifting and overwhelming all at the same time. It was
attended by roughly 3,000 folk musicians, booking agents,
publishers and writers, folk fans, music presenters (from
coffeehouses to major festivals), graphic artists, record
duplicators, and record labels. This was a truly
international gathering -- with attendees from Denmark, the
UK, Australia, South Africa, Canada (lots!) and more...
For those of you who are interested, here are tales from the
Folk Alliance. If you'd like to skip to the Old
, feel free!
First Amendment Center Show:
A spellbinding, entertaining and thought-provoking program by
the First Amendment Center on censorship,
especially as relates to music -- from today
all the way back to the time of the Revolutionary War.
What was amazing to me was the group of six incredibly
talented musicians who were able to perform every piece of
music from traditional 18th century ballads to Steppenwolf to
Iris Dement, while staying true to the style of the piece.
Music has always been a cornerstone of an informed
democracy, and it remains so today, more than ever.
Sing for Peace!
A Sing for Peace
led and participated in by
folk luminaries -- where we SANG for an hour and a half -- no
talking, no speeches, no introductions -- nothing but song.
Paul and I have always had a policy for our concerts to let
the songs speak for themselves. If it's gospel, there
will be no preaching, if it's a protest song (from the
1860's??!! -- yes we know some of them!)
there will be no
political statements. We always want to bring joy to the
listeners, to tell a story with the music, not to foist our
views on them. The Sing
was right along the same
line, and for that reason it was pure joy for us.
Singing songs from the audience and at the mikes were Reggie
Harris, Holly Near, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Franke, Pete Seeger's grandson (??
- no introductions, so I don't know all the names),
Sarah Lee Guthrie, Tret Fure, Pat Humphries and Sandy Opatow,
Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Ronnie Cox, Ken
Whiteley, Pete and Maura Kennedy, Lucy Blue Tremblay, Small
Potatoes, Still on the Hill, John McCutcheon, Si Kahn, and
hundreds of others. A Spanish song was sung, a group
from Denmark sang, a French song was sung -- some were
beautifully crafted stories, and some were well-known songs
that we all joined in there -- everyone there was a singer.
After more than an hour of pure song we started singing Down
By the Riverside. When we came to I Ain't
Gonna Study War No More, everyone jumped up as one and
started dancing and clapping. The whole group then
spontaneously danced and sang our way from the Convention
Center lobby into the 3-story Renaissance Hotel lobby where
part of the group sang their way up the escalators to the
second and third floors and circled the lobby until the hotel
was simply filled with a song of joy and hope for peace. I
began with a heavy weight of sadness as many of us wept,
having been through this before. Many were holding hands
to buoy each other up as we sang, and by the end, we were
uplifted and ready to sing again for the world.
Everywhere you went, 24 hours a day, there was music --
high quality folk music, in all its possible variety! The
official showcases were stellar of course. The
three-woman Native American group, Ulali, was spellbinding
and powerful. There were showcases taking place in
rented Convention Center rooms and in hotel rooms on the
"Music Floors." I heard a total count of 2,000
showcases for the event!
Paul and I showcased, as did Leela and Ellie (Grace a
separate act!) as part of the Best of the Midwest
showcase -- a name the group of musicians (Dennis
Warner, Al & Emily Cantrell, Small Potatoes, Curtis and
Loretta, and Chuck Suchy) came up with ourselves, we freely
admit! We were in a hotel room, with beds moved and
a few chairs and lots of snacks brought in, and we each took
15-minute slots, beginning at 11:15 p.m.
and running until 2 a.m. (ack!).
We all secretly agreed ahead of time that we would all be
each other's interested audience if no presenters or radio
folks showed up to hear us. Fortunately, there were
always at least a few people at each one of our sets, so
we actually had a great time and really enjoyed and were
inspired by each others' music. Leela and Ellie brought
their step-a-tunes (very small dance boards) and did clogging
routines for their showcase, which was very interesting given
the small space! It was like being part of a small (very
small!) folk festival!
There were many musical groups who were pushing really hard: playing
loudly wherever they could be noticed (One bluegrass group
got on an elevator, pushed all 25 buttons and then played quickly
for whoever was waiting for the elevator when the doors
opened.); pushing their CD's and promotional items
(including much-welcomed chapstick and hot sauce!) on you if
you so much as looked at them; and papering any
available spot with slick full-color posters
advertising their hotel room showcases. We found it
quite entertaining really, although we chose not to take
that approach ourselves -- and the quality of the music
was ALWAYS great!
Panels, Workshop Sessions, Meetings!
The panels, workshop sessions and meetings --
most were simply amazing. The Gospel Sing
was a wonderful group affair led by the fabulous Ken Whiteley.
The Woody Guthrie song circle included Arlo,
his daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie, Jimmy Lefave, and a
sing-a-long audience of professional folkies -- Wow! It
doesn't get much better than that!
Paul and Leela attended a 3-hour session by Janis
Ian on Artistry, and were completely inspired and
awed. I attended a session by Nashville vocal
coach Renee Grant Williams, where she worked with
several vocal phrasing, rhythm and other techniques using
volunteers who sang their own songs. She has a
completely positive and unique approach, and you could hear a
total difference in the understandability, rhythm, and vocal
tone when she worked with them.
There were peer group meetings where common problems and
issues were shared and discussed -- festival presenters (Now
that was enough to discourage you from applying to perform at
a festival!), performers, traditional performers,
FARM (the Midwest Folk Alliance group which is known
for being much more relaxed and "down home" than the
other regions!), the Folk DJ's. I'm only scratching
the surface here -- there were at least 40 other sessions that
I didn't get to. Lifetime achievement awards
were presented to Ralph Stanley and to SingOut! I found out
Country Music Hall of Fame:
There was a fabulous reception and tour at the
Country Music Hall of Fame which was all we really
saw of Nashville. (We were essentially in our
own little folk world most of the time.) My
favorite part of the Hall of Fame was when I noticed in the
pictures of the very early country bands (from early radio
days), that they all had a piano accordion in
them!! How quickly we forget... I
could not tolerate being in the museum for long because
of the un-nerving barrage of different recordings that I could
hear simultaneously -- I'm thinking that most by-ear musicians
would be equally un-nerved.
The Exhibit Hall:
There were hundreds of tables and booths. We had a table
and though we don't know what effect it may have had on our
career, it was a wonderful time for visiting with old friends
and meeting new friends.
At the luncheon gathering of Folk DJ's, we were told that
the Graces in any combination were mentioned several times
over as people to look for. After that, many DJ's
asked for copies of our CD's, which we willingly gave.
That did our hearts good,
let me tell you!
I am truly proud to
be part of this worldwide folk community -- in some way, the whole
event reaffirmed for me that we are doing the right thing with
our lives. And on a positive note, for years our
daughters Leela and Ellie have been the only musicians their
age at gatherings of musicians, at the Folk Alliance, and at folk
festivals. But at this Folk Alliance gathering, I
noticed that the next generation is coming right
along! They were there -- lots of
musicians in their 20's, and even younger. They're
talented, skilled and innovative, but not without a
strong grounding in their various traditions. Yes!!
Sending the best to you from sunny but chilly Missouri!
I know any day now we'll have a gorgeous 70 degree day -- just
the other day I heard a few spring peepers weakly peeping
HERE for Win's March 10, 2003 Quotes of the Month
here for Win's December 29th ('02) Quotes of the Month
News on December 5, 2002:
Paul & I are thrilled to be attending the
international convention of the Folk
Alliance (North American Folk Music and Dance
Alliance) in Nashville in February. And we're doubly
delighted to be invited to perform at the best
of the Midwest showcase while
we're there. Other Best Midwesterners are
The Cantrells, Curtis and Loretta, Leela and Ellie Grace, Dennis
Warner, Small Potatoes, and Chuck Suchy. The convention is
a gas for us because we get to be with our dear friends from the
widely-flung community of folk musicians and of the people who
make it possible for us to make a living doing what we love --
the presenters, the fans, the booking agents, the record label
representatives, the photographers, CD duplicators, the
publishers -- almost all of whom are musicians as well.
See www.folk.org for more info
about the Folk Alliance.
We're also looking
forward to playing at First Night Columbia this
year. This will be a truly unique and wonderful experience
for me because every other time I've performed there, I was
either Festival Coordinator/Artistic Director of the whole
12-venue event or volunteer Entertainment Chair or running sound
and being an MC/Stage Manager. Wow! I will not have
any excuse this time if I'm distracted! The doors open at
5:30 and our concert at the First Christian Church starts at
6:00, so don't come late, or you'll miss us!
The lineup of
entertainment is fabulous this year! Al Berard and his
Swamp Friends are coming up from Louisiana to cook up some hot
Cajun music! Fabulous Celtic Band Anam Ri will be stirring
things up along with bluegrass classics Eddie and Martha Adcock.
And this is only about 5% of the entertainment that you'll have
to choose from!! I think First Night would be worth coming
into town for and the Regency Hotel which is located in downtown
Columbia...just steps away from the 9 stages...is offering a 40%
discount on rooms to out of town guests. The contact
numbers are 1-877-9downtown or (573)443-2090.
Just say that you're coming to First Night.
We're playing lots of music these days -- many
varied types of gigs, from dances to historical Christmas
programs -- always giving us a chance to learn something new and
different. The latest new song is Il est Ne Le Divin
Enfant, a French Christmas song sung in the French
community in Old Mines (La Vielle Mine), MO. I've become
obsessed with playing waltzes on the accordion! My current faves
are Michelle's Waltz (from Claudio Buchwald of the
Monks) and the gorgeous Scottish waltz The Banks of the Dee (learned
from Cathy Barton and Dave Para).
Paul is busily practicing the music for The
Selfish Giant, the world premiere of the Russ
Brown original musical adaptation of the Oscar Wilde story.
This is a TRYPS (Theater Reaching Young People in the Schools)
production running December 11-15th in Columbia.
On a different and starry-eyed note, a
highlight for the Grace gang was the Leonid Meteor Shower
that happened in the early morning of November 19th. All
four Graces went to bed in our warmest clothes -- Leela and
Ellie at their separate houses in Columbia and Paul and I at our
southern Boone County end-of-the-road home. At 3:30 our
alarm went off and Paul went outside to see if it was clear and
if there were actually any meteors -- yes!! Leela and
Ellie called, saying, "Meteor-Mobile is rolling!"
By 4:00 a.m. we were all lying out in the field under a
jumble of blankets and oooo'ing and aaahhh'ing at
the glorious show. When I dashed into the house to get
more pillows and blankets, they counted 27 shooting stars that I
missed! We were lying there rating the shooting stars,
telling bad jokes, thinking about how nice and warm it would be
in bed, singing star songs, and trying to be quiet (very
very difficult for us!) in order to enjoy the pristine
nighttime (which is when we heard the cows munching away
somewhere nearby and the coyotes howling and the Varmint
creeping up on us). Paul's famous pancakes the next
morning made it all complete.
May Joy be with you all!
(on Earth, Good Will to All!), Win
here for Win's December 5th Quote
of the Month
here for the: Quote
of the Month -- October 30th!
October 2, 2002
Hello to all our friends. Even though it’s October,
the last few days have still felt like summer. It is beginning
to look like fall here in the Cedar Creek valley with the trees
just starting to show some color.
Life for us continues to move at a rapid pace.
September seems like a blur, packed with many performances in
our fine state of Missouri. Highlights of the last month include
a day in St. Louis with an international gathering of highway
engineers complete with a boat ride on the Becky Thatcher and a
visit to the Arch. We also learned that engineers are not afraid
to cluck like chickens when asked to do so.
Another new and interesting place that we visited was the
George Washington Carver National Historic Site in Diamond, MO.
It’s a lovely park dedicated to a most remarkable man. Win and
I provided sound, emcee, and stage management services along
with a couple performances for their event, Prairie Day.
Other days were spent singing from a gazebo looking out on
the Mississippi River at Clarksville, singing and playing for
Webb City Mining Days, Boone County Heritage Festival, Pioneer
Festival in Marquand, and for a gathering of Airstream RV
owners. Whew, I get worn out just writing about it.
In October we are doing 13 performances in six days of a
theatrical adaptation of Tom Sawyer for TRYPS, a professional
theater for young people. Win and I will, of course, be
selecting and providing music for the show. One scene
(in the graveyard) will feature the old tune Greasy Coat played
in a very spooky manner on fiddle and organ. The music
will then become a permanent part of the play.
On November 1st, we’ll be returning to Dallas for a visit
to Uncle Calvin’s Coffee
House, one of the truly fine listening rooms in the country
and for an evening with the Dallas Folk Song Society. See the
calendar for details and we hope to see you somewhere down the
here for the: Quote
of the Month -- October 2nd!
Hello All! Happy Labor Day!
Where did the
summer go? But not to worry, it still feels like summer
here in Missouri. Our lovely town is hopping these days
with the addition of 25,000 students in the last few weeks --
warm summer evenings find them prowling downtown in
interesting costumes, perhaps looking for love in all the
wrong places -- who knows? As a people watcher, I find
it all very entertaining... You never know what you're
going to see in downtown Columbia -- people climbing trees,
playing music, doing a theater piece (on purpose or not...).
I love it!
Mountain National Park was just as lovely as it could be --
see photos in our web site scrapbook! (For those of
you new to our newsletter, in late July both duos were booked to
play at Rocky Mountain National Park.) We hiked and
played and hiked and ate and played and slept. Aaaah!
The people who live in Colorado, our audiences, the
people we met on the trail and in the campground -- what is
it about the mountains that attracts this kind of good energy?
We were amazed at the lack of trash in the park, and we began
to realize that in spite of all the great volunteers and staff
at the park, there is no way they could keep up with the trash
if the "tourists" were throwing it!
Wow! The people themselves were keeping it pristine,
knowing the Park for the treasure that it is.
Paul and I have
oodles of performances coming up in September -- check the
calendar out. We're dusting off (Paul says, digging
up) our mining songs for Mining Days,
and are working on preparing the music for Jill Womack's
theatrical adaptation of Tom Sawyer
which will be presented by TRYPS (Theater Reaching Young
People in the Schools) in Columbia in early October. For
this production we will be onstage during the production --
looking on from the deck of a "steamboat."
Should be interesting!!
We've also recently
finished assisting with the underscoring of a Missouri
Department of Natural Resources film, The
Mountains of Antiquity, about the St. Francois
Mountains and several of the wonderful parks there, including
our favorite, Sam A. Baker State Park. Five songs from
our albums were used throughout the film, including Bob Dyer's
"Talking Waters" and Ellie (Grace's) "Autumn
Harvest." It should be out in late October,
from what we hear.
Hope to see you
along the way. Enjoy the sweet journey of life.
2, 2002 News of Leela & Ellie as told by Win (a.k.a.
Disclaimer: This is told from the parental
viewpoint, and as such, may not represent reality and certainly
could not possibly be objective in any way!!
Leela and Ellie have performed two lovely full-evening
concerts in Missouri in the last couple of weeks -- one in
St. Louis, chock full of relatives and one in Columbia, chock
full of friends. Of course, there were people in the
audience who weren't relatives or friends, but by the end of the
evening they were certainly part of the extended family. Thanks
to those who came out and made these evenings a resounding
Many of you know that Leela was considering moving to the east
coast to pursue music on her own. However, since she and
Ellie were having such a great time performing and touring
together, and since bookings for the two of them were
coming in almost without effort, it seemed to Leela that
possibly the universe had something different in mind... She
recently decided to stay in Columbia for the next year at least
in order to pursue her music career with Ellie and to record a
new album as a duo. (Feel free to request songs
that you'd like to hear on this album. E-mail Leela with
requests at email@example.com.)
Ellie is still in her same house near downtown Columbia,
which also serves as a dance studio. Leela found a lovely
apartment on a quiet one-block street not too far from downtown,
with a huge front porch that's just right for banjo picking.
They are busily performing, beginning to book some tours
(to the east coast in November, for one) and are enjoying being
settled into this lovely community.
And now, for all of you who are confused about whether
we're performing as The Grace Family or not, follow this
link for the straight scoop, complete with a
history of the family band.
June 1, 2002
Summer is here! And
just in the nick of time, our screen porch is done! It is
literally a work of art -- a cathedral in the woods, and yet
attached to our house. Only a little bit of painting and
landscaping left to do... We hope that it won't be like
our web site -- never finished, always an evolving work!
We are discovering that a lot goes on in the yard and woods
surrounding our house that we weren't aware of. We live
overlooking the beautiful Cedar Creek Valley in southern Boone
County, Missouri, and on the first evening that we sat out on
the porch we were visited by a lovely silver fox and treated to
a symphony of the music of the Missouri woods. As
self-employed musicians, we've always lived on the edge
financially, but we knew somehow or other that playing
music was what we were meant to do. Now we both feel rich
indeed to be able to live in this beautiful place and to make a
living doing something we love. Peaceful breakfasts on the
screen porch are simply the icing on the cake!
And yes! Our albums
are now available at several places on the internet. All
in-print titles, including cassettes, are available at Kate
Akers' amazing site: www.Chivalry.com.
We're the anomaly on this site as Chivalry
features primarily Celtic music -- all great stuff! Check
CD's Love's Lasting Light
and In Dreams I Hear The Music
are now available online at CDStreet and
CDBaby. If you have either of these albums, you
can (hint, hint...) go to these sites and write a
review. One sentence will suffice! On CDStreet,
you can even vote to give us a 1-10 ranking as artists. We
have one vote so far for us as 10's and we're really hoping
that 10 is the highest. Let's say it is...
Here are the links:
As you can see from our calendars,
both the Parental Units and
The Daughter Duo have
lots of fun gigs coming up.
Here's hoping we see
you along the way! Come up and say hello. In the
Hope this finds you all enjoying this fine drizzly spring day.
We are almost done with our new screen porch. It is
attached to our house, but nestled into the trees -- what a
great place for playing music (sans the bugs, the
rain, the sun)! Can't wait...
Our season is really shaping up. We are
thrilled to be part of the 30th
Annual Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering, and
thrilled, too, that Leela and
Ellie are also booked! Both duos are also
booked for a concert performance at Rocky
Mountain National Park in
July. We are happy campers! We can't imagine
anyplace more beautiful than Colorado in July!
Paul and I are always
pleased to play for the hometown crowd at the Shelter
Gardens Concert in Columbia. The
gardens are gorgeous, the sound is good, the audience is
full of dear friends, avid supporters, and people who have known
us since way back when -- some since I was a twinkle in my
Leela and Ellie's
calendar is really filling up with performances as well.
Both of them have mentioned to me how much they love teaching
and working with their instrument, dance and harmony
students. It is wondrous to watch people open up to
the joy that music and dance bring. They're both quite
adept at facilitating this process without getting in the way
too much. It's called teaching! Now they understand
how Paul & I felt as we watched music and dance pour fourth
from both of them as they grew. What a thrill! We're
still watching! (And, we admit it, this is why we
love working in schools!)
Got to get back to the porch --
the inspector is coming!
January 31, 2002
Hi everyone! Here's hoping this finds you warm and dry --
it's yukky out today! Just a quick note today.
On the music scene, we are all just pleased as punch to be
performing (Both duos are booked!) at the 30th Annual Indiana
Fiddlers' Gathering in Battleground, IN. This
well-organized festival has one of the best audiences anywhere and
the deal is more than sweetened by some of the best jams to be
found here on earth.
Paul & I are personally looking forward to The Big Muddy
Folk Festival, which is coming right up in Boonville, MO, not
only because Leela and Ellie are featured performers (Proud
parents bust their buttons...) and because the festival is hosted
by amazing musicians and dear friends Cathy Barton and Dave Para
and historian/songwriter Bob Dyer, but because the lineup is
stellar! Among others, Ray Abshire's (Nathan Abshire's
nephew) Cajun band will be performing along with the inimitable
Lou and Peter Berryman. Sounds like accordion heaven to me!
The best to all of you. And now, I must get back to figuring
out the sales taxes.
December 12, 2001
Welcome, welcome to our new
Grace Family Music web site! What an amazing medium this is! Thanks to
our previous Web Master, Dan Klarmann and our present Web
Mistress, Kate Akers, I now know an teensie, weensie bit about how
to do this web thing! Our hats are off to these two phenomenally
creative and talented individuals.
And now for news of the four Graces and
their winter meanderings (in order by age so as to be totally
Skip to News of
Leela and Ellie (unfair!):
Paul & Win: Paul and I so enjoyed
our November Fiddle, Folk and Feet residency with
the students at North Shelby Elementary School near Bethel, MO. We
are thrilled to be able to pass along the joy that we find in
music and to give our students a successful and positive
experience with being A PART OF music and dance. We were thrilled
with the response to the Community Concert/Dance that was held at
the end of the week. Thanks in part to the skill of caller Jim
Thaxter, the students enthusiastically danced old time contras,
circle dances and play parties and dragged their parents and
grandparents out on the floor to dance as well! It was a joy to
watch it unfold!
During these clear winter days, Paul and I
are reveling in the beauty of the place that we live. Our home
overlooks the Cedar Creek valley in southern Boone County. The sun
is shining golden on the hills across the creek as I write this.
We feel lucky to live here. Winter brings us time to stick a
little closer to home. We are able to spend time doing the things
that we love to do like playing music and getting together with
friends and family and also doing those things that we need to be
doing, like getting a mailing out before our "new" album
is a year old, going through and getting rid of unnecessary
"stuff" that we seem to accumulate. (Where does it
come from? Where does it go, Cotton-Eyed Joe?)
Paul: Paul just finished playing
fiddle, mandolin, and guitar for the original children’s
musical, The Selfish Giant, a Russ Brown adaptation
of the Oscar Wilde story, which was presented by a local
professional children’s theater organization, TRYPS (Theater
Reaching Young People in the Schools). We will both be
researching, underscoring, and playing music for a TRYPS
production in the fall of 2002, possibly a Little House
play. Watch for it on our calendar! Besides this, Paul has been
occasionally substitute teaching at the State School for the
Severely Handicapped, where the students get a Paul Grace concert
every afternoon. He is also busy cutting wood to keep us warm this
winter, and spends a lot of time enjoying the night sky with his
newly acquired lifetime telescope, a 12½ -inch Dobsonian.
Win: These days, besides trying to
figure out how in the world this web thing works, I am
"getting down" on the piano. Like the accordion, I find
it to be an instrument that is mind-boggling in terms of the
possibilities. On the piano, I have been playing fiddle tunes and
waltzes, both melody and backup (but not both at the same time
yet!). As a child and teen, I played piano from written music, but
have never mastered being able to play (by ear) what I hear in my
head or being able to back up my singing. It’s a challenge! I
never had this problem with accordion or autoharp, because I
always played them by ear.
I am feeling a renewing of my creative
energy. I SO enjoyed the 4½ years I spent working with First
Night Columbia in various capacities, but mainly as Artistic
Director/Festival Coordinator. But with our music career
continuing to bloom without much attention from us and with First
Night growing by leaps and bounds at the same time, by January of
2001 I became, quite frankly, burned out. After a good two months
of being totally unproductive in any sense (staring at the wall)
and a few more months of beginning to enjoy life again, I’d like
to report: I’m back! Yippee!
Disclaimer: The news below is
from the mother’s point of view and as such, may not represent
anything actually approaching reality.
Leela and Ellie:
Leela and Ellie are both performing, mainly as a duo, but
sometimes solo as well. They’re looking forward to being on the
staff of Dance Week in
Berea, KY at the end of December where they’ll
get to have loads of fun with great friends, Wild Asparagus.
Speaking of great friends, in January Leela and Ellie will be
playing a dance in St. Louis with fiddler and violin maker Geoff
Seitz. When they play with Geoff, they’re called The Gray
Leela and Ellie have been in high demand for
their workshops and lessons in harmony singing, and various
percussive dance forms at dance and music camps and festivals
around the country.
Leela: Leela has rented an apartment
in Columbia in the hip East Campus neighborhood. She is primarily making her living playing
music, but she’s also working
part-time to add a little structure to her life. (You
self-employed people know the challenge I’m talking about!) She
has begun teaching
private banjo lessons and is starting her first session of group
harmony singing lessons (Folk Chorus!) in February. She’s
gathering tools together for her life’s work — she now has a
computer with CD re-writer, she hopes at some point in the near
future to record an album of her music.
Leela really enjoyed the residency she did
with the Westchester (NY) Symphony last April. She spent time
working in the schools as the representative of traditional folk
music -- playing banjo, singing, doing a little hambone and some
clog dancing. She then performed the old time song Sundown on
banjo with the Westchester Symphony backing her up! (Just
picture it...) She hopes to do more school assemblies
and residencies in the future.
As always, she simply wails on the banjo,
but recently she’s been heavily into playing the guitar, having
lots of fun with the DADGAD tuning. She has just written an
incredible song (working title Never Forgotten). She
wrote it for Ellie for her college graduation but it has a
universally understood theme (I’m not telling....) and a
gorgeous melody. I know, I know, it’s the mother talking here...
but just wait ‘til you hear it, I think you’ll agree!
Ellie: Ellie has rented a cute little
house near downtown Columbia, which, for those of you who have
never been to mid-Missouri, is a happening place! Ellie is
enjoying having a place of her own, and especially enjoys cooking
and baking in her cute little kitchen. Every time we stop by, she
has cookies or muffins or some other delicious and healthy treat!
She even managed to plant a little garden in September and
harvested some yummy kale and lettuce from it just recently.
She has converted one of her bedrooms into a
dance studio (with a lot of help from Paul, a.k.a. Dad),
landlord kindly shored up the floor so that the entire
house wouldn’t come tumbling down during the first lesson. In
October of 2001, she opened Ellie’s School of Music and
Dance. She is teaching private lessons in fiddle,
mandolin, and guitar, and group lessons in Irish dance and clog
dancing. She has noted with amazement to me just how much you
learn when you teach something. Her next sessions begin in January
Ellie is also working part-time for Diane
Huneke’s Creative Garden Design, which involved lots of heavy
physical labor. She’s enjoying the work and the structure thing
is good too.
That’s it for now... We have many more
cool ideas for the web site, but we thought we ought to get what
we had so far up and running. Quite frankly, Leela and Ellie’s
portion of the site is still a bit out of date. They’ll get to
May joy be with you! May you
find peace in your home. May we all find peace in our everyday
lives. May we all learn to love our neighbors as ourselves. May
you dance upon the earth!