Saturday, October 3, 2009

A great day for folk music

The 31st annual folk music festival is going on today and tomorrow at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott. Highlighting today sessions was a birthday party this afternoon for the legendary Katie Lee of Jerome. Take a good look at her.

Believe it or not, she is 90 years old!

(By the way, I must apologize for the inside pictures as they are a bit blurry.)

Katie entertained with stories and songs from her long career as a singer, composer and author.

Sharing the stage at her party was Tony Norris, who sang a beautiful song about a cowboy and his Mexican girlfriend.

Also on hand was cowboy poet Gail Steiger, grandson of Gail Gardner with whom Katie used to sing and learn cowboy songs.

Also performing a moving number were the wonderful duo known as D-Squared.

Later I got the opportunity to wish Katie a happy birthday. I told her that I had heard of her for years but had never seen her. While I was waiting for her birthday party to begin, I said I was looking around for a very old lady in a wheel chair. Obviously . . . especially after she displayed a shoulder high kick on stage . . . that day is far away. Some people I was sitting next to in the audience said Katie bicycles about two miles every day!

There was plenty of additional good music outside all over the grounds.

Along with the scheduled performers, there were jam sessions everywhere.

Arizona's official state historian, Marshall Trimble, was on hand to entertain and chat with festival attendees.

There were a number of the infamous Shady Ladies on the grounds.

And one man who might have been an old time gambler.

As I said, it was a great day for folk music. If you live anywhere near Prescott, I'd urge you to attend tomorrow's second day of the festival.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Yavapai County Fair 2009

Today I made my annual visit to the Yavapai County fair. There is, as always, the Midway with its temptations of turkey legs, corn dogs and funnel cakes.

And if you haven't filled your stomach, you might take in one or two of the rides.

For some reason, when I was a kid I could handle the "scarier" rides but I was terrified of the ferris wheel.

Leaving the midway behind there is the requisite display of farm machinery and if you're so inclined . . a hayride.

Moving inside the main building I was confronted by a massive model train layout.

Very impressive with layouts of different cities around the country and even Mount Rushmore. One of the modelers told me the trains were N guage, which may be the tiniest. The tracks appeared to be no more than half an inch apart.

There is always a lot of art by young people on display.
And some by older crafters, including this beautiful quilt.

I also spent a lot of time viewing a photography exhibit. Lots of fine work but it didn't seem right for me to photograph someone else's photographs so you'll have to go see them for yourselves.

Besides, I had animals to see. First a sheep who was more interested in his neighbors than me.

But one of his mates was less bored and showed me his beautiful turquoise eyes.

A big white turkey ruffled up his tailfeathers when I took his photo. He may have heard about those turkey legs being grilled, sold and eaten out on the midway!

A couple of geese were wisely standing in their swimming pool to keep cool.

I'm not sure what this strange apparition was. It was in with the chickens so it was some type of fowl. A woman standing alongside me said "You can't tell which end is which!"

My favorites are the bunnies and there are many at the fair. This big thumper probably is more rabbit than bunny but he was beautiful.

The soft fur begs to be petted but signs everywhere warn people not to stick their fingers in the cages. So I didn't.

There's much more to see but my old legs grew tired so I reluctantly left for home.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Birds of a feather . . .

"I'll watch the front, you watch the back"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mysteries of the Night

While on a trip to Jerome recently, I bought this piece of art. Do you think it's . . . too . . . dark?

SWMBO hates it. I love it. But let's put a little more light on it.

Now, what do you think? I want to hear a vote. Do you like it? Or hate it?

For those of you without Spanish, Dia De Los Muertos translates to Day of the Dead. It's a traditional holiday around the end of October and 1st of November.

And if you think the picture is dark . . . you ought to be in Mexico sometime during those days and see all the sugar skulls for sale in the markets. Or better yet, go to a Mexican cemetery during that time to see people gathering at the graves of their departed relatives, picnicking with all kinds of food and tequila. Rather than mourning the loss, it's a celebration. Not of their deaths but of their lives.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I glanced out the rear window this afternoon and look what I found! Our visiting cat, Goldie, taking his ease on one of the patio chairs.

He apparently valued his rest more than his safety as I moved closer and closer, snapping pictures. He wouldn't even look up or, most of the time, open his eyes. Even when I reached out and petted him several times. The only sign of recognition was his flexing his toes on one foot.

Meanwhile, Smoke, whose chair Goldie had appropriated, showed utter disdain and boredom with the whole thing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art, music, food - what more could you want?

SWMBO and I did something we rarely do anymore, we went out at night. We went to the Raven for an opening of an art show by several artists.

Some of the art can be seen over the head of a singer who entertained the crowd.

On another wall . . art of a different sort. The artist is on the right in the photo below: Bill Cramer.

Also in attendance were the BRD . . .

and her Beau . . .

I must say the noise level was way too high for my old ears. But I took a climb up the stairs to see the newly opened rooftop deck. Very nice. I should have snapped a picture but didn't.

After that we traveled over a couple of blocks for a lavish east Indian dinner at the newly-opened restaurant Taj Mahal. The Taj has recently moved from Frontier Village to a downtown location, which most recently was Zuma's restaurant on north Montezuma street. Again the camera stayed sheathed as we all dove into food.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rosy poetic snippets

"The first red rose
sent out of season"

--Barry A. Lanier

Your looks are so captivating
You are everything to me"

--Aldo Kraas

"A rose could not
bring us together.
A rose could not
keep us together.
A rose by any other name
is still just a rose."

--Rory Hudson

"A rose is a rose is a rose."

--Gertrude Stein

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have to thank Joan at Charleston Daily Photo for this wonderfully funny link.

New Old Church

As I was motoring over to Sedona this past weekend, I discovered a new church in a distinctly Colonial architecture just outside of Cottonwood.

I didn't have time to stop then but I did on the way home to snap a photo. While the style goes back a few centuries, it is a brand new building with construction equipment still sitting alongside.

For the details, here's a photo of a sign out front.

Several more businesses bite the dust

The Little Cafe (very aptly named) has fallen on hard times. Previously it was Apple Pan 2. Before that it was Uncle Sal's sandwich shop. In its latest incarnation, it has been closed for about a month.

No one, it seems, can make a go of it in this tiny location, which is fairly close to where I live in Prescott Valley.

A sign on the front door explained the reason this time.

Meantime, in Prescott, Granny J recently noted the passing of the Stepping Stones thrift store. I dropped a box of dishes off at the store in Prescott Valley this morning and asked an employee what had happened. While acknowledging that the Prescott store had only been open for a few weeks, he said no one knew why it had closed or if a new location would be found. As he put it, "no one tells us anything." So the mystery continues.

And another closing has been reported in downtown Prescott. Sweet Tarts, a restaurant with delicious home-made French pastries, also has closed its doors. No word on why, except for "the economy."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Musical Sunday

I drove over to Sedona today to hear a group I had read about. ZAZU calls itself a gypsy jazz band, modeled after the likes of Django Reinhardt and Stephanie Grappeli and Le Jazz Hot in the good old days in Paris. With only two guitars and an upright bass, they recreate the sound beautifully.

The players are, from left to right, Larry Czarnecki, Steve Douglas and Ken Aurich. A great group.

But my big surprise of the day occurred on the road back to P.V. from Jerome. There's a large overlook down the canyon into the Verde Valley. Usually there are many cars there with tourists oohing and ahhing and taking photos. But today . . . there was something different.

That's right. A very accomplished drummer with his entire kit blasting out rhythm over the canyon. When he finished playing I said "that was great but where's the rest of the band?"

He responded, "Oh, they're always late. I'm always the first one to arrive and the last one to leave."

But then he grinned and said he just didn't have a gig this weekend and needed to get his jollies. As I left, he was beating out more sounds on his drums.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Facebook Follies

Oh, my god.

I have warned friends about this.

But now I have succumbed.

Facebook has taken over my life.

I finally got into it and now I have found multiple former friends, people I used to work with, some of them for a long time, some of them very briefly.

But now.

Thanks to Facebook.

They are my friends.

And I am finding that I am checking the page tens, hundreds, thousands of times a day.

What have I become?

Okay, gotta go.

Got to check Facebook.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good-bye Mary

The Big C has claimed another one.

Mary Travers, the female singer with Peter, Paul and Mary, has died of cancer at the age of 72 in Danbury Hospital in Connecticut.

Topping it off

A next door neighbor had this Cottonwood tree in his front yard. It was probably 50 feet tall. Until this morning. Going out to the mailbox, I noticed tree cutters hard at work. I asked them if they were going to take it down but they said they had been asked by the owner to reduce its height.

A few hours later, the job was done.

I'm not sure why the owner wanted the tree cut back but probably he was worried about windstorms toppling the top portion onto his duplex.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Calling all nervous nellies!

From the north side of Prescott, looking south, a forest fire appears to be encroaching on the city. (Yavapai Regional Medical Center in lower left of photo.)

But it was a controlled burn, one of two today. The next view is from Juniper Lane, on the south side of the city.

The other burn today was on Mingus Mountain but it was so far away only a dim smudge of gray smoke could be seen in the sky.

These controlled burns are done every year but every time they're done a certain number of people don't get the message and are all but running down the streets, shrieking "the sky is falling, the sky is falling."

There is no danger, folks, everything is being strictly controlled.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I want a drink!

I had just filled the fountain and a couple of dishes with water.

But Smoke apparently didn't want to drink from the cat dish.

He wanted a drink from the fountain.

Meanwhile, watching from a distance was the long-missing Goldie. Haven't seen him for several weeks but there he was this morning. But he was keeping a safe distance and would not allow me to approach him.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The worst part of a rainy day

Sedona, Arizona is a small town in northern Arizona . . famous for art galleries, crystals and vortexes, not to mention beautiful scenery in the red rocks.

But yesterday a huge thunderstorm rolled directly over Sedona, dropping lots of rain and causing the normally placid Oak Creek to flood in low-lying areas. One place hard hit was Tlaquepaque, a Mexican themed mall of galleries, shops and restaurants with some huge sycamore trees. To see what happened, check out these photographs by Karl F. Mullings Photography: Sedona Flood

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The best part of a rainy day

When you expand this photo (by clicking on it) you can see faintly a double rainbow to the right.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A great radio station!

As I was perusing the New York Times on the web this morning, I ran across an article about Scott Johnston. He's a Montana man with a dream, which he made come true. Johnston runs a low power radio station playing wonderful music - - from his front porch! The 100 watt wonder has a coverage area of only a few miles north of Creston, Montana. But thanks to streaming audio on the Internet, KXZI can be heard all over the world. I've been listening to it this morning and I'm hooked. Johnston bases the station's playlist on music you may never have heard but wished you had. Just scanning the list now, one finds Precious Bryant, Eric Clapton, Clinton Fearon, Koko Taylor, Duke Robillard and the Eagles.

Johnston's radio station is a 24-hour one-man band. He's the only employee and he's got a great smooth delivery. You don't hear him much. He never announces the songs he plays though you can identify all the performances by scanning the playlist on his website.

That website is Check it out. I think you'll become a fan as I have.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A rainy day . . . and a movie!

SWMBO and I finally took in the movie - Julie and Julia - this afternoon. We so seldom go to a theatre that I can't recall the last movie we saw in one but suffice it to say it was a year or two ago. I'd been waiting for Julie and Julia to come out and was anxious to see it when it first appeared in the theatre but, procrastinator that I am, it had been a month or more before we finally attended a showing.

We both enjoyed it immensely. SWMBO said she couldn't imagine Meryl Streep not getting another Oscar for her portrayal of Julia Child. As is usual in her performances, she was spot on.

It was raining when we entered the theatre and still dripping when we came out. Enroute home, I had to stop for a photo of this very low-lying cloud bank hugging the ground.