Coming Attractions

Back from almost a week in Boston, where I went to see and hear Tom Russell’s debut of his new Ballad of the West, The Rose of Roscrae; also to see my 90 year- old mother, whose birthday I had missed, my siblings– 4 of out of 8 of them still live there, as well as any number of splendid nephews and nieces: and to eat sea creatures, as well as have any other adventures possible for an impoverished 65 year old writer badly in need of brain surgery.

It was a success, from music to family encounters to food, and paid what may well be an unexpected dividend; my brother in law George Graham, avocational naturalist- localist and photographer,introduced me to his town’s restored herring (alewife) run, and our mutual fascination with it became my unexpected second theme for the visit- who knows what may come?

Tonight, a preview and glimpses; I have an assignment to write on Tom, and many herring photos too, all to come.

 Coffee house nostalgia– I went to the predecessor of Passim, Club 47, (47 Palmer Street in Harvard Square) from about 1966 or 7 on. I saw Ian Tyson, who is now 82 and who I met when he played with Tom in Santa Fe, with his then wife Sylvia there, before 1970 anyway…

On the subway with K:

Sideman Thad Beckman; later, local singer Barrence Whitfield, who recorded more than a few songs with Tom back when… Cuban Sandwich!

My mother: “You look OLD”, she said to me. “And I am NOT convinced I’m 90, either!”

Sisters Alicia, Anita, Karen…

The blurred one below is, I believe, my sisters (and niece Stella) expressing solidarity with their geographically wayward brother, or something equally hilarious. Beware the Sister Posse…. (sorry for blur), and me with Wendy, closest in age to me.

The run- got an article’s worth, but some highlights– restored urban anadromous fish spawning, with predators! (Comorant by Lisa Erwin, Weymouth MA)

Returning to Service

Mostly polishing off, with endless revisions, the Book O’ Books, done for months but still being tweaked, also endless Good- But- Endless visitors, end of holiday and other serious food, arthritis and steroids and two major dog operations and too much to drink, and far too little to chase…

Any weariness in these lines is less about telling stories which I still love but about having to spend far too much packaging them, and knowing that if you don’t watch out, they will sink without a trace. Or as frontier ornithologist Elliot Coues said, way back during the Indian Wars; “I have seen a mule’s ears disappear in genuine mud…”

So, before resuming serious broadcasting on anything from literature to guns (can’t have too many/ much of either) a few images. First: Bosque del Apache; the Rio’s & the Fed’s farm for wildlife, at Christmas, by John Wilson:

“Life has really not stopped, and the world is really not a museum yet”*. Old men still chase hounds, even if they need strong drink after…

All over the world…

Older men and younger women make art (“Their eyes, their ancient glittering eyes**…”

Peace still may need an AK 47 (The Madins with appropriate props near Hovdsgol)

But the old can still amaze the young: Joel Becktell, mother Niki, and Eli Frishman Dec 2012, Magdalena

All this & more coming in Q, 2013. Thanks all! * is Ted Hughes and I bet everybody knows ** is Yeats in Lapis Lazuli.