Mudcat Café message #2619526 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119924   Message #2619526
Posted By: Charley Noble
27-Apr-09 - 08:58 AM
Thread Name: Music In Michigan (Charley Noble)? 20-23 April '09
Subject: RE: Music In Michigan (Charley Noble)? 20-23 April '09
Thanks, Maryanne. I really enjoyed your singing at Marty's song party.

Now it may be difficult to post much of an update this morning. Charlie, a young gray shorthaired cat, seems intent on playing with my mouse, which I've now shifted over to the left side of the key board. He's very nice but he always wants to play!

This evening I revisit Rivendell Housing Co-op, the small seven-person house I and my friends established back in 1976 or so in Lansing. We had hours of breakfast meetings planning this move and when we finally found a house that met all our criteria it was a pretty scary move. Let's see, there were Mark and Sheila, Dave, Karen, Rob, and Maxine and myself; couples and singles, musicians and non-musicians, cooks and non-cooks, neatniks and slobs, and mostly of a radical political persuasion. We actually formed a legal corporation that held title to the house, amortized the initial downpayment so that subsequent members could move in and out for the equivalent of a month's rent, and drafted a set of bylaws that would choke a corporate attorney (what in Her name is a type III vote?). The house itself was legally a duplex with separate units upstairs and downstairs but we used it as one big communal house. Each of us had a separate room (where we could be as messy or neat as we pleased). But there was a huge matrix (on the refrigerator) that dictated who was responsible for maintaining the common areas of the house (it was the cleanest house I've ever lived in!). Everyone had to sign up for a day of cooking and cleaning dishes; we did share evening meals together and the rest were up to individuals. Then there were weekly or bi-weekly chores. Other specialized jobs such as bookkeeping and food purchases at the co-op were also the responsibilities of individuals for the longer term. Amazingly, the system worked fairly well. Perhaps, it worked well because we knew each other socially for a few years. However, we generally needed to replace one or two members a year for one reason or another and we soon evolved a procedure of publicizing a vacancy, interviewing applicants over the phone, and then inviting the best prospects (one at a time) for dinner. It must have been pretty scary for the applicants but we certainly selected some keepers, and a few others which did cause us some grief. I lived there for seven years. Since I returned to Maine in 1982 I've still received the annual Thanksmas card inviting me back to the house for the celebration and providing me some information on the current residents. It is amazing that the co-op has survived, even thrived, over these many years. There certainly were times when I was there when it almost imploded!

It was nice to pay a brief visit last Friday afternoon but I'm sure this evening will be even more interesting.

Well, last evening I had a good time talking with my old friend and Rivendell housemate Karrie who is finally getting married later this month and moving to Richmond, Virginia, where her old sweetie works. Karrie has been a member of several all-women old-time string bands (most recently Lady of the Lake), a banjo instructor and salesperson at Elderly Instruments, director of a peace and justice center, and a neighborhood social worker. I'm sure she'll soon find new music friends in the Richmond area. She's a treasure!

This will be a leisurely day. I'll probably stop at Elderly again and stock up on some more CD's. Then I'll see if I can find any suitable graduation presents for my two nieces who pass out into the wide world later this month.

Then, it's on to Grand Rapids!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, with Charlie the cat