Mudcat Café message #577786 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40381   Message #577786
Posted By: Allan C.
22-Oct-01 - 09:37 PM
Thread Name: FSGW Getaway 2001 Memories
Subject: RE: FSGW Getaway 2002 Memories
Ya had to be there!

How could I possibly tell you what it was like? Where will I get the energy to do so? Okay, I'll try to give you a few samples of my own experiences. I will tell you, though, that some of the best moments were simply ones in which I got to spend some time talking face-to-face with some of the 'Catters I have come to know as friends. Some of the events have already begun to run together in my mind, so the order of events may not be very accurate. I know left out some names. Sorry. I am notoriously horrible at remembering names.

David C. and I arrived at about 5:30 and soon discovered that we were sharing a room with Max, Pene Azul, Gutbucketeer (JAB) and Joe Offer. Our building was divided into four large rooms, all of which opened onto a small, cental room. There was also a five-stall, shared bathroom. It had four sinks and four shower stalls. On the other side of the wall from our room was a room that was occupied by (forgive me if I forget anyone) Jeri, SINSULL, Tinker, CarolC, Dani, and two non-Catters named, Annie and Janie (sisters). I really cannot recall who was in one of the other rooms. I think Jed Marum and Micca were in there - but I forget who else. The fourth room was for couples. It was at various times was occupied by Roger in Baltimore and his wife, Marge. Annamill and her husband, Glenn were also in there for part of the weekend.

For those who weren't at last year's Getaway, the shared bathroom was a challenge - especially when showering. There was a single "obvious" exception. But I'll let the ladies tell you about that.

Everyone gravitated toward the collection of food in the chow hall. Each new arrival added yet another treat to be investigated. It was an amazing array. One thing that didn't last very long at all was a tray of fresh canoli that SINSULL brought. Micca stuffed down a double handful of them and went back for more.

Micca staunchly maintained that I am the spitting image of Cobble. I can only extend my condolences to Cobble and hope that life has been kind to him, nonetheless.

After a bit of hanging out in the dining hall, many of us returned to our quarters where we did a bit of singing. Max, RiB, Gutbucketeer and I supplied most of the instrumentation and some of the singing while other singers included Jeri, SINSULL Dani and Janie. Some of these folks drifted in and out ad lib., and at one time Janie and I were the only ones remaining. Janie seemed to know a LOT of songs - certainly almost all of the ones I played. I thought we sounded pretty good on a couple of songs we tried.

We all called it quits fairly early that night and tried to get some sleep. The temperature was about 40 degrees (F). I was awakened in the middle of the night by Joe Offer's teeth chattering and the sound of his foot-stomping as he attempted to restore circulation into his frozen feet. I tossed him an extra sleeping bag under which eventually shivered himself to sleep.

When I finally got outside in the morning, I discovered that it was much warmer outside of the cabin than it had been inside. Even at around 42 degrees, it felt so much better in the sunlight - something that I believe nearly everyone experienced that morning.

After breakfast, Big Mick emceed a gathering of mostly Mudcatters to introduce everyone. Some of the "featured artists" sang something. Shortly afterward, we all found our ways to one of the two or three choices of workshops. I opted to stay to hear Rick Fielding's mini-concert. The songs were interspersed with very pleasant, somewhat autobiographical comments. I have a couple of Rick's CD's and so have more or less heard his voice before. It is even better in person. I will have to say that it was a joy to watch his guitar playing as well.

(I, too, saw the guitar lesson described above by Jim Bunch. It would have made a beautiful picture.)

Lunch was next. A word about the food here: In my estimation, throughout the entire weekend, the cooking staff clearly pushed the very limits of average.

I don't have my schedule at hand and cannot recall the names of the workshops I attended during the rest of the day. All were mostly wonderful experiences. I will have to say, though, that I have little patience when it comes to having to endure listening to lengthy ballads. At one workshop I daydreamed my way through one such ballad as the singer read through the nine or perhaps eleven verses on the page of a book. I imagined that I could handle that. Then the page was turned and an equal number of verses became apparent! I decided it was time for me to be someplace else.

I had a great time at most of the workshops and heard quite a few songs that were new to me as well as a couple that I may want to add to my own repertoire. I also learned a few tidbits of the histories and suggested meanings of some other songs.

Others may want to try to list all of the Mudcatters they encountered over the weekend. I won't. There were so many!!!

There was an open-mike concert after supper. Micca was among those who honored us with a performance. It was his first time to be on stage, he said, as well as his first encounter with a microphone. He did quite well with both. There were lots of other Catters on the bill. My memory of who took the stage that night is rather cloudy. I don't want to attempt a listing.

The show was over by about ten. At about eleven a mass of 'Catters gathered in our quarters. We played and sang until some time after 4. Unbelievably, many of those same people were up "early" that same morning to join in some gospel singing.

Some time after breakfast, David and I headed UP THE HILL (observing the rule that reads: EVERYTHING YOU WANT IS UPHILL FROM WHEREVER YOU ARE RIGHT NOW,) to catch Kendall Morse's performance. I attended a Love Songs workshop a bit later in the day. (Love songs are what interest me the most, BTW.) There were some mighty pretty songs sung there.

In late afternoon, Sandy and Caroline did a mini-concert. This, I believe, was the third or fourth time I have heard them. Each time, miraculous pieces of musical history that they have helped to preserve were shared. It is so difficult for me to describe how it feels to watch them. Perhaps if you could imagine being able to spend some time hearing the tales of John James Audubon as he shows you his collections…

At some point during the day Janie and I decided to sign up to perform at the open mike that would again be happening that evening. We practiced a little and finally found a song that we thought we could manage to get by with.

Then, just before the evening meal I got to watch Jed Marum perform. Jed is a remarkably well-voiced songster who clearly understands the history of many of his songs. He is also quite a songwriter. I was especially impressed with a song he sang about a morning in Montreal. His guitar playing…I cannot think of how to tell you how much I enjoyed his style and execution.

After the evening meal I lugged my guitar UP THE HILL to the open mike concert location. On the way UP THE HILL I realized that the song Janie and I were wanting to perform was in need of a second guitar. It was fifteen minutes until showtime. Who could I ask? I was soon happy to find that Jed Marum had generously consented to accompany us. We ran through the chords three times.

A few blurs of time later, it was time for Janie, Jed and me to do our bit. It was Janie's very first time in front of a microphone. Neither of us knew the lyrics. Jed and I had practiced for a grand total of three minutes. The song was Sometime Lovin'. Despite all that might have happened, the song seemed to go quite nicely. That small moment is an example of one of the many wonderful things that just seem to happen at the Getaway. It all makes for a very pleasant memory.

After the show I made my way (down the hill) to the dining hall only to discover that I had left something behind at the concert and again was faced with going UP THE HILL to retrieve it. When I returned, I found a small circle of people who were witnessing a musical exchange between Kendall Morse and Sandy Paton. They were trading hobo songs. It was wonderful!

A while later another gathering formed in the same place. I arrived in time to hear a few songs being traded by Big Mick and Barry Finn. After a while, Dani led us in a very cool gospel round. MMario chimed in with a few songs as well. (What a voice!) We continued trading songs until we just couldn't stay awake any longer. We all knew that quitting meant the end of the music for the weekend - the end of the Getaway. Nobody wanted to be the first to call it a night.

Morning came too soon.
Quick breakfast.
Thank you's.
UP THE HILL (driving, this time) and away.
Mental plans for next year.
The long drive home.