OK, OK, I hear all of you who have weighed in, asking me to resume occasional folk blog entries. I will do so as my hectic life permits. Please make special note of the Santa Fe event on Jan. 31, details below.
Well, Folk Wedding #12 happened on November 15, 2008. More on that later. First, I want to highly recommend two folk music CDs that were released in 2008. One is Notorious’s new CD Elkins that I have listened to repeatedly. It is, quite frankly, phenomenal. Notorious played at Folkmadness a few years ago and features Eden MacAdam-Somer on fiddle and Larry Unger, tunemeister, on guitar and banjo. Sam Bartlett and Mark Hellenberg join them on their new CD. Info about ordering is at http://www.larryunger.net/store/elkins.shtml (you can either order off cdbaby.com or from Larry directly; they probably make more money if you order directly from them).
The other CD is the Privy Tippers’ Straddling the Muffin-Biscuit Line. The CD even features an original tune by Rob Pine, who lives in Sandia Park, NM, and includes southern and Quebecois tunes. Very fun! The Tippers will play at Folkmadness 2009, but if you can’t wait that long, you can order CDs by contacting Dave Firestine at: firstname.lastname@example.org. CDs are $15.00 plus $2 shipping & handling.
Corrales Sing, Friday, January 2
FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH, 8:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT
January’s theme is Food & Drink (postponed from last fall), wassailing allowed too. Each participant in the circle may lead a song, do a solo, request a song, or pass. Bring enthusiasm, songbooks, instruments, beverages/snacks, kids, and friends.
Contact: Laurie McPherson 898-6978
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
114 Coronado Road, Corrales, 87048
(Directions: From the intersection of Alameda and Coors, go 1.8 miles north on Corrales Road. Pass the Chevron station, go several blocks. Just past the Horseman’s Supply store, turn left on Coronado Road. Post office is too far. They’re the second house on the right, come in past the barns to park.)
Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, January 3
Called by Artie Walsh with Dan Levenson, special guest musician, and friends playing. 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., newcomers class at 7 p.m. Dance Studio, 4217 San Mateo Boulevard NE Albuquerque, NM. Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. $7 members, $8 others, students 1/2 price with ID.
Durango Contra Dance, Saturday, January 3
Location: American Legion 878 E. 2nd Ave (enter from 9th Street)
6:00 – community potluck that is open to all. Bring a dish to share.
7:00 – beginner dance instruction
7:30 – Contra Dance with caller Paul Bendt and the Kitchen Jam Band, both of Durango
All dances are taught and called. No partner is necessary, and dancers of all ages and abilities are welcome. Admission is $10. First-timers get a pass to come back for free. Season passes will be on sale for $99, which covers 11 dances and one free guest admission. Pay for a year of dances at once, support the Contra Dance, and get free stuff!! For further information, call 970-385-9292, or see the website http://groups.google.com/group/Durango-Contra-Dances
Albuquerque Concert, Sunday, January 4
Southwest Pickers PRESENTS DAN LEVENSON in concert
SUNDAY, JANUARY 4TH—7PM
COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
9315 CANDELARIA, NE (ALBUQUERQUE)
$ 15 NON MEMBERS; $10 MEMBERS
Dan plays a variety of old-time fiddle and banjo tunes and is a founding member of the Boiled Buzzards. For more information, visit: http://www.oldtimemusic.us Or contact Judy at email@example.com. Dan’s last concert in Albuquerque drew a packed house, so come on down and pack the house again!
Santa Fe Contra Dance, Sat., January 10
Richard Wilson calling with Karina and Della playing. This dance will ROCK! 7:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. Instruction at 7:00 p.m. $7 members, $8 others, students 1/2 price with ID. (You can ride the train to and from Albuquerque to Santa Fe now; http://www.nmrailrunner.com/schedule.asp has details and schedules.)
Second Sunday Dance, January 11
Kit French calling elegant English and zesty contras; One Good Turn playing. 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Heights Community Center, 823 Buena Vista SE (1 block east of University, south of Lead/Coal). Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. $7 members, $8 others, students 1/2 price with ID.
Albuquerque Megaband Practice, Tuesday, January 13
Join the Megaband in a jam in its current location at O’Niell’s Pub, Banquet Room, 4310 Central Ave SE (Central at Washington in East Nob Hill), 7:00-10:00 p.m. More info: Bruce Thomson, 277-4729. (We just ate there last night and it was YUMMY!)
Las Cruces Contra Dance, Friday, January 16
Lonnie Ludeman and Lewis Land calling with SNMMDS Band playing. January ONLY: San Andres High School gym, located on main Highway 28 in Mesilla, next to the new Mesilla Town Hall and Visitors Center, and a short 5 blocks east of where we normally dance all the rest of the year (newly renovated stage, lights, floor — cool look). Park in back or at the Visitors Center. For info, contact 575-522-1691. 7:30 p.m. beginner lessons & dance to follow to 10:30 p.m., Cost: $5
Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, January 17
Donna Howell calling and the Albuquerque Megaband playing. 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., acoustic jam at 6:30 p.m. and newcomers class at 7 p.m. Heights Community Center, 823 Buena Vista SE (1 block east of University, south of Lead/Coal). Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. $7 members, $8 others, students 1/2 price with ID.
Taos Contra Dance, Saturday, January 17
Dance at the San Geronimo Lodge, at 7: 00 and wind down at 10:00. Call 776-1580 with questions about the dance.
Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, January 24
Katherine Bueler calling with Bo y Yo (I’m guessing this is Gary Papenhagen on fiddle and Bo Olcott on guitar) playing. 7:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. Instruction at 7:00 p.m. $7 members, $8 others, students 1/2 price with ID.
5th Saturday Concert and Dance, Jan. 31, Santa Fe
featuring Round Mountain
Concert with Round Mountain – Char and Robby Rothschild — followed by a dance, where they will join forces with Della O’Keefe and Karina Wilson. Will McDonald calling. Don’t miss this special event!
Odd Fellows Hall, Santa Fe
$8, $7 for Members
Robert Burns Dinner, Sat., January 31, ABQ
Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North, (5151 San Francisco Road, N.E.)
Cocktails 5:00 pm, Dinner 6:30 pm
The St. Andrew Scottish Society of New Mexico invites everyone to
attend the annual Robert Burns Dinner! There will be a nice dinner,
silent auction, and lots of Scottish entertainment — piping, singing,
dancing, poetry, and of course, the Haggis!
Tickets: $55 adults; $30 children
Contact Don Baker at 301-8990 or Wizardofsaaz@yahoo.com for ticket information.
This & That
Save the dates: 17th Annual Folkmadness Music and Dance Camp, Socorro, NM, May 22-25, 2009. Kathy Anderson and Scott Higgs calling English, contras, and squares. Bag O’Tricks from Seattle and Privy Tippers from Tucson playing. Nils Fredland leading singing. We keep thinking our camps can’t get any better, but then they do!
Local folkies make youtube: Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or otherwise, I hope you enjoy this youtube video as much as I did. It features Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie of Bayou Seco fame playing an original tune in Santa Fe (plus Tesuque’s own Barbara Blankenship on triangle and possibly Miguel Combs on accordion). The Railrunner train cooperates perfectly (and totally coincidentally) at the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1IOcrgx2Jc
More Folkmads videos on youtube: Jim Boros, Folkmads’ own videographer, has posted myriad music and dance videos at http://uk.youtube.com/user/Contra87
AMP Concerts Form Non-Profit Organization
Neal Copperman founded AMP concerts that began with a series of house concerts and has expanded to host the ¡Globalquerque! World Music Festival and concerts all over town. This year he obtained 501(c)(3) status to help with fundraising and other projects. Some of us are charter members.
AMP concerts host many fantastic musicians. Upcoming artists include Sam Bush, Joan Baez, Boulder Acoustic Society, the Bills (a personal favorite of mine), and more that don’t start with the letter B. Here is a partial list of concerts in 2009:
Jan 18: Sam Bush Band, The Band of Heathens – KiMo Theatre
Jan 19: The Band of Heathens – The Cooperage
Jan 29: Adrian Legg – The Cooperage
Feb 13: John McCutcheon – South Broadway Cultural Center
Feb 14: John McCutcheon Family Show – South Broadway Cultural Center
Feb 22: Joan Baez – National Hispanic Cultural Center
Mar 5: California Guitar Trio – The Cooperage
Mar 20: Boulder Acoustic Society – The Cooperage
Apr 11: Bruce Cockburn – KiMo Theatre
Sept 3: The Bills/Marc Atkinson Trio – South Broadway Cultural Center
Full details at www.ampconcerts.org
Oh yeah, I forgot to say who Folk Couple #12 was. Here they are…….
Dancers Kit French and Mary Beath wed, officiated by Judge Merri November 15, 2008 [Photo by Will Ruggles]
The New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society (FOLKMADS) has gone to an all-electronic newsletter and calendar to save paper and postage. You can ask to continue to receive the paper version though, if you prefer it. But folks who are nostalgic for paper newsletters have the option of printing the “mailed version,” as well. There’s a link to a PDF file in the online newsletter. The calendar can be printed in old-school style, too, from a link at the bottom of the online calendar. Visit http://www.folkmads.org/ for details.
Happy New Year to All,
December 14, 2008
Today is a special day—it marks the moment that I have spent exactly half of my life with Mark Justice Hinton. We met around Halloween in 1981, and I had just turned 27 six weeks earlier. Today I am 54 ¼; you can do the math!
I hope the season is finding you hopeful and hale. 2008 was filled with projects, travel, joys, and sorrows. I continued to serve as Albuquerque’s part-time probate judge (www.bernco.gov/probate ) and the Court again had a record number of cases filed this year. We have finished a computer automation system to docket our cases, a huge change from the handwritten way we’ve done it since 1860! The public is now able to search our records online and see which cases have been filed in our court from 1975 to present. I was reelected in 2006 and my term ends Dec. 31, 2010 (we are term-limited, so will have to find something else to do in 2011). So Mark and I have two more years of health insurance and then….
I still write a column for the morning paper every other week. In addition, my publishing company Abogada Press (www.abogadapress.com) is bringing out a new edition of Family Law in New Mexico, co-authored by the original author Barbara Shapiro and Antoinette Sedillo López. Books are due to be shipped here right after Christmas (12/25/08: actually, they arrived a week early on 12/23, and now I have to get them into bookstores around the state!). This year I also helped my 92-year-old local friend Kathleen, and continued to hone my dance calling skills (www.merridancing.com), calling two 4-day dance weekends in Colorado and Oregon. Here are some snippets from 2008:
In January I attended the mandatory probate judges statewide training. I participated as a presenter and audience member. Saw a few movies, continued to exercise, ushered a few shows at the University Fine Arts Hall. Continued to play internet scrabble with my friend Carol in Kentucky most Sunday evenings. We received a shipment of the new 2008 4th edition of my Life Planning in New Mexico book and have sold half of those this year.
In February we lost my cat BabyCat to cancer at age 15. Since I didn’t do a letter last year, some of you may not know that we also lost our 19-year-old Kitty on July 3, 2007. Mark and I have blog entries posted about both cats. You can search www.merridancing.com/wp if you’re interested in the details. I still miss my BabyCat, although it’s been almost a year since he died. We were buds, as you can see by this photo.
(Photo by Mark Justice Hinton–Merri & BabyCat in happier times)
Lucky is an only dog now and getting pretty old himself. But he’s still with us. Toward the end of February I traveled to Buena Vista, Colorado to call a 4-day English and contra dance weekend with a wonderful, nationally known band called Notorious. (I highly recommend their new CD called Elkins; it is spectacular!) There were 6’+ of snow up there, and I travelled from my cabin to the dance hall via snowshoes all weekend. I wrote an article about the weekend that was published in the Country Dance and Song Society’s magazine. The weekend was fun, but a lot of work. Mark and I celebrated 26 years together in Feb. too!
March stayed busy with work, ushering, exercising, social events, and company, including visits from Robert Coontz’s sister Connie, and her husband, father-in-law, and 2 kids. Former Albuquerque friends Eileen and Patrick also visited us from southern New Mexico, and we’re always happy to have an excuse to cook a fine brunch for friends.
During April I started the last of three beginning Spanish classes that I’ve taken and finished that class in June. I am now at an intermediate level in Spanish, and continue to perform weddings in Spanish. Figure it’s good brain exercise. I travelled to Florida to see my Aunt Jean, and we had fun toodling around the Miami area. Called a dance in Santa Fe, then entertained our Maine friends Gary and Pam, who were visiting to get their Southwest ‘fix.’
In mid-May my Aunt Jean called me with news that her breast cancer (mastectomy was in June 2004) had returned and spread to her liver and bones. We added another cell phone to her account so she can reach me at any time, and I promptly began to learn the medical and care-giving community in Miami and to help her with some financial and legal issues. She has been stable with the help of much chemo, other treatments, and pain medication. Not sure what her prognosis is, but I made trips to Florida in July and Sept. and will also visit in Jan. and April 2009.
I got to attend New Mexico’s 4-day music and dance weekend over Memorial Day, as a dancer instead of a caller and that was fun. Also camped with Mark a few days at the end of the month. There was cell phone contact with my aunt even up in the mountains! Our Pilates teacher Gail turned 50 on June 1, competed in her first triathalon and was diagnosed with breast cancer a few days before the race. She chose to delay treatment for a few weeks so she could do the triathalon she’d trained so hard for.
I had a free airline ticket to New Hampshire in June and saw my brother, wife and niece in Massachusetts and friend Ruslyn in New Hampshire. Ruslyn and I celebrated 35 years of friendship with a sailing trip on her husband’s sailboat. Encountered a terrible storm and I’ll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say we all survived to tell the tale. Friends Susan and Paul visited NM the end of June from Missouri and announced that they planned to relocate to Tallahassee, FL the end of the year to be near her mom and sisters, who all live there now.
July included a trip to Florida to help my aunt and then a 2nd annual camping trip to southern Colorado with 4 other friends and 3 dogs. It rained and/or hailed on us every hike, but we prepared gourmet dinners communally and had fun anyway camping beside a raging river for 4 days. Also saw a magnificent hummingbird in our campsite, which should not have been so far north (usually lives in Mexico). At the end of the month my 92-year-old friend Kathleen and I visited a newer facility that hosts senior residents and had a delicious lunch. Over the course of a month we arranged for her to move into a much bigger, nicer and safer apartment there without too much increase in costs. She moved in over Labor Day and is very happy there. Plus it’s only 2.5 miles from us, instead of 6. Mark started work as an author on a book called Digital Cameras and Photography for Dummies. (YES! These are those famous yellow and black books sold nationwide.) He got to use his own photos in creating the book, and copies of the beautifully finished book arrived on our doorstep in November.
August was the usual with exercising, usher safety training, dinners with friends, helping my aunt, doing court work, marrying folks. My mom turned 81. Over Labor Day weekend I travelled to Oregon to call Northwest Passage, a 4-day music and dance weekend with Bruce Hamilton, Sue Rosen, Notorious and Phantom Power. This time there were 2 bands and 2 other callers, so I got to dance some too. It was great fun, and my ABQ friends Dave and Noralyn went with me for moral support (in a bit of serendipity, Noralyn moved her parents from TN to NM a few months later—into the same facility that my friend Kathleen had just moved into!)
September featured my 54th birthday and another trip to Florida. Don’t even remember what I did on my birthday except went to brunch with my friend Mary and grilled filet mignon that eve with Mark. Kathleen’s daughter Kristi visited ABQ from CA and loved Kathleen’s new apartment. Mark finished the manuscript for Digital Cameras and Photography for Dummies just in time to teach a computer class at UNM and then start writing a new book for Wiley called Digital Photography for Seniors for Dummies, which is due the end of December.
October was uneventful except for celebrating Noralyn’s 60th birthday with a special dinner here. Continued to help my aunt via 3-way calls, email, and cell phones. Voted on Oct. 9 (the 32nd anniversary of my dad’s death) so I could quit listening to all the negative campaign ads. Also continued to work producing and finalizing the manuscript of the Family Law book.
November was full of major stress but some good things too. Mark and I both worked on books all weekend long before T-Day. Mark had a deadline on his newest Digital Photography for Seniors for Dummies book. And I worked all weekend on his book, plus the Family Law in New Mexico book. I will spare you most of the details of Thanksgiving week other than to say Mark turned in his next ¼ of his book on Monday, then started finalizing the text of the Family Law book on Tuesday. The author and I scrambled to re-do a section the Wed. before T-Day. We wanted to send it to the printer that Wed. and have 4 days off. Got it into printer at 5 pm Wed. But it’s being printed in Canada and T-Day isn’t a holiday there (think their T-Day was in October). So bright and early T-Day morn the emails start re: problems—they had the wrong file of the manuscript. We finally straightened that out and I baked an apple pie for T-Day with Dave and Kathleen and Mary Smith. Friday morn the printer emails that the book manuscript was 3 pages too long. I spent Friday morning cutting 3 pages. A revised version of the cover went to the printer on Dec. 1. Then the proofs were supposed to be shipped to me overnight on Dec. 2. But they weren’t. They arrived Dec. 5, the day I was supposed to have them back in order to meet the shipping date of Dec. 19. I will say that the proofs looked good and that I reviewed them and shipped them back overnight mail within 4 hours of receipt. So we are not too far behind schedule and I can almost see a light at the end of the tunnel. We did have a nice T-Day finally about 5 pm. We brought a homemade pumpkin cake roll, homemade cranberry/orange sauce, and the apple pie. Hosts provided the turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Two others brought potatoes, rolls, veggies. Also, last weekend I succeeded in making pecan pralines (1st batch was runny, so it became icing for a spice cake). They were awesome and fattening! Mark’s book arrived and we love it (www.mjhinton.com/author has ordering details).
Now the year is ending. My aunt started radiation this month for pain control of her bone cancer. Mark is working on the next 1/4 of his book, and I am reading those chapters. He’s gotten a little ahead of schedule, hoping to get some time off for holiday fun. And he has to teach one class on Microsoft Vista next week. Our “reward” is the 6th annual Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge birding trip, set for Dec. 22 with four other friends. December so far has been a better month— I even did a wedding at McDonald’s last Friday! I have also exercised more and walked more (in August I was diagnosed with osteopenia in my lumbar spine, but have opted not to take any meds for it). I am hoping the extra walking and calcium will help with the osteopenia. Plus I think exercise helps my mental health too; I didn’t exercise much in Nov. and was really stressed out juggling all the balls thrown at me. Today I am baking holiday treats to share with friends and getting packages ready to mail.
That wraps up my year’s events. I hope that you had a great 2008 and that 2009 is health-filled and fun.