Friday, December 10, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"It's Saturday, the band is playing..." Honeyman!

Take me to Town Hall... NYC!

My darling, Jeff, has helped to hook-up this beautiful little MacBook to the large sound system!
From The Fair Light Review
What a guy! Here's The News From Lake Woebegon from Nov.13, one Jeffe' would enjoy.

It's dumping great tonnages of white stuff, the living room floor is wide open; I'm dancing this afternoon!
From The Fair Light Review
Join me?

Sarah P. showed up in 'The Lives of The Cowboys' this afternoon. She's been put into safe keeping in the Museum of Natural History. If only!

Subscribe to A Prairie Home Companion podcasts here.

From The Fair Light Review

Online radio NCPR is now streaming River Walk Jazz, featuring John Hammond's brilliant career promoting and recording the jazz greats; Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Benny Goodman..,etc.

It's a NYC kinda day, 39 miles north of Haines, Alaska!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

To: The Klehini/Chilkat Valley and Beyond ~

From The Fair Light Review
Merrick's Swallow

Lets see..., just something simple. The right words written to the right tempo.
To the point, yet expansive enough to spread across the valleys and the coves, through every home and hovel.

Friends, neighbors, family and not-yet-mets ~ your generosity to raise such funds for Merrick, (gadzooks! such funds!) ~ in the spirit of artful fun ~ is fine.

We've large appreciation ~ star splitter gratitude ~ for this community quite small and wonderful.

Our love to you each,

Ade, Jeff, The Bochart Kids and Joe ~ Happy Holidays

From The Fair Light Review
Our Gal, Merrick

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's a writing day...

Moonlight on new snow is a life long weakness of mine. This moon is Dleit K'ack'w, the early November/Little Snow Moon to Tlingit people of the Chilkoot area .

The Blue Willow dinner plate face in the sky makes a mockery of star viewing, casting the billions upon billions down onto the silvery flats. A late walk along the river eliminates any chance for sleep later.

Instead, I load the wood stove and stretch my sleeping bag onto the floor of the workshop. The triple pane sliding glass door frames massive saw-toothed brilliance, shining white above the black-blue forest.

Magic. And I'm the lucky participant.

The entire month has been tremendous. I've so much to write about and this is a perfect day for the keys. First, milking and more wood...

From The Fair Light Review
Morning Comes

Mid-term elections led November onto an odd course. Nationwide, many were left haggard, surprised, hopeful or ready to rally. Alaska's senatorial race is still being contested by tea-bag darling, Joe Miller.

Democrat Scott McAdams led an impressive campaign for a senate seat and will hopefully remain on the state political radar screen. The Sitka mayor has intelligence and integrity.

Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign made history. If she's seated..., may she do well by both the state and nation. She's already helped slow the Palin parade, a helpful motion by default.

The scene nationally and beyond our borders is tenuous at best. May we all do well by each other.

The following Tuesday, Nov.9th, in Klukwan, an annual benefit dinner was held for the Jilkatt Kwaan Heritage Center. Master chef, Tony Strong was accompanied by two lovely and able assistants, Robin Grace and Sandy Barclay, each from the Mud Bay Peninsula. The trio met while harvesting wild mushrooms earlier this fall.

The event was well attended by Chilkat Valley community members. The handcrafted menu was heard described by Chef Strong on the KHNS news report of November 8, 2010 by Tara Bicknell.

Later, an art auction was held and it seems our community enjoys a good auction as much it loves dancing, food and winter. Attendants wrapped up the night happily overfed and packing home fine North West Coast art treasures.

Event organizer, Lani Hotch, was pleased with the outcome stating that the money raised will be utilized for projects and events at the Traditional Knowledge Camp and the newly opened Hospitality House, a reception center designed to greet local visitors, travelers and school groups interested in learning about Tlingit tradition and subsistance skills.
From The Fair Light Review

Saturday, November 13 was the big event day for the Bald Eagle Festival, culminating in a release of an adolescent eagle. The bird was found dumped from it's nest as a chick and has spent its first three years being reared in captivity. Thought ready to face the wild, she was met by well-wishers and a traditional Native ceremony to safeguard her journey.

The juvenile bird had some difficulty after its release and floated downstream with the current in the side channel of the Chilkat River. The location was chosen for its rocky bars and obvious available fish for easy food. The huge youngster hopped on shore looking as though it liked the thrill of cold water.

After close observation however, the bird was re-captured. It hadn't moved for several days from it's original landing spot and is now considered not quite fully prepared. Perhaps one more winter and a few white adult feathers will allow for an easier transition.

The bird will be returned to the Juneau Raptor Center.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We sit closely on the leather couch, enough so that nuances can be felt by the tap of an elbow or by leaning towards his shoulder. Pointing to text, or a page number, is generally all that's needed.

Once the thick pages have been managed, (do we loose the texture of our finger prints with old age?), Ray's up and running - IN Key, recalling the harmony parts, regardless of his missing hearing aides.

We have fun acknowledging the song's history offered in the text and Ray never fails to pay tribute to his mother. His stories of a NYC upbringing in the twenties allows me to picture Ray's family singing around the piano. The melodies stay forever and for him, so do the lyrics. He's continued the rich tradition of singing with those friends who come to visit at the Haines Assisted Living Center, each Friday at 1 P.M.

We wrapped up yesterday's session by looking at a few of the essays, stories and songs written by the youth of Haines for the Peace Project. Ray was an educator for many years in the Haines schools along with his wife Vivian. He also ran the Chilkat Valley News, was prominent with KHNS Radio, and the Lynn Canal Community Players.

He's a literary guy and was a fine political activist in the region for decades. Who better to give some feedback on what the kids are thinking? His primary comment was... "It gives you hope, doesn't it?"

A potluck and awards will be given to honor the contest participants, Friday October 29th at the Haines Senior Center. All are invited.

This weekend, Haines hosts one of the better community opportunities towards the future. The second regional Drama, Debate and Forensics (DDF) tournament of the 2010 season will be held at the new school.

Alaskan teams from Wrangell, Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Mt. Edgecomb, and Haines will be represented.

The teams work on a variety of speech delivery forms, researched and written by the competitors. Both literary and dramatic interpretations have been polished and will be performed. They'll also debate current topical issues as teams.

The state tournament held in Anchorage each spring decides who will be represented at the National Forensic League competition.

Our community usually turns out in full force as judges, timers, audience and by opening their homes to house this large event.

It's present and future community building and one aspect of Haines at it's best.

Monday, October 18, 2010

All Tucked In?

From The Fair Light Review
As the season continues to wane, I'm stirred to ask friends, acquaintances and total strangers:

"So, how'd your summer and autumn roll?"

♨ Did the garden produce what you hoped for? What was particularly successful, (or a total bust?) Any new techniques that you'd care to share?

♨ Did you learn how to harvest or prepare a new subsistence food source that's particularly exciting. How about the fishing and smokehouse efforts this season?

♨ Were you able to attend the Haines Farmer's Market? Did you have a table? Are you planning towards being a part of next season's community garden, produce or handcraft efforts for market or the fair?

♨ What upcoming event would you like to see featured here at The Fair Light Review?

After being away from the Chilkat/Klehini Valley for the majority of two years, I find I just can't get enough. Though living 39 miles up the highway demands minimal trips to town, I may have found a workable solution. With that, The Fair Light Review, (formerly the Alaskan in the Hinterlands), is shifting focus.

If you're interested in sharing what's exciting from your world, I'd love to hear from you. I hope to aim towards a community resource page that promotes local food and farm, cottage industry and wild-crafting. Reviews on upcoming events such as holiday bizarres, art auctions, school, museum, library or theater performances will be featured as well. Personal tall tales are always most encouraged!

I'll be glad to showcase your story and include photos to promote your project or event ~via~ a phone interview, e-mail, (I'm at or an arranged visit.

With the season's remaining fair light, shining towards local terrior, (the taste of a place!), I'm in the book. Lend me your corner of the Chilkat/Klehini Valley to write about.

Hope to hear from you,

Adrian Revenaugh Bochart

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Summer Farewell

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands
Farewell by Hannah

Enjoy this harvest-time classic by Neil Young. I've also attempted to share the gorgeous version of Harvest Moon I heard performed by Garrison Keillor and Andra Suchy, (begins around 9:15) on A Prairie Home Companion

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands
On Mt. St. Clair in Upper Lynn Canal by Hannah

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Muffled Fall

Silver bucket of whey soaked this tumbled form

Sprawled, I listen to hemlock drip

Fog drapes the river

Saturday, September 25, 2010

While Dancing the Racoon!

Drippy, white stuff has pulled the alder and willow over. This afternoon heralds the oncoming locomotive called winter and we're ready... well kind of.
From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

The woodshed is full, the barn stocked snugly with alfalfa, grain and healthy animals.

The honeyman, at this very moment, is climbing Mt. Whitney with none other than our buddy John Svenson. An awesome undertaking and one that Jeff's been working toward for a couple of years.

Each of the kids are invested in very different paths, taking on adulthood with gusto and determination. Got nothing but admiration for all three and yes, I miss their company. I relish spending time together when we're able. They're fine people.

I'm finding my way towards the next volume. It includes a piano and loom, a bicycle and a camera.

Right now though a huge bowl of rhubarb and some twenty sizable zucchini are grinning at me from the counter. Time to be inventive with the canner and oven.

The woodstove is toasty and this fine little laptop is offering me the opener to the new season of A Prairie Home Companion. I've missed GK's syndicated columns, The Summer Love Tour, (enjoy the webpage) and having the chance to catch the show in person!

But, life feels wide open and the kitchen floor is made for dancing. Damned near as rich as a street dance in St. Paul tonight!

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

OOOh, The Too Tight Rag! Perfection ... haw YEAH!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I didn't know!

Though my weekly fix of The Old Scout's articles must be abated by rereading the archives, rich and topical regardless of when they were published, my heart hungers for more.

To my delight, I find today that A Prairie Home Companion's show is constructed of highlights, allowing a summer break for the cast but that Garrison is broadcasting live from the studios in St. Paul.

I'm listening to North Country Public Radio from The Adirondacks at 24 kpbs. Not quite local but its a clean stream and there's my old pal.

After the show I'll return to making my puppet of Samuel Clemens as a mountain goat, for a performance at the fair. Maybe I'll take a special pause later with My Dear Sonneteer.

Life is rich.

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands
Shine on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Ever the champion
of the elegantly wise,
wrinkled, well seasoned,
I fantasized since a teen
of how quaint it would be.

How accepting I'd feel,
wonderfully odd and contrary to youth at full sail
Like an adoption into a foreign culture

Now, having become one
of the many elders at a family gathering,
where I know the opportunities
to be together are limited,

Telling the Great Old Tales
comes with a sadness

I was never good at good-byes

Friday, June 11, 2010

My darling,

It's been such a long time since I've written. These weeks of delightful movement, as the mountains shed tonnages of snow, are glorious. The melt is washing away the banks of the river: roots, alder, boulders, logs. The roiling provides such a symphony it's matched only by the sound of new leaves in the tallest cottonwoods, blowing steadily among the spruce and hemlock.

A two-thirty dawn means to try and find the spirit to stay tucked in for a few more hours. But the work of re-establishing a presence amidst the forest is huge this spring and it calls loudly and energetically. I can't resist.

This body of mine, however, is not only much older but the odd, life-long aversion to sitting, now appears to have been a response to scoliosis. Who knew?

The doctor orders dancing and bike riding in addition to my other passions of garden and trail. New shoes, (some especially fine steppers for twirling, others for pedals and bluffs), and a new bike, arrive week after next.

Also evolving is the plan to visit the Mid-west. There's a story I want to write along the way.

Pictures soon.

Love always ~


Monday, May 31, 2010

My Life ~ So Sweet, It Smells

I'm at that fortunate point in life that all I can be is grateful. Things really can't be much better. The nightmares in the world and degradation of the planet is ever present in my heart, crackling in my bones. Still, I wake up joyful.

It's partly due to the green and yellow pollen that wafts through the Klehini Valley and down the Chilkat Range in such thick plumes they might be mistaken for dust devils.

Potential growth, a biotic memory blanket is being layered thickly over the remaining snow, yellow as garlic powder. It sticks to my sweaty skin as I labor turning the garden beds in the eighty-four degree heat.

In the evening I smell like green sunlight.

Just add water
an epoch from now. I'll become
the next forest

BP and Bach by Garrison Keillor at
I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor - BP and Bach -

(A special thanks to friend James for the editorial suggestions.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Steady, Dripping Beat of Spring

And now, the rains have come.

Yesterday, I lay out on a snowberm with Mason-dog watching the Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes passing over head. Hoping to find a path through the cloudy mountain draw and discouraged by the dense, drippy layers, they circled back around several times providing wonderful company.

The jangling-rachety call of cranes to one another, keep their spirits aloft on the long journey while pointing out the sights below. We heard a cheer of appreciation for watching and a call to remember our wonderful time together last autumn. In many cultures, they pack the soul after death so we sent our best thoughts with them.

The hummingbird, who hitches a tail-feather ride with the larger folk, dropped off for it's first sip at my feeder yesterday. Dozens of smaller songbirds appeared by afternoon. We're all gearing up for the maniacal pace of a South East summer. The Hooligan aren't far from the Chilkat inlet and my heart and body are primed!

Looking out at the steady pour this afternoon, I'm reminded of all the wonderful paths Life's offered the last few years; ideas gestating and dreams still waiting to be acted upon. Farmstead, fiber-art, growing older with a fine mate, enjoying the escapades of our children in their adulthood's. I've the finest place on the planet and I'm rooted deeply and glad to be home.

But, there's a trip I'm preparing for ~via~ the Rails to Trails system. I'm wanting to cross the country from Oregon to Michigan, camping, cycling and using Amtrak. My folks had fun with such a trip back in the late forties and I'd love to do a follow up journey.

During such a trek, I'm wanting to spend time with the independent book sellers across the nation. Course, I plan to seek out the community festivals and street dances and enjoy fair season along the way as well.

Maybe I'll coordinate with a show or two of Garrison Keillor's Summer Love Tour on towards mid~August.

Now, I'd love to drive the sporty Ford in the picture from the tour's site, (well, in the right company, of course), but in lieu of such a chariot, I'm looking at a Kona Ute cargo bike. One jumped at me on a Fairhaven, Washington street right near the Village Book Store last month. I took it as a sign.

"A sign of what?"

Don't ask.


From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

Monday, April 12, 2010

Large Doses of Home ~ April, 2010

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands
And it's perfection!
This first week home since November, has been about helping my fella get caught up after a very long winter. Also, scratching out a place to be privately productive; the studio!

After months of being bedside and to get back in shape, I'm digging flights of snow stairs. These ephemeral constructs of whimsy melt away in a few weeks while allowing us to get in and out of the deeply buried buildings for now. As my body moves in labor my heart and thoughts are clearing. Sweet seeing if the whole system still works in sync, (and newly grateful for ibuprofen).

I've never been good at goodbyes. I can leave or allow connections to cool, (to be honest, I'm too good at that), but I'm utterly miserable at actual goodbyes. I keep an open place in my core for everyone I've ever cared for. There's lot's of open space newly acquired.

At present, there's a hungry greenish yearn for the gal who's been my universe for so many months, (catch sister Mic's green take). I suspect that feeding this yen is a question of being encompassed by the tender care she required from us and delighting in how she retained her identity and dignity right through her last breath. It was perfection in the most imperfect of processes.

We've made interesting family connections in T.M.'s home of 62 years. These last two, she relied on us, something we'd never anticipated nor would she have ever considered necessary. Her passing was perfect irony, perfectly her; Thursa May Wolfe Revenaugh.

The suggestion of a greenish cast to the cottonwoods and willows along the riverflats hasn't happened. Though afternoons are warm, it's staying quite cold at night and the snow pack is deep. Mornings, I'm able to walk everywhere with the snowshoes tucked under my arm.

Yesterday, we forded the river and climbed to timberline.
From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands
From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

I made a telephone purchase from our neighbor this morning. In a couple of weeks I'm to get sixteen, two year old hens for eggs and meat. The hen house is still a ways from usable. A marten nailed our three remaining hens a month or two ago and I want to be sure he's got larger options in the river and forest by waiting to bring the new flock home. The deep snow crunched the hen yard as well, so it's time for repairs this season.

I'm scouring the area for a baby buck Oberhasli to raise this summer. Our barn has two adult goats and two woolly ewes but our lead, Jackquie goat, needs freshening. No milk, kids or lambs this year!

That opens this summer for the barn occupants and I to focus on making trail and packing the hillsides. They're younger, stronger and far more resourceful than I and should help cut back on sore muscles and joints by packing my dictionary and camping gear once a week or so!

The garden starts have been warming by the wood stove, and ten feet under the snow is the rhubarb; coiled, crimson potency absorbing light in a deep white denizen and preparing to burst out, alive and bittersweet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Traveling, Springbreak Style

The desert kept Merrick, Joe, Okumpup and I entertained from Mojave to The Dalles, Oregon.
Oh, the high desert!
From Alaskan In The Hinterlands
I learned of Joshua Trees and wild donkeys, horses, and Pronghorn Antelope. Even met a a feral chihuahua out forty miles from anywhere but an undeveloped hot springs near Alkali, Nevada.
From Alaskan In The Hinterlands
From Alaskan In The Hinterlands
From Alaskan In The Hinterlands
Our youngest, Hannah, met us ~via~ Amtrak and we spent a lovely time in Ridgefield, Wa. with the Bochart family. We went dancing to jazz band music from The Russets of Ridgefield High at The Oak Tree.
Grandma Mary fed us large and we visited with all of the cousins and Aunties and Uncles. When we parted, Hannah and I caught the train to Bellingham as Joe and Merrick wound their way that direction in the pickup.

After a week of packing about and visiting B-town friends, (plus Hannah's favorite haunts), we girls are off to the big city of Seattle to hook up with cousin Merry Lee and have a weekend of living large including ~ A Prairie Home Companion at The Paramount Saturday March 27th.
From Alaskan In The Hinterlands
From Alaskan In The Hinterlands

A happy 55th Birthday to our Poppaman! Wish you were here with us darling! Micah too!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Ides of March ~ the darkside!

It's the sweet darkside of the moon, rich with possibility.

It's now one full turn since our Mom, Thursa Revenaugh, stepped over the last twitchit of her life. A tremendous presence lingers, larger than when she was in her prime.She's evident everywhere I look. Every little kid's spark of mischief, each turn of random assistance from the cosmos, each grand-kid who walks through the door.

The collected essence of place and the accumulation of thought and experience in a given life. Even when that collection has been disseminated beyond its original location the memories speak loudly.

This month, I'm learning about Mary Elizabeth Colter, a lady architectural pioneer who hailed from St. Paul, Minn., her choice of hometown.

Colter took her love of the landscape and indigenous people of SW North America and created stunning buildings and interior design reflecting that love. At a time when architectural design was generally modeled on European styles, this uncommon woman turned the tide.

I spent yesterday at the L.A. Union Railroad Station where her work from the late 1930's still shines. The lunchroom, no longer in service will hopefully be turned into a historical monument. It's stunningly classic flavor incorporates traditional SW colors and building material and natural use of light.

Though she died in 1958 at the age of eighty-eight, she's quite alive at Grand Canyon in the buildings there crafted of rock and wood.
From Alaskan In The Hinterlands

I'll be writing more on this topic of place after I've returned to 39 mile. My kids have driven to Grandma's to help haul me home to Alaska.

I leave Bakersfield and my time spent caring for Mom by offering this fine Writer's Almanac entry from March 15, 2010. The poem Fields by Faith Shearin reflect my thoughts today.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Room of One's Own ~

From Alaskan In The Hinterlands

Something fine and kind resonates here that everyone feels.

There was plenty of room for all in this tiny, crowded house. Room for friends and strangers who became friends. Family, both nuclear and satellite.

Even when the place was brimming with the kind of unwashed frustration or hardship that left its occupants drained, nearly broken, others found those realities uniquely vibrant and wanted to be near. A part of it in some way.

They keep coming back, sorry now, that its mistress is gone. Proud to have known her.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Be Well, Our Beauty

Took you a while to let it go, Ma.

We thought you'd let it go a long time ago.

Damned, were we wrong!

Glad you are on your way.

We're cheering for you.

Keep us posted.

All of us!

Loving you,

Your kids.

From On Her Way

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow ~ Heavy snow or mud?

The wind wasn't the only issue. It was the wet snow that stuck to the windshield in great, sticky, clumps requiring stopping every ten miles, getting out and slapping the wipers in a futile attempt to clear them enough to wipe.

"Flakes as big as Rhode Island, and only out here. It's like someone flipped a switch at Ten Mile. It's total Pig slop!"

The brood was hunkered into the back seats of the Ford Econoline. Each had enough space to be comfortable, as if cozied in private staterooms. The girls were sleeping and Lance was busy conjuring characters for his ongoing saga.

"Pull over and I'll clear the beggers. See if we can get a fresh start."

"Nah, we just did that fifteen minutes ago."

"Well, yes, but you're down to three square inches of visibility."

"I'm fine. As long as that guy ahead of me with one tail-light stays on the right side of the highway."

Warm snow. It was a coastal regularity measuring in double digit dumps. Add a little wind and the drifts calculated in feet.

The road ahead was two narrow trenches. The single red lens was mesmerizing. The sensation, that if you let your eyes drift, you'd suddenly know oblivion. Or the guy's rear end!

Tess knew better. If the lit dot disappeared, they'd shift into hyper vision and feel calmer, feel the direction that was home. The van could probably take them without any one at the wheel, it was so familiar with the route.

Dray ejected the tape of flashbacks and fresh tracks, barely audible above the working engine plowing through the white cement. Better to focus.

Dinner in town with friends had been a joy. The sizable stock-up on groceries and four jerry jugs of fresh water rounded out the effort of getting to town.
They left the gathering early. Snow had begun to come down with that certain intensity.

He was right. It started light and sparkly, perfectly individual stars catching light and adding that special mid-winter touch to the streets and holiday decorations.

Ten miles later and falling from an endlessly unfathomable source, the quantity of white was the Pacific Ocean in the sky and their small craft was heading away from shore.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

We've termed it, 'the dwindles', that steady, natural decline of everything you once were. All of it, wrapped carefully in bundles throughout the house, in albums and shoe boxes, tucked away like Easter baskets, waiting to be discovered by whomever is the last to come by.

And here you lie, wondering if all you've held to be right and valid about life is going to see you out the other side. No weeping or regret, all of that tended to with enough time and consideration to be useful to you now.

We've made you as comfortable as we're able, while we sit comfortably near, happy just to be in your presence. And happily, you're enjoying ours.

And Ma, it's snowing ~ like when you were a kid in Calumet; many, many inches. Coming down in bundling drifts. Rooftop and tree crushing drifts. Airport halting, highway clogging drifts.

You never liked snow.

I love it.

Hope Micah made his flight to Viet Nam.

Post Groundhog's Day storm, causing awe and wonder along the Mid-Atlantic.

'Snowmageddon' blankets Mid-Atlantic in heavy snow

Heavyweight slides in burned out Southern California are waking us up too.

California Storm Triggers Mudslides, Flooding

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, January 9, 2010

200 Rush Tickets Left for Prairie Home Companion & Sister Mick's nailed two ahead!

Joe Biden said it best this week at the Huffington Post in a fine article about Why America Needs Trains .

My words: trains are a reliable and progressive system.
Rail transportation of goods and people are well worth spending plenty of money on rebuilding all across America. We need the jobs and less roads. It's that simple.

This year, I've loved schlepping up and down the coast to San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Bellingham from Bakersfield ~via~ Amtrak. Its affordable travel that offers a great opportunity for engaging with people from all over, and - well, these days ... my time is affordable ~ passing by opportunities is not!

It works something like this: the S.F. International Airport is an easy connection for flying out to Juneau. From there I catch an Alaska Marine Highway ferry home to Haines, a little fjord edged berg that nestles in the northern end of Lynn Canal.

In June '09, I slipped away from caring for our Elder Ma in S. Cal. For a treat, I caught Amtrak up to San Francisco to catch Garrison Keillor. He gave an evening reading from his fine collection of 77 Sonnets .

As G.K couldn't join me afterwords, (my article)I went solo for what turned out to be a wonderful all-nighter of walking around the city, talking to strangers and visiting old familiar neighborhoods.

I was an adventurer as a kid. I traveled then by hitch-hiking. I hopped freight trains with a pal and caught the ever reliable Greyhound bus when I could afford it.

All to give me access to geographic and musical discovery.

In San Francisco the Palace of Fine Arts housed the Battle of The Bands in 1968. There were free concerts that summer in Golden Gate Park with The Dead and Quicksilver, Big Brother and The Jefferson Airplane.

A few months later, Jimi Hendrix stunned Bakersfield with an incredible performance at The Memorial Auditorium, (oh, those expensive eight dollar tickets!).

I found my barefooted way to the Newport Pop Festival at Devonshire Downs in '69.

The last performance I attended while still in Bakersfield was with the live-wire R&B man, Elvin Bishop, performing with full-on accompaniment at Bakersfield College in 1971.

For a year after I graduated from BHS, I criss-crossed the country, learning what I could, absorbing it all.

When I returned to the left coast, I decided to move to San Francisco. Newspaperman, Dick (Poppa) Revenaugh, had established half-a-dozen salon-like residences while learning all that was cooking in the Bay area.

The Fillmore District held his favorite music haunts. He was a regular at Minnie's Can-Do, the heart of the neighborhood at that time.

When I was in tow with my first roommate, actress Atoinette Attell ~ Toad, I caught a few shows at the old Winterland. North Beach and the Haight were always lively nights out. That year, I was a personal schlepper for Toad's live street performances at Ghirardelli Square and as a willing shill at the various comedy clubs of the day where she performed.

Though these were exciting and heady times for an 18 year old with a false ID, the ultra hip scene in San Francisco never quite jived for me. I could have stayed forever in The Fillmore of that era but I wanted out of the city.

When I figured that part out in 1974, I bee-lined for the forest and the small entertainment venues of S.E. Alaska. Talk about finding heady times!

In Ketchikan, I helped manage a warehouse type tavern, The Thunderbird Lounge.
Many of the seine fisherman and the pulp mill pipe-fitters who loved the joint were from St. Paul and elsewhere in Minnesota. The bar was down below the first home of public radio in Ketchikan, station KRBD.

The Minnesota boys spent Saturday afternoon shoretime introducing the west coast transplants to schnapps with beer chasers. Ever taller tales and their favorite home-town boy, Garrison Keillor gave them special distinction.

As part of a concert series, I helped with an effort to bring John Fahey to The T-Bird. Though the fellow arrived in town sorely sotted, and remained so throughout his stay, his musicianship was magnificent.

John Hammond and a collection of other fine musicians were to follow. Nights at the Thunderbird lounge were focused toward live performance and local poetry reading.

Saturday Night Live was also a hot commodity and played from a high-tech overhead Beta Max. There was chess and conversation. Writing groups and popcorn. Cafe/tavern style camaraderie and fooseball.

On a focused chase toward family, I wanted to be farther north still. Homesteading over the last twenty-five years, has been perfect. For income, my solid partner taught at Mosquito Lake Elementary and Klukwan School.

At 39 miles north of Haines, our lives revolved around home-school, snow shoeing and growing critters and gardens. Basically, living scantily in a large manner. And, did I say, a lot of snow?

We became highway warriors during the kid's high school years, a time that married nicely with the whole family being busily involved with community, both in Klukwan Indian Village and Haines.

The SE Alaska State Fair and the Bald Eagle Music Festival continue to bring us a week of saturation level fun in Haines. Just right for my tastes once a year.

This next week, I'll be coming up from Bakersfield on an Elder Mom-care-haitus. I'm about to hit Amtrak again and SF for a Jan. 16, 2010 performance of a Prairie Home Companion with special guests, Elvin Bishop and Jean Redpath at the War Memorial Opera House.

From the PHC website: The War Memorial Opera House is a palace that opened in 1932, a granite and terra cotta beauty, with high windows with keystones with lion's head carved into them, lions with sharp teeth. Across a courtyard surrounded by a cast iron fence is the San Francisco War Memorial, a courtyard that is medieval looking with trimmed hedges and knobby old trees. The War Memorial Building is where the United Nations charter was signed in 1945, and also the peace treaty with Japan after World War II.."

I'm in! The last time I caught Elvin Bishop, he had our community dancing through the night, without a break at the S.E.Ak. State Fair. He helped to deliver us to a 1:30 AM summer dawn in his fine, driving style.

Jean Redpath belongs in Haines. She'll see. We have a fine traditional folk community in S.E. Alaska, alive and well, adopting younger musicians who are choosing to stay to raise their families.

Gotta confess, I'm hoping to lure the whole group up onto our performance circuit.
G. Keillor might find he'd enjoy setting up a seasonal camp there. Perhaps then he'll help me to convince the others.

We'll be sure to include Bakersfield's Banshee in The Kitchen. Banshee, Jill Egland, has already expressed interest in our seasonal fair and music festivals.

Here's to outstanding, live, music performances on into the future.

Only 200 rush tickets available at the door?

Well, I've got the Amtrak tickets in hand.

And this just in,... Sister Mick got two tickets for the show!
I ask you, what kind of magic is that gal not capable of?!

The show was Fine. Find the story ~ In The Doon ~ a connection is above