With a lot of help from my friends…

Jan 15, 2023 | 2 comments

The “Stage” Is Ready

Today marks the third House Concert this “season” — the season being from September after Labor Day when Music Vespers are over for the year until they begin again the following June on Father’s Day.  Nyel and I generally hosted one House Concert every other month if we could.  I think there were a few times when Nyel had to be in the hospital in Portland at the last minute and, if memory serves, we had everything “at the ready” and Tucker and Carol hosted in our stead.

The Seating Awaits

Our very first House Concert featured Randal Bays (Irish Fiddle).  That was on January 28, 2001.  The next, on March 28th featured our “singing postmaster,”  Casey Killingsworth who themed his program around the the songs that were popular in the years of the various cars he had owned to that point in his life!

I thought about those early House Concerts and the many that followed over the years as I readied the house for Andrew Emlen’s Skamokawa Swamp Opera who will be playing this afternoon.  Like Randal, Andrew has done many concerts here over the years and with a variety of partners and band members.  He is always a “sell out” and I do wish that we could pack the audience in a bit closer but we are all cognizant of the covid protcols and, of course, hope for the best…  The questions we all ask ourselves and each other are just how much living do we need to give up?  And for how long?

Ready! Set! Food’s On The Way!

So… I dragged most of the furniture out of the library — all except the coffee table which Tucker helped me with.  (It fell apart when someoe mistakenly pushed it last time…)  That room is always “the stage.”

Four or five of the Friday Nighters schlepped the church’s folding chairs  that ORF so kindly lets me borrow for these events.  (They are the perfect size).  I managed to enlarge the dining table myself and put the tablecloth on it, ironing it on the table as usual.  Then, the plates from the back forty, laying out napkins and silver, and setting up wine glasses and openers on the kitchen table… and voila!  All is in readiness!

I missed Nyel mightily during it all, but we “talked” back and  forth, anyway,  After twenty plus years of setting the stage together, how could we not?

We Have The Glasses; BYOB

And so… I think the house is poised for our first concert of 2023.  (The first two of this season were The Oyster Crackers in September and the Rose City Mixed Quartet in December.)  Each time, I  wonder if it will be the last.  So far, though, it looks like a sustainable way to help support the arts if even a little bit… And I can’t tell you how much joy we get in return!!!


  1. Ann and Tony

    Hope you had a wonderful house concert yesterday. We are fondly recalling a concert many, many years ago at your place when Tony’s brother and sister-in-law were in town. I think Washboard Chaz was playing. They, and we, have never forgotten what a delightful afternoon in Oysterville that was. Some years later we all went to New Orleans together to see him play again! What wonderful memories! Now that we are retired perhaps we can join you again!

    • sydney

      I thought it was the Klezmer group that Lorraine Bays daughter is in. Or maybe Washboard Charlie was in that group, too. I’m keeping you in the loop just in case our dates ever coordinate!


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