Save the Good Thoughts for then. Surgery’s off. I don’t want to talk about this glitch, but can’t get a team together after 12 days? Jim’s dad likes stories. He tells them better than anyone and must be bored to tears after all this time in the hospital.
So, how about I tell you a story. The #4 highlight of this birthday is my shorter haircut and, yes, highlights, first in six months because I’m always last on my list of things to do. #3, making sure Jim’s snow tires were mounted and balanced for this week because we’re supposed to have snow and he has a difficult commute. It’s good to know that he’s safe. #2 was the movie Red. It’s worth seeing if you recognize the names Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich or Helen Mirren. I didn’t expect much and it was a delight!
My birthday present was orchestra seats (10′ from the microphone) to Wylie and the Wild West and Juni Fisher, all part of the annual Heber Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair. Beforehand we met local artists and saw their work. The concert was very enjoyable. They showcased a young gal, 18, with a powerful voice, several cowboy poets and then brought out Juni Fisher, who has a grace of voice and guitar talent that is truly inspirational. A fellow blogger, pdxknitterati, helped me find her and we brought her to Texas to sing as a surprise for Nanny’s birthday two years ago. Since then we’ve kept in touch and it is always good to know that she’s going places and doing things I would never consider (good things, not illegal in any way!) to further her life and career. It was a joy to hear her sing again, in person.
Then Wylie and the Wild West entered the house and those boys can play! Both music and stage hijinks. A very talented group of musicians, I was impressed by the four musicians and the range and number of instruments they played. Was that a 12-string electric mandolin? Way cool. Fiddle to bass guitar, acoustic guitar to drums. And Wylie has an instrument he brings with him everywhere and doesn’t need to find a place to stow it on a tour bus or plane. His voice. He’s a yodeler, you might have heard him once or twice as he was the voice of the “Yahoo!” yodel several years ago. As a child of a germanic family, yodeling is something we loved in “The Sound of Music” and old family albums but it is a dying art and I must pat Wylie Gustafson on the back for trying to put it back on the map, with a distinctive American flair.
As I recall, yodeling was created for families to transmit news across the mountains, especially in the Alps. Certain tones would convey a message, like a baby was born, so that other families would know. It is a gift that Wylie was taught by his father and something to pass on. He’s even written a book about it.
It was a rollicking show for folks in plaid shirts, jeans and Stetsons who remember the polka, yodeling and earlier days of Rock & Roll. While I loved Buffalo Gals, and Zenyatta (sorry she lost by a head in the Breeders’ Cup), I think “16 Hands” was my favorite that day, perhaps because of Zenyatta. You showed traditionalism, innovation, talent, a great sense of humor and history, and a reverence for our nation and its lands.
Someday I may get to the Pendleton Roundup as a visitor to see what y’all are writing about. Until then, I’ll listen to your music. Thanks for a great show and more music! Cheers, Dee