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tional folk tune floats over all the global air, with enormous nost a lg i a, while all the lusty singers, oſten heav- ily endowed with food, and perhaps some “bub- bly” cham- pagne, raise


their glasses, clink and smile, perhaps gulp a tear or two, and we hear: “Auld Lang Syne,” loud and clear as the bells! Few care about “definite”

meanings of Scottish folk songs, but

the revered poet Robert Burns, in 1788, was so

n the stroke of mid- night, it seems world- wide by now, a tradi-

moved by an old dude reciting an “ancient tale” to him, about keeping new friends but never forgetting the old ones,


Burns wrote it all down and turned it into a moving poem. Te music it eventually was set to was really an even older tra- ditional gem of a folk tune. It

is written that Mahatma

Gandhi was fond of saying “Music is food for the soul.” And, it seems the older one gets, the more warm nostalgia hits you every new year when you hear, and likely, join in singing that familiar, beloved song. Te immensely giſted doc-

umentary film maker, Ken Burns, --by the way a direct descendant of both the Scot- tish poet Robert Burns and

Want to submit good news? • E-mail: TM

by Ellie Schmidt of Santa Rosa, CA.

FOOD, HISTORY & A LITTLE MORE!Hurrah for Hogmanay 2020!

President Abraham Lincoln— gave us an extraordinary giſt: a whole series about “American Country Music”

o n

PBS. For someone

like me, who studied clas- sical music from early childhood on to ac- tually per- forming, w i t h s o lid e mp h a - sis on the world’s in- ternational operas, it took a long time to really “discover” the rare beauty of American Country Music. When I finally heard Burl Ives, Pete Seeger,

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Jokes & Humor # 2

Joan Baez, James Taylor, Judy Collins, Carly Simon—and all the musicians on the Burns series, for me—all new names: “the Hill Billy boys and on and on…” in my opin- ion, these are the finest pre- senters of folk

and country mu- sic. No nit-picking on that.

It is worth every minute of your free time to enjoy each ep- isode of the Ken Burns


series. –I found an old copy of a radio broad- that Burl

Ives (b June,

1909) gave in the early 1950s on the Australian Broadcast- ing Network. He expresses el- oquently: “Folk songs are good music. Tey’re beautiful. Teir poetry is as good as Heine or Shakespeare. What else are the songs of Schubert? What else are any of the great songs? Tey are the articulated expression of the experience of a people: they are a shared heritage, and when the people of a country can sing of these songs to- gether their national bonds are strengthened. One of the co- hesive things that make a fam- ily a family is the little private jokes and common memories that the members share…Folk songs are very important to a country for this reason…they are the remembered experi- ences of the national family through the generations…” A beloved, “shared mem-

ory” in our family is the an- nual presentation of the 1964 Christmas tv special “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Te voice-over of Sam, the Snowman/host, narrator of that classic happens to be Burl ...continued on page 27

A family went to a ranch to go on a horse ride. They all had the chance to pick out their own horses. The dad was the last to pick his out because he helped his kids all get on their horses first. As he kicked his foot into the stirrup, an old ranch hand, leaning against a fencepost, drawled out "I dunno about that ol' nag, mister. She don't look so good."

The dad, sweating and ready to start said "She looks fine to me. Can we just get going?" The ranch hand shook his head and said "It's your ride, mister." And mo- tioned to the lead horse to get started. The horses knew the way and started off.

About an hour later, the family returned. The dad was all covered in dust. His face was all scratched up and his shirt had been torn in several places. "This is an outrage!" he yelled. "This horse ran into trees, tore through thornbushes and ran headlong into low hang- ing branches. It's like she's blind!"

The ranch hand pulled a piece of straw from between his teeth and said "Well, she is."

"Why didn't you warn me?" screamed the dad.

"I did" said the ranch hand. "I told you she don't look so good."

My key to dealing with stress is simple: just stay cool and stay focused. ~ Ashton Eaton

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