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Book Reports

Feb 23

63 Days till MERLEFEST

The trip to Ponte Caffarro, Italy was pretty good as I look back on it. Enjoyed hanging out with Ernie Hawkins, Barry Mitterhoff, Happy & Jane Traum, David & Ginny Holt and Elijah Wald. Only sang about a dozen tunes all weekend! Twenty hours on the plane was no joy, but I am glad I made the trip. We had daytime discussions and evening concerts at a nice little arts center high in the Italian Alps, near the Austrian border.

All events were well attended and the audience was very enthusiastic. Our hosts were very gracious, the food was good as was the wine and especially the endless espressos. In the Summer Ponte Caffarro is a busy resort town on a good size lake which did supply us with fresh fish for a few of our dinners. Special thanks to Charlie, Elena, Beppe, Filippo, Bruno and all the wonderful folks we met.

To be honest with you, I was really glad to get on the plane and begin my journey home after 4 nights in Italy. I just have a hard time being overseas, not being able to speak any other languages. Not taking a guitar on that trip was a blessing. My host Bruno loaned me his very nice Gibson Nick Lucas reissue.

Had a good time in Lakeland Florida, where I partook in a benefit concert at the Polk Theater which has been restored to it's original grandeur. Elvis played there in 1955...The Friends of Joe Prine, an old pal, are involved in keeping Joe's dream alive. Joe Prine was a big supporter and presenter of alternative musics in Lakeland for 30 years. He passed away last year and is dearly missed. Also on the bill among others was Ronnie Elliott & Sam Paccetti, who has come a long way since being a protege of the late Gamble Rogers. It was a fine night of acoustic music and I am sure Joe was smiling down on all of us.

Nancy is enjoying her 'little rascals' at school, who she says are doing great. She is also looking forward to Spring Break when we will do a little traveling around the state with a few shows and some 'camping out'. Kind of Spring Training for the big Summer tour.

By For Now,

Roy