Letters  



 

View of the Willamette River

Inside the Artichoke

The Golden Gate Bridge


Los Angeles from the air

Local flora


The Needle

Janet and Dave at the conservatory (with the rope!)

Seattle train station

Self portrait


South of the 49th

Dave and I flew to Portland Oregon from Anchorage on Alaska Airlines. It seems a good outfit. They give you prayer cards with your meal. I don't know whether to draw comfort from that or not. The meal was good though.

Portland was a wonderful time from beginning to end. We infested the house of Kate Power and Steve Einhorn, owners of Artichoke Music (who were in the midst of mixing their next 2 CDs) for a week and played two shows at the end of that week.

While in Portland we haunted Powell's Book Store downtown - one the size of an entire city block, went on a Submarine moored in the Willamette River (arrooggaahhaa!), rode a lot of buses from one side of the city to the other
and played many instruments at the Music Shop.

Meters on the sub


There was some memorable music performed round the table, and daily, during the ebb and flow of customers through the doors of the Shop. The store is very much a part of the community and very much a force for good in the city.

First Friday Revue was an excellent night of music and comedy at the store. I remember Steve on stage, leaning conspiratorially into the microphone and whispering "….ahh, I have Canadians in my basement…" Saturday was a sold out show at the Alberta Street Pub. Couldn't have had a better time.

We flew to Berkley, California on the Sunday. I am apparently getting used to flying. I realized that my apprehension has been replaced by impatience. I suppose that's a good thing. It's debatable. The house concert Sally Greenberg's was definitely a good thing. An amazing number (considering the distance from the border) of ex-patriots from Canada were in the audience. This was a great night for singing as well. Many thanks to Sally for great conversation and an enjoyable, well organized concert.

Another plane the next day. This time south to Los Angeles and from there by car to Vista. Flying over Los Angeles I was amazed by its extent. We seemed to be over the city for an impossible length of time. The streets stretch to the haze on the horizon. The drive from Los Angeles to Vista was another shock to my conception of city size. We seemed to drive relatively unimpeded for two hours without leaving the city.

Vista is altogether a different kettle of fish. Pastoral by comparison. We stayed and performed at the house of John and Kim Hornbaecher, an adobe brick house that they built themselves. I found the vegetation fascinatingly different. John proved an excellent source of information on the palms and cacti, as he was on many other topics. That was how we came to be talking of surfing, both John and his son, Jaimal being avid surfers. I really enjoyed an insight into a sport I knew nothing about. It's not for the faint of heart. Very "gnarly"!


Met some very nice people at the house concert, really enjoyed playing the show, and getting a glimpse at how other people live in such a different part of the continent. Thanks to John, Kim and Jaimal for their generosity. I wish them many more evenings of music inside those adobe walls.

The drive back to LA was interesting. We passed roads signs, not unlike deer or moose warnings, depicting a family running across the road. We passed through a Border Patrol checkpoint just south of Orange County. We passed once again into the massive city, and saw street signs that read like a Tom Petty song. There was the stirring of a vicarious thrill.
We met Howard and Roz Larman and taped an interview and performance for their radio show, FolkScene. Once again it was a pleasure to spend time with them. Shows like theirs are essential for folk music to be heard by a world audience. Of course it was also a great deal of fun. Thus ended our Great LA Freeway Tour 2002, Tom Petty edition. We read the signs, we drove by.

An evening flight out of Los Angeles and a rainy arrival at SeaTac airport in Seattle. I think at this point the idea of sleeping many hours in a row occurred to us and we proceeded to do just that. Our host Janet Stecher probably assumed we were hibernating and her co-op house was a pleasant and welcoming place. We were shepherded around Seattle by Janet, who had a knack for finding naturally amplified places to sing. The Conservatory in Veteran's Park and the Train Station downtown were two particularly lovely spaces. The house concerts were a joy as was our evening singing with Rebel Voices and friends. It's a good singing city…Seattle.

Bellingham brought us to within striking distance of the border and both Dave and I were lifted to see the signs for Vancouver. First to a fine house concert in Bellingham, in the common area of a co-housing project. I unexpectedly renewed acquaintances with Erin Corday, a singer songwriter from the area. Thanks to Rob and Terri Lopresti for arranging the gig and for offering to show me the bar where Ted Bundy, the Hillside Strangler and the alleged Sniper all had a drink at one time or another. (We didn't make it, but thanks for the offer!) Thanks to all at Co-Housing for their generous hospitality.

Dave and I spent the trip back to Seattle for the second house concert watching the signs for Canada disappear in the rear view mirrors. Our time in Seattle had been filled with our visit with Janet and our performances, and it somehow managed to seem both leisurely and over too soon. Many thanks are owed to Janet for opening up her home and taking us in. I look forward to returning and seeing more of Seattle. Perhaps when the sun is out.

Dave and I were soon retracing our steps on an almost empty bus heading north. After a couple of hours we crossed back into Canada in a steady rain under heavy grey clouds.


back home

all photos by David except of David (DC)



 

Kate and Steve

Outside

Sally and David, Berkely. DC

Adobe house

John and the Pacific

Night flight from Losangeles

Seattle audience

Terri and Rob




Dave on the bus

 

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