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Spectrum magazine’s slogan, “Community through conversation” perfectly summarizes this heady week in Elko. It has been one non-stop conversation, through poetry and song, through all day and late night conversations with our many new friends. We’ve talked about what brought us here, about this culture that not only values family, traditions, and the holiness of everyday life—but has a passionate need to capture the stories, remember the dead, ask the big questions, and honor the small moments.
Dance is also part of this culture, but something that’s never been a part of my life. But we decided to step outside our comfort zones and signed up for a beginner’s class in East coast swing. Over a hundred people showed up in the old high school gymnasium and valiantly attempted to learn the basic steps—at over 5,000 feet elevation!
The Western Folklife Center has been home-away-from-home this week, and where everyone gathers between shows for conversation, music, and a variety of demonstrations. After lunch at the picturesque Stray Dog Saloon, we ended up back at the center just as a knot-tying demonstration was happening around the fireplace alcove. We took turns at the computer (which we set up on top of the piano). As Anne wrote, I marveled at the magician-like skills of the demonstrator.
A chance encounter with Australian poet Milton Taylor last night brought us to a session entitled “Poetry in Everyday Life,” where his recitation of the poem “Somebody’s Darling” (pictured reciting, below) literally had me sobbing. Poets John Dofflemyer and Joel Nelson read poems ranging from their experiences as Vietnam Vets to an ode written to a wife of thirteen years. Linda Hussa from Cedarville, CA, read poems from her book that told stories about growing up in California’s most northeastern corner, and her family’s relationships with the Indians at the local rancheria.
Then on to another Members’ Show, courtesy of our press passes, and an absolutely side-splitting session with old timers Pat Richardson and Glenn Ohrlin (pictured), who had a way with telling tall tales that had us holding our sides for an hour. They were followed by the band Hot Club of Cowtown from Austin (pictured, below), Texas, whose energetic performance literally had the entire auditorium pulsing to their rhythms.
By late afternoon we were not only starved but exhausted, and decided to give our tickets for the next show to a friend, have an early dinner, and head on over to a party at a private home to which we’d been invited while talking to locals John and Janice at the Everyday Life session. Elko resident Sara Sweetwater opens her home during Gathering week and runs a western version of a salon; her graciousness made us feel right at home, and we literally gawked at her eclectic home overflowing with the gatherings of a lifetime spent traveling and collecting art, both folk and fine. Fiddlers, guitar players and singers took turns entertaining the guests, and we hated to leave.
But the Friday night dance still loomed, and Hot Club of Cowtown was playing. We showed up early for a little refresher from swing instructors Nancy Kern and Kraig Sundberg. As the hall filled, we were truly awestruck watching dancers who were either very, very good, or who had been dancing together for a very long time—or both.
Then back once again to the Center, for more conversation and music as musicians gathered to jam after their shows. Elko is apparently a town that never sleeps; after the Center finally closed down (long, long after my usual bedtime!), it was off to a venue across the street called Wild Women that had been recommended. Part local watering hole and part art gallery, the jamming and chatting continued late into the night.
Laura took mercy on me this morning and let me sleep in. I rolled out of bed showered in record time and we were literally dancing by 10 a.m.! Laura and one of our new friends, Marty, partnered up and I got paired with a young, gentleman Cowboy named Cade from Cedar City, Utah. We did pretty darn good I thought. I told him learning to dance would become the best “pick up line” a young man could ever develop. He beamed and I could tell he thought that was a pretty good deal. We worked up a healthy appetite that we fed at the Stray Dog Saloon and then I discovered that I CAN write in the middle of several dozen people sitting on a piano bench!
Poetry in Everyday Life was all that the name conjures, an intimate setting with no fancy backdrops, just good “conversation”. One of the themes brought up was the keynote address earlier in the week by Sandra Day O’Connor that talked about growing up on a ranch and the need to get back to the basics of life and take care of business. The keynote address generally sets the tone for the Gathering and this one surely did. Something that resonated with me was that even one man’s life is important and should not be forgotten. That is exactly what these four poets do. I don’t generally speak up at these conversation style sessions but was moved to do so and I guess I must have said something eloquent as they closed the show with my statement and we again made new friends as both one of the poets and local John Collette introduced themselves and we ended up with a personal invitation to Sara Sweetwater’s home to see the “real poetry of Elko”. John conducts the ranch tours here during the Gathering and he was very interested in continuing our dialog later in relationship to the agritours I do on my family ranch.
We ran a little late getting to the Members show with Pat Richardson, Glenn Ohrlin and the Hot Club of Cowtown ( I could write a whole article on this talented, sassy group of musicians) and I confess to being on mental overload (again!) and could not remember the theme of this particular show, but it did not take me but a moment to realize that it was the best comedy show I had ever been to. To describe Glenn, who must be at least an octogenarian, would take more words than I have here, but his aged, milky eyes still twinkled and his snaggle teeth lent a character that was unforgettable. We bumped into him later at dinner and had the privilege of thanking him for his show. When we said we almost peed our pants with laughter he stated, “You mean a tear ran down your leg?” Need I say more?
After a literally-inhaled steak and potatoes to refuel we headed back to the hotel for another wardrobe change and followed our directions to Sara’s home. This eclectic woman had photographers at the door where a pictorial guest registration was recorded for posterity. We again met new friends, one of which joined us at the dance and twirled me around the dance floor for several hours until we were both exhausted but filled to the brim with laughter.
Laura has summarized the rest of the very late night so well that I could not possibly add anything more, unless it is to say again that we have not met a stranger here since we pulled into town.
"Another World" by Antony & The Johnsons from the Another World EP. Video directed by Colin Whitaker.
I need another place
Will there be peace?
I need another world
This one's nearly gone
Still have too many dreams
Never seen the light
I need another world
A place where I can go
I'm gonna miss the sea
I'm gonna miss the snow
I'm gonna miss the bees
Miss the things that grow
I'm gonna miss the trees
I'm gonna miss the sun
I miss the animals
I'm gonna miss you all
I need another place
Will there be peace?
I need another world
This one's nearly gone
I'm gonna miss the birds
Singing all their songs
I'm gonna miss the wind
Been kissing me so long
Today's Fresh Air interview with Antony Hegarty.
"Abide With Me" was written by Anglican divine Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) while he was dying of tuberculosis. He composed it after his final service and died two weeks later.
He also wrote this tune for it, although it's usually sung to "Eventide," composed by William H. Monk in 1861.
H.F. Lyte's poem "Abide With Me," read with text.
(The final image in the video, Abide with Me" was painted by Pio Ximenes c. 1916.) h/t SpokenVerse.
Here's Mahalia Jackson singing "Abide With Me" from The Power And The Glory, recorded in 1960.
The first in a planned series of posts by Doug Morgan on N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope – the text for Eighth Annual Spring Discussion Series on readings in Christian social thought, conducted by the Columbia Union College Department of Religion, in collaboration with the Adventist Peace Fellowship.
Many of us were “surprised by hope” during the recent presidential election. On the several occasions in which I have heard Adventists – somewhat uncharacteristically – publicly celebrate a development in the political realm, cautions have quickly and quite correctly been added about not confusing the hope surprisingly engendered by the election of Barack Obama with the ultimate hope in the second advent of Christ on which the Adventist faith centers.
What I haven’t heard is anything establishing positive connections between the hope for limited, temporary progress that may be achieved by people of good will in sinful human society and the hope for the great and total transformation to the “new heavens and new earth” brought about by Christ alone. The two hopes seem to run on separate tracks, with little bearing on each other, other than the latter perhaps inhibiting the investment of too much aspiration or energy in the former.
In Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright, the prolific New Testament scholar and Anglican bishop, challenges us rethink the relationship between our “blessed hope” for the final things of heaven and the resurrection and the mission of the church....
In other words, he challenges us to the possibility of a vital, dynamic connection between apocalyptic hope and action for a better world here and now. And, in case anyone might be already be ready to dismiss the challenge with the thought, “Here we go again, ‘social gospel’ vs. evangelism and individual conversion,” I can assure you that Wright blasts through such tired categories.
Put another way, in terms with a familiar Adventist ring but of current interest in wider Christian circles, Surprised by Hope challenges us to think anew about what it means to be a “mission-shaped church” with an “eschatologically-shaped mission.”
So, why not get a copy and read along with the group meeting at Columbia Union College for eleven Wednesday evenings, beginning January 28 (Copies available at 32% discount through Peace Pursuits – APF’s Amazon-linked online bookstore). And, if you join the discussion by commenting in response the weekly posts (and to other responders), everyone will be enriched.
We’re beginning with Chapter 1, “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go?” and Chapter 2, “Puzzled About Paradise,” for January 28.
First, in the interests of full disclosure: N.T. Wright and John Howard Yoder stand in a class by themselves as the foremost literary guides in my own quest over the past thirty years to work through my heritage of Seventh-day Adventist Christianity and re-formulate for myself a faith upon which I can stake my life.
Part of the significance I find in Wright’s work comes in the form of affirmation. It is gratifying when one of the world’s most influential biblical scholars says, “the idea that every human possesses an immortal soul, which is the ‘real’ part of them, finds little support in the Bible” (28), and much else along these lines that moves in the direction of Adventist teaching and against concepts long-cherished in the dominant Christian traditions.
Such affirmations would trigger little debate among Adventists. However, instances of the three other, and more profound, types of significance in relation to Adventism that I have found in the bishop’s writings most likely will.
Wright has brought me welcome resolution to theological difficulties that not all Adventists will receive with similarly open arms. For example, what and exactly where, in a post-Copernican universe, is “heaven”? Check out Wright’s explanation on pages 18-19 and throughout the book. For me it underscores the transcendent reality of heaven without requiring suspension of what little I grasp from the explosion of knowledge about “the starry heavens above.”
I also find in Wright expansion of the core truth in Adventist doctrines, sometimes in ways that may appear to conflict with less fundamental concepts. In the first two chapters of Surprised by Hope, Wright introduces a running critique of “evacuation theology” in which the Christian hope is presented as Christ taking believers away from this world to heaven (22-26). And nothing could be clearer both from the Bible and Adventist teachings that the salvation story concludes with the descent of the holy city from heaven to an earth made new. What then of the millennium, and other scripture passages that apparently to refer to the saved being taken to heaven? And, what difference, if any, does it all make for life in the present? Wright has much to say that that richly informs discussion on these matters.
Part of the discussion will have to do with where Wright’s conclusions are in contradiction to Adventist understandings of biblical teaching. I think there are substantial points in Surprised by Hope where this is the case. I won’t get into specifics here, but simply note here neither this nor any of the books we select for this series is put forward as unassailable or authoritative or having been screened for “objectionable” content. Rather, we present it as worthy of discussion, perhaps even unavoidable, for Adventists serious about following the way of Jesus in our time.
Finally, a recommendation for getting the gist of Wright’s argument expressed with a fervency and power that the printed page cannot as fully convey: download or listen to his sermon “The Roots, Basis, and Fruits of the Christian Hope,” preached at St. Aldate’s on January 6, 2008. And, for much more in the way of full-text articles, lectures, sermons, as well as links to audio/video recordings, visit the N.T. Wright Page.
It took much of Thursday morning to edit photos and compile our thoughts about the previous day. Fortunately our first event wasn’t until 1:00 pm: a Members-only (of the Western Folklife Center) show billed as the Pauly Wally Doodle Show, with legendary poets Paul Zarzinsky and Wally McCrae. Not only did our press passes get us into this exclusive show, the seats were front row, center; we found ourselves seated next to Wally’s wife and daughter! Between poems and good-natured ribbings, these two old friends covered the gamut. Everyday life, facing death, the ranch, and family were continuous threads.
We stopped for a quick bite at the Flying Fish, what has to be the only Sushi bar/Thai/Italian restaurant and steakhouse that I have ever heard of! The sushi was great, and the place was packed!
Then on to another sold-out show with Cowboy Celtic from Alberta, Canada, where our press passes again provided entrée. A pair of local bagpipe players opened the show, then, accompanied by Celtic harp, a narrator told the history and connections between the drovers of Scotland and what we today know as the cowboy culture of the American West. Their music interwove old ballads with new songs; the content had ancient and haunting roots. Again, life and death, battles and tragedies, fate and God’s hand were present in the lyrics. Liz Masterson (“Songbird of the Sage,”) and a friend of the band, asked if I could send them photos of the production—which was beautifully staged—no other press were covering this show!
We stopped briefly to take in a show of fine-art saddle- and gear-makers, western clothing and jewelry. Styling is an important part of this culture, too!
Back at the Western Folklife Center to connect with the only working wifi in town…the central gathering place, the Pioneer Saloon, was so packed that we setup the computer on a little table in a corner of the ladies room downstairs (“Are you in line?” “No, just online!”) A lovely fiddle player, too shy to jam upstairs with the pros, tuned up her fiddle and treated us to a song in the acoustics of the tiled ladies room. We joked, “Live, from the ladies room at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada…” as amused women passed us by on their way in and out.
This shot from the Convention Center proves we’re not the only ones making new friends this week...
Reports sent and e-mails answered, we nabbed two chairs at a table upstairs with Australian poet and sheep-shearer Milton Taylor and Cam and Donabell (DB), a retired couple from Pennsylvania here for their fifth time. It didn’t take long for the conversation to transition into reciting favorite scriptures once Cam and I discovered our mutual family roots in the United Brethren faith.
Then Marty, Jeannette and Gary—our new friends from—gosh, was it just yesterday?—showed up. Marty had been thinking about the question we’d posed about spirituality in cowboy poetry and culture and shared his thoughts, along with the admission that he came back every year because this event, both the poetry and the people, filled a deep spiritual need. As we listened to the musicians from Hot Club of Cowtown jam late into the night, we continued what seems to be the local tradition here of swapping tales, sharing lives, and having the kind of deep conversations reminiscent of college dorm days: What’s your story? Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life? What role does God play in your life? And now, time for bed, if we’re going to make it through tomorrow’s packed schedule!
CALIMESA, California – Pastor Chris Oberg of the Calimesa Seventh-day Adventist Church announced today that she will accept a call to serve as senior pastor of the La Sierra University Church in Riverside, California. Oberg will be the first woman to serve as senior pastor of an Adventist university church.
The announcement came at the end of the Sabbath worship hour. After delivering the sermon to a packed church, Oberg revealed that she had received and accepted an invitation to return to La Sierra where she served as associate pastor before coming to Calimesa. With tears, she acknowledged that her positive reception at Calimesa, a church of 1,200 members near Loma Linda, played a role in her historic appointment to the La Sierra University Church. She thanked the church for embracing her ministry over the past four years. She cited the openness of a college church to hire a female senior pastor and the opportunity to serve in an academic environment as two factors that led to her acceptance of the call.
Oberg received a standing ovation as she left the platform.
Oberg will succeed pastor Dan Smith, who resigned as senior pastor of the La Sierra University Church to become Southeastern California Conference’s Specialist in Creative Evangelism. In addition to his focus on evangelism for the SECC, Smith also joined with The Quiet Hour, an Adventist evangelistic broadcast media and publishing organization based in Southern California.
See press release.
Trained in dietetics, Oberg sensed God’s calling to ministry and left her career as a maternal and infant nutritionist to pursue a BA degree in religion from La Sierra University. While studying at La Sierra, she served on the pastoral staff of the university church. Oberg subsequently competed a master's of arts degree in religious studies in 2005. After completing her master’s degree at La Sierra, Oberg received a call to Calimesa to replace Derek Morris, who transferred to the Forest Lake Church in Apopka, Florida.
Oberg was honored by the La Sierra University Alumni Association during the 2007 alumni weekend (along with Spectrum editor Bonnie Dwyer and five others).
Oberg’s appointment as senior pastor of the La Sierra University Church is an historic step forward for advocates of full equality for women ministers.
On March 16, 2000, the Southeast California Conference Executive Committee voted to give male and female pastors equal credentials. During the Southeast California Conference Quadrennial Session in October of this year, a report revealed that women currently comprise 8.5% of all pastors in SECC (down from a peak of 12%). Of the 19 women pastors that serve in SECC, only two are senior pastors--Chris Oberg, and Hyveth Williams of the Campus Hill Church in Loma Linda.
Chris Oberg is married to Kerby Oberg who teaches pathology and anatomy at Loma Linda University. They have two daughters who attend La Sierra University.
For more on the history of Adventist women in ministry, please visit the following links from the Spectrum archives:
We are beginning to realize that an impoverishment of the imagination means an impoverishment of the religious life as well...Good and evil appear to be joined in every culture at the spine, and as far as the creation of a body of fiction is concerned, the social is superior to the purely personal. Somewhere is better than anywhere. And traditional manners, however unbalanced are better than no manners at all. - Flannery O'Connor, The Catholic Novelist in The Protestant South
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still. - Ronald Reagan, "Farewell Address"
The struggle to see how things could be better despite what they are lies at the heart of the moral imagination, an artistic approach to ethics. An exercise of moral imagination requires us to engage with reality but to also place ourselves in the moral world of others. It is this 'ethical perception' which prompted Shelley in A Defense of Poetry to write “A man to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination...”
However, before one can assume moral agency, self-awareness is required: the ability to be conscious of our thoughts, honest about our motivations and also the ability to realize that other people are also capable of such. This ability to be conscious of one's own thinking process, or indeed the feeling that thinking itself is worthwhile, must lie at the core of any moral deliberation. The death of consciousness leaves us in a state approaching that of philosophical zombies: submerged in a vat of acute solipsism where self-righteous is allowed to drown self awareness. Perhaps the greatest enemies of this moral discourse are dogmatism and ideology which ultimately detach ethics from the way life is actually lived and rob us of an opportunity to explore the workings of our own ethical sphere. When this restrictive framework is applied at a national level, the cost of a suppressed moral imagination becomes clear.
Perhaps the greatest example of the deteriorated imagination is the way many self-proclaimed American conservatives view the nature of their country. In their continuing deification of the American persona, however they have constructed it, they have chosen to ignore that America's fatal flaws are often bound up with its virtue. This is not an adoption of the cynical position which argues that America can neglect its responsibilities; instead this is a recognition of the corrupting, if not corrosive effect of power which is untethered, a concept which conservatives claim via Acton. One of the great contradictions of this positions is that it is conservatism which, to loan a term, has a 'constrained view' of human nature but doesn't necessarily extend this to any human institution but the government. However instead of seeking to provide nuance and prudence to the national debate, conservatives have become the same giddy-headed true believers who merely fall back into their own little private universes. Thus we end up with a situation where those who are ostensibly committed to standing athwart history yelling "Stop!" have succumbed to the hubris which results from believing in the cosmic righteousness of one's own causes. Therefore a split is granted between the irredeemable state which must be starved and the infallible nation which, via military spending, must be fed by all means. As a result of this romanticism of the military, conservatives consider Medicare and Social Security as threats to freedom, with a line leading straight from grandma's pharmacy down to the Gulag but then don't lose any sleep over Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay
In the fifties, Niebuhr saw conservative imperialism and conservative isolationism (what is now dubbed paleoconservatism, best personified by Pat Buchanan) both as stemming from corrupted nineteenth century liberalism in that they were premised on the attainment of perfection, perhaps laying bare the malignant roots of neoconservatism. Niebuhr considered modern conservatism to be torn between imperialism and isolationism, between "sentimentality and cynicism." Progress is to be resisted not necessarily because it may lead to disaster but because what is, or was, is already perfect. This dichotomy isn't limited to international relations; there is a thin line, believe it or not, between those who believe in the inevitability of the Communist society and those who believe in the perfection of the markets. (Years ago, Hoffer pointed out, using the example of Saint Paul, that it's often the same people who vacillate between the two extremes.) "Even if our democracy were more perfect than it is, religious devotion to democracy would be wrong.... It tempts us to identify the final meaning of life with a virtue which we possess and thus give false and idolatrous religious note to the conflict between democracy and communism."
Conservatism has rightly expressed great skepticism towards the notion of the perfectibility of man, but has replaced it with a stupefying belief in the perfectibility of the nation, which is ostensibly made of men (though they would hasten to add, also preordained by God.) This construction ignores the central argument of Moral Man, Immoral Society where Reinhold Niebuhr argues "In every human group there is less reason to guide and to check impulse, less capacity of self-transcendence, less ability to comprehend the needs of others and therefore more unrestrained ego than the individuals, who compose the group, reveal in their personal relationships." He goes on: "The inferiority of the morality of groups to that of individual is due in part to the difficulty of establishing a rational impulses by which society achieves its cohesion; but in part it is merely the revelation of a collective egoism, compounded of the egoistic impulses of individuals, which achieve a more vivid expression and a more cumulative effect when they are united in common impulse than when they express themselves separately and discreetly." As a result the new conservatism, which claims to be highly individualistic, is profoundly illiberal.
A further irony is that utopian conservatism, which claims individual freedom as not only the most important value but in a sense the only one (in a dramatic distortion of classical liberalism) has no problem is sacrificing that deeply held value for the ends of patriotism, usually the most xenophobic and jingoistic version available. In this construction, supremacy of the state is replaced by the theocracy of the nation; Uncle Sam doesn't want to burden you with the shackles of universal healthcare, but he does want your blood. But this isn't all, in this new conservatism's contempt for the concept of unintended consequences has plunged America into a disastrous war and would promise more, especially since they are fighting, by their own admission, a tactic and not an enemy. They have nationalized the commanding heights of the economy and, in defiance of the Constitution, have concentrated power in a highly centralized, secretive and unaccountable politburo. It was one of the innumerable ironies of American political life that the American presidency most influenced by radical ideologues was a conservative one.
This modern conservatism which tries to spread American values is just as hubristic and dangerous as the other brands of utopianism. What Obama offers is an opportunity to use the means of classical conservatism, which is more temperamental than it is ideological, to serve the ends of, broadly speaking, modern liberalism (perhaps moving one step closer to an Internationale that Kolakowski can finally join.) This does not necessarily require triangulation or accomodationist positions but the boldness to move forward with a liberal agenda while maintaining the humility to question the assumptions and rehearsed responses of this very tradition. What we have seen is that the imposition of democracy is as misguided and malevolent as a coercion into brotherhood. Perhaps in what we hope was its final stand, the new conservatives may have disproved one of their central aphorisms: perhaps extremism in the pursuit of virtue is a vice.
Matt Hunte graduated from the University of the Southern Caribbean in 2005.
Rollin' out of bed after a late night was a little tough for these Cowgirls that generally have a 9 p.m. bedtime! But we rose to the challenge (no pun intended!). While Laura edited photos I showered and then did my write up in my jimmies.
The first show of the day; Pauly, Wally, Doodle with 73 year –old Wallace McRae, a cattle rancher from Montana and Paul “the Polack Poet and bronc rider” formally of Wisconsin and now of Montana, played off of each other like an old married couple. Paul is the Erma Bombeck of Cowboy Poetry with a little Snoop Dog thrown in for fun. And let me tell you he can put a rap star or seasoned auctioneer to shame with his rhythmic speed! Something he said really tickled me, as I deal with the public a lot in my various work. He referred to it as “Crowd Founder”. This is when you just have been over stimulated and need a little down time and boy howdy could I relate to that!
Wallace wove stories so rich and vivid that I just know that I can “see” his ranch and family. One of his stories really touched a cord inside me as he talked about “things of intrinsic value”. These are the “things” in our life that during a death or divorce, family members fight over, not the money or the investments, but Grandma’s wedding ring or Dad’s shotgun. The “things” that are woven into the fabric of our lives and help define who we are. The things we hold dear.
After a wardrobe change and an early dinner, where Laura introduced me to the finer aspects of Sushi, which I like quite well by the way, we got a bit lost looking for the theater at Great Basin College. But after a quick stop for directions from a kind stranger on the street (Oh, yes we have not met a stranger here!) we found it. The Cowboy Celtic show was everything I knew it would be and more. The pipers, locals, Roger McGregor and Bret Cousins gave me chills as only the pipes can do. The harp was haunting and her beautiful voice wove a tapestry. Bring in the guitar, mandolin and the Boren (drum) and the mix of hits from 1592, to more familiar cowboy classics and the experience was completely wonderful.
Probably the real highlight though, was the meeting of new folks and the extending of the friendships with our “old” friends over drinks and wonderful music at the Folklife center. Another very late night for these two gals but Laura was dear and let me sleep late this morning before she drug me off to our dance lesson, but more about THAT tomorrow!