Monday, September 28, 2009
Happy Birthday, Eberle!!
As you’ll continue to see right here on Robert Frost's Banjo, I like folks born around this time of year; September & October are two of my favorite months, & always have been, & some of the best people I've known have been born this time of year. But of all the wonderful September people I’ve known (both Virgos & Libras, for the astrologically-minded), none has been more wonderful to know than Eberle Umbach.
I’ve known Eberle for a good long while—we first met in 1984 in Charlottesville, at a party at the house of writer George Garrett. We remained good friends throughout much of the 1980s, having many marathon conversations about things ranging from courtly love & religion to the French Revolution & poetry; we sure smoked a lot of cigarettes during those! Ah well.
For various reasons we fell out of touch at the end of the decade, with me moving to San Francisco & Eberle ultimately moving to Brazil where she spent a few years in the interior living on a farm. We got back in touch in 1996, & a whole new phase of my life began—a phase that involved music & country living & the kind of true companionship I’d mostly missed until that time. The subsequent years—despite the ups & downs that inevitably come to us all—have been very happy & filled with amazing collaborations, especially on the musical front, from our first days playing music together in my San Francisco apartment to our most recent show at the Alpine Playhouse earlier this month. We’ve been companions thru a succession of bands, various farming ventures, lots of fun road trips (short & long—practically everything’s a road trip when you live in Indian Valley), & thru good & bad times.
Words can only say so much—so I’m adding a little slideshow I think Eberle will enjoy—& hope you will too. The background music is me singing a very old tune called “Green, Green Rocky Road,” which Eberle tells me is her favorite of the songs I perform; the pictures are ones we took of an old homestead just about a half mile down the road from us. It’s one of Eberle’s favorite spots, & tho it’s dilapidated (even more so now than when these pix were taken!) it still captures her imagination.
So hope you, our wonderful cyber friends also enjoy this little virtual party! Happy Birthday, Sweet Pea, & many, many happy returns!