Saturday, January 17, 2009

Musical Questions: Coming Attractions!

My life has been enriched in many ways by my relationship with my wife Eberle; not least among these has been getting to know Eberle’s circle of friends from her earlier McCall, ID days. A number of folks are included in this, but for today, I’ll just talk about tomorrow’s Musical Questions questionee, Caty Clifton, her husband JD Smith, & their son Clifford.

I first met Caty in the late summer of 97; I was still living in San Francisco, but was in Idaho on one of my long weekend getaways. Eberle & Caty & I climbed the round hill to the west of our property—officially known as Sage Hill on US Forest Service maps, but which Eberle has dubbed Weird Hill—because it is. The hill is a large mound ris
ing with rounded slopes & summit right from the bottom land of Thorn Creek & Gray’s Creek; it’s surrounded by pasture land on all sides, tho there are foothills rising not too far to the north & east. I took the pic at the top of this post that day—that’s Caty to the right, with Eberle. As I found out that day, Caty is a great conversationalist—able to converse thoughtfully on subjects ranging from Idaho geology to baroque chamber music to current events to Eastern spirituality; & she’s also a great conversationalist because she’s a good listener, too, & is as able to discuss what’s going on in life as thoughtfully as she can discuss metamorphic schist. In these ways, she’s a lot like her husband, JD, who can tell stories of his involvements in deep south 1960s Civil Rights struggles or talk about baseball or Cajun accordions or any number of other subjects philosophical, cultural & otherwise, & also show a genuine interest in what others bring to the conversation.

Please don’t miss Caty Clifton’s Musical Questions segment tomorrow. She contemplates some interesting notions: why it’s hard to learn the Bodhran, coffee & chapstick rules for flute players, & what does it mean to be a success as an amateur musician? Caty may also be the only card-carrying member of the musician’s union amongst ou
r Musical Questions invitees!

& I’m pretty sure we’ll have a third Musical Questions this month: right now I’m looking at next Saturday in a bit of a twist on the usual schedule. Stay tuned!

In other blog news: I’ll be posting another excerpt from Eberle’s Weiser River Pillow Book on Tuesday morning. In case you missed it, there’s a more information about this work here; also, you can read the first installment (posted in December) at this link. The Pillow Book entries also will be perma-linked on the front page.

In the “ask & ye shall receive category,” I’ve been stumbling across more good poetry blogs. I continue to be captivated by the writing at Radish King; but I also can recommend a couple of poetry blogs that are new to me. Be sure to check out the delightful poetry (& so forth) blog Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes where you can read about everything from fat cats to why poetry criticism may resemble vultures feeding on a wildebeest. A very pleasing blog, both from the standpoint of reading matter & visual presentatio
n by a poet who’s not afraid to rhyme—something I got away from at a point in my writing, but something I’ll always get a kick out of reading—it’s a great opportunity for wit, & that’s something this writer has. I also like poet Ada Limón’s blog—there’s a marvelous poem in a post dated January 11th (as far as I can determine, there’s no way to access the individual link for this post….); & there are some fantastic photos there as well. In addition, Ms Limón offered some of her thoughts on reading & writing poetry recently on the Harriet blog over at These are certainly worth a read, & gave me some things to ponder as I continue the Robert Frost’s Banjo series on Reading Poetry—next installment of that on Monday.

Sooooo—tomorrow morning, Caty Clifton!

The bottom pic shows Caty, flanked by yours truly & good Portland pal & honorary Five & Dime Jazzer David Spencer holding forth on “What’s Goin’ On” at the wedding party for Eberle & me back in 05.


  1. Thanks for sharing what makes your enriched life full and interesting. And the beautiful photo too.

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by & leaving your thoughtful comment.


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