Making the very best of it.

MARK SCHOSSOW yupduluth@msn.com
Tue Feb 21 13:51:06 EST 2012


   This is a story of a very special evening.A small gift about how we did music in the north arrowhead of MN.It is the only gift I can afford,or express my appreciation to the players and characters of the Blues list.Maybe they will be able to sit back and place themselves as if watching from just above us.This,once again how we did it.
Let me introduce them to you all.
     First there was "John boy" Wallen,a blond,long haired man of round face,quick smile and our guitar player.He is gone now,taken by cancer way to young.I know his spirit smiles down on the woods he worked in.His brother Kieth, our banjo player,"Grandpa" Ron Thole,long of arm,and legs who played the spoons and played The beat off anything he could get to ,and probably the best on vocals.He still resides  at the head of the pass,between Everett and Fenske lake on the Echo.Mathew " Beans"  Berlin on jug ,a hard core charecter,fellow warrior of mine,hallways ready to fight the good fight whenever the American way, and coldwarrior to da bone Also gpne from cancer Took 3 bouts an 20 yrs do it .Tory Jorgenson,pure Finn,and direct descendent of original homesteaders of the area.He be our fiddle player."Crazy Jack" Alexander ,escapee from the Cook county jail,from Chi town way On saw.Erwin " the flying Finn from Elly, Minn" Laitela on his self made " Clogaphone and "Boogie Board"who played music with his freet,His folk were original homesteaded but in some months his father was a professor of literature,out South Carolina.And lastly my own damned self and I.played  a customized wash tub bass and did vocals with Grandpa,John boy, and Kieth.
  This is a story of one evening that will stick in my mind forever.A magic evening.Some of the last old growth,red and white pine lay on our route,with the  ocazional Timber wolf.And Winter and Ivory,my Arctic Wolves.s,who hung wit me.
,       Around 1974 around valentine's day,everyone I knew needed a dance and music.As most folk were shackhappy.
Our friend Johnboy had a one ton truck with a flatbed on the back.We gathered ourselves,Johns girl Betty Boop drove with Relaxing Jackson who withRolf,kept her company while,  as the Vermillion River  Varmits, our jugband/folk and Bluegrass combo,played in the open air on the back.. And took off up the Echo trail.a 60 mile road that winds and twists,north from ely to buyck mn.to the port of entry at south of Crane lake.
      It was a surreal evening that transended most february evenings.It was windless,a balmy 20 ° and it were snowin large flakes that seemed to dance around us as we gathered on the back of the truck with our instruments,a quart of jack ands 16 gallon barrel of beer.Schmidt's,I believe.
       As we crept up the Echo Trail we played our sometimes outa key,but no matter how good or bad we were,we each in turn would start a song,about something we each felt or moved us,then the next would do his ditty to meld with the previous musician till we figured we had accplished a song.It all fit in somehow,and we knew we were havin fun.And with no critics,we were each one of us the best of our univerrse,Which at that timeless
moment,was the Echo Trail and the radiance of each one of us,that though we were individuals,We were also one.The ride took 4 hours
And every minute is still burned onto my fiber I called a brain.Whenever it was someones turn,the next person would bring up the words that fit.This was  just that what was.
We did this fer 4hrs.Every once in a while we would stop the truck an not havin any others on the road we would all stand  a  at the top of a falls or cut  logs to cross where spring melt   washed out the road.Maybe play to a family of moose,maybe a wolf.The moon behind the snowcloud was as bright as day.I have never had an expirien ced anything before or since.Betty did a great job driving so it was like floating or flowing, twisting on the road.Playing varmit music.OhGod,I know that was a once. Of a lifetime.I wish U coulda given that feeling,that expierienced to the people. I have loved,wrote a song for,give to the beautiful women I have known  who shared that with me,the expietience of  they're body.The best gift The good lord can give us is those once in a lifetime memories.Thanks God,for that night.
       The Varmits just seemed to show in Buyck,the Echo,Grandpa Tholes Blueberry Blowouts.No letters and the only call, bein intuition.Once I gotta pulling feeling and made my way from the Honduren-Nicurauguan border,had r&r coming,and hitched,drove,rode buses,jumped trains flew through '5 Countries and made my way to the VRT,or Vermilion River Tavern,and wen I got their,all the people who were on the truck that ride,that evening were sitten on the benches in front of the VRT.All had this smile on their faces and Erwin and John both remarked As to "what took ya so long?" Thumper,there.?I got they're on my friends3rd beer.I hollered out "I knew it!I just knowed it,y'all was gonna have a blowout!!! I felt a calling.Lets dig lup  the birch beer (a conncocion of birch sap and burried below frozen earth and above the permafrost where it fermented),that even cut with stab -n- kill (cabin still) could make paul bunyons ox Babe wretch and puke out the small intestine and shit out the large one.But when all else was gone,sufficed.That was what we drove into.The beginning of the particular blowout.No lightweights allowed.
     This particular one was for the new fire engine fer to replace the old one which,ironically,started on fire and burned to the ground.
     There were folk up that that very rarely come out of the woods,and even the lifelong residents of Buyck don't even know em by a nickname.These folk saw no reason to show the latest generations anything of this world of wars and deprivation that was what of was.A bit inbred these folk,who never came out 'cept for a blowout,if one of them mite of heard of it.
    Curious that no bush pilot,workers of the forest circus,or canoeist who preferred  odd routes,never saw sine of them.They just drifted out.
    They played and sang to their own callings.They matched none of what anyone had ever heard,on instruments like none anyhad seen nor heard of.
      The children were wild as any badger, and closely watched,as were their women.We welcomed them,though none asked.The scent was aboot 3 miles past bad.I only mention them as members of the blowout.A curiosity.The idea was to have as much fun without dyingNot sticky nose inta       no-ones business,
     I write this story for the people of the list.The good folk who have put up with my Gonzo style challenges,political pundits,sarcasm,Mega satire that I hope makes people challenge they're opinions as to the realities of the world.If you enjoy this conglamerationsof words.Its about music,the people that they say only thru their music  their emotions,which they never thru their words,evpress themselves.It is my way of showing my gratitude.I want you to know that thru some serious and terminal illness,that the list was my only outlooks and ability to express such.These writings in the forums sustained me.People who reached outto me,and advised me mistakes I had made in the trueisms that I misunderstood.That learned myself,that I had much in common, that when I was writing satyrically an in my Gonzo type style,that pissed people off,and that is why I had such in common.I was writing that style that offended folk,because I Was so offended myself!!!
       I wrote psy-ops for an not to be named part of the Dept.of state.From 1965-present.Words  can and do start war,and end it.It may make those that hate us,understand our motives,and mistakes,and write programs and institute them,for sometimes our actions may only be forgiven,by actions to prove our compassion for situations we had no part in starting,but sure as shit ended attacks on our people,with retribution.Vengeance is mine sayeth the
s,         lord.Revenge be ours sayth the people.So thank you,people on the list.For laughing with me ,and at me.I thank God for the friends I have met and that touched heart and soul when we reached out to me,at the same time as was I reached out to them.Do not change.For to strive for perfection,is to come to an end.You cannot pass further than that.I show my condition when I am ridiculed or to receive correction.I hate T.V.I do not listen to news.I am going blind and am behind on current Blues news.Don't know Ricci Lee was killt by her jailer.Gatemouth s death,They and others I have been made a fool of,for not knowing they passed.They remained alive to me because they remain alive to me thru they're music.Remember....most talk want to preserve the works of those whos physical is no more,I can take any sarcasm you may throw,of my ignorence.I know, if used by myself,I am able to take good care of any ten times over.But my intentions are to never use that against my fellow citizens.I do not feel I have never intended to be cruel.My spelling is better than the speech to text bullshit I'll surly insult.I do not mind being corrected.Sony if On wrong or "ignernt"Play the cruelty card on me,then you enjoy that shit.I will not play it back.I am most definitally capeble of winning any word game.But thank god I am only what I can be wen I want to.I now know how P.Dub felt when a hurtful person had informed him about Etta had passed wen he announced her death prematurely because of a piece of wrong intention was cruel.It only could have Been to hurt him.P.Dub is my Blues History God.Tho I learn from you all.He da man.Thank you all for letting me tell a story about our music in da nort woods nortt of da nort woods.
      Fer 50 years
                   Thumper
 A note on the vermilion river tavern It was built at the turn of the ceantry.It was a sauna and washtubs,a bar and postoffice and meals,upstairs was 6"cribs"and a whorehouse still probably same rooms,cardboard dressers and squeekiest beds ya ever heard. Up till the early 90's you could stlill vet a sauna,a room and towels for -7.00 bucks.If ya got up in the am and walked down to the bar and swept up and cleaned the tables and. Bar off you could make itself something to eat and hair of the dog..Jim Punkiwucs owner of the very,lost his mom and 2 sister's to cancer.his dad would die of a broken heart.The


-----Original Message-----

From: Jimmy Jacobs
Sent: 20 Feb 2012 15:36:02 GMT
To: BLUES-L@LISTSERV.NETHELPS.COM
Subject: SBC: Family tradition: Love of music lives on in W.C. Handy's         great-nephew, Ron Handy

Little blues content but this may be of interest to some on the L.  Ron is a
talented musician and teacher.



http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20120220/LIFESTYLE/202200305/Fam
ily-tradition-Love-music-lives-W-C-Handy-s-great-nephew-Ron-Handy?odyssey=mo
d|lateststories






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