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Happy Mother’s Day!

13 May

Here’s to the Moms out there today!

Here’s my Grandmother, my Dad, and my Uncle:

And here’s my Grandmother, my Mother, and unidentified friends:

My GreatGrandmother, Grandmother, Mother and Sister:

My Sister with her two sons:

And, my Mother-In-Law, with her first son – Froggy!

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!




The Midnight Ramble

21 Apr

This past Thursday – April 19, 2012 – was a very sad day.

The day Mr. Levon Helm lost his battle with cancer.

The Los Angeles Times ran a very nice obituary on Friday…

“…his approach to music throughout his life was “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show,” an ode to the kind of freewheeling gatherings in which the musician, who died of cancer Thursday at 71 in New York, thoroughly reveled.

When your arms are empty, got nowhere to go

Come on out and catch the show

There’ll be saints and sinners you’ll see losers and winners

All kinds of people you might want to know”

…while reading it I was taken back a few years – to May 2008, in fact.

To my experience at Levon’s Midnight Ramble.

From the Ramble’s website:

“A gracious host, Levon invites you to his home studio in Woodstock, N.Y… Inside “The Barn,” which is really a large recording studio attached to Levon’s home, you’ll see a stage, a cozy fireplace and plenty of seating. The ambiance of the place will give you a feeling that is personal and intimate, casual and friendly, and you know you are about to be part of something very special.”

Very special, indeed!

I went with my music pals, M&E, to Woodstock for a Ramble.

Here’s the outside of the “Barn”:

And here are my pals, next to the sign that is the very bane of my existence:

“No Cameras” – how I HATE those words!

I knew that was the rule of the Ramble, so I didn’t take with me my good camera. I took along a little point and shoot – in case it was confiscated, or in case I was told to leave it in the car. And even though I got inside with it, I didn’t dare try to take any pictures during the show.

We were seated so close to Levon, that M (who was seated on the aisle) might have stretched out and touched the drum kit, if he had wanted to!

The Ramble was AWESOME. Levon seemed to have the energy of a 30-year old man, and his nonstop grin lit up the room. The band was tight and incredible and everyone was having a blast – especially the players. Especially the audience.

Especially Froggy.

Froggy was excited about having his picture taken with a couple of the Helmland Security men.

I was kind of hoping to loosen them up so I could sneak a picture or two.

(Now, I totally get it. No one wants flashes during a show, or people standing to to take pictures. But does a discreet snap or two really hurt anyone?)

No, I didn’t take any pictures during that magical performance. But here are a couple I grabbed as the players were leaving the room.

Daughter Amy Helm waving from the drum kit:

And here, you can see a bit more of the barn, and of the upstairs loft:

I always meant to go see another Ramble. It didn’t really occur to me that time was so fleeting…

I am proud to have this Elliott Landy original photograph hanging on my wall:

Isn’t it remarkable and bitterly sad that those three charming, handsome, talented young men on the left are no longer rambling around on this Earth??

Thankfully their music will live on forever and forever.

I know some of us are in The Helm camp – some in The Robertson camp – when it comes to The Last Waltz and the bitter feud that followed… I am simply in The Band camp.

Happy, thankful to have photographs to gaze upon, movies to watch, music in my soul, memories to cherish… I close today with:



Froggy Goes To DC

25 Feb

Froggy wants to tell you about his trip to Washington DC.

He LOVED it there!!

He only spent a long weekend, and he jam-packed it with monuments, museums and mouth-watering good eats!

He felt great patriotic pride, and he was in awe of the history and splendor.

One of the first places he headed to was the International Spy Museum.


He was duly impressed by the miniature weapons, cameras and other concealable spy devices – just the right size for a frog.

He ate at Ben’s Chili Bowl – YUM!

It was a little messy, but he managed to not drip a drop of chili on his clothes.

He tells me not to forget to mention The National Gallery of Art.

And – here’s a little quiz for you – who can guess where Froggy is in this picture??

Froggy had one heck of a time! In fact, he wants to go back real soon…


SAllan (and Froggy!)

Today Elvis would have been 77 – A Remembrance By Froggy

8 Jan

Elvis was born on this day – 77 years ago – in 1935.

Happy birthday, Elvis!

Froggy, here. I took over today’s blog, because I LOVE Elvis!

I had the great pleasure of visiting Graceland. I’ll show you some photographic proof, I will!

Here’s The King’s living room.

and here I am in his living room!

Elvis had this wonderful playroom – just imagine! THREE TVs!!

I could have stayed here all day…

Elvis’s room with walls and walls of gold records was mesmerizing!

After this swell visit to Graceland, I also went to Sun Studio, where Elvis made his great first recordings.

I even got to pose in front of a couple of his guitars!

To celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday today, my friend Steve Forbert is offering a FREE download of his band performing live a ROCKING version of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ – just by going here.

It’s FREE and it’s GREAT and it’s a WONDERFUL tribute to Elvis by my friend Steve Forbert.

“This is the rockabilly version of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ that Elvis never recorded,” says Steve.

Yay for Elvis , Yay for Steve!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programing.

I’m going to go listen to ‘Heartbreak Hotel’!



A Day In The Life Of Froggy In New York City

5 Nov

Froggy has been mentioned here before.

You’ve maybe seen a picture or two…

But, he’s never quite been featured.

And he’s not really happy about that.

In fact, he recently let it be known that he’s quite displeased.

VERY displeased.

You see, Froggy feels very important in our household.

After all, he was with Hubby’s Mom when she was in the hospital, when Hubby was born (see Froggy on her bedside table?).

(Froggy just tried to get me to type “Oh so very long ago” up there on the last line, but I refused! That’s the kind of trouble-maker Froggy can be.)

Back to our tale… Froggy has been a big part of Hubby’s world ever since.

So, at Froggy’s suggestion, he is featured here today – A Day In The Life.

First, he pretends to catch a train to the big city.

His destination? Grand Central Terminal.

After a few minutes of people-watching there, he hastens over to Times Square.

Froggy likes the hustle and bustle, he does.

He wanders around. He’s not really a tourist, but sometimes he acts like one.

Froggy is in awe of those tall buildings.

Froggy doesn’t know any strangers – to him, they are only people (or frogs) that he has not yet met.

On an average day, he meets many new friends.

Like this astronaut.

“Hiya! Hiya! Hiya!”

After all of this excitement, Froggy wants to take a lunch break.

His favorite food?

Pizza, of course!

Yum – that was tasty!

Froggy licks his lips, and is ready for more adventure.

He heads into Toys-R-Us.

And almost gets devoured  by a giant dinosaur!

Froggy, DUCK!

Whew – close call!

After this traumatic encounter, Froggy wants to sit for a while and just be pampered.

After all, it’s what any frightened frog deserves.

So, he settles down and waits for a shoe shine.

Scurrying away from those Jaws Of Death caused Froggy to scuff the toes of his shoes.

And that, my friends, is a day in the life of a frog named Froggy.



P.S. Froggy insists that I add – “in New York City.”

“A day in the life of a frog named Froggy in New York City.”

Because, he HAS been other places…

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land

4 Jul

Woody Guthrie said it best, from 1956:

This land is your land

This land is my land

From California

To the New York Island

From the redwood forest

To the gulf stream waters

This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking a ribbon of highway

I saw above me an endless skyway

I saw below me a golden valley

This land was made for you and me.

Here are some Americana pictures that Froggy and I took along our ventures:

Happy 4th, everyone. Be safe, and send good thoughts to our military with hopes that they come home soon.


SAllan and Froggy

Dads Heart Mermaids

19 Jun

I was all ready to do a Father’s Day blog today – with classic photos of my Dad, and touching stories and memories, joyful and tearful.

But then, I thought – this is supposed to be *For* Dads, not necessarily *About* Dads.

Hence – today’s topic – yesterday’s Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade:

I took my stance in front of Nathan’s. Watched as the parade members began to gather.

Beer Can Boys and the Band

some of the guys

and some of the media

This mermaid just can’t…put…the…cell…phone…down…

A pole dancer being driven to “the starting gate”

Froggy was VERY excited!

and The Parade begins!

The Queen Mermaid and The King Neptune ride by:

and lots of nearly naked people

Here’s that mermaid again, this time sans phone

Here’s a little something for the ladies:

Sorry! Definitely there was more eye-candy for the guys…

Here’re some little, glitter-tossing mermaids

Froggy is having the time of his life!

Watching the big mermaids

More mermaids

The Naked Cowgirl wouldn’t miss it!

Nor would Sea Haw And The Sea Haw Honeys

Merpeople everywhere you looked!

And Lady Godiva

Just look at her lashes!

and look at her tattoo.

Sweet little fish-bikes:

and fish nets

Blue mermaids

and the Rear Admiral

Let’s try a couple of close ups:

All too soon, The Parade was at The End.

A VERY FUN TIME was had by all!

Happy Father’s Day!

And, you’re welcome!



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