Tag Archive | Peter Yarrow

Old Friend ~ New Friend

After a couple of months of deeply ensconced topics here at Lady Barefoot Baroness my feelings are that something on the lighter note are needed, so this it shall be.

This time in my life is being dedicated to chasing  my dreams, both old &  new. In fact there is a common thread in my life now of old and new. I am combining old and new in my life everyday. I am also working on that proverbial bucket list of life and this is where today my thoughts bring me.

I have been around music in one form or another my entire life, as far back as a young child I can recall music memories. As far back as when I was about 3 years old I have distinct memories  of sneaking out of bed and down the hall on weekend nights and early mornings to listen and watch my mom & dad jam with family & friends.  Hoping always to get caught, every time, because it meant after a small chastising I was encouraged to join in and sing with the group., My first stage.  I was hooked.

All those  years I was involved with music in one form to another, voice lessons as a child, music theory as a tween, performing with a few bands, to managing a band and producing a demo tape for said band. However, I never followed through to learn how to properly play the guitar despite it being on a long bucket list even then.

Because I am taking on my bucket list of life, having had this wonderful new renewal and reminder of who it is I am,  I now also have a new roommate, a new friend.

New Friend, Welcome to My World!

 My Yamaha Folk Guitar:


isn’t he a handsome one?

I do need to give this beauty a name, as I am slowing learning to play on him. I am taking suggestions I just now decided  toward that end to if you kindly have one.

  Learning proper is what I am doing, not just learning a couple of cheating chords like I did as a kid. My fingers are somewhat sore, but I think I am not practicing enough,  because they are not bleeding. Or calloused yet.

I have several musicians in my life who are giving me lots of advise. My little brother who plays and writes music is one.  All welcome. But my closest musician friend, the person in my life I feel closest too helps advise me on all the matters when it coms to these guitar lessons and my new guitar. The wonderful thing about this is I know the criticism if any is in the genuine best interest of my learning to play properly.

I love my guitar already. We have been spending the last couple weeks getting to know one another, this will be a fine friendship.

Old Friend. Where have you been?

gem music book1

This book of music, copy write 1887 by Philip Phillips, is one of the many antique books I have in my book collection. These antique books were part of an in-law relative’s book collection for which I inherited as the rest of this family did not see the charm or the value.

guitar and music book1

While unpacking one of the final boxes from my ” Moving On” recently I came across this music book above, Bright Gems. I have a thing for unusual music books. this book is an all sheet music for spiritual hymns popular by 50 songwriters in the late 1800’s and before. In the early 1980’s I sang with University of Oregon‘s Chorale society; along with show tunes, the classics, we also performed old spiritual hymns. At the time I shared this book with our director, and he went about finding a copy for his library.

Philip Phillips:

Philip Phillips

Phillip Phillips (The Singing Pil­grim) 1834-1895

Phillips be­gan teach­ing sing­ing school at age 19. In 1860, he formed a part­ner­ship in Cin­cin­nati, Ohio, with Will­iam Sum­ner & Com­pa­ny, un­der the firm name of Phill­ip Phill­ips & Com­pa­ny, to sell pian­os, or­gans, and Sun­day school song­books. Phil­lips fre­quent­ly in­tro­duced him­self in a town by put­ting a mel­o­de­on in a ve­hicle, park­ing on a prom­i­nent street cor­ner, and be­gin to sing and play. His mar­vel­ous voice drew large crowds.

Phillips’ other books in­clude:     New Stand­ard Sing­er (New York: 1868)     Early Blos­soms     Musical Leaves     Singing Pil­grim     Song Life


On a side note about my music book collections:

My most recent acquisition to my collection is actually not so recent as it was a couple of years ago at Peter Yarrow‘s concert I attended.  I did at that intimate concert purchase his new “Puff The Magic Dragon” pop-out book, and his “Favorite Folk Music book.  Peter wrote an addendum to Puff’s story in this latest version. I will give you  only something to peak your interest by saying that Jackie Paper has a granddaughter in this new version. You really should make a point of going back in time with Peter’s new version of his old folk song.

Puff The Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow.

puff pop upeditx1

puff pop up open (2)edit

With Peter Yarrow Autograph

Both books come with sheet music, and CD’s  of Peter Yarrow’s music. A must have in any Peter Paul &  Mary collection I would say. I did. For mine. They will be treasured in my heart always.

folk music book 2

By this time next year I hope to be able to play all 24 songs in this Folk Song Book as well as to play Puff too. I now the lyrics to each tune, have for more years than I will admit to.

Taking  Guitar lessons from Peter Yarrow too.

Old & New Friends ~

Signature 2013


Jam To Bob Dylan ~ Folk Style

Good Sunday or Monday where ever you fine people are  ~

Searching for a piece an unrelated  trivia I ran across this great version of Bob Dylan’s tuneDon’t Think Twice.. I wanted to share.

The beautiful Late Mary Travers from Peter Paul & Mary, with Peter Yarrow, Noble Paul Stuckey & the Stunning late Andy Williams

This is for my Big Sister Maxi ~I keep you in my prayers my sister

On Stage With Peter Yarrow 2012



Peter Yarrow

In Concert 2012




Friday night in a small venue in a small town in the middle of Oregon a performer of all time played in our tiny historical Tower Theater. What a delight!

For anyone that dare think that because this performance was lacking two of the all time popular and famous folk music trio Peter Paul & Mary please think again. This man of age 70 years young was on fire last night. As Peter Yarrow and his son Chris Yarrow began the evening we did not have any idea what was in store for us.

We knew the trio’s music, we could all sing every lyric, but in deciding to buy the tickets for last night’s performance over 3.5 months ago this was not my mind-set in wanting to see this legend performer and song writer.

I just wanted to be in the same room with this man who was part of what was such a huge movement in my then younger self.  This trio Peter Paul & Mary helped foster in myself the rebel for cause, my politics began about the time I first heard their sociopolitical commentary.

I was young long-haired lady who believed that if we put our voices together in harmony we could accomplish so much. That we could change this world we lived in and we could right the wrongs, we could bring justice to the unjust, we could make our government listen to us, and we could stop wars.

This was for me the late 1960’s and it seems I had been listening to Peter Paul and Mary my whole life.

It was only natural that as their voices became a strength for our country, and that I would become a fast and loyal follower of the wars they took on and a follower of their music. I was introduced to many other folk musician’s by these three amazing people. I wanted my voice to harmonize just like Mary Travers did, and I would sit for hours and hours practicing to be a folk artist and harmonize like Mary.

But no one can ever do Mary Traver’s justice. RIP Mary.

Peter Yarrow (PY) performed last night acoustically of course. Pure sweet music from his 6 string folk guitar. The combination of PY’s voice with the sounds of the strings playing off the theater’s acoustics was really phenomenal.  His son Chris, his accompanist’s plays the WashTub Bass. Seriously awesome bass sounds and rhythm that comes from a typical vintage wash tub, a string attached to a long stick shaped instrument.   The amazing thing is that with this instrument Chris Yarrow had just one string to find his chords. The note changes  and chord progressions Chris is able to master parallels with the great Bassist’s  who performed with P P & M like Bill Lee,  Russ Savakus, and my all time personal favorite Richard Kniss. It was very cool how Chris was able to provide the same back drop sound to his father’s gentle hand on the 6 string, and as Chris’ voice blended in perfect harmony with that of his father’s the whole evening tool on a surreal feel that took me back some 40 plus years.

There was not a silent voice in the house last night.

As PY asked to have the stage lights brought up he looked like the same young man, only wiser. Yes he has aged and grown gray like we all have. What good folk artist would dye their hair for heaven’s sake?  Yet there is not an ounce of that aging in his voice. It’s as strong as ever with bravado and vigor.  He took us through the evening with music that so many of us in the house had grown up with, and the amazing thing is that there are still new generations born every day that are learning about the art of folk music through this man. The kids in the audience ranged from 18 to a babies. The adults in the audience seemed to range from 19 to 99. I was so pleasantly delighted to see that so many are still touched by the stories and music PY has to share with us.

The evening’s music se lists wee from the very early days of  P P & M. As the evening began we heard Day is Done… and he only became stronger and more vibrant as the evening went on,  the entire house sang along with each and every song and the room began to descend back to the early years of peace & love.

The playlist was long. They played for 1.5 hours before ever breaking. All though because so much part of the evening felt a bit surreal to me I can possibly name every song they played for us, but just not in the exact order the two sets were played.

What we heard live last night from Peter & Chris Yarrow was memorable in every sense of the word.  One artist “A Legend” and one to find his own footing and make a name of his own.

PY started out with a couple songs, then lead us straight away into sharing with us his love and devotion he always had and will have for Mary. His “Work Wife”.

Before launching into this next song Peter  shared with us how much he misses his side kick mary Travers. (1936-2009)

Sadly our Mary died two years ago from complications associated with chemotherapy she was receiving for a bone-marrow transplant as treatment for leukemia,  PY asked if we would be Mary’s harmony in  “Leaving On A Jet Plane”  *Deep sigh*

Only too happy to help in his request the room lit up with heartfelt sadness and much love for this woman whose voice came into our homes, and whose lullaby we sang to our own children and grandchildren.
God Speed Ms Travers. you mended my heart, and gave me courage at the time  that has impacted who I am today. You brought to us to what you so lovingly gave.

And with Mary’s spirit filling the room Peter asked once again for the stage lights to be lowered, and at the same time he wanted the house lights lifted too. He wanted to see us.. …He wanted to know what “Bendites” who would pay upwards of $80 to see him on a Friday night looked like. He could not believe we were there to see him!

Yet we were. All of us. And that his son Chris who resides in Portland Oregon was with him was our gift. A bonus.

Some of the play list all though certainly not correct in order I believe says so much.

Day Is Done

For Lovin’ Me.

Light One Candle

DON’T LAUGH AT ME   This very important song  when it was first written was extremely relevant and still is today if not more so because of the influx of bullying. * I will write a bit more about this special song below.

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

Have You Been To Jail For Justice?

If I Had A Hammer


Like The First Time


Lemon Tree

Gilgarra Mountain


The night was a  spectacular benefit for our local non-profit  (PLAN) that helps to provide performing arts to students in school. In the classroom and in the performing art venues the kid are introduced to arts such as Folk Music. Peter donated and added his own art work & autograph to an acoustic guitar (seen in photo above with guitar facing the front of the house.) that in the evening was auctioned of to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to this non-profit. With Peter doing the auctioning in between verses the proceeds he garnered were $1999 & $2000. You see there were two strong and persistent bidders. So in the end Peter said they both would each win a guitar because they bid with so much passion and as Peter kept reminding us all: it was not about the guitar, it was about the love and passion being shown for such a fine and valuable agency in our schools. He is right. So in the end just from the auctioned guitars Peter Yarrow and the citizens who went to see him raised almost $4000 in just a short 5 minutes.

Bravo Peter Yarrow!

The *song ” DON’T LAUGH AT ME”  is a song about intolerance and hate. It’s about racism, about how we can stop these acts of violence and intolerance in our children if we just try. In 2000  Operation Respect a non-profit organization working to assure each child and youth a respectful, safe and compassionate climate of learning where their academic, social and emotional development can take place free of bullying, ridicule and violence was founded by Peter Yarrow.

http://www.operationrespect.org/curricula/index.php If you have children in your life you really owe it the kids by accessing this information and assistance.

This is a free world-wide program in many different languages with an incredible list of downloadable projects for parents and educators to carry out the practice of social justice for all in ll children.

And finally for me the Piece DE Resistance of the evening:

Puff The Magic Dragon. Now if you don’t know who Peter Yarrow is, or who the folk music trio Peter Paul & Mary are I know you know this song.

This is the family song of all P P & M. How many times have we sat together singing this song?

You know the story. Well Peter changed part of it. Instead of Puff being sad because Jackie Paper  came no more… Peter invented Jackie’s daughter. So Puff could slip happily from his cave again.

Peter also asked us how many of us had heard the rumor?  He laughed about this item that years ago could have quite possible become a dragon in its own right and roared P P & M into oblivion. but like Puff who lives on forever so will it be true for a folk music trio.

Just before finally singing Puff Peter first asked children 18 yrs and younger to join him on the stage to  help sing Puff The Magic Dragon with him. The kids who were with us last night didn’t need to be asked twice.

None of them. Not even this Barefoot Baroness.

For when Peter Yarrow invited kids of all ages up to the stage I was not shy. Being in the 3rd row I was right near the  right-wing of the stage and off I went. Not even thinking to leave my camera behind I made my way up to stand with my neighbors to Peter & Chris Yarrow. I began first to sing, then realizing I had my camera with me I opted to sneak in a few shots. The people on the stage,  the children, and one baby combined could not have been more than a dozen people total on stage with Peter Yarrow.

A couple of great close-ups I manged in my excitement. (see below)

At the end of the song Peter & Chris graciously thanked each person by shaking hands and hugging. As I was  one of the last person on stage with them I stepped up to Peter when he smiled my way…..Stepping closer, he reached out to take my hands I could not restrain myself from putting my two hands on each side of his handsome face, one hand on each cheek, and pulling him closer to my lips. Lightly & gently we shared a perfect kiss of friendship.

My absolute favorite photo of a very sweet  moment. Just after Peter had softened the music to Puff , he gently slowed the lyrics and music down to finally an absolute hush… he put the microphone up to this bay’s mouth and a complete utter silence fell over the entire theater.

Then this sweet baby child whose back of soft wispy hair you see in the above photo said ever so quietly,” mmmm…”

The entire audience, Peter & Chris, those on stage, we all shared in laughter that tickles the heart like only a child can. It was just very special and I was so grateful I was on the stage and I captured that moment to live on forever each time I look at it again.

It was a great party. An intimate evening with the Yarrow men.

Peter Yarrow let me remind you is 70 years young, and he had been performing for almost 3.5 hours at this point, taking no break for himself choosing instead to spend in with his fans. Yet he still only left the stage for an intermission to sign autographs.

After these two extremely talented, yet down to earth men took their final bow to a Standing Ovation the audience cried Encore!

For his encore number he had the whole entire theater up on their feet in a hell raising rendition of  ‘This Land Is Your land, This Land is my land”

Thank you Peter, Thank you Chris!  It was the most wonderful kind of evening.

Please do come back~

©tjhelser 2012

Finding That Loving Feeling


(Through Peter Yarrow and Winter Storm Warning’s).

It’s been a few weeks since I have had the creative wings to soar. Somehow I have lost my mojo and creating anything has left me high and dry.

I’ve started a canvas for a new collage, yet it just has a coat of white gesso and a light layer of Sunnyside Up yellow. That’s it. I have of course the slight out line in my head, but once I start working with other mediums the goal I am working towards starts guiding me to it’s end.
But where is my creative mojo? The voice that lets me express myself through my hands and some kind of medium.
Where is that loving feeling?

Although I crave being creative, and have to work with my hands, this latest block is one of mega proportions.

Here it is again.

Ultimate frustration with myself. With this body that is just a vessel for my soul. Yet it is one that I need at its full capacity  and when it does not live up to my expectations I get flustered, embarrassed, angry, and very frustrated.

I knew the weather was doing a number on me and as hard as I tried to head it off I  should have remembered I was done in before I started.
This is called chronic illness. No matter what the illness some of the symptoms are universal to chronic illnesses. There are those  symptoms that can be different, associated only with a particular illness. And then there is the difference in our bodies, how we individually respond and react to things.

I’m not certain which one is involved when the barometer is at work on my tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints, I just know from pattern watching that I am most certainly affected by when the barometer drops. I have written before about how my body can tell. I’m certain to some I may sound very like a nut. And that’s okay. I understand. I used to think my grandma was missing something very key. I wish I knew then what I know now.

How many times will I say that since the wise elder women in my family have all passed.? I wonder if my grandma had some way that she prepared herself. And that being questioned, I wonder if and how it impaired her life. Because it was certain that letting on to any of her family that anything was wrong, or was hurting, was just not going to happen. It was her way. It was the way of her time. Old School yes, but very old school even by my generation’s terms.
Sharing things like being in physical pain was just not done. And there is a lot to be said about that is many ways. But there is also a lot to be said about being stoic that can be harmful to your mental health, not to mention your physical health.

I wonder still (before I continue to digress) what kind of activities or forms of mindfulness my grandma used to help stave off the effects of the barometric pressure changing and the effects on her body. I need to know.

This last few days while the pressure kept plummeting I started getting more fatigued and pain symptoms began spiking. It happens every time. Long before it was suggested to me to keep a pain journal I had no idea what would trigger spikes. I cannot control all of the spikes in symptoms but there are things I now know that I can do that often make a difference in length and intensity.
This is how I discovered that barometric pressure changes affect my some of my symptoms.

There is plenty of documentation concerning this. THE WEATHER CHANNEL has a complete link dedicated to how the weather can affect your Aches & Pains.  A Forecast.  Really!


It’s pretty cool. Kind of like the one for the pollen count. And I did not even know about this tool, if you will, until I began searching for facts about this topic. Some even have a name for this phenom:  Human Barometers, I discovered. While I will not go as far as saying this, I was happy to discover there was actual literature, studies and anecdotal stories about this.

This winter storm and the ensuing ones according to the national &  local meteorologist’s are exacerbating the fatigue in my chronic fatigued body, and spiking the pain in a body that deals with chronic pain daily. So it’s not that any of this is new.

Yet the timing of these winter storms really blow. No pun intended.  We have a concert to see Saturday night which means the artist, Peter Yarrow must be able to arrive at our small airport. Albeit the airport is always ready for the worst weather there is no control over incoming flights when the ground cannot be landed on for what ever reasons due to in-climate weather. It happens a lot here, but we thought by January we’d be so full into the season that another snow storm would be just another day. OOPS! Not when the first storm of the season does not happen until mid January. We are a resort town, we rely on snow for our city’s largest source of revenue. Summer & Winter our town rocks.
But the first snow storms of the season always take everyone off guard.  Gee, I wonder if they could use a human barometer?

Still wondering then if Peter Yarrow…  yes folks!  Of  THE Peter Paul & Mary,…still wondering if his flight will make to the high desert for his concert in our humble small city. This is to be the start of a very luxurious week for the man in my life & I. We have a date week planned. Peter Yarrow Saturday night, the next morning a trek over the mountain passes  (more indulgence into the Winter Storm Warning) into our states largest city for the night. Then up the next morning, lazy start to the day and another couple of hours  trek over the coastal mountains to the beach we go. For a well awaited & deserved week in a condo right on the beach. This beach is one we both grew up going to every chance our families got.  In fact my husband’s parents moved right near this coastal town when he finished high school. We raised our daughters going every time we could get away from the valley. This is  our beach town. Small, quiet, and not the tourist trap so many are. We rarely share this gem with anyone just for those reasons.

This time away is necessary and we’d go more often if I traveled better. Which is why we are breaking up a  normally 5 hour drive into two days. Spending the night part way is so by the time we get there I am able to enjoy the week. Surrounded by a handful of pillows I make the trek over as comfortable as I can.

I am wondering and looking at my own inventory to see if there is any truth to the idea that this last few week’s lack of mojo is about all of this. Did my creative energy start to wane when the reservations were being searched out? Has my creative mojo flown south when I began the process of getting this vessel called my body ready to head west?
That the idea of prepping myself for a week away from my normal routines which I know from prior experiences can exacerbate my symptoms, that this could be adding stress I am not able to recognize? I don’t know. It sure does not seem like it yet there are pointers here I need to look at closer.

First the slack in any kind of creative energy for me is weird. I am the kind of creative entity that doodles when I’m on the phone, read art books in the loo. Any free time I have I spend using my hands to make something. Even cooking is a creative process for me.
Yet weeks ago my energy began dipping. No art, no card making, no needlework, food that was barely called meals. Then this week I can barely write. What usually would take a few hours to complete what I call a days work now is taking many days. Emails that are really pen pal letters and that usually take the form of short stories have been short and to the point. My enjoyment is not any less. Just that my body will not last with the burning energy I need to express myself in ways that are necessary for my healthy self. My expressive self.

This should have been a sign but even old baroness’s can be taught new tricks. And living with a chronic illness is all about tricks.

For my next trick to add to my arsenal of tricks that help me cope will be adding this need to be more aware. Aware when my body is preparing for something big.  Something big like a Winter Storm Warning which sends the barometric pressure downward, and is a sign that my small world will change for a time. And something big like an evening concert with my biggest folk artist hero Peter Yarrow. Yet not to be out done by the week in the condo at the beach with my best friend forever. My husband.

Learning to listen to ones self is really hard. Learning to listen to ones body is almost a constant struggle. Quieting down the mind-the chatter that we all fill our selves up with is key. Quieting down the heart long enough to have heart for one’s self is loving, not selfish. These are lessons I am still working on.

Maybe one day these kinds of things will not be such a big deal to my life.

But then again… just maybe these kinds of things should remain huge in one’s life. If not they could become small everyday things that  no longer excite the body, the mind and the heart.

Maybe that would be more of a shame.

©tjhelser 2012