Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Finky, Binky, Stinky and Martin

Finky, Binky, Stinky and Martin

It sounds like a law firm but it's actually the names of the cats we've owned over the last twenty-five years. They each had very different personalities and little quirks. Martin was a loving and affectionate cat, Stinky was clumsy and often hit his little head running around under tables and chairs. Binky was a little scaredy cat that wouldn't come near me, but had been my wife's  little reading buddy for several years.  

The quirkiest of them all was our last cat Finky. Originally he was named Buddy, since as a little Tabby kitten he took to scrambling up my pants leg and sitting on my shoulder like a Pirate's little hairy parrot. Buddy liked that view from up there and he picked me as his master. He came from the shelter with a bad case of Stink eye or some kind of weeping cat eye problem. We would roll him up in a towel and I'd squirt ointment in his eye, an operation he just hated.

 It was obvious to everyone right from the start that he was a wild and feral cat. He was very energetic and would swipe at anything that moved which is why our grand daughter had picked him out at the shelter. It became apparent one day that he was too big to scramble up onto my shoulder anymore since he grew in size so quickly, his razor sharp claws hurt as his ever increasing weight would hang off me as he would ascend to his perch on my shoulder. Soon he was a sixteen pound grey striped Tiger and he would nip the tops of my wife's foot whenever she went into the bed room where he was kept during the day to change the sheets on the bed. I would hear her shout "no, no, bad cat!" and I would run down the hall to grab the cat and rescue my wife. When he would hear the boots stamping down the hall he would quickly run around in circles, not knowing which way to run when he would hear me coming. It soon became apparent also that he favored me over my wife to whom he was often jealous and would suddenly appear near her arm resting on the arm of the chair and bat her and run away.

His named changed to Finky at some point as we began to call him since he was a bit badly behaved. He was careful to  sharpen his claws so as not to be heard and would search for some toy among our possessions to sneak back to his room and have to himself to play with. On some occasions late at night I would hear him playing with a super ball he stole from our grand-daughter.  It would make a "brrrrr" sound late in the night, but we almost never could find it since he would hide it from us. He liked little bric-a-brac figures. If they had eyes all the better to satisfy his hunting instinct.

He learned to talk, sort of, after a fashion as well. He would learn to mimic my wife's voice to perfection, when we would come home and he would say "hello" back to us with the same inflection and pitch my wife used. He learned that if he could say it well enough we would let him out to roam in the house. Soon he learned to say and express all kinds of things. The more pitiful he could yowl like a child could get him let out. My wife would run to door and tell him he was a poor little cat. He would express happiness as well and say "rup", juts the way my wife would say "yup"!  Especially when he got let out of his room or got chicken for dinner instead of Tuna. My wife would ask if he wanted to come out and he would reply in a sad little voice "mout". 

Most nights we had a little routine where I would grab him or bend down to let him ride on my shoulder to say goodnight to Carol. Many nights I'd hold him like a child and sing little children's songs to him. My favorite to sing to him was "Come Little Rabbit". 
Help me, Help me the Rabbit said.
Or the Hunter will shoot me dead.
So come little Rabbit come with me. (I'd hold out this last syllable and the Cat would sigh with impatience here.)
Happy we will be.
Sometimes I'd make stuff up like the "I'm gunna eat you little Kitty" a song I modified from a characters singing on the British Comedy "Red Dwarf".  I'd tell him" it's the Deep Six for you Finky", then I'd grab him by his tail and belly and heave him into his back room for the night.

He often slept on my chest while I read a book, but he only let my wife pet him for just a couple of pets after five years without hissing.  When I would come home from work at night I'd tell my wife "I'm home darlin" and both Carol and the Cat would say "Hi" in unison at the same time with the same inflection and pitch. Carol and I would say together, "not you" and he would reply with a sad little "ohhh".

So after eight and a half years he had what the Vet called a little Cat heart attack. We took him in and there didn't seem to be much hope, he passed away that night after we brought him home.  He was a wild little spirit and we loved him in spite of the occasional scratch he gave us. I would jokingly tell my wife they have little brains the size of Peach Pits.  I must say though that after having had the previous Cat Binky die in my arms. I'm convinced now more than ever that they have little spirits and to the best of their ability think thoughts, and have emotions and in turn deserve compassion and kindness from us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dr. Byron J. Sharp and the documentation of early Man in North America.

My Father was a true innovator in the field of Geology, Paleontology, Minerology and finally Archeology. His work in the later lasted over forty five years and his dogged pursuit of the truth to put his work in the hands of people that would carry the knowledge into the next generations for much research in the future. His award was for "the Study of the First Americans" and it was his most cherished contribution, even over his asteroid impact theory and mapping energy resources to having Cambrian fossils named after him. It was a great way to grow up, and our home was a natural history museum of books and interesting collections of fossils, rocks, minerals and artifacts. He was a water color artist and had been the favorite nephew of Mahonri Young, having accompanied him on many trips around the west to sketch and water color whenever he came to stay with the family.  This is his article in the Mammoth Times along with acknowledgement of his award.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Celtic Culture – A to Z Blog Challenge

Glastonbury Duo (Dave & Carol Sharp)
Glastonbury Duo-David & Carol Sharp
Versión en Español se puede encontrar a continuación o haga clic aquí para ir allí. Haga clic en mí para saltar a la parte española.  Come to the free Story Crossroads Festival on April 15-16, 2016 at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 W., West Jordan, UT).
This post is part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.  See more at
Saying that a story is Celtic is as broad as saying that a story came from Africa as if treating the continent as a country or that a story is Native American without any hint to the tribe.
Celts were nomadic tribes with their own kings and rulers as opposed to having one empire or country covering areas of Western Asia, Middle East, and much of Europe.
The following is background and advice shared by David Sharp who performs these types of tales through music, song, dance, and stories.  We are pleased that he and his wife, Carol, will be performing for the 2016 Story Crossroads Festival.  See more about his performing art group here:
Three Key things about Celtic Stories and a Word about Celtic Culture by Dave Sharp (with permissions):
At the present time there are seven Celtic nations or cultural groups that have survived into modern times. Many have been conquered, incorporated, or absorbed in their past, but their people remain fiercely independent and have proven difficult to assimilate. Many have once again won their  independence or autonomy. In fact cultural identity in Celtic peoples is so strong that they have even been known to assimilate conquering peoples that have invaded them. They in turn becoming as Irish as the Irish in the case of invading Normans or Norsemen.
The seven nations are Ireland, Scotland, Wales, The Isle of Man, Brittany in France, Cornwall and Gallaecia in Spain. Celtic peoples migrated out of the Indo-European plain into Europe around the 5th Century BC.  Documented by Greek writers and geographers, they were written about and fought by Julius Caesar  in western Europe bringing them partially within the scope of the Roman Empire. Celtic peoples were gradually pushed westward into Britain, Wales, Ireland, and Gallaecia by other peoples migrating across Europe from the Indo European plain in their turn. With the Anglo Saxon invaders many small Celtic enclaves were surrounded and survived with a Celtic flare in what is modern day Britain as well. What we know as the Celtic people of today is in fact a blending of many cultural groups and races.
However in spite of all the diversity among Celtic peoples, the thing they have in common is a highly spiritual and imaginative mind, which gives rise to their amazing achievements in the arts. Celtic peoples are famous for their, Music, Poetry, Dance and of course Storytelling.  There is a distinct language (Gaelic, Gallic, Cornish, Cymraeg etc.) for each group as well as cultural differences yet they share many things from their past as well.
  1. Mythology in Celtic Cultures
Having been great converts to Christianity they still kept elements from their Polytheist past. Each culture had its own separate myths, but held many elements in common. Gods, Goddesses, Faeries, Mythical creatures, Enchanted items, Early Saints, all made for exciting stories. Lyr and Mannan the Irish Sea Gods, Morrigan the Phantom Queen, Lugh the Sun God, Water Kelpies, The Blue Men of the Minch, the Twyleth Teg of Wales  or the Tuatha De Danann of Ireland or Faerie folk are good examples.  I might add a few as well off the top of my head Dagda, Saint Bridget, Saint George, the evil Fomorians and Fir Bolg along with Brownies and Dwarves are more ideas.
  1. Hero Stories as Key Element of All Celtic Warrior Societies
Courage, Magic, Destiny or a great Quest,  figure greatly in the Hero cycles. Many hero’s would have curses on them, or magical weapons, seek the Holy Grail or have enormous strength and do great deeds that were admired by Celtic peoples. One only has to think of King Arthur, Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), Cú Chulainn, King Llud, Bran the Blessed, Owain Glyndŵr, Rob Roy, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, or Jack an archetypal Cornish and English Hero that has many an Appalachian counterpart to understand the Celtic admiration for their Hero’s.
  1. Stories of the People
The stories of the people. Historical, family and anecdotal stories of everyday people are some of the kinds of stories told as well. Having a gift for the gab is another common element of Celtic people. Telling stories comes naturally to many people in these cultures as does an audience that appreciates a good story.  David Owen or David of the White Rock, Turlough O’Carolan, Saint Patrick, Saint Columba, Michael Collins, Tales of Royalty, and of course neighbors and family make for many a story.
I should say that many real people are often combined or confused with imaginary elements as well. Celtic Harp players from history are said to have learned their Harp tunes from the Faeries. Ancient Kings are said to have magical powers, Irish Rebels and Ancient Hero’s perform superhuman feats of strength or Saint Patrick driving the Snakes out of Ireland. Often History itself is said to combine with myth, as in the Irish Book of Invasions. Many places and sites have histories that include story and myth throughout the landscape.
There are many collections of stories from back in the Victorian days of tunes, stories, dances etc. As traditional culture began to disappear many societies and groups began to collect in anticipation of the remaining generation passing away without a record of the rich folk material that was their heritage. Chief O’Niell’s 1001 Irish Tune book is a good example of such a project. As Police Chief of Chicago he wrote down emigrant traditional melodies as musicians from the old country showed up in Chicago. (Sometimes as guests of the Jail) Many contemporaries of William Butler Yeats also wrote down and recorded stories of their cultural heritage as well.
Stories that are too fantastic to be true have a real place in the Celtic imagination.  Truth in the Celtic sense is an object lesson and often not a literal interpretation. One quote I like is “that if it isn’t true, it ought to be true.” Truth in storytelling among these cultures has a wide and varied and often symbolic and allegorical meaning.  To this day one only needs to look at all the permutations of the Grail or Holy Chalice to get a number of ideas that were conveyed in this allegorical fashion.
Thank you to Rachel Hedman for asking me to write this BLOG. I just love the subject matter and would have happily blabbed for many pages.
Recommended Books  on Celtic Stories and Lore:
  • William Butler Yeats – From the Irish Literary revival he wrote many plays, folk lore collections and books of Poetry. “W. B. Yeats”  Selected Poems by Gramercy
  • Lady Gregory Augusta – Also from the Irish Literary revival she wrote many plays, books and theater works.
  • The Mabinogion – are the earliest prose literature of Wales. There are many translations and rewritten versions for contemporary audiences of this wonderful myth cycle.
  • The Ulster Cycle -Hero tales from northern Ireland with close links to the Irish speaking community in Scotland. Tales concerning Cú Chulainn the Hound of Ulster.
  • The Fenian Cycle – Hero tales from the main land area of Ireland. Irish Rebels later took their name from this group of Hero’s naming themselves the “Fenian’s” after the band of warriors led by Finn MacCool.
  • “Celtic Myths and Legends” by T.W. Rolleston, Great book for reading and studying the major stories and myths of Irish Culture.
  • “Classic Myths in English Literature” by Gayley – These are mostly classical Roman and Greek myths with a section on Nordic Myths, but everyone should have this in their library anyway. While we’re at it “Beowulf” is a good to have as well.
  • “The Lady of Shallot” by Alfred Lord Tennyson (Arthurian Poem)
  • “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” – there is a nice translation by J. R. R. Tolkien of this anonymous manuscript.
  • “The Story of King Arthur by Howard Pyle” – with some wonderful illustrations by Pyle as well.
  • “Le Morte de Arthur” by Sir Thomas Mallory
  • “Celtic Myths and Legends” by  Peter Berresford Ellis

Aquí lo tiene.
Glastonbury Duo (Dave & Carol Sharp)
Glastonbury Duo-David & Carol Sharp
La Cultura Celta
Decir que una historia es celta es tan amplia como diciendo que una historia vinieron de África como si tratar el continente como un país o que una historia indígena americano sin ninguna alusión a la tribu.
Los celtas fueron tribus nómadas con sus propios reyes y gobernantes, en lugar de tener un imperio o país cubriendo las zonas de Asia Occidental, Oriente medio y gran parte de Europa.
El siguiente es el fondo y asesoramiento compartido por David Sharp que realiza estos tipos de cuentos a través de la música, el canto, la danza y las historias.  Nos complace que él y su esposa, Carol, va a realizar para el año 2016 Story Crossroads Festival.  Ver más acerca de su arte escénico grupo aquí:
Tres cosas acerca de historias celtas y una palabra acerca de la cultura celta por Dave Sharp (con permisos):
En la actualidad hay siete naciones celtas o grupos culturales que han sobrevivido en los tiempos modernos. Muchos han sido conquistados, incorporado, o absorto en su pasado, pero sus habitantes siguen siendo ferozmente independiente y han demostrado ser difíciles de asimilar. Muchos han nuevamente ganó su  independencia o autonomía. De hecho, la identidad cultural de los pueblos celtas es tan fuerte que incluso se han sabido asimilar conquistando pueblos que han invadido. Éstos, a su vez, convertirse en irlandés como los irlandeses en el caso de los invasores normandos o escandinavos.
Las siete naciones son Irlanda, Escocia, Gales, la Isla de Man, Bretaña en Francia, de Cornualles y Gallaecia en España. Los pueblos celtas emigraron de la llanura indoeuropea en Europa alrededor del siglo V A.C.  Documentado por escritores griegos y geógrafos fueron escritos sobre y luchó por Julius Caesar  en Europa occidental que ellos parcialmente dentro del ámbito del Imperio Romano. Los pueblos celtas fueron gradualmente empujados hacia el oeste en Inglaterra, Gales, Irlanda, y Gallaecia por otros pueblos de Europa migran a través de la llanura de Europa Indo en su turno. Con los invasores Anglosajones muchos pequeños enclaves celtas fueron rodeados y sobrevivió con una llamarada celta en lo que es hoy en día así como Gran Bretaña. Lo que conocemos como el pueblo celta de hoy es en realidad una mezcla de muchos grupos culturales y razas.
Sin embargo, a pesar de todas las diferencias entre los pueblos celtas, la cosa que tienen en común es una mente imaginativa y altamente espiritual, que da lugar a sus increíbles logros en el arte de los pueblos celtas, son famosos por su música, poesía, danza y por supuesto de la narración.  Hay un idioma distinto (gaélico, galas, Cornish, Cymraeg etc.) para cada grupo, así como las diferencias culturales no obstante, comparten muchas cosas de su pasado.
  1. La Mitología de culturas celtas
Habiendo sido gran convertidos al cristianismo, que aún conserva elementos de su pasado politeísta. Cada cultura tiene sus propios mitos, pero mantuvo muchos elementos en común. Dioses y diosas, hadas, criaturas míticas, elementos Encantada, principios de Santos, todos realizados para emocionantes historias. Lyr Mannan y el Mar de Irlanda, dioses, Morrigan la reina fantasma, Lugh el dios Sol, agua Kelpies, Los hombres azules de el Minch, el Twyleth Teg de Gales  o los Tuatha De Danann de Irlanda o Faerie folk son buenos ejemplos.   Yo podría añadir unos tan bien fuera de la parte superior de mi cabeza Dagda, Santa Brígida, San Jorge, el malvado y Fir Bolg Fomorians junto con Brownies y enanos son más ideas.
  1. Historias de héroes como elemento clave de todas las sociedades Guerrero celta
Coraje, la magia, el destino o una gran búsqueda,  figura mucho en el héroe de los ciclos. Muchos Hero’s habría maldiciones sobre ellos, o armas mágicas, buscando el santo grial o tienen una fuerza enorme y hacer grandes hazañas que eran admiradas por pueblos celtas. Uno sólo tiene que pensar en King Arthur, Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), Cú Chulainn, Rey Llud, Bran el bendito, Owain Glyndŵr, Rob Roy, William Wallace, Robert Bruce, o un gato Cornish y arquetípico héroe inglés que tiene muchos una contrapartida de los apalaches para entender la admiración por su héroe celta.
  1. Las historias de la gente
Las historias de la gente. Histórico, familia y de historias anecdóticas de la gente común son algunos de los tipos de relatos. Tener un don para la gab es otro elemento común del pueblo celta. Contar historias viene naturalmente a muchas personas en estas culturas como sucede en una audiencia que aprecia una buena historia.  David Owen o David de la Roca Blanca, Turlough O’Carolan, Saint Patrick, San Columba, Michael Collins, relatos de la realeza, y por supuesto a vecinos y familiares que, para muchos, una historia.
Debo decir que muchas personas reales suelen combinarse o confundirse con elementos imaginarios. Arpa céltica jugadores de la historia se dice que han aprendido sus melodías de arpa de las Hadas. Los antiguos Reyes se dice que tienen poderes mágicos, rebeldes irlandeses y antiguo héroe realizar proezas de fuerza sobrehumana o Saint Patrick conduce las serpientes fuera de Irlanda. A menudo se dice que la historia se combinan con el mito, como en el libro de las invasiones irlandés. Muchos lugares y sitios tienen historias que incluyen la historia y el mito de todo el paisaje.
Hay muchas colecciones de relatos en el período victoriano de canciones, cuentos, bailes, etc. como la cultura tradicional comenzaron a desaparecer muchas sociedades y grupos comenzaron a recoger en previsión de la generación restante fallecimiento sin un registro del rico material folclórico que fue su patrimonio. Jefe O’Niell 1001 del libro melodía irlandesa es un buen ejemplo de un proyecto. Como jefe de la policía de Chicago emigrante escribió melodías tradicionales como los músicos del viejo país mostró en Chicago. (a veces como invitados de la cárcel) muchos contemporáneos de William Butler Yeats, también escribió y grabó las historias de su patrimonio cultural.
Historias que son demasiado fantástico para ser verdad tienen un lugar real en la imaginación celta.  La verdad en el sentido Celta es un objeto de lección y, a menudo, no una interpretación literal. Una cita que me gusta es que “si no es verdad, debe ser verdad.” La verdad en la narración entre estas culturas tiene una amplia y variada y a menudo significado alegórico y simbólico.  Hasta el día de hoy, sólo hay que mirar todas las permutaciones del Grial o Santo Cáliz para obtener un número de ideas que se transmitieron en esta alegórica de la moda.
Gracias a Rachel Hedman para pedirme que escribir este blog. Me encanta el asunto y habría felizmente blabbed para muchas páginas.
Libros recomendados  sobre historias de Celta y Lore:
  • William Butler Yeats -desde el renacimiento literario irlandés escribió muchas obras de teatro, folclore y colecciones de libros de poesía. “W. B. Yeats” seleccionado poemas de Gramercy
  • Lady Augusta Gregory – también desde el renacimiento literario irlandés escribió muchas obras de teatro, libros y obras de teatro.
  • El Mabinogion – son los primeros prosa literatura de Gales. Hay muchas traducciones y reescrito versiones para el público actual de este maravilloso mito de ciclo.
  • El Ciclo de Ulster -Héroe cuentos de Irlanda del Norte, con estrechos vínculos con la comunidad de habla irlandesa en Escocia. Cuentos sobre Cú Chulainn el sabueso del Ulster.
  • El ciclo de Fenian Héroe – Cuentos de la principal área de tierra de Irlanda. Rebeldes irlandeses más tarde tomó su nombre de este grupo de nomenclatura del héroe de sí mismos los “Fenian” después de que la banda de guerreros liderados por Finn MacCool.
  • “Mitos y Leyendas celtas” por T.W. Rolleston, gran libro para leer y estudiar las grandes historias y mitos de la cultura irlandesa.
  • “Los mitos clásicos en la literatura inglesa” por Gayley – estos son mayormente clásico romano y mitos griegos con una sección sobre los mitos nórdicos, pero todo el mundo debería tener en su biblioteca de todos modos. Mientras estamos en ello “Beowulf” es una buena también.
  • “La Dama de la chalota” de Alfred Lord Tennyson (Arthurian poema)
  • “Sir Gawain y el Caballero Verde” – hay una buena traducción por J. R. R. Tolkien de este manuscrito anónimo.
  • “La historia del Rey Arturo por Howard Pyle” – con unas maravillosas ilustraciones de Pyle.
  • “Le Morte de Arthur” por Sir Thomas Mallory
  • “Mitos y Leyendas celtas” por Peter Berresford Ellis

Friday, July 24, 2015

Idlewild duo and Old Doctor Sharp's High Potency Liver Regulating, Gastro Emulsifier
Dave Sharp - Clawhammer Banjo, Mountain Dulcimer, vocals, storytelling and caller
Carol Sue - Penny Whistles, Tambourine, Bowed Psaltery, Pony Limber-jack, Zack Limber-jack

Medicine Show sales pitch

Ladies and gentlemen, young and old, wise and otherwise, before I start speaking let me say this. I'm here today to elucidate, educate and eradicate a few priceless gems of wisdom that I have learned during my far-flung travels round and about the civilized and uncivilized world. I also have many degrees, an esteemed member of  pie kappa pie, and Suma coom Loudmouth from Whatsamatta You! Furthermore it's needless to say, it's needless to say, although what I am here to say is that one of mans greatest goals and achievements is the conquest of human pain and suffering.

Now how about you? Yes, You!

Are hurtin for certain? (Uhuh)

Has your get up and go, got up and went? (Uhuh)

Have you blarted you bramisham and declassified your crambus? (Uhuh)

Well, whimper and whine and wallow in your misery no longer. Your face is in the right place. So step up folks, because these arcane mysteries and esoteric anomalies are not for the unassuming, unsophisticated, unwashed, unsuspecting members of the public alone , but for your ears and your ears only.

(Pulls out ears and passes them out to the audience)

Friends, I know you are all anxious for me to gesticulate about the Splendiferous, spectacular, and wondrous properties of this amazing Elixir of Life. You need not beat the bushes any longer for here is the questions for all your answers, the problems for all your solutions, and the ailments for all your cures. I am so very proud to prevent old Doctor Sharps High Potency Liver regulating, Gastro Emulsifier.


If you are like most people, and most people are, you won't pass up this one and only opportunity to acquire the original, one-hundred percent genuine repatriated, amalgamated, ventriculated and highly concentrated spiritus fermenti.....compounded by me from an ancient secret concoction of un-natural spices. We have done extensive, expensive, retentive research and have left no turn un-stoned to bring to you this cornucopia of medicinal blunders that will knock your socks off and ring your dinger.

Good for everything that ails you from the pain in your Mazurka to the hitch in your get along. Pour it over your head or drink it. You can even rub it between your toes or brush your teeth with it.

No need to worry for it has all been blended to absolute perfection right in the privacy of my very own bathtub. This joy juice will put back the skip in your step and the zippity in your doo-dah. Even the razzle back  in your dazzle. Gone bald pour it over your head and grow new hair. Welds broken bones, restores rotten teeth and can even reverse the effects of time and aging. Seem miraculous? Well it is, so let me say this in confusion.

Don't bite the hand that lays the golden egg. Don't let a gift horse in the house. When your exasperated, castigated, irritated and agitated try Old Doctor Sharp's High Potency Liver Regulating, Gastro Emulsifier. If it doesn't seem to sit well with you just return the unused portion in a stamped self addressed sealed envelope to Old Doctor Sharp's High Potency Liver Regulating, Gastro Emulsifier and we'll refund the unused portion of your money.  Be sure to read the label for more inflammation and remember you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead. So get the lead out and buy Old Doctor Sharp's High Potency Liver Regulating, Gastro Emulsifier.

I thank you!
The Outlaw Banjo Bob
Bob was an Outlaw, his skin pale white
He played on the Banjo by day and by night
He rode into Utah the last place on Earth
where his talent for Banjo would have any worth.
So hungry and worn with his old six gun
he robbed a small store and went on the run.
A posse had chased him and as they drew close
heard the sound they were feared of afeared of the most.
There by the fire, Bob played his Banjo so fine.
that it tickled yer feet and tingled yer spine.
Soon all the posse was dancin a reel,
right elbow swing or some kinda deal.
They'd reel the set and sashay down
Until they forgot what happened in town.
When the tune finally stopped they sat for a spell
Banjo Bob was long gone, with their horses as well.
by D. Sharp
In looking through my old bottle collection, I found an old patent medicine bottle among the group. Here was the perfect storytelling prop for my old time medicine show skit. The Bottle was once used for Dr. W. B. Caldwell's Syrup Pepsin manufactured in Monticello, Illinois and contained Pepsin (an ingredient found in Pepsi as well as senna a type of herbal laxative. By introducing the medicine show it's the perfect format to play banjo tunes, tell jokes and stories at some o...f the storytelling festivals and mountain man rondy-voos we perform at. I've edited the script for the introduction a bit. I found an old photo of a medicine show entertainment as well. Banjos are involved, so I'm on the right track. Doctor Sharp's High Potency, Liver Regulating Gastro Emulsifier - Cures warts, welds broken bones, saves rotten teeth, restores vim and vigor, reverses stink foot, cures baldness, restores regularity, siphons off unwanted gases and digestive excesses, puts the shine back in greaseless hair, the perfect gout be gone, mends broken hearts, cures beady eyes, corrects blurry vision and reverses the wrinkles of time.

The short pitch
"Ladies and gentlemen, horses and mules,
cross eyed mosquitos and bow-legged fools,

I stand before you and sit behind you

to tell you something I know nothing about!

Admission is free, you must pay at the door;

So pull up a chair and sit on the floor.
The show is over, but before you go,

let me tell you a story I don't really know :
Wild Bill Hickock
He sat at the table Ole Wild Bill
Playing his cards with all of his skill
Shot by a weasel named Jack McCall
His shot to the head rang out in the Hall
There in Bill's hand instead of his gun
Were Aces and Eights and then he was done.
Banjo Poem
There once was a picker named Bruno
Who said, "There's certainly  one thing I do know
And mandolins divine
Guitars are just fine
But banjos are numero uno!"
Banjo Haiku
Like the falling Rain
Sleek wires pick-a pick-a
Belly is a Drum
Thank you for listening.
We're called Idlewild, I'm Idle and she's wild.
D. Sharp
The Set
1. Goin' across the Sea / Glenn's Ferry
2. Appaloosa
3. Old Jimmey Sutton / Goin' down to Cairo
4. On the Road to California
5. Porter Rockwell
6. Come thy Font of every Blessing
7. All are talking of Utah
8. Lincoln and Liberty
9. Spotted Pony
10. Promontory
11. Poem
12. Oh my Darlin'
13. Tis a gift to be Simple
14. Snow in the Pass / Sharp and Young
15. Poem
16. I am the Bravest Cowboy
17. Hunt the Buffalo
18. Blue Mountain
19. Zack the Mormon Engineer
20. Crossed old Jordon's Stream / Buffalo Polka

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Idlewild Duo at Draper Days
Join us or Draper Days in the Day Dairy Barn
1:00 to 2:00 pm
Idlewild is Dave and Carol Sharp
We will pay tunes, sing songs, tell whoppers, tales of the
Pioneer Utah and family stories.
Sponsored by Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts
Carol and I are honored to be asked to present our music of Pioneer Utah. We have ancestors that came from Europe to Utah in 1850. So this is both our cultural heritage and family background. Our ancestors were well known members of the community and instrumental to the history that unfolded in Utah. We would like to thank Clive Romney and the Pioneer Heritage Arts.

Our set
  1. Goin' across the Sea / Glenn's Ferry  - The first tune is an old time traditional American piece I learned from long time friends, Cory Webster and Mark Jardine. I've added a couple of verses to go with the first verse. Glenn's Ferry is a reel composed by me while camping at Glenn's Ferry along the Snake River in Idaho. Where the old crossing for the Oregon Trail had been. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and Vocals. Carol - Whistle and Tambourine.
  2. Appaloosa - Old time American Reel written by me within the tradition. Every day as I head to work I see four or five grey Appaloosa that were the inspiration for this tune. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo. Carol - Whistle.
  3. Old Jimmey Sutton / Goin' down to Cario - The first tune is an Appalachian play song meant to make children laugh and the second tune is a Midwest fiddle tune I learned from Cory Webster. I've added two of my own verses. Dave - Mountain Dulcimer and vocals. Carol - Tambourine.
  4. On the Road to California - Old Time tune from the Mormon west sung to the tune of Old Dan Tucker. It was thought that the Mormons in their exile would head to California originally. The verses of the song talk about being driven from their homes, and the extermination order of Governor Boggs. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and vocals. Carol - Whistle.
  5. Porter Rockwell - This song fragment was collected back in the early 50's. Porter Rockwell was one of the wests most notorious gun slingers, Marshalls, body guards, mountain men and saloon owners. Dave - Spoons and vocals. Carol - Tambourine.
  6. Come thy Font of Every Blessing - Although originally a Shaker Hymn, this lovely tune was selected for the first Beehive Songster and was sung at many a Mormon meeting back in the day. Dave - Mountain Dulcimer and vocals. Carol - Bowed Psaltry.
  7. All are talking of Utah - This song was probably written sometime after the Utah war, since it was a tune by the title of Marching through Georgia. It was characterized by General Sherman and his march to the sea during the Civil War. The song vents the defiance the Mormons felt during their conflict with Johnson's Army and the Utah War. It was sung on Pioneer Day until around 1950, by many communities around the State of Utah. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and Vocals. Carol - Tambourine.
  8. Lincoln and Liberty - This tune was used by Abraham Lincoln for his campaign prior to the out break of the Civil War. The words have been put to an old Irish air called Rosin the Beau. Dave - Mountain Dulcimer and vocals. Carol - Whistle.
  9. Spotted Pony - Old Time American Dance Reel - Dave - Clawhammer Banjo. Carol - Pony Limberjack.
  10. Promontory - I wrote this tune in honor of my ancestor John Sharp known as the Railroad Bishop. He was the senior partner in the firm Sharp and Young. He contracted the grading and tunneling work through Weber Canyon out to Promontory Pass Utah for the Union Pacific. Hard and difficult work, my ancestor had to later contest the Union Pacific in the New York courts for the balance owed to the Mormon Railroad workers. Dave - Mountain Dulcimer and vocals. Carol - Tambourine.
  11. Banjo Poem - "Banjos are numero uno!" along with some of our favorite Banjo jokes.
  12. My Darlin' - I wrote this tune together with Carol one day as I would sing a part of the verse Carol would sing me another part of the verse from the kitchen and together we wrote our first song about a young couple making plans for a life together on the frontier. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and vocals. Carol - Tambourine.
  13. Tis a gift to be Simple - an old Shaker Hymn and favorite Hymn for many people of many faiths. Dave - Mountain Dulcimer. Carol - Bowed Psaltry.
  14. Snow in the Pass / Sharp and Young - Carol and I wrote this song about her Handcart Pioneer ancestor's journey to Salt Lake. The second tune is an instrumental piece in sawmill tuning titled after my Pioneer ancestor's contracting firm. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and vocals. Carol - Bowd Psaltry.
  15. Wild Bill Hickock Poem - Poetry was often a part of many a gathering as it still is today for many Cowboy Poets. I wrote this piece about the famous Wild Bill shot in a card game holding what came to be know as a 'dead man's hand', of aces and eights.
  16. Old Aunt Jenny - I wrote this about  a women in a rest home that we met, but it has many elements of a belief in the afterlife that would have fit with the period. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and vocals. Carol - Tambourine.
  17. Hunt the Buffalo - Carol and I wrote this piece about a bank robber turned Buffalo hunter turned married man and the vanishing Buffalo in the west. Many a Mormon girl married a scallywag, but this one turns out alright. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and vocals. Carol - Whistle
  18. Blue Mountain - Written by Fred Keller in 1919 about the community in Monticello Utah around Blue Mountain. It gives a vivid description of times and is a real folkloric treasure. Dave - Mountain Dulcier and vocals. Carol - Whistle.
  19. Zack he Mormon Engineer - A satirical look at Zack Black a railroad engineer and Mormon Bishop, who had a wife in every town along the route his train took. It is sung to the tune of 'Oh Susannah' and is from the Cheney collection. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and vocals. Carol -Tambourine.
  20. Crossed old Jordan's Stream / Buffalo Polka - Appalachian gospel tune, to which I've added extra verses along with a B part to the melody. Buffalo Polka is loosely based on Buffalo Gals and has some innovations in the melodic line. Dave - Clawhammer Banjo and vocals. Carol - Bowed Psaltry and Pony Limber-jack.
We hope that those interested can attend.
Dave and Carol Sharp

Monday, June 15, 2015

Synesthesia or Chromaesthesia

I have had several people that have played in our band describe this condition of seeing color with music called synesthesia or chromaesthesia. I personally tend to imagine or visualize light and dark, form and movement. I've often thought of my primitive and abstract sculptures as having musical patterns of light and dark. Themes and variations. It comes down to smaller things as well Viola = dark, Trumpet = bright and every shade in-between. I also think of music in terms of emotive intensity of ease and unease. Hope that's not to weird. Relative pitch also can make me feel at ease as opposed to the uncomfortable feeling I get when something is not in pitch relatively. I should also say that melodic lines seem to have emotive qualities of dramatic speech. I hear or imagine the emotive preverbal intent of a melodic idea or phrase. Some Jazz forms have expletives and soft quiet melodies like a lullaby say soothing things for example. I guess I could go on and on about this subject. Some melodic patterns set to meter seem to scream for someone to dance to it. Even to imply the type of movement that should be done to it. Setting ones feet and body in motion to the divisions suggested by rhythm. Did I mention Guided Imagery, which is sometimes used in therapeutic settings. Much of the sound of Poetry read out loud has qualities of music in its cadences and meter. Sadly I've talked to people who can not even imagine what one is talking about when you say a Viola sounds dark. (a good kind of dark) The benefits and associations of music seem to be many and of great variety. I've only scratched the surface of an amazing subject.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable and the 2015 Musical Tribute

We are pleased to present this years 2015 Musical Tribute at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. Many faiths in our region will present their religion and culture through the performing arts. A list of our faith presenters is listed below. Tickets can be obtained at the door and the concert is free to the public. The concert will commence at 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm March 22nd, 2015.

Tickets may be found at our website:
or at:

The Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtables Music Tribute 2015
"Many Faiths One Family"

We are pleased to have 
Carol Mikita as our Master of Ceremonies again this year.

Opening devotionals:

Call to prayer or Adan by Masood Ul-Hasan-Islam/Muslim, Vice President of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake.

Native American Blessing by Lacey Harris of the Northern Ute and Northern Piute Tribes

Sikh prayer by J. B. Singh member of the Sikh Temple of Utah.

 Jewish Prayer by Alan Bachman with Shofar players Josh Lipman and Larry Green

 Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the LDS Seventy gives a welcome to the Tabernacle

Carol Mikita introduction:


1. Ogden Buddhist Temple Taiko - Stan Hirei director

The Ogden Buddhist Taiko Group is affiliated with the Buddhist Church of Ogden. The OBTG has gone through many different variations. Currently, the group has approximately 18 members, which range in age from twelve years old to 75 years of age. The OBTG enjoys performing in various events throughout Utah and the Western United States. The interfaith performance is considered one of the highlight events that the group has been asked to perform in throughout the years. Taiko is an ancient Japanese art form and was brought to the U. S. by Seiji Tanaka who established the San Francisco Taiko Dojo in the late 1960's. The philosophy adopted by the OBTG was established by Reverend Mas Kodani of the Senshin Buddhist Temple in L.A. He related Buddhism to Taiko drum playing. He related the drum as being the world of enlightenment of the world of "Buddha" and the player as to world or delusion of the world of man. The link between the two worlds is the drumsticks which represents Buddha's teachings. So when the players are hitting the drum with their sticks they are trying to become one with the drum or with "Buddha".



2. Kopo - Krishna Temple of Salt Lake City

Kopo will be representing the Hare Krishna's and playing a medley mantra called “Maha Mantra - Tumare Darshan” which means “The Names of Krishna and dancing with the Divine feminine and masculine energy of God.”


3.  The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Children's Choir. (formerly known as the Unification Church) Eiko Takeda, director - The choir will sing "The Principle Youth March" words by H. C. Hwang and music by Duk Chin Kim, also "Urie So Wonun Tongil" Traditional Korean Song. Tongil means unity.

4 Imam Muhammed S. Mehtar - Khadeeja Mosque-Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake. Prayer  and talk in Arabic/English - Unity, Kindness and Humanity.  Imam Muhammed Mehtar is a full time Imam, religious leader, scholar, speaker and motivator with the primary objective of helping people to recognize the greatness of Allah (swt) known in English as God.  The Islamic Society of Utah was the first organization in Utah that provided religious services for Muslims since 1986. Khadeeja Mosque is located in West Valley City.



5. Mount Tabor Choir - Mount Tabor Lutheran Church (ELCA) has been an active faith community in downtown Salt Lake since 1907. Musicians and singers from Mount Tabor are performing "Psalm 141" from Holden Evening Prayer, by the Lutheran composer Marty Haugen.  

Harry Heightman, director

Gordon Smith, piano

Rebecca Sue, Stephanie Wilson, flute

Rev. David Nichols, Erin Faehling, violin

Rachel Becker, cello



6.  Lux Singers is the Choir in residence at Saint Mary's Episcopal church in Provo, Utah. Lux (pronounced/luks/and rhymes with dukes) is an elite religious choral ensemble. Our mission is to sing the great works from master of all religious denomination and sects: to sing for the congreagates of all religious faiths, in their places of worship. Lux comes from the Latin word for light. As a choir we seek to share the light that choral music can bring to the lives of all those who hear it. Since Lux Singers is interdenominational and not tied to any specific religion or congregation we seek to share the msuic of all religions and denominations; and to share the light from each religion's musical tradition with the world. The choir will sing two pieces "I stand all Amazed", arr. John Leavitt and "Prayer" by Rene Clausen. Leland Spindler, conductor



7. Kargi Kala Kendra Indian Classical Dance School - Director Sudha Kargi, Sandy, Utah

Sudha Kargi is naturally endowed and with a solid training in Bharatanatyam under the supervision of world renowned teachers in India. After moving to US, Sudha continues her journey in performing and propagating this art form to hundreds of younger generation kids.  Each performance is for her a tremendous learning experience, filling with a sense of euphoria, because dance for her is a celebration of life. Sudha has received many awards and titles both in India and the United States for her work in the traditional arts. The dance, "Krishna Nee Begane" which literally means Krishna! Come Quickly! is choreographed for this Musical Tribute Program. This song by Colonial Cousins, which features the aspects fo both Indian Classical and Western music. The song is composed by Padmashri Hariharan and Leslie Lewis.


8. Hilltop Gospel Choir is an outreach ministry of Hilltop United Methodist Church in Sandy, Utah, that embraces all from our community, connecting many diverse faiths and cultures in sharing a love for singing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel music is deeply rooted in the black experience of slavery, but it is music that has been shared with, and speaks to, the world. Hilltop Gospel Choir performs throughout the greater Salt Lake area at various festivals and events.

Roberta Shimensky, Director

Dan Waldis, piano

Richie Vasquez, bass

Max Meyer, drums

Rodney Strong, keys

Mat Wennergren, guitar


“All the Glory”    Richard Smallwood

“Forever You Shall Reign”  Carla L. Sanders

Our pianist for "Thou, O Lord" will be Thomas Klassen



9. "Let there be Peace on Earth" Piano by Alan Bachmen, Directed by Roberta Shimensky.



(Copyrighted lyrics by Jill Jackson & Sy Miller)


Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

                    Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.


With God our Creator, FAMILY all are we;

Let us walk with each other, in perfect harmony.


Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.

With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow:


To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally,

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.


(Repeat “To take each moment” with joy and enthusiasm - and faith!)




1955 Jan-Lee Music --  Copyright renewed 1983.  All rights reserved.  Copied by permission.  Permission granted for use in the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable’s “Interfaith Musical Tribute to the Human Spirit.”

The daughter of the composers of this song granted permission for its use in our concert saying, “This is exactly the kind of an event for which the song was written.  Your use of it would please them very much.”



10.  Father Elias of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will give the closing prayer.