About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Did your Ancestor play a saw?

The Glendale Folk Heritage Festival, held on March 20-21, was a great experience. It was free to the public and the public came! Butch held 2 workshops, but only one where I took photos: learning to play the saw. He helped budding sawyers of all ages learn to hold and bend the farm implement. By the end of the hour, they were actually playing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" (well, that's what they said it was!). If you think that this sounds like something you would like to do, after you get your head examined, check out Uncle Butch's web page to download instructions on saw playing (note: there is also a handout download on that page that covers spoon-playing).

Here are some photos of the master teacher at work.

This "instrument" has been around as long as it's been a tool, so if your family had one of these, perhaps one of your ancestors was a saw-player. Just a thought!

"What does it sound like?" you ask. Ah, that can be discovered on his CD: "Playing on the Edge" (you can listen to some of the cuts from the CD, if you so desire).

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