About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Sunday Singalong - Summertime, and the Living is Easy


It is obvious to me that whoever wrote those words was not living in Southern California in the desert areas. Granted, the heat may discourage folks from getting out and doing some "living," but "easy"? I think not! And if you have no way to cool yourself in an effort to survive the 100+ degree heat, the unbearableness is likely to change those words to "summertime and the killing is easy." Seriously, dying from the heat is not unfounded. So far, I've survived. I'm not an ocean or beach girl (hate sand, always have) but living in the mountains means snow, so I guess I'm in a good spot. So, heat or no heat, I'm in for the long haul . . . at least for another year! No predictions beyond that.

Our desert home, Lake Mathews, CA

Summertime songs . . . so many, where to go: pop, show tunes, folk, C/W, ragtime, jazz, . . . I'm usually one to fall back on the folk genre because I'm most familiar with it (traditional or contemporary) and I've made it my mission to "introduce" y'all to some lesser known (in many circles) songs that are performed by some of my favorite artists.

I remember our summer vacations . . . the family car had no A/C and, because Mom had had her hair "done" just before leaving, opening the windows more than a crack was forbidden! Sweating in the car in the summer was a given. Showers at the destination were also a given. But as years went on and I eventually got my own car (used, of course), looking for something with air conditioning was not even considered. It wasn't until I got my 5th car (after living in California for 5 years and passed on that option for any previous vehicles . . . what was I thinking?) that considering comfort and vehicle value over . . . any- and everything else was not even a question! (The influence of California summers likely played a major part.) So when I hear this song by Tom Paxton, I remember the many hours I spent sweating at the wheel and praying I'd get to my destination sooner, rather than later.

Georgie on the Freeway, by Tom Paxton, released in 1965. 

Any summer songs and/or summer memories? 

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