I first saw Linda Ronstadt in concert in about 1973 in a little venue in Atlanta called the Great Southeast Music Emporium. I have since seen on various websites that the capacity of the venue was about 540 people. It seemed smaller, a converted shopping center movie house that sold beer by the bucket. Literally. Little metal buckets. Search the name and read about the place. By the time that Cathey and I went to concerts there, some of the acts that they were booking went on to the big time. One such was Linda Ronstadt.

Imagine seeing Linda up close and personal in such a small venue, blue jeans and bare feet and with a band that would become the Eagles backing her. Imagine that it's the early show and she's just hit town and she's kinda tired so it's mostly ballads. That voice just a few feet away. Singing love and loss right at you. And imagine, when the show is over, that management comes out and says that, since the second show wasn't sold out, you could stay if you wanted. Yes, there was a time that Linda couldn't sell 1,000 tickets over two shows. And we were there.

I'll talk about other shows at that venue in subsequent posts. But right now I want to talk about pre-Eagles Joe Walsh and another venue worth mentioning.

St. John Terrell's Lambertville Music Circus was a one-off when it opened, a bowl in the Greek style serving up theater-in-the-round under a circus tent. Novel idea. Fifteen minutes from my house. The history of the Music Circus is littered with famous names of the 50s and 60s. The list of jazz artists who performed there reads like a Hall of Fame lineup - Basie and Brubeck, Ellington and Fountain. I saw Rita Moreno in West Side Story there. And I saw my first true guitar hero there - Joe Walsh.

It's difficult to describe a concert like the one that I attended at the Music Circus 60 years ago. Saying that the  James Gang was a power trio doesn't do the term justice. Maybe the James Gang actually defines the term. (Picture of Power Trio in the OED = The James Gang) Joe started the show alone, offstage, making sounds that I had never heard come from a guitar live before. The show hit me right between the eyes. It became my music then. It's my music now. I just can't help it.


There's something about Siamese cats. I can't explain it. If you're not a cat person, you won't get it. Even if you are a cat person, the allure of Meezers may not get to you in the same way that it gets to those of us who have been captivated by the breed. Siamese...Meezers...are talkative to a fault. They are bossy and demanding. They are too curious for their own good, smart enough to open any cupboard door and find the tasty treat or chicken bone hidden therein. But at the same time, Meezers are beautiful to look at, regal in bearing, and loyal to their chosen human. One of the great mysteries of life...


We moved to France permanently in 2014. We have returned to the USofA on the average of once every five years. Our rural, quiet French village of Quarante sits in the middle of a relatively active tourist region but is not significantly picturesque or sufficiently close to a popular tourist destination to be on anyone's radar. The road to Quarante leads to Quarante and nowhere else.

It's true that Quarante is on one of the routes of the Santiago de Compostelle, the long road purportedly followed by Saint John as he brought Christianity to Iberia from Rome. And occasionally, pilgrims carrying a heavy backpack with an identifying seashell attached to the back will find their way to our village bar for a rest and a drink of water or something more bracing as they follow that ancient route. But they are few and far between. No, this is France Profund, Deep France as Cathey likes to say, a generation behind the rest of the country, the rest of the world.

And so we watch the goings on in the USofA with a certain amount of detachment. We are concerned for the future as it might affect family and friends, as it might affect the rest of the world. But deep down inside, if we are being honest, we've left the USofA behind. Thoughts and prayers...

Macron is my President.


  1. Thanks for blogging again, Ira. I’ve missed your voice observing the past and present. Already looking forward to the next post.

  2. Thanks for the kind words. I'm going to try to keep going for a while. Glad that you enjoy my writing.



 I retired on April 1, 2014. Cathey and I boarded a plane at JFK on April 15th with four suitcases and two cats, determined to become lifet...