2016's First Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Can 2015 really be over? Once again we're astonished at how quickly time goes by. Six years ago, just a few weeks before Robin's father died at the age of 89, Robin called him up and, to start off the conversation, asked him how things were going. His father replied, "Oh, my life is like a roll of toilet paper." Robin chuckled and asked him what he meant and his father responded, "The closer I get to the end, the faster it goes." We say Amen to that.

The holiday season has been really fun for us. We've had a good time being with family and friends and have tried to be careful not to wear ourselves out. After a memorable evening with friends and our godson on Christmas Eve, we left on the 25th for Washington, DC where we spent three nights in a hotel close to the White House. Christmas night we were with Robin's nephew and his family, a wild night with two three year olds, two seven year olds and a spry mother-in-law, born the same day as Robin. Definitely a night to remember! Saturday we walked the streets visiting monuments, museums and restaurants. Then, on the 27th, we immersed ourselves in the annual Hank Williams tribute show at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, the 19th straight year we've done that. We can testify to the fact that singing a Hank Williams song never gets old. This year Robbie Fulks joined the usual crowd, Cathy Fink, Mark Shatz, Rickey Simpkins, Dave Chappell and us and he really added a lot. If you're close next year, be sure and try to catch the 20th Anniversary show. It will indeed be outstanding.

Santa was very good to us and we found several first-rate books under our tree including Hillary Mantel's "The Assassination Of Margaret Thatcher." Linda has first dibs on reading it but is trying to finish Mantel's mammoth "Wolf Hall" first. As soon as Robin finishes Bill Bryson's "Shakespeare: The World As Stage" he plans on attacking Ben Wynne's "In Tune," about Charlie Patton and Jimmie Rodgers. There is no shortage of excellent books these days? Any recommendations?

We'll be leaving home soon for a weekend's work starting in Asheville, NC where we'll return to a nice listening room, The Altamont Theater. We really like Asheville and Robin spent part of every summer of his youth close to there.  Following the Altamont we'll be in Fincastle, VA at a benefit for the Botetourt County Food Pantry, a worthy outreach program of St. Mark's Episcopal Church which provides services for thousands of people each year, many of whom are strangers stranded on I-81. These folks back their principles with money and effort and we're so pleased they call on us to help.

Bumper Sticker Of The Month: Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year!

So, as we get ready to join some friends for a New Year's Eve party where there'll be food and drink and music, we're thinking of what a good year 2015 was for us. First, there were very few dealings with doctors and that's always a good sign. Then there were many fun nights on stage in places like Abingdon, VA, Alamosa, CO, Rochester, Clinton and Saratoga Springs, NY, Lakeside, OH, Ashland, Onley and Lorton, VA, Bethesda, MD, New Holland, PA and many others. And there was also a good amount of time at home, here in this house that has taken so much of our effort and money, which started out as a log cabin and has been added onto and sided over and is hard to heat and has no level floors. Sometimes we wonder do we own this house or does the house own us? But we love it and we love the Shenandoah Valley, and our home, our friends and this place dictate that we look to the future with optimism. Yeah, we've got our rose-colored glasses on. We feel in our bones that the upcoming year will be a good one.

We hope this finds you all well and in good spirits and we wish you all the best in 2016. Go see some live music soon.

Your pals,
Robin and Linda

BOOKINGS: Trish Galfano, Myriad Artists,
trish@myriadartists.com, 919.967.8655