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LEAVIN’ ON A JET PLANE –

By Donna

 

Dateline – Thursday, November 20, 2008 –

 

It's rather late (for me) but I don't think I could sleep yet if I landed in the bed. First, I've had a bit of caffeine (after several months of having little-to-none). But second, I've had an adrenalin-high again this evening.


This evening, Peter Yarrow of Peter-Paul-and-Mary fame was scheduled to be at the Barnes & Noble Mira Mesa. Now, no matter how you feel about his politics, he still has (even at age 70) a wonderful voice and a great outlook on life. There are quite a few things I agree with him on - just not his complete political outlook. Now that I've said that ...

I got there just after 4:00 pm for the 7:00 pm performance. After someone mentioned that his appearance there was mentioned on the NBC channel here in San Diego, along with a big interview, I was glad I got there early - got wristbands #3 and 4 for Sally and I, and a couple of seats for the two of us "down front".  After putting some non-descript stuff on the chairs to hold them, I disappeared with another woman there, over to Pat and Oscar's to have a bite to eat.  Yum…they have a great Greek salad….but, I digress…

By the time we got back, things were starting to happen at B&N. They were moving chairs around and if we hadn't been there (Sally arrived just after that) I wouldn't have had my front row seat any more.  Peter came in to set up the mic system with his co-hort just after 5:00.  He sang a little. During one of his lulls, I spoke to him from the audience, asking him how Mary was doing. After he told me she's doing much better, he came up to me. I asked him if he remembered me; he said I looked familiar but he wasn't sure why. I reminded him that he'd invited me to sing at the mic with him last year in Encinitas, and he nodded and went back to checking the sound system. A few minutes later he needed to test the other mic and INVITED ME TO SING WITH HIM.  Okay, I bounded up there. Not too many in the audience at that point, but then....he picked a song I absolutely LOVE *and* I'm in the process of writing an arrangement for, with my choir...."There is a Ship", (AKA to most Music teachers as "The Water is Wide").  He let me sing a verse, then he sang one, I sang another one with him singing harmony underneath, then he sang one back and I added vocal harmony to it (to hear how mine would sound...wow). 

Peter then went to a back room to pre-sign some books (saves time later and some people don't want them personalized).  I went and bought the books - they are SONG books so I know I can use them in my classroom (translation: TAX DEDUCTION). One book is called Sleepytime Songs, the second is called Favorite Folk Songs, and then there was last year’s Puff the Magic Dragon.  In addition, the solo albums for Peter, Paul and Mary were just released in a 3-CD set called “The Solo Collection”, and I couldn’t resist buying one.

He came back out about 6:40 and "tested the mics some more". There was a huge crowd by this time which got bigger as 7:00 approached. We sang a bunch of songs - he started with "The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night", and we did "Rock-a-My Soul" (which I'd done with my choir last year). Also during the evening we sang "Somos El Barco" (also done with my choir last year), and "Don't Laugh at Me".  Well, towards the end, he started talking about the 60s, Obama (he's a supporter), but he did make the point (well) that without some of the Civil Rights stuff in the 60s we wouldn't have a black man as President today. Okay, I cannot disagree, even though I am not a supporter of Obama’s politics. Then he was going to sing the "anthem" of PP&M in the ‘60s - either "If I Had a Hammer" or "Blowin' in the Wind". He called 4 of us up to help him on "Hammer" - two men, and Sally and me. Now, on that one I know Mary's part so I sang the harmony where I knew it. Peter looked over at me in surprise when I was up on her higher parts - guess he didn't expect me to know Mary's part.   (We just watched the film of PP&M singing that song, today in my class. It was in the documentary “Festival” and that was a clip from the Newport Folk Festival, 1963.)  Wow, what a thrill - to be up on the mic singing with Peter Yarrow THREE TIMES.  What a highlight!

Afterwards we waited in a very long line for his personalization on our books.  Though Sally and I had #3 and 4, they were allowing all the parents with young kids with them to go before us. Okay, as a parent (of older "kids") I can understand that. But it didn't make me any less tired of standing on my feet!

Once I got up to Peter, he gave me a hug and a kiss (which he'd done twice last year and already twice that evening, each time I was up on the podium), and then sang the song "Donna" to me in my ear when giving me a hug.  He personalized all my books, and I got my picture taken with him. He also autographed my CD collection with a special inscription that I didn’t even take the time to read right away.

Now, when Sally and I were up on the podium with him tonight, she got her neighbor to take photos with her camera, but I failed to hand mine to my neighbor (whose name was Loretta, and I had dinner at Pat & Oscar's with her). 


BUT - when I got to sing duet with Peter on "There is a Ship"....Sally videotaped it!!!!!! She will try to figure out how to get me a copy of it and then I will try to find a way to upload it .... someplace.  WOW!!!!!

You can see I'm too high on adrenalin to sleep right now...it's close to 10 ... wonder if I'll even be asleep by 11????  Oh, tomorrow's 5:15 alarm will come too soon....

 

Later addition:

The inscription on The Solo Collection CD set, signed underneath a photo of Peter, Paul and Mary, said, “To my friend, a hero, Donna….(peace sign), Love, Peter Yarrow, 11/20/08”.