MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Location: file:///C:/6579C639/peteryarrownov2009.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Donna tells about…
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Donna tells about….


Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center<= /o:p>

La Jolla, CA

Thursday, November 12th, 2009, 5:00 pm. <= /p>


When my friend Sally and I arrived at the J.C.C., it w= as quite early. We picked up our tickets, shopping for books at the book sale,= and then had a bite to eat at the deli. We finally got into the line to enter at 4:00, an hour before concert time, but we were hoping for front row seats.<= /p>

That was not to be. Front rows were reserved for handicapped and the underwriters of the concert. But as it turned out, it really didn’t matter, as this was a more formal concert than we were used to, with Peter. This was a real auditorium, with theatre seating, professional lights and s= ound system, rather than an outdoor amphitheatre or Barnes & Noble children’s areas (where we’ve seen Peter perform, previously).<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>  We took seats in the first non-res= erved row, which was about the 7th row.   There was an announcement which disappointed us – no videotaping. (It must be the venue’s rule. Peter has allowed video cameras in the 3 other performances I’ve attended.)


The audience was made up of a wide variety of age grou= ps, from people who were obviously grandparents, down to people with small children. Some of the small children were with parents,= and others with grandparents. There were quite a few in the audience who ha= d no children with them at all, and were of my own age group – old enough = to have grown children but either had no grandchildren yet or just had none wi= th them.  Children were mostly un= der 7. 


Peter was introduced, and he came out wearing blue jea= ns, white sneakers, a blue t-shirt, and a sports jacket, which he took off later after the stage lights got hot.  He opened his concert with “The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night”. H= is first attempt to get some of the children in the audience involved with him onstage went flat, with no children coming up. So he had the adult members = of the audience be actors, saying as a group, “John, John, the gray goos= e is gone!”  Finally he got s= ome children who came up and then he tried to get THEM to say some of the fun l= ines in this song.  Nearing the end= of the song, he asked the audience, “what IS a ‘bonezo’?” (he was talking about the last line of the song, “and the little one chew= ed on the bones-oh”).  No o= ne in the audience was brave enough to say, or knew what the answer was except me. After Peter asked the question for a third time, extrapolating first on wha= t it MIGHT be, I called out, “it means, BONES, Oh,” leaving a break between the word BONES and the word OH.”  Peter said, “I heard it, wha= t was it?” So I repeated, and he said that was exactly what it was, repeate= d it for the audience, “BONES, OH”, then had the audience say “OH” after he said “BONES”. We did that several tim= es.  


Also, during that song, he pretended to get carried aw= ay, and then after laughing about it with the audience, taught us to say, “SING THE SONG, PETER!” when he’d get carried away.  (In a later song, “The Marve= lous Toy”, he was to pull that again, just to see if we were listening. We were!)


Before the second song, Peter spoke of the hospice pro= gram that he is deeply involved with, in Bramford, CT. (It happens to be the same program that both Peter’s mother, and Mary Travers, were in before their respective deaths.)  He told a story of a woman for who= m he had sung the song to, in that hospice, and then had us help him sing the so= ng, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”. We were to sing Mary’s part, an= d he would sing his own part. (I heard a baritone or two singing Noel Paul’= ;s part.)


After that, Peter called for a child who was “ab= out 4 or 5” who had his songbook, “Let’s Sing Together” (= one of the new book releases) to come up and bring their book with them.  A little girl<= /span> who was sitting next to us, with her mother, went up. She was 6 but sat on Peter’s lap and he treated her as if she were his granddaughter Valentina, asking her about pictures, singing some of= the songs to her. The audience joined in on such favorites as “She’= ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain,” “Hey, Lolly, Lolly”, “This Little Light of Mine”, “Home on the Range”, a= nd others. 


Peter then got long-winded again, telling about his Operation: Respect program, an anti-bullying program for 2nd thr= ough 8th graders in schools.  He sang the song, “Don’t Laugh at Me,” which is the theme song for Operation: Respect.  Either the vast majority of the audience didn’t know it, or th= ey chose not to sing along.  At t= he end of the song, he told us how Operation: Respect was being taken overseas int= o Israel and places thereabouts, with the song translated into both Arabic and Israe= li. Taking out a laptop and some other device, he played a recording of him sin= ging “Don’t Laugh at Me” with a girl singing parts in Arabic a= nd a man singing parts in Israeli.  Peter also had a few political comments to make at that point. 


The remark was made from the stage by Peter, “I’ve talked to the adults long enough, it’s time to do s= omething for the children,” and called up all the kids in the audience to the floor in front of the stage, to dance. He sang, “The Marvelous Toy”, and a few audience members sang along. There were a few parents with cameras taking pictures of their little ones dancing, too! 


We were introduced to one of Peter’s assistants, Jackie. (I didn’t catch whether this was a regular assistant, or the “on location” assistant. Later on, I chatted with Wendy, the gal who travels with him.) 


Peter called for some children “around 6” = who had the book, “Day is Done” (the oth= er new release) to come up to the stage and bring their book with them.  He ended up with 6 children of var= ious ages, up on stage with the book. They were instructed to “show the bo= ok while I sing the song.” Of course, two did an admirable job (the 6 ye= ar old and a little 5 year old who kept watching her, and when she turned the page, so did he). Another one did a good job too but just flipped the pages= at random, smiling at her father (with a camera) the whole time. 


Peter mentioned Mary again, this time telling us of he= r last 10 minutes.  Eventually he fig= ured out that her expression wasn’t one of desire for the nurse, but “Get to the POINT, Peter!” With that, he did –


He invited anyone, of any age, to come up to the stage= to sing the finale with him, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”  My friend Sally and I both went up, cameras in hand.  She position= ed herself where she could take some photos. I put myself right behind Peter’s guitar neck, so I was singing about 3 ft behind his left ear.  At one point in the song= , he took the microphone off the stand, had us all singing a cappella, while he aimed the microphone where he could catch children singing “Puff̶= 1;. Before I knew it, he turned around with the mic= , looked at me, and he broke out into a grin of recognition (which made my day)! He = put the microphone up to my mouth and I sang a phrase before he put it down to another child – I think I was the only adult who sang in the mic that night.  At the end of the song, Jackie got him to lead the group down off the stage and took him to his signing place.

Peter had left his jacket and cord for something on the stage. Sally had pi= cked it up so that it wouldn’t get trampled, didn’t see anybody look= ing for it. So she found Peter’s guitar case and put the jacket and cord there. 


Then it was time to stand in line for the book signing= . We were about halfway down, as children had to go first. As was the case in all previous signings, Peter had presigned a lot of= books so you stood in line if you wanted to meet him, get him to personalize the autographed book, and get your picture taken with him. Knowing Peter’s usual feelings about signing things not purchased at the venue, I brought w= ith me my Puff book that never got signed, and the two newest books that I̵= 7;d purchased before finding out that he was coming this way.  Then I purchased two each of the n= ew books, to use as gifts. So he signed 7 things for me. 


But first, he looked up at me with a recognition and motioned for me to come around. I gave him a big hug, saying, “This is from all of the Coffeehouse, as we’re all sorry for our loss of Mary.” He said thank you, and I showed him the BACK o= f my shirt (the poster that said “in loving memory of Mary Travers”)= . He said he loved it, and I told him I’d seen two Yo= uTube videos of the memorial. That’s when he said, “You know, we̵= 7;re making an audio CD of the memorial service.” I was thrilled to hear t= hat!  


Somebody took our picture, and Sally took several too.= I took several of her with her camera, and mine as well.  The photos that I took = during the concert were probably pretty lousy, since I was so far back. 


We went home VERY happy.


Photos at: http://donnabrassea.tripod.com/