Featured Voices, Short Stories



Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

I remember those days quite well.  At age 81 (82 in less than a month!  Damn!), those “tavern” memories are very much alive.  More than a lot of more important stuff now gone from my memory bank.  

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
But in my glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely person really me?

William Florian

I’m writing this as a review of a concert we saw Friday night: a performance by William Florian at the Yreka Church of the Nazarene theatre, sponsored by the Red Scarf Society for the Performing Arts

The performer, William Florian, is an old-timer, relatively speaking.  He was a lead singer of the New Christy Minstrels (remember them?)  Friday night he sang and played music of Peter, Paul, and Mary, John Denver, Pete Seeger, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, The Mamas and the Papas and many more. 

I don’t consider myself to be a performing arts critic.  But in the last few months many of my stories have been just that: performing arts reviews. That’s a good thing, because it means there have been opportunities.  We’ve had many performing arts events over the last year.  Yes, right here in sparsely-populated, rural, red-neck Siskiyou County.  Thanks to Red Scarf Society for the Performing Arts, for bringing them here.

There were a little over a hundred people at the concert.  Should’a been a lot more.  Not many young folks.  Not a surprise.  I can hear them say, “Who?  Peter. Paul, and who?”

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face, I heard you call my name
Oh, my friend we’re older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

A little story:  When in law school in San Francisco in the mid-sixties, I went to a Peter, Paul, and Mary concert; I think it was at the Masonic Auditorium.  The opening act was a stand-up comedian named George Carlin, who at that time was unknown.  The audience was anxious to see Peter Paul and Mary and apparently didn’t appreciate George Carlin.  The audience was rude, almost out of control, and booed Carlin off the stage.

It’s interesting how things can change with the passage of time.

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way

Once again, thanks to the Red Scarf Society for bringing great performances to Siskiyou County for twenty years!  Next up, free country concert on the mall at the Siskiyou Golden Fair: Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood tribute singers, Wednesday evening August 7, 7:30 PM.  

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