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February 20, 2015


Polar Vortex Special! Keep Those Instruments Safe Indoors!

It’s hard to remember now, but it was a pleasantly warm day last time we gathered, on February 8. We had a good time. Silvia Eberly arrived well before 3:45 and played some catchy greeting tunes on the button box as folks set up for the meeting and others trickled in. Then she packed up and dashed off to her regular Sunday gig at Café Mozart.

We had billed it as an open-mic event, and it worked out well. Our trusty emcee Ken Kunec brought the mic, and he filled in the dead air with jokes and some really nice songs, including sing-alongs. Not too many people signed up ahead of time so we wondered how long a program we would actually have. Not to worry: the meeting ran well into dinner time, filled with entertaining and remarkable performances by Bob Juszczyk, Frank Vidergar, Robert Ford, Joe Kulick, Jim Vandelly, Peter Krasniewski (whom we hadn’t seen for a long time), Peter DiGiovanni, and JoAnn Pankow. Jim and Bob J. played together on that Polish song that’s become one of our standards, and Bob sang the verses. Jim also accompanied Donna Zadnik on a song honoring her husband Valentine, who was born – of course – on February 14. It was a sweet, moving performance. Afterwards, a little group jammed in the corner, so it was nonstop music and lots of jokes.



We’re almost a teenager!! We will celebrate our 12th anniversary with a dance party on March 15, so please put the date on your calendars and sign up to play a dance tune. Here’s a hint: polkas and waltzes are the dances most people know. Please invite your family and friends so we can fill the room. Lee Paulson will be the greeter. By the way, the theme of the day will be Irish because of St. Patrick’s Day being right around the corner. Connie Racioppa will decorate the room in green, and Joan Grauman will bring sheet music for some Irish tunes, so bring your accordions, even if you don’t plan to play for dancers.

Our April meeting, on the 19th, will be a guest-artist concert featuring the wonderful Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, whom you may have heard on Prairie Home Companion. Minnesota is his home, so he’s a frequent guest on the radio show. Joan Grauman and JoAnn Pankow will be the greeters.

On May 17 we will hold a button-box extravaganza featuring Silvia Eberly and Frank Vidergar, and probably others. Yimin Zhuang will be the greeter.

Don’t miss the fun. And stay up to date by checking the WMAS calendar.



I will be doing a short (3 minute) stand-up comedy act on Saturday February 21, 8 pm, at the Bethesda Hyatt (see link below).  It would be great to see you in the audience. You must be seated by 7 pm in the club.  PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN ADVANCE IF YOU CAN MAKE IT SO THAT I CAN TELL THE COMEDY CLUB HOW MANY PEOPLE TO EXPECT.  

Details about the club are at: http://standupcomedytogo.com/see-a-show/hyatt-saturdays/

--Mike Rubin