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Monday, June 25, 2012

I Love Being Here With You

The performing year has ended for the Yesterukes,
 but the desire to get together has not. 
It's hard to imagine not being together once a week.

So for one last time before our summer break, 
the Yesterukes, spouses and guests 
found time to meet for lunch.

No performance this time. It was just us.
Just a time to enjoy good food and fellowship.

But as you can imagine, it's impossible 
for this group to be in one room without music.
So there were a few group songs, and some members 
shared a fun song, a poem or just a little nonsense.

It was fun to hear about summer plans--one couple is on a cruise to Scandinavia already, there is a cruise to Alaska for another couple in a couple of weeks. Trips to the beach and the mountains and time with family are already booked, too. But as the summer ends, you can be sure the ukuleles will gather again. Everyone will be rested and refreshed. Good thing, because our fall calendar is already full. We are now booking for 2013! We still find this hard to believe. 


I Love Being Here With You, Peggy Lee, 1961

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Getting Some Fun Out Of Life

It is only fitting that we ended our season in the very room where this crazy venture started. The Yesterukes began, not as a band, but as an 8-week "Learn To Play The Ukulele For Fun" class at Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Center. Five people completed that class but continued to play together and then to perform together. And that little band of beginners grew, picked a band name, grew, bought blue shirts, and grew some more, until we have 21 members in today's band.

We still practice weekly at Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Center even though now only one band member is a Martha Franks resident. Our band members come from across the upstate of South Carolina. And we continue to grow. This was the first performance for our newest member.

The residents and staff of Martha Franks gathered on a weekday afternoon to participate in The Big Sing! And everyone enjoyed joining voices to sing old favorites. Our program ran a little longer than we intended but we don't think anyone noticed. It was all good fun.

One resident left after the program and then wheeled her walker back in and said she just had to come back to tell us that a couple of our songs were special to her. She had worked in Atlanta as a young woman, across the street from the Ansley Hotel and often heard the band there practicing Sentimental Journey. That would have been when that song was a new hit!

Some of these residents had only heard us at the very beginning and were surprised at the sound we have now, after five years of playing.  We have worked hard to make our music snappy and to make our program entertaining. 

And after all this hard work, we are taking a summer break. There might be an occasional blog post during the summer, but look for us back here full time in the fall.

Getting Some Fun Out of Life, Billie Holiday, 1937