By Jackie Deal
“That’s Gold in Them Thar Hills” (thank you Bugs Bunny, actually “Yosemite Sam”). Friday afternoon the gold was music! For the first time in a l-o-n-g time the Timber Valley clubhouse rang with music. With music and about 30 enthusiastic, happy listeners.
A trio, introduced as “The Not Quite Ready For Prime Time” combo entertained for a much too short a time. They were spearheaded by Kathy Perry who played guitar and sang. Kathy is known in the park as a ukulele player and teacher. Like many in the park she has an interesting history. She grew up in California and has been married to Darold for 55 years. She worked in insurance as a claims adjuster for 25 years. Then she had a bakery/deli and finally decorated cakes for Wal-Mart. She and Darold went full-time in 2011. Her music career began with piano lessons as a child. About 15 years ago she decided to teach herself guitar. She says, “Music lifts the spirits up.”
Ron Thomas, who is renting in the park, is building a home in Elkton. He was in “sales” and telecommunications. He was interested in Indian culture and some of his writings have been published. He trained as a “Therapeutic Music Practioner” and plays for Memory Care homes. He finds this “the most rewarding and fulfilling” part of his life.
His music career began when he was 10-11 years old and he began playing guitar. In Junior High School he started a rock and roll band. At one point he worked for the Economic Development Department in Oregon counties where he was part of an informal band composed of executives. At a charity function their group was auctioned off for a one -time performance for $3,000. He also opened for “Asleep At The Wheel”.
Ron’s love of people and commitment to service is easy to see and he assures us he can come back from Elkton to help make music in Timber Valley.
Dick Rauscher, the third member of the trio, played an “octave mandolin”. His battered brown hat would make Jed Clampett proud. Dick talks fondly of “homesteading” in upstate New York under the “Back to the Land” movement in the seventies. He cleared the land, built the buildings, stocked a fish pond, planted gardens and kept practically every kind of animal. He was totally self-sufficient.
In high school he also formed a rock and roll band and then fell in love with Blue Grass at a blue Grass Festival in Cape Cod. He became a Mental Health Practioner under the American Society of Pastoral Counselors and has been a psychotherapist for 30 years, counseling and teaching workshops. He has written two books, “Adult Spiritual Development” and “Waiting is Not an Option”, the latter about the environmental and cultural abyss we face. He and his wife Melinda, a neonatal physician, moved into an RV in 2006 and traveled. They decided to build a home in Redmond, Oregon but were bored and in 2011 sold it and went RVing again.
Four year ago they drove through Timber Valley and within half an hour signed up. He and Melinda are active in the newly formed Community Garden Group. And he hopes to continue providing musical entertainment for Timber Valleyites.
If I may turn art critic (a position for which I have no credentials) “The Not Quite Ready for Prime Time” combo may soon be ready. Just two critiques: a microphone would help those who are hard of hearing and please, one hour is not enough for music lovers.