August 2013, offline I am drafting an essay on the music that has impressed me all my life from about 1937 the 70’s. Nothing since has impressed me. It’s a fun and relaxing endeavour to work on. I am using my huge list of youtube bookmarks.
May 2013, with a friend went to the Log Cabin restaurant,39976 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake and enjoyed listening and chatting with “The Holcomb Valley Boys and Miss Kitty”. I had called Bob Greenan of that group to check on where they were playing. I hadn’t see Bob or Miss Kitty since I think spring of 2010. Getting out and listening to live music was a treat for both of us. We want to go back.
Since September 2010 I’ve been fully occupied in buying and moving to a house in the Erwin Lake area at the east end of the Big Bear Valley. Still not having a vehicle, I’ve been out of touch with the Big Bear music scene. I talked with Steve Brickman on April 5, ’11 and learned he has disbanded his group, sold his instruments and is moving to Nevada. I have recently started in again singing along with karaoke I find on Youtube.
Saturday Sept. 18, 2010 I took a bus to the Convention Center at about 4 pm to the Oktoberfest. First I chatted with the Big Bear American Legion Post Color Guard. Then met some of their friends before joining the Armed Forces Network small alumni group as an Army Security Agency guest. The alumni group all served in Germany in the ’50’s while I served with the ASA in Asmara, Eritrea, 1954-55. The gathering was organized by Alan and Tobey MacQuoid. I exchanged stories with Alex and Sylvia Sullivan of Fawnskin and Thousand Oaks and Steve Binder of Malibu. I grew up in Belmont Massachusetts with Alex and we are both Class of ’54 from Harvard. We lived about a dozen houses apart in Belmont in the 30’s and early 40’s and are the same class, 1950 from Belmont High.
When I lived in Southwest Missouri, every August the local Lions club hosted the “Ernte Fest” across the road from my place. It had similar ambiance as the Oktoberfest, except mostly outdoors over a Friday and Saturday evening. Bands came from Wisconsin for many years and the locals of the Village of Freistatt supplied the German dinners and sandwiches. The beer flowed freely in a fenced off Bier Garten while two dance floors were lively from 6 to midnight. Freistatt was founded in 1874 as a German Lutheran village in the midst of one of the heaviest cattle breeding areas in the U.S.
Sunday evening September 12, 2010 while out walking I stopped by Boo Bear’s Den (restaurant with patio) in the Village of Big Bear Lake and listened for 40 minutes to the karaoke show of “Kate and Alex. Good singing, good equipment. Alex even took on the challenge of the “That Loving Feeling”. There is a $4 “cover” to sit in the patio if you also wish to sing and don’t order any food or drink.
Saturday evening, September 11, 2010, 5 to 8 pm I once again enjoyed the music of the Bear Valley Cats for the evening renamed the Graham crackers since the lead singer of “Damn Good Question”, named Graham was filling in for the Cats regular singer. The group blended very well. A lady stopped by me and asked if they had an CD’s for sale. Saying “They are really good” as did others. (They don’t have any CD’s).
Sunday 15 August 2010 Luis Peralta, long time friend called from state of Washington and we yakked about music and “old times” in Laguna Beach for over an hour. I hadn’t seen him, only some mail and phone calls since the later 80’s in Southern California. He had reunited with Blossom Dearie in NYC for five years at the Blue Note, “happiest years of his life” he said more than once. He reported phone contact with his pianist colleague, Bernard in Paris and their singer Ingrid now in Phoenix AZ. I found an electronic enhanced percussion demo by him on youtube: Luis Peralta
He has been with Teatro ZinZanni Seattle for a few years.
Sunday, Aug 8, 2010. Was at the jam session at Diamond Lil’s at the airport for my third time and was delighted to witness Lisa Nobumoto do a few solid jazz songs, in the mode of Lena Horne. We chatted briefly about jazz venues in Los Angeles which I frequented in the 70’s and 80’s. For info on her career go to
Lisa’s page on The Jazz Network Worldwide.
Saturday July 24, 2010, was wine walk night in The Village, Big Bear Lake, California. Very friendly atmosphere. I sat with Marvin Lawrence and Glenn Adkins my neighbors and friends near corner of Pine Knot and Village Drive. Glenn’s blog link for his book Never A Dull Moment . Marvin has a book also but without an internet link.
After awhile I walked down to Blondies on Pine Knot and chatted with Frank Alvarez at the bar. Frank introduced me into the local American Legion Post in August 2009 and we’ve had many chats since, finding a lot of common ground, his growing up in Barcelona Spain, 23 yrs US Army, sports car racing, soccer, ice hockey and the places he has lived throughout his career.
Friday, July 17, 2010. Once again I enjoyed Elevated Roots. This time in the patio of the Copper Q on Pine Knot. They were so good that some of us practiced our “reggae moves” on the sidewalk. Here is their video at Snow Summit for the Amgen Tour.
Saturday, July 18, 2010. I wandered around the Chili Cook Off and vending tents behind the Chamber of Commerce on Bartlett Road in the Village. And ended up as usual in front of the bandstand for a lively couple of hours by an excellent rock and rock and roll band, “Damn Good Question”. They tried very hard to get the crowd worked up and it work for about a dozen dancers. I guess most were waiting for the results of the chili contest.
Sunday, July 18, 2010 I attended an open jam session at Diamond Lil’s Saloon at the Big Bear California airport from 2 to 6 pm. Steven Brickman is the organizer of these every sunday events. I haven’t been in Big Bear a year yet so I asked Steve for the names of the performers.
Kitty on Keyboards and singer of the Holcomb Valley Boys featuring Miss Kitty at the Log Cabin, every Friday night.
Chris the exceptional lead guitarist
Bob of Holcomb Valley Boys, rhythm guitar
Will, sang and played guitar
Becky, bass guitar
Mike on Drums
Jeff Snyder, lead guitar of Duke & Dawgs
Holcomb Valley Boys with Miss Kitty did a quieter set.
A guy from Running Springs sat in on drums
Terry Hopple finished up the session with some very uptempo guitar.
There was free baked beans, barbecue and corn on the cob
July 4th weekend, I caught Steve Brickman and The Bear Valley Catz at the Copper Q patio on Pine Knot and Elevated Roots between Saucy Mama’s and the Theater on Pine Knot, sponsored by Saucy Mama’s and Pete Fulkerson of Equada Outfitters.