December 2020 Fiddletter

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President’s Remarks

by Tom Bailey              


I hope you had a happy, albeit somewhat different, Thanksgiving. Several folks where I work talked about enjoying Zoom Thanksgiving gatherings with family members. Just think, a year ago many of us hadn’t heard of Zoom, yet now it is a major part of our pandemic lifestyle. Others are using FaceTime, Teams, or other conferencing software to have face to face interaction with friends and coworkers. The FOG Board has been using Zoom for our meetings and it’s actually working well,  except for not getting Jane’s cookies at the end of our get together. But there is an upside: you don’t have to go out in bad weather to see your friends or take care of business.

The wintry weather no longer allows us to gather together outside to play music. We are still working on a way to provide the opportunity for people to jam together. Some members have sat in on other clubs’ remote jam sessions, most of which have provided a so-so experience. We need more than that when we start our jams. But, as mentioned last month, we need someone who can coordinate our jam participants. This position does not require a ZOOM expert, just someone who can communicate with other members who want to be in
on the jams — a ZOOM coordinator. Through December, the Board will work out the details on how multiple small groups can participate in jams together, but we can’t do it without a coordinator. Please think about it; we need your help. Email me at if you are interested.

Historically, the first Friday of December is the day for the FOG Annual Meeting, the one where we have a Year-in-Review:  meeting minutes from the previous year, a financial report for the year and discussion of what was good, what was bad and what is planned for the coming year. The election of Board members for the next year were held at this time. Obviously, getting together for a meeting isn’t going to happen. The Board talked about a Zoom meeting but there are some things that can’t be handled in that manner, so regular meeting information will be sent via an email blast, or  via direct mail to those who don’t have computer access. Some information is included in this newsletter as well. There will be an open time for members’ questions and comments and Board response will be sent out to all members. Voting will take place on the FOG website. When the survey program is set up, all members will be notified of a time period to go online and vote. Those who don’t have computer access will receive a ballot in the mail and can call in their vote if they wish. We wouldn’t have considered this approach in the past, but these pandemic times are requiring the Board to look for new opportunities for carrying on business.

A member brought up an idea today, related to the newsletter. As you know, there are very few FOG activities occurring or even planned, which makes it difficult for Susan, the Fiddletter editor, to come up with enough items to fill a newsletter every month. We have been asking for quite a while for members to send in articles or photos or anything that can be printed, but there has been very little response. So what would you think if we changed to sending out a newsletter to every other month?

Another activity, which could be a lot of fun, is to get together with a couple others and record a few tunes, which don’t even have to be FOG tunes. Send the recordings to Mike and they can go on the website and/ or be linked to the Fiddletter.

MANY thanks to those members who are going to be representing FOG at the Genesee Country Village & Museum Yuletide Open House coming up the first three weekends in December. The GCV&M is doing everything they can to make this a very safe event, limiting attendance at the Church and Town Hall to around 20-25 folks, socially distanced, and making sure there is adequate air movement in both locations.

Remember, music soothes the soul and lifts the spirits. It puts everything else in perspective. So play music every chance you get.

Until Next Time … Play Nice and Stay Safe!



Slate of Candidates for 2021

Contributed by Jane Reetz, Secretary


Various members of the Fiddlers of the Genesee Board of Directors of 2020 have identified the following people who have stepped forward to serve on the 2021 BOD. We appreciate all who considered accepting positions as well as those who offered to serve in other, non-BOD capacities. The slate of candidates is presented below:

President: Tom Bailey
Vice President: Kathy Schwar
Treasurer: Bill Kraft
Secretary: Jane Reetz
Director-at-Large #1 (2021/22): B.J. Cunningham Director-at-Large #2 (2021/22): Pat Fink Director-at-Large #3 (2021/22): Tom Hollar

Each of the five Director-at-large (DAL) serves two-year terms.

The two other DAL positions are currently filled by incumbents who will be serving their second years in 2021. They are Elaine Chandler and Greg Roat.

If any member would like to still be considered, please contact any BOD member. A Board vacancy may occur during the year and knowing which members have an interest in serving on the board will make it easier to fill such a vacancy quickly. Further, if a member cannot make a one year or two year commitment required of those who sit on the FOG Board of Directors and would like to help out in some other way, they should contact any of the current board members or consider one of the Critical Function Leader positions.

Due to Covid restrictions, the FOG Annual Meeting will not be held this year. Voting will take place online. Watch your email for notifications related to Q&A sessions with the FOG Board and also for information related to voting.

A printable PDF of the Minutes of the FOG Annual Financial Business Meeting (DRAFT), which was held in February of this year, can be found here.


Thinking of You

 by B.J. Cunningham


B.J. Cunningham

Oh, how I wish I was returning to you once again having been on a wonderful vacation that included breathtaking scenery and warm ocean breezes.  My reality of the past couple of months, however, has included coming out of retirement to take on a Telehealth nursing position.  I spend two and a half days a week calling on participants whose day programs abruptly ended, as did all of our music, the second week in March.  I am thankful for the opportunity to connect with people who are often lonely, depressed, and feeling isolated during the Pandemic.  Along with my work schedule I have been doing the same chores that have kept you busy: raking, preparing gardens for the winter months, getting all of the winter gear out of hiding, more raking, and savoring beautiful fall days.  

After the recent death of a close friend, who was my singing partner for 26 years, so close to Thanksgiving, I began to reflect on gratefulness for her friendship instead of the overwhelming sadness of the loss.  For different reasons it has been a difficult time for all of us these past nine months to feel gratitude instead of hopelessness and despair.  As we watch and listen to the recent news of Covid increasing again in our area, it’s hard to be optimistic about the next few months at a time when we want to gather and celebrate with family and friends.  

Because I needed these reminders, I am sharing with you some gratitude quotes.  Please take care and stay well so we can all be together again to share that which fills our souls.  

 🎻 Keep your eyes open to your mercies.  The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. Robert Louis Stevenson

🎻 Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.  And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson

🎻 Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone. Stephen King

🎻 Be present in all things and thankful for all things. Maya Angelou

🎻 We must find time to stop and thank the people who have made a difference in our lives. John F. Kennedy

🎻 When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.  And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. Shauna Niequist

🎻 You ought to be thankful a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not. Dr. Seuss

🎻 I am so thankful for friendship.  It beautifies life so much. L.M. Montgomery

🎻 I never met a bitter person who was thankful.  Or a thankful person who was bitter. Nick Vujicic

🎻 When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others. Dalai Lama

🎻 Let all your thinks be thanks. W.H. Auden 

🎻 And my favorite: Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Anonymous

🎻 And one more: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all. Anonymous



We Three Kings, 2020 Style

Contributed by Kathy Schwar


Because we can all use a good laugh …


Click here for a printable PDF of the  We Three Kings Parody


December Gig Schedule

There are no gigs scheduled for December, other than the small groups scheduled to play weekends at the Genesee Country Village & Museum’s Yuletide Open House.

For the latest schedule changes and maps to gig locations, please see the Event Calendar on the FOG website.




Jam Sessions

All Friday night jam sessions for December  have been cancelled. However, there is opportunity to take part in Zoom jam sessions, the logistics of which are being worked on by the Board. Contact Tom Bailey if you are interested in being a Zoom coordinator for virtual jam sessions.  For the latest schedule changes, please see theJam Sessions  page on the FOG website.








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