July 2020 Fiddletter

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President’s Remarks

by Tom Bailey

Greetings Fellow Foggers!

This has been said so many times that it sounds like a habit, but I truly hope you are staying safe and staying healthy! Good news from our injured reserves: Greg’s knee is healing well,  but he is still on some pain meds and using a walker when going out. BUT he is back to playing and looking forward to playing with the old group again! Susan’s wrist, we are glad to report, is doing much better. With this issue, she is taking over the editor’s work she had passed on last month to brother Mike. Great that both of you are healing up so well.

As many of you have heard about and many have participated in, members have been hosting yard jams by setting up chairs in someone’s yard —  or in Bill Kraft’s case on his large deck — maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. Is it safe? We did our first jam five or six weeks ago and have had four others since then, two of those being bluegrass jams. No one has reported becoming ill from the gatherings and music is being played outdoors; how much better can it get? The gatherings have now received the nicknames Fiddlin’ in the Grass and Pickin’ in the Grass; it’s pretty easy to tell which one is which. A couple other folks have hosted jams in their yards and several more have

Ah, memories! We’re all looking forward to a time when we can play together in Friday evening jam sessions and at gigs. In the meantime, some FOG members are gathering in yards and on decks for socially-distanced outdoor music-making.

mentioned wanting to do the same. The host MUST know how many folks will be coming as he/she must know how many chairs to set up or, even more importantly, how many chairs can be set up while maintaining a 6-foot separation. If an open invitation goes out and only a couple folks respond, then the host doesn’t know whether to hold the event or not. It does take a good bit of time to set up and what if no one shows? So, if you are interested in joining a fiddle jam or a bluegrass jam, you MUST let it be known. We have decided an open invitation doesn’t work, that hosts will have to directly invite musicians that they know are interested. Also, the host has to make sure there is a mix of instruments;  ten guitars or, heaven forbid ten banjos, just wouldn’t work.

RichieRosie-3Regarding Rosie and Richie workshops:  We were seriously looking at a virtual effort but at the last Board meeting we had a good discussion. If we can do yard jams, why can’t we do the workshop in the same fashion, which would be much more enjoyable if we could pull it off. We would like to find a place that is covered that could handle 20 folks set up 6-plus feet apart. Rosie has mentioned August 15th as a possible date. This week I hope to get my act together and see what we can do to set this up. Maybe we have one workshop in the morning and another in the afternoon? Think about it; the Board would need to know if you are really interested and would most likely attend. We don’t want Richie and Rosie to come to town to do workshops and have no one show up.

Quite a few years back, a previous FOG president started a memorization tune for the month. Denny did the same thing for a while when he was president. Now it is my turn. Some folks have a little more time available these days than they used to for messing around with their instruments. So, what if we pickup with the list of tunes where Denny left off? These are all core tunes, which we have all played hundreds of times —  or maybe tens of times for the newer members – which is to say we probably know most of them.   So, with that in mind, here is the list of memorization tunes for us to add to our jam tunes.

Alabama Jubilee, Angelina Baker, Bile ’em Cabbage Down, Buffalo Gals, Cabri Waltz, Cripple Creek, Darling Nellie Grey, Down Yonder, Eighth of January, Faded Love, Girl I Left Behind, Gaspe Reel, Golden Slippers, Jaybird, Joys of Quebec, Lannigan’s Ball, Maiden’s Prayer, Marching Thru Georgia, Old Joe Clark, Red River Valley, Redwing, Snow Deer, Soldiers’ Joy, Swallowtail Jig, Tennessee Waltz, Turkey in the Straw, Under the Double Eagle, Westphalia Waltz, When You and I Were Young Maggie, Year of Jubilo

So let’s try these tunes and really try to remember without looking at the music. I know that seems impossible but I will try it. We used to close our music books when we practiced these tunes. Whaddya think?

Well, that’s it for this month. Please think about coming out to one of these yard events. Everyone who joins in leaves saying how much fun they had playing together, “even if they were a bit rusty.” Just drop us a note saying “count me in!”

I am really looking forward to seeing you all and playing together again. Please stay safe and stay healthy.

Until then … Play Nice!

Website Stats

Contributed by Mike Deniz

The new FOG website has been up and running for over a year now. In addition to more robust tools and functionality, it also affords more visibility into how members and the visitors from the wider world (literally) find and use the site.  Here are a few interesting stats for your consumption:

2020 Fiddletters: Monthly percentages of active members receiving the Fiddletter email that open it from their inbox

  • June: 67.9%
  • May: 73.5%
  • April: 46.3%
  • March: 58.8%
  • February: 61.7%
  • January: 58.2%

All Time Global views: Which countries are visitors to our site from (by total # of views)?

FOG global views

Most Popular Page/Post Views in the Last 90 Days:

  • Home Page: 372
  • Tune Library: 267
  • Members Only: 102
  • Build Your Own Cigar Box Fiddle: 82
  • Jam Sessions: 65
  • Become a Member: 51
  • Archived Tunes: 44
  • About Us: 42
  • Gig Schedule: 42
  • Contact FOG: 28
  • Articles: 25
  • Board of Directors: 23
  • Free Sheet Music: 22
  • Archived Fiddletters: 19
  • Event Calendar: 18
  • Set Lists & Schedules: 16
  • Photo Gallery: 14
  • Current Fiddletters: 14
  • Merchandise: 11
  • What is Bluegrass Music?: 10



Thinking of You

Contributed by B.J. Cunningham

Editor’s note: Once again I have the pleasure of publishing words of wisdom, reflection and humor that B.J. has generously taken her time to share with FOG members since the inception of the quarantine. This month’s compilation contains much of the good humor

BJ Cunningham
B.J. Cunningham

needed to survive the past four months, but begins on a somber note, with reflections on the significant social upheaval being felt in our country, and around the world, as recent events force us to take a hard look at police brutality and race relations.

June 2, 2020: The events of the past week have left many of us feeling sad, anxious, angry, frustrated, devastated, afraid, and discouraged.  How quickly we moved from concern about a virus to that of our nation, state, and Rochester community responding to the death of George Floyd. I hope you are able to engage in activities that bring you peace.  Music, meditation, gardening, kayaking, bird watching, praying, talking to family and friends, reading, cooking, volunteering, donating to your local food cupboard, visiting a local park for a hike, or enjoying the sunset.

Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means … Ronald Reagan   

 When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace … Jimi Hendrix

Imagine all the people living life in peace.  You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one … John Lennon

Peace cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding … Albert Einstein

It isn’t enough to talk about peace.  One must believe in it.  And it isn’t enough to believe in it.  One must work at it … Eleanor Roosevelt

One day this will be over and we will be grateful for life in ways we never felt possible before … Matt Haig


Song Lyrics for Quarantine


“Don’t stand so close to me”…The Police

“You can’t touch this” … MC Hammer

“Dancin’ with myself”… Billy Idol

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine”… R.E.M.

“My loneliness is killing me”… Britney Spears

“Bored in the house and I’m in the house bored”… Curtis Roach


😷      😷     😷    😷    😷    😷    😷    😷    😷     😷


More Quarantine Humor


Guys I need your help.  I’m in the middle of an argument with my wife and she told me that I’m right.  What do I do next?

Has anyone else bought the Covid-19 home testing kit online?  I got mine today and apparently, I’m pregnant!!!

Growing your own tomatoes is the best way to devote three months of your life to save $2.17.

Jellyfish have survived 650 million years, despite not having a brain.  This gives so many people hope.

I was visiting my daughter last night and when I asked if I could borrow a newspaper.  “This is the 21st century”  she said, “we don’t waste money on newspapers.  Here use my iPad.”  I can tell you this, that fly never knew what hit him.

I’m afraid if I start working out, I’ll be too sexy!

Be honest; if people heard what you are thinking half of the time, you would either be in jail or a mental institution.

Me:  Alexa what’s the weather this weekend?  Alexa:  Doesn’t matter, you ain’t going anywhere.

Everyone please be careful tonight, there is a DUI checkpoint on the corner of hallway and kitchen, be safe!

Remember wishing the weekend could last forever?  Happy now?!!!

I was so bored last night I called Jake from State farm just to talk to someone.  He asked me what I was wearing!

The cops just left.  They said if I was going to walk around the house naked, I’d have to do it inside.

And just like that, having a mask, rubber gloves, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and rope in your trunk is okay.

Anyone else starting to get a tan from the light in your refrigerator?

When we come out of this and I ask you where you want to eat, I do not want to hear, “Don’t know.”  You had 90 days to think about it.

Unemployment application Job Title:  Burglar.  Reason for lay off:  Everyone is home.

How am I doing?  Well, I just wiped down the container of Lysol wipes with a Lysol wipe.  So, I’m fine.  Everything’s fine!

Due to my isolation, I finished three books yesterday.  And believe me, that’s a lot of coloring.

Jam Sessions

fog jam clipart large canvas - canstockphoto13679639

All jam sessions for July have been cancelled. For the latest schedule changes, please see the Jam Sessions  page on the FOG website.


July Gig Schedule


All gigs for July have been cancelled. For the latest schedule changes and maps to gig locations, please see the Event Calendar on the FOG website.


Beavers Fiddle

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