Keepin’ Tabs

June, 2016

Jack Ferguson, Ed.

Next Gathering: In Lawnridge Hall on Saturday, June 4th.

Fiddles at Five: Well friends, it appears Marilyn Hotaling won’t be dealing with beginners for long. The group is growing in both size and ability. Awesome! Bring a fiddle, join in, and celebrate their progress!

Flute Circle: Meets at 5:30 with Don Hays. Come sooner if you want; they always set up early.

Instrumental Jam: Come join this expanding jam with President Jeff Despard, Dotty Decker and friends. We’ll try to get it going by 5:30, be tuned and set up to play by 6:00pm.

Harmonicas: Andy is back with harps ready to wail at six! Bring a C harp or one will be provided to you.

Banjo Circle: Meet up with Jack Ferguson at 6pm. Nothing can prepare you for watching tomatoes grow like some clawhammer banjo!

Elections: Be at the June gathering to learn who the super folk delegates are to the PCFS board.

Presentation (7:30): Folk Dances of Poland

Since its origin in Detroit in the 1940’s, the Zamek Dancers have kept the rich culture of Poland alive in metro Detroit.  Under the direction of Doreen Geml, current members of this talented group will explain the traditional costumes and folkdances of several regions of Poland.

Snack Host: Kathy Rawlings

Song Swap Theme: Silly Songs

Song of the Month: Was going to be, “Lunatics Lullaby.” Jeff Despard planned to teach it. But at our last board meeting we had so much fun Jeff changed his mind. Now the song will be, “Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy.”

A Note from the Prez:

It seems some kind of undefined glitch prevented the notes from reaching the editor: Here is a catch up from April and May.

Regarding the April presentation … who knew there was so much involved in Busking?

Good News! Maggie Fergusson has agree to take on the role of Tin Whistle Chair – THANKS MAGGIE! But she will need lots of help. Be in the lookout for requests and PLEASE STEP RIGHT UP if you can.

And for May … It was great to have several of our nine fiddlers from the Fiddle Workshop join our usual mix of other instruments at the jam – it gave us a new twist on the sound and some new tunes as well.  Once again, I’m planning to join the fiddle workshop from 5:00 to 6:00 so I’ll probably join the jam late. Whoever feels the urge to start the jam, please get ‘er going at 5:30!  Thanks

June theme: Silly songs – that should be easy enough!

July theme:  Picnic at Annette’s place in Pontiac – further details to follow.

And speaking of Themes:  I’m workin’ next year’s theme list – let me know if you have some favorites – I’ll give ‘em some consideration.  Already had one suggestion earlier in the year: Love (ain’t that sweet?).

A Note from Andy:

Hi Folks!  I write to you today as a spokesman for the PCFS board of directors.  We usually don’t bother membership with business matters, because hey, that’s what the board is for, right?  But at our last board meeting, we discussed how the Society loses a little money each year.  So, I spent a few hours this weekend pouring over ten years of our non-profit’s annual financial reports.

Each year is a cycle.  Every August we start with a small balance in the bank, a cushion if you will.

Because most people pay their dues in September, we start our “folk year” with a pot of money.  This year has been good, and our membership income was about $2,400. Then in November we have the Tin Whistle fund raiser.  With good planning and ticket sales, we net an average $1,200 after expenses.  We also get a little cash from visitor fees and the Starry Night dance.

In the past we’ve been lucky to earn an additional $500 performing at the Goodison Good Tyme, but we haven’t been invited back recently.  We’ve also received various gifts over the years, and bequests from Mary St. Clair and Denise Marie Stein.  These generous gifts helped keep us solvent as expenses rose.

We pay $900 annually for memberships, fees, and premiums required to maintain our insurance and tax-exempt status. There are smaller costs, too – snack supplies, hosting for the website, etc. But our biggest expense is the monthly gatherings.  Each month we pay out $425 (about $250 rent, $100 for the presenter, and $75 for snacks).  As the months go by, our balance drops, and by August the bank account is thin again, down to the cushion.

Like I said, we lose a little each year, so that cushion has been shrinking.  Phyllis (our Treasurer) pointed out that our balance is approaching $2,000.  If it goes any lower than that, we’re subject to bank fees, and our account will start shrinking faster. It would be prudent to take action now.  But what?

One answer is to raise membership fees; we haven’t done that since 2008.  If we do, though, we might lose members, or people will come less often and just pay the visitor fee instead.

We’ve also talked about putting on another fundraiser next spring, the Penny Whistle, but there are considerations like additional insurance, venue availability, competing events, and the willingness of volunteers.

So, we turn to you, the membership.  It is, after all, your organization and your money we’re talking about.  How would you like the board to address the situation? We appreciate your input!

Penny Whistle: Joan Johnson volunteered to help Maggie Ferguson and Theresa Ericson explore the possibilities. Thank you for stepping up, Joan!

Board Meetings are a Big Time: Our next scheduled meeting will be on June 26th at 3:00 pm. Jack and Maggie Ferguson will be hosting.

Monthly Link Share: This is for items directly related to Paint Creek. If you like the idea, contact the editor or speak to one of our members at large. This month’s link is SingOut! magazine’s national listing of song circles.  Paint Creek has been added and will appear in the list soon!

Where the Creek Flows: Dedicated to PCFS members’ events.

Live! From the Living Room Acoustic Showcase is on summer vacation. Between tending daffodils, planting onion sets and breaking in a new composter, Maggie is gathering our next season’s acts. See you in September, for more information, go to

To submit all your upcoming gigs and events, email the details to Jack, KT Editor, at . To have your event in the KT I will need the info by the 15th.

Ridin’ Drag: Remember the old hymn, “Morning Has Broken?” The best part of morning for me is the chorus of bird song that precedes the first light. I’m not a bona fide meditator, but I do become meditative at that time of day.

Such was the case today: Memorial Day. I thought on sacrifices made, the ultimate price paid by so many that cannot be thanked. For they are past. They can only be remembered, honored.

They sang “Dixie” and “Yankee Doodle,” prayed to Yahweh, prayed the rosary, prayed to anyone listening as they answered the call, without certainty of tomorrow, but with fear, trembling and courage faced the certain truth that our free tomorrows were in their hands.

This morning when the winged choir began I was transported to a scene in “All Quiet on The Western Front.” A German soldier listens to a sparrow, drops his guard and is lost. This morning across our land many speeches will spill forth. May the rhetoric rise to the solemnity and meaning of the moment.

Jack D. Ferguson, Editor

Fine Print: The Keepin’ Tabs (KT) is the monthly newsletter for, by, and about the Paint Creek Folklore Society. Paint Creek Folklore Society is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, a center for The Country Dance and Song Society of America (CDSS), a member of the North American Folk Alliance, and a supporter of folklore, folksong and folkdance societies, groups and individuals whose interest is in the preservation of and education in traditional music and dance. To submit corrections, articles, gigs, or other information for publication, please contact Jack Ferguson, Editor, at; deadline for the next issue is the 15th.

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