December Keepin’ Tabs – Paint Creek Folklore Society

Keepin’ Tabs

December, 2014 

Jack Ferguson, Ed


Next Gathering: December 6th.

Happy Holidays to All!   It’s time for our December Potluck hosted this year by Liza Shone and Caylynn Mather.  Arrival time is 6:00 pm. Dinner and celebration will begin at 6:30 pm.

The meeting will be held in Fellowship Hall (next to our usual digs in Lawnridge Hall.  There is no charge for guests, so invite your friends and remind them to bring instruments and a dish to pass!

Plates, napkins, flatware, cups, and beverages to fill them will all be provided.

Please bring a dish to pass that is fully cooked, ready to serve and enough to serve eight.  There is a kitchen with refrigerator and a microwave, and many outlets for crock-pots and such.

Feel free to bring a table-sized holiday decoration to enliven the atmosphere.

Food Category Suggestions:  Last names beginning with:

Main Dish – S thru Z

Casseroles, meatballs, chicken, ham, turkey, cheese/deli/sandwich plates, lasagna, etc.

Sides – A thru J

Potatoes, pastas, fruit, dips, cheese & crackers, jello, veggies, baked beans, rolls & butter, relishes, etc.

Dessert – K thru R

This category requires no definition – of course if your last name falls within another designation, feel free to bring an additional dessert.  Nobody will complain.

If you can, bring your food in a disposable dish.  That makes cleaning up easier.  After the meal, please take your dish and any utensils so that the kitchen helpers can join the festivities with the rest of us.

If you would like to help with set-up, please come at 5:00 pm to help set-up tables, chairs, as well as other logistical details and final touches.  Contact if you can help.  Thanks!

Hosts: Caylynn Mather and Liza Shone 

Attention All: Remember, because this is our December potluck we don’t schedule the regular circles involving ukulele, banjo, harmonica, fingerstyle  guitar and native American flute. All will be back in January, and I expect most will be involved in this months song swap.

Presentation:  Traditionally we don’t have a presentation at the potluck.

Music Sale:  Maggie Ferguson will be bringing a pile of used CDs and music books for just a couple bucks each.

Hat Band: Traditionally we don’t have a Hat band at the potluck, but Januarys Hat Band, Pete Hartung, Larry Weisman and the Old Scout  are lazing their way toward a slothful new year. 

Song Swap Theme: The Holidays

President’s Message:

Hey folks, wasn’t that a great Tin Whistle concert? We had an excellent crowd, great music, and a good time.

As usual… And yet, I wring my hands in worry every year.

It’s a risky thing for such a small non-profit to put on such a big fundraiser – there’s so many balancing acts. If we get everything about right and make a decent amount for the treasury, it means another year we don’t have to raise membership dues. If we get anything wrong, we could put in all that hard work and still lose hundreds of dollars. There’s just not much margin for error.

Picking the headliners is one of the most important. You need high-quality entertainers who will excite the audience and make them want to come back year after year. Someone who’s willing to accept a modest check, who are well-known enough that they can bring in a crowd, but not so familiar that people will have seen them recently.

Along with that is the ticket price. There’s limited seating… too low a price and the place is packed but we only break even. Too high a price and tickets are harder to sell, and seats go empty. We kept the ticket price at $15 again this year. It’s been the same price since 2002, even though rent, insurance, and all our other costs have gone up.

Even calculating how much food to prepare for snacks and how to price things makes a big difference in the bottom line.

So, how’d we do this year? We did well!

Thank you to everyone who bought and sold 151 tickets – you made the concert a financial success. Our net profit was almost $1,100!

Part of that total is thanks to Mike Acosta and the kitchen crew. They netted $165 toward the evening’s profit. Another big factor is that again this year Phil Doolittle donated his time and the use of his sound system for the concert.

Thanks to Maggie Ferguson who negotiated the contracts; we were lucky enough to land the accomplished, high-energy Judy Insley and Almost Perfect, and to lure Neptune’s Car all the way from New England. Dave Belferman and the New Simple Gifts did a great job of opening the show. Musically, it was a home run.

Thanks to all the volunteers who did everything from putting up posters to staying late to clean up. We’ve been doing this a long time now, and I think we have the process down. It was a group effort, and one of the smoothest evenings I can recall.

Let’s do it again next year!  (And yeah, I’ll probably worry about it again.)

Andy Mather


Follow-up on Neptune’s Car: Steve and Holly thank everyone who’ve helped them reach 71% of their fundraising goal for their third CD, 45th Parallel.  They’ve completed recording, mixing, and mastering all the songs, and completed the photography and graphic design for the packaging and lyrics booklet. Now, they’re ready to send the project to the printer.  If you’d like to contribute, go to

Board Meetings are a Big Time: The PCFS board will meet on Sunday, Jan. 11th at 3:00 pm at Jack and Maggie Ferguson’s.

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

Dave Falk hosts unplugged acoustic music at The Goldfish Tea room at 117 4th St. in downtown Royal Oak between Main and Washington every Tuesday night from 7:00 to 9:00.

Evie Boss invites all on the First Tuesday of each month to Gilda’s Club in Royal Oak (on Rochester Road just north of 13 Mile Rd.) has a coffee house: dinner starts at 5:30, open mike from 6-7 and featured performer from 7-8.

Maggie Ferguson host’s “Live! From the Living Room Acoustic Showcase” on Friday nights. To learn more go to

As long as we’re on the front porch, tune into WXOU FM.  To listen via live webstream go to:  www.wxou,org.  Tuesdays between 5:00 and 7:30 pm for the best in contemporary folk music.


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: Last year at this time I asked Paint Creekers to consider giving bandannas to their friends and family members to celebrate the holidays. Lo and behold I began to see more bandannas in circulation. In an effort to build on this fashion conscious success, allow me to make another suggestion.

But first we need a song, hmmm, I believe it will be familiar to you all as “Red Wing”. The song has another title, “The Union Maid”. I was humming the chorus of “The Union Maid” to myself just the other day.  The first polar vortex of the season was passing through so I was navigating our driveway with Big Bore. That’s what I call the industrial strength snow blower I bought from my cousin when he moved off to Giles County Tn. Big Bore makes bit of noise, but he gets things done, and there we were, man and machine, facin’ down the arctic blast, when…that chorus came to mind. It came when the physical exertion required to maneuver old Big Bore created sweat; just enough to cause my undergarment to cling. There I was, sticking with the union, suit that is.

The union suit was created for gals in Utica, NY during the late 1860’s. This garment was an attempt to reform the constrictive Victorian dress codes women struggled with. I don’t know how well great, great grammas liked it, but grandpas were delighted. They wore them all the time and everywhere, from the bank to the barn. Why? Because they work, and when you’re up against it, you want stuff that works. Wear the union suit as a base layer when you’re outside on the deer stand or hunting up a Christmas tree; wear it inside under your hippest chic jeans and dial down the heat.

If you’re thinking that last year’s winter was a fluke, that’s up to you, but why not prepare those you love for a real mid-western winter by gifting them with a union suit of their very own. Friends, old school weather requires old school underwear and nothing say’s old school like a fire engine red union suit. If you use yours I expect you’ll find yourself singing to the next cold snap:

“You can’t scare me I’m stickin’ to the union.”

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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