It is with a heavy heart that I bring you the news of the passing of our beloved Secretary/Treasurer and Founding Member of The Detroit Folklore Society, Carolyn Montgomery. Luckily, she passed peacefully in the night lying next to her husband and lover of almost 65 years, Robert. Thankfully, she is no longer beset by physical ailment. Her delicate soprano voice will be sorely missed not only for its loveliness, but because she truly brought folk music to the group from abroad, most usually, her beloved Scotland. She had retired from mailing the Half Lyre, saying no one read it, anyway, but that simply wasn’t true. I know, because I’ve saved them all, being a philatelist, and very much enjoyed the interesting tidbits she always included, along with songs and her humorous interjections. She (and The Half Lyre) will be sorely missed. We will be honoring her at Natalie and Larry’s house in May.
As I was away in Florida for the month of April, our co-president, Mr. Ted, took copious notes for me, and if I have made any mistakes in names, etc., I apologize in advance.
Firstly, we’d like to congratulate Hannah and Jack on the birth of their tenth grandchild, a granddaughter, Adina Tferes, gentle beauty. As it was Larry’s birthday, Natalie made a cake with lots of chocolate and cool whip. Two musical groups were present, “Happy Hour” with Brother, Jim and Tim, and the “Waterstone Duo”. As Jim, Tim and Sue all play fiddles, DFS now, officially, has a string section. As our newest luthier just had shoulder surgery, Larry has not yet buffed the guitar he’s completed making, but, soon, it WILL be done (at the meeting at his house?).
As the last Half Lyre printed and mailed by Carolyn states, the theme was HISTORICAL SONGS. Sue began with “When I’m Sixty-Four”, and was followed by Bob S with “Ellis Island”. “The Yellow Rose of Texas”, or as it was originally entitled, “Emily, Maid of Morgan’s Point” was inspired by Emily West, an indentured servant to John Morgan who apparently won the heart of a black soldier who wrote the song about her, and was sung by Jacqui, who hosted the evening (thank you, Jacqui). Larry amused everyone with his song, “The Hysterical Historical Society”, followed by Tim who presented “Battle of New Orleans”. Charlene led with “Aragon Mill” about the mill once so prosperous and now gone. Brother, Jim, sang the WWI song, “Mademoiselle of Armentieres” (Hinky Dinky Parlez Vous) about the poor gal who hadn’t been paid in forty years and made her living “upside down”. Natalie brought James Kerrigen’s “Red River Valley”, and was followed by Lisa who sang Connecticut’s state anthem, “Yankee Doodle” about the British mocking the disheveled colonists by calling them ‘doodles’, or simpletons who wore Macaroni wigs, making them floppish and effeminate (how insulting!). Ted sang Michael Peter Smith’s song “Spoon River” which is loosely based on the Spoon River Anthology, and, Denny sang “Nothing But Time”. Tom sang an anthem of the labor movement, “We Shall Not Be Moved” and the meeting ended with Hannah playing “Birth of the Blues”, followed by Jack playing “The Nearness of You”.
Eerily, (Prophetically?) Carolyn assigned the theme HONORING FRIENDS to June, and at Larry and Natalie’s house, we will be doing just that, as we honor our dear friend, Carolyn Montgomery, even though May’s theme is SING IN GROUPS. Please bring a favorite memory of Carolyn to share with the group, along with your song and a snack to share. Thank you. We’re looking forward to being together on May 11th when we’ll celebrate Carolyn and all those with birthdays in May.