Pickin’ some fun outside of R&R
I don’t know how she did it, but Mama Su DeCorte of the Washington Hotel and Café was somehow able to persuade the Fruit Jar Pickers to make an appearance here on Friday, July 23, from 6 to whenever p.m.
I went down to Rough and Ready over a year ago to see these people perform and enjoyed every single minute. “Aw hailfar, yew thote they ‘us good cuz you ain’t seen ’em afore!” Wail, ah wint back a coupla munts ago and they ‘uz even bettuh the secunt tahme arount.
The FJP has been makin’ music together for about four years now, and they appear each and every Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Old Opry House right there on the R&R Highway. They play all the nearly forgotten standards, and if you feel guilty about missing church to see them, they also throw in “In the Garden,” “Peace in the Valley” and “How Great Thou Art,” and they do mighty good on those hymns.
Everybody was there that day – kids, puppies, grandparents, babies, tourists, longtime residents. Someone brought a big dog that yowled right along with the rest of the singers. The owner kept saying “shh, baby, shh!” but the dog didn’t care, and neither did anyone else. It added to the general happy ambiance of the gathering.
I hesitate to single out any one of the Pickers as being better than another because they’re fiercely dedicated to the idea that they’re all stars together, not alone.
I would like to make note of one gentleman who suddenly appeared in a blonde wig, headband and long turquoise earrings, and another guy sporting either a miner’s helmet or a kitchen colander with a spinner on top (I didn’t want to get close enough to him to find out which). I don’t know their names … and I’m not real anxious to make their acquaintance, either.
Carol deserves a paragraph all to herself. She is an A1 singer, with a voice on her that you won’t believe even when you’re hearing it. She’s a whiz-bang spoons player, too.
At one point, my lawn chair neighbor turned to me, grinning, eyes twinkling, and said, “Well, of course we know these people aren’t well, don’t we? And thank God for that!”
They also give out prizes, including special dinners to people who live the farthest away; a couple visiting from Canada won those. Why shoot, I don’t mind sayin’ it, the first time I saw the Pickers, I was awarded a complimentary pass to come back and see them anytime for free, at no charge, wouldn’t cost me a dime! Zowie darn, I was so thrilled about that pass that I drove clean through downtown Grass Valley before I realized they never charge admission. The last time I went, I was given a belly button duster, which quickly became a very necessary part of my personal – oh, never mind.
There will be plenty of seating for you, and you don’t even have to worry about dinner, because the hotel is putting on a big barbecue for only $9.95 per person. Barbecued chicken, pork, or beef ribs, potato salad, baked beans and watermelon for dessert – where else in Nevada County can you stuff yourself with some down-home American food and enjoy a knockout show for that price?
“Well, I don’t know … we’ve got the kids …” The FJP are family entertainment; by all means bring the kids, they’ll love the show was much as the adults! This is a great opportunity to visit Littletown, sing along with the Pickers, and have a good time. We’re looking forward to meeting you next Friday evening.
Vivian Herron’s column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.
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