Back to index of "this and that in my life" pages by Donald Sauter.

Conversations with me, no. 26
Email highlights, ca. September 2000

Dedicated to the proposition that every thought that's ever been thunk may be of interest to someone . . .

THEE:  What can you say about a mom who has 24 LPs waiting for 
you?  That's a family!  Good work! 

I'm going to call you about your "vague allusion" to "La Boheme." 

I just finished a pulp novel, the last book I bought at the 
Monroe County Library in 1995.  It was "Call for Michael Shayne" 
by Brett Halliday.  It was originally published in 1949, but I 
read a 1964 reprint.  Should we care that one of the characters 
is named Sergeant Pepper?  It's all "Sergeant Pepper this," 
"Sergeant Pepper that."  I don't suppose you have a quote from 
Macca [Paul McCartney] lying around in which he says he loves 
private-eye paperbacks.  

ME: That business about Sgt. Pepper is intriguing.  Only anecdote 
that comes to mind is Paul changing it from Dr. Pepper because of 
the soft drink in America.  

THEE:  On my way back from the library sale, I threw down the big 
coin for Mac's "Run Devil Run."  It's good! 

Thanks also for the object lesson on being a census aid.  Hself 
will appreciate this story, since she keeps threatening to join 

ME: I had to quit census taking after a week and 1 day.  People 
were so rude and mean that it was killing me alive.  I knew it 
was time to quit after I blew up at one woman.  

How'd you like my new answering machine message with the tweet 

ME: My stint as a census taker lasted a week and a day (not 
counting training.)  People were so rude and mean that I couldn't 
take it anymore.  I knew I had to pack it in after exploding at 
some nasty woman.  I told the crew leader I would be glad to 
continue, with one little concession - that I have blanket 
permission to pepper spray anybody who could use a good dose.  
That didn't fly.  

I wasn't ever worried about my safety.  It did occur to me that, 
with some of the questions I had to ask, it would be very 
difficult - if not impossible - to answer honestly to a flesh-
and-blood census taker.  I mean, you might answer question about 
income on the form you mail back, but it's very uncomfortable 
actually saying it to another person.  And I always had to ask if 
anyone the respondent named was in jail on April 1 2000.  Yeah, 
they're gonna tell me that...  

Regarding old records, I'm pretty good at tuning in on the music 
and ignoring the background.  I remember a cd I checked out of 
the library back in the '80s.  It was some old opera recordings 
from about 1910.  Well, what would happen is, I'd tune out all 
the scratchiness, but then there would be perfect silence between 
tracks that would hit you right between the eyes, and actually 
draw your attention back to the scratchiness on the next track.  
If they had let the scratchiness play between the tracks, you 
would have never thought about it after the first few seconds.  

Just yesterday I listened to my Fledermaus from 1949.  Remember 
that LP records came out in 1948.  Yes, the fact that the sound 
is *not* cd-quality is part of the fun.  But it's good enough to 
be enjoyable, and it's funny to think how those little grooves 
preserve something that people did over 50 years ago.  Quite 
amazing, actually.  

I do hate skips.  They're very rare, actually, and I have a 
technique that fixes most of them.  I keep meaning to put up a 
web page on how to fix skips in records.  

WTMD (89.7?) plays old and new doo-wop Sunday afternoons.  So 
driving up to Baltimore is about the only time I turn my car 
radio on.  Last Sunday the dj announced a group with a name that 
tickled my funny bone - the Cactis.  [pronounced cac-tize]

Got a surprise checking my mail 2 days ago (after being off-line 
for 2 weeks) and finding a message from Willy Russell, the man 
who wrote the play John, Paul, George, Ringo... and Bert.  He 
also wrote Educating Rita, if you've heard of that.  He must've 
been curious after finding the the review on my website.  It 
almost seems like he wasn't aware of the UMBC production, which 
would surprise me.  

Finally found time yesterday (Saturday) to go down to the Library 
of Congress.  The guy who gives me the most trouble wasn't there, 
so I asked permission to copy from a huge old bound collection of 
150-year-old European guitar music.  I got about 200 pages worth 
- the most I've ever gotten in one day.  It'll take a while to 
clean it up, catalog it, and play through it.  

While I was there I took a quick look at the Library's Wizard of 
Oz exhibit.  It's a lot of fun, actually.  If you find yourself 
on Capitol Hill, I'd recommend taking a look.  

I agree with you about "unconscious plagiarism".  That's what 
they found George Harrison guilty of regarding My Sweet Lord/ 
He's So Fine.  Ringo often told the story of how he would write a 
song and bring it in to the group, and they would fall about 
laughing because "it had already been written".  Speaking of the 
Library of Congress, they have a really fascinating display 
relating to the first court case involving this unconscious 
plagiarism from early in this century.  They even have recordings 
of the 2 songs for you to compare.  

ME: The BIG news is that the job at Glenridge elementary school 
did become reality.  I'm thrilled to pieces.  I'm working with a 
4th grade boy named Christopher who needs special attention.  
He's very pleasant and cooperative, and even gets good grades, 
actually.  I sit right in the classroom beside him, and I also 
find plenty of opportunity to help other kids.  Olivia sits right 
behind me, and is a bit behind academically, so that's 

I was almost thinking it wouldn't fall into place, but Wednesday 
morning I got a call from a big-wig in the school system, and I 
ran around getting fingerprinted and filling out a few forms, and 
he said, you can work tomorrow - which I did! 

I miss the kids at James McHenry, but it's only the last few 
weeks, anyhow.  We'll see what happens next year.  I think I've 
already made a very positive impression at Glenridge.  The kids 
and I connected instantly.  They were being tested on push-ups at 
phys ed, and wanted me to do some, so I gave them a good laugh.  
I also brought in my racquetball game for recess, and I think 
every kid was begging to be next to play.  

A cold came on Saturday afternoon.  I suspect I caught something 
from school on Thursday.  It always seems that my colds come 3 
days after being around a lot of people.  The same thing happened 
when I went into James McHenry the first time at the beginning of 
the year.  

A couple of the old 78's have a Beatle connection.  There's a 
song by Jack Lawrence called "Linda" which was inspired by the 
infant Linda Eastman (later McCartney).  When Mom heard it, she 
said, "I know that one."  Also got an old country 78 called 
"Nobody's Child" by Hank Snow, which the Beatles also recorded 
before they were famous.  Got a copy of "Cow-cow Boogie".  You 
know that one?  There's a funny old film of cows singing it.  

You know, it's easy to proclaim "all songs have already been 
written", but I am just amazed at how many ways you can drift 
away from a main note and come back again - and sound completely 
different.  Really, it's *very* rare when I think song A sounds 
like song B.  Even being a Dylan fan, I make comments like, 
"yeah, he's written 700+ songs, but they're not all *different* 
songs really."  But then, when I hear something that sounds 
familiar in an Irish folk song, say, and start going through 
Dylan's songs to find the one, it's easy to determine instantly, 
"not this one... not this one..."  That seems proof enough to me 
that all the songs really *are* different.  (Make any sense?) 

Did I mention the Wizard of Oz exhibit at LC?  It's good.  Jorie 
Gracen was there and went ballistic and had to be hauled away in 
handcuffs (just kidding.) 

THEE: Most likely, if I ever met you, I am going to slam my fist 
in your face! 

THEE: Thinking this big redd was a kid I know from church (he's 
bigred on AOL), I opened his email...but as you see, it's just a 
link from your web.  So, I went...and saw those guest book 
entries about someone named Hself.  I have no idea what is going 
on in your life, but I hope you are ok.  I know you are a kind 
gentle man with a great sense of humor, and it sounds like people 
have misunderstood you and set out to try to slander you.  

Strange that this big redd felt it necessary to email me.  Guess 
he's emailed everyone in your guest book...that's the only thing 
that makes sense.  What a jerk.  

THEE: I just logged in to my email and have received an email 
from a person named Redd Harrison. Evidently, he has found a way 
to hack in to your page's guest book and to email everyone listed 
on it. Quite unethical on his part. But then, he appears to have 
a huge ego, as his email name is "bigredd".  

When I read the email, I became very worried about you. And I 
feel guilty that we were not able to communicate by phone last 
month when you asked for a call. I feel that you must have really 
needed a friend and I was not there for you.   When I finish this 
email, I am going to try calling you.  

Hang in there.  

THEE: Here is the email I received yesterday.  It was nice to 
hear your voice. Don't be discouraged. There must be a way to 
fight this.   I am reminded of the Salem witch hunts when people 
were accused and burned without a trial.  I think you should work 
all summer poring over legal volumes and come up with an answer. 
I know how you feel about the legal system, but if you bend a 
little and use it to your advantage, it could work for you.  

ME: I don't have any ideas on how to stop that bigredd.  Maybe 
he'll get bored and find someone else to harass.  

Yeah, a big reason is that lunatic out there.  This guy, with his 
internet knowledge *and* law knowledge (claims to be a legal 
consultant) is more dangerous than anybody else with guns or 
bombs.  bigredd is just one of his dozens of email accounts.  I 
spend all my internet time trying to snag as much of his forged 
emails filled with insane libel and slander as I can, since this 
can't possibly not end up in court.  

Looking forward to a return to normalcy, but I can't envision it.  
Even if this guy got sent to jail (not too likely in our system 
of justice) he'd have access to the internet as soon as he got 
out.  I have no idea what can stop him.  

THEE: I forgot to mention that I recently gave my first listen to 
"Wings Over America."  I was surprised at how low-fi it sounded, 
also how short some of the sides were (must be my CD endurance 

The second half of the Paul Robeson documentary was better than 
the first.  It dealt with Robeson's support of the Soviet Union 
and left me wondering whether he really was naive (as the NAACP 
said at the time).  

THEE: I am writing to you today to thank you for your attempt to 
change our government. After reading your about you, your ideas, 
and your beliefs, I am strongly advising all my companies 
affiliates and employees to vote for you when November roles 

I was also wondering if you could send me an autographed photo to 
commemorate your running for president. I think you are bar none 
the best candidate out there and you will be sure to have my 

THEE:  Call me a musical nincompoop, but now that I've heard your 
"Linda" 78, I think it merits a side-by-side comparison with Jan 
and Dean's version.  

THEE: Only a guitarist...geez, what are you a genius or 
something? Has anyone offered to pay you yet? I'm really curious. 
Having studied my music history, heck, all of arts history, it 
occurs to me that no one really understands why we study about 
struggling artists. Anyway, if I weren't a struggling artist, I'd 
pay you myself. So I hope someone has taken up your proposal. If 
not, let me know. I have an idea.  

ME: Thanks for the kind note.  No, there has never been any 
response to my proposal, except one comment from a guitarist 
saying it was a good idea.  (It was so long after I put up the 
proposal that it took me a while to remember what he was 
referring to.)  I contacted the D'Addario company directly, but 
never heard back.  To be honest, I've come to accept that 
guitarists just can't be bothered with guitar music.  Still, if 
you have an idea, I'd be pleased to hear it.  

THEE: Well, I'm sorry that you've received so little support. 
It's not just guitarists ... your work is kinda like mothering 
and being an artist or musician ... everyone thinks it's a good 
and necessary job, but they also think you ought to have a "real" 
job too, and do this one because you're such a good hearted soul, 
or because it's your "calling," or just because you're weird. (I 
still think you've gotta be a genius to be able to think so big, 
even if not so fast) 

THEE: I just got back from Europe (or, as my students say, Yurp), 
where I pillaged my way through several new libraries and 
revisited a few others. Thought you'd like to know that I was 
able to confirm your attribution of the 'Favorite Waltz of the 
Duke of Reichstadt.' It is Op. 31, No. 1 by Johann Strauss I (not 
II), the first piece in a set entitled Des Verfassers beste 
Laune: Charmant-Walzer. The New Grove dates the set 1829. I have 
heard Carcassi's or Castellacci's variations (I forget which) 
dated to 1828, but this is probably a discrepancy within the 
margin of error for such datings.  

ME: I enjoyed the recent Soundboard as much as ever.  In the 
editorial you wrote, "There is an immediacy and 
interconnectedness to electronic communication that cannot be 
matched by any print medium."  I wouldn't throw in the towel so 
quickly.  I find my position hasn't changed since back in the 
early 1980s when I would write the Soundboard suggesting a Forum- 
type section where guitarists could ask questions, answer other 
people's questions and share their own discoveries and 
observations.  This could all be kept at a very high level by the 
editorial staff, as opposed to the near-worthless chatter in 
internet discussion groups.  As far as interconnectness is 
concerned, thanks to Soundboard I still feel much more connected 
to GFA members than to participants of internet discussion 
groups.  Regarding immediacy, what's a few months in the scheme 
of things, when you might have been wondering about something for 

I also believe that many interesting magazine articles could come 
from sifting through all the gab out there and distilling threads 
of interest down to their essence.  For that matter, perhaps 
Soundboard could find whole articles of exceptional interest on 
the web and arrange with the writer to edit up a print version 
for the magazine.  

Also, in the battle of digital versus good ol' analog, are we 
sure that a good copy machine wouldn't do a far nicer job of 
taking out the background in Soundboard music, etc.?  (See pages 
22 and 37-39.) 

I'd like to see Soundboard print James Buckland's research on the 
terz guitar he gave at the GFA Festival.  

ME: By the way, do we have any idea of the origin of the Carnival 
of Venice?  It's not in Fuld's book, which seems surprising.  
This is all rhetorical - don't research it for my benefit! 

ME: Thanks for your kind words and your kind offer. I seem to 
recall Mary Criswick writing years ago that the theme "Carnaval 
of Venice" was in fact a Neapolitan song entitled "O Mamma, 
Mamma" or something of the sort. It shows up everywhere in about 
the 1830s for some reason. I'll keep a look out and if I see 
anything I'll send it  to you.  

ME: The rock Linda didn't sound like at all the pop version to 
me, but I've made bigger goofs in my life.  I thought the rock 
version had lines repeating "Linda, Linda, Linda..." 

THEE:  I'm immersed in "Apple to the Core."  I know you told me 
not to, and you're completely right.  The errors are irritating.  
or do we know that the Beatles played multi-hour shows at the 
Cavern?  But the authors did seem to be able to sit down for long 
candid interviews with some chaps who usually don't have much to 
say, like Neil Aspinall, Nat Weiss, or Sid Bernstein.  Still, I'm 
looking forward to finishing it and moving on.  

I listened to "Golden Throats 4:  Celebrities Butcher the 
Beatles" on Saturday.  I can honestly say that the CD fully 
achieved its goal; it is the most annoying thing ever.  I'll be 
taping it for you.  

THEE: If 51% of the people in a nation of "majority rules" are 
cannibals, then the 49% minority become dinner.  

ME: Which nation is that?  

THEE: I just discovered your site last night and think it is 

thanks for putting so much work into it (and for leaving off 
graphics which just slow things down!!!) 

My mom taught me to add vanilla extract to brownies and let me 
tell you, it is the saving grace from people who cook from a 
package. You can't tell! 

I just pour some in, so quantity is hard form me to say.  I don't 
like it to overwhelm the taste of the chocolate so try a teaspoon 
and go from there.  

Of course, you would have to bake, test and decide if it was 
enough for you. What fun! Making batch after batch of brownies 
till you decide you've got just the right amount of vanilla 

THEE: thanks for the rules of croquet mate really handy. Had a 
match with a few aussie mates.  

ME: While I'm writing, I thought I'd ask about a comment by 
Walter H. Maloney in an editorial in the Gazette a while back 
("How the Prince George's County Planning Board overcharges 
taxpayers", April 6 2000.)  He wrote, "It's no wonder that this 
county continues to have the highest aggregate tax rate in the 
metropolitan Washington area."  That bums me out, too.  Can you 
supply the figures on which that statement is based?  Thanks.  

THEE: I'm speaking rhetorically, of course.  The founding fathers 
did not establish a pure Democracy (the will of the majority) 
with the signing of the Constitution because they understood that 
the majority would take advantage of and control the minority. 
They established a representative Constitutional Republic ruled 
not by the majority, but by the law, intending to protect the 
individuals rights to life, liberty, and property. I believe that 
they actually established a fourth branch of government, and that 
would be the jury, which would be the final arbiter. People from 
all walks of life who had the ability to judge the merits of a 
law, and not just whether a law has been violated. Any despot can 
create any law if he has the force of arms in order to enforce 
them, but free people can cast these laws aside by way of the 
jury system.  

The founding fathers did not anticipate the power of a controlled 
press.  He who controls information, may rule the world. They did 
recognize the potential power of  the educational system. Most 
were adamantly opposed to any federal involvement in the 
educational system because they knew the system would be abused 
and people would fall prey to influence and manipulation.  

Sadly, people have been "educated" in this country to believe 
that our form of government is supposed to be a Democracy. 
Majority rules, that's fair, right? The founders created more 
justice than that.  

The Constitution has been corrupted primarily because it has been 
neglected. Most people have never read it, and most of those that 
have did not understand it. If they had, more people would be 
talking about the blatantly unconstitutional measures undertaken 
by the federal entity.  Most people don't care.  

THEE:  Thanks for a most pleasant evening last night.  I'm sorry 
it was so short! 

The accident that slowed me down a little only produced five 
injuries, but involved 33 people and 14 or 16 vehicles.  I don't 
know more than that at the moment.  

I forgot to tell you that I read Max Wilk's heavily-illustrated 
"Yellow Submarine" while I was at the beach.  I think it's cool 
that that book stayed securely in my backlog for 15 years or so 
and then it took me 15 minutes to read it.  

My Handel opera is "Ariadante."  The other thing I mentioned is 
an oratorio, and I've already forgotten its name.  

153 years ago:  Stephen C. Foster sang his minstrel song "Oh! 
Susanna" in a saloon in Pittsburgh, Pa., and from then on it 
became his most beloved song. Foster's visit to the South had 
such a strong effect on him that his song writing became 
identified with the Deep South.  

THEE: When (dated) was your webpage to roofball first published.  
Do you have any other dated documents on the sport.  Do you have 
any dated documents with a version using a racket or paddle?  
This information is requested to add to office files about the 
sport.  Ex. Pierce 

I work for Patent and Trademark Office.  My group is concerned 
with new type of games including those related to tennis and the 
like.  Copies of your web site are being added to our files and 
we needed a date to put on them should they ever become of use.  
Thank for you prompt response.  

ME: It looks like I put my roofball webpage up in June 1999.  
That's the date of a file that I downloaded to my disk of an 
image I found on the web of 2 people playing their version of 
roofball.  I make mention of that picture in my webpage.  I don't 
have any other documents, but I'm sure you know of the roofball 
website, which I added a link to at the bottom of my page.  No, 
it never occurred to me to use paddles - roofball always seemed 
like a volleyball variant to me.  I am more than a little 
intrigued by your mention of "office files" on roofball - are 
roofballers under government surveillance? 

THEE: I think the next one we should watch is Alf Bicknell's DVD.  
While it may sound mean, I have a feeling we'll see how LITTLE a 
DVD can give you when we watch that one.  

You got me right:  After hearing it several times (OK, just a 
few), Ms. Bize's (correct pronunciation?) "You Ain't Goin' 
Nowhere" is growing on me.  

I got a nice CD last week of Copland's "Old American Songs," plus 
spirituals, sung to a simple piano accompaniment by "Liverpool 
Oratorio's" own Willard White.  I haven't found the definitive 
version of "Old American Songs," but White does a nice job with 
some of them.  

THEE: Just found your website.  IT'S GREAT!  I've been interested 
in Walter Jacobs and other 19th c. Americans for quite a while.  
Any chance of a copy of Our Director?  I've got some Jacobs in 
photocopy from local libraries (Northampton and Boston, MA)  that 
I could share if you're interested.  

THEE:  So, I was walking to work this morning, and the genius of 
the country version of "Yellow Submarine" hit me all of a sudden.  
I started giggling as I walked down the street.  Very strange 
that it should take so long.  

ME: Yes, I've talked with Doug Back and met him at a mandolin 
convention in D.C. a year or so ago.  I was in a guitar trio that 
performed a William Foden trio.  I remember getting in touch with 
Doug around that time, although I don't remember exactly what 
for.  He wrote a great Soundboard article on the Big Three 
guitar/mandolin/banjo trio.  

THEE: Thanks for sharing all the great information on your web 
site.  Sorry some depraved sole caused you to have to edit your 

ME: Back in February, columnist Nick Heydenrych had a good time 
poking fun at independent candidates for president (Independent 
parties still a better idea in theory than practice, Feb 28 
2000.) This is what he had to say about me:  "Then again, there 
are some candidates out there who made it all the way to college. 
There's Mr. Donald Sauter, who opposes the concept of evolution." 

My campaign for president has to do with one thing only - pure 
democracy.  Every presidential action would be dictated by 
majority will.  You may disagree with the idea (actually, you 
can't, because that gives rise to a number of paradoxes), but 
it's hardly ridiculous.  Read all about it at my website.  Just 
plug my name into any search engine.  (Leave off the "Mr." - I 
don't like titles.) 

On an unrelated subject, if Nick would like to describe, in 
generation-by-generation steps, the emergence of a new species 
from the accumulated effect of random birth defects I'd be glad 
to add it to my web page on that subject.  I suspect he, like 
many others, is content in the belief that there are real smart 
people somewhere who could do it.  

ME: I bought a subscription to the Baltimore Opera when I thought 
I'd be making a little money at school.  Oh well, maybe I can 
light the tickets to keep the house warm this winter.  (Just 
joking, sort of.  Also, a vague allusion to La Boheme act 1 scene 

Most significant tidbit from the recent batch of BEEB transcripts 
was the not 1 not 2 but 5 whopping gold records the Beatles won 
for their American EPs.  

THEE: I saw a video of Andre Segovia playing a beautiful piece on 
the Ed Sullivan show, dated 1955.  I want to get the piece, but 
the makers of the video didn't identify what Segovia was playing.  
Do you know what pieces he played in that concert?  

ME: I suppose you found the little bit in my "guitar ramble" page 
about Segovia on the Ed Sullivan show in 1954.  That's really 
everything I know about Segovia on the Ed Sullivan show.  Even 
though your video gives a 1955 date, are we sure we're talking 
about 2 different appearances?  I guess you would know Villa-
Lobos's Etude No. 1 (famous E minor arpeggio study)?  I see I 
referred to it as his "first piece", but I have no record or 
memory of what his second (if any) piece was.  Sorry I can't be 
more helpful.  It seems likely somebody in would have the video and could tell 
you.  [What a dumb notion, in retrospect.] 

THEE:  If I don't speak to you over the weekend, Happy John Yom 
Columbus Lennon's Kippur Day Birthday on Monday! 

This Is Pop!--Oct. 6, 2000 

63 years ago:  Anna Quayle born.  Who?  Think!  Big clue:  "I bet 
she looks more like him than I do."  The performance of hers that 
I like best is as the Soviet agent Olga in "The Avengers" episode 
"The Correct way to Kill" (1967) (1937).  

THEE: You are so right. We had the exact conversation regarding 
the stupidity of the rules. Glad to know we're not alone.  

ME: Visited Hself on Oct 9.  Went to our McDonald's, and heard 
Twist & Shout followed immediately by Hully Gully.  Tried to talk 
Hself into starting a riot with me.  Heard the end of a JL special 
on the way home.  They played the "I'm Losing You" with the Cheap 
Trick guys - top notch in my estimation.  

Read one review of the Anthology book on-line tonight.  Doesn't 
inspire me to run out and get it.  

The "vague allusion to La Boheme" is one of the 4 guys - the 
writer - burning his unsold novel manuscript to warm up the 

THEE: Ooh, this burns me up.  I just received a bound volume of 
"The Century" magazine from 1890, but I won an 1891 volume on 
eBay, not 1890!  The 1890 edition has NOTHING about the Donner 
Party, but the 1891 edition does.  Incompetence runs rampant.  
This is the second defective piece of merchandise I've received 
in the last month as a result of eBay.  

I hope you had a good JOL Day.  I fasted, since it was Yom 
Kippur, so the day wasn't exactly action-packed.  But it was 
spiritually rewarding.  

This weekend, I worked on my early English opree backlog.  First 
I listened to Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" (1689).  Aside from 
being a nice recording, this record is unique in my collection:  
It is a one-record box set.  Now I'm working through handel's 
massive "Ariodante." 

ME: Regarding 1-record boxed sets, you do have a Wedding Album, 

THEE: Could I be lucky enough to find that you are really willing  
to make copies of some of the LOC guitar music?   The three 
pieces below were all written by my great grandfather, 
William Christopher O'Hare, the subject of my research for the 
past couple of years.  

Would it be possible to get copies from you?  

  Trinkaus/O'hare/The Czarevitch mazurka 
  Trinkaus/O'hare/Ky-isses kisses 
  Trinkaus/O'hare/Plantation pastimes 

ME: Thanks for the interest.  Understand that I'm not campaigning 
in any conventional sense - I'm just putting an idea out there.  
The idea is simple - pure democracy in the executive branch of 
the government.  I think my web pages should tell you everything 
you need to know, but feel free to ask questions after you've 
looked it over.  

All I need is one question: What would you do as president?  

The answer is very simple: Every presidential action will be 
dictated by majority will.  Period.  

ME: That's so neat, meeting the great-grandchild of one of the 
composers in my collection!  I'd be more than happy to send you 
copies of the 3 pieces.  Just email me a USPS mailing address.  
Don't worry about cost.  If you like what you get, you could send 
a few stamps to cover copying and postage.  

THEE: Like most Russian cities, Chelyabinsk, an industrial town 
in the Ural Mountains, has a Lenin Street. Now it's getting the 
country's first Lennon Street, named, of course, after the late 
Beatle .  . .  

THEE:  First off, I didn't read everything there. For fairly 
obvious reasons, I think. (Wow, long!) However, I went through 
bits of most of your sections, and got the general idea of what's 
being said. I'm not sure where to start, though, so I thought I'd 
let you pick. What's something about evolution that you don't 
get? Tell me, and I'll try to explain. One thing first, though. 
I've read "On the Origin of Species" and while I agree with the 
premise of the theory, I do believe that Darwin got one point 
wrong. Namely, natural selection does not act on those traits 
which are beneficial, but acts against those traits which are 
harmful. It's a fairly fine distinction, but it has large 
repercussions. Anyway, hopefully I'll hear from you soon.  

THEE: In case you're curious about the composer of those pieces, 
the next issue of The Ragtime Ephemeralist will include a rather 
extensive biographical article that I've written.  Since the 
journal is the privately published effort of a professional 
cartoonist in Chicago, it comes out sporadically, but it's well 
worth the wait.  I'm guessing the next issue should be out in the 

THEE:  Hello, I'm a college student and UNC who is working on a 
web site that includes the beatles. I want to know if I can use 
some of your questions for the site.  Please let me know if your 
questions are fair game for my site.  

ME: It's funny you should ask about using some of my Beatles 
questions.  I'm a very generous sort of guy and invite people to 
quote my site to their heart's content - except for the Beatles 
game.  That took years out of my life.  Still, I don't have any 
problem with somebody using a small handful of questions, 5 to 
10, say.  I hope that's enough for your purposes.  Good luck with 
your site.  

ME: The teachers and the kids are getting a real kick out of my 
program.  A boy named Gary found a "$100 word" this morning - 
"hospital".  It's hard to do.  

THEE: My name is Timothy A. Dodd and I am the financial director 
of the American Political Society at American University,  a 
student run non-partisan political forum. We are interested in 
having a debate for third party and independent political 
candidates on either Wednesday, October 25 or Thursday, October 
26.  The debate will be held sometime at night, probably at 
either seven or eight, depending on your schedules.  The room 
where the debate will be held seats approximately 200 people.  
Please contact me as soon as possible (preferably by saturday at 
the latest) thank you very much! 

THEE: I have some incomplete guitar sheet music from 1894 
published by E. B. Guild (Topeka, KS) of "Echos from the Casino" 
by Vina Johnson. It seems to be missing page 5 so I thought I'd 
ask whether you have it from your trips to Library of Congress.  

ME: to Audrey Scott Prince George's County Council, District 4

I read about the disposal fee issue first in the Lanham Gazette 
(Jul 27 2000), and then in your newsletter, and I'm completely 
baffled.  Where does this piddling $50 you talk about come from?  
The solid waste service charge on my property tax bill says 
$319.22 - as it does on everyone else's.  Now if you could get 
*that* down to $20, it would bring it more or less into line with 
the few minutes of labor per year that goes into processing my 

I'm also quite baffled - if not downright angry - with the casual 
admission in your newsletter that the solid waste charge was 
implemented in 1994 to wipe out a $128 million deficit.  I 
challenge you, or anyone, to produce any statement from the 
county government at that time to the people saying anything 
like, "Hey, we need the money; we can do this." 

The explanation for the solid waste charge was *always* buried in 
gobbledy-gook.  Please visit my web page on the subject, "Prince 
George's County overcharges for trash pickup!" 

Your name is in there, but not as the object of my anger.  I 
would really be pleased if you would address my concerns here in 
a letter to the Gazette newspapers.  

While I'm writing, I have another complaint.  I've addressed this 
to the county council several times with no results.  At least 
one dollar store, Dollar Bill's in Enterprise Plaza, charges 
sales tax on non-taxable food items.  I wouldn't be surprised if 
many or all dollar stores do the same thing.  Could you at least 
get them to stop?  Thanks.  

And again, while I'm writing (electrons are cheap), do all of the 
stores nowadays that torture us with local radio stations pay the 
proper fees to the BMI and ASCAP agencies?  I suspect not.  My 
motive here isn't so much to get them to pay up as it is to get 
them to stop playing that radio station garbage.  Hey, we all 
become old fogies sooner or later...  

ME: I'd be glad to participate in the debate - in absentia.  My 
answer to every question is: 

  "Presidential action will be dictated by majority will." 

Just print that on a card and prop it up in front of my seat.  

THEE:  So, it's been a hard day, and we celebrated afterward.  
Thus, I have no idea what pumpkin, carpenter, hospital, violins, 
telephone and thirty have in common!  I know I'll feel a right 
fool when you tell me.  

THEE: Can't wait to get this, I am the Beatles "expert" of the 
family. (But every day I learn "something new") Thanks.  

THEE: Information about you has been posted on the net by YOU 
DEBATE.  It can be found at Would you agree to 
an interview? If so, please let us know.  In any event, your 
comments are encouraged.  

ME: Thanks for giving me space at your site.  Sure, I would agree 
to an interview in the form of written questions and responses.  
(My policy is no live, real-time, shoot-from-the-hip interviews.) 
I have a hard time imagining what someone can ask that can't be 
answered with my standard response, "All presidential action 
dictated by majority will," but fire away! 

ME: I went to a modest book sale yesterday at Bladensburg Library 
- for records, of course.  They had about 3 albums, so I had to 
content myself with stuffing a bag full of printed material.  I 
bought 101 great books in a single volume.  Last night I read 
Moby Dick.  This morning I read Don Quixote.  

ME: What do these words have in common:  pumpkin, carpenter, 
hospital, violins, telephone and thirty?  

THEE: Your comment about "Ride On, King Jesus" in "Plantation 
Pastimes is fascinating.  Since my great grandfather specialized 
in medley arrangement when he joined the staff at M. Witmark and 
Sons (approx. 1901, after moving from Shreveport), this seems to 
fit.  Also, among the many hats he wore, he served as a church 
organist and choir director, so he clearly had an interest in 
religious music.  In fact, he wrote religious anthems and 
liturgical music.  

I'd be interested in having you see his best known piece, "Levee 
Revels."  When a friend introduced it in a ragtime graduate 
course he was teaching at Brooklyn College, two black students 
(both singers) said it reminded them of a spiritual.  They 
couldn't place the spiritual, however, and my friend's inquiry to 
a black music scholar also failed to turn up an answer.  Perhaps 
you'll recognize something.  The piano sheet music cover of 
"Plantation Pastimes" lists it as a companion piece to "Levee 
Revels," so that similarity might logically exist.  Would you 
like me to send a photocopy of the "Levee Revels" piano music?  

Librarian Wayne Shirley mailed me a copy of numerous catalog 
cards after I met him at a Society for American Music conference 
in Fort Worth, TX, in March 1999.  If I remember correctly, it 
includes mandolin orchestra arrangements of two or three pieces, 
"The Czarevitch" among them.  These would be terrific as I have 
three acquaintances in Missouri who, together, form the Etcetera 
String Band (guitar, banjo, mandolin).  "Levee Revels" was also 
published for guitar, mandolin, and banjo--information I have 
from sheet music cover, but apparently (as an early 1898 piece)  
it doesn't appear in the LOC catalogue, just as "Cotton Pickers," 
"Heliobas," and "The Awakening of Venus" don't.  I'm uncertain, 
however,  if those three were arranged for strings, though all 
are nice pieces.  

THEE: Remember:  "Judiciary" is worth 100 points! 

THEE: Every so often I go on the web looking for the Chanterelle 
edition of Tres Libros - and to no avail so far. But I was 
astonished this evening to find you at the head of the list on 
Alta Vista (after typing in "Mudarra"). I've downloaded a couple 
of pieces and will come back for more another time.  Thank you so 
much for your page - you obviously worked hard and your "simple" 
tablature invention is great. I love modal music and especially 
the vihuelistas. I play this and other kinds of music on a steel 
string acoustic using Dunlop steel finger picks and a plastic 
thumb pick.  

ME: You've got me really curious about Levee Revels.  That's 
fascinating about its connection to Plantation Pastimes, and 
O'Hare's work in church music.  Rather than have you send a copy, 
though, how about I first see if it turns up at LC among other 
O'Hare pieces?  Sure, I'd be glad to dig up any sort of music 
there.  Maybe the best way to go about it is for you to supply a 
list of pieces you *don't* need.  

I went in to LC on Saturday and checked the card catalog.  I 
estimate there were about 80 cards for O'Hare, although not all 
different pieces.  You can bet there are more pieces than are 
shown in the card catalog.  I also have some experience at 
pulling pieces from the copyright holdings that never made it to 
the music division's collection.  By the way, did he have a 
composer son named Christopher, without the "William"?  

I can't believe you met Wayne Shirley!  I think he's a great guy 
- great sense of humor, unbelievably knowledgeable, and just the 
right touch of eccentricity.  He was always the librarian on duty 
on Saturdays from when I first started going there 20 years ago.  
I can't imagine the LC music division without him.  

It'd been some months since my last visit to LC, and they 
surprised me with new copy machines.  Took a while to figure them 
out, but they do a fine job.  Just give me the go-ahead, and I'll 
have them cranking out all the O'Hare in sight.  

THEE: The Shreveport symphony orchestra has also expressed some 
interest since WC [O'Hare] spent 12 years as music director of 
that Louisiana city's Grand Opera House.  Perhaps they will 
someday perform a full evening's concert of O'Hare's music; 
they've mentioned the possibility.  

Forgot to answer your question about Christopher O'Hare--one and 
the same man, actually.  A 1925 NY Evening Post article, based on 
an interview, provided my first clue to the "double identity."  
One can clearly tell from the article that we're dealing with one 
person; enough biographical info appears.  He had two sons that I 
know of:  William Crockett O'Hare, my grandfather, and Vincent 
Slater, both born in Shreveport. (I say "that I know of" because 
the family separated sometime after the move from Shreveport to 
New York, with my great grandmother & the boys returning to 
Louisiana and later moving to Texas.)  My grandfather became a 
vaudeville theatre manager, his brother Slater a dance hall 
manager.  I don't know of either composing any music, though Dad 
told me that his father was "always writing something"--prose, 
not music.  He wanted to publish, but we don't know if he 
succeeded.  Dad was a kid at the time, and the family split up 
when he was only 12.  He never saw his father again.  Dad also 
only met WC twice, once at age 5 when his grandfather visited the 
family in New Orleans, the second & last time at about 18-19 in 
NYC (approx. 1940-'41).  

The name Christopher O'Hare appears on all of the liturgical 
music I've found (but I haven't found the earliest pieces), as 
well as on the silent film music and many of the choral 

THEE: I don't know if you can help I have a piece of sheet music 
presented to my wife's grandmother by her mum in 1941.  The song 
is The Last Milestone words by H L D'arcy Jaxone I wondered if 
you knew if there was a recording available.  

THEE: Sorry, I don't have any info on recordings of The Last 
Milestone.  I have a collection of The Gramophone (British 
periodical) from 1947 to 1951, and it's not listed in those 
indexes.  I go down to the Library of Congress occasionally, and 
they have a recorded sound division, but I have always found them 
to be completely unhelpful.  Sorry.  

THEE: I have enjoyed those Beatle Significa cards so much- I've 
been carrying them in my purse and pull them out when I'm with 
friends-we have a ball.  I know about 2/3 of the answers.  

ME: Thanks for the kind words!  All I ever hear is, "It's so 

THEE: As far as arrangements go, I'd like any rags that you spot 
in the catalog cards and also one popular piece I recall 
appearing there--"I'm a Jonah Man"--from the Broadway show In 
Dahomey.  Another top priority is the orchestra arrangement of 
"Hounded by the Houn' Dawg Song" (copyright May 3, 
1912. When you see this piece, you'll know it's an odd one.  

As a matter of fact, it prompted a research project that I 
started a bit over a year ago and that I hope will soon end in 
two articles.  I've finished much of the writing; hopefully 
Christmas break will allow me to tackle the remainder.  


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Helpful keywords not in the main text: Hself = generic name, male or female (Himself, Herself). Mom = Jane Sauter (see tribute page). LC = LOC = Library of Congress. WC = William Christopher O'Hare.

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