The latest in our series…
THE PEOPLE OF THE PARK:
Al Cook, Founding Member of the Jammers
“Can You Play Me A Memory”
By Dale Dauten
A few years back, it was one of those beautiful Silveridge autumn days and Al Cook decided to bring his Gretsch guitar out on the back deck to work on some country-western licks. Before long he looked up and saw a neighbor walking his way, carrying a guitar and asking, “Can I join you?” From that start grew a group that eventually would come to be known as The Jammers, Silveridge’s very own house band.
Al soon had two or three other residents joining in, and when they needed more space (and more power outlets), the new group moved into one of the meeting rooms. They were good enough that people started to stop and listen, and soon they had a crowd outside the door. That’s when they got permission to move into the park’s movie theater and they’ve been there since.
I visited their last performance of 2017, along with an enthusiastic group of music lovers. The Jammers are now six members, and they take turns on lead vocals and on wisecracks. One example of the latter: drummer Moorie Woodruff, explained to the audience, “We took pictures before the show tonight. Color pictures. And we all wore black and white.” Here’s one of those photos:
Front (left to right): Al Cook & Gary Carson
Back: Mike LeBlanc, Ron Humphreys, Mike Simpson, Moorie Woodruff
The group plays a range of songs, including on that night…
“Nowhere Man” (One of many Beatles songs announced in a British accent – two of the members are from Great Britain via Canada.)
“Sloop John B” (As one Jammer put it, “This song has been done by many bands including the Beach Boys… and now by us.”)
“All My Ex-es Live in Texas” (This one prompted one of the many self-deprecating comments: “It’s a sad song but that was downright pitiful.”)
And then there was “Piano Man,” which seemed particularly fitting as it was Billy Joel’s first single, from back in 1973, and has the line, “Son, can you play me a memory?” Yes, the Jammers can play memories. And watching, you saw them transported in time, back to when they played the songs as young men and when the songs were young, too. The hips sway, the heads nod and we all traveled back with them.
Al Cook, Colorado, Lead guitar and vocals
The original Jammer, Al Cook, played in a band in Colorado called Country Junction for twenty years. He now splits his year between Silveridge and Longmont, Colorado. Reflecting back on the evolution of The Jammers, he says, “I started the group on the country line, but over the years I’ve transferred a lot of it to the younger guys. For one, I don’t know the Beatles and we have two guys from England. But I learn it and they tolerate me.”
Watching the band play, they do much more than tolerate Al – when he takes the lead on guitar riffs, you’ll hear a band member merrily call out, “Bring it, Big Al.” And oh, Big Al brings it.
Ron Humphreys, BC & Britain, Guitar & Vocals
Mike Simpson, Edmonton & Britain, Bass & Vocals
Gary Carson, Kansas City, Keyboard & Vocals
Moorie Woodruff, Oregon, Drums/Percussion & Vocals
Michael E. LeBlanc, Ottawa, Guitar & Vocals
If you’d like to hear The Jammers for yourself, they play next on January 8th in the Silver Screen movie theater. It’s free. (The Jammers never take money for their performances — as Al puts it, “It’s all from the heart”.) And I guarantee they’ll play you a memory.
Message from Sue
OUTSIDE THE BOX
As Another Year Draws To A Close, it’s natural to reflect on the last 12 months pluses and minuses. If your 2017 was somewhat like mine, it brought challenges but also rewards. I’m thankful to have survived the tough days and even more grateful to have experienced the happy ones. With 2018 upon us that it is a good time to think about setting some new goals. Buried in a nostalgic box I have several dog eared papers with some goals and pictures. On those sheets of paper were my yearly personal, family and business goals. Losing weight was always a personal goal while a family goal was to take a vacation to Disneyland. The goals kept me on track as they were posted on the refrigerator to see every day. I did not always attain the goals but I know I accomplished more than if I had not tried at all. Through the years, I have not been as diligent about written goals with pictures—Now I just call my personal goals my bucket lists!! However, as your Activity Director I feel the responsibility to constantly be thinking of new goals and ideas to make your time at Silveridge and enjoyable and rewarding experience. To accomplish this it takes some quiet time to creatively “think outside the box.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines thinking outside the box as thinking differently, unconventionally- or from a new perspective.
What I like about this way of thinking is that it challenges us to think of possibilities of accomplishing things we never thought we could do. Recently I have been thinking of some individuals and groups that have been practicing this art.
*A lapper started with doing 50 laps, then 75 and now is at 100 laps in the pool—and he accomplishes this with a shoulder injury!
*Bingo Funds were down and through creative thinking and advertising the attendance and funds multiplied!
*Room 9 was busting at the seams with 3 different groups and class sizes growing. By rearranging their schedules and room design they accommodated another class!
*Come and check out all the Clubs at the Club Expo on January 13th from 8:00-10:30am. See how the club leaders are thinking outside the box to make things happen!
Not to be outdone, I have some things up my sleeve for the 2018-19 season :
*A potluck Chili Cook-off where local Fireman judge the best chili. Fee is a Toy. (Sponsored by the Decorators)
* How about a lecture series about Arizona in the theater?
*Anyone up for a real horse drawn sleigh ride as part of an all park Christmas block party?? (Just need to find someone to follow the horses- HA!)
So with the new year upon us let’s set some realistic goals and remember it is never too late to learn how to connect those dots.
And yes, the kids did get their trip to Disneyland!
For a copy of the full printed version of the Sun, with all of Sue’s notes and updates, click below.
SILVERIDGE SUN – PRINT VERSION
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