From The Folknik May/June 1999

From Todd Silverstein

I've been meaning to write for more than two years now, since I first re met my old flame Carla Beebe at Harmony over New Year's '97. I was galvanized into action this morning upon reading the latest folknik and finding nary a single letter. So here I am, putting pen to paper (or in this case, electrons to screen) to fill you in on the last two years, plus some ancient personal history.

Carla and I first met in the late '70s when she was living and working in S.F., and I was in the midst of grad school (biochemistry) at Berkeley. In those days we ran into each other frequently at Friday night Folk Club gatherings, SFFMC campouts, music festivals, dances, etc. We were good pals, but moved in different circles. I always did have a crush on her though...

Carla left the Bay Area in the early '80s, to begin her training as a Waldorf educator and eurythmist. She wandered through places like Boston, Upstate NY, England (twice), India, Sacramento, Philadelphia, and Spring Valley, NY, before settling down outside of Boston. I finished my Ph.D. and left Berkeley in 1984 for a two-year post doc in Philly, followed by a three-year teaching stint in Walla Walla, WA, before settling here in Salem, OR. We stayed in touch by letters, but in 1993, we finally lost touch. Then in mid-1996, when the new SFFMC directory came out, Carla found my name and wrote me a card saying she'd be at Harmony that winter. So we re-met and fell in love, all thanks to the SFFMC directory, and Camp Harmony!

After Harmony, in Jan. 1997, Carla started her last semester at the Waldorf school in Cape Ann, MA, and I flew off to do a semester of research in Sweden. That summer Carla moved cross country to live with me in Salem. She landed two great part-time teaching jobs as eurythmist* at the Waldorf schools in Eugene and Corvallis, and I continued my teaching at Willamette University (where I am now, as of this semester, a full professor and chair of the department!).

On 31 Jan. 1998, after a short hike to a little hill overlooking a pond, I proposed marriage to Carla. She accepted that day, and we ran off to find a ring. And on 20 Dec. 1998, at the ripe old ages of 44 (me) and 40 (her), we got married here in Salem. We had friends play Irish, Jewish, and Scandinavian tunes for the ceremony, and we had a great big dance for the reception, featuring contra, Cajun, and Scandinavian dancing. It was a lovely time, combining local and regional (SF, Seattle) folks, colleagues and students from both of our schools, plus assorted family and friends. We had a wonderful time dancing and celebrating, and the chocolate cake was to die for! After the wedding we flew off to St. John, a small sleepy, only semi-touristy Caribbean island which is 85% national park. It's a lovely, quiet place, very lush and hilly, with spectacular beaches, great hiking, and not a single stop light!

We're settled back into work now, fixing up the house and the yard a bit. Carla is way into pottery and ceramics in her spare time, and I'm in a pretty nice contra dance band (the Wildcats) and do some contra calling. So it's a pretty full life. This summer we're looking forward to NW Folklife in Seattle over Memorial Day, and Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend over 4th of July. We hope to get down to Calif. sometime this summer, and will definitely be down for the Jewish holidays in September. So those are the haps up here in Oregon. We have guest quarters upstairs here, so let us know if you're passing through. We're still at 1735-20th St. NE, Salem, OR 97303. I can be reached by e-mail: <TSilvers@Willamette.edu>. Our phone number here is (503) 581-4092. Enjoy, and hope to see you soon!

Sincerely, Todd Silverstein

*Editor's note: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary: eurythmics- art of harmonious bodily movement, esp. through expressive timed movements in response to improvised music.

And from Clem Small, we hear:

I write my radio columns, teach my radio class for the local amateur radio club, feed the chickens, split the wood, and try to learn a bit more guitar and bass fiddle. Pam works at the Rocky Mt. Lab. in Hamilton. Her research has produced results and gotten her appointed to a World Health Organization committee to study one of the microbes she works on.

We find good opportunity to enjoy our music here, we have enough occasional gigs to suit us, and jam sessions with friends. I'm in a band called "The Bitterroot Backyard Cowboys." We've got fiddle, guitar, and bass, and more confidence than talent, but we have fun. Pam and I are also in "The Sleeping Child String Band." We occasionally play contra dances and do concerts in that group. Also there's a fun group of friends called "SongCircle," which meets irregularly and mixes singing (mostly acapella) with plain-old, down-home visiting. There's a good alternative life-style (whatever that is) population here, and we find many friendly souls.

We hope to get to the San Francisco area this summer, and I hope we get to see some of the fine folks we left and miss. Clem Small, 764 Coal Pit Road, Corvallis, MT 59828

Back to Folknik home page...