St. George’s Country Store

Great time at North St. George’s Country Store. Charles and Richard were on fire, and we sang some Merle Haggard. Maureen Uritis came over from Jersey with Jim, and she wowed Gene with her rendition of Sippy Wallace’s “Women be Wise (keep yo mouth shut!).” Andy, a teenager who’d just lost his cousin, sat in with Charles and Richard, jamming out on his Fender. I hope music will soothe the pain he must feel. I know I’ve always sung—always, from when I was knee high. But it got much more therapeutic when I went out to Iowa to school. I knew no one, and I’d gone early for football practice, so I was isolated and there was naught to do. When I got a roommate from the Chicago suburbs with a large collection of the folkies who were big but on the margins of the music industry (Vanguard label)—Buffy Ste. Marie, Eric Andersen, Jesse Lonecat Fuller, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton—I went crazy and played my guitar constantly. Then I got to be in demand and we had a vocal quartet doing Chad Mitchell rep. When Chad quit, the Mitchell Trio came to school and we had beers after with his replacement, John Denver. Nice guy who hipped me to a lot of the chicanery in the war effort. Later he was mute, after they threw the Smothers Brothers off TV.

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