Frank Denton - The Rogue Raven

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In Search of England

In Search of England

I’ve been reading a book entitled In Search of England. It was written by H.V. Morton and published in 1935. Morton had been living in Palestine and became homesick. He returned to England and motored all round the island. I’ve known about this book for a long time. It dawned on me that this might be the perfect time to read it. My wife and I have been to England twelve times. The shortest period was for five weeks and the longest for eight weeks. Altogether we have spent more than a year there. With age and an ailing back it’s not likely that we will go again. So it has been very pleasant to read Morton’s book. Almost all of the places he writes about are places that we have visited and they dredge up interesting memories of our visits. Whether it was Winchester Cathedral or Salisbury, Wells, Durham, Lincoln, or Ely, we have visited them all. Whether he’s writing about Land’s End in Cornwall, Beaulieu in New Forest, Shrewsbury, Nottingham Forest it conjures up fine images of places and sometimes even persons we’ve met and conversations we’ve had. Last evening I read about the Norfolk Broads, the Wash, and the sandy coasts of East Anglia. He’s written other books in the same vein,
In Search of London should be fun. And In Search of Scotland will be interesting, although we’ve not spent a lot of time over the border.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pontiac Bay Symphony

Sunday evening we attended a concert by the Pontiac Bay Symphony at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. The Pontiac Bay Symphony is an interesting group of musicians. It is composed of mostly high school and college students who have auditioned for positions. Each section of the orchestra also includes an adult mentor. The conducting is usually by a professor from Western Washington University or sometimes a guest conductor, such as Hummie Mann, a composer of film music. The director of the orchestra is Sheila Espinoza. Sheila also composes and it was a delight to hear music from a suite that she had composed.

The theme of the concert was “How the West Was Won” and it naturally was music from western movies, television and two pieces from the pen of Aaron Copland. We heard music from The Magnificent Seven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Morricone, High Noon and the Wild Wild West and Copland’s Billy the Kid in the first half. After intermission music from How the West Was Won, Wyatt Earp and Copland’s Hoedown. A member of the Seattle Opera Chorus sang two numbers, High Noon and Rawhide. It was a terrific concert with a good audience. The orchestra gets better every time we hear it. They are to be congratulated. They’re getting a good experience at a fairly young age.

And then we left the concert to find that I had locked the keys in the car. But that’s another story.