The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68124   Message #1147596
Posted By: black walnut
27-Mar-04 - 11:57 AM
Thread Name: An Open Letter to Rick Fielding
Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Rick Fielding
Dear Rick,

Almost exactly 10 years ago, I went to bed really early for some reason, and as I lay there, I listened to your radio show for the first time. You, and a group of about five or so other people, were talking about The Woods Music and Dance Camp, and about a Song Circle in Toronto. My life was in need of a big change right about then - I'd just been forced to give up playing classical flute due to severe TMJ disorder. I was wandering around feeling musically lost, and I was craving a way to fit into a new musical community. The people on your radio show made The Woods Camp and the Song Circle sound so welcoming and inviting. I'd always loved listening to folk music, but you were providing a way for me to actually join in.

So, without knowing a soul, I went up to The Woods that year, in the summer of 2004, and I haven't missed a year since. A couple of years later, I began attending song circle, and I go as often as I can.

I don't have to tell you what The Woods and Song Circle have meant to me. You know very well. The friends, the fun, the creativity, the song-writing, the dancing, the new instruments, the jams, the's been an amazing decade, and it all began with listening to your radio show!

And you know, Rick, that you and I didn't spend a lot of time together here in Toronto, but whenever we did, you treated me as a friend and I was someone you were proud of, and you showed it. Oh, I'm not anything did that for EVERYone. That's what I'm trying to say, you had a way of making EVERYone around you feel really special and that you were proud of them, not only for what they did, but for who they were.

I remember many years ago when you said, "Debbie - ask me anything...nothing is too silly to ask" And you meant it. And I learned so much from you and you knew that I could ask you questions without needing to feel defensive about my 'classical' background. In fact, you seemed to be invigorated by the most basic questions. You loved to find a way to make something complex seem simple - simple enough for a beginner to grasp and understand. That's how Bill felt too, when he came to you for those beginner guitar lessons. He was in good hands.

Yesterday I was going through some papers, and I came across an email you wrote me almost exactly one year ago. You were talking about the Mudcat, and about your cancer, and about you and me making plans to have me as a guest on your radio show. Talk about full circle!! I started crying then and I'm crying now.

You've touched so many people's lives. You've certainly touched mine in a major way. I'm so glad you were there, Rick.

Love you,
BIG hugs,
now and down the road,