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Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)

Fl!p Breskin 30 Aug 11 - 02:44 AM
Deckman 30 Aug 11 - 03:39 AM
Charley Noble 30 Aug 11 - 07:29 AM
Fl!p Breskin 30 Aug 11 - 08:50 PM
Deckman 30 Aug 11 - 11:01 PM
Fl!p Breskin 31 Aug 11 - 08:56 PM
Joe Offer 31 Aug 11 - 09:13 PM
Deckman 31 Aug 11 - 11:47 PM
Joe Offer 01 Sep 11 - 12:47 AM
Deckman 01 Sep 11 - 06:01 AM
Charley Noble 01 Sep 11 - 08:52 AM
Fl!p Breskin 03 Sep 11 - 06:33 PM
Fl!p Breskin 12 Sep 11 - 12:37 PM
Charley Noble 12 Sep 11 - 09:24 PM
Acme 12 Sep 11 - 09:49 PM
Charley Noble 14 Sep 11 - 12:22 PM
Charley Noble 14 Sep 11 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,999 14 Sep 11 - 12:44 PM
Charley Noble 14 Sep 11 - 10:21 PM
Charley Noble 15 Sep 11 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,999 15 Sep 11 - 08:17 AM
Fl!p Breskin 17 Sep 11 - 12:23 AM
Charley Noble 17 Sep 11 - 09:57 AM
Fl!p Breskin 22 Sep 11 - 04:03 PM
Deckman 22 Sep 11 - 04:12 PM
Charley Noble 22 Sep 11 - 04:47 PM
Charley Noble 28 Sep 11 - 02:32 PM
Deckman 28 Sep 11 - 08:58 PM
Charley Noble 28 Sep 11 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,mg 28 Sep 11 - 10:43 PM
Acme 28 Sep 11 - 10:59 PM
Deckman 28 Sep 11 - 11:18 PM
Acme 28 Sep 11 - 11:25 PM
Deckman 29 Sep 11 - 12:35 AM
Charley Noble 29 Sep 11 - 07:27 AM
Acme 29 Sep 11 - 10:33 AM
Charley Noble 29 Sep 11 - 05:23 PM
Deckman 29 Sep 11 - 05:27 PM
Charley Noble 10 Oct 11 - 08:15 AM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 12 - 08:31 AM
Don Firth 13 Apr 12 - 10:30 PM
Acme 13 Apr 12 - 10:48 PM
Charley Noble 14 Apr 12 - 08:34 AM
Acme 14 Apr 12 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Fl!p Breskin 24 Aug 14 - 02:43 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 02:44 AM

I'm searching for a song written in Seattle in maybe the 1970s or 1980s (I could be off by another decade either way). Male songwriter. Michael somebody? David? The subjects was urban renewal, Seattle history, and old-growth lumber. The hook was "two-bys & four-bys from old Yesler's Mill." Does anyone have any memory at all?

I am not certain this was ever recorded. It was sung to me by a female friend, who told me she learned it from the man who wrote it, who was a friend of hers. It was a GREAT song, and the hook is a serious ear-worm.

Thanks for any help!
Fl!p


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 03:39 AM

Flip ... I just thought of another person that might be the composer. He's in Seattle and his first name is Michael. I'll contact him and let you know. Nice talking with you this evening! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 07:29 AM

Flip-

I remember collecting that song about 1980. It should be around in my box of neighborhood organizing songs. If no one else turns it up soon, I'll execute a search.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 08:50 PM

Fantastic!!! Thank you.

I've been invited for a most interesting gig in early October called Local Covers. They get a round-robin of singers to perform songs they didn't write themselves. Songs written by local writers and sung by other local folks. I LOVE the idea!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 11:01 PM

Where and when Flip? bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 08:56 PM

Ooops! Turns out I don't get to go play after all. My own darn fault - I have a prior commitment. But Zeke should still be there. It's invitational. October 8, 2011 at the Honeymoon Meadery in Bellingham WA USA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 09:13 PM

Well, here's a little bit of background information from historylink.org:

    Yesler's Mill, the first steam-powered sawmill on Puget Sound, is under construction in Seattle on October 30, 1852.

    HistoryLink.org Essay 5394

    On October 30, 1852, the Olympia newspaper The Columbian reports that "a new steam mill is in process of erection by Mr. H. L. Yesler at Seattle." The region's first steam-powered saw mill begins operation in the following spring and quickly establishes Seattle as the economic capital of Puget Sound.

    The Columbian was Puget Sound's only newspaper and it was in this issue that the name Seattle first appeared in print. The paper reported:

    "Huzza for Seattle! It would be folly to suppose that the mill will not prove as good as a gold mine to Mr. Yesler, besides tending greatly to improve the fine town-site of Seattle, and the fertile country around it, by attracting thither the farmer, the laborer and the capitalist. On with improvements! We hope to hear of scores of others ere long"(quoted in Finger).
    Henry Yesler (1810-1892) surveyed Puget Sound during the summer of 1852 looking for the best site for the area's first mill. In early October 1852, Carson Boren (1824-1912) and Dr. David S. Maynard (1808-1873) persuaded him to choose Seattle by donating a waterfront lot called "the Sag" and a corridor down which logs could be dragged from upland forests. This strip was originally named Mill Street but most called it Skid Road; today it is Yesler Way.

    In 1878, Yesler told an interviewer working for Hubert Howe Bancroft, the early historian of the West:

    My mill was the first steam saw mill put up on the Sound. Lumber sold for $35. a thousand then; now for $10. As there was no wharf the lumber had to be rafted from the mill to the vessels. In unloading the machinery for the mill we had to throw it all into the water & let it float ashore. The boiler was floated in this way, but the engine was placed on a raft. After the establishment of this mill which was commenced in '52, the town grew rapidly. We commenced sawing wood under a shed in March '53 – the saw dust we filled swamps with, and the slabs we built a wharf with. The wharf where you now land is all filled in with slabs" (Yesler narrative).

    Sources:
    Clarence Bagley, History of Seattle (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916); Bagley, History of King County, Washington (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929); Murray Morgan, Skid Road, An Informal Portrait of Seattle (New York: Viking Press, 1951); John Robert Finger "Henry L. Yesler's Seattle Years: 1852-1892" University of Washington Ph.D Dissertation, 1968, p. 16;

    Henry Yesler narrative in "Eldridge Morse Notes on the History and Resources of Washington Territory Furnished to H. H. Bancroft (ca 1880)" [P-B 30-54], Hubert Howe Bancroft Collection, Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California: Microfilm Edition, Newspapers and Microforms, Reel No. ? , University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.


I was hoping to find this in Linda Allen's Washington Songs and Lore songbook, but 'tain't there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 11:47 PM

Thanks for the posting Joe. I well remember the breakfast that Henry Yesler and I had on Thursday, October 29th, the day before we started building the mill. He'd scored on a dozen eggs and I made a tolerable meal. I was only able to help him with the building of the mill for two weeks, as I had to get myself over to Willipa Bay to help with the oystering! CHEERS, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 12:47 AM

Some of you may scoff, but Deckman really is that old. He was just a pup back in '52, though.
Ain't that right, Bob?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 06:01 AM

What's that ... my hearing ain't quite so good anymore .... ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 08:52 AM

I'm still distracted with other things right now but I may be able to execute a search Friday.

Charley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 06:33 PM

Thank you!!!!

And it's true. Bob really IS that old!
love/Fl!p


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 12 Sep 11 - 12:37 PM

Hi Charlie -

Any time to look yet? So far, none of my other leads have panned out....

love/Fl!p


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Sep 11 - 09:24 PM

I'm still here and still on vacation, away from the library.

Don't give up hope. I know I have a photocopy.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Acme
Date: 12 Sep 11 - 09:49 PM

So everyone is still looking?

I'll add it to the list of songs I may someday find in Dad's collection.

Maggie (SRS)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 12:22 PM

Well, I had a good look and the only thing I could find is my reference for this song. It was sent to me by Peter Costantini, a tenant organizer and singer in the 1970s in Seattle, Washington. It was published in a book or article he authored titled Urban Development on the Frontier, © 1976.

Maybe this information will provide some leads.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 12:35 PM

Costantini is evidently a Seattle correspondent for Inter Press Service but I had no luck sending him an e-mail harvested from one of his articles that came up via a Google search.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 12:44 PM

Pete Paycheck
Revenge of the Chads 2004
Wordwings
Palabralas

The above are bolgs he has or had, Charley. Found them thanks to your post.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 10:21 PM

The article I found had to do with re-exploring the abandoned ocean to ocean canal across Nicaragua.

But we'll track him down. At least we're not looking for someone whose last name is "Smith."

Stewart from Seattle is now searching for him as well, according to a couple of PMs.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Sep 11 - 07:55 AM

Stewart found a phone number for Peter Constantini: (206) 324-1321. It's a long distance call for me. Anyone local want to give it a try? Tell him, Charlie Ipcar from Maine sent you.

Charley Noble (not my real name)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Sep 11 - 08:17 AM

Charley: I just messaged you, fyi.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 12:23 AM

Hot CHA!!! I just left a phone message at that number, and it sounds from the outgoing message like the number is still good. I said Charlie Ipcar sent me. THANK YOU!!! Thank you ALL!!

Charlie - My sister Kitty is in Boothbay.

Thanks!
love/Fl!p


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 09:57 AM

Fl!p-

Best of luck with this inquiry. I think you'll find Peter Constantini an interesting person to talk with. I don't ordinarily post phone numbers on websites but I made an exception in this case.

Do report back when you get the lyrics and further notes about the song.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Fl!p Breskin
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 04:03 PM

My phone message got through, and I got an email from Peter. He's going to try to remember the words/song and get it to me as soon as he's finished dealing with way too much everything else. He sounds like a really interesting person! I will pass on the song when I get it.

Thank you SO much!
Fl!p


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 04:12 PM

Hi Flip ... This story of your song search reminds me a late night phone call I got back about 1971. It was from a singer friend who had moved to Chicago. He was between sets at a club and was trying to remember the last verse to a song he knew that I sang. I gave the verse and made him happy.

Us "song collectors" do go to great extremes, don't we. CHEERS, bob nelson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 04:47 PM

Fl!p-

Nice to get the update. Tell Peter he needs to quit his day job and become a full time singer. There's millions to be made!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD YESLER'S MILL (Peter Costantini)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 02:32 PM

Fl!p-

Glory be! I was going through my files today looking for something else (no, I didn't find it) and guess what I did find:

Words and music by Peter Costantini, © 1976
From Seattle Folklore Society Journal, December, 1976, pp. 8-9

Old Yesler's Mill

When the first Alki settlers looked across Elliott Bay
They saw miles of virgin timber just rolling away;
But manifest destiny said the trees couldn't stay
'Cause chopping down trees was the American way.

So they rolled up their sleeves and soon log after log
came skidding down the hill
To make two-by and four-by at old Yesler's Mill.

And the two-by and four-by were cut straight and long
Big sixteen foot studs made the houses stand strong
And soon a fine city swept up from the bay,
'Cause expansion is the heart of the American way.

Yes, they rolled up their sleeves and soon house after house
was standing on that hill
Built with two-by and four-by from old Yesler's Mill.

But the houses grew older and the freeways came through
So the bucks to repair them moved out to Bellvue;
And then urban renewal said the houses couldn't stay
'Cause poor folks ain't part of the American way.

So they rolled up their sleeves and the big wrecking ball
made splinters and landfill
Of the two-by and four-by from old Yesler's Mill.

To the hush of the timber comes the whine of the saw
To the whispering old houses comes the big wrecking ball;
And if we don't speak now there'll soon come a day
When we're all be paved over the American way.

There's a monster that rules us with statistics and steel,
And it crushes our lives with its giant boot heel;
It gets drunk on crude oil and smokes money all day
And we built this whole monster the American way.

But if we roll up our sleeves we can fight for our needs
and when the beast lies still
It'll sink in the sawdust from Old Yesler's Mill. (2X)

The chords and musical notation are there as well and if you send me your e-mail address by PM, I'll send you back a JPG scan.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 08:58 PM

Thanks Charlie ... NOw that I see the words, I can remember hearing this song. Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 10:42 PM

Bob-

What does the term "Alki" settlers mean? I've been puzzling over that for 30 years.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 10:43 PM

Chinook word. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Acme
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 10:59 PM

Alki Point is in West Seattle, you go past it to get into Elliot Bay, and is where the first permanent settlement of white pioneers was located when they arrived. Alki is kind of like "once upon a time," I think is how the word was used. Ivar Haglund's family lived in West Seattle near there also, I believe. It really is a point!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 11:18 PM

Charlie ... I'll try to answer you to the best of my ability. But be forewarned ... what ever answer I give you, I'll bet you eleven cents that it will be corrected by at least 100 Puget Sounders within one hour from now.

The convential wisdom, and there is some here, is that "Alki" was a native Indian name referring to that point. It's Inglish translation is largely accepted as meaning "By and by". But having lived here all my life, and watching and listening to us white emigrants try to pronounce and name, and re-name, places that were previously named by the locals, it could mean anything you want it to mean.

Today, to me, "Alki Point" means a neighborhood of Seattle with a lot of 1920 beach houses crowded together and now sandwiched in between million dollar condos that don't belong there. (didn't help you much ... did I).

Now let's watch all the local experts correct me. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Acme
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 11:25 PM

Bob, I'd hazard the observation that "by and by" and "once upon a time" amount to about the same thing in story-telling circles, so we're probably both in the right ballpark. And I loved those little beach houses - when I was a kid living up on Gatewood hill (near the water towers) I thought that would be the best kind of success - to have a job to make enough money to live down at the beach all year round. Of course, living up on the hill with that view wasn't so bad either. We saw both the Cascades and the Olympics from there.

The traffic down around Alki is a killer, and as you say, before they clamped down on the practice, a lot of charming little houses were torn out to put in the monstrosities that are condos now. (I would also have loved one of those big Victorian houses over near the Fauntleroy Ferry).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 12:35 AM

SRS ... I well remember your house back in 1960 (1962?) when I met your father. And well I remember him leaving the dinner table to run upstairs and sing all you kids to bed!

OOOOPs .... that was a thread creep! bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 07:27 AM

Thanks for the clarification of "Alki.";~)

Now someone should send a PM to Fl!p and tell him the goods is here.

Wonder how old Peter is doing?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Acme
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 10:33 AM

Her - Flip is a her. I'll send her a note on facebook.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:23 PM

Thanks, Maggie.

Charley Noble, who gets bragging rights for this one


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:27 PM

Charlie ... a WARNING ... the last time I excersised my "bragging rights" ... I woke up married! bad bad bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 08:15 AM

refresh!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 08:31 AM

Evidently this song request was repeated in the current Sing Out! I have forwarded my response to Joe Hickerson.

Now it would have been nice if Flip Briskin had had the courtesy to acknowledge the success of his inquiry...

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 10:30 PM

Sort of a side topic, so I don't think it drifts the thread too far.

The term "skid road" in reference to a rough area of town started in Seattle. Back in the days, they were logging on First Hill, and they had built a trough from First Hill to Yesler's Mill on the waterfront. They greased the trough as best they could, then skidded the logs down to the mill. A lot easier than lugging them down.

Now, completely logged off and a central part of the city, the area is occupied by several hospitals and medical office buildings. Officially it's still called First Hill, but it's often referred to by locals as "Pill Hill."

Since, back then, the whole area was populated by hardworking loggers and sawmill workers, various businesses grew up there, dedicated to "relaxation and recreation" in the off-hours and during the rainy season when logging was suspended. Flop houses, saloons, houses of "ill repute," and such, along with some out-of-work or down on their luck folks. The skid road area was not an area for the genteel.

The term "skid road," referring to a rough-and-tumble area of a city, managed to get around to other cities and towns. But someplace along the line, in other cities and away from the actual skid road, the term got corrupted to "skid row," clouding its origins. But that's where the term originate.

[Murray Morgan, Skid Road: an Informal History of Seattle (1951)]
As I sat down one evening,
'Twas in a small café;
A six-foot-seven waitress
To me these words did say:

"I see that you are a logger
And not just a common bum,
'Cause nobody but a logger
Stirs his coffee with his thumb!

The rest of the song HERE.
James Stevens, who wrote the song, preferred "six-foot-seven waitress" to "forty-year-old waitress."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)
From: Acme
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 10:48 PM

I'll call it to her attention, she's on facebook.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 08:34 AM

I'd actually be interested if she ever was able to reach my old friend Peter Costantini. I had no success with the e-mail addresses I turned up.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)
From: Acme
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 12:25 PM

I posted a remark with this link - I hope she'll report back soon!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Yesler's Mill (Peter Costantini)
From: GUEST,Fl!p Breskin
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 02:43 PM

OMG! I am just mortified. Charlie Noble, my deepest apologies! I have no idea what was going on in my life, but there is no excuse for such rudeness. I am deeply grateful for your kindness and expense of energy to find that song for me. Again, my apologies for screwing up. I'm very glad to have this song back in my hands.

I just had an email from someone else looking for the song, which is what caused me to go digging after it again on Mudcat, and to discover the rest of this thread. Wah! Grovel....

Thanks to Bob, Don & Maggie as well.

Love/Fl!p


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