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Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?

maeve 04 Mar 07 - 05:26 PM
lennice 05 Mar 07 - 01:28 AM
maeve 05 Mar 07 - 07:42 AM
maeve 05 Mar 07 - 08:04 AM
lennice 05 Mar 07 - 08:04 AM
MaineDog 05 Mar 07 - 08:11 AM
maeve 05 Mar 07 - 08:18 AM
maeve 05 Mar 07 - 08:26 AM
maeve 05 Mar 07 - 08:45 AM
maeve 06 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM
maeve 07 Mar 07 - 08:27 AM
Scrump 07 Mar 07 - 08:35 AM
Barry Finn 07 Mar 07 - 03:50 PM
maeve 07 Mar 07 - 04:16 PM
Phil Cooper 07 Mar 07 - 04:36 PM
curmudgeon 07 Mar 07 - 04:47 PM
Lucius 07 Mar 07 - 07:04 PM
maeve 07 Mar 07 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Isaac Hall 07 Mar 07 - 09:11 PM
maeve 08 Mar 07 - 09:04 AM
Guy Wolff 28 Jun 09 - 06:31 PM
maeve 17 Feb 10 - 08:55 PM
maeve 17 Feb 10 - 09:10 PM
Guy Wolff 17 Feb 10 - 09:25 PM
maeve 24 Feb 10 - 07:32 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 24 Feb 10 - 07:52 PM
maeve 24 Feb 10 - 08:39 PM
Amos 24 Feb 10 - 08:57 PM
maeve 24 Feb 10 - 09:39 PM
Guy Wolff 26 Feb 10 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Moe Dixon 28 May 10 - 08:21 PM
GUEST 07 Jul 12 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,jasonNH 24 Jul 12 - 05:21 PM
Elmore 25 Jul 12 - 07:08 AM
maeve 26 Jul 12 - 07:06 AM
Elmore 26 Jul 12 - 09:06 PM
kendall 27 Jul 12 - 06:59 AM
maeve 27 Jul 12 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Jonathan Hall 18 Mar 13 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Jonathan Hall 18 Mar 13 - 12:51 AM
maeve 18 Mar 13 - 05:31 AM
Amos 18 Mar 13 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Guest 17 Jun 14 - 02:20 PM
maeve 17 Jun 14 - 03:12 PM
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Subject: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 05:26 PM

A recently revived thread reminded me that I'd like very much to compare memories with others who remember The Folkway Coffeehouse and Restaurant in Peterborough, New Hampshire, USA. It was started by Widdie and Jonathan Hall. I first attended as a teen, along with my brother and sister, in the seventies. Later on I worked as the desserts and drinks volunteer, in exchange for the concert and a wonderful meal from Bill in the kitchen.

Later still after Widdie died, a group of family and friends reopened the Folkway. I worked as emcee, hostess, and gift shop manager at various times. The staff treated me so kindly.

I'd love to touch base with anyone who remembers the special people and place of The Folkway... or perhaps someone who reads this also worked there as staff, volunteer, or musician.

Actually, Chelsea House in West Brattleboro was pretty wonderful, too.
Fond memories and stories welcome!


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: lennice
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 01:28 AM

I got there at the very end of it's last incarnation in the 90's, volunteered doing what little sound needed doing. I really felt deprived, never having experienced it during it's heyday. I both loved and hated hearing about what I had missed. I never got to know anyone there very well, and moved before it's last death knell. I was kind of frustrated, too, because although the concerts I heard were reasonably well-attended, people kept saying there wasn't enough interest to keep it going. What DID happen?

And did you know the Old Vienna in Northboro (Southboro, east, west????) Massachusetts? Is it still going? Did sound there too, most memorable was Ritchie Havens - wow.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 07:42 AM

Hi, lennice. Thanks for responding!

When I moved from the area the big problem was still parking; we had too few legal parking places to accomodate the number of customers necessary. Without more parking it was well neigh impossible to have enough paying customers to pay the bills. Neighbors got very tired of our customers and employees parking along the road, and the local police got very tired of folks who parked illegally.

Similarly, in the dining room and bar, there weren't quite enough paying spots to pay the bills. Fire codes prohibited us from seating as many as we could cram in (rightfully so, by the way!) so either the prices had to get sky high or we'd need to expand, and there was no room for expansion. You have to remember that this was an in town house on a small lot in a neighborhood.

I loved it, and am greatful to have been there for so long as customer, volunteer, and employee. I missed the early days, but am content. Widdie was kind to me, and I grew to know and love several family members and friends of the Folkway. My husband did sound there too; probably 1994-6? When you were there, were they using the Folkway banner as the backdrop on stage? I made that at the request of David Pyles, as a "temporary" backdrop so Sasha could have the batik reclining woman original.

It takes a lot of energy and vision to keep a place like that going.
I hope we'll hear from others, lennice.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 08:04 AM

Oh, yes, I do remember The Old Vienna. I'm sure others will, too.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: lennice
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 08:04 AM

Oh yeah, it was full, but it was really, really small, duh. I've never been in a position to worry about things like that. And I was thinking fondly of the nice outside patio! So cozy, because it was below street level and secluded and... small. And yes, I remember the banner! I was there about the same time, I don't remember exactly (a mind is a terrible thing to waste) - I couldn't have been there earlier than 92, and I know I was somewhere else by 96, so I must have known your husband. I really do have a rotten memory. Glad for you that you have your good memories!


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: MaineDog
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 08:11 AM

Yes, I used to go to the Folkway, and also the Chelsea house, when I lived in Massachusetts (did you know that Maine used to be part of Massachusetts?), but I never went to the Old Vienna. The backdrop at the Folkway had me fooled for a while, at first I thought it was a strange landscape.
MD


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 08:18 AM

When my sister and brother and I first started going to concerts there we'd buy tickets for one or the other of the two seatings (big money for us!) and Widdie would let us sit outside on the patio and listen to the other as well. Not a way to make money, but it surely influenced our taste in music!

I remember we saw Archie Fisher's first show there when he toured with Garnet Rogers... Years later I drove Archie around for part of an East Coast tour. I remember when Greg Brown invited "Mad Dog" Don Wright onstage to play, and a very happy Mad Dog died on stage that night. I'd love to generate a list of all the folks who worked at or performed there through the years. Anyone who'd like to be part of it , PM me or post here if you'd like.

Loved that place and those people.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 08:26 AM

Hi, MaineDog. We cross posted! Thanks for chiming in. It was a strange landscape, but a classic part of the charm, too. Randy Miller printed a set of notecards with a scene from the Folkway that included the landscape woman banner.

(Yes, I knew Maine had been part of Massachusetts.) The Chelsea House had some wonderful musicians as well. I saw John Roberts and Tony Barrand there, and I remember Kel? Watkins and Gordon Bok there as well, ...and a group called Clanjamfrey appeared there and seem to have disappeared not long after. They were about to record and album, and I wanted one.

Margaret MacArthur told me the Chelsa House sound recording archive went to one of the colleges...I'll have to think about which one.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 08:45 AM

"They were about to record and album" That's "an album"... ;)


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 08:27 AM

Is that it, then? Anyone else been to The Folkway?


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Scrump
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 08:35 AM

No, sorry. Wish I had been, sounds great.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 03:50 PM

Yup, probably back 15 yrs ago or better. I thought it was a pretty nice place, I like the atmosphere too but a bit pricey for me for a full eveing with meal, espicaly when all 4 of us didn't think much of the evening's performer, Cozy.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 04:16 PM

Hi, Barry, thanks for stopping in. Yes, the prices were high to make up for the low number of seats. That's why I started volunteering there; I couldn't afford to pay for the shows! Toward the end they booked a couple of shows at the Colonial Theater in Keene. That gave plenty of seating and parking, but at the loss of that cozy atmosphere.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 04:36 PM

Maeve,

   Just saw this thread. My singing partner, Margaret Nelson, and I played at the Folkway a couple times. First time was in 1984 on the first trip out East that we did (we're based in the Chicago area). We were booked at the last minute as the Wednesday open stage feature act. Widdie was still alive and booking it then. I never met her, since she wasn't there the night we played. We came back when it re-opened and Mary DesRosiers was booking it. I think it must have been 1994 or 1995. We played on a fall Saturday night. I think the house was about half full. We wound up booking a house concert for the spring at someone's house who was watching the show that night. That was also an interesting time. I really liked the Folkway and was sorry to hear that it closed.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 04:47 PM

I was only there once, maybe in the summer of '77. It was a "hoot" night with a featured singer from England, whose name has escaped me and run far away. Since my partner, Bob Frost and I were there to perform, it wasn't too costly for us.

Unfortunately, I was never able to get back. East-West highways in NH are few, far between and excessively indirect -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Lucius
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 07:04 PM

I was becoming a "local' just as the Folkway was closing. I did happen to catch John Renbourne there, both in concert and a master class. It was a peak experience. I also went to at least one earlier concert there, but for the life of me, I can't remember who I saw.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 08:15 PM

Thank you, everyone, for posting. I appreciate you taking to add your memories. I wonder who else remembers?


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: GUEST,Isaac Hall
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 09:11 PM

Isaac Hall here, Widdie's son. The Folkway was obviously a profoundly important place for both Sasha and me, as we grew up there, were fed there, were saturated there by music and creative personalities and wonderful staff and the magical space (particularly that back garden)...

Ultimately, the Foundation which re-opened the place after Mom's death couldn't quite swing it financially. A lot of talented and energetic people kept it alive for awhile, but I think a place like that does best with a matriarch putting her vision into practice.

Sasha and I are both living in Marlborough, NH and working for Badger Balm and would be thrilled to hear from people who cherish memories of the old Folkway...

Actually, Greg Brown was just in town a few weeks ago to play at the Peterborough Folk Music Society (the closest continuer of the Folkway) and came over for breakfast and to meet Sasha's 2nd daughter, 6 month old Marina.... (Nica is almost 8).

write to us at:

"isaac" at "post" dot "harvard" dot "edu"
"sashaduverlie" at "gmail" dot "com"


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 09:04 AM

Hi, Isaac! I'm so glad you posted. I well remember the early radio ads you and Sasha recorded. Your assessment of the Foundation days is right on target. Congratulations to Sasha on her two daughters.

I'd love to know where others (family & friends) are- I know where Alouette is, for example, but I've lost track of Jay and have no idea where any of the other employees and volunteers are today. I've made note of both email addresses, and will certainly contact you.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 06:31 PM

Well with Lui's concert coming up I think its correct to open this thread up again . I remember fondly not just the great audiences or the wonderful food but the great times with Widdy and Jonathan . Sasha and Isaac were just little ones at the time ..On stage :   Jonathan was the best straight man I have ever played off of . He played the most wonderful version of Amelia Arhart with me while I became the most incorrect carton character behind him . Ah New England humor gone amuck .. One night I was explaining how to find the music sales room and announced " Just go to the bathroom and keep going " It got a small laugh but I really didn't get it .SO>>> After three more times saying the same thing people were on the floor and I was just as lost as when I said it the first time . The point is it was a very safe place to have a ton of fun .. Im sorry I missed this thread before . Never to late to remember good times . All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 08:55 PM

The Peterborough Historical Society (New Hampshire, USA) will be celebrating The Folkway:

http://www.peterboroughhistory.org/ Reservations online.

Upcoming shows include:
Lui Collins - Fri 2/26 8pm $18
        
Lui Collins & Dave Mallett Plus Folkway Exhibit Opening Reception - Sat 2/27 6:30 pm $25 (Feb 27 Folkway Exhibit Grand Opening and Concert with Dave Mallett and Lui Collins is SOLD OUT!)
        
A Folkway Coffee House Concert - Sat. 3/20 7-10pm - $5
        
Guy van Duser & Billy Novick - Historic Folkway DINNER & CONCERT - Sat. 4/24 $50
        
Guy van Duser & Billy Novick - CONCERT ONLY - Sat. 4/24 $20
        
Kim Wallach & Bill Staines - Sunday 4/25 with Potluck Dinner at 6:15 pm / Show at 7 pm $18

Tony Bird - Saturday May 15 8 PM $18

Garnet Rogers - Saturday 6/19 8pm $20

capacity limited (only 120 seats)

sponsored by: The Peterborough Historical Society, Peterborough Folk Music Society, The Monadnock Folklore Society.
******************************

Anyone with Folkway artifacts? There wil be a special exhibit as part of the celebration.
Contact:
Peterborough Historical Society
Box 58
19 Grove St
Peterborough, NH 03458

ph 603.924.3235
fax 603.924.3200

Michelle Stahl, Executive Director
Carrie Whittemore, Education Coordinator


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 09:10 PM

For those who access Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=229816146536


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 09:25 PM

HAve a wonderful time at this series . Wish I lived closer!!! All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 07:32 PM

Here is a good Keene Sentinel article on The Folkway special events.

Guy- I wish I could attend some of the upcoming events; not likely with admission fees, and the five hours travel down there and back in the same night.

SOMEBODY please go!

maeve


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 07:52 PM

And here is a link to the Monadnock Folklore Society, another group keeping the music alive in this region. They are helping sponsor the series of remembrances for the Folkways.

I'm sorry to say I never went. I lived in southeastern Mass. for much of my early adult life, and just couldn't find my way to make the drive. Now I regret it all the time, surrounded as I am by good friends who have such wonderful memories of the place. But I must say, this region still brings out the best in music- just go to the link and look at the calendar, and you'll see incredible things going on around here all the time!


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 08:39 PM

You would have loved the Folkway, Allison. I was a customer from high school onward, then I worked there as a volunteer under Widdie's leadership serving drinks and desserts. I was part of the group that helped reopen it after her death; gardening, cleaning, making a new "Folkway" backdrop, busing tables, holding babies, managing the diningroom (those clever waitresses didn't need me!), exhihiting photographs, participating in poetry readings, managing the craftshop, and - my favorite- emceeing. My husband worked the soundboard in the later days and took part in the poetry readings...part of our courtship.

And you're correct; the Monadnock Folklore Society is a great bunch of people who have been pivotal in keeping the rich musical legacy alive and growing in the area. I miss it.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 08:57 PM

This sounds like the same Jonathan Hall who gave me my first guitar lessons back in the Fifties.... Wonder of wonders, I never thought to hear of him!!


A


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 09:39 PM

Guess you'd better fly out here and meet up with Jonathan again, Amos.


m


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 08:40 PM

Amos I had forgotten we spoke of that connection when I met you a few years back . I played a concert with Johnathan this summer ?? Was it ? At the Nelson New Hampshire Hall with Lui Collins . Johnathan is still wonderful to play with .. He has gotten very good at clawhammer banjo as well . I didnt even pick up mine because both Lui and Johnathan wanted yo play banjo .. He has a wonderful touch .. All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: GUEST,Moe Dixon
Date: 28 May 10 - 08:21 PM

The Folkway was a place where magic was created at a time when life seemed simple. There were no contracts just a simple "No problem, I'll be there,"and the show happened.
Widdie and Jonathan treated all the acts like they were"family."
I first played there in a trio called Rosen, Shontz, and Dixon, they gave us a dinner. Before you knew it we were all over the country.
In the years that followed I played there many times with just about everyone and when we bump into each other nowadays the memories come back.
Yes, I remember the Folkway. It wa truly a magical time, Moe Dixon


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 10:08 PM

I first learned of The Folkway, in 1981. My banjo teacher, Carolyn Parrot, of Hopkinton, NH and The Blackwater String Band, told me about The Folkway.

My 1st time there was like all the rest - my escape that had me believing I found heaven on earth. I took many-a-date there, saw Jonathan Edwards several times, Bill Staines, Novick & Van Duser, Solomon's Seal and a host of many other wonderful musicians. My 1st love even stole a Maxell cassette tape of many live recordings of The Folkway performers, which I still have.

My last time at The Folkway my girlfriend and I were seated under the stairs and a pane fell out of the window above and shaved hair off my arm - by then the place was under new management since Widdie died and I guess maintenance just wasn't in the budget.

I am so sorry that wonderful era had to end. The Folway was my favorite place on earth for a time.

John Rocheleau
Rye, NH


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: GUEST,jasonNH
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 05:21 PM

My Dad (John Vance) worked there as a chef there in the early 80's. I was also there at the Greg Brown performance when Mad Dog had a heart attack and passed away on stage.
It was a special place, I wish to see it open again someday.

Jason
Portsmouth, NH


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Elmore
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 07:08 AM

Only got there once to see Bob Zentz. It was a warm, inviting room, and my ex-wife wanted me to buy the place. That wouid've been a disaster.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 07:06 AM

Jason in NH- I enjoyed your dad's cooking! I was also there when good old Mad Dog died... he couldn't have planned a better exit.

A little later, Bill and Eileen Elliot were working there, too. Bill always made sure I had a good dinner once the show started.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Elmore
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 09:06 PM

Bill and Eileen: Wonderful people. Eileen really knows a lot about folk music. Bill too.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 06:59 AM

Seems like I performed there with Gordon once. Maybe I'm thinking of Nelson NH.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 07:11 AM

I think you are indeed thinking of Nelson, NH, Kendall. Gordon played the Folkway only one time, a few years after Widdie died, after I invited him.

First time I saw you perform was in Portsmouth, NH.


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: GUEST,Jonathan Hall
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 12:46 AM


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: GUEST,Jonathan Hall
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 12:51 AM

Reading through the stuff on the Folkway came across the message from Amos about the possibility that I gave him a guitar lesson in the fifties,

If this Amos is Amos Jessup of Wilton Ct. It is entirely possible. You and my brother Peter had s singing group - con't remember the name.....the something ramblers...

If by some chance, amos, you get this message, write me at jonathanbobohall@gmail.com

Jonathan


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 05:31 AM

Hello, Jonathan. I'll send Amos your message.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: Amos
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 09:39 AM

Got it! I have emailed Jonathon. What a hoot hearing from him. It's been more years than I care to confess to!


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 17 Jun 14 - 02:20 PM

I was feeling so nostalgic for the Folkway when I found this thread, life was indeed a simpler time. I waitressed there for a bit after it re-opened, it was wonderful to hear the music every night and to talk with all the guests, what fun. Some of the happiest nights of my life, in retrospect.I cut Mad Dog's hair for him from time to time, listening to his stories. I was there too on the night he passed away on stage while performing with Greg Brown, What a way to go....


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Subject: RE: Remember The Folkway Coffeehouse?
From: maeve
Date: 17 Jun 14 - 03:12 PM

I wonder if I knew you, Guest? Must have. Welcome to Mudcat Cafe.


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