August has been a rockin month for the Fur Peace Ranch and the music has been hotter then our late summer temps.  We really have been enjoying a nice summer…..with some typically hot and humid Kingston in the summertime days, but also some very nice and cool mornings that wake you up feeling good to be alive.  We have had two great back to back camp weekends and our people got a nice taste of Ohio and the Fur Peace in the summertime.  I’ll move on from the weather, but… really has been good for us this year…..without a doubt ……rain or shine we always have a good time at the Ranch……but it is so nice to enjoy a nice summer day with a bunch of great people at camp.

Our Couples’ Weekend this year was the greatest.  This is always such a special weekend for us, as well as all the folks that attend.  Some of the couples that came we have been friends with for a long time now and we had the pleasure of meeting some fine folks on their first visits.  We also had several guests that we had not seen Ranch-side in some years and it was so nice to be in their presence again.  Many things going on in life and we realize what a blessing it is when we get to spend time together.

It was nice to have Barry Mitterhoff, Dave Revels and Pete Sears here to join Jorma as the weekend’s instructors.  They all had super classes with good attendance.  Pete had not been to the Fur Peace for some time and it was great to have him back to camp …. Fur Peace.  He commented about how all the trees had grown so much, along with all of the landscape,  and he also noticed many of the improvements that have happened over the years…….Thanks for seeing and appreciating the growth, Pete.  There is an old saying…..”My how the flowers have grown”…..and I think about that when I think of the Fur Peace’s natural progressions.

Pete Sears was here to teach the bass class, but on Saturday night he was joined by the rest of his mates in Moonalice for an out of sight Saturday night concert on the Fur Peace Station stage.  Moonalice includes Pete, Barry Sless, John Molo and the band’s founder Roger McNamee.  They put on a dazzling show that really jammed hard and they also had a fantastic light show that added a real groovy touch to their stage performance.  I was really knocked out by their show…..I saw this band when they were just getting started and they have really solidified as a band over the years…..getting stronger and better all the time.  The sold out house that made it out for the show was impressed, especially since a good portion of them were not aware of the legend of Moonalice.  Concert goers were also treated to a great set by Jorma and Barry that really set a nice tone for the evening.  Jorma can play in so many different musical configurations and each one of them carry a certain magic with them….sometimes shared……sometimes unique.

The whole Couples’s Weekend is special, but I always get excited for it to arrive because that means I will be reunited with my ladies……Hurl’s Girls.  We’ve been doing Hurl’s Girls for about 14 years now.  Hurl’s Girls is me….the Hurl……and all the ladies at the camp.  Vanessa always takes the lead helping to organize the group and this is another beautiful flower that has grown nicely.  At first in our early years……some of the ladies use to hold back…..”I’m not a singer” they might say. But singers they have become and some  of the ladies that were so shy all those years ago have really grown to be wonderful harmony singers.  There is strength in numbers and boy, Hurl’s Girls were strong!  This year every single lady  taking part in the camp weekend joined the band, along with Vanessa and Barry’s friend, Gail.  We were not only looking good……it was the best the band has ever sounded.  We picked two songs to perform during the Student Performance and we rehearsed a couple of times before our big show on Sunday afternoon.  The songs we picked this year……as we pick different songs each year…..were,  The Weight and Blowin in the Wind.  They came off fantastic and the strong harmonies also carried a real beauty with them.  I find such joy in the power of a big vocal group and that is just what the ladies in Hurl’s Girls have become……a joy to be with and a joy to sing with.  We did Blowin in the Wind as a call and response type tune……ie…..Hurl sings; “How many roads must a man walk down”…..the ladies sing; “Before you call him a man”…..we all were together for the chorus.  At the end of the song all the ladies “testified” as to what the answer was……world peace, within and without, one love, getting your kid’s through college…..lots of good and original thoughts here……when it came to me at the end…..I had to testify……”The answer is HURL’S GIRLS!   Thank you ladies for joining in and making our performance this year the best ever!  Now mind you, before we performed the Fur Peace Station was rockin with a superb student performance that saw about everyone get up and play and also included once again the fabulous Mitterhoff Mandolin Orchestra… amazing afternoon of music.

Time is running out for me today so, I’m going to finish up on the August update next week.  Have a blessed weekend and enjoy the long weekend…….take it easy…………….and have fun!

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