The Hood River Valley High School Phoenix Theater group – part dance, part sketch comedy, part improv – presents a routine tailor-made for the audience at the Tsuruta Sister City 40th anniversary dinner at the Gorge Room: “Handshakes,” a non-verbal rhythmic display of hand clasping, hand shakes and embraces.

Also entertaining were Paul Blackburn, left, and Rod Krehbiel, in a revival of “The Red-Haired Boys,” a group not heard from by that name in 10 or so years.

In the early 2000s, musicians (girls and boys) of generally russet-scalped description played gigs in an around Hood River as a duo, trio, or quartet, depending on which troubadours were available.

Blackburn, now mayor, volunteered to perform Americana tunes for the benefit of the Japanese visitors, and when pressed to give the act a name for the program, he revived the group.

It was notable that when Blackburn went to the side of the stage and took his jacket off — the better to strum the guitar— his Tsuruta counterpart, Mayor Masamitsu Aikama also dispensed with his extra layer.

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