A3 candygrams at hrms WILD.JPG

Sixth graders Tess Balzer, left, and Estrella Cuevas pass out candygrams in Tony Rolen’s class at Hood River Middle School on March 13, the final day of school prior to what was soon learned would be an extended spring break for students all over Oregon. As a fundraiser in February, the HRMS Booster Club sold candygrams for $1 apiece, and this was distribution day. In this case, someone had paid for a candygram to everyone in Rolen’s classroom.

There is resiliency in music. Instead of listing all of the cancellations, I’d rather talk about what our local music community is up to, and, of course, try to make you smile while reading it. Thanks to the News for running what they can, in these difficult times. I’d also like to thank the CDC for prompting me to wipe down all 18 of my door knobs (including six bi-fold closet doors) — they actually do feel a lot cleaner.
The Dalles’ own John Donovan, leader of JD and the Fearless Few, just released an original COVID-19 Hand washing PSA on Youtube. A catchy, I mean, err… relevant song about washing up is introduced with a mention of “sponsorship” from The Dalles Toilet Paper Company. Luckily, it doesn’t look like any paper products were harmed in the process. View it at youtu.be/Aydu-TL366M and get ready to sing along.
White Salmon luthier and former Liberty Bond Jug Band leader Craig Wilson says he’s taking online courses from bluegrass guitar professional flatpicker Bryan Sutton. That’s good, because Sutton has won a Grammy (2007) and is the recipient of 10 IBMA guitar player of the year awards. Wilson noted, “It’s a good time now to reconnect with the community that plays this style of music.” Sounds like he’s got his hands full.
When singer-songwriter Jess Clemmons isn’t playing music, she’s a Gorge Garden Girl, providing lawn-care cleanup services to area customers. In a recent post, she said her crew was busy “sanitizing lawn care implements and tools” between jobs. Kudos to the crew for thinking about that. And please know I’m absolutely cringing when I think back to my childhood, when we “just threw everything in the shed without sanitizing anything.” 
Local Karaoke expert Jamie Roberts, a regular at Hood River’s Moth Lounge’s Friday night sessions, posted a self-duet video of Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful,” on the online platform Smule. Unbeknownst to me, Smule is a music collaboration site that has access to approximately one zillion songs, so you can add your vocals and share with your friends. Even if you don’t sing: Hit the site and scroll down to “Guidelines, ” a well-written synopsis of how to behave on the Internet. Their sensible protocols for using the site made me seriously think about how online posts can be construed by other people. 
And speaking of online posts, here’s something from the Too Darn Cute To Not Share Department. I rarely share other Facebook posts on my timeline, until I saw the latest from former California Governor, bodybuilder and Terminator movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sitting at his kitchen table, he’s lovingly feeding carrots to his pet miniature horse and donkey, while reminding everyone to stay at home. Views so far: More than 15 million. That said, here’s something I wish there were 15 million of: DVDs of the first Terminator movie. I can’t find one to save my life, and I’ve looked everywhere. Are people hoarding those already?
Are you a musician navigating the current situation? I’d love to hear from you. Email me at jdrake@hoodrivernews.com.

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