You know… that Blog?

Special: An Interview with… Main Street

Written By: Jenn - Mar• 21•10

This third installment of the “Interview With…” series is all about three of the most important people in my life; ShaMoo, J-B, and Knarf. Together, the four of us make up the group Main Street.

L-R: Jenn (me), Knarf (Frank), J-B (John), and ShaMoo. Photography by Leah Kirin

I’ve known these characters for about 5 years now, give or take, but not terribly well. ShaMoo [who you’re already well acquainted with from her guest posts] and I became friends when we were placed together at a concert we were singing in a few years ago, so she and I have been close longer, with “the boys” completing our intricate puzzle only last spring.

Knarf [Frank] actually worked with my father for years, which I found out when Dad greeted him at one of our concerts early on. Small world! For the longest time after that, I thought of him as “the guy with the pony tail and nice deep voice that knows Dad”. He’s generally very quiet and a bit shy within the crowd, so I never got the chance to get to know him until we started this group. Now that I have, I realize that this is a man of many layers; deep, sensitive, and wonderful.

J-B [John] is a character, and everyone knows him. He is always quick with a quip, a wink, and a friendly hug. Our Irish Tenor enjoys flirting – we’re not sure he’s even aware he’s doing it – and the side affect to that is that a good percentage of the women in our big group want to get cosy with him. He’ll deny that of course, since he’s blissfully unaware [and happily married], but ShaMoo and I have seen ample evidence of this in our female colleagues. Plus; girls talk, John. It’s what we do.

I am truly thrilled that they’ve agreed to this interview – I want my readers to get to know these wonderful people. This past year has forever changed me – for the better – and I continue to be shocked by the depth of my feelings for them.

Some of their answers were very eye opening for me, and some were downright jaw-dropping. It’s one thing to laugh and sing together and enjoy each others’ company, but to read how they truly feel? I’m humbled. Well, except for the part about John not liking me, maybe. I’ve had a few issues with that one.

Without further ado, on with the show interview!

When asked to join our group, what was your initial (and honest!) reaction?

    ShaMoo: I was totally excited with the idea and couldn’t wait to get going on music… although I was really nervous about singing in front of the others (because singing in front of three others in my kitchen is FAR scarier than singing in front of 200 people buried in a group of 50). And I’ll probably be apologizing to Jenn for the foreseeable future for going and getting pregnant shortly after we originally came up with the idea, thus pushing the start of the group off by about a year! Oopsie…

More than a year, actually. What-ever. ;) [This wasn’t a fair question for her, since she and I came up with this idea together.]

    Frank: To say I was a bit apprehensive at first would be an understatement. I think the thought of ‘J-B’ being there might have calmed me down. I knew of Jenn and ShaMoo through the Choristers but since I cloistered myself within the basses, I never really got to know them personally. Besides I was pretty well in awe of Sopranos and Altos. But I do know one thing and that was that I felt completely honoured to be even thought of by the ladies to be part of this quartet.

Well, we ARE awesome, really… right ShaMoo? ;) There was no other Bass for us, Frankie.

    John: I laughed. And that is the honest truth.

    The proposal / suggestion from Jenn and ShaMoo was from so far out in left field that I didn’t see it coming. To say the least, I was shocked. Didn’t think the two of them were at all serious. Had to be a joke. And, even if it were true, why would anyone want me?

    When the shock wore off, and I came to appreciate the sincerity of the girls’ offer and what they were planning to build, I was humbled, then honoured, then flattered, then embarrassed for how I had handled it. What a schmuck!!

Still can’t believe you laughed… how rude!

Our ages are all over the map, yet we just seem to “fit”. Was this a concern for you when we got together?

    ShaMoo: Honestly? I never gave it a second thought; and I still don’t. I think we’re all equal in our passion for this group and our occasional (okay, frequent) bouts of goofiness :)
    Frank: Not really. I think because of all the years of playing church baseball (14yrs and up) and other sporting events involving mixed ages and genders it became natural not to think about age as either an issue or concern. In this quartet the maturity of the other three had that same effect. Besides I was thinking more about singing and not of age. Now you’ve got me thinking of my age…
    John: Age differentiation was not, is not, and never will be a factor for me within MSQ. And I believe I can comfortably say that my friends will say something similar: that age wasn’t a concern when we got together.

    Re: Question 1, above, though: as part of how I dealt with my curiosity about the quartet proposal, I did wonder initially why a couple of vibrant young women like S and J would want an old fogey like me to be around! But then again, I feel (and like to think, anyway) that I “act” young, so maybe that’s the thing!

    “Fit”? We are so well-matched; so comfortable now with one another. To be a part of such a special moment in our lives as individuals, as friends and as a group, is a blessing. Special, indeed!

It’s unanimous! I’ve always wondered. Glad we’re all on the same page.

Easy one: What is your favourite colour? Favourite food?

    ShaMoo: Colour = Always a tie between green and purple for me, however if forced to choose, I guess it would be purple. Or green. Okay, greenish purple :)

    Food = Pfffft, this is nearly an impossible question for me to answer as I just adore food in general. But if this were phrased in a “What would you want for your last supper on earth?” kinda way, then I’d say my mom’s Christmas dinner. Picture the table covered in 13 different (and fabulous) Ukrainian dishes, not to mention the appetizers, desserts, and wine… oh baby. However these days, any food that *I* don’t have to cook is my new favourite ;)

    Frank: My favourite colour? I think it depends on my mood I suppose but I believe I lean toward the blues.

    MY food favourite? I guess Red meat and potatoes (with gravy) although more of a treat at the moment.

[We know this well; ShaMoo gets a bit green around the gills when witnessing either guy’s meal of dripping steak!]

    John: Azure blue. Maybe navy blue. In my “shirt wardrobe” (inside joke), I have an azure blue shirt that I am quite fond of; I like to think that I look particularly good in it. If that’s not the case, I am sure that I will be corrected…

    Having said that blue’s my favourite colour, I am driven to ask myself why I live my life surrounded by so much grey? On reflection, it is rather puzzling to note the amount of grey, or in fact, silver that exists in my life: my silver car, my silver glasses, yes, a few silver shirts, silver hair, my nickname (“the silver fox”). Weird. Food for thought, I guess… (Segué:)

I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen you in a “silver” shirt, John… don’t know that I’ve seen you in a grey one either for that matter. Are you holding out on us?? I do like your blue shirt though, you’re right. Goes well with your blue eyes. I LOVE that you and Frank went shopping together for the shirts you wore for our first Main Street concert! ;)

    Food: BBQ steak! A T-Bone or a New York. Has to be seasoned with Montreal Steak Spice. Rare (juices still flowing). This photo will help:

    (Photo intentionally provided to tick off unidentified member[s] of the group.)

    But the steak is just the beginning. The beef is accompanied by an Idaho baked potato (“loaded”, of course) and garlic-fried mushrooms. The meal is served on my back deck on a most pleasant summer evening. A glass of the finest red wine I have available accompanies the repast. There is candlelight. There is musical accompaniment as background on the stereo; who’s singing? – yes, of course, it is Main Street! Now how’s that for creating a mood?

    So the one food item you’ve inquired about, Jenn, needs to be seen as part of a more comprehensive culinary and spiritual (if you will) experience. Neat, eh?

There are no words…

What, for you, has been the best part of singing with us?

    ShaMoo: I’ve learned a lot about how to sing out (rather than blend with others, as we’ve been taught in our choir for years). I’ve also gotten incredibly close to three of the most wonderful people on the planet; you can’t top that. It’s a little crazy how much I look forward to being with these three on each occasion. The insanity of my day/week just melts away when we get singing and I get back home from practice with my cheeks hurting from laughing so hard. I feel like a big void in my life (one that I didn’t even know existed) has been filled.

Me too…

    Frank: I love to sing; not solo mind you. I just love to sing with these three people (I’ve never sang with a Soprano and Alto before…a completely new experience!) There have been times I yearn to meet even ache for that moment to be singing together. But the strangest thing is I’ve never really liked my singing voice; I’m perhaps the most insecure person in the group yet somehow here I am. Their encouragement and support has been awesome!

    Another “best part”? The quick development of camaraderie over a very short period of time was incredibly heart warming.

    John: Getting to know my 3 new best friends better. By far the “best part”.

    Without doubt, the music we make together is truly special, and we sound fabulous. This is what brought is together: it is our purpose, it is what we do, and we do it together fantastically well. Biased, sure, but it is the truth. But more than the music, it is the very special friendships that have we have formed with each other that is the “best part” for me. Frankly, I kind of admired each of the three of my quartet friends from a distance in our earlier (and continuing) lives as members of the Choristers. So having been given this precious opportunity to get to know each of them much more personally and intimately has been a gift.

Hrm… was that before or after you didn’t like me? It’s ok… I’m not bitter…

Does it ever bother you that I blog about us all the time, sometimes in detail?

    ShaMoo: No, but if I ever decide to run for public office I’ll have to get “my people” to make that all disappear.

*Quietly backing things up for the safety deposit box*

    Frank: No. I just hope you spell my name right.

You’re the one who started calling yourself Knarf!

    John: Never had any experience with the “blogosphere” before. Hey: there’s a word that wasn’t even in my vocabulary a year ago!

    So, keeping in mind this context (blog virgin), yes I was a little nervous at first about your blog, Jenn. Nervous-makers were the teasing; the honesty; the baring of one’s self; the flattering and humbling things that were said about us; the fear of who might be reading these things; etc…

    But what I came to appreciate was the love, faith and purpose that was/is behind everything that you post. And what your friends post (ShaMoo: you touched me with that post of yours in ways you’ll never know).

    Seeing what you write, Jenn (your honesty and openness with everything), and your commitment to share all of this so willingly, has gotten me past my initial skepticism and worry. Contributing to this change of thinking, too, of course, was your guilting me into participating in Haiku Wednesday; as a regular contributor now, I feel a larger part of the “blogging” community, and I feel good about that!

    What did you write about me on your blog once, Jenn?; something about “dragging J-B kicking and screaming into today’s technological world”, or some such thing. Well, guess it worked, Jenn. Huh! Thanks for that, I think…

I’m going to take that as a no…?

Of all the songs we’ve done so far, which one is your favourite, and why?

    ShaMoo: Ooooh, that’s a hard one! My first thought is to say “Angel” because there are some chords in there that I just love the sound of… however the same could be said for all of our songs! For me, there’s something special about each piece we do, whether it be a personal memory for me or just the feeling I get when we sing certain songs together.
    Frank: I love a cappella so I’ll go with ‘Angel’, but I won’t discount ‘The Long and Winding Road’. I like Angel because of its melodious bass line part. On the bass staff the note range stretches from the ‘A’ down to below the staff to ‘E’. Singing as a baritone in the Choristers I seldom get the opportunity to sing below the bass staff ‘c’. Besides I love the lyrics.
    John: Without hesitation and with conviction, I disclose that “Believe” (from the movie “The Polar Express”) is my favourite of our songs sung to date. Although I had not seen the movie, and am pretty sure I had never heard the tune, I fell in love with it immediately. Analogies within this song to Main Street (birth, evolution and journey) are numerous. And the fact that we all “Believed” in what we started, and continue to believe in each other and what we’re doing, is exceptionally motivating and directional for me.

My favourite is “Believe” also, but I agree with ShaMoo that everything we sing together is special in some way.

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know (or suspect!)

    ShaMoo: I’m a big nerd (and I can hear some of you saying “Wait, we already knew that!!”), but bear with me. Not many know that I am such a nerd that I made a spreadsheet mapped out to the aisles of our local grocery store so that I could read off what I need in the direction that I usually walk the store. It saves me from trucking all the way back to the frozen section from produce when I realize that I’ve forgotten frozen pizza. Hmmm, maybe it’s not so much nerdiness as laziness?? Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves :) Someday I’ll tell you all about the Star Trek plate collections that Shmenkman and I have; NERD ALERT!

I smell another guest post in the works…

    Frank: Let’s see… you know I love my dog [Zack], that I love to hike, that I love to sing and I love my kids and grandkids (in number 5 and 10 respectively). I use to paint (oils) and I miss it a little, but I still love to garden. I’m retired from work, a widower of almost 5 years (still miss her) and an avoider of romantic relationships. I’m somewhat sensitive, accused of being a romantic, and very insecure of my being (a condition exacerbated by the passing of my wife); Graduated from University in ’72 in Science, retired as a church elder, retired from playing most contact sports. I’m 5’10 and a bit, weigh 200lbs and fairly physically fit. Oh, and I’ve never been arrested.

I never thought to ask for a police report… hrmm

    John: At the University of Guelph, I was a don for 2+ years in the south residence facility. My interest in the role was quite altruistic: I thought I had this ability to maybe help people, and I rather cherished the notion of making that kind of a contribution on campus.

    (The fact that I received free room and board as compensation was also a minor motivation. Just sayin’…)

There was a *lot* more to this answer, but I’m going to keep it to myself for now, and have asked John to do a guest post on it some time in the future…

Scary one: “Explain” the rest of us *individually*, in your own words.

    ShaMoo: First, a disclaimer: these three mean the world to me but, if you’ve ever read my haikus on Wednesdays, you’ll know that I’m not so good at expressing my feelings with the written word. Some things are better said in person and, someday, I may have the courage to do just that ;)

    Jenn: My dear Jenn is a diehard workaholic who is utterly devoted to her main passions in life (her family and music). She is one of those amazing women who juggles a lot of stuff yet appears completely calm at all times. On a more personal level, Jenn has witnessed my family and I go through some very difficult times over the past few years and has ALWAYS been there to offer a hug, help, or just simply an ear. She’s about the only person whom I can email at 1:15am and get a response from in under five minutes (and if you’re a nighthawk like me, you can appreciate how important this really is!!). She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and a true friend, in every sense of the word. I’m very lucky to have her in my life :)

Awwww I love you too! Wait… “completely calm”? I think the boys might beg to differ… I know my family certainly will!

    Knarf: One of the biggest romantics I’ve ever met; I can only imagine what a magical relationship he had with his late wife. He’s the consummate gentleman and is always looking out for the three of us or spoiling us with some sweet surprise. Knarf is the prototypical “strong silent type”: I suspect that there is far more to him than meets the eye, although he vehemently denies that. One of these days we’ll chisel those walls down! I deeply admire the fact that Knarf can put aside whatever is on his “to do” list in favour of heading outside to enjoy the beautiful weather with his gorgeous pooch; definitely something I wish I could do (see Knarf? You’re far less A-type than you thought!) He has done so much for our group and is such a wonderful, dear friend, it amazes me that I sat only a few chairs away from him for years at choir yet we really didn’t know each other. I feel blessed that that has changed :)

    J-B: J-B is one of those “life of the party” kind of guys, although I don’t think he’d necessarily describe himself as such. He has a quiet, yet happy-go-lucky way about himself that is ridiculously charming and seems to naturally draw people to him. Even though we bug him mercilessly about it, he is living my dream retirement being busier than words can say and traveling the globe with his lovely wife (uh, except that I’d be traveling the globe with Shmenkman, not J-B’s wife; just thought I’d clarify). Despite having a bit of a stubborn streak, he’s got a softness about him that can put me at ease and lift my spirits like few others can (and I suspect it is that quality that used to get us into trouble at board meetings all the time for goofing off). Like Jenn and Knarf, J-B is an amazingly supportive person and a joy to have in my life.

Ahhh the board meetings. Good times! Wish you were both still on it; it’s boring now!

    Frank: I’m not sure what to say since you’ve covered us in your blog posts. I’m also concerned that if I say this about one person I can’t say it again to another!

    I will say they all have beautiful voices and their unique personalities help in the management of the diverse administrative things that need to be done (spokesperson, site manager, etc.). Another exception and applied to each is …I love them all.

    Since you said I can do it my way, the following is my way:

    I am sitting in a chair, dreaming. My dream is about sitting in front of my fireplace with a cognac in hand. The only light in the room is emanating from a lone burning log sitting on the fire grate. I sit back, take a sip and close my eyes. Then I imagine our dear J-B singing softly ‘Loch Lomond’, all verses a cappella without backup. The thought and image are mesmerizing and I open my eyes to take another sip and look at the flames gently caress and expand the blackness on the log.

    My mind wanders with visions of rolling heather hills when I begin to imagine our darling Jenn sing a Patsy Cline tune ‘Crazy’ followed by Anne Murray’s hit song ‘You needed me’. Her soft melodious voice is hypnotic and almost puts me to sleep but I shake it off. Reaching forward with a poker I nudge the log sending small streams of sparks and embers every which way. Flames burst momentarily from the log seemingly adding new life to the fire but it soon subsides.

    I sit back and take another sip of my cognac watching the now lazy flame lick around the log, blacking it further. Closing my eyes briefly I visualize our sweetheart ShaMoo sing a Linda Ronstadt song ‘Someone to watch over me’. Her silky gentle tones flood my senses when the song is followed by another; a Katie Melua tune ‘I Cried For You’.

    The night has now slowly melted away and the fire retreating to ash. I close my eyes and imagine I hear the voice of J-B singing again. This time an Andrea Bocelli song; ‘Time To Say Goodbye’. When the song ends my goblet is empty and the fire has died leaving only smoldering ashes.

    My befuddled mind begins to waken. My dream has ended. There is nothing in my hand, nothing in the fire place but strangely I am at peace. Sitting back in my chair I slowly open my tired eyes and envision seeing…

Frank told us at dinner one night last week that this lovely story was a metaphor for his life with his wife, who he misses dearly, and is still crazy about. To say we are honoured to be a part of this vision is grossly understated. We love you, Frank.

    John: All three of you guys are Fun! Fun! Fun! Love you to bits!

    Jenn: For my first months in the Choristers, Jenn was something of an enigma to me. She was such a “mixed bag” of skills, talents, opinions and personality traits, that I wasn’t sure I liked her. Was I intimidated by her?; maybe. Jenn seemed to me at times a bit “pushy” and while I can handle that, I wasn’t sure why she needed to be! I know I didn’t “dislike” her, but she was hard for me to deal with and, resultantly, I kinda kept my distance. But then we got on the board together, and things changed!

    Rapidly thereafter I gained an awareness of Jenn’s need to push: so things would get done! OMG there are some talkers who do that (talk) real well, but little else. For her to fulfill her board obligations to her best, Jenn needed to prod and poke, push and pull, so that the choir’s best would come out. Way to go, Jenn.

    In short order, and in spending more time in meetings, I gained an appreciation also of Jenn’s conviction to quality and thoroughness: no job is worth doing poorly. At the same time, she and I share a lack of tolerance for incompetence and the slovenly work ethic of some we must work with.

    Jenn is a very social being, and loves to organize successful events. She is not afraid to place her very dearest of friends in embarrassing or humiliating positions, if it means that she doesn’t have to be the target. (Referring, of course, to the Comedy Club!) Despite this trait, Jenn makes friends easily and manages to keep them. Hmmmm…

    A talented techie, I have benefited on umpteen occasions from Jenn’s skills in today’s e-world: she solved some personal cell-phone woes for me, defrocked me as a text virgin, assisted with software on my laptop, and introduced me to, of all things, Facebook (and can you believe it, when I had my first “e-chat”: it was with her, there).

    Good communicator, Jenn is; you always know where you stand, and isn’t THAT a good thing?

    Oh, and she can sing, too! Another great communications device. Thanks for sharing!

    “Generosity” must be Jenn’s middle name. Right out of the gate after we formed our group, Jenn has shown herself to be magnanimous and kind in ways that bring new meaning to the terms. The purchase of music and other out-of-pocket expenditures have been borne by her, always with the refrain of “Don’t worry about it; it will all work out”. Yeah; maybe. And what really blew us away was her creative and beautiful gift for us just before MSQ’s Christmas concert: personalized music folders for each of us, with “Main Street Quartet” on the front cover. I remember how moved each of us was, Jenn, how surprised we were, and how I reacted: might have been a little tear or two there. Thank you, dear friend, for your boundless kindness and thoughtfulness; you are, indeed, very special to each of us!

“Pushy”? Hrm. Well, I know from recent conversations that you didn’t like me when we first met, and eventually I will (probably) get over it… but for the record? I *always* liked you. Jerk. ;)

    Frank: Frank is just so grounded. From the moment I met him, he has impressed me with his charm, warm demeanor, and his self-assuredness. He seems to be so in control of his life (busy as he is), and yet never not enough time to patiently help any of us when he’s needed. Thanks, my friend!

    And thanks, too Frank, for doing all our practice music uploads; it’s a huge commitment, with many, many hours; your Herculean efforts are really appreciated!

    “Knarf”, as he has nick-named himself (seems like a back-asswards way of nicknaming one’s self, but there you go), is incredibly generous. Thoughtful, kind and considerate, he goes out of his way to please us and the others in his life that are important to him. Little gifts when they are unanticipated, flowers for the girls, a hug, a warm embrace, a sly smile to say “I care about you, and you are really important to me”. This is our “Knarfie”.

    And regarding the “sly smile”, there’s a little bit of a devil lying not so far beneath the surface there, isn’t that right my dear friend? You have a glint in your eye (not that I’ve seen it, BTW: it’s the girls that get THAT look!) that suggests that you’re not all as pristine pure and innocent as you would want to have us believe.

    Most surprising for me to learn about Frank these past nine months has been to discover his spirituality. This I mean not only in the religious sense, although Frank is a revered member of his church community and is committed to supporting its many good works. But I have come to appreciate the character of a man whose soul is good, whose actions are likewise, and whose relationships with all around him (family, friends, nature, his best pal Zack) are essential and dear to him. Frank openly shares his sentiments following his walks in the woods: he feels things there, senses things there, experiences things there that have special meaning for him and bring him peace. Thank you for sharing those with us, Frank.

    A loyal member of our quartet, a pillar of support when the winds blow, a bit of a pony tail to remind us that he is an individual who is comfortable in his own skin, a guy who is pretty “cool” to be in the company of, and a man who’s pleased with himself: that’s our Frank.

    It is an honour, sir, to have come to know you better and to now call you friend!

    ShaMoo: Sung to the tune of “Life Could Be a Dream”: “Sha-Moo! Sha-Moo! Ya da da da da da da da da da. Sha-Moo! Sha-Moo! Life could be a dream, sweetheart!”

    One night at practice we broke into this refrain when ShaMoo joined practice (one of those special spontaneous moments that seem to happen a lot with the 4 of us!), and I think she liked it. Has a certain rhythm and, at the same time, respectfulness, for the soprano of our group who has such a load to carry. Not a diva, our ShaMoo. Her humbleness and stated desire to be out of the spotlight endear us to her. But the soprano line is most often the melody (sometimes incorporating a solo) and ShaMoo has never let us down!

    Before joining MSQ, ShaMoo was another soprano in the choir to me. We were elected to the board at the same time (more on that later), but musically I really had no idea about her voice. Well, holy crap, what an awakening for me. ShaMoo has a beautiful voice, one that I had never been able to appreciate before. One that was masked by the blending of many other high female voices, and one that had never been shared in a solo or smaller group where I might have heard her voice more purely. Holy crap: ShaMoo – the Choristers’ best-kept soprano secret, is what I say!!! You shouldn’t have been hiding this gift of yours for so long behind the likes of some of the choir’s other Sopranos, I say. Splendid! Pure! Soaring! Clean! In pitch! (yes; that’s important too!). I have been super-impressed, and am grateful to be able to appreciate you musically, now, ShaMoo, and to sing with you! Thank you!

    Yes: about our time on the Choristers executive board together… The one good thing about going to meetings was that ShaMoo was there. ShaMoo embraced the role of recording secretary; I handled logistics. Thorough, committed, and efficient, ShaMoo executed her duties with great aplomb. It amazed me how, despite other important obligations in her life, she always managed to have meeting minutes “out” to us the next day. I have since come to understand that this accomplishment was attributed to the fact that ShaMoo did the notes when she got home on those meeting nights (working way into the wee hours of the morning). A sacrifice (even tho’ she’s a night owl!), and what a blessing for a community group to have this aspect covered so proficiently. Novel, and special.

    And she and I kinda “kibitz-ed” at those board meetings, if I recall correctly. Seems we frequently ended up seated beside each other, and we sometimes lost focus on what was being said. We made our own fun, especially when some of the blowhards were “waxing philosophic”, or whatever… In fact, I recall numerous occasions where I had to quietly relate details to her for subsequent inclusion in the minutes, after we’d been distracted. You’re welcome, S!

    Since the formation of MSQ last spring, it has been a real privilege to have come to better know ShaMoo, and to have formed a special friendship with her. Her kindness and thoughtfulness is always evident. A gift of home-made “Jammin’ With Main Street” peach jam for each of us, very early in our time together, sort of set the tone for how the 4 of us would relate as group members and friends. And hosting us in her home for rehearsals, often in difficult and awkward circumstances, invariably demonstrated her commitment to us and her sense of “team play”. Or, she just needed us on-site as a distraction to/for/of her kids!

    And in that vein, I admire ShaMoo’s devotion to her family and children. They are first in her life, as they must be. And they are darlings, all, and are the beneficiaries of their mother’s love and affection. Indeed, there are very special circumstances in their household that demand super-human effort and compassion: I hold you in such esteem, ShaMoo, for your calm demeanour, patience, “steady-the-boat” approach that has kept your family’s ship afloat and sailing smoothly, despite the choppy seas.

    Sensitive and “soft”, ShaMoo also has a “toughness” that has helped her get through some tough times in her own life, and helps her deal with tough moments in “these times”. She has an incredible inner strength, is confident (or seems to be), is very smart, is sensitive to the feelings of others, and is tactful when dealing with delicate situations. In fact, ShaMoo has a unique knack for sharing her views carefully, and poignantly, when the situation commands it!

    Know, my friend, that you are loved!

I confess that this is not what I expected from John… *Frank*, our romantic, yes, but John? Colour me surprised!

Where do you see us 5 years from now?

    ShaMoo: Sitting in the front row at the Grammy Awards, up for “Best New Group”…. Okay, kidding :) I’d love to see us with a regular circuit of local gigs and be considered one of the local “go to” groups for weddings/funerals, etc. The fact that I expect us to still be singing to each other in our kitchens/living rooms (and laughing our arses off at the pub) on a weekly basis goes without saying :)
    Frank: There was a saying in my classical economics class many years ago that went something like this “if all else remain equal….” in order to prove some theorem. If we hold that true today then we will remain and be as we are. But sadly, as a consequence of age I see myself being replaced by some young tall good-looking bass; but that’s the circle of life. I think the other three will become quite well established and go on with this wonderful sideline.

Frank? Shut up. You’re not going anywhere for a long, long time. Sheesh!

    John: Now there’s a real interesting question!

    Frankly (Knarfly, Jenn-ly, Sha-Moo-ly, whatever…), our long-term future is just really something I have not contemplated. Guess I have just been so busy being wrapped-up “in our moment” with where we are, and what we’re doing and feeling, that I hadn’t seen much past the next few months, or year or so.

    Five years hence I want us to be exceedingly busy, all year long, with performance gigs. They can be paid/unpaid, formal/informal, in-town/out-of-town; as long as we are with each other, making good music and continuing to enjoy each other’s company. That’s my “big picture” vision for us.

One last question: Coke or Pepsi?

    ShaMoo: 100% Coke, baby (well, except for when only Pepsi’s on sale… hey, gotta stick to the budget!). And seriously, why did they ever discontinue Vanilla Coke? That stuff rocked!!
    Frank: Sorry, both! Coke (with rum); and pepsi (with ice)

Fickle, fickle man.

    John: Neither! Not a cola guy. Not at all.

    But knowing that Jenn needs an answer to this question I will oblige by saying “Coke”.

    My sister had a budgie named “Pepsi” when we were kids, and it was just a freakin’ nuisance: noisy, smelly, annoying. So “Pepsi” will never be a beverage choice for me.

Many thanks for sharing yourselves with my readers, Gang. You surprised me, you shocked me, you humbled me, you made me weepy with your honest feelings. I love you, and I owe you one.


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  1. Thom says:

    Bravo! *Clapping hands to an excellent interview. I certainly can see the friendship and love between all of you. This was wonderful and inspiring to read. I’m glad you had the picture. I hope that in 5 years I’m watching all of you go up to accept your Grammy. Thanks so much for sharing this and all of you I wish the best of luck to. You are all awesome :)
    .-= Thom´s last blog ..Weekend Funnies #2 =-.

    • Jenn says:

      Thanks Thom! :D

      I dunno about the Grammy, but I know we’ll still be together. Love them to pieces.

  2. Nessa says:

    it was so much fun getting to know more of you and your group members. thanks for sharing yourselves.

    limerick love
    .-= Nessa´s last blog ..limerick love =-.

  3. Betty says:

    Ok, I must admit. I had NO idea! Since only recently coming upon your blog, I really had no idea what you do. I totally loved this interview though, and it gave me a big insight of what you enjoy and what your friends are like. They sound like awesome people and you are blessed to have them as friends. I really would like to hear you sing now. Are you on Youtube or do you have any links that I could listen to? It sounds like you really enjoy being together and singing together.

    • Jenn says:

      Thanks Betty! They are wonderful people, and I am beyond lucky to have them in my life.

      Yep, we have a few songs up on YouTube, facebook, etc. Some on my blog too – here :)

  4. Amanda says:

    it sounds like although your ages vary you each bring a unique perspective to the quartet, I look forward to your acceptance speech at the Grammy’s!!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Pay it forward today with CCWA =-.

  5. Melissa B. says:

    First off, love the Superior Snap! Secondly, rare steak on the barbie is my fave…as we say in Tejas, just wipe its butt and run it by the fire…
    .-= Melissa B.´s last blog ..Do Not Pass Go…Just Get Outta Here! =-.

  6. shakira says:

    Jenn, you have got yourself an extended family here. I am so happy for you. I love live music and in Malaysia there are quite a number of Filipino bands, I love to hear them sing, not so much the Malaysian or Singaporeans when it comes to English songs, but I am so humbled by the obvious dedication,love and passion you shared. AWESOME!

    Thank you so much for sharing a huge part of your life with us. God bless.

    Have a blessed and winsome week!

    Awards and a CAUSE!
    For the benefit of Children this Easter,I am inviting you to please join the good cause to bring HOPE to the Children. Me got some goodies for you too, come on over?

    If you have been tagged, just come over to get the awards as I wanted you to have them. cheers!


    .-= shakira´s last blog ..W33K3ND FUNNI3S-SILLY HAIKUS =-.

  7. Ji says:

    roses are red,
    the sky is blue,
    you are cool!
    awards for you,
    Happy Monday!

  8. shakira says:

    Jenn sweetheart,

    Thanks for looking out for me. My link was just before or after Thom’s ? Did you see it? Love you! hugs shakira
    .-= shakira´s last blog ..SPRING GIVEAWAYS BY DIANE AND HARRIET! =-.