More classy than country

She was born Brenda Gayle Webb, the daughter of a Kentucky coal miner. But, while her older sister Loretta Lynn played up that folksy “coal miner’s daughter” image and rode it all the way to fame as a country singer, Brenda took a different path. It was actually Loretta, older by 16 years, who advised Brenda to change her name to the more exotic “Crystal.”

Goings ON 1-31-07

ARTS & CRAFTS CALL FOR ARTISTS: Kingston Art Gallery invites local artists to join the co-op gallery. Information and applications at the gallery, corner of SR 104 and West Kingston Rd., Kingston or online at

The live album

Wanted: One enthusiastic live audience. No experience needed, just the ability to clap loudly and not cough during the show. Whistling, foot stomping skills optional. Compensation: Eternal gratitude of guitarist Peter Spencer. Bainbridge Island guitarist, singer/songwriter Spencer is holding a concert Jan. 26 at Island Music Guild Hall for the purpose of making a live recording of his blues tunes.

British humor in a tuxedo

British humor. Or, “humour.” The very phrase seems like an oxymoron, the antithesis of the stiff upper lip, stuffed shirt image of a Brit. Yet, as Monty Python and Dame Edna have proven, those Brits do love a good laugh, especially at their own expense. The London-based a cappella quartet Cantabile blends classic English humor with solid musical skill to produce one of the most popular vocal acts in the world.

Goings On 1-24-07

ARTS & CRAFTS CALL FOR ARTISTS: Kingston Art Gallery invites local artists to join the co-op gallery. Information and applications at the gallery, corner of SR 104 and West Kingston Rd., Kingston or online at

Books cross tides and times

Two Seattle authors pair up Jan. 25 to present a thought-provoking discussion on women, love and literature at Eagle Harbor Books. Randy Sue Coburn will be bringing her second novel, “Owl Island,” while Kit Bakke will present her debut novel, “Miss Alcott’s E-Mail: Yours For Reforms Of All Kinds.” “Owl Island” is a pretty straightforward romance novel, with descriptions like “ ... a tale about mothers and daughters, power and control, and the liberating lessons of opening one’s heart.”

Let’s talk about sex

The University of Washington is considered to be one of the leading research colleges in the nation. Groundbreaking medical and scientific discoveries are everyday news, but did you know the university also houses one of the nation’s leading sex experts? That would be Dr. Pepper Schwartz, professor of Sociology and expert in the field of sex, relationships and families.

Where love is served with garlic bread

Where love is served with garlic bread

Mary Lou Sanelli remembers eating sausages for lunch when the other kids had peanut butter and jam sandwiches. She had to learn to put away her high heels as an adult when she moved to the Birkenstock-shod town of Port Townsend; she toned down her animated hand gestures and loud voice. “I always felt different,” she said. Sanelli was born in New York’s Little Italy to immigrants who fled Italy after WWII.

Where love is served with garlic bread

Aria by and for the common man, or woman

Opera is not as high falutin’ as you might think. Before I took on the glamorous career of journalist, I worked for several years as a home care aid for low income elderly people. It was an important service, performing basic household chores and taking seniors shopping so they could continue to live in their own homes, but it was not particularly mentally stimulating. If you’ve scrubbed one toilet you’ve pretty much scrubbed them all.

Remembering the poet and the man

The late William Stafford is revered as a poet who had both feet firmly planted on the ground. “He didn’t distinguish between poetry and the way he lived his life,” Neil Baker, of Bainbridge Island, said. Part of that grounding came from his Kansan roots, a formative time when he learned that “everywhere we looked the land would hold us up.”

Goings On 1-17-07

ARTS & CRAFTS BLOOM VENDORS: Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour seeking art vendors for Art Fair. Application deadline Feb. 16. Information IKEBANA CLASSES: Japanese flower arranging classes 10 a.m. to noon first and third Saturdays, Bainbridge Senior Center, Waterfront Park, Bainbridge Island. Next class Jan. 20. Information (360) 297-2901....

Write what you know

The Jewel Box Poets Sunday Reading Series continues Jan. 21 with Seattle poets Kathleen Flenniken and Josie Emmons Turner. The series is hosted by Poulsbo poet Jenifer Lawrence, author of the recently published book of poetry, “One Hundred Steps from Shore.”

Singing in the Saddle

Singing in the Saddle

If you are of a certain generation, say one with the word “boom” often attached, you may fondly remember playing cowboys and Indians when Roy Rogers was an icon and scratchy music came from a large, round, black vinyl disk.

Singing in the Saddle

Clap your hands, say ‘yeah!’

In what has become a much-anticipated annual event, Seattle’s Total Experience Gospel Choir comes to Bainbridge Island Jan. 20 for another day of musical good times honoring the life and legacy of the late Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sing Out! is a day-long event centered around the Filipino American Community Hall on High School Road. It starts with a black gospel choir workshop which runs from 1-5 p.m.

Hot jazz heats up winter weekend

Gypsy jazz quintet Pearl Django returns to the Collective Visions Gallery this weekend for two shows. The gallery setting is a change from the type of venues the Seattle-based group often plays, but violinist Michael Gray said that’s a good thing. “It’s a great spot to play,” Gray said. “We love the small venues. Playing for 10,000 people, which we do, can be daunting. In a small room you can really look everyone in the eye. It’s like a big house concert.”

Community theater groups provide six good reasons to look forward to February

The red and green M&M bowl is empty. Nothing but crumbs are left in the shortbread tin. Even the fruitcake is finally nibbled down to the last petrified cherry. January is the cruelest month. Here and there you see people still displaying their Christmas lights, struggling to stave off the darkness that they know awaits without them, but for the most part the decorations have been packed away for another year.

Sailors come ashore on Bainbridge, bring books

They won’t be arriving in the Navy’s signature mode of transportation, the F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, but two retired Navy veterans will be landing at Eagle Harbor Books Jan. 11, to read from their new books. John Van Wyck Gould served on a destroyer during WWII, while Stuart Franklin Platt is a retired Rear Admiral. Both men live on Bainbridge Island.

Stories ‘From the Heart’

One petite Asian woman will fill the stage at the Admiral Theatre Jan. 11, as Jude Narita presents “From the Heart,” a one-woman show with five different vignettes. Narita is the award-winning creator of several one-woman shows featuring the fictitious stories of women of Asian descent. She is Japanese-American.

A guitar is born

Woodworker Ken Savage just wanted to make one guitar. Just one, for his own personal use and enjoyment. One with a better tonal quality than he could find in mass produced guitars. One, perfect guitar. Yeah, right. A woodworker making one guitar is like a chocolatier making one truffle.