Sunday, November 25, 2007


Tradtion! In highschool, my favorite musical was Fiddler on the Roof, but I never liked the song Tradition much - it felt too much like my stuffy old parents! Maybe it's a sign of age, but now I have a completely different view of that old song. Sadly, now I understand what Tevye was singing about. Over the last several years here in Rochester, we have been developing a thanksgiving tradition of which I've grown very fond and I hope it can continue.

About 5 years ago I befriended a young couple that had just moved here from Georgia. Doug was then unemployed, and Sun-He (we call her Sunny) was just starting in a pharmacological research program at Mayo. Yes - she's super smart! I met Doug in orchestra - we were stand partners (on the violin) in the Mayo Chamber Orchestra that year. I felt motherly towards them and invited them to Thanksgiving dinner.

I had also invited an old friend from high school that I had recently reconnected with (Tim) and his partner (Russ). The last wayward soul I had invited that year was yet another friend, and fellow violist I knew from church. All guests, except Russ and my husband, were musicians, so I thought it would be fun to have them bring their instruments and we could "jam" after dinner. And jam we did. What a riot! Doug and Sunny on the violin, John and I on the viola, and Tim on his bassoon!

This year was the same crowd - we've done it all but one of the years since the first one. However, this year my step-daughter joined us on the violin and my daughter on the cello. We ate, we played, we ate some more.

John and I on the Viola

The Violin secion, from left to right are Sun-He, Doug, and my step-daughter Julia

And the "cello" section - my daughter Kaitlyn, and old friend Tim.

Tim, having just started a new job in the music department at St. Olaf was able to bring some fantastic music and we played until the kids begged us for mercy to quit!!! What a night - and a tradition I hope we can keep going for as long as possible.

In a way, it reminds me of the years and years of Thanksgivings we had as a child. My parents, and many of their friends, were all transplants to this tiny northern Minnesota town, and so every year we would gather with the same group of friends for Thanksgiving dinner. It was the Keston's, the Kelly's, the Brandviks, and us the Gallaghers. Although they didn't do a mini concert after dinner, they were all musicians or artists and thus was a similar feel. Those were great days for which I am very thankful, and I look forward to the future traditions we create in this wonderful life!

One more photo I must leave you with - my precious grandson (and me). They've only just left a couple of hours ago, and yet I miss them so...


The Littles Write said...

What a GREAT Thanksgiving! And what a fantastic tradition that you have going. I hope that it continues for a very long time - at least long enough that Via and I can join you on cello (did I tell you that she's started to play with her elementary school orchestra? Oh, lordy...)
Is that TIM? MY Tim? From BHS? How the heck is that guy?
Kiss everyone in Rochester for us.
Happy thanksgiving to you all
We head back to school tomorrow. I am not ready, but I've got to go pretend to get ready.
Talk to you soon.

Nonna said...

Yep! Tim Wells! He was in my first wedding...with you...remember?! How time flies. He's doing well I think - especially now that he has this new job at St. Olaf that he love love loves! I'll tell him hi for you! His partner...a chef...a good addition to our tradition if you ask me :)

Jon said...

Okay, this is just creepy. I played Tevye in high school! I even got a standing ovation for "If I Were A Rich Man". I think they just chose me because I was fat - but I got a standing ovation! I had forgotten all about that. Too funny!