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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

June 24, 2011

ELECTRIC & MELLOW

I’d like to project the image that I am whitewater-kayaking every morning at the lake. That it is all death-defying and macho.

There are countless reality shows on TV and people are always kayaking solo off of a 250 ft. waterfall in the Brazilian jungle or shooting the rapids down the Colorado River while buzzards track their progress hoping for a meal. The guys are ripped and enjoy eating fried flying ants; the gals have arms as toned as a weightlifter yet a winning smile.

It’s the new fitness freaks…kayakers-on-the-edge.

I’d like to project that image. But I can’t. I go to a lake, which is calm and pine tree-lined. I have actually had loons and beavers swim beneath my kayak and I suppose I could claim they were diseased, deadly loons and crazed beavers…all bent on wreaking havoc on me…intent on tipping my kayak and lunching on me.

One time a loon was taking off from the lake (loons require about as much taking-off-distance as the Titanic takes to turn from an iceberg) and it was about 150 yards from me and barely cleared my head by a foot. I could see the whites of her eyes, so to speak, and I think I actually saw a look of fear on her face as she realized she might collide with me; but disaster was averted as she arose and I ducked.

And I realize that most of you are now saying to yourselves, “How does he know it was a ‘she’?”  I just do.

Being without danger, whitewater, water falls and out-of-control loons, I actually spend most of my paddling time cruising the inlets of the lake and listening to my iPod. While the Reality Show guys and gals spend their time in training and buying expensive survival gear at Cabellas, I spend my Spring assembling an iPod Lake Playlist.

Hear are the first 6 on the playlist, they will get me to the channel at the far eastern end of the lake. If you are adept at surfing Amazon or the Music Store on iTunes, you can sample what I am hearing. It’s Summer. You don’t have anything else to do, give it a try.

  1. “Away Down the River” -- Allison Krouse.  It’s important to establish that easy-going vibe as you shove off from the shore. Allison is Bluegrass and I am not, yet she’s ethereal and somehow a Michigan lake and Bluegrass seem compatible.
  2. “A Fantasy” -- Lee Ritenour.  This is from his Rit #2 CD. Lee is a bit Smooth Jazz and that’s good for me but this song has a hint of the Dick Dale surf sound from the early 60’s. Electric and mellow. Like the lake. (…and me.)
  3. “Angel Eyes (Layo & Bushwacka Mix)” -- Ella Fitzgerald (from Verve Remixed 2). If you know Electronica and Chill music… and Ella… and you can imagine them together, then this is for you. Amazing how well this works on water.
  4. “Who Needs Forever?” -- Astrid Gilberto (Verve Remixed). I have a thing for Brazilian songstresses. She’s the gold standard and this remix version breathes new life into the song.
  5. “Timeless” -- India.Arie & Sergio Mendes. Another Brazilian composition with the American artist India.Arie. Sergio and I go way back. He’s sort of the Brazilian Quincy Jones.
  6. “The White Spirit” -- Uman on the Purple Passage CD. Can’t recall how or why I stumbled across this, but when out-of-control loons are breathing in your face, Uman is the one to calm you.

Not in my Playlist but on my iPod for the Summer are an old Johnson Brothers song called “Strawberry Letter 23” and a modern quirky song called “Fireflies” by Owl City. Headphones and floating on lake water do them both justice.

As Ella croons, “’Scuse me while I disappear.”

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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