ETCETERA - Walla Walla drummer, band to play Portland blues fest

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Former Walla Wallan Todd "Spud Money" Stevens and Boogie Bone bandmates are charged and ready for their closeup. The group will perform its progressive, new-age, roadhouse boogie blues at 3:45 p.m. July 2 on the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Main Stage in Portland.

A Jazz-Blues.com reviewer said of their most recent CD, "Bone-A-Fied," that "To a man they are solid players with guitarist Steve Williams making good use of his frequent solo time and drummer Todd Stevens showing cut-above blues instincts."

Spud plays drums, along with Hank "Hammerin" Gavaldon on bass, Steve ‘Fangers' Williams on guitars, "Howlin'" Jake Johnson on vocals and Steve "Triple Threat" Snyder on harmonica, saxophone and keyboards.

On Sept. 15, "Bone-A-Fied" was nominated for Best Northwest Recording by the Cascade Blues Association for its annual Muddy Awards. The Boogie Bone Band was also nominated in the Best Contemporary Blues Band, Best Performance and Best Male Vocalist categories.

Spud previously played for Shakin' Jake and the Livewires, which recorded a CD with the same name. Boogie Bone's website also mentions the CD "Boogie Bone."

Spud played drums under the direction of Glen Mitchell at Walla Walla High School and received the Louis Armstrong Award for Jazz in 1983. Prior to graduation from Wa-Hi that year, Spud played percussion, sang, acted and performed music throughout his school years here. While attending Washington State University for two years, he played in the marching band and drummed for a choral group.

As a union sheet metal journeyman, he installs ductwork in buildings for Alliant Systems, a mechanical construction firm in Beaverton. Wife Tammy Stevens makes craft items that she sells online.

The son of Joan and former longtime professional drummer Robert "Spud" Stevens of Walla Walla, Spud (Todd) and Tammy live in the Westmoreland area of Portland with son Colin, 10, and daughter Bryn, 7.

Both kids show a definite interest in music, Joan said. A fifth-grader this fall, Colin uses the drum set that his grandfather played and passed down to his dad. Colin played drums in fourth grade band and plans to attend a band camp this summer as a warmup to fifth-grade band. Not to be outdone, Bryn will start music and choir as a second-grader this fall.

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Former Walla Wallan Molly Larson Cook recently completed her novel, "Tonight on the Six O'Clock News." She said it's her Vietnam novel - that isn't set in Vietnam - but largely in Eastern Washington where she grew up, as well as in Eastern Oregon. It features a section about the Pendleton Round-Up.

"I love the west side with all the rain and the green and the water, but there's a different beauty and ruggedness about the east side that never leaves me - the desert, the Columbia River, the Gorge, the scab lands created by the great Missoula Floods so long ago," she said via e-mail.

"This time I wanted to put that into the writing and it seemed to fit the overall theme related to Vietnam. Nope, I can't explain exactly why, but it did. Don't ask writers to explain such things. We feel them in our guts and our hearts and that's enough."

Right now she has trusted readers checking it over, then the novel "will start on that long and winding road toward publication." She plans to take the agent route first, but if that fails, she'll self-publish under the Blue Finch Press imprint, which she used for "Listen" and "On Our Way to Somewhere."

She's picked up a new project, one that's been ongoing for a while and is nearly finished. "But now I'll go through it with new eyes, taking into account all I've learned since the manuscript was first completed. Every writing project teaches us something if we're open to that. If we're not open and don't keep learning and applying what we've learned as writers, where's the joy? Where's the craft?"

For fellow writers, Molly said lovers of fast and slow cars can write an essay about them. Goosefoot is sponsoring the fifth annual Cool Bayview Nights Car Show July 10 in Langley, Wash. Essay contest details are available at www.goosefoot.org/pdf/essaycontestweb.pdf . In 250 words, describe what your car means to you and send by mail to Goosefoot, Car Show Essay Contest, P.O. Box 114, Langley, WA 98260. The deadline is June 23. Winners will be published in the South Whidbey Record and will read their essays at the car show. Prizes will be awarded. Molly started the essay contest last year and is delighted that it's continuing this year. She won a similar contest in Portland some years ago, when she wrote about her ‘47 DeSoto. Contact her at jazzcookie@verizon.net and see her website at www.skylarkwritingstudio.com .

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Kathy Covey made a fun discovery while waiting for a train in New York City. As reported on May 9 in Etcetera, Kathy was on the East Coast to attend commencement ceremonies for daughters Andi Baldwin from Columbia University in New York and Tamara Baldwin from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. Before catching the train for Philadelphia, Kathy spotted an ad from Zaro's Bakery, aka Zaro's Bread Basket in Grand Central Station, "New York's Bakers since 1925."

"Walla Walla is on the map in many, many ways," Kathy said. "Send a Challah to Walla Walla/Send Black & Whites to Shaker Heights" the bright-yellow banner invites passersby.

"Many people ask what's the deal with Walla Walla," said John Apgar, operations manager for Zaro's downtown stores. Challah rhymes with Walla Walla, of course. "I don't know how many other things rhyme with challah," John mused.

He said founder Joseph Zaro's grandson, Joseph Zaro is behind the clever advertising that pairs Walla Walla with challah.

Brian Zaro, fourth-generation with the bakery and vice president of retail operations, said that when Zaro's launched its website, his father, Stuart Zaro, "came up with funky, creative, fun lingo, such as "Send Black & Whites to Shaker Heights."

With ‘Send a Challah to Walla Walla,' you can't get any better than that. It just rolls off the tongue," Brian said.

Zaro's website notes that the hand-braided challah bread is featured during Shabbat, for Friday night Jewish sabbath dinner. The bakery sells more than 1,200 challahs each Friday at its Grand Central Station location alone.

Brian added that challah makes great sandwiches and french toast. Black & Whites are a Zaro's specialty it opened 75-plus years ago. The cookie ranges in size from minis to the extra-large 14-inch 7-pound giants and gets an icing of half dark chocolate and half white vanilla.

"It's so heavy you can use it to work out, Brian joked. Stuart and brother Joseph Zaro are co-presidents. And Brian's older brother, Michael Zaro, just recently came on board.

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Laina Fairchild, Emery Gentry, Jessica Meadows, Jennifer Pace and Presley Pahl, all members of the Weston-McEwen High School Class of 2010, will receive scholarships from the Earl and Jane Ferguson Scholarship Fund.

They received $1,000 each, based on a good scholastic record, demonstrated leadership qualities, good citizenship, respect for the law, a desire to excel, an attitude for post-high school training and financial need.

Laina plans to pursue elementary education/special education at Eastern Oregon University this fall. She was the High School Student of the Year as a junior; Athena Chamber Youth Citizen of the Year as a senior; received special recognition awards in almost all of her classes, has been involved in sports, Pipe and Drum Band, National Honor Society; was a Class of 2010 officer, Homecoming Princess and Prom Court member. Active in her church, Laina helped build houses in Mexico. She's had a variety of work experiences. She graduated first in her class with a 4.17 gpa. Her parents are Bob and Kate Fairchild of Athena.

The son of Bill and Jackie Gentry of Weston, Emery plans to study agricultural business management at EOU. He has been involved in band, drama and NHS. He was president of the local FFA Chapter, entered many competitions and earned a state degree. He has received several school honors, including the Richard McKracken Outstanding Sophomore and Masonic Excellence Outstanding Junior awards. He was named Athena Chamber Youth Citizen of the Year. Emery is involved in his church. He graduated second in his class.

Jessica, of Athena, plans to pursue psychology as her major this fall at Blue Mountain Community College. She has been involved in FFA and student government, holding offices with ASB and the Class of 2010. Other activities include drama, 4-H, Book Club and Youth Group. She graduated eighth in her class.

Jennifer plans to major in pre-pharmacy with a minor in business at EOU. She has been involved in FFA, National Honor Society, 4-H and sports, was a class officer and in Book Club. She logged 250-plus hours of community service and was named Athena Chamber Youth Citizen of the Year. She graduated sixth in her class. She is the daughter of Kevin and Linda Pace of Weston. Presley, of Weston, is a hitter on the volleyball court and has also done well in drama, student government and choir. She plans to major in cinema studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She graduated fifth in her class. The Earl and Jane Ferguson Scholarship Fund is administered by the Blue Mountain Community Foundation with the support of a volunteer committee, comprised of residents from the Athena-Weston area and chaired by Granella Thompson. The Fergusons grew up in Weston. Earl became superintendent of the Weston School District and then continued on to the Klamath Falls School District, serving 24 years. Jane is a member of the pioneer Gordon family. They return to Weston with some frequency and enjoy the annual Pioneer Picnic.

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Dan Hebert is looking forward to the 2010 Gerking Reunion Aug. 8 in Rooks Park. He's seeking all folks who have Gerking ancestors, for the family potluck picnic, slated to start around 11 a.m. Hosted by Lynden Gerking, family dining will begin at about 12:30 p.m.

The shelter there has picnic tables, but attendees should bring chairs, an interest in family history and genealogy, Dan said. A silent auction will be held during that time to raise funds for future reunions.

Some Gerking family names in the Walla Walla area are Oscar Pierce Waggoner, Donald Monte Thomas, Robin Roy Beck, William Harvey Stonecipher, Tilman David Taylor, Minnie Yenny and Robert and Daurice Rittenhouse. Gerking Family Reunion 2010 is posted on Facebook.

Kelly Gerking Gabel is serving as chairwoman of the gathering. She is the daughter of Lynden Gerking of Walla Walla and his late wife, Nancy Gerking, who died several months ago, Dan said. For more details, e-mail Dan at dan@danhebert.com or Kelly at kgabel24@hotmail.com.

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Shane Orchard just graduated from Walla Walla Community College with an associate in applied arts and sciences degree in automotive technology. Students who graduated from the class receive their certification but also have nine Automotive Service Excellence tests that they need to pass to receive master certification, according to Shane's parents, Bill and Sherry Orchard of Walla Walla.

"The record for any student passing those tests was for a student passing eight tests over six years ago. Shane has passed all nine tests. He is the only student to receive his master certification in some time," Sherry said.

Shane is a 2008 Walla Walla High School graduate. He has worked part-time at O'Brien Chevrolet while going to school and has now started full time since graduating. He hasn't made a final decision yet on continuing with specialty training but for the time being will continue working to gain more experience, Sherry said.

"Shane has three Pontiac Fieros that he's restoring and has done all of the work himself. Amazing for his age."

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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