Sally Gracie TwispBy Sally Gracie

A male rufous hummingbird arrived first. I saw him last Tuesday at 7:40 a.m., and I like to think he is “my” bird, the one who has traveled a great distance for the third year to the back porch feeder. His more-timid mate followed soon after. The hummers have settled in so that, yesterday, two males, arguing for dominance at the feeder, performed their first Kamikaze exhibition above the garden.

Stata Powers’ tiniest charge, smallest of the litter of 21, has gone to pig heaven. (Stata and her piglet were pictured in the April 2 Twisp column). Stata says the piglet contracted pneumonia, possibly because its larger siblings, dominant at the milk trough, led the piglet to “drown” in its milk and get sick. Stata says the remaining five are doing well but aren’t nearly so big as the 15 who stayed with the sow at the Whites.

The first Farmers Market of the season opened in sunshine but with a stiff breeze that threatened to send some of the stall awnings into the sky.

Bonny Stephens had a jar of fat asparagus for me. Besides pickled vegetables, she has added a cute, billed cotton cap to her wares. Ellie Easley had several items on display, including little baby shoes and sweaters. (Ellie is also offering alteration services at Lily of the Valley, 997-5459, Wednesdays – Saturdays). Linda Harvey has added two new items to Harvey’s Humbles. Her Loopy Lambs are a perfect first toy for babies, and Prim Cats reflect “contemporized folk motifs” from repurposed fabrics. John and Agnes Almquist have their “new Almquist Pottery storefront” at the market. This is their 41st year in the business.

Bill and Joni Miller have returned to the market with Community Bicycle Services, and they will happily give your bike a free safety check at their stall. Bob’s Sharpening Service will be at the market on Saturdays, as well as at the Hank’s Harvest Foods parking lot from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. “A sharp knife is a safe knife,” is Bob Kemp’s motto. I’ve thrown my garden spade, a shovel and a lopper into the car so Bob can make them like new for me when I drop them off. Contact Bob at 996-3198 for more information.

Singer Bill Davie made a triumphant return to sing for his friends in the valley on Saturday night at The Merc. The free concert was a gift from KTRT “The Root” to the community that made its recent fundraising drive a success. 

Bill’s two sets included several songs with autobiographical lyrics that brought memories of old times in the valley. As he sang “Startin Out from Libby Creek,” and the line about “friends droppin in,” Ray Robertson joined Bill on stage, took his seat on his Cajun box drum, and accompanied Bill through several numbers.

Songs about his children, both now in their 20s, made Bill and his audience pretty sentimental. “Alyce’s Birthday” is a tender love song written to his baby daughter. “The Lone Ranger and the Moon” describes Jake Davie at the age when he loved “peanut butter and mustard sandwiches” and superheroes. Bill confided in his friends from the stage, openly describing how emotional he becomes when he sings some of these songs. 

A kind of conversation continued through the concert as Bill called out to friends in the audience, and they back to him. During the second set, Rob Crandall came on stage to juggle his pins to Bill’s song and Ray’s beat. The audience was with Bill all the way and wouldn’t allow him to leave without an encore.

KTRT Founding Member cards are still available for $97.50. Smaller (and larger) donations are also welcome. KTRT is located at 97.5 FM on your radio dial.