Photo by Mandi Donohue Laura Love and The Family Dog tore it up last weekend at the Mazama Country Inn.

Photo by Mandi Donohue
Laura Love and The Family Dog tore it up last weekend at the Mazama Country Inn.

By Mandi Donohue

Man, you hippies can dance. You know, you’re all very mature and responsible adults until Bill Pope throws a second annual garden party at the Mazama Country Inn. What a night. Laura Love and The Family Dog had the “grass floor” packed with young and old alike, dancers digging deep into soul and funk roots that some cool cats didn’t even know they had.

As people wandered in, the evening started with The Copacetics, a three-person band that even included a few tap dance solos from the clarinet player. Soon, dinner was served with scrumptious choices of barbecue and salmon that included various yummy sides. Chef Jason shared his secret with Lliam, Laura Love and me for his world-class ribs. (We could tell you but then we’d have to kill you).

And then, the main course: Ms. Love with a helping of Family Dog. I had heard of their great fame for many years now. Terry Hunt told me that after so many years of experience, working with these musicians was top of the line. Well, they didn’t disappoint!

The band played everything from James Brown to Santana to Bruno Marks, and even snuck in a spirited “Happy Birthday” for our dear Pat Leigh’s sweet 16. Moms and dads were dancing with their kids, older folks were jitterbugging and the hippies were grooving out. Even Casey Ruud, a bit immobile these days, was on the floor “pop wheelie dancing” with the spirit of a man who just sold a business.

Dare I say, there was even some yodeling from Ms. Love during “Proud Mary.” Lliam and I were there to work the bar but had so much fun, we left feeling like Bill Pope should always pay for our date nights. Thanks, Bill!  

Photo by Mandi Donohue Logan Ellis with his Lego hotel.

Photo by Mandi Donohue
Logan Ellis with his Lego hotel.

Sunday night, a whole host of fellow Mazama Store employees made their way to Logan Ellis’ house in Winthrop to celebrate a milestone event. By time you read this column, Logan will have made 20,000 sandwiches this summer alone for the Mazama Store. That’s a lot of zesty mayo, folks!

Working with Logan five days a week, I can tell you he is a pretty remarkable young man. Not only does he have a wonderful work ethic and attitude but this eccentric creative is a also music history major at the University of Idaho with a minor in jazz studies. His other minor in architecture inspired him to submit a Lego hotel pattern to the company for consideration.

Did I mention he also bakes? We ate pizza and tasty potluck treats, and for dessert Logan made some delicious meringues, decorated sugar cookies and gluten-free Madeleines. After dinner, we all gathered around the citronella candles as he performed two incredible pieces for us: “My New Philosophy” from the 1967 musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and a fictional national anthem that he produced and wrote called “Elysium” for one of his music classes at university. It was lovely.

Needless to say, when he heads back to school this week, he will be sorely missed.  

Logan’s spirit and determination make me nostalgic for my Los Angeles youth, when you have the energy to create. The world is your oyster and possibility is endless. This would make me feel old except that you gorgeous hippies, still in touch with your inner groove, reminded me that you never truly lose it. You just gotta dance, man! What a great reminder and even greater weekend. Thank you all for the generous hospitality. Let’s do it again next weekend!