Friday, February 10, 2012


Many years ago my husband and I started attending a drum circle held on the full moon by our friend, Ed Gray.  I had to drag him there for the first one.  Let's just say he was a bit reluctant.
We both took to it like ducks to water, though, and hardly ever missed a session.  When the weather was harsh, we'd be inside which I loved because I felt like I could be "inside" and completely surrounded by the beat.  When Mother Nature smiled on us, we'd walk out into Ed's property and sit around the fire pit.  Those nights felt magical.
I loved the whole experience so much that I decided I wanted to make my own drum.  Naturally, true to my nature, I didn't have the patience to wait for one of Ed's classes to do so.  I nagged him until he finally gave in and let me come to the studio and start the process.  It was NOT easy.  A labor of love; emphasizing the word "labor."  Scraped knuckles, blood from poking myself from the humungous needle I had to use and plenty 'o swearing.  But when I was done - I had my very own drum.

That's mine on the left, stained with loose tobacco.  Peter bought his after he saw what I went through to make mine. You need to see the back of mine too so that you can appreciate how hard I worked putting this thing together.  ALL DONE BY HAND.  Oh, poor, pitiful me.  I always tease him saying "mine is bigger than yours."
The other addition to the drumming were the sticks I had my buddy, Jim Stewart, make for me out of a very hard wood called Purple Heart.  They had a distinctive sound when I smacked them together.  I got quite excited during those drummings and hit my sticks together so hard that one of them broke.  Jim had to make me a second pair out of something else, can't remember now but they were equally as good.
That same excitement went into my drum as well.  My sister, Lisa, and my husband used to make me stand outside the circle because I banged on my drum so loudly.  Lisa, claimed I was destroying her hearing.  Really?  Well, maybe she was right.  I mean, I worked up a sweat.
Ed moved to the UP several years ago (I still haven't forgiven him) so no more drum circles.  I miss them (and him) very, very much.


  1. how about you start your own circle? have ed down to give it his blessing.

  2. I thought about doing that and your dad (I'm assuming this "Mike" is my son, Michael) and I talked about it just the other night. I think Jeremy and Gerah would let us do it at their place. Maybe once or twice when the weather is nicer.
    Getting Ed to come down here would probably be even harder than getting me to drive all the way up to his place, though.

  3. I remember going to our first few drum circles at Ed's and wondering "Who is that lunatic woman with the sticks?" And now we know. We really do have to get something started again. Gerah's, or maybe just at a park far enough away from the road to not stop traffic.

  4. I was searching the internet as I also want to start drumming. This is all very good advice I would love to hear more about your successful experiences.
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