Monday, February 11, 2008


First I must apologize for using the the F-Bomb "Frisco" I stand corrected. From this point forward I will refer to my adopted home town by it's proper name, Yerba Buena.

Utah slept well again last night and the doctors are pleased with his progress. He started the day reading the paper and after a light breakfast has dozed off again. It may seem that he sleeps a lot, he does. But he is taking so many different medications with varying side effects that sometimes it becomes difficult to define what normal is. His kidney functions are trending towards normal. One of the off shoots of better kidney function is you tend to deplete the minerals and vitamins your body has stored up which in turn leads to more medication, complicated business, it's the two steps forward one step back kind of thing. All in ll today looks to be a very good day for him.
Thanks again for all of the love and support, We can feel it.


Mike said...


Thanks so much for this blog. I don't know you, but I know your dad. Bruce is as much a second father to me as anyone. I was 14 years old, and the dishwasher at Lena's when he arrived so long ago. I was there through his time in Saratoga, and I helped drive Blanche to Spokane. Bruce shaped the person I am today as much as anyone except my parents. He gave me my first guitar lesson, and taught me much about American history that was not taught in school. He showed me how to drink Henry McKenna from a jug, and I sure enjoyed that until I had to give it up. I still play guitar though. Bruce is the smartest and most creative person I have ever met, as well as my favorite songwriter. I am in awe of Utah, and how he used music to extend his life's work of social activism. I am so grateful to have learned from him when I was growing up. I cannot express in words the love and gratitude I feel in my heart to Bruce. I loved that walking tour we took in Saratoga the last time he was at Lena's. With much love and gratitude, Mike Taub

RON OLESKO said...


Thank you for keeping us informed about your Dad. I wish I had a blog when my dad was going through a similar situation back in the early 90's. He also had congestive heart failure, but he had other complications and eventually passed away. Having a outlet like this seems like a good help for you and your family, and for those of us who love your father we are thanful.

I first saw Utah at the first (and perhaps only) Bear Mountain Festival in NY. Utah was the emcee that first evening, and I had only heard a few recordings before hand. He connected with everyone in that audience in a way that I have only seen a handful of times. I will always cherish that memory.

I host a radio show on WFDU in Teaneck, NJ and his music has been a part of it since the beginning. Thank Utah for everything he has shared with us, and for everything he taught us.

Anonymous said...

good afternoon, thanks Duncan for keeping all the billions of people who care about Utah posted. It's awfully nice of him to not mind sharing. Utah - I was thinking about the time with Hospitally House when we were at the Combie Road church playing music with the folks, you were playing and I was listening mostly. I had a wonderful evening sitting on the stairs of that little stage and watching your fingers on the guitar and the watching/feeling the expressions soften on all our faces as we listened to your voice. And I remember trying to excuse myself from playing by saying that I had a rather crappy garage sale guitar, and you didn't buy it and made me play a song. It makes me smile, so hopefully it will for you too...Hugs to Utah and Joanna, and to Duncan too, though I've yet to meet you.

Thinking of you and hoping that the hospital food isn't too yucky...

Love Esther Burnside

Anonymous said...

Please let your father know that the CR staff and participants at SNMH have him in their thoughts and prayers. We appreciate this blog site so we can find out how he is doing. He is a treasure to us all.
He keeps us entertained and on our toes with his great stories and quick wit.
He knows that we are here for him and we look forward to a personal update soon.
Diana, Robin, Claudia, Trina,etc...

Gooner said...

Hi Duncan,

Like so many others I am extremely grateful to you for posting this blog as well as to your Dad and Joanna for keeping us all updated via the podcasts.

I thought Utah might get a kick out of this:

One of the problems for people like me who teach medieval history is that the reliability of sources can be an issue. Often, if one cannot establish where a medieval historian got his (for it was almost always a 'he') information, then he too is considered suspect. There is also a tendency to dismiss oral history as being unreliable. An example of this comes from early 6th century England when a fellow by the name of Gildas wrote his bright and cheerful history "The Ruin and Conquest of Britain". A major part of his narrative is an account of the coming to Britain of the Anglo-Saxon in the middle of the previous century.

I was thinking of how to explain to my students how his account of this episode should not simply be dismissed when it hit me - Gildas was just making use of *his* long memory.

And so it was that last week a group of 4th-year medieval history students in Canada were introduced to the concept of the long memory, and were given the opportunity to listen to "the long memory", "the silence that is me" and "direct action". When they realized that "direct action" related the story of an event of nearly 100 years ago, I think it began to sink in.

So thanks Utah for helping out with medieval historiography! And of course thanks for the songs and stories. It was an absolute pleasure and honour to meet you in Winnipeg at the Folk Festival a few years ago.

I hope you get home soon. Kris

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your hard work and thoughtfulness in bringing us the updates on your fathers health. Bruce and I go back to the early 60's when he was my guitar teacher at South East Music Company, here in Salt Lake. Not only did he teach me finger picking guitar, but he also sold me my very first Dobro and offered me a spot, along with Dave Roylance, in the Utah Valley Boys, which was the start of a life time in bluegrass music. Over the years I've not only stolen his guitar licks, but most every good joke I heard him tell, and there have been plenty. Please tell your dad to get well very soon, because I need a lot more good jokes.
Warm regards,
Peter Netka

Molly Fisk said...

Duncan, I love all the photos and links since I last visited a few days ago! You're a star. Tell Bruce that I'm keeping his seat on the recumbent bicycle warm at Cardiac Rehab — I'm delighted to have taken his advice and joined up with these swashbucklers, even at such an ungodly hour of the morning. While I have been trying to follow in his footsteps for some little while now, I never thought this would be the angle.

All's well with Pickens and Diccolo, the chickens, the woodstove, B, B, the one-eyed cat and everyone else - and Joanna, our list is established, with great love.

At my house today the frogs are deafening. Welcome to February.

I'm to send love from Judie & Will, Marilyn & Bob, Susanna, Chris, and Tad. We feel the same way John Olmsted does, from his post on Sunday.

xox Molly

SweetHeart of the Valley said...

You say Frisco I say Yerba Buena--you are your dad's kid! I'm sure he is proud--hang in there and love for all Utah has done.

Yaney LA MacIver
The SweetHeart of the Valley
Reality Chick