Ukulele Festival of Northern California 2017

I watched CBS Sunday Morning.  Serena Altschul did a segment on Hall and Oates.  My parents phoned me.  I went to the BART station before it opened.  I made good time to the Bay Fair BART station but had to wait around for the 97 bus to take me to Chabot College.  It was the day of the Ukulele Festival of Northern California.  I bought a T-shirt for $19 and stood in the will call line for my ticket.  I thought about buying a lei or going over to one of the food trucks for a sandwich, but decided to wait for lunch.  The youngster who played the national anthem took three weeks to learn to play it.  The two founders of the festival were Hollis Baker and John Ogao, who organized the first festival in March 1994.  I watched the first four groups, and the one song that was familiar to me was “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” with the lyrics changed so that it referred to Hawaii.  I was hungry at this point, and so I walked out to get some food.  There were three food trucks, Adorubowl, Licensed 2 Grill, and Yummi BBQ, but everyone seemed to be lined up at the tent called Da Island Style, so I went with the crowd.  I ended up buying the same combo plate that I bought last year.  It had pork and ribs and rice and macaroni salad.  I felt better after eating.  I thought it was a good meal.  Back in the auditorium, the Faith Ringold School put young girl singers on the stage.  They sang loudly and had some things to learn about using the voices effectively.  They inspired some laughter in the crowd, but they cheered them, too.  I thought about how some of these groups got together to rehearse, and they got to be pretty good.  Hannah and Kailee were 13-year old twins who seemed to have a good amount of talent.  They played Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”  The one song I recall hearing more than once was “What a Wonderful World.”  I thought there were plenty of good ukulele players on the stage but not so many good singers.  When three o’clock came around, I took another break and went back out to the tent for the Hawaiian shaved ice with ice cream.  The two flavors I got were pineapple and mango.  I went back for the last part of the show.  Herb Ohta, Jr. and Bryan Tolentino were impressive musicians.  I couldn’t stick around until the very end of the Sider Order Band’s set, as I had a bus to catch.  I had a very good afternoon out there in Hayward.  I wished I could have more such afternoons during rest of the year.  The bus back to the Bay Fair BART station took forever to get there.  I got off the train in time to catch Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He played songs by Chuck Berry, such as “Memphis” and “Promised Land.”  Back at home, I watched part of the Columbo episode “Make Me a Perfect Murder” with Trish Van Devere.  Another episode was on Me TV, and it was “Butterfly in Shades of Grey” with William Shatner.  I checked the Playback Memories website for past ukulele festival videos.  The oldest one that was still available was from 2014.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 1, Bachman-Turner Overdrive released their first album, featuring “Let It Ride,” in 1973.  In 1989, police in Los Angeles were called to check on a suspicious person in a jewelry store, who turned out to be Michael Jackson in disguise.  In 1991, the Nashville Network banned the Garth Brooks video for “The Thunder Rolls.”

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