Yesterday, Terry and I took a drive down to Tucson to visit our friends Dave & Kathrin Argentati. As mentioned before, Dave was one of 10 finalists in the TKMA Annual Songwriting contest and all the finalists were scheduled to perform their 2 songs each, starting around noon on Saturday.
We arrived at El Presidio Park with all it’s great old architecture (well as old as things get in Arizona) a few minutes after noon, due to the lovely Tucson construction traffic. Fortunately when we found Kathrin, we discovered that they were scheduled to perform 5th in the group, so we still had plenty of time.
We were so glad to be able to be there to hear Dave and Kathrin do their songs! He’s quite a creative songwriter and they sounded wonderful together! Some other friends and family were also there in the crowd to cheer them on.
We stayed to listen to the rest of the finalists, who were also very talented and came from places as far away as Ohio, Washington and even Alaska. So you can imagine that the competition was quite stiff. The announcement of the top 3, including the winner wouldn’t be made until nearly 4 pm, so we had a little more time to wander around before that.
Terry and I were hungry, and the amazing aromas coming from the food booths were so tempting that we decided to have “a little something” to hold us over until Kathrin’s much anticipated dinner of homemade chicken enchiladas. We decided to share a tri-tip sandwich, although I’m sure we could have each eaten a whole one. Wow, were they good! You can see the photo here. This guy literally had a grill so big that he had to pull it as a trailer. It was piled high with whole tri-tips and when he saw me taking pictures, he lowered the rack so I could get a better shot. What a great guy. And the sandwiches were excellent. We were almost tempted to buy a whole tri-tip to take home, but weren’t sure what we’d do with it for the rest of the day.
After we got our food, we sat in the shade and enjoyed lunch with our friends.
This pic is Dave with his daughter, Bethany. She is so sweet and as creative as she looks! She likes photography, cooking, doing hair and makeup and any number of other creative expressions. It was fun to get to know Bethany, her husband, Matt and the other kids.
The other two young ones are two of Dave & Kathrin’s kids, Davey and Rebecca. They are fun kids and did well hanging out with us all day.
After our lunch break Dave guided us to several different stage areas to hear various musicians. It was fun to see the wide range of ages and lifestyles that were represented. I love this little girl that was trying to sit still while her parents listened to one of the ensembles.
This guy, playing the standup bass is Bob Kimmel who was formerly a member of the Stone Poneys. For those youngsters among us, they were the band that played with Linda Ronstadt, who also started out in Tucson. If you don’t know who Linda Ronstadt is, look it up.
Anyway, we enjoyed our time there. Listening to music in the open breezy air is always so relaxing and refreshing. Then 4 pm rolled around and we made our way back to the stage for the announcement of the contest winners. They announced the top three. # 3 was an older woman from Southern California who had such a free spirit and joyous way about her, # 2 was a rugged looking guy from Alaska and # 1 was Dana Hubbard (who was unfortunately one of the acts that we missed because we were late). So even though Dave didn’t win, he did a great job and every bit of exposure and the connections that go with it are helpful for him in his love and pursuit of making music.
After a wonderful day, we decided to head out to the Argentati’s lovely home. It was so gorgeous out that we ended up congregating in their shady back yard. A few more of their friends came by too and we all ate chips & salsa and enjoyed some delicious chicken enchiladas. Dinner was topped off with a sinfully rich brownie that Bethany made. It was a chocolaty cupcake-shaped brownie filled with bite-size Milky Way Dark bars in the center. It was so rich and wonderful. I can’t believe that I didn’t take any pictures of the food. Probably because I was hungry and enjoying the company so much.
After dinner the instruments came out and the guys proceeded to jam. The young folks were good sports. Matt tried to stumble his way on bass thru the “classic” songs that Terry and Dave were doing, which he had never heard before. Poor Davey ended up being stuck with the mandolin, which he didn’t know how to play. He picked around on it a little bit, but eventually gave up. Bethany was willing to sing with the guys, but they couldn’t seem to land on a song that all parties knew and could play or sing. Anyway, I think it was an enjoyable evening for everyone else. I always feel blessed with a day filled with friends, fellowship and fun and love the gift of having amazing musicians in my life, even if I don’t play an instrument myself.