Saturday December 28th was a really fun and special day at the Market in Seattle. We were blessed to have Alan White, the drummer from Yes, as our guest bell ringer.
The roll call bell is rung each morning at 9am. It calls out to the crafts community to let them know that roll call is beginning and to be ready to choose our market space for the day. This is a longstanding tradition to the local producers who not only hand make their products, but also set up and break down their “shops” each day.
When they arrive in the morning, guest bell ringers get a “behind the scenes” tour and the insiders story, from how we jury in, to what our daily lives are like; including set up, break down, the daily challenges we face, the strength of our community/family and much more. This is the little known story of what we really do and who we really are.
Alan and his lovely wife Gigi arrived with two friends (professional photographers, Jerry and Lois Levin) that cold morning, coffee in hand. I invited Dean Moller
, a fabulous artisan who makes cigar box guitars and amps, to join us on our behind the scenes, ‘insider’ market tour. He showed us all one of his guitars and did a demo. I wish you could have seen their faces light up when they saw that guitar, and then the gasp when he pulled out a tiny cigar box amp! They all just loved it and really hit it off.
I invited Dan Schmidt to do the intro. Dan’s parents, Sandi and Richard make ocarinas
. Richard requested that Dan do Alan’s intro and two days later, Richard died in his sleep. The entire market was in shock, as Richard was a kind, funny, amazing man and was loved by everyone. I checked back with Dan to see if he still wanted to do it and found out Richard & he listened to Yes together all the time. Dan learned their songs and played them in several bands as a teen and Richard had wanted them to do the intro together. Dan said it would mean a lot to do it, and it meant a lot to our community to honor Richard’s request.
Dan’s entire family came to the market that morning. Dan wore one of Richard’s hats (Richard was never without a hat). I told Alan and Gigi this story before they met, and they were both touched. After roll call, Dan took them on a tour, they went out to breakfast together, and then Alan asked to meet the whole Schmidt family. Sandi gave Alan an ocarina and the family gave him a lesson, and Alan signed a drumstick for Dan. It was a wonderful day, and Alan and Gigi, were gracious, funny, and warm.
The special day was all documented in these beautiful photos by photographer Jerry Levin.
Don’t miss Alan White at Play it Forward at the Neptune, February 9th. It’s a fabulous benefit to support music education in Washington State, and you can read about and buy tickets here.
I thanked Alan by giving him my Pike Place Market wall clock, which can be viewed and ordered on my website.