Official Web Site of Gretchen Christopher, BMI Million Airs Songwriter, Solo Artist, Dancer/Choreographer and The Fleetwoods' Founder














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A Note from Gretchen:

This Calendar reflects some of the fun parts of making my life and living in the Arts, as both a Generative Artist and a Performing Artist, and occasionally 
nourishing my soul as a member of a family or that larger family, the Audience.
In a very few instances, I have listed an event to which I have been invited but may not be present; yet I want to extend the invitation to you, to support the Arts, the Entertainers, and those for whom I am sentimental. This may be as simple as acknowledging, and celebrating in our hearts, the birth dates of some very special people.
  With love to share, 
 Gretchen Christopher

"2008 Blog updates courtesy of Darrell French"
Send comments and questions to,

2007 was the year of completion for

 her premier autobiographical solo CD, years in the making.

Gretchen's greatest holiday gift?  Learning that hers is among the year's 
Thurs, 1/3/08
8-8:30AM, DICK PUST interviews GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER on KGY 1240 AM, one of the nation's earliest licensed radio stations, first to broadcast GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16), pre-release version, and now airing the debut of "EVERYTHING I WANNA BE" (including YES DRUMMER ALAN WHITE), the last song to be written and recorded for the album.
Tue, 1/8/08
73rd Anniversary of ELVIS'S BIRTHDAY (1/8/35).  
Daddy Dave interviews Gretchen Christopher, to be broadcast January 25th.
Wed, 1/16/08
Article published Jan 16, 2008
'Survivor' loser Sonja Christopher a fund-raising winner
The plan was for Sonja Christopher to go on TV's "Survivor," win big and give the money to her church to build a new hall.
The reality was that she stumbled in a challenge and became the first person voted off the American version of the TV hit.
But wait, there's more.
This month, the 70-year-old Christopher helped break ground on that hall, which is being built with more than $1 million in donations - a campaign that caught fire after she donated her $2,500 consolation prize as seed money.
And the winner of that season's show?
That would be Richard Hatch, now serving time in a federal prison on charges of tax evasion.
Kind of adds a whole new layer to that "last shall be first, and the first last" thing.
Or, as minister Diane Miller put it as she addressed the congregation of Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church shortly before the recent groundbreaking: "The moral is that giving is good."
Christopher had already survived breast cancer when she auditioned to be on the first season of CBS' "Survivor" in 2000. She was intrigued by the idea of roughing it in the wild - although less thrilled by the conniving nature of the contest in which cast mates vote each other out of the game.
During the interview she was asked what she'd do with the million if she won. It made her think. What would she do with all that money?
Set in her habits and "pretty thrifty," a lavish lifestyle makeover didn't seem likely. But the money would come in handy for her church. The congregation had built an airy, light-filled sanctuary atop a hillside in the San Francisco suburb of Walnut Creek, but had stalled on putting together funds for an accompanying fellowship hall.
The show became a huge hit as millions of people tuned in to see 16 people on a deserted island battling the elements and each other.
The personable Christopher established herself as a warm presence, serenading teammates with the ukulele she'd brought along as a "luxury item." But she lasted only one episode before getting the early boot for stumbling during a race.
She put a good face on it, but the loss was galling, especially for someone who played tennis and swam and had a keen competitive streak.
When it was all over, she decided to go through with her original promise, getting up in church and saying even though she hadn't come home with the big money, she would donate the $2,500 she jokingly called her "booby prize."
She knew she was on to something when two people stopped her as she walked down from the dais and whispered in her ear that they would donate, too.
Church member Joan Redding, who later became part of the fundraising effort, was among those who was impressed by Christopher's pledge. "It touched my heart very deeply that she would do that. It really was our seed money," she said.
What followed was a lot of hard work by a team of people that eventually resulted in more than $1 million in pledges.
But the effort owes a lot to Christopher, Miller said.
"It was the generosity of it. It wasn't waiting until we had some big giant gift. That's really what's so unusual."
On a recent sunny Sunday, Christopher - wearing a much-laundered "Survivor" scarf - was among a number of Unitarians who thrust gold-colored shovels into a grassy plot of land to symbolically kick off construction.
It felt "wonderful."

Sonja imagine with Uke

Sonja with FH Model

Sonja breaks ground

"Survivor" Sonja


Sonja in Sanctuary

Sat, 1/19/08
A live show of 10 songs from GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16) performed by GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER, with harmony by ELSA DORIAN, Special Entertainment for the Olympia Outboard Club's "CHANGING OF THE GUARD" formal dinner/dance at Panorama City's Chambers House Restaurant, Lacey, WA.  Elsa's Uncle and Aunt, COMMODORE PAT and his FIRST MATE JOAN, had already purchased the album and encouraged others to follow suit.  Surprise added attractions were Gretchen's granddaughters KAMIEL and LILLIAN (5 years, and 3 years next month - direct from their Dance Recital) whom Gretchen encouraged to spontaneously dance with her on "Everything I Wanna Be".  Gretchen's mother, guest HELEN CHRISTOPHER (98) was resplendent in silver sequined jacket that Gretchen had bought for her in New York, after a performance at Madison Square Garden.  (Sister Sonja had also borrowed the jeweled jacket for the Shelly Awards, of which she was a winner - before being a Survivor.  See article above.)
Fri, 1/25/08
DADDY DAVE'S HOLLYWOOD DINER features GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER interviewed by DAVE WOOD and playing her new recording of "Come Softly To Me" from Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16), a Billboard Critics' Pick for 10 BEST ALBUMS of 2007!  Afterwards, archives may be listened to at CD REVIEWS Happy Birthday, RICHARD VOSBURGH, First Love of Gretchen Christopher, portrayed in the musical soundtrack (and Centerfold of the 16-page booklet of Album Notes) of the autobiographical concept album, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16), a Billboard Critics' Pick for 10 BEST ALBUMS of 2007!
Mon, 1/28/08
Happy Birthday, SONJA CHRISTOPHER, sister of Gretchen, and first SURVIVOR voted off the island. 
(See article and photos, 1/16/08.)
Wed, Feb 6
OHS CLASS OF '58 REUNION LUNCHEON, Chambers House Restaurant (where Gretchen Christopher and Elsa Dorian performed last week for the formal annual event of the OMC), with VOS, GRETCHEN and special guest HELEN CHRISTOPHER (who gave birth to Gretchen on February 29th).  Bev (Sherman) and I will touch base before next months luncheon and maybe both bring our mothers! (:o)  Panorama City, WA
Sun, Feb 10
HAPPY 75TH BIRTHDAY, VENTURE DON WILSON, VENTURES' CO-FOUNDER & GUITARIST! About 200 are expected including a load of musicians. MARK CHRISTOPHER is helping organize things. We will not only be celebrating Don's birthday but also the VENTURES getting into the ROCK n ROLL HALL OF FAME!  Congratulations, Cousins (DON WILSON & BOB BOGLE, label mates with THE FLEETWOODS on Dolton back in the days of recording "Walk Don't Run" and our MR. BLUE album).  
See you Sunday!
Gretchen Christopher and The Venturettes at Don Wilson's 75th birthday party and
pre-celebration of The Ventures' impending induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.  Liberty Theater, Puyallup, WA.

Click on Photo to Enlarge
Thurs, 2/14/08
Happy Valentine's Day
& BIRTHDAY  to "Heart " and "Clever Bastards"  Co-Founder and Birthday Boy, ROGER FISHER.
Fri, Feb 15
DJ TOMMY interviews GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER (Rescheduled from last Friday, 8-9PM, Pacific; 11PM-midnight, Eastern) on MALT SHOPPE OF MEMORIES.
Sat, 2/16/08

Happy Birthday, Broadcaster JOHN HENDRICKS

Click on Photo to Enlarge 

Gretchen Christopher interviewed by TAMARA 

Wed, 2/20/08
Pisces Birthday
of Original Fleetwood, BARBARA LIANE ELLIS (I phoned, played piano and sang "Happy Birthday" to Barbara on her message machine).
Thurs, 2/21/08
AC ICE Presents: A special evening with Friends and Music!  GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER performing "Autumn Gold", opener from Gretchen's Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16) album, solo; and "Come Softly To Me" accompanied by SHELLEY (of the Curves) singing female harmony, ROGER FISHER (formerly of Heart) singing the male counterpart and playing guitar, and ALAN WHITE (of Yes) playing drums. A great reunion with Eva & Rog Fisher (visiting from their home in Czech Republic) - and lots of musical performance. Columbia City Theater, Seattle, WA.
Dear Gretchen, 
The pleasure of your company is in high demand as we join together for a
RockStar ReUnion with Roger Fisher and Friends!
WHAT: RockStar Reunion with Roger Fisher and Friends
WHEN:  Thursday 2/21/08
TIME:  8:00PM
WHERE:  Columbia City Theater and Hendrix Electric Lounge
ADDRESS:  4916 Rainer Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98118 (206) 723-0088
LOCATION: Corner of Rainer & Hudson next to Tutta Bella Pizzeria
PARKING: Side streets or going south turn left off of Rainer on to Ferdinand
for pay parking lot

Click on Photo to Enlarge

RockStar ReUnion with Roger Fisher and friends

WHERE: Columbia City Theater
CITY: Seattle, WA USA
WHEN: 2/2008
PAINTING: Live Painting Artist Greg Kalamar

Gretchen Christopher
Ann Catherine Ice (on left, at foot of stairs), Thank you so much for posting this painting by Greg Kalamar.  It's especially interesting having the names of the different players.  Yes, that's me in the red pants and gold leather jacket (my Rock Star outfit :o)- and Rog beside me, having played and sung "Come Softly To Me" together.  There's the keyboard I played when I sang "Autumn Gold", solo.  In the back is Alan White whose drumming I confess I shushed a bit for "Come Softly", but would have welcomed on "Everything I Wanna Be" to which he so graciously added drums in the studio (you can hear it at )

Click on Photo to Enlarge


Sat, 2/23/08
Pisces Birthday
remembrance of Fleetwood Gretchen's Co-Songwriter, LEE J. JACKSON, 1936-1999.  Hear his fine lyrics on "Autumn Gold", "What Good Is Pride (When You're Dying Inside)" & "Standing At My Window" on GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16), at .
Sun, 2/24/08
Pisces Birthday
of Replacement Fleetwood, GENE HOWARD.
BILL PEARSON & MARTY NATCHEZ interview GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER live on BILL PEARSON'S "SONG ENCYCLOPEDIA," featuring selections from her new CD, GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16), lauded as a 2007 Billboard Critics Pick for 10 Best Albums, plus hits and rarities by The Fleetwoods. The program is now posted for listening on our HEAR INTERVIEWS page, from its broadcast on WFNT-AM in Flint, Michigan.

Mon, 2/25/08
Jerry Osborne's syndicated column "Ask 'Mr. Music' Jerry Osborne" wrote,

Gretchen's masterpiece, “Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16)” (Gold Cup 1601), came out a few months ago, and received glowing reviews from the media.
Among its accolades is being named a Billboard Critics Pick as one of the 10 Best Albums of 2007.
Unlike most concept albums, Christopher's “Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16)” is a completely truthful soundtrack of her life (including the Fleetwoods experience) and, more importantly, her first love (inexplicably, someone other than this journalist).
Gretchen wrote and arranged all of the music to tell the story as it happened. She also created an insert booklet, with fascinating text and photos, all of which enhances the listening experience.
Music historians should now find it easier to define a concept album, as “Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16)” is the model of the genre.
It is fitting we talk about Gretchen's album this week, since February 29th is her 17th birthday. For another 11-plus years, this leap year baby will still be a teenager.
Happy birthday Soft One! 

For the complete article go to
Tue, 2/26/08
Pisces Birthday
of Fleetwood Gretchen's Son, CHRISTOPHER MATZEN
Wed, 2/27/08
Pisces Birthday remembrance
of Fleetwood Gretchen's Dance Partner, DANIEL SCHWARTZ (Feb 27, 1922 - Feb 23, 2007)
Gretchen's favorite dance partner, Daniel Schwartz, suffered a stroke on the weekend of 2/17/07.  Dan died peacefully Feb 23, 2007, with his family at his side, just four days before his 85th birthday.   Dan is remembered forever and acknowledged in the Album Notes of Gretchen's Sweet Sixteen and the following:  
Thurs, 2/28/08
Pisces Birthday
of Fellow Singer-Songwriter, SANDY ST. JOHN - and fond remembrances of her husband, Dick St. John (1940 - 2003), singing partner, hit songwriter and (with Dee Phelps) co-founding member of Dick 'n' Dee Dee.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Pisces goddess LILLIAN, Grammy Gretchen's 4th "Grammy Award". (:o)

Fri, 2/29/08  LEAP YEAR DAY!
Pisces Leap Year Birthday
of Founder & Original Fleetwood, GRETCHEN DIANE CHRISTOPHER. 17TH BIRTHDAY PARTY hosted by daughter Kimari and husband Chris, with family guests flying in from New York and Connecticut (Fleetwoods Replacement Cute Cousin Karen Cone Milosky, her husband Mark Milosky, and her mother Margrethe Gray Cone) and from California (Survivor Sister Sonja Christopher and Auntie Gai). A four generation Pisces celebration of Leap Year Baby GRETCHEN (2/29), her son CHRISTOPHER (2/26),  and her granddaughter LILLIAN (2/28), and special Honored Guest, who was married for 63 years to our Pisces "Pere" Ian Christopher (3/11/1900-1997), "Nana", Grand Matriarch (Photo on right) HELEN  CHRISTOPHER (LEO who'll be 99 on July 30, 2008), without whom none of the three PISCES would exist! (:o)

Pisces Leap Year Birthday of original web site's Designer, RAENELL DAWN, co-founder of the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies (where Gretchen is on the List of Famous Leapies!) . Raenell champions inclusion of the words LEAP YEAR DAY on Calendars, each February 29th, when it occurs, every four years.  You go girl!  We're with you!

Pisces Leap Year Birthday of JOE GIGLIO, tenor of The Four Aces, and Gretchen's "twin" (fraternal, of course! o:)

LEAP YEAR DAY.  THANKS tor all the greetings and good wishes for my birthday!  
Indeed, those I love did make my 17th birthday most special! My sis Sonja (first SURVIVOR voted off the island) flew in from California, and my cute cousin Karen Cone from Connecticut (who most recently performed with me in Las Vegas, THE FLEETWOODS starring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER) flew in from N.Y. and, with our West Coast "Mr. Blue" John Worsley, we recreated our show for the family and guests (60).  We celebrated my birthday 2/29, my son Chris's 2/26 and granddaughter Lilli's 2/28; three generations of Pisces (four when you count Dad/Pere, 3/1/1900, who lived to be almost 97)!
Next night, Saturday, we all had dinner at my place on the bay, and made music with Barbara's Fleetwoods Replacements from both coasts, their singing together for the very first time! East Coast Karen Cone and West Coast Elsa Dorian wanted to hear how we'd sound as an all-girl trio on "Goodnight My Love" and "Come Softly To Me".  It was neat!. 
Sonja did magic tricks for the children, then played banjo, and guests joined her in singing old chestnuts of our parents' era.  Then, cappella, Sonja and I sang "Sisters" complete with 'choreography', making Kamiel (5) giggle and cover her mouth in amazement.  I fulfilled her and other grandchildren's requests for songs from GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN by singing at the grand piano, "Everything I Wanna Be", with Avery Autumn (5) and Tessa Noel (7) dancing to it, while others watched and listened. Mom/Nana was there to enjoy it all -- at almost 99 (in July).  And, for beautiful Mom, Sonja and I sang, a cappella, "Evening Prayer".
What a great, great family, special friends, and lovely, lovely birthday weekend, the main event being hosted by my darling daughter Kimari and her husband Chris (who'd also hosted my historic Sweet Sixteen party, four years earlier, when I committed to doing the album).  This second night was neatly managed by my Chris's awesome wife Gina, taking the pressure off me so I could spend the day with visiting family.  Cousins Margrethe, Karen and her husband Mark Milosky (a drummer who appreciated the surprise of being credited for my CD's back cover photo - and mentioned on the same CD along with YES drummer Alan White! :o)- Elsa and Kimari rode bikes to join us - Sonja, Gail, Mark and my self - all hiking along Woodard Bay to look across and glimpse our past family home of 44 years, then driving out to share photos and laughter with Mom at her place. 
Unfortunately, in the midst of it, I forgot that Norm N. Nite was to call, and I'd left my cell phone and purse locked in the trunk!  But Norm was most gracious, and we did the live radio interview next day/Sunday, instead. Nice! He  invited me to keep giving him updates, and he'll play my songs for all the world to hear on Sirius radio (starting with "Sweet Sixteen", right then and there). So my birthday new year is off to a great start!
Thanks, again, for your greetings - and helping to celebrate!
Your Leap Year Baby Gretchen (finally Seventeen; yet, on the CD, forever "Sweet Sixteen"! :o)
Items of interest from past Leap Year days
  • "Gone with the Wind" wins 8 Oscars.  (1940)
  • 45 U boats sunk this month (170,000 ton).  (1940)
  • Birth of Gretchen Christopher Olympia Washington, American Pop Singer/Songwriter, Founder and Female Lead of The Fleetwoods (Come Softly To Me, Mr Blue).  (1940)
  • Edward Frederic Benson novelist, dies.  (1940)
  • Frederic from G and S "Pirates of Penzance" finally released by pirate.  (1940)
  • Hattie McDaniel becomes first black woman to win an Oscar.  (1940)
Sat, 3/1/08
NORN N. NITE calls GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER to wish her a  Happy Birthday on Sirius Radio, 4PM
Sun, 3/2/08
In the midst of my 24 hours care of Mom/Nana who was happily exhausted by the previous two day's festivities, Sonja and Gail stop to visit.  They pick up the food I'd hoped would provide another family get together, this time at Nana's, since she's recuperating, but we cannot fit 10 adults and 5 children around Nana's little table, so the gathering will be at Chris and Gina's.  
The four of us are in stitches as SONJA  and GRETCHEN spontaneously reverted to the entertainment of our youth and pantomimed "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life" (Fred Astaire and Jane Powell, from ROYAL WEDDING: )  

Pisces Birthday remembrance of Fleetwood Barbara's husband PAUL LORANGER, 1943-2000

Pisces Birthday of Pianist, ANTONIO CASTILLO DE LA GALA

Mon, 3/3/08
8AM, SONJA and GAIL stop by for one more visit with MOM, before they fly back to California. GRETCHEN & SONJA sing "Evening Prayer", a cappella, again for Mom.  Later, she's close to tears at the departure.  Sonja says brightly, "Don't be sad, Mom; we'll come back again; we always do."   Gretchen says, "Let's see; when's the next family birthday?  How about Jim's, April 26th?  We could all get together again, then!" Sonja says, "Gina wants us to come up for the Procession of the Species, that date, too!  So maybe that'll work out."  That afternoon, I phone Jim in California to suggest it.  (Later: I've receive an invitation to be the guest of The Kingsmen at dinner for someone who's having a birthday bash in Seattle on 4/26.  We shall see, but family first.)

Three generations of Pisces:  Gretchen Christopher, Christopher Matzen, and little Lillian's family celebration!

Tue, 3/4/08
Pisces Birthday
of former Disc Jockey, RALPH KOAL.
Fri, 3/7/08
Tommy The Maltman to interview Gretchen Christopher

Mon. 3/10/08
THE VENTURES DAY declared by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire as THE VENTURES are inducted into the ROCK 'N' ROLL HALL OF FAME, telecast from New York, viewed at Liberty Theater, by invitation, Puyallup, WA.
Rear - Leon Taylor, drums - and three horn men from Paul Shaffer's orchestra
Front - Bob Spalding, bass - Nokie Edwards and Don Wilson
Bob Spalding has permanently taken over the bass due to Bob Bogle's illness.


Click on Photo to Enlarge

Honorees John Durrill, Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, Leon Taylor,
and Bob Spalding of The Ventures (with Manager Fiona Taylor,
widow of Ventures Drummer Mel Taylor).

Click on Photo to Enlarge

Venture Don Wilson signs TEENSVILLE album and points out Fleetwood Gretchen Christopher on cover, to Karen Choyce who snaps this pic, in lobby of Waldorf Astoria, NY, at Ventures' Hall of Fame induction.


Click on Photo to Enlarge

You might like to watch The Ventures' portion of the Induction ceremony online. It's on in 2 parts. Just click on one link below, and when it ends, click on the next one.
Tue, 3/11/08
GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER salutes the 108th anniversary of the birth of her father
(3/11/1900-1997) - a great influence on her music - as she performs selections from her autobiographical musical  GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16) and signs CDs at Panorama City's JET BREAKFAST, Lacey, WA.
Thurs, 3/13/08
Pisces Birthday
of Replacement Fleetwood, Cute Cousin KAREN CONE from Connecticut
Fri, 3/14/08 to Sun 3/16/08
KAOS to Broadcast Pacifica Radio’s live coverage of the Historic Winter Soldier Gathering: March 14th - 16th in Washington D.C.      Broadcast worldwide on the Internet from


From March 14th to 16th, KAOS 89.3fm Olympia Community Radio will pre-empt regular programming to broadcast Pacifica Radio’s coverage of the historic Winter Soldier gathering in Washington, DC.  The three day live broadcast will be co-hosted by Aaron Glantz and former Army medic and KPFA host Aimee Allison.  The broadcast will take place 6am-4pm PST Friday 3/14, 6am-4pm pm PST Saturday 3/15, and 7am-1pm PST Sunday 3/16.


Thirty-seven years ago, in the midst of a bitter-cold Michigan winter, 109 Vietnam veterans gathered at a Howard Johnson Motel auditorium in Detroit to tell their stories.  For three days, they told of ransacking undefended villages, attacking civilians, mutilating bodies, torturing Viet Cong suspects, burning houses, destroying Vietnamese property and livestock and killing innocent children.  At the conference, entitled Winter Soldier, the veterans accepted responsibility and mourned for their actions.  But, taken collectively, their words incriminated a much larger culprit: the war itself.


This year, about 300 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, gathering for a second Winter Soldier conference.  Organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) it will make up the largest gathering ever of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.  Their mission - to tell the story of the war in the terms of those who have actually lived it.
Sun, 3/16/08   (to be rescheduled to later date, TBA)
TAMMY TILLINGHAST interviews GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER 1 hour, live, at 10:30AM on THINK TANK (award winning show, 10AM-noon on RADIO KAOS). Broadcast worldwide on the Internet from . Hear selections from GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16).
Thurs, 3/27/08
I awakened and came into the living room, looked out at the bay and, to my surprise, saw the deck was half covered with crystals of ice and snow.  And there was my pet seagull! (Not that I could pet him, but for the past two months, he would eat out of my hand.)

I'd been a bit concerned, as I'd not seen him for a couple of days.   So happy he was waiting for me on the railing at the corner of the deck by the sea horse bird bath and fountain, I went to the refrigerator and grabbed a bag of leftovers marked "for Gretchen's Gulls".

I'd brought these morsels from Mom's after staying with her Sunday to Monday.

Food in hand, I walked within two feet of Gray Gull, but he retreated slightly, lost his footing, flew off and circled back, nearly touch my face with his wings as he landed on the deck.  Another predominantly white gull had landed on the railing, where Grey Gull was usually cock of the walk.  It was odd for him to allow another to take his place, usually shouldering out any other bird who'd try to get close to me and his supply of food.  But today he seemed different.

I knelt on the deck, near the railing, and extended my left hand to Grey Gull, who had his back to my expanse of living room windows looking out on the bay.  With with my right hand also full of tasty morsels of meat and potatoes, I reach up and rested it on the railing, tempting the white gull who'd never before dared to get close enough to eat from it.  Today was a first.  While Gray Gull gently took from my left hand, the white gull took from my right, more fiercely, sometimes biting my fingers, even as Gray Gull had, two months ago, when first he dared to eat from my hand.
Though I'd lived here on Budd Inlet for nearly 35 years, the gulls had never been pests nor even come close to the deck, circling instead over the bay.  But after the raccoons killed by pet peacocks, after nine years of Mama and Papa Peacock eating out of my hands, I continued to miss them.  When I had left-overs, I particularly missed feeding them to the peacocks.  So I decided to make "pets" of the gulls and perhaps the crows. I began by taking leftovers out onto the deck, spreading them on the railing and calling, "Here bird, this is for you.  Here gulls, this is for you.  Here crows, this is for you."  I was hoping they would soon recognize the sing-song  invitation and learn to come when I called them.  They did, but I don't know if it was the sound of my voice or just the sight of me, provider of goodies; for they'd come from half way across the bay.  And it got so they'd glimpse me through the windows of the living room when I'd first get up in the morning, and they'd come to the railing outside.

Such was the case this morning.  But what a strange blessing it was, to have two birds eating from my hands, simultaneously.  When they'd eaten most of the leftovers and Gray Gull was reluctant to keep venturing close enough to get the last morsels I offered, I packed up the rest, so I'd have some to offer them next day, and went inside the house.  Ten minutes later, I noticed the new white gull on the railing nearest the living room, and I thought I'd reward him for his bravery, of eating out of my hand, by giving him some croutons I'd placed by the door to feed them.  As I opened the sliding glass door, there was Gray Gull, just out side it, at my feet!  I was startled, had never fed him there, even when I was tempted to get under the deck cover out of the rain; but I didn't want the gulls leaving their" calling cards" anywhere but that one railing.
I stepped out onto the deck next to Gray Gull, and he scurried to the other side, near another railing, and nested down.  How sweet. So I thought I'd offer him some food, but as I knelt it startled him and he dropped off the side of the deck and onto the green grass and scurried over to the flag pole.  But how odd that he didn't just fly away; I'd never seen him on the lawn before.  I observed him for a moment, then decided to throw some morsels to him, where he was.  Then the phone rang and I went inside.

Next time I looked out, Gray Gull was nested in the grass on the edge of the pet graveyard, his head forward in the grass, much as Papa Peacock had looked, minutes before he died.  Had Gray Gull come home to die?  How strange that he would come to the graveyard, where he'd never been before.  I checked by the flag pole, and he appeared to have eaten the morsels I'd tossed there.  I went back inside to finish my call and return.

Next time I looked out, Gray Gull had apparently flopped down the grassy slope about 12 feet, his head still forward, his beak in the grass.  Though I was still on the phone, I walked down to take a closer look, fearing he was dead or dying.  His eye blinked and as I softly touched his feathers, he moved his head and curved his neck fully backwards, his beak pointing over his back, in a contortion I'd never seen before, reminiscent of a swan.  I wondered if something was stuck in his throat, if I should call a vet, describe the symptoms or bring him in to be examined.

I went back into the house and when I finished my business with the phone company, I took from the kitchen drawer a towel with which to wrap Gray Gull, and secure his wings, should I want to bring him inside and take him to the vet

When I reached him, his head was forward, beak downward in the grass, wings askew, eyes open, but this time he  didn't blink.  I touched him and slightly lifted him and found that his head stayed in that position, rigermortous had set in.  My poor, sweet Gray Gull was dead.  I stroked his smooth feathers, then left him and walked back up to the graveyard where he had settled earlier.  Where would I bury him?  There, next to the gladiolas I'd planted, or behind the cross that marked Mama and Papa Peacocks graves, or beneath the owl who guarded the grave of Muggins, my cat and companion for nearly 20 years?

I returned to the deck and looked for a shovel.  It must be back in the garage with the other tools.  I'd wait for Vos to come and help me bury my dead, even as he had Muggins.

When Vos phoned, I told him the sad news, as I have related it above.  He said, "It's hard to dig deep enough so that other animals won't dig it up, the way we did with the peacocks.  Maybe we should put him in a black plastic bag and, I know it sounds cruel, but put him in the garbage to be taken out, next trip."

I said, "No; I would rather take him down to the beach and put him on the water, to float away and set his soul free; though I know his soul is already free."

Vos said, "That's how it would be in nature, when they die."

So when Vos came to visit, I put on a down coat and the yellow rubber boots he had given me and led the way to Gray Gull.  I  knelt and gathered his half opened wings into my hands and pressed them close to his body.  Odd that his wings were still flexible, though his head, neck and body were stiffened by death.  It was comforting that he looked somewhat normal, and I wondered at his beauty.  To me he'd always seemed the most drab of the many different seagulls who gathered at a distance; yet Gray Gull was the most beautiful sight to me, for he trusted me and dared to eat from my hand.  Now, close up, I saw how exquisitely beautiful were the details of each gray feather. "Like a pheasant", Vos said.

I carried Gray Gull gently before me. Down the switchback trail to the beach, down the steps onto the dock, down the staircase to the beach itself, over the sand and shell and gravel to the waters edge, guessing from the dryness of the beach whether the tide was coming in or going out.
I knelt by the water and, holding Gray Gull above it, spoke to him of the happiness he had brought me and the freedom his soul would find, soaring once again.  I place him on the water, I gave him a gentlenudge outward and was blessed that he slowly floated down the bay rather than into the beach.
Vos said, "You gave him a lot of happiness in the last months of his life," "And he gave me a lot of happiness,"  I said through my throat choked with tears.  Vos and I walked with our arms around each other, back up the beach to the steps and the path.  I turned and picked out the image of Gray Gull floating on the bay, looking not unnatural that way.

I replayed the events of the day; how for the first time a second gull had eaten out of my hand, and how for the first time, Gray Gull had come to my door step, even as my pet duck had, after he'd been attacked and nearly died.  He survived that time, but eventually the coons got him. And the following year, the raccoons got my peacocks (along with making  national news, killing cats in the neighborhood).  Perhaps a coon had attacked Gray Gull and we just couldn't see the internal injury, Vos said.  Or perhaps Gray Gull had got some of the two cantaloupes thrown over the bank when the newspapers warned of E-coli causing illness among locals who'd eaten cantaloupe from Honduras.  Or perhaps he met the fate of many sea birds whose bodies lie poisoned along our waterways.

When Gray Gull had stretched his neck in such a contortion, I'd wondered if he had something stuck in his throat, for he was apt to gobble even the largest pieces of food whole.  But I'd not fed him anything large in weeks.  And besides, his behavior had been strange; having been gone for two days, then allowing another bird to dominate; then coming to my doorstep, a first; then to the graveyard, a first.  I would never know what took the life from my pet seagull.  He had so brightened my life.  And he would be missed for the rest of  mine.   

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Gretchen feeding her precious feathered friend Gray Gull, as another watches from atop the bird bath fountain, at sunrise, 3/2/08. Photo by Cute Cousin Karen Cone (Milosky) from Connecticut, enjoying the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest while celebrating Gretchen's sweet Seventeen, 2008 © Gold Cup Music.

  MR. & MRS. KELLY WATTS (former host of Gretchen Christopher on CELEBRITY INTERVIEW SERIES, Peyson, AZ) sail to Alaska and invite Gretchen & Vos to meet with them in Seattle.  HEAR INTERVIEWS
Click to enlarge PHOTO of KELLY WATTS & GRETCHEN
Dinner with Karen Choyce, Mike Seigal, Gretchen Christopher & Vos at Ivar's, Seattle

Gretchen Christopher shows off CD gifted to radio talk show host Mike  Seigal.
(Photo by Karen Choyce 2008 © Gold Cup Music)
Click on photo to enlarge

Karen Choyce & Gretchen Christopher strike a pose at Seattle's famous 
Ivar's on the waterfront
Click on photo to enlarge

Karen Choyce & Gretchen Christopher strike a pose at Seattle's famous 
Ivar's on the waterfront - and with Vos.
Click on photo to enlarge
Sat, 4/5/08
GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER (The Fleetwoods) providing MUSIC and Signing Albums, GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16) for Gala Event, Fundraiser Art Show & Sale of ORIGINAL PAINTINGS by THOMAS POLIDORI, to benefit OHS Memorial Project & Scholarship Fund. Olympia Golf & Country Club, Olympia, WA.
Sat, 4/12/08
Actress, Director, Musician, Arts Activist HELEN CHRISTOPHER Honored, five year ago today as Recipient of 2003 Salute to the Arts Award, "for your numerous and outstanding contributions to the Arts in the South Sound Area."

Capital city official for over a quarter century, former Olympia City Manager ELDON MARSHALL wrote on 3/28/03 in a personal note of congratulations to Helen Christopher (who had been the only woman appointed to serve on The Mayor's Committee of the '60's), "I just want to express my thanks for your leadership in achieving the 'Performing Arts Center' for our community. If not for your efforts and persistence I doubt that we would have it today."  Helen Christopher chaired the Auditorium Committee and decades of volunteer work to make a reality the auditorium which would be known as The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, of which Marshall wrote, "You are the 'mother' of the Auditorium."
Mon, 4/14/08       
DANCE WITH GRETCHEN! (April 14 thru June 4). Enjoy fun and fitness, choreography and core training that keep men and women feeling youthful and exhilarated. Enhance your balance, strength, rhythm, grace, and stamina. Gretchen Christopher’s Jazz, Ballet, Disco, and Swing dance classes enriched the community for over 20 years, as part of the nucleus around which The Evergreen State College’s Leisure Education Program developed. This class includes warm-ups, isolations, fun steps, and combinations to a variety of music. A SPECIAL OFFERING:  Free to WAC Members (2 weeks free trial to join).  To learn more about Gretchen, visit and hear tracks from her latest album Gretchen’s SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16), one of the 2007 Billboard Critics’ Picks for 10 Best Albums of the year!
Wed, 4/16/08
Mon, 4/21/08
Wed, 4/23/08
Sat, 4/26/08
Happy Birthday
, dear brother! JAMES CHRISTOPHER, Great Grand Master Laser Sailracing Champion of the United States, repeatedly since 2001. Congratulations, again and again!

PROCESSION OF THE SPECIES, the wonderful event that originated here in Olympia, WA, and is now imitated in many cities. Gretchen's children and grandchildren participate fully.  (Last year even Grammy Gretchen paraded, as a peacock :o)

Sun, 4/27/08
Family Brunch at The Firs, watching Ian sailboat race out front on Budd Inlet, before...
CELEBRATION OF LIFE OF JACK PERCIFUL, Jazz Pianist with HARRY JAMES ORCHESTRA for decades.  Jack had accompanied my jazz vocals on various gigs, since the 1970s, one being the very first BEER GARDEN entertainment at SUPER SATURDAY at The Evergreen State College; our last appearance together being with the LANCE BULLER BAND at Port Angeles Jazz Festival in 1996.
For a more compete history of Jack's musical career, including, television and even a Martin & Lewis movie, google Jack Perciful.  
Last summer Jack and I got together twice, to run through a couple of tunes and to listen carefully to the entire album of GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16). I was edified that it passed the critical test.  Today, I gave a copy to his widow, and bought a copy of Jack's CD, EASY LIVING, making a donation to benefit his music scholarship fund for college students. Though the celebration of his life was attended by hundreds and the musical tributes were nice (I'd have offered to sing Jack's favorite, "My Buddy", but his widow had already asked be-bop saxophonist Bert Wilson to sing it), it is only after I play Jack's solo piano album, in the car, that I feel Jack's presence so strongly with me, and he remains very much present in my consciousness for days, just on the strength of hearing his music again. it's remarkable.)  Olympia Country & Golf Club, Olympia, WA. 
Mon, 4/28/08
Tue, 4/29/08
Birthday, remembrance of JOSIE WILSON (April 29, 1915 - January 18, 2007), Blue Horizon Records Label Founder, original Producer of The Ventures' music and Mother of The Ventures' Co-Founder Don Wilson
, who were last month inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, declared The Ventures Day, by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.  Congratulations, Josie; that sunshine must be you, beaming! (:o)..
Wed, 4/30/08
 Fri, 5/2/08
BIRTHDAY of GOLDY MCJOHN, former keyboard player of Sparrow, Steppenwolf, Humble Pie.
Sun, 5/3/08
Happy Birthday, ELLIE FRONEY
(friends since before we were born, sculptor & potter, and ongoing champion and sounding board for Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN)!
Mon, 5/5/08
Wed, 5/7/08
Sat, 5/10/08
Wedding Anniversary of Concert Producer DAVID HARRIS & GLENNA GIBSON.

(I enjoyed writing and singing special lyrics for your wedding! )

(emerging Screenwriter and ongoing champion of Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN)!

(Victoria MacDonald & Elsa Dorian)
Click on photo to enlarge
Mon, 5/12/08
Wed, 5/14/08
Sat, 5/17/08

TOASTMASTERS OFFICERS after Recording Artist GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER (center) brightened their DISTRICT 32 TOASTMASTER CONFERENCE at Newmarket, with songs and signings of "Critics' Pick" CD, GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16).
Photo by (Area 33 Governor) Victoria MacDonald © 2008 GoldCupMusic.
Click on photo to enlarge
Mon, 5/19/08

Nite of Stars - OHS Alumni Hall of Fame Inductions  (3rd Anniversary of Fleetwoods' Induction),
OHS Performing Arts Center, Olympia, WA
Wed, 5/21/08
Fri, 5/23/08
Happy Birthday
, adorable ELSA DORIAN, Fleetwoods Replacement,
Fri-Sat, 5/23-5/24/08

Gretchen's first non-working Vacation in over 4 years!
Mon, 5/26/08
MEMORIAL DAY observed (No Dance w/Gretchen)
Wed, 5/28/08
Thurs, 5/29/08
TESSA NOEL's 1st Grade GROUP VOCAL/DANCE PERFORMANCE, Roosevelt, Elementary, Olympia, WA  
Fri, 5/30/08
In memory of the Birthday of P. STERLING RADCLIFFE, May 30, 1929 - January 18, 2007.
CoSongwriter of Barry White's "You're the First, the Last, My Everything".
Songwriter and Producer of "City of the Angels",  recorded by Gretchen Christopher. 
Click on photo to enlarge          
(Photo courtesy Deborah Page, )
Sat, 5/31/08  
LILLIAN & KAMIEL's 2nd Year DANCE RECITAL, Black Hills High School Auditorium, Tumwater, WA.

DEDICATION OF OHS COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE at site of our old high school, for which Gretchen helped raise funds by providing music at Art Auction, April 5, signing CDs.

BLUE GRASS FESTIVAL and Celebration of Life of Friend, Musician, Comedian CHARLIE BROWN
(and his 65th birthday, June 28).  He played and sang for the occasion!  (Photo to be scanned and posted.)
Black Lake Grange Hall, Olympia, WA.
Mon, 6/2/08
Wed, 6/4/08
Sun, 6/8/08
On way to 24 hour caregiving of Mom, I pick up mail and receive VOCAL GROUP HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCEMENT & INVITATION to THE FLEETWOODS' RECEPTION DINNER, INDUCTION CEREMONY & INDUCTION CONCERT(S), Nov. 5-9, 2008, at new 6,000-seat theatre in Chevrolet Center of Youngstown, Ohio.
Mon, 6/9/08
DANCE WITH GRETCHEN! (June 9 & 11 through summer). Enjoy fun and fitness, choreography and core training that keep men and women feeling youthful and exhilarated. Enhance your balance, strength, rhythm, grace, and stamina. Gretchen    Christopher’s Jazz, Ballet, Disco, and Swing dance classes enriched the community for over 20 years, as part of the nucleus around which The Evergreen State College’s Leisure Education Program developed. This class includes warm-ups, isolations, fun steps, and combinations to a variety of music. A SPECIAL OFFERING:  Free to WAC Members
(2 weeks free trial to join).  To learn more about Gretchen, visit and hear tracks from her latest album Gretchen’s SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16), one of the 2007 Billboard Critics’ Picks for 10 Best Albums of the year!
Tue, 6/10/08
RECORD PHONE INTERVIEW of Gretchen Christopher w/Bruce Owens,
"Good Morning Hudson Valley",
Hudson Valley Radio Network
Wed, 6/11/08
Mon, 6/16/08
Wed, 6/18/08
Thurs, 6/19/08
Hi Gretchen - 
Bruce (Owens," Good Morning Hudson Valley") was able to get to the edits yesterday and I will burn the CD
first thing Friday morning and send it off to you. Again, it is a pleasure having you on the show. We are airing the interview today at 7:20a and 7:50a in two parts and we are going to re-air it next week as well.
Jay Verzi
The Hudson Valley Radio Network
WBNR 1260/WLNA 1420/920 WGHQ
Sun, 6/22/08
Yee Haw!  Buckaroo's Celebration of two birthdays, (3rd and 65th), from 3:30 'til Sundown, Olympia, WA
Mon, 6/23/08

Happy Birthday, podners: my brother, WILLIE IAN, and my only grandson, GRAY THOMAS FREDRICH
Tue, 6/24/08
The Fleetwoods' Producer &  Dolphin/Dolton Records President born 86 years ago this day, and who, six years ago, June 15th, passed away. He may be gone, but the beautiful, ground-breaking, now-classic music he produced lives on. We love you Bob!      (See TRIBUTES)
Wed, 6/25/08
Fri, 6/27/08
In remembrance of
LENORE O'CONNOR SEVERSON and our final musical celebration of her life,  "Encore for Lenore."
Mon, 6/30/08
Wed, 7/1/08
Fri, 7/4/08
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA! and Gretchen's "Guardian Angel" CHUCK DREYER!  Fabulous FRIENDS & FAMILY FOURTH AT THE FIRS, featuring boating, music, food, friends (36), and fireworks all around the bay! 
Mon, 7/7/08
Wed, 7/9/08
Thurs, 7/10/08
Radio WCUW - 91.3FM.
Fri, 7/11/08
PERSONAL APPEARANCE, Gretchen Christopher Singing & Signing GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16); 7PM at Borders Books, Music, Movies & Cafe, 2415 4th Avenue, W. Olympia, WA.
Mon, 7/14/08
Wed, 7/16/08

COUSIN BRUCIE records interview with GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER on SIRIUS  RADIO, broadcast time & date TBA.
Mon, 7/21/08
Wed, 7/23/08
Fri, 7/25/08
SONJA CHRISTOPHER & GAIL fly in from California for week of celebrating Mom.
Sat. 7/26/08
DAN SHUMAKER and his bride TONI NAYLOR fly in from California for NANA'S
at the Helmers, Olympia, WA
Sun, 7/27/08
VOS & GRETCHEN'S 52ND ANNIVERSARY of the day we met, and he'll once again take me for a boat ride on the bay! (:o)
Mon, 7/28/08
Mon, 7/28/08
52nd ANNIVERSARY of VOS & Gretchen's
(Sweet Sixteen!) First Date! 
Tues, 7/29/08 
Brother JIM & GINA CHRISTOPHER arrive from California, meet their daughter SHARON NARANJO flying in from New Mexico, next day, all to celebrate NANA'S 99TH!.
Wed, 7/30/08
Wed, 7/30/08
HAPPY 99TH BIRTHDAY, HELEN CHRISTOPHER, Recipient of the 2003 Salute to the Arts Award -- and Beautiful Matriarch!  We, your offspring, gather from as far away as New Mexico and California to celebrate the wonder of you!  FAMILY POT LUCK at THE FIRS ON BUDD INLET, Olympia, WA.
Special Guests include capital city official for over a quarter century, former Olympia City Manager ELDON MARSHALL (shown here with Gretchen Christopher, July 20, 2007).  He wrote on 3/28/03 in a personal note of congratulations to Helen Christopher (who had been the only woman appointed to serve on The Mayor's Committee of  the '60's), "I just want to express my thanks for your leadership in achieving the 'Performing Arts Center' for our community.
If not for your efforts and persistence I doubt that we would have it today."  Helen Christopher chaired the Auditorium Committee and decades of volunteer work to make a reality the auditorium which would be known as The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, of which Marshall wrote, "You are the 'mother' of the Auditorium."
"To say that you deserve all the honor that has come to you goes without saying, but I'm happy it's being said.  Success and dignity so seldom accompany each other that your dignity masked your success for too great a while.  Your contributions to the arts are eclipsed only by the raising of your family. They say an educated woman educates a family.  Your children are the living messages you have sent into time.  Passed from generation to generation, that message is heard like an echo from an unknown place.
Wherever you sit becomes the head of the table."

Thurs, 7/31/08
Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary
to Gretchen's nephew (former Special Effects Artist for George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic on Twister; Star Wars: Episode 1,The Phantom Menace), DAN SHUMAKER and his bride TONI NAYLOR. Together, they've earned their Master of Theology degrees.  Dan now teaches Graphic Arts full time at the San Francisco Art Institute University in San Francisco.  HAPPY ANNIVERSARY,
Mon, 8/4/08
Birthday of GINA
(daughter-in-law of The Fleetwoods' Founder).
Mon, 8/4/08
Tue, 8/5/08
Sixth wedding anniversary of GINA and CHRISTOPHER MATZEN, (Gretchen's son),
Wed, 8/6/08
Thurs, 8/7/08
Birthday of EVA
(Mrs. Roger Fisher, wife of Heart's Founding Guitarist)
Thurs, 8/21/08
Dear, dear Mike and Monica,

What a surprise, yesterday;  
Flowers delivered to me here on the bay!
The fragrance told me perhaps they're from you,
And the card told me yes, indeed, it's true:


"We hope many others enjoy your new CD as much as we do 
Its really a great piece of art.  Mike & Monica Lopergolo"  (You two! ) 
Thank you! 


It's I who should be sending flowers to you,
Newlyweds that you are!
Please accept SUITE 16 as your wedding gift
To accompany you, near and far.


That's what you confided that made me feel blessed,
In your first letter, Mike, long ago:
That our music brought comfort, in rest or in stress,
And was with you wherever you'd go.


The first flowers you sent filled my heart with sun
As your subsequent remembrances do
So I hope, Mike and Monica, my music becomes
The soundtrack of your lives, rich and true.


If there's a thought you need to share
But seems it can't be expressed
Dedicate to the other, a song from the album
And love will do the rest.




Gretchen Christopher, August 21, 2008 © Gold Cup Music
Sat, 8/23/08

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Harvey West (now from China), OHS class of 1958,
Gretchen Christopher (USA) '58,
Richard Vosburgh (USA), class of 1957
(Harvey purchased Gretchen's CD, SWEET SIXTEEN,
to take home to China!)

Harvey West, Mel Melin, class of 1958,
Richard Vosburgh, '57
Former Olympia High School Bears football teammates

(at Olympia's Sand in the City)
on Class of 58's 50th Reunion weekend

Sun, 8/31/08
Tugboat Race Party, Potluck & Jam at The Firs on Budd Inlet  Click on photos to enlarge
Cousins' reunite: David Cody, Richard Vosburgh, Antionette Martin (+ Zeus) at Tugboat Race Party, Potluck & Jam, at The Firs on Budd Inlet. Photo by Gretchen.


Gretchen Christopher (crowned by grandkids) sings "Graduation's Here"
(included on her new album, GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16)   
flanked by Elsa Dorian and John Worsley; with Mike Stapleton on Guitar.


"Mr. Blue": Fleetwoods Gretchen Christopher, John Worsley, Elsa Dorian,
"paint the town, a bright red, to turn it upside down.."
(L) Drums, Dave Roland; (R) Guitar, Mike Stapleton; Bass, Bill Cleland.


  Mike Stapleton, Bobby Keyes, Bill Cleland, Tugboat Race Party,
Potluck & Jam at The Firs on Budd Inlet

DANCE WITH GRETCHEN:  Christopher (L ) & students Elsa Dorian,
Amanda Sue Rudisill, Kimari Helmer spontaneously perform in midst of 
(clockwise, from L, in orange)  Evan Davis (guitar)
jamming with TREBLEMAKERS 
Bobby Keys (Keybord & vocals ), Bill Cleland (bass & vocals)
, Dave Roland (drums); Tugboat Race Party, Potluck & Jam at The Firs on Budd Inlet.
Photo by Vos © 2008 Gold Cup Music 
  Linda Hunter, Amanda Sue Rudisill,  Leslie Manix, Gretchen Christopher,
Din Wilke
groove to the Jam!
  Jam: Linda Hunter does The Swim; Amanda Rudisill loves it!
John Worsley focuses on Leslie Manix; Leslie loves it!
Tue, 9/16/08
Gretchen Christopher testifies at public hearings
of Olympia City Council meetings regarding the Isthmus and whether or not building code should be changed from 35 foot limit to 90 feet, to allow high rise condos to be built, blocking the views to and from the State Capitol and Capitol Campus, designed to have unobstructed views across Capitol Lake and the Isthmus, down Budd Inlet to Olympic Mountains.  Five thousand people signed petition against the change.  Gretchen Christopher Matzen is #39 of hundreds of citizens who testify against the change, at public meeting at Washington Center for Performing Arts, Olympia, WA.
Tue, 9/23/08
th BIRTHDAY OF "TWIN" COUSINS, Kamiel & Avery, born the very same morning -- September 23, 2002 -- to "Grammy" Gretchen's daughter and son (and their spouses : )
Sat, 9/27/08
Christopher key in theater community
The Olympian • Published September 27, 2008
One of the founders of the Performing Arts Center and the Olympia Little Theater died Sept. 19.
Helen Christopher was 99.
She was born July 30, 1909, in Wilbur, which is where her ashes will be laid to rest.
A celebration of Christopher's life will take place at 2 p.m. Oct. 4 at Panorama City Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St., Olympia, WA 98501.
Eldon Marshall, supervisor of the city of Olympia for more than 25 years, wrote in a personal note to Christopher on her 99th birthday: "I just want to express my thanks for your leadership in achieving the 'Performing Arts Center' for our community. If not for your efforts and persistence I doubt that we would have it today."
Chairwoman of the Auditorium Committee, she was the only woman appointed to the Mayor's Committee of the Sixties and really "Mother of the Auditorium," Marshall wrote.
In 2003, Christopher won the Salute to the Arts Award for her "numerous and outstanding contributions to the arts in the South Sound area." She participated in the Fine Arts Guild, the Orthopedic Guild and Eenati and in support of the Olympia Symphony.
At 88, Christopher wrote an autobiographical book, "Double Entry," published in 1997. She graduated from Whitman College in 1931, obtaining a bachelor's degree and teaching credentials.
VOCAL COACHING, Individual or Vocal Group, by appointment, call Gold Cup Music (360) 866-7866.
Sat, 10/25/08
Sun, 11/2/08
Happy Birthday to Fleetwoods Replacement John Worsley.
Hear his Flute Echos recordings at
Wed, 11/5/08
Gretchen Christopher flies to Pittsburgh for RECEPTION DINNER at hotel, night before
HALL OF FAME Induction.
Thurs, 11/6/08
THE FLEETWOODS inducted into VOCAL GROUP HALL OF FAME celebrated with
INDUCTION CEREMONY at new 6,000 seat venue, The Chevrolet Center, Youngstown, OH.
Fri, 11/7/08
VOCAL GROUP HALL OF FAME'S Class of 2005 INDUCTION CONCERT.  Gretchen Christopher introduces Jay Seigel and The Tokens (AKA Bright Tunes) who produced "He's So Fine" for 2005 inductees The Chiffons (the first time one group produced a #1 Hit for another group).  for the concert, Gretchen and others sing the iconic line "doo lang doo lang doo lang"  - which in 1963 was the newest nonsensical addition to rock and roll vernacular - now performed in new 6,000 seat venue, The Chevrolet Center, Youngstown, OH
Sat, 11/8/08
VOCAL GROUP HALL OF FAME'S Class of 2006:  (backed by the Modernairs) Gretchen Christopher performs her "Come Softly To Me", then "Mr. Blue", which she dedicates to Gary, "Goodnight My Love" which she dedicates to Barbara, her absent partners, for THE FLEETWOODS induction to VOCAL GROUP HALL OF FAME, in new 6,000 seat venue, The Chevrolet Center, Youngstown, OH
Sun, 11/9/08
VOCAL GROUP HALL OF FAME'S Class of 2005 INDUCTION CONCERT in new 6,000 seat venue,
The Chevrolet Center, Youngstown, OH
Fri, 11/7/08
A fan sent this NY Times Crossword Puzzle with a note of "Congratulations (see 59 across)!"  Enjoy!

Click on puzzle to enlarge
Mon, 11/10/08
Happy Birthday, shimmery
KIMARI, darling daughter of Grammy Gretchen. You are such a blessing!  Sorry, Hall of Fame Inductions came on the night of your early birthday party and I had to miss it.  But Jay Seigel, Bowzer, and Dawn all signed their best wishes to you on a CD from the Hall of Fame decorations.
Thurs, 11/27/08
Happy Thanksgiving!
So much to be thankful for: including reunions with family, former in-laws, now friends! Love is forever, it just takes different forms!
Fri, 11/28/08
an Original Fleetwood. We who are left to carry on appreciate your contribution to the original sound and especially your unforgettable "Umn Dooby Doo, Dom Dom" back-up, which Fleetwoods founder Gretchen arranged in counterpoint to include you in the song, "Come Softly To Me," and musical history!
Sun, 11/30/08
Hear Gretchen Christopher read her Poem for DICK CLARK 
(Click Here)

November 30th! Another year older?
Don't be "Mr. Blue"
Dick Clark, you're loved the whole world over.
These greetings attest it's true.

How many teens might have lost their way
Had Bandstand not been born?
"Lovers By Night, Strangers By Day,"
All of us would mourn.

Another man spinning hits in your place
May help them climb the roster,
But millions of us who know your face
Say, "He's The Great Imposter."

"Outside My Window," you may "Runaround"
Or retreat to your Caribbean pleasures.
Wherever you go, good wishes abound;
You're one of our national treasures.

"Goodnight My Love," you're "The Last One To Know"
"You Mean Everything To Me"
Since the first time we Fleetwoods were on your show
And sang "Come Softly To Me."

Some feel each birthday's a "Tragedy"
("Graduation's Here" and gone)
But with you, dear Dick, we're eternally young;
The music plays on and on!
 by Gretchen Christopher copyright 1992, All Rights Reserved -
Wed, 12/3/08
For my Parade of Lights Party, Potluck & Jam, we had lots of people for a Wednesday night, and because some arrived early, I was not quite ready with the main dish, had only put the ground beef on to cook.  My darling daughter-in-law Gina, stepped in, took over and saved my day by adding the ingredients I provided to make the delicious Chili, supplemented by all sorts of wonderful pot luck offerings from others. People were enchanted by my parade of lights that greeted them and lead them all the way down the hill to my  bayside cottage.  And the beauty of the decorated yachts parading by in front of my home.  Plenty of good conversation around fireplaces, both on the deck and in the living room, and eventually the politely dueling guitars and voices of Richard de Rossett and Mike Stapleton, from "goodies" to Gershwin.  At the end of the evening, I bid farewell with my piano vocal of "Christmas Is (Anytime I'm With) You" to an appreciative audience, some of whom purchased my album SUITE 16, which was heartwarming.
(for personalized gifts), by invitation only, at The Firs on Budd Inlet, Olympia, WA.
(or personalized by Mail Order: Gold Cup Music, P.O. Box 11311, Olympia, WA 98508-1311

Songwriter KK Ryder;
Screenwriter Victoria MacDonald;
Songwriter/Recording Artist Gretchen Christopher;
Attorney Kitty as seen last December 2007
Encore, December 3 & 6, 2008!

Photo courtesy VicMac Productions  2007 Gold Cup Music.

Click on photo to enlarge

Fri, 12/5/08
Read this article on Gretchen Christopher at this web site
Sat, 12/6/08
Saturday's Parade of Lights Party, Potluck & Jam was a capacity crowd of lively people, with some coming from as far away as Oregon, including my longtime dear friend, Joey Todd.  A blessing that it was beautiful weather so people enjoyed being on the deck to watch the decorated boats go by, and sharing conversation around the fireplaces there and inside.  This time, I'd made the two huge pots of Chili the day before, so I was ready to join my guests from the outset.   After GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16) greeted the earliest guest, Guitar/Vocals by Dennis Shain kicked off a variety of good acoustic  music with various Guitars, Trumpet, Keyboard, Piano,.and Spoons (just the right size percussion for my cozy place :o)- From Dixieland to Doo-Wop (Jazz, blues, standards, show tunes), plus Vocals from The Fleetwoods (Gretchen, John, Elsa), then reprising my Vocal Group Hall of Fame renditions, including costume change (by request! :o), while Jane Canfield provided more Piano/Vocals she'd written to save the Isthmus, three quick piano carols by 6 year old Kamiel, and my "Christmas Is You", which people think I should have online, for sale.  (It's not on my album, but many of those sold and were signed.).  Oh, and Vos and I loved dancing Eastcoast Swing  to the (Trumpet/Guitear/Keys/Spoons) Dixieland, near the beginning.  Later, Elsa, Amanda, Kimari and I danced a hustle (which I'd taught in classes at the Club).  One of my favorite parties!
Sun, 12/21/08
(See photo above, Dec. 3 & 6).  Enjoy Florida, but we can't wait to see you again in Washington, you are such a bright light!
Thurs, 12/25/08
Happy Eighth Birthday, TESSA NOEL
("Grammy" Gretchen's very first Grammy Award! :o)

  Wishing EVERYONE Warm & Wonder-filled Holidays blessed with Health & Happiness and a New Year of Working & Playing together in Peace & Harmony, throughout the World!

Order autographed SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16) CD here 

Order autographed "Mr. BLUE" CD here!


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Treble clef image courtesy of Lisabeth's Music Images at

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