I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I often think about the following answer to a somewhat standard question. When asked what his favorite thing to do was, Coconino County Supervisor Art Babbott replied, "laughing with friends!"
The pleasantly good humor that shines so brightly through those few but refreshing words are a lighthouse landmark of our community. The simple sincerity of the response is a prime example of an activity most Flagstaffians admire and seek to model.
"It's so Flagstaff" is not a pejorative term, but rather a reaffirmation of the uniqueness of the quality of the people living in our mountain town. Being cookie-cutter seems to be marvelously uncommon in the inherent make-up of our citizens. And high on my list of enjoying the glee with friends is listening to the Ukulele Jammers practice their merriment every Wednesday evening from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. at the Joe Montoya Community and Senior Center.
From the rousing "Waltzing Matilda" to the singing tale of "Mrs. Robinson," to the musical mayday about "Run Around Sue" and the wonderfully lyric "Here Comes The Sun," it's nearly two hours of lively music played with energetic enthusiasm.
And the Jammer practice sessions of familiar songs being sung while the zippy tunes are vigorously accompanied by strumming ukuleles is often peppered by marvelous gales of laughter from the participants. No dull moments allowed where this delightful group gathers!
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If you'd like to see and hear this fun bunch, they'll be entertaining folks during the 38th annual Luminarias celebration held Sunday evening, December 15, in the Coconino Estates neighborhood.
Their stage will be the front yard of a holiday-decorated home on Rockridge Road about a half block from another admirable group, the Flagstaff Community Band, which will be sending forth its musical gift through the open doors of Nat White's garage. Be sure to continue walking Rockridge Road to the Freer family's living nativity scene that's also accompanied by live musicians.
If you'd like to join our group of walkers on a nearly three-mile meander along the Luminarias 7,000 candle-lit route, which features a multitude of decorated homes plus many responses of the season from the friendly neighbors, meet us at 6 p.m. in the Marshall School parking lot located on the corner of Thorpe Road and Bonito Street. And bring a flashlight, because we'll look at the Karen Knorowski mosaics decorating the nearby Thorpe Road Bridge over the Rio de Flag before we head off on the trail of the Luminarias.
So, dress warmly and bring your holiday smile because this is a wonderfully local activity that's truly called a "So Flagstaff" event. For additional information about the Ukulele Jammers, look to their website: Flagukejam@gmail.com
And this just in from Maggie Twomey, the Volunteer and Event Coordinator for the City of Flagstaff: During the 2019-20 winter season there will be snowplay clean-ups of the broken plastic sleds left in our surrounding forest in four designated areas — Thorpe Park, John Wesley Powell/Lone Tree road sledding area, Peakview parking and Kendrick Park. Our community needs our help. Call Maggie at 928-213-2144 for additional information.