Birds Of All Feathers Flock Together

Mallards, coots and wigeons are regular visitors to the lakes at Green Valley Park.

Mallards, coots and wigeons are regular visitors to the lakes at Green Valley Park.


On any given day during this winter season, one could stroll, jog or skate through Green Valley Park and see more varieties of waterfowl and birds than I have seen in my 10 years of Rim Country living.

Of the more than 200 Canada geese that visited this winter, five are still here (the rest flew off right before Valentine’s Day). Also still visiting are four great blue herons, one white egret, an adult and juvenile bald eagle, almost 100 wigeons, an equal number of coots, about a dozen mergansers and a lesser number of mallards, ruddies, cormorants and shovelers.

The amazing thing to me about all these different species of birds is that they so peaceably get along with each other.

When I see the different birds swimming together, feeding side-by-side and just kind of hanging out together, I wonder why we humans of different colors, beliefs and orientations can’t get along the way these birds do. If these different species can be friends, why can’t we more “intelligent” creatures be friends?

This week’s music question is: Can you name the Latin funk-rock band that scored a Billboard Top 10 hit with the recording of “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

This L.A.-based, six-member band was formed in 1969 and for two years was Eric Burden’s (of the Animals) backing band. The group was one of the most eclectic and most popular funk groups of the ’70s, freely melding soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae and rock influences into an effortlessly funky whole.

In all, the band charted 17 Billboard hits, seven of which made it into the Top 10.

The group’s three biggest hits were “The Cisco Kid,” “Spill the Wine,” and “Low Rider.”

Is this “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” band A) Grand Funk, B) War, C) Rhythm Heritage, or D) REO Speedwagon?

This week, if you’re the fourth caller and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite artist or music genre.

Last week’s question

Of Ricky Nelson’s 19 hits that made it onto Billboard’s Top 10, 18 of those singles did so in the period from 1957-1964. It wasn’t until eight years later, in 1972, that Nelson would score his 19th and last, Top 10 hit. Is the title of his last Top 10 hit A) “The Garden,” B) “Octopus’s Garden,” C) “Garden Party,” or D) “Rose Garden”?

The correct answer was “Garden Party.” “The Garden” was a 1991 recording by country singer Vern Gosdin; “Octopus’s Garden” was a 1969 hit song for the Beatles; and “Rose Garden” was a 1970 chart-topper for country artist Lynn Anderson.

Congratulations to last week’s first-time music trivia winner, Madeline Olsen, who won a pair of tickets to last Saturday’s Ricky Nelson Remembered concert, compliments of the Tonto Community Concert Association.

A little about Madeline — She was born and raised in Chicago, Ill. Soon after graduating from Calvin Park High School, she married Ronald, her high school sweetheart and began a long career as a librarian. She has four children and a slew of grandchildren.

Madeline lived in Payson for most of the 1980s, before heading to the Valley in 1989. In 2002, she moved back to Payson for good, she said.

Now retired, Madeline has become a big movie buff. She also volunteers her time at Senior Circle and with the Optimist Club. She is a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Hall.

Madeline’s music taste runs quite the gamut — “from classic country to the golden oldies to today’s contemporary music,” she said. Three of her favorite artists are Dolly Parton, ABBA and Merle Haggard.

Some final notes

Wasn’t that a terrific Ricky Nelson Remembered concert last Saturday night? Nelson’s two sons, Matthew and Gunner, entertained the TCCA crowd with professionalism, their enormous talent, energy and a down-home warmth that I’m sure left almost everyone in the audience feeling as if they were a part of the Nelson family. For me, it was just a great, great show.

Looking for entertaining choral music this weekend? The Tempe Community Chorus will be joining our Payson Choral Society for a joint concert this Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Payson High School Auditorium. Admission is free!

Also, recent pictures that I’ve added to my Web site are from last weekend’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kid’s Sake annual fund-raiser at the Rim Country Lanes. Twenty-four area teams hooted and hollered, dressed up and showed off their bowling prowess to support one of Rim Country’s mentoring programs.

Lastly, at one of the events I have recently played for, I seem to have misplaced my black camera bag, which happens to have an expensive flash attachment in it. Please call me if you have run across this bag. (I’m sure Mom is turning over in her grave right now, saying once again to me —“you’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached!”)

Have a great week!

DJ Craig — (928) 468-1482


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