Tag Archives: Senior Action Committee

Friday Afternoon Club: Singin’ and Swingin’ in South Kitsap

Journalism is filled with weird little bits of serendipity that typically come in the form of unexplained connections between stories. I’ve had it happen so many times it’s uncanny. I can’t come up up with any good examples, however, except for the one right before me.

Stick with me, if you will, while I explain.

I just finished up a story to run on Monday about a new music store in South Kitsap that is filling the void left when DJ’s music closed in March. Donald “DJ” Watson opened his first store in South Kitsap in 1979. Over the years, thousands of students in South Kitsap and other areas of the county learned to love music with a little help from DJ’s. It was with sadness and regret that DJ’s widow Diana Watson shuttered the last remnant of DJ’s business, a store on Mile Hill, in March.

I had planned to write this blog post days before I even knew I was going to write the DJ’s story. As I sometimes, do, I wanted to give readers the heads up on a weekend event that sounds like it might be fun. The Senior Action Committee will host a “Mad Hatter Punch Bowl Party” beginning at 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at Delilah’s Cozy Kitchin, 150 Harrison Ave. in Port Orchard.

What’s a “Mad Hatter Punch Bowl Party?” That would be the brainchild of Judith Kay, organizer and head of the Senior Action Committee. SAC members partake of all manner of social events. According to Kay, the group is for people who enjoy being active, hence “Action” in the name. They’ve been meeting for two years now, and seem to be going strong.

Kay will be performing at the event with former Motown musician Bill Carter, who figures in my music store story, because he formerly taught lessons at DJ’s, and now teaches at the new place, Mainline Music. OK, this is getting a little weird.

Now here’s the really crazy part: The two, who perform what I’ll call old school jazz classics, met at DJ’s, so that’s what they named their band. (Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme here.)

You can read about Carter by clicking the link to the story I wrote about him in the early 1990’s. He played backup with a host of big-time performers, Count Basie, Diana Ross, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson and the list goes on. He was also mentioned in a recent story about South Kitsap High School graduate Chris Olson, now a New Yorker (another little weird twist), whose music is featured on the new iPod Touch ad.

Carter had a massive stoke in 1996 that slowed him down, but thanks to persistence, faith and time, he’s largely recovered. His music hasn’t suffered a bit.

Music (and serendipity) have played large in Judith Kay’s life, ever since she started taking piano lessons at 4 years old. She played in her high school orchestra and attended Hunter College on a music scholarship. She received a master’s degree from UCLA and eventually taught music to music teachers.

Years later, as director of a broadcasting college, she was serendipitously asked to go to Seattle to “straighten out” another branch of the college. She stayed in the Northwest, getting involved in Seattle Theater and appearing on the Spud Goodman Show. “I’m on his web site as Sylvia, giving love tips to the RV Trailer fans.”

Kay wrote and produced with a writing partner a show called “SEATTLE, Land of the Long Yellow Crayon.” “Interestingly, my writing partner was actually a student of mine, ‘way back’ in California. When people asked how we ‘found’ each other, he answered, ‘Judith and I went to school together”.’ I always include parts of the Yellow Crayon in my presentations and will do so tomorrow (at the Mad Hatter event).” Kay said.

The party, open to all ages, will feature live music, a raffle, and prizes. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase, and attendees are invited to either bring their own hats or don one that’s already there. The D.J.’s, featuring Carter on sax and Kay on vocals, will perform what she calls the “old romantic songs.”

You can catch the DJ’s almost every Saturday afternoon at MoonDogs, Too in Port Orchard during Harmonica Dave’s Open Mike.

“Although I don’t keep a full schedule of performances as I did in the past, I am delighted to be singing the wonderful songs of the standard repertoire,” Kay said. “Now, at 73 (oh, I don’t know if I really want to post that:)- maybe past 60 might suffice?:) … I’m amazed that my background and experience makes it fun to try something new.”

As you can see, Kay is full of fun, and not afraid to put herself out there. So, if you’re up for trying something new, you can go to Delilah’s and wear a crazy hat. Suggested donation for the Mad Hatter party is $5. Information: (360) 876-5366.