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Frank Ross Plans Reunion



All Travis Edmonson fans will sympathize with Frank Ross' story about arranging a reunion between the balladeer and Pat Jenks (after nearly sixty years).
Life Happens .
by Franklin Ross
It had been planned about two months prior . I wanted everything just so. I invited just a few people, and we would serve Mexican food because that is what Travis loves.

Travis and Rose Marie would be driving down from Mesa, Arizona to Tucson.  People who were invited were either friends or fans of Bud and  Travis, and there would be a fine and warm reunion between Travis and Randolph “Pat” Jenks (now 96 years old )  - two old time friends who knew each other from the 50's when Travis was just starting his musical career.
This reunion would include lunch and a time of sharing music with great conversation in   between.

Mike Bartlett , Linda Pierce and Francisco Aguilar
(l to r) Mike Bartlett , Linda Pierce and Francisco Aguilar enjoying the visit with good company at the Jenks' residence . (Francisco made some great Mexican beans . He's a retired welder, with a curiosity about the world , and an interest in history . Oh ...and he loves music )
Ten days before the event, Victoria Armstrong -  Don's lovely wife , singer and composer was having heart palpitations.  She was taken to the hospital, and within days had to have triple bypass surgery. Thankfully, she is recovering well, is out of the hospital and staying with friends.
Two days before the reunion, two more guests had to leave because of the possible arrival of a baby in their family.
On the very day of the event - Sunday, August 24, 2008 ,another friend and fellow musician - Bert Escovar -  who was very much wanting to attend, had to be at the hospital to care for his sick aunt.
Then, when my new friend Mike Bartlett arrived  with his wife Linda Pierce, around 2:15PM Sunday, he informed us all that Rose Marie had become quite ill that morning on their way over, and simply could not drive down  to Tucson on that day in the middle of summer. Travis and Rose Marie would stay home.
And so, Life Happens: In the middle of all these unfortunate events was an oasis. This oasis was found at Pat Jenks' home as he and his daughter,  Marie, were most gracious  hosts of  this happening, and extended to us all their  wonderful hospitality. His home is charming, with furniture brought there originally in the 1920's. A true collection of great antiques.
Frank Ross
Frank Ross  singing "los Dos " with Don Armstrong at Pat Jenks'home . Notice the knick knacks and antique furniture

We dedicated a prayer and positive thoughts before our meal to all those in need. Then tacos, enchiladas and Mexican beans were served as we all enjoyed great conversation.
Pat's rich and full life always fascinates us all. He attended Princeton - graduated in the Class of 1936, has written a number of  articles, two books, and is about to finish his 3rd one. In them he traces his spiritual journey through Mexico, and tells of the many people  he has encountered on these travels. Stories about Mexico and Travis were intertwined with stories about buried treasures left in Alamos by the Spaniards. Also, how Travis helped avert an all-out war between the Yaqui Indians and the Mexican government. So many stories too numerous to mention. Pat has also had a lifelong interest in bird-watching.
Don Armstrong
Don Armstrong sharing "la Vaquilla Colorada" at Pat Jenks' home , where we dedicated the evening to Travis among friends and fans in Tucson .

 Don Armstrong  made a brief one-hour appearance away from his wife, and he and I were able to share a few songs that  Bud and Travis had sung many years ago when we were all young and handsome. We played “La Vaquilla Colorada,“ “Los Dos” and “Malagueña Salerosa.“ I also shared “Cloudy Summer Afternoon,” ”Sin Ti” and “El Abandonado.“

Those attending were our delightful hosts: Randolph “Pat”Jenks  and  Marie Sutton (his charming daughter) ; Mike Bartlett - longtime friend of Travis and former Manager of Ted Ramirez and the Santa Cruz River Band . His wife Linda Pierce ; my friend  Taco ;  Francisco Aguilar -tennis player , lover of Mexican music and fan of Travis ;  and Don Armstrong - folk singer extraordinaire who, along with his wife Victoria,  sang  moving renditions of “Malagueña Salerosa” and “De Domingo a Domingo” at the recent Travis Tribute held at the Fiddler's Inn  last May 9, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona (here is a link where you can hear and see that rendition played on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjm3Km6BhL4&feature=related )
 If anyone is interested in any of Pat's two published books , please contact me at frank@goldcom.com  . I also have CD's of the Street Minstrels , my group . these run 20.00 each at that same address . Some of our music can be heard on streaming audio at www.streetminstrels.com.  Then, there is Don and Victoria Armstrong . You can find some of their great music  at: www.donandvictoria.com (By the way ,  significant  expenses are  to be expected after this operation for Victoria , so they could definitely use the help )


More articles on this website by Frank Ross:




Bill McCune's documentary - First Taping Session:

And from Pat Jenks





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Pat Jenks & Don Armstrong
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