Family Christmas 2015

By on 1-05-2016 in Family

This video documents our 2015 family Christmas at Cheryl and Tom Long’s house in Kent, WA.


Mickey/Mom (age 89)

Cheryl and Tom Long

Sandy and Peter Jensen

Tpren Brolutti

Maya Brolutti

Mischa Brolutti

Tristan, Kendall, and Dylan Lockard


Dogs Dakota and Ryle


Cardboard Caravan

By on 12-23-2015 in Digital Storytelling

I was hanging at Eugene’s Holiday Market 2015 and got some iPhone video of this good-sounding country funk jug band called Cardboard Caravan. They saw my Facebook post and contacted me, so it was my pleasure to pull together this little iMovie for them.
Austin Bertak – tenor banjo
Rooster – guitar
Helen Long – accordion
Saxon Hidgon – saw
Nolan – wash tub bass
Max O’toole – slide guitar

Put a like on them here:

What a Swell Party It Is!

By on 2-23-2013 in Family, Photography

What a Swell Party It Is!

“Well, Did You Evah…?” What a swell party this is!

Mom mentioned in an e-mail that after her party she kept hearing Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby singing the Cole Porter song (1939)  “Well, Did You Evah…(What a Swell Party)” from High Society (1956). That gave me the idea to go back and create a longer music video using that as a sound track–here it is!


“Well, Did You Evah…” By Cole Porter

I have heard among this clan,
You are called the forgotten man
(Is that what they’re saying, well did you evah! )
(What a swell party this is)

And have you heard the story of,
A boy, a girl, unrequited love
(Sounds like pure soap opera, tune in tomorrow) I
May cry
(What a swell party this is)

(What frills, what frocks) What broads!
(What furs, what rocks! ) They’re bootiful.
(Why I’ve never seen such gaity) Neither have I.
(Its all just too, too risque really)

This french champagne (domestic)
(So good for the brain) that’s what I was going to
(You know you’re a brilliant fellow?) Why thank
(Pick up jack. please don’t eat that glass my friend)

(Have you heard, about dear Blanche?)
(Got run down by an avalanche) No!
(Oh don’t worry, she’s a game girl you know, got
Up and finished 4th)
The kids got guts. (Having a nice time? Grab a
Line! )

Have you heard that Mimsie Starr (what now)

She got pinched in the Astor bar
(Sloshed again, eh?) She was stoned.
Well, did you evah? (Never! )
What a swell party this is!

Hey, check out that act! (That’s a lovely dress.
You think I can talk her out of it?)

It’s great, (aah it’s great)
So grand! (so grand)
It’s wonderland!
La da da da…

(We sing), oh we sing
(So rare) so rare
(Like old camembert)
(Like baba au rhum! )
Don’t dig that kind of crooning chum!

Have you heard? It’s in the stars
Next July we collide with Mars.
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party, a swell party
A swelligant, elegant party this is!

(I drink to your health)
Naw, lets drink to your wealth
Your my bon ami
Hey, that’s french
A liberty fraternity

Have you heard? It’s in the stars
Next July we collide with Mars.
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party, swell party
Swelligant, elegant party this is!

Mickey/Mom’s 87th!

By on 2-21-2013 in Family, Photography

If it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s Mickey/Mom’s birthday! We celebrated her 87th with a big Brown Family Traditional Enchilada Party. Mom made the beautiful aprons you see in these photographs, in addition to table cloths and napkins, so her creative fires are burning bright.
Here is a short slide show I made of a few of the photos I have also placed in the gallery below:

Mickey/Mom Queen for a Day!

Mickey/Mom is Queen for a Day!


Family Portrait in aprons


Bill Lockard showing some graceful gray at the temples


Maya and I think the cat is Alger. Hard to say which is the more photogenic!


Richard Sims listening to the many heartfelt thoughts as we presented “87 Things We Love About Mickey”


Lisle and Mickey in the Brolutti kitchen


Cheryl and Mom dazzling all who behold


Sisters! Sandy, Cheryl, Toren


Dylan Lockard in a combative mood


Tristan Lockard masterminded the appy table and guided us all graceful through the “87 Things We Love About Mickey.” Each person’s thought had been “scrapped” onto a circular cardboard like a tortilla. The circles stacked up into a Love Bomb Enchilada for Mom.


Maya and Toren–Mother/Daughter


Mickey/Mom getting her royal red roses from Cheryl and Tom Long


Maya showing off her cute new apron


Toren Brolutti and visiting sous-chef Susan Carkin in the thick of the enchilada making fray.


Sandy and Cheryl showing off their new aprons


Ellie, Maddie, Maya, Mischa and Mohawked friend also gathered to celebrate Mom’s 87th

Bill and Taylor Goforth made an appearance at the festivities

Bill and Taylor Goforth made an appearance at the festivities

One Foggy Day in the Wine Country

By on 1-20-2013 in Friends, Photography

Photographer Kinga Biro catching the perfect shot

Photographer Kinga Biro catching the perfect shot

The day Kinga Biro and Burt Voorhees visited us, Jan. 20, 2013, didn’t seem very promising–it was dark, cold, and super foggy. However, we insisted on having a good time, heading out for the wine country in the pea-soup fog. Then we climbed a hill and screeched to a stop to catch the light coming through what was now mist.

This is a minute and a half music slideshow with some of the highlights of our day. Below that are a few more photographs.


Interview with a Fire Dancer

By on 1-12-2013 in Family, Photography

Interview with a Fire Dancer

Maya Spins Fire Poi

NOTE: Cross-posted from

My niece, Maya Brolutti, has battled three different autoimmune disorders from the time she was quite young–even younger than her 21 years right now. Twice this year she has danced fire poi at family gatherings. Most recently, she spun fire for our Christmas Eve festivities.

I took her in a back bedroom, turned on my recorder, and asked her what learning fire poi has meant to her and her healing journey.

This video is a rough cut, as digital stories often are, but it catches the immediacy of her thinking, which I love.

This video is an interview with Maya Brolutti, Fire Dancer.

Laurence Cole, Old Growth Friend

By on 1-02-2013 in Friends, Photography

Laurence Cole, Old Growth Friend

The Biggest Old Growth Sitka Spruce is in the Quinault Valley on the Olympic Peninsula, where I had a long talk with it at the very end of 2012.

Having old friends is like growing up in an old growth forest, woven into its diversity.



The Biggest Old Growth Sitka Spruce is in the Quinault Valley on the Olympic Peninsula, where I had a long talk with it at the very end of 2012.

At the end of 2012, I was doing three things at once: visiting the old growth forests of the Olympic Peninsula, reading The Wild Trees by Richard Preston, and reconnecting with my old friend Laurence Cole and his partner Deanna Pumplin in Port Townsend.

Also running in the back of my mind was a project I’m doing with a colleague Merrill Watrous; she is developing an assignment for her education students in which they create a digital story about a book they have read that makes connections with their own lives.

All of those came together in this digital story celebrating Laurence Cole as an “old growth friend.” In this video, he and Deanna are seen comfortably at home singing a song Laurence wrote called “Trees Grow Slow.” Slow down, plant your roots, and just listen.

You can purchase music by Laurence Cole and the Songweavers at for  a ridiculously low price.