I believe a traditional potluck event is one where the potato salad always comes in the same bowl. An event where a few minutes spent 20 years ago with someone merits a warm embrace just because you’re relatives, or some similar brand of kin. I lean towards events where people eat, greet, dance and play music, maybe for days or weeks on end.
The value of that type of gathering has defined my various small contributions to our community or our society. Every year since second grade I had some special event to soak up my extra energy at school; things like a choreography, a clean playground campaign, and dramatic morality plays. My momentum towards those goals drew in plenty of participants who had their own aspects to add to our consensus of ”perfect.” In my 20’s, wanting nothing but to dance, I was soon a square dance caller. This resulted in a recording project called ”Potluck and Dance Tonite” and years of touring spreading the gospel of community dancing. Many others recordings followed, mostly old time and New England dance music, some of which have been re-released on CD.
Getting off the road and coming home was intentional. I wanted to be in my own community, where there were now plenty of callers and I could get off the stage and dance.
The Seattle NPR station offered me a weekly show of my choosing, so Greg and Jere Canote and I put together a show of good attitude and authentic music. We wanted to bridge the gap between celebrities who are human, and unknowns who bring a different kind of excellence. The show was called Potluck, and it aired from Murphy’s Pub in Seattle for 6 years, then moved to the Museum of History and Industry auditorium for the next 7, ending in about 1997. We do an annual Christmas Reunion show at the same location, which is aired on KBCS.
Potluck Gallery brought art to our community.
I worked for 30 years as an auctioneer for benefit auctions in the Seattle area, doing what I could to support the place where art and community overlap. My book, Benefit Auctions: A Fresh Formula for Grassroots Fundraising, was published by Pineapple Press in 2004.
It was time to find a vocation that did not require me to wave my arms cheerleading every night. I moved to Willapa Bay to be with Larry Warnberg, an organic oyster farmer, and went back to school, in Art. I now work in ceramics and 2-D.
Over the course of the last 5 years we gathered clues and equipment to replicate a cement tile making process. Now we’re making colored, patterned concrete tiles, with a press and a foot-pump to take each tile up to 40,000 psi. The pattern is 1/4” thick, so they should last at least 200 years, developing a lovely patina.
In 2004, Mark Meritt wrote me and asked to have the Potluck domain name, which I’d had from the days of the radio show. His letter was so thoroughly right-minded I had to let him have it. In exchange, he had to call me up once every two weeks for a year to exchange ideas, and I retained access to the domain to keep in touch with my friends.
By now you know if you found the Sandy Bradley you were seeking, and why I passed on the potluck.com domain.
Eat well, Share.