BY HEIDI SWEDBERG | PHOTOS BY STEWART DEAN

Besides the ukulele, what do you keep zipped away in your case?  Your talismans and tools might say more about you than you realize. Attendees and staff at Ashokan Center’s 2018 Uke Fest in New York’s Hudson River Valley opened up their cases for Ukulele magazine and revealed a little about themselves.

FRED SOKOLOW (INSTRUCTOR)
“Square” credit card swiper, tape to affix tiny set list to his watchstrap, glass slide, and extra strings.

BEN HASSENGER
Cough drops and nail strengthening polish, business cards, shaker, kazoo, pencil, tuner, moose, throat spray, instrument holder, charger for pick-up, snack.

BARBARA BOHRER
Gorilla Tips (fingertip protectors), tuning fork.

KEVIN CARROLL
Clothes pins, rubber ducky: “The ducky was gift from Uncle Rod of Seattle’s Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians—STRUM for short. I carry it because it reminds me of the inherent levity of the instrument and the generosity of spirit that the ukulele community shares. It makes me smile every time I see it.”

BONNIE HIRSCHHORN
Dancing shoes. “My passion for music inspires me to play uke with my hands and my heart, but I’m always prepared to play music with my feet and so my dance shoes go wherever I go. My little bag of joy—just in case!”

DAVID MOSS
Staff paper notebook.


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MALISSA VIEIRA
Foot tambourine.

LOUISE MARTIN
 “A hair clip holds my hair, and it can also keep my music or pencils clipped to the stand!”

JR HAVLAN
Eye drops, and “I also carry allergy medicine and ibuprofen, so my bag is basically like a harmless but helpful over-the-counter pharmacy.”

GERALD ROSS
Dental floss and earplugs. “Just because you are on the road, your dental hygiene should not suffer.” Gerald carries ear plugs so he can sleep through late-night jams and not “be that guy,” as well as share them with his roommates, because he has been known to snore.

MARY ANN DONOVAN
“Bling.” Mary Ann has bedazzled her tuner and case so she can tell them apart from identical ones in her group.

NANCY WILSON
“I always have my kazoo attached to Mardi Gras beads.”

STEPHEN VENTERS
Little tool kit including clothespins to keep music from blowing away, banjo picks, winning raffle tickets, tuner, and Swiss Army knife.


This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of Ukulele.


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