Casco Celebrants in the Land of their Ancestors (Pakruojis, Lithuania) ---June 8, 2000

The Tummlers with their hosts in Pakruojis.

"The Casco Bay Tummlers", a Jewish music and song ensemble, played for three days in Linkuva and Pakruojis. Extending their tour after the international festival "Skamba, Skamba Kankliai" (Sings, Sings the Kanklis [lyre-like traditional Lithuanian instrument] this ensemble from the USA, led by Julie Goell, dropped in on Linkuva. Julie had already been here eight years ago, searching for the trail of her great-grandparents. Now, declares the Jewish music ensemble leader, she is trying to connect the past with the present. Ms. Goell remembered that the piece of land her grandfather bought at that time was very similar to Linkuva. The klezmer music performers very much liked Linkuva, which is preparing for its 500th anniversary in July. The ensemble members joked that their concert was a gift for the upcoming celebration. Linkuvans warmly received the guests in the culture house. Resounding applause accompanied Danny Mills', Nancy Hofman's, Hayes Porterfield's and Carl Dimow's songs and music on the Pakruojis culture house stage. The foreigners visited a cemetery of their ethnicity in Pagulianka. Julie Goell tried to read the Hebrew writing on the old headstones. Visiting a Lithuanian cemetery, the soloist and contrabass-playing Julie gathered...stones. The pink symbolize pain, death, and the black hope and faith. She brought a bag of them back to Casco Bay. It was important to the guests to visit a living symbol of the flat land, a mill, so they visited the beautiful one in Udekis. The clarinet player, Mexican Danny Mills examined all the Linkuva and Pakruojis chimneys, seeing them not just as a musician but as a stonemason-welder. For the young drummer, American Hayes Porterflield, Linkuva girls brought a wreath of flowers...

written by----Nijole Padoriene "Lietuvos zinios"
translated by----Andrew Lyons