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Catching Up With

Chatting With Jackie Ryan

By Published: April 2, 2004
AAJ: With whom would you like to be stranded on a desert island?

JR: I better not answer that one! (chuckle)

AAJ: What puts a smile on your face? (Sean Connery's face, farmhouses by the sea, a cozy fire,a ballad by Ben Webster, etc?)

JR: Clark Terry's mumbles, Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing and singing "Mood Indigo" at the same time, Ibrahim Ferrer doing the Cuban Chicken dance at 78 yrs old, watching Toots Thielemans get down, ah that's all just "Better Than Anything" to me!

And nature. And animals. I remember once I was feeling blue and came home and my cat came running up to greet me and did that cute thing they do when they are happy to see you. Threw herself down, rolled over and stretched! I had been so sad and when I saw her do that I immediately cracked up, it was so cute. I live in a beautiful town that, fortunately, is loaded with nature. It keeps me smiling. Lots of deer outside. Sometimes you see the little white-tailed baby deer prancing around or even suckling their mothers. I get to see hummingbirds every day. And tiny finches hop around my backyard. There is a Blue Jay I have named "Sneaky Pete" who continually sneaks into my office when the door is open. I yell at him and he runs out and then sneaks back in again. I hear a shuffling, turn around and see him peering around the door at me. It's a game. One time I came in and he was sitting on top of my computer screen. It's hysterical! And then children always make me smile.

Also, all of my friends and my siblings have a great sense of humor and keep me laughing. I have to have fun people around me! So there ya go, a few of My Favorite Things!

AAJ: How do you see yourself in your Golden Years?

JR: My "Anos Dourados"! I intend to be still excited by life. There are so many things to do in life. So many art forms to explore. I have dabbled in painting, pottery, gardening, and photography. I love to cook. I would like to sculpt. I want to travel a lot more. To experience as much as I can in life. As you get older I think it is important to try to stay open and loving no matter what is thrown at you. Everyone gets stuff thrown at them. The real challenge is staying positive and forgiving, of people and of life. I know some older people who are angry at life. They end up bitter. You have to find a way of accepting that life has its own perfection. And be at home with that one.

In my older years I will want to make new young friends because they will keep me young. And I hope that I will always have time. To create. To be with friends. Time to listen.

AAJ: Any last comments or observations?

JR: Thanks Roger for your wonderful reviews! Thank you for supporting jazz! And thank you and All About Jazz for this fun interview!

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