Izzy McT and the Ukulele Thread (aka happy 17th b-day Izzy!)

Our family first met Izzy McT when she was assigned to be Kami’s locker partner in 5th grade.  I immediately thought, I like this girl. She’d be a good friend for Kami. 

Two years later, Izzy’s dad rented our studio apartment for awhile, and on the days he had Izzy, she slept upstairs among us Goulashes (Goulds+Upshaws), firmly establishing her as Family.

There are countless Izzy tales, but here’s one of my favorites.

Two years ago, a few months after our niece Simone died, Izzy stopped by our house one lazy weekend day.  We were all home and ended up hanging out at the dining room table, talking.  Then out of the blue Izzy said, “Oh my god, have you seen Ukulele Anthem?!”  We said we hadn’t and she grabbed our laptop and before you know it we were watching Amanda Palmer singing Ukulele Anthem atop the Sydney Opera House.

Uke2.jpg (1366×768) Garth showed the Youtube video to Simone’s mom, Lauren. Lauren was seized by the carpe diem message of the whole song (“…remember we’re all gonna die/So play your ukulele”).  She went out and bought a ukulele – and so the Goulashes decided we should all get ukuleles. Lauren and I in particular started practicing together a couple days a week to work on songs together. Always, we would play Ukulele Anthem. I was so grateful to have something to do with Lauren that was connecting, and that also that gave some shape to her days: practice ukulele during the day so she could kick my butt when we played together in the evenings.   

My dad dug out the ukulele he’d bought for himself at the age of 14, over 55 years before.  We had it restrung and it became Kami’s ukulele. Before long, my parents got the bug and started playing, revisiting their days playing duets (on the recorder in the ’70’s).  In fact, pretty soon, the Goulashes had a couple songs we’d practiced together and had a little house concert at my parents’ 54th wedding anniversary.  We practiced a song to play for a friend’s wedding (didn’t happen – another story).

We spread the Ukulele Anthem far and wide.  My dear friend, Tanja, rehearsed it to play for my 52nd birthday (along with giving me a model of the Sydney Opera House, a flask of Jack, and an Etch-a-Sketch – which I naturally took to work).
The list of cause and effect goes on and on. Likely I have forgotten a twist or turn somewhere. What I love is that it all started with Izzy and her enthusiasm – and her knowing we would also love this video she thought was great.
Izzy has set so many wonderful things into motion in the world.  I’m glad to have benefited so much from her heart, her enthusiasm and her Izzy Energy.  Happy birthday, dear one.
2d911a8f08f23d2b4cf05a992da33421.jpg (236×329)
  1. Jacquie said:

    I LOVE this story! The circle of life. Friends that become family. Beautifully written katrina!

  2. Katie Luers said:

    We were just talking about 7 personality traits of successful people that Arden learned about in school. Zest is one, and so is curiosity! Izzy is already very successful!

    Katie Luers 503-964-8510


  3. Dee Packard said:

    This is totally inspiring! I think/feel your family with all its extensions is the modern
    “Leave it to Beaver” family. Reality show anyone?

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