FOCUS - NOVEMBER 2018 3 A guitarist, Andy Stevenson came into playing the ukulele “acciden- tally.” He was invited to the cottage of a friend who owned a ukulele. His first thought was, “I don’t want to play this silly little toy.” But then he picked up the ukulele and the in- struction book, and he was hooked. They played around the campfire that night, and, “It was so fun!” Andy went out and bought ukuleles for himself, his spouse Linda Lake, and her daughter, the very next day. Four years ago, Linda and Andy put up a notice at the local grocery store and the next week, there were six people in their living room, all playing ukuleles. Now there are over 40 people in The DUKES, aka The Durham Ukulele Klub. The Port Perry Legion is their new home, to accommodate this large group. They stage regular jam nights on the first and third Thursdays of each month, drawing people from far and wide: Orillia, Uxbridge, Aurora, Newmarket, Oshawa, Lindsay, and of course, Scugog township. “Our group is very inclusive and non-judgmental, and multi-genera- tional,” Linda described. Members range in age from high school students to an 87-year-old. All ability levels are welcome, including beginners. The ukulele is easier to play than the guitar, they agree. Even their 10 year-old granddaughter mastered it. She loves the Johnny Cash tunes. “If I can learn to play it, anyone can!” encouraged Linda. The ukulele is also an economical instrument, ranging in price from $50 to $1000, but Andy says you can buy a pretty good one for $100. The DUKES are sought after to entertain at a variety of events. On Canada Day, they performed at the Legion and everyone was up danc- ing. “It was a hoot,” Linda said. Other gigs include Brock’s Big Bite in Cannington, Probus Club of Port Perry in December, Canterbury ...................... Please turn to page 4 Front row floor L to R: Gord Emmerson, Linda Lake, Andy Stevenson, Fred Tierney, Kelly Ewing Second row seated L to R: Lynda Przybylo, Carol Matsuyama, Bob “1” Ashdown, Nancy Burford, Colleen Robertson, Carol Kingsley Third row seated L to R: Lynn Doucette, Bob “3” Burford, Trish Nesbitt, George Matsuyama, Peter Lightfoot Back row standing L to R: Lorin Brooker, David Brooker, Bob “2” Rankin, Dave Robertson, Pat Rankin PHOTOS BY MARYANN FLEMING