Fred, the Milk Man

I Bin dr Fredi Milchma (Tom Lewis)

This is a song by Tom Lewis, and I learned it from playing and recording with my good friend Mike Milne.

This song is about a man who was integral to life in the Swiss town I grew up in… a man I knew a half a century ago, who’s job I’m now doing. The English (this) version of the blog entry is probably more of a report on what I’ve been up to in the last year.

In the spring of 19, i left Nova Scotia to spend some time in Cuba, and then came to my old town in Switzerland.

I almost immediately got myself a part time job at the dairy Co-op, delivering milk, cheese, yogurt and other products to medical and community institutions, hotels and restaurants. I also fill in (sometimes) making cheese fondue or selling ice cream produced from milk of the co-op shareholders.

The job came to me through Stefanie, who’s boyfriend Claudio plays drums in one of the oldest bands in town: “Linksvortritt”. One of the guitar players in that band, Ralph, recorded my latest album “Bad Ragaz” in the rehearsal space of that band. They seem to consider me a closet-case-punk and connected me with performing opportunities elsewhere in the country.

The Swiss German lyrics in the song were inspired by countless folks in these parts. They sometimes call me milk man (boy) and remind me of this Fred, who delivered milk to local residences with his horse and wagon. (See picture of this post). It plays on concepts like local economy and supply chains, small versus big business, and plain old romanticism.

Things went really well until about the 7th of March, when I was the last act to entertain at a giant outdoor bar, more than 6000 feet above sea level, at a famous ski resort. After that, the second half of my income disappeared. I could tell quite a long story. How the Swiss Corona experience is different from what my Canadian friends tell me. I’m not going to do that. Not today.

I am safe (as can be) working in the food supply chain and being supported by friends and family, kind and engaged employers, and a growing following for my local language internet posts….

Love and miss you all…

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