Last year at The Ark, my klezmer show got bumped for Judy Collins. She took our slot.

Ann Arbor’s ukulele-master Gerald Ross, who was a sideman emailed me then: “I saw The Ark schedule. I don’t think we’re playing Feb. 9 [2013], because you’re not Judy Collins.”

I had a lock on that date! I emailed The Ark. The Ark said how about another date? I suggested a couple more Saturday nights. The Ark said how about a Friday night.

I don’t play Friday nights if I can help it. I like to stay home for Friday nights – the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat). Sometimes my Shabbats are just a couple hours, but they’re always on Friday night! I once heard a Reform rabbi say, “Say a prayer over your pizza if you’re out with your kids on Friday night.” I’m all for that. I “hold” by that. (“Hold” is a Jewish verb for “I follow that custom.”)

I reluctantly took the Friday night slot last year, but didn’t put “Friday” in my publicity.

I got up to Ann Arbor on Friday afternoon and met up with an old college friend, Charlie Burch. He had just donated his 196070s political buttons (No!/Nein/Nyet/Non/Lo, March on Washington, Go Michigan Beat Thailand) to an archive in the Graduate Library. I wondered who still used the library. The answer: Charlie.

He pointed out where various buildings don’t exist anymore. Like Centicore Books, Borders Books, Orange Julius and Miller’s Ice Cream.

I like touring Ann Arbor. It’s the only place I’ve lived other than Cleveland. I graduated U-M in 1973.

I said a private Shabbat prayer in a Mexican restaurant, Sabor Latino, before my gig. I opened the gig with “Shalom Aleykhem,” a well-known Friday night song, and I wished the Jews at The Ark a “Shabbat shalom.”

I had a good one – a good Shabbat. But playing publicly on Friday night is not optimal for me.

Yiddishe Cup is playing on a Saturday this year Feb. 8 [2014]. Praise the Lord!