ALTARS — Backstory

I was in Mexico during Dia de los Muertos and became captivated by how the dead are celebrated every Nov. 1-2,The Day of the Dead, when relatives of the dead build altars decorated with pictures, possessions, marigolds and favorite foods of the person gone. I came back to the US, wishing we had something similar to remember our dead. It was when I was bicycling, in a bike lane on a heavily-trafficked Los Angeles street, that I saw something that made me realize we do, indeed, have our own version. “Altars.”

Judy Nazemetz

THE WAY BACK — Backstory

I took a trip back to Rhode Island for a mini reunion with my Tri Delta sorority sisters from the University of Rhode Island. We drove to Kingston (formerly Little Rest) and the campus of URI in an SUV that had four rows of seats — the front seat, the back, the way back, and the way way back. We gabbed. We reminisced. We drove on a path that used to be a road in front of Coddington Hall and parked. A campus policeman said “move the car” but after we convinced him we were old and feeble, he took our picture in front of our old dorm. Thanking him profusely, we ladies hopped back into the back, the way back and the way way back of the SUV and proceeded to drive down another path that used to be a road. What happened to all the roads? And why were there so many one-way streets? We finally exited the campus, at one point driving over a curb from another path that surely must have once been a road. The laughs we shared. The paths we took. The Del’s lemonade we slurped in Newport. That’s the story behind “The Way Back” and how I went back to the way back in the way way back.

Judy Nazemetz


Behind that locked door...



It took one trip to FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West) and the “Now See Hear” challenge in Oakland CA for Judy to realize how perfectly her improv background meshed with her music sensibilities. “Pick a photograph, any photograph I have here, look at it, remember it, write a song about it. Do you want to do it?” asked Phil Ward, the creator of “Now See Hear.” “Sure,” said Judy, “that’s what I do.” She chose the photo below and wrote the song “Behind That locked Door,” on Judy’s second album, Balancing Act, coming soon.

Photographer: Monique Stevens

Judy Nazemetz

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