Some years ago a young man from Brooklyn, New York, traveled overland to India in search of a guru to learn the secrets of Hindustani Ragsangeet.

He needed to learn this music and to study the Ancient Sanskrit texts to provide the solace that the study of Ancient Greek had provided Henry David Thoreau. Donald believed he would build a hut beside a pond. And raise goats. It seemed like a good thing to do. It was, after all, the Spring of 1968: the Kennedys and Martin Luther King were dead and Donovan sang Here Comes the Hurdy-Gurdyman, whoever that was. And thanks to his asthma and hay-fever the draft board told Donald they'd call him only if they ran out of others more fit. He was a hippie and free to go. He sometimes still wonders, in a what-if? frame of mind, if a draft-dodging flight to Sweden might not have lead him to the hurdy-gurdy or nickelharpe. What-ifs are futile but often quite amusing.

He travelled through Europe, traveling East across Hungary. There he passed a school yard where a ten year old girl named Anicet played with her school-mates. He watched her for a moment, felt strangely moved, and then moved on to Istanbul, Erzurum, Teheran, Herat, Khandahar, Kabul, Lahore and onto to India. Those were the days when such a trip was possible and a steady trickle of hippies were there, on the road. Donald's hair and beard grew more wild during those months of travel.

In the ancient mudhole called Erzurum, he met Kurt from Rafz, Switzerland, also on his way to India. Kurt's eyes sparkled with a joy for being "On the Road". He, and later on with his wife Liz, were Donald's first real travel buddies

In India Donald studied the king of North Indian musical instruments, the Sarod, with Pandit Vasant Rai, one of the great artists and teachers of the last (or any) century. Vasantji's teachings initiated Donald into the world of bourdon music. Vasantji's kindness (and that of his wife and children), his gentle sense of humour and joy, his sense of art as divine play, or lila, gave Donald a direction

And Donald discovered that he loved travelling to far-away countries to learn and play music, tell outrageous travel tales, and be "On the Road".

When Donald's oldest brother Robert died of cancer at age twenty-eight, Donald looked out at the sun setting in the Indian Ocean and wondered "What's it all about? What's it all for? What should I do? What do I really want to do?

Why not be a travelling musician and puppeteer?
he asked.

Dear Freinds, please realize that of all the pages in this La Folia Itinerante website, this page is the most difficult to bring to even an introductory level of meaning?

Besides the sheer folly of trying to put two whole lives onto a webpage, we don't even have at hand the photos, audio, video and other document that we do have.
So, should you be part of this prologue and not see your photo or a mention, wait! This page will grow to thousands of gigabytes and include a holographic real-time Obie-Wan Kinobe We Need Your Help style re-play of our lives!

We are working on it!

We are blessed with a wonderful home…
…we are blessed with wonderful friends and teachers…
…blessed with an extended family full of love…
And yet here we are ready to give up so much to go on the road and be Gurdybuskers: ready to leave so much behind for La Folia Itinerante.
Donald:

Help! I'm shrinking!
Let's go before I disappear entirely!

Donald sets off for Budapest to continue his Hurdy-Gurdy Lessons.