The Old Curmudgeon: A vote for talent – The A-H Factor

August 2014 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

The Old CurmudgeonBy Vern Holmquist

On the inside of The A-H Factor’s latest CD case, I read “Oregon is a place of great beauty and wonderful people, we trust this album reflects that. Thanks for the inspiration.” My recent visit with A-H Factor made me realize these words could not have been spoken more sincerely.

The A stands for August, Stefanie August with her well-trained voice and keyboard playing. The H stands for Husser, Mike Husser, bass guitar player who keeps a driving rhythm. They are professional musicians who retired a couple a years ago from the entertainment business in California. They were encouraged and guided by our mutual friend Jerry Grulkey  to move to Scotts Mills where they discovered the relaxed life they were seeking – a place to stop and smell the roses, a little more time to enjoy the good and important things in life.

They had no sooner moved to Scotts Mills before they started to put their praise of Oregon into words and music. Mike has plenty of knowledge that he acquired during as an editor of early television shows. They made their first CD using Stu Rasmussen’s facilities in Mount Angel. From there on, they began performing throughout the area from Canby to Molalla and Mount Angel to Silverton.  Most of the time, they generously donating their wonderful talents for one good cause or another. They enjoy giving back as a way to say thank you for the new joys they’ve found living here.

Mike Husser and Stefanie August, The A-H Factor.­­­­

Mike Husser and Stefanie August, The A-H Factor.­­­­

Now we will be hearing and seeing more of Stef and Mike. They perform Friday and Saturday evenings before the movie begins at the Palace Theater. They play on First Fridays and I’ve caught them playing a jam session with other locals at the Towne House and you may catch them at Howard Hinsdale’s Wine Cellars while enjoying the savory delights served there.

Stef entered the AARP Boomer Superstar Contest and has been selected as one of 30 semifinalists out of 1,200 entries. If you are over 45 years old, you can help Stefanie win by voting for her, and you can vote every day by visiting www. aarpcontest.   Click on the link that says VIEW AND VOTE.  You will hear Stefanie sing an old jazz standard You Do Something To Me. By voting you have a chance to win $3,000 and will help Stefanie become a finalist.  Just press the button that says LOVE IT to enter your vote.

Mike and Jerry were high school classmates. Jerry became involved with the technical aspects of early television and later became known for his collection of some 250 television sets showing their advancement through the early years. He was personally acquainted with pioneers in the industry. Mike became involved in editing television programs including The Johnny Carson Show, Days Of Our Lives and The Gong Show. While they were close friends in those early days, they lost touch with each other for some 45 years. Along the way Mike became known for his bass guitar playing and worked with some of the rock-and-roll stars, Little Richard, Taj Mahal, Buffy Saint Marie and other greats. He has some interesting stories to tell.

While I’m at it I will mention that my friend Jerry has convinced other talented people that our area of Oregon is a great place to live and work. Among those is the Barbie Lady with her unique art and Jon Deshler, a nationally known photographer and trumpet player. (Jon was the man who helped bring that wonderful Air Force Band concert to the Festhalle).

For about nine years Jerry and his dear wife Sandy have been restoring the historic Scotts house in Scotts Mills, bringing it back to its original condition.  Thank you, Jerry and Sandy, for introducing us to these very talented people who are now adding so much to our community.

The A-H Factor’s latest CD is named after their original composition Oregon Rain. Visit the website at, where you can order their CD and follow their schedule of appearances.

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