- Associated Press - Monday, October 26, 2015

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) - Live. Love. Ukulele.

It’s less of an instrument than it is a lifestyle. And it’s probably harder to spell than it is to play.

“It’s the ease of entry. It’s so easy to pick up,” Holland resident Leo Herzog said of playing the ukulele. “It’s a great beginner instrument.”

Herzog, who along with his father, Chris Herzog, and a group of about a half-dozen other men, gathered in the basement of Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church on Oct. 17 to play their ukuleles together.

The group, called Holland Ukulele Group Strummers, was started about a year ago by the retired Bruce Cooke and meets one Saturday a month, if they can.

“Now I have time to do what I wanted to in high school,” he told The Holland Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1M1xW3X ).

The group regularly features a half-dozen or more members, ranging in age and expertise.

The ukulelists strum through all types of songs for about two hours. Some sing along, others just strum away.

“It’s easy and it’s social,” Cooke said.

“This is what it’s all about,” said Mike Hefferan, a Hudsonville resident. He couldn’t even put into words what playing the ukulele is like for him.

“I don’t know, you just gotta try it,” he said. “If you haven’t tried it I can’t tell you. You just strum along, hum along and enjoy yourself.

“It will change your life forever. It’s fun and life-enriching.”

Ron Linkfield, a 72-year-old General Electric Aviation retiree, said he plays every day.

“It’s something to occupy my time and keep my mind sharp,” he said.


Information from: The Holland Sentinel, https://www.thehollandsentinel.com

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