Sunday, April 02, 2017

Do the right thing? I can barely tie my shoes!


Have you noticed that people are now starting their sentences with the word "So"....followed by a thoughtful pause? "Dr. Jones, what's big pharma's response to the latest criticism regarding the increase in the cost of prescriptions to senior citizens?" (Dr. Jones) "So,...we feel... yadda yadda....."  Or "Senator, How will the new tax plan affect the constituency in your home state of Minnesota?"  (Senator) So.....given the current state of the national tax rate vs yadda...and.....yadda." At first it sounded kinda cool. Now....not so much. There's a little bit of a cringe factor every time I hear it. It comes across as a stall tactic. Like "That's a great question, Bob." Does he/she really think Bob just came up with a great question?
    I remember when I came home from college for Christmas break circa 1970. I was talking music with one of my best pals. He said, "Yeah...I just can't get into Crosby, Stills and Nash." It sounded foreign and a little pretentious. But soon I was referring to the things I couldn't "get into." And then it's in the lexicon and one day you overhear your parents saying it. I can "get into" hip phrases, like the above, "now, not so much"..... but the stalling "so"....not....so much?
   So.....I've been doing a radio show every Thursday morning for the last twenty four years. Post current election I've had a few interesting experiences. A gentleman called me about two weeks after Donald Trump ascended the presidency. He said he'd been a fan of the show but could no longer listen as I was obviously a Trump supporter. Now...I play music, relate some goofy tales and might make a political comment once every.....well....I don't remember, and then, usually just as a chuckle. As a reference, my voting record has been Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, McCain...and...I'll leave it there. I ain't that political! At first I laughed till I realized he was serious. I told him I appreciated his listenership and support and directed him up the dial to another show he may enjoy. A week later. A WEEK! I got a call from a woman who informed me she could no longer listen to my show as I was obviously a Hilary supporter. I thanked her for her listenership and support and directed her to a station up the dial that she may enjoy. I just don't have the energy to argue about this stuff. No one's gonna change any one's mind! People now immediately believe any sound byte that supports their side. And there's enough information out there to support any argument from any angle on any given day. I tell my friends on the left the same thing I told my friends on the right eight years ago. Relax. It'll be fine. Live your life. You'll get another chance.
    I never did get this "wanting the president to fail" thing. With Obama or Trump. That just gave/gives me a creepy feeling. Maybe this'll turn out ok. Maybe it won't. That's why we have elections. Hey man, I'm just plodding through life trying to pay my bills every month. If I get to play some music every now and then, sit out back in the sunshine with my dog or just hang out with Linda and enjoy laughing at this nutty world while binge watching Netflix........ well....that's good enough.  And who the hell has time to go to  protests, marches, etc. Again, that paying the rent thing. If you feel you must...I applaud you. I went to a couple Vietnam war protests back in the day but if I'm gonna be honest....it was to meet girls. Also, I had a low lottery number and thought there was a good chance Uncle Sam would be sending me on an all expense paid trip to Southeast Asia sometime that year. It never happened. I've always regretted that. Not at the time ...... but more recently. I have this feeling I let somebody down. This country's been pretty good to me. And I've been lax in the effort department. How 'bout a do over?  Now that I know how it works, I'm ready.
    Remember the movie, "Do the right thing?" I never saw it. But I've become a proponent of the concept. A drummer friend of mine bought some maracas which turned out to be crap and broke fairly quickly. He brought them back to the store. The sales guy said, "Waddaya want me to do?" My disgruntled pal said, "I just want you to do the right thing." The sales guy swapped them out for a better pair at no extra charge. Do the right thing. That stuck with me. I've since made a better effort to do the right thing. To TRY to do the right thing. I fail...often. But less and less. And the more conscious you are of doing the right thing the more that feeling in your belly will remind you when you're not. I was about to list a bunch of what might be the right things you can do but you already know them. And it's mainly little things. As you're throwing something in the trash and you notice more trash a few feet away chuck that in, too. As Ed Norton said, "The small details, Ralph." (I'm RICH! Nawtin, get the bag!) No one under fifty will get that.
     On the aforementioned radio station I've had the opportunity to train a number of people. It's diversified programming and the question always comes up, What should I play? What's a popular format?" The answer's always the same. It has to be. Play what you like....what you know.... and let your audience find you. 'Cause whatever you play someone's gonna think you're a Hilary supporter and that other guy's gonna think you're a Trump supporter. Someone's gonna hate the Stones and someone's gonna love the Stones. I'd get a call every once in a while from a guy who'd open with, "Turn that crap off!" Well, I'd tell him how much I missed him and, of course, would proceed to turn that crap up! I do miss that guy. He was so.....disgruntled. Gotta respect that.
And there you have it. Some Brain (K)nots for a Sunday afternoon. Agree....disagree. Doesn't matter. Cuz...my water bill's due. AGAIN!
Good luck.        Peace.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

A "Rock" Of Ages

"There is a path, no simple highway
 Between the dawn and the dark of night
 And if you go, no one may follow
 That path is for your steps alone."
Freewheelin 1975


   This is a verse from the Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia tune "Ripple." I've heard this song broken out at different poignant life moments. Funerals, weddings, graduations, openings, closings etc. My best buddy, band mate, road co pilot...Rock.....passed away in a Connecticut hospice yesterday. Liver complications and post cancer problems were the main culprits. From all accounts he faded away peacefully in his sleep. It's been a tough road. As his friend/brother I can say he brought it on himself. He seemed like he was working towards this end. If his liver was a cartoon it'd have a big wide mouth on it screaming STOP!!! And so it goes......
  I met Rock when I moved from Plainfield, NJ to Piscataway, NJ. in 1966. Age thirteen. I was already in a Plainfield band but distance dictated a new road. My neighbor, Ronnie, got a set of drums and put me on to a guitar player who lived down the road. Rock. I remember sitting in Rock's bedroom watching him play some surf instrumentals. This was a far cry from the British Invasion stuff I'd been playing. He had a Stratocaster copy and didn't miss a note. I was impressed. We grabbed Mike to play bass and George, a local lady killer to sing and front and The Plague was born. We settled into a cross between The Beach Boys and The Yardbirds winning an audition for our first gig at mine and Ron's junior HS, Conackamack, conveniently located around the corner from our houses. Ronnie and I were standing outside the school that Friday afternoon when Rock finally appeared over the hill frantically pushing a wheelbarrow containing our PA/guitar system, a Univox amp Rock's mother bought that supported two guitars and two mics. Decked out in high roll and Beatle boots, as we were, he was a sight to behold.
  Band battles, local parties and dances followed but the plague came to a close as high school began. Rock disappeared into a girlfriend and only made sporadic appearances. Once he appeared at my house on a Saturday afternoon to borrow my English Leather Lime. Remember that stuff?  I told him he could have some but the bottle had to stay as I needed it also. He wasn't happy with that. After a visit to the bathroom he left in kind of a huff. I had a brief suspicion and went up to check my English Leather and there was the box right where it should be. That night I was heading out and went for the lime. The box was weirdly light because the BOTTLE WAS GONE!!!!! In that moment I may have been capable of murder. But by the time I saw Rock again I was calmed down and had come to appreciate the slick move. Bravo. Rock was an only child and  we'd run into him at the weirdest times; movies, baseball games, and he'd usually be alone. I didn't really get that till later on when he mentioned how he envied us all having siblings and got used to doing things alone. He was always a popular guy but was just as comfortable alone as he was in a crowd. I guess.
  He was always surprising me. Like when he played Romeo in a High School production, English accent and all. In later years he could always bring the house down with the "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks" monologue. He also became a defensive end for the Immaculata HS football team. He wasn't big but he was quick. One of my proudest moments was during a neighborhood football game when I outran Rock for a touchdown. I guess I was really on and he was a little off. He said, "Ya got me on that one." First and last time. But I remember it like it was yesterday.  
  Fast forward to our early 20s. Rock reappeared as a single man as guitars were broken out and the Plague was reborn. His mom, Fran, again sprung for a PA system and practice space in their basement.  Lots of beer, homemade wine via Rock's dad, Harry, different aromatic substances and music, music, music. The Plague was now The Wichita Straw Band and eventually Freewheelin'. Rock and I survived a road trip to Denver in his MG Midget and a VW trip to Tucson with two other pals. He got a VW Camper and gigs were on. Some personnel changes as guys took different paths and Freewheelin' had a pretty good run on the 70's NJ club scene. We opened up for Blackfoot, a raucous Native American band at The Final Exam, where we were warned to not be too good and don't play over our time. These guys were scary. But at the end of the night they invited us onto their bus for a helluva party into the wee hours.  We opened up for Sauce at the Strand Theater in Plainfield; the same theater where Rock and I had double dated when we were fourteen. Full circle.  Lots of miles, gigs, Grateful Dead concerts, recording, chasing women.....sometimes catching them.....sometimes running from them..... and eventually sharing a band house in the hills of Hunterdon County.
  I was proud  to be asked to be Rock's best man but he soon felt the call to leave music and join the real world. He was a born salesman and eventually owned his own company. Just as we all figured he would. My father used to say, "That guy could sell ice to an Eskimo." He was Eddie Haskell....but likeable......without the nasty Haskelly stuff. A sincerity shone through. He had a beautiful daughter Christine, from his first marriage and two boys, Tim and Adam, from his second. He'd also been doing some gigs with Adam who sounds just like him. I visited him in a Hartford hospital on Thanksgiving Day and  got to see him enjoying his new granddaughter. I had a little alone time with him and got to tell him I loved him. He responded in kind, I gave him a kiss on the cheek and left. I think those long business lunches and road time contributed to the problems I mentioned earlier....and yesterday he said good bye. His wife Donna has been through it. A real trouper and a wonderful partner.
  So many stories left out. The sit down lawn mower. Playing and joining in bar brawls. Being invited to practice on his first wife's family's property and how that turned out. Not good. Bad dates. Good dates. Hitch hiking adventures. Chases in the snow from irate drivers who's just been pelted with snowballs. Cuttin' out on the check. (not proud of that) Cuttin' out on each other. An infamous Piscataway tradition. Break downs at 3 o' clock in the morning on a winter highway.
  Rock had a good heart. He was always cool. Even after I dropped his Gibson SG and the neck snapped he wouldn't let me pay to have it fixed. As he'd always say, "Hey...shit happens."  We didn't talk as much as his career rolled but I still would get that occasional message or text that would start with, "Remember that time".....Remember that guy"....."Who was the guitar player that night"....."Who did that song".... and on and on. And when he was in the neighborhood on a sales visit there was always time for a long lunch at a favorite haunt. Man, did we laugh! I asked him to be an usher at my wedding during one of those lunches. (my  brother got the best man spot) In his Rock way he said, "Yeah, I guess I can suit up one more time."
  He was a pretty good rhythm guitar player, a good singer, a very good banjo player and an excellent front man. "Don't forget folks, the more you drink, the better we sound." "This is an old Chinese song we'd like to do called tun ing." Just a couple classics. But most importantly, he was my brother....my friend.  There's a hole in my life, my....our.... hearts, that will eventually be filled by lots of good memories. But for now....just a hole. In the words of the late great Jimi Hendrix, a quote that Rock, and I, liked to summon up every now and then, "If I don't see you in this life, I'll see you in the next. And don't be late."         Peace..........
 
National Hotel 2004
 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Still here....somehow.......

II
  I just turned 64. I swear I never thought I'd make it this far. When I think back to some of my "antics"....well.......I'm thankful I'm here. I'm a slow learner. I'm just starting to get it. Well, maybe around 50 I started to get it. I'm a Pisces. I'm a dreamer. If I could get paid for dreaming I'd have a mansion on the hill. The thing is.....I never wanted a mansion on a hill.
   We've all seen the posts regarding the "dangers" we survived as kids. Some real. Some....not so dangerous. Kids rolling around in the back of a station wagon with no seat belts is ,,,,fun?.....dangerous? Walking to school by yourself? No bike helmets? Etc and so on. You decide. There was a big drainpipe we used to walk through in Greenbrook Park in Plainfield, NJ. Went on for hundreds of yards. I later found out that gas was released through that pipe in regular intervals. Cheated death again. Falls through the ice, exploring new and old deserted buildings, cutting through cemeteries, flying down hills across roads on bikes with no brakes, On and on.
   In my job I meet lots of parents. The job seems to be....keep the kids occupied at all time! Early school starts, sports, sports, sports and hours of homework seem to be the norm. College tours are starting in sophomore year. I decided I wanted to go to The University of Texas at El Paso in my senior year. I applied, got accepted, secured a $1,000.00 loan (this covered tuition, books and dorm...with a meal plan), my mom co signed and I was off. Never went to see the school. Mom bought me a suitcase for HS graduation and gave me a ride to Newark Airport in September. See ya at Christmas!
   I was....am.... lucky. As a kid I feel like I had it all. Good home life. Family dinners every day around 5:30. Friends. Baseball. Lots of freedom. Adventures. Plenty of alone time. (That Pisces/dreamer thing), TV, choir, altar boy, and later...uh oh.....musician.  My popularity increased. Maybe the intense competition was there, but if it was....it went right over my head. I know this is sacrilege but I never minded coming in second. And it made coming in first that much sweeter. Competition, from what I observe, has reached an intensity that I, and my pals never experienced. Again. Better? Worse? I guess it depends on the singular experience. But the world has become more intense, more competitive.
   Stupidity also entered the picture later on. Driving to the gig with four guys in a VW camper with no seat belts, loaded with equipment, beer and bags of weed.....probably not a good idea. Ditto for the ride home. The danger factor just never crossed our mind. Really. Or hitch hiking from El Paso to Hollywood. Hitch hiking  was the mode of travel in the 60's and 70's.  But again....survived. Most of us. Some dangers we bring on. Others are just out there. And that's life on planet earth. As long as lessons are learned along the way...and there's still room for Bugs Bunny and the Three Stooges........I'm cool with it.
  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve......AGAIN!?!?

    What a beautiful day. Sun streaming in....surrounded by guitars and drums, Molly, with a full belly and beggin' for a walk, Linda roamin' around lookin' gorgeous gettin' ready for work....... and I'm off. Yeah....life is good. I said to myself, "Lyons...this is a good time to blog. But I'm gonna skip the blogosphere and post this right to Facebook. Read....don't read. It's only therapy, man. And it may take awhile.
 Some years back I was training at a Princeton commercial AM radio station. They said they wanted to hire me 'cause they liked my WDVR show. I thought...."Cool." But between having to play the songs with the blue dot and the songs with the red dot, traffic, weather, news, commercials for the Priceton Record Exchange (love that place) promos etc......I didn't have time to have any .....fun. So the GM came in and the conversation, to the best of my recollection, went something like this. (Him) "Lyons, How ya doin?" (Me) Well, ok but, feeling a little bit....um.... restricted. Not a lot of time to vamp. (Him) "Waddaya mean. Right here between "Horse With No Name" and "Goings on in the area" you have 45 secs to go nuts!" (Me) "C'mon man, it takes me 45 secs to clear my throat." That was my last day of training.
   I was watching the news earlier and they had a lot of year end wrap ups. One of them was women in sports. The first female pitcher to win a Little League World Series game. She had a 70 MPH fastball!! On the boardwalk, on my best day, I could hit, maybe 55? And the youngest female golfer to qualify for the professional tour. 11 yrs old. (I think).
   I've known some extraordinary women. I'm living with one. The last few years have been a challenge for Linda. Spur of the moment trips to Pittsburgh, at all hours of the day or night, to take, pick up, or just be with her daughter in the hospital. Carrie's there as we speak. Linda just got back yesterday. (Thanks for your support and inquiries. No definite news yet on organ rejection) How many nights have I held her just wishing I could make it all better. I couldn't. Or waking up in the middle of the night to hear her crying in the bathroom. She didn't want to wake me up. My hero.
   My mom went through numerous amputations before she finally died after a long battle with a rare circulatory disease. She worked, took care of a disabled husband, a mother with Alzheimers and always had the door open for a musician son for extended stays when needed. She also bought me my first acoustic guitar..... and my first electric guitar and amp. And sprung for $5/week guitar lessons. She was kind of curious when the whole women's lib thing started. She was already living it. My hero.
   My mom died on New years day and my father died on New Years Eve. About ten years apart. So this time of year is always a little "weird" for me. Most New Years Eve's I have a gig. Tonight I don't. But I'll get to spend some time with one of my heros.
   I've been listening to a lot of Joel Osteen lately. He doesn't drive religion down your throat but is more inspirational, upbeat, positive. Delusional, some may say. I dig it. His main message is .....and I quote the great Bobby McFerrin......"Don't worry, be happy." Give your problems to....dare I say it....God. Or whomever/whatever you believe in. Things will work out just the way they're supposed to work out. A good number of your worries you have no control over, anyway. Try it. Try it for an hour. DON'T WORRY! It's not easy. But man, it feels good.
  Deviating like a drunk at a New Years Eve party......... Linda and I were talking about how rough cavemen/women had it. Especially before fire. (We have some strange conversations) Can you imagine?!?! Another one of those news bits from earlier. Cold, sick, hungry....for life! Toothaches, unhealed broken bones, no iTunes! Do we have challenges? Yeah. But it ain't so bad. I watched a Neflix movie the other night about the universe....how big it is...how small we are...
   So...to all my Facebook friends, regular friends, family, co workers, WDVR listeners (I'll be on tomorrow, 6 AM) have a wonderful happy safe New Years Eve. Don't drink and drive. Pet a dog, rub a cat (as Stymie said,"There's only one way to rub a cat. I found that out."), climb a tree, roll in the grass, smell a baby, dance your ass off and.....be patient. Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff. Peace
yadda. I love those things. We're here for a blip. A blip of a blip. We go by so fast a blip says, "Whoa, what the hell was that?" So what's with all the self importance. I'm gonna look at myself in the mirror and say, "SHUT UP!" That's better. (History of the Eagles is also a pretty good watch).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wha?

     I first saw The Doughboys in 1965. I was finishing a Friday night rehearsal with the Plainfield, NJ St. Mary’s Boys Choir and was making my way up from the basement when I heard The Yardbirds “For Your Love” coming out of the gym/assembly hall. WHAT??? I’d spent the last seven years in that school with the Sisters of (no) Mercy and that sound just didn’t jive! The five guys onstage were called the Ascots and their guitar player, my paperboy, Mike Farina…. had been downstairs singing with the choir an hour earlier. The bass player, Mike Caruso, was a neighborhood guy I was friendly with and the drummer, Richie Heyman, and I, did a couple seasons with the Braves in the Plainfield Little League. The lead singer, Myke Scavone, had been the drummer for the Apollos who I remembered from the Plainfield Fourth of July parade about a year earlier. And their other guitar player, Willy Kirchofer I’d seen playing guitar on his porch one afternoon a few months earlier. I tried to wrangle him into my band but he said he was already in a band. Yeah….sure. These guys were all about two years older than my crew and when you’re twelve and they’re fourteen that’s a serious gap. I’d been hearing music coming from Mike Farina’s house just on the other side of my back yard. That was, finally, The Ascots.
     Plainfield, NJ, like the rest of Main St. America, was in the throes of a 60’s/British Invasion/Carnaby St/folk/rock/political/pre flower power/head shop/ music revolution. In 1966 I moved from Plainfield to Piscataway but continued my weekly trips to the Queen City to play music with my pals, take a guitar lesson at Gregory’s Music and walk the streets of downtown Plainfield; usually, hopefully, ending up in the balcony of The Strand Theater with my girlfriend, not watching a James Bond flick. The band, girlfriend, Gregory’s and Plainfield in general faded out as Piscataway, new girlfriend, new band and new guitar teacher faded in. There was a whole Wonder years, coming of age thing happening. 
  The Ascots hit their stride a few years later when they donned WW One army uniforms, changed their name to The Doughboys and won Zacherley’s Disc – o -Teen battle of the bands. Zacherley was a cool Dracula type tv host who would play horror movies and occasionally interrupt the movie to deliver words of wisdom from his coffin. He’d then close the top and the movie would resume. Too hip. The prize for winning the band battle was a stint as the house band at The Café Wha? in NY’s Greenwich Village. Between St Mary’s and The Café Wha? I’d seen the Doughboys a few times at NJ Hullabaloos and scattered HS dances. Mike Farina had left and they were gigging as a four piece covering artists like Hendrix and Cream before anyone else. They also played snippets of commercials, old tv shows, cartoons etc on the wall behind them. That’s entertainment, man. They cut a record that could be found on most central NJ jukeboxes and were opening up for some name bands but soon after the run at Café Wha The Doughboys called it quits.
   Myke Scavone went on to front Ram Jam (Black Betty), Mike Caruso became a session player and spent some time playing with Jimi Hendrix. Richie Heyman, after playing, with Link Wray and Brian Wilson started a solo singer/songwriter career as Richard X. Heyman. In 2000 the Doughboy’s reformed for a “one time gig” at Richie’s birthday party. It felt, and sounded good and the Doughboys continued to roll. They kept it up covering a good chunk of the East Coast and releasing three cds along the way, in addition to a DVD documentary, “Rock n’ Raw.” After Willie Kirchofer’s sudden passing in 2005, Gar Francis, of Sticky Fingers fame, took over lead/rhythm guitar duties. Their latest cd, Shakin’ Our Souls features performances from Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere & The Raiders) and Genya Ravan (Ten Wheel Drive.) One of their earlier originals, Black Sheep, was dubbed one of the “coolest songs in the world” by Little Steven Van Zandt on his Sirius Underground Garage radio show. Little Steven nominated more Doughboy’s tunes including a very cool cover of The Moody Blues’ “Tuesday Afternoon.” The Doughboys song list is still a blend of sixties covers and originals delivered with the same high intensity enthusiasm I saw on that St. Mary’s stage almost fifty years ago. Take a look at their version of Route 66 on youtube live from The Stone Pony and you’ll get an idea. Wow! I guess Rock and Roll IS here to stay.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

"To be...or not to be..." Or maybe just kinda be.

   I recently celebrated twenty years as the Thurs morning guy on NJ's WDVR FM. WDVR's a public radio station and the amount of freedom the djs are given is insane. I remember as the Star Spangled banner was playing to open up my first morning on air, I had this overwhelming urge to run....run like the wind..and don't look back. I didn't. Run, that is. Showtime for me is 6am. My first morning I wanted to get there around 5. I've since cured myself of that silly habit. That first day I had my entire show arranged in order in a "cat caddy", for lack of a better name. You know, those cardboard carry alls where the top closes and forms two handles. I had albums, cds, cassettes and bits of info arranged in order of their appearance. I was prepped, man.
    So it was about 4:30 AM as I stood on the top step of my second floor apartment preparing to step into this adventure. I took a deep breath, reached down, picked up my box o' entertainment and before I could say," Look out world....", felt the sickening departure of handles from box. There I stood with cardboard handles in my hand as my first radio show tumbled down into the darkness; Beatles careening over Little Feat, over Stones, over Johnny Cash as tape mixed with viny mixed with plastic in a cacophony (I think this word actually fits here) of bouncing, cracking and ripping sounds mixed with the cries of young children abruptly awakened from a sound, peaceful sleep on the other side of the wall. Seemed like it went on forever as I stood there clutching handles to nowhere and watched my three hour show spread out down the stairs coming to rest in a heap by the door. The box was pretty well unrecognizable. The baseball cliche of "stunned disbelief" came to mind. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry and probably did both as I scooped everything up and threw it in the back seat of my car. Some squashed in the remnants of the "kitty caddy" and and some remaining, as I found out later, in the bushes. Ah....show biz.
    In the following years I've taken to showing up about ten minutes before showtime, grabbing some music from my crate, which remains at the station, or a few select tunes from the library and let this dictate the path of the show. Somehow, it seems, the universe goes to work and a path is discovered. "Seat of the pants" is kind of the way I go through life. So far, so good. I have an unsettling feeling it could get a little treacherous towards the end. But something's been guiding me all the way through. Giving me just what I need. No more...no less. So I hope it/they stick around for the fun part. Weird. What's gotten me going down this road today? (Don't you hate when people ask, then answer, their own questions?)
   Well, after twenty years I'm considering giving up my radio show. I really can't say why except it's starting to feel like time. I've had this feeling before and something's always happened to make me want to stick around. This time, I don't know. I'm sure the door would remain open to come back at some point but I wonder how it would really feel. I've gotten a lot of gigs, met a lot of artists, made a lot of new friends, reconnected with a lot of old friends, learned about different kinds if music, told a lot of stories....some true, and apparently impacted folks at different times in different ways. That's a lot of good feelings. Karma? I rarely miss a show, stay pretty true to what I want to do while I'm there and honor as many requests as I can. I've brought in seven or eight grants over the years, done some radio related band gigs gratis and been involved in fundraising events. Not nearly as much as a lot of other folks, but given life's time constraints, my conscience is clear.
   Thanks for listening to me talk to myself. As always....very therapeutic. And that big sigh just escaped my lips. You know, the one that lets you know you've hit on an indisputable truth, like it or not. Dang, where's my magic eight ball when I need it? Peace.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

There's no place like.....home?

     We moved into our new digs on Feb 1st. Get this. It's an over 55 community for the "active adult." C'mon man. I still laugh at farts. But, like it or not....believe it or not....I just turned 61. I enjoy getting older. I don't enjoy some of the aches and pains but what're ya gonna do? It's just that everyone here is....old.  But I have to admit. I'm diggin' it. I've never lived in a place like this. I've always live in "country funk" kind of places. Our last place was an old grist mill on a river across from a winery and Alpaca farm. Floods, stink bugs, bats, loss of power....but....cool. This place is new construction, town house type, clubhouse across the street, "activities" and....nice people. And, I guess, my people. Linda was a good sport dealing with life on the river for a few years so I owed her one. And I'm now a believer.
     Home is indeed where the heart is. I don't think I've ever been unhappy anywhere. At least, not because of the surroundings. I've lived in band houses, dorm rooms, room mates, no room mates and it all comes down to....me. I've heard people who've "made it" tell stories of how the happiest time of their life was when they were living in a three floor walkup in Brooklyn eating baloney sandwiches. Was it really? Or was it just that rose colored glasses thing? Does it matter?
     And it is about the journey. Right? I've mentioned this before...somewhere. But twenty, twenty five, thirty years ago....living in Piscataway....I'd wished/dreamed for certain things. I look around and they're....here. Mostly. Weird. When I pray, it's not for riches or celebrity or.....any of that. Just a small step up in a few areas and being able to recognize the opportunities that'll take me there.  I think that's half the battle. Not to say, "Go away! I'm busy!" when opportunity knocks.
     I still have this crazy feeling that the best is yet to come. Why? I don't know! But I don't know how people live without that feeling. That "Is that all there is?" thing must be depressing. If I ever get there I'll let you know. One thing I do know. You can't always get what you want. Buy if you try some time...you just might find....you get what you need. Thanks Mick.     Peace.