Wednesday, January 26, 2011


July 16, 1982 was a ridiculously hot day.

 I got in my car to travel to a small independent church (I don’t have any record of the name). I had talked to the Pastor on the phone and worked out the date and all the particulars. When I got there I found that they weren’t expecting me…at all. They had no idea who I was. The Pastor had no recollection of our conversation. I was about 250 miles from home, and it was about 105 degrees.

Well, they let me play two songs during their evening service (instead of a full concert), and sent me on down the road with $25 in my pocket. I had also booked a coffeehouse called the Lighthouse (!!!!) in Windsor Locks, Connecticut for the next day. They were expecting me and sent me back home with an extra $50 in my pocket.

In 1982, the price of a gallon of gas was around $1.30, which still put a strain on that $75 I made.

Sometimes you take a ride on The Road, and sometimes the Road takes you for a ride.

I look back at things like this (oh, don’t think for a second that this was an isolated event), and I get this strange bittersweet feeling. I laugh because the alternative is too emotionally draining, even after all these years.

The bare bones fact is this: everything that I’ve experienced has helped to get me where I am, and make me who I am - today; and I like where I am, and who I am, today.

Sidebar: as soon as I get the arrangement worked up again, I will be posting a performance of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” on Youtube.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

On Turning 60

January 9, 1951: a day that will live in infamy…at least for me. That’s the day I was born, at around 7:00 pm. And that was (yes!) 60 years ago.

I have developed a few personal thoughts about age and aging:

1. When I state my age, I state it loudly and proudly and put the word “ONLY” in front of it. No matter what age I’m at, it is only a drop of water in the ocean in light of eternity.

2. There is not any real difference between turning 58-to-59 than there is from 59-to-60. It’s still only one more number.

3. Just because a birthday has a zero in it does not make it a “milestone” unless you let it. Milestones are heavy and I choose to go easy on my back.

4. I am only (there’s that word again) 24 hours older right now, than I was yesterday at exactly this time. I cannot age a whole year just because a birthday happened.

5. I do not mind growing older. If I am growing older, that means I am growing, and that is always a good thing. I do mind the idea of Being old; that probably means I am not growing.

6. My goal is to live to be 250 or die in the attempt. If I don’t make it, that won’t be terribly surprising. But if I do make it, someone had better call the Guinness Book of World Records.

Happy Birthday to me, and to guitarists Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Joan Baez, Bill Cooley, Paul King and Dave Matthews. Also, Bob Denver, Gypsy Rose Lee and former President Nixon.