Friday, March 23, 2012

Spare Time

How’s that 1981 hit tune by Styx go?

Oh yes: I’ve got too much time on my hands. Well, I don’t know about the “too much” part, but I do have a goodly amount of time during the week to pursue a lot of interests. So, you’re probably asking yourself: what does a musician in the middle of nowhere do when he’s not doing music? And here’s the answer…

First, you have to understand that our home is more of a Hobby Farm than anything. My wife is the farmer. I sometimes refer to myself as the hired hand that lives in old trailer out in the North 40. It’s not that bad; we don’t have 40 acres.

This year, we expanded our chicken flock to 11 layers, of mixed breeds. That makes for a lovely selection of eggs. We also built a fairly large shed for the goats that arrived last summer. Between that and putting up fencing, and repairing our hoop house, there was enough physically demanding activity to keep me occupied for a few days…weeks…etc.

Some of you may be aware of my vintage sci-fi space movie collection. I have strange space adventures films and TV show episodes from 1926 on up. Most of them are from the true classics between 1950 and the late 60s. “Aelita, Queen of Mars” (Russian, 1924) and “Woman in the Moon” (German, 1929) are black and white silent pictures that are absolutely precious. The 3 Flash Gordon serials with Buster Crabbe are favorites, and they led me to experiment watching “Star Wars: A New Hope” in black and white. You can try that by going to your settings and taking the color bar to the extreme left. This film has an entirely different feel to it in black and white.

My interest in the Civil War stems from an invitation from my good friend Douglas Rose to work on a video about the battle of Gettysburg. As things unfolded, I not only have read a lot about this conflict, but also have visited 5 or 6 battlefields; and I discovered that I had several relatives who fought for the North (Pennsylvania regiments), two of whom were wounded at Gettysburg.

The Marx Brothers are my all-time comedy heroes. I have all the movies that they were in with either 3 or 4 of the brothers. When I desperately need to be brought back to Reality, I put in one of their films.

Thomas Lawrence (AKA: Lawrence of Arabia) is also a hero of mine. Having read the Lowell Thomas accounts, and seen the 1962 film, I went on to read several other reliable histories about this amazing man. I even made a sojourn to his cottage in England called Clouds Hill.

Whenever I can take a few days off (really off), I try to get to see a major league baseball game. I’ve been to Fenway (Boston) twice, Wrigley (Chicago), the Astrodome (Houston), Turner Field (Atlanta), the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium (The Mistake by the Lake), Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia), the Rogers Center (Toronto), and Camden Yards (Baltimore). I really don’t care who plays: I mainly want to see a game well played; it’s a beautiful thing!

Life is never dull, never stagnant. One of these days, I’ll expand on what my church music job entails. That’s a good story all by itself.

While you’re waiting, I’ll remind you that my music is available through Amazon, CDBaby, Rhapsody, iTunes, Spotify and dozens of other outlets. You can usually find them by typing “Tom Rasely” into the search bar of any of those sites. Plus, there are 10 videos on Youtube

So you see, it’s not all music out here in the Nowhere.