#Bowie

image

I know everyone will be blogging their Bowie memories so, I’ll try & make mine short. (simple, maybe)
The night before his passing I’d been ‘playing’ StarMan in my head during work and later I came upon a Twitter pal sharing about Davids new music, it was then that I began to recall probably my earliest introduction to David Bowie, and that was one Saturday afternoon, I think, on Soul Train.

1975, I was twelve, and very much ‘aware’, my sister and I were sort of like LatchKey kids because our parents were in the prime of struggling to make a better life for us, so we did spend some time with our friend, the television.

image

Television, more so then, than now, seemed to reflect the climate of the country and for me (and I think this is one of those things we say when we get older) we, the world, seemed to be in a better place, race relations, opportunities to get ahead, Sesame Street ideology (but then I was 12 so..).

Well anyway, in our little part of the world I recall Soul Train being thought of as ‘our thing’, there was American Bandstand, (which was cool) and there was Soul Train, ‘ours’. I believe my parents generation developed the Ours Mentality because they came of age right in the midst of the true civil rights movement and ‘Ours’ was (and still is) a way to identify. I remember hearing older people, parents’ friends, already upset because Elton John had been on Soul Train (truly animated conversations, including several words I remember having to looking up at the library) so for them, David Bowie was just another intrusion, into what was ‘Ours’. But, it turned out to be anything but that, Bowies performance on Soul Train, although not ‘live’, was groundbreaking, in many ways, David Bowie was ‘Ours’, accepted.
(I’m through rambling now)

“I’m a maverick. I’ve always been a maverick.” ~ Sonny Bono

image

#HonoringLittleJimmy

There’s a whole lot i could start saying about Little Jimmy Dickens, music, Nashville history, etc. but I ain’t gonna, other people can do that, I’m just gonna tell you a ‘short’ story, (real quick like)
  There’s a song Patsy Cline sings, ‘When your House is not a Home’, I love this song (ck. it out) and in one verison she mentions that it’s a Little Jimmy Dickens song. Now long as I can remember I’ve listen to the Opry, on and off (during hard times mostly) and Little Jimmy, and them jokes of his :)always brought a good feeling. Mr Jimmy always sang a song or two but never could I recall him singing the song Patsy sang, the song I love.
     So, somewhere around 2007-08 I was working at a fast food joint north of Nashville and a Walmart’s SuperStore🌎💵 was Grand Opening across the street with Little Jimmy doing the ribbon honors. (Super Walmart’s are big deals, even up here in Vermont😒) so that Grand Opening Saturday Im making biscuits (which is what I did) and in comes Little Jimmy for some fast food breakfast. My boss came to tell me (cos she knew the Patsy Cline song story) and I went out front to meet him. Now it’s the weekend, in a very busy restaurant, and I’m pretty covered in biscuit flour, while I was apologizing for that Mr Jimmy said ” long as it’s Martha White flour you’re using.”:mrgreen: so I just told him, bout how i love that song and i never heard him sing it, so he said it’d been a while but he would,

image

and not that Saturday but the next, Mr Little Jimmy Dickens sang my song, his song, When You’re House is not a Home. And that’s my story yall!!

My Spiritual Journey (a year past)

image

It has been over twelve months since I have updated this blogspot, not because this journey has not been the most profound but for the reason that each day, each adventure, was part of my Twitter (and sometimes FaceBook) feed. I didn’t think of updating this site for my family and friends who don’t use these social networks.
There’s must to be said, in a years time of course and often is the case words don’t easily come to describe, for now though I give some of my best impressions and these words from Mary Oliver;

” You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

My Spiritual Journey (A Prelude)

                                          “Art is to console those who are broken by life.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

In the Spring of 2004, I found myself at a crossroads, my life, as I knew it was changing (marriage ending, struggling with drug addiction) I spent a great deal of time at the art museum for there was a superb, once in a regular persons lifetime, exhibit of some of the worlds most brilliant artist, ‘From El Greco To Picasso’ was the first time our Visual Arts museum, The Frist Center, had hosted such a varied selection of artist and it was a big event, long lines on most all days. On one particular day it was less crowed, almost empty, and I’d taken a seat in my favorite area of this exhibit, in a small room that had three van Goghs displayed. I’d sat here many times but this day something felt different. As I looked at these paintings a strong feeling came over me, so strong that tears came from my eyes, uncontrollably. They were not tears of pain or sorrow but tears of happiness, a sort of enlightenment. I was not afraid but delighted, for I hadn’t had this feeling since I was a young teenager (back then though, I thought it was the LSD)

Van_Gogh_The_Road_Menders-1889-Phillipswheat-field-with-a-lark.PCW438937

During that Enlightening moment I thought to myself,”You know, there are millions, millions of people in this world who will never see a van Gogh, will never have some of the experiences, visit some of the beautiful places, meet the warm kind loving souls that I have, all my lifes blessings were being laid before me and it left me with a strong feeling of contentment. I felt that if I were to die that day, that I would be satisfied with my life.

From that day forward, regardless of the ups and downs (and believe me there have been some downs) I maintained a strong love for life, for people, for living, regardless of any situation I remained content. In a way, mentally, i was the old man, who had lived his life and was sitting down.

But, apparently I had a little more living to do.

25 years ago, on my 25th birthday, I hopped on a Greyhound destined for Ohio to see one Grateful Dead show. The one turned into several and I hitchhiked from there to York, Maine, an unforgettable experience. now 25 years later, shortly after my birthday, I hopped on a Greyhound destined for Burlington, Vermont. From Nashville to NYC the bus actually traveled the same route that I’d taken 25 years earlier!

I suppose what I’m trying to express is that life is full of wonder and surprise, Rico, my old hippie teacher, always said,” you can never see one footstep in front of the last.”,  and I have never even tried.

Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival

     Celebrate Nashville is an annual event that brings together all the many ethnic and cultural groups that make up this wonderful city that we call Nashville, Tennessee. The event has been around for sixteen years and was originally held in the summer,within a small courtyard of Vanderbilt’s Scarritt – Bennett Center. It was 1995 and our community was growing rapidly and becoming more diversified and our people were in need of ways to understand and appreciate each others differences, that was when the Celebration of Cultures was created. We attended the first year for the purpose of seeing Aashid Himons, a Blues Reggae musician who was always quite popular in the Nashville area. My wife, who was from the country Lebanon, and I left the festival that day with a feeling of something good happening in our city! Little did we know that it would last this long and grow to the huge event that it has become!

     Now this gathering of cultures is called Celebrate Nashville  and is held annually in October in the beautiful spacious Centennial Park with over 40,ooo people attending, a far cry from the 2,500 of the early years!

Even with this growth the focus of the festival has remained the same, bring together over 50 cultures that live together in Nashville through dance, music, visual arts, a children’s area, an educational Global Village and exotic food to sample. This event is an excellent opportunity for Nashvillians to meet their neighbors and share in their traditions, encouraging dialogue and promoting the cross-cultural awareness and understanding so necessary in our world today.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

TACA Fall Crafts Fair 2011

The Tennessee Association of Craft Artist is an annual event that has existed for 41 years. Every Spring and Fall artist and crafters from around the country gather in Centennial Park to display their works. The Fall event has been going on for 33 years and I am proud to say I was there for the first and almost every one there after. What follows are photos of  the works several of the exhibitors who came this year displayed. Including my all time favorite Ron (Spoonman) Olson!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.