Raggin' Piano Boogie


HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

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July 31, 2006


The local policeman found me. He found me in the field. It was dark, in the field where I look at the moon between the schools about a minute from my house. The policeman was patrolling. He shined his spot light from about 50 feet away, right in my face. I think he was stunned. After about a minute of being blinded I asked him if he would like me to come over and say hello. He said, "no, I'm just taking it all in." and then he sped off. Nice breeze tonight but those damm June bugs. For Christ's sake, it's August! They are the most obnoxious bugs alive. I think they are attracted to "Off" insect repellent. They will not leave me alone. Just now... as I am writing this... I found a friggin' June bug crawling up my chest from out of my shorts. Ugh. My music was completely non-forced tonight. I realized that if I play from one note to the next slowly and carefully enough it is impossible to sound wrong or bad. When I tried to start the truck to come home, it was dead. It would not turn over. Deader than a door nail. This is the second time it did this in the middle of nowhere. I stopped and said a prayer and then it started after about five tries. I think I better start taking my cell phone and reading glasses with me so I can see the phone number to call triple aaa. I am on borrowed time with this truck. Where's Oprah!

July 30, 2006


I have new neighbors across the way. I usually welcome new neighbors with a plant or something but this was a young couple and I thought... a plant would not do. So I drove the Raggin' Piano Boogie truck into their backyard, purchased a couple of pizzas to be delivered and we got to know each other some. Megan and Jude are newlyweds, it will be a year for them in October and they make a great couple. I think they were great sports to go along with the flow of my offering. Can you believe this? I almost cannot. I just came back from performing in my neighbor's backyard! It is so humid outside the sweat was pouring over me like a rain shower as Boner kept himself busy fighting off the mosquitoes. I was in a nice dark silhouette of trees. I focused on bringing love to this new home with my performing. Jude said he was not only impressed with my playing, he liked the music as well. I appreciated his saying that because I can tell he is a discerning guy. When I was about to leave Meagan discovered they had floodlights and that was just in time to get the camera for a good night shot.

July 29, 2006

New Jersey

It is not easy to sit down and write when I am so exhausted. I have a difficult time thinking where to find the keys to type let alone the words to form on this paper. I just got back form Paul and Debbie's beach house in Ocean City New Jersey. I was there to help celebrate Paul's 50th birthday. I knew I would have a good time because they are fun, respectful people. I played at their house in Bucks County PA a couple times back around 1999. I also knew I would have fun because it is not worth it for me to play the piano any more just for the money, I want good people around me. Everyone joined in for my daily Wildest Dream video. I pulled the truck up onto the sidewalk next to the house and grassy dunes. Once I sat down to perform a cool ocean breeze started. Good thing because it was a hot day. The sound of the waves crashing reminded me of when I played on the beach in Pass Christian, Mississippi a few months ago. It felt completely natural to weave in my improvisation between the Ragtime and Boogie Woogie. I am feeling more and more at ease just exploring on the piano even when working. I am careful to not forget that I am in fact working. It is self-empowering to not worry about playing specific music and just concentrate on the creativity, energy, and what is needed for the environment. I am allowing myself to allow others to enjoy my creating music however or whatever the music may sound like. I am learning to stop the musical stream as soon as I begin to feel repetitive or bored and give it a break and then just start anew. Several of the kids jumped onto the truck to play and they were good at it. It became dark and the feeling really softened into a soft glow of yellow porch lights on a warm summer night at the beach.

July 28, 2006


Today, I was the most daring yet. After negating the torrential rains that could have returned as in this afternoon's storms according to the television and even worse the reports of a possible tree branch breaking and falling to the ground, horrors... I ventured into the park... in the middle of MY housing development... to play for my friend, neighbor and business associate, Esther and her family who has a house that borders on the park. I took the easy way out and used Esther as my catalyst to have the guts to do it. I have wanted to play in this open space from the beginning but I was unsure whether I wanted to open myself up to all the neighborhood kids and the entire neighborhood houses that surround the park. I decided I was "going for it". I was to enter "the inner circle," just like in Rittenhouse square. I had made the decision so nothing was going to stop me not even the threat of sinking into the several inches of water and getting the truck stuck in mud that I needed to drive through. I drove into the park as I drive in snowstorms, "just don't stop". I would have surely sunk into a dead halt if I had. I found my spot on the grass and began to play. If anyone noticed, they did it from behind the curtains in their houses. Ester's family came out to greet me and took pictures, "you guys better send them to me!" I felt like I had to "produce". I was fighting old familiar patterns of fear that no one cared or they would shy away because I was so different. It took some time and I put myself on the right track. I actually for the first time consciously lulled myself into the really cool dream world that I often experience while performing my music outdoors. A very strange bird checked me out in the tree above. It created beautiful music with me. I just sat and played the same patterns of music over and over until I tamed my fears. Damm, I am getting more control over my creativity and I like it! Afterwards Bo and I went into Esther's house to visit and have some barbecue.

July 27, 2006


I was a little rushed today because I have my friends, Gucks and Ty with me who I am moving from Wilmington DE to Brooklyn NY but I was not going to miss my day of improvising. We did not get to bed till almost 5AM so needless to say we got a late start. They came with me to the Delaware River Access Area to play for a half hour before we left and they took pictures. Gucks really enjoys photography and Tee is starting school as a film major. It was a typical scene, I asked the guys sitting by the water if they minded my playing some piano music and they jumped at the opportunity to say they would love it. A sax, bass player stopped to say hi he might be playing locally next week so I told him I would go to support him. I ran into these guys who I connected with last week at this park over the "Wagon Wheel" song to find we have a lot more in common then that song. It is too long too explain but... it's like that theory that everyone knows someone within a number of six people. I am having incredible synchronicity happened every day this week with people connections of having a thought and it comes to fruition and also with people as in.. "so and so" knowing "so and so" knowing me, and I know etc... My playing to day was full of energy and it is interesting to be able to stay focused on the music while say Ty is in my face taking a picture or people are talking, basically with any distraction I still feel myself front and center with the music. I am not afraid to keep it there where in the past I would feel the need to divert the energy to where I was being distracted.

July 26, 2006


I thought I would try and torture myself by playing in the full sun. I knew it would not bother Bo as he lies in the sun while in the backyard all the time. I lasted about ten minutes after a realized there was a shady area about ten feet away. I was playing in Core Creek Park above and overlooking the lake. It is a nice open area. I played there last month. I negotiated the shade with the truck being on a slant. I had a different sort of clarity when I was improvising. I was steady with my intent musically. I liked that and took advantage of the moment to exercise some left hand movements independently from what the right hand was doing. I have no idea what the right hand was doing but I figured anything was better than nothing. The only person I saw the entire time was a runner.

July 25, 2006


I went to have dinner with my friends Barbara and Carl and used the occasion to stop at the Briar Bush Nature area in Abington PA to check. It was twilight and I was the only person there until the park ranger came driving around this huge tree to find me doing my thing while he was doing his nightly rounds. It is always so funny. He was dumbfounded, all he could think to say was, "dog's are not allowed in here." I said, "well he's on the piano". He said, "don't worry I am not going to chase you I have to say that for next time." After some more short chit chat he went on his way and I watched the bats circle and play above as I performed really low key, not much energy happening. The locusts were more intense than at home and all worked in unison with the crescendo and decrescendos. There were many textures in the trees. Carl came walking around the bend to find me and was interested in the new sounds I was created. He has only heard my Boogie and Ragtime. He found a tree stump to sit where he could meditate and do his yoga stretching type exercises. I watched him and tried to connect via the music. It became almost pitch black and the big fat mosquitoes started to use me as a landing strip. When that started, I stopped.

July 24, 2006


Being with the musical sounds of a clear summer night, creating musical sound myself with almost total darkness surrounding me gives a feeling of belonging. Having been treated to dinner and a good cup of coffee I climbed on board my truck in the back of my friends house Patty, Lance and Gregg in Langhorne PA. I sat under a canopy of trees watching the fading patches of sky disappear into the night. I have never been so aware of the vastness and variety of life existing everywhere around me. Lance called all the neighbors to warn them that they would be hearing some music, to invite them over, and some sat to listen on their decks.

July 23, 2006


I am a committed man! I am committed to performing on the piano everyday. My body is stressed out and exhausted from last night's performance but that was not going to stop my going out today to do some improvisation. I drove to the Delaware River in Bensalem PA to explore what is down beyond the many shrub-covered roads that dead end into the river. These are driveways that I am sure everyone is curious about but would never dare take a chance to check out because they look so private and there are no trespassing signs all over the place. The first road was a private house and no one was home so I left. The second driveway I already forget what was there. The third driveway was full of small residential houses and had a beautiful riverfront. I met the head honcho Rich, the president of the community to make sure it was ok to play some piano and he was really cool about it, excited even. I really enjoy people who have an appreciation for piano music and piano players. I think Rich got right on the phone and within five minutes I heard this mumbling behind me. I turned around to find what must have been about fifty people standing there listening. Scads of kids came up to the truck trying to vie for a good position so they could reach Boner. This is a summer resort community and most of the residents are coincidently from the neighborhood where I originally grew up. I think it was the best view yet of the Delaware yet. The sun was setting on the other side. I was sitting under big oak trees that gave shade to the grassy green lawn. We were up about ten feet above the water. Pleasure boats would be flying back and forth up and down the river. There was a hot air balloon in the distance. My musical energy was still strong from last night. I have not come down yet. That scares me a bit but I'll be ok as long as I am conscious and just ease myself on down the road to normalcy in body and mind.

July 22, 2006

New Jersey

Today started out as dreadful. It was raining hard and I had a performance in Ocean City New Jersey. No one could make a call as whether to cancel the event or not because it did not begin until 6:30 PM. I decided to go with the flow and not worry about anything. I was driving down to perform for the first time... not only for "A Night in Venice" which is a boat parade, but for the first time ever to play the piano on the back of a boat! This was also a first to perform in the water... as the boat is motored in and out of the lagoons. I get deathly seasick in a boat. Needless to say, I was scared shitless. I did not know the people who were going to be on the boat and I had no idea what to expect. People have been telling me for the last fifteen years that I should perform for "Night in Venice" and this was the first year the city took an interest to work with me in participating. I joined a boat whose theme was "Alex's Lemonade Stand" a cancer organization for children. A group of neighbors from a condo complex in Sommers Point, New Jersey rallied around the idea. When I arrived, the wind was strong and I mean strong but the sun came out so all was good. I had to take apart the entire truck and that was not fun. I am talking about the keyboard, heavy speakers, amp, boat batteries for juice, the inverter, wires and chords it all had to be hauled onto the boat and we had to find a way to set it up. Bungee chords were the tools of the day. I set the piano on the lemonade stand counter. Bo was terrific as usual. He always loves an adventure and really enjoyed being in a boat and on the water for the first time. He stood tall to look at the wake behind the boat as it speed across the bay. He sat on an ice chest high enough for everyone to see him and right next to me while I performed. It was great to see people recognize us, they would shout, "its the piano man with the dog on the truck" and then they would "boogie" with the music. Good thing I had on my prescription patch for seasickness behind my ear. As I am writing this, I still feel like I am swaying.

The crew was great! They were behind me screaming the entire time, I'm pretty sure they were words of encouragement in any case they really helped me to keep going. I could not hear them because I too was screaming most of the time at the people on the docks who were screaming at me. It was fun. I played standing up for the first time in fifteen years and on a boat swaying in the water and it was for over two hours. I have always loved a good piano playing challenge. I was thankful that I am more physically fit than I was last year at this time, as I could never have done this job today. I did not anticipate the fact that I had to not look like a dummy at a keyboard. I had to move to communicate the music by throwing my body and head all around while performing. I was hoping that I would untwist the stiff neck I have had for the last few days. I was almost dancing on the deck the entire time because I had to keep shifting my legs to keep balance. The fact that I had continual charlie horses in both feet helped me to keep movin'. I had to completely throw myself physically into what I was doing in order to keep the energy high. My fingers stopped working towards the end and I was hopping it was from the humidity. One of the guys kept saying, "your a talent, your a talent" and that felt really good. I really enjoy situations like this where I can play around and develop my talent even more. I was concerned because I had two completely different audiences at the same time, boat audience and parade audience. For a parade, it is all about energy and for a regular audience it is more about music and variety. The boat audience was very accepting of my needing to perform the same music over and over for the constantly changing crowds. They were getting off on the crowds getting off on me. This is one of my favorite situations where people get to experience what I do from my perspective and share in it all. When it was over everyone helped me unload the boat and move the equipment back to the truck. I really, really appreciated that! As I started home, the rain began once again. I am going to go to bed dreaming that someone will be in my garage in the morning unloading the truck and putting it back together. Fat chance.

July 21, 2006


> I need to drive to the shore and back today to prepare for tomorrows performance. People think I just pull the truck up and play and have fun. I take my career very seriously and trust me, when money is involved work is involved for a fun result. I went to the Delaware river access area to improvise before leaving so I could better focus later on the tasks needed for tomorrow. I will need to start taking a camera with me because the visuals are just too much to miss. A small detail like thinking about taking pictures when I am out improvising will clutter my brain everyday but I will make myself get used to it. It'll be worth it because I have found other people rarely send me the pictures they take. A construction truck was in my usual spot and there was no shade around so I went right up to the front by the water for the first time. There was an old couple sitting there and I asked them if they minded my playing some piano and right away, they said no, no as in NO. They were older and Ukrainian and spoke little English so "no" was the safest answer for them as to whatever I was trying to communicate. I started to play and the lady drifted over and started to hang on the truck. When I finished, she clutched her heart and said she used to play. Of course, I had to offer the invitation to "do it" and there was not a split second before this rather large 80-year-old woman was climbing over the speakers to get in. She sat down and began to play beautiful Ukrainian melodies. She had not played since she was 12 years old. We became pals. Three guys probably on their lunch break got out of their cruiser to come and say they thought I was great and we bonded over a mutual favorite song we know called "wagon wheel" recorded by the, "old crow medicine show". I was reminded while driving home how I used to tell students, "in another life time", how you will get better at what you are doing if you practice five minutes everyday then if you practice three hours one day, skip two days, then practice one hour the next day, then skip etc... it is the continuity, even if only five minutes a day, over what may seem to be a long period of time that works best for me. It is about the process not about the time restraints that I tend to put on myself. I got home just as the raindrops began.

July 20, 2006


What a treat I gave to myself today. My good friend and life long neighbor Larry put in a new headlight for the truck. I am hopeless when it comes to stuff like this. I heard the locusts in the field out in the back of his house and I could not resist. I had to break the taboo of playing in my neighborhood. I have been doing it on the outskirts. I drove around to the back of the middle school field and parked behind his house. I have been very trepadacious about doing this because a little old saying "you don't shit where you eat" but I wanted to do it. I want my neighbors to know me better, its just a matter of how they know me and how much that is the question. I went through high school with Larry's daughter Sharon and we are still friends. I used to sleep on their back porch when I played hooky from church on Sunday mornings. His wife Arlene is the school lunch lady and she takes care of me with a steady supply of hoagies and pizza throughout the school year. In the picture, she has food for me to take back to my house tonight. Today I sat and played music to support the locusts singing. It was truly wonderful. I found a musical pattern and just repeated it softly over and over while I listened to the locusts create their different timbres and levels of reed like sounds over my head and far into the distance fading in and fading out while connecting from tree to tree. It was truly magnificent music and I could not believe I was playing an active part in it. This is a very different sound from the summer crickets. I enjoy them also. Strange bugs flew around me; they were like tiny light feathers and would land on the piano and hold on while waving their tails. I could see single strands of web floating and glistening in the sunset from the tree limbs that extended out into the field. I am playing closer and closer to home only a block away now. If I could fit the truck into my back yard to play I would probably do it.

July 19, 2006


I was chased out of my spot for the first time! The high school parking lot was the most convenient spot for me to head to while it was still daylight. I also wanted to be around people and tennis players and walkers are always in the vicinity. Tonight it was empty. It seemed weird the entire time just Bo and me at twilight. It was nice though because it was different and the weather was great. One big problem did exist. Big fat June bugs and I mean big! They were hovering around the piano and Bo and attaching themselves to my head. I would try to slap them off without missing a break in the music I was creating. I thought, "this is July what's up with that, June beetles? For some reason a visual of big fat stubborn floating cows came to mind. I could not take it; they chased me from the spot. I moved to another area but I had to look at bright parking lot lights and well, just yuk. The crickets were louder where I was so I had some fun just making single sounds and listening to the night music with them. On the way home I thought, "gee, it only took fifty years to accept that I am an artist and that I am creative". Better later than never.

July 18, 2006


I did not think I would get the opportunity to play tonight. As I was driving, I had an amazing weather experience as never before. I was on route 95 going North the winds were blowing fiercely. Traffic slowed to an almost complete stop three times because of low visibility. I thought my windshield would crack from the debris hitting it. The air was filled with what looked like billowing smoke, like a horrendous rainstorm. There was no rain it was all hot dry dirt and bits of particles flying through the air. I stopped the car to wait for it all to end. I had an appointment in Bristol PA so I drove to the riverfront for the first time. The park was closed to any area where I could park comfortably but I found an almost empty commercial parking lot nearby. I pulled right up to the Delaware River. The water was so high it was even with the wheels of the truck. Water bordered us on two sides. I was literally on the river playing in the dark. The piano keys were lit by a small blue bank sign behind us. I played very lightly as this was a new area and I could not tell how far the sound carried and also I think I was compensating for air filled with heavy moisture. I enjoyed playing while watching the water ripple. The police came into the parking lot shinning their spot light around. I wondered how they found me so fast; there must have been a plain-clothes man around who radioed them. They pulled up and yelled, "we brought a spot light for you". I appreciated their manor. As they left, I am almost positive I heard, "it is a pleasure to have you here". I said to myself, "did I just hear that?" This could become a favorite spot. It started to spit rain. I refused to stop. I played in spitting rain for ten minutes. All those spits add up. Bo was getting wet and so was the equipment. I sadly had to stop.

July 17, 2006


Sure is hot and humid outside. Oppressive even. The media tends to make it more unbearable so I do not listen to them. Bo and I have performed for days in a row in heat over 100 hundred degrees. Of course, we were younger then. I waited until dark and drove to a new spot near a shopping center but the sounds of traffic, business and air conditioners made the energy really too hot, sharp and metallic like. I drove to the shed in the open field by my house. The lights around me seem brighter, more hot than usual. I covered myself, Bo and the truck in "off" insect repellant because I knew all those little buggers would be trying to attack us, especially after my clothes became soaked with sweat, which they did within fifteen minutes. I started to actually feel cool in the warm night air. I liked the feel. I improvised the kind of music that I want to further develop. It is really interesting to catch a thought or sound out of wherever thoughts and sound come from and hang onto it and then just go... deep. No fear, just go with it into never, neverland. It is better than bad sex. It is equal to good sex. Hot sex on a summer night, it was the real thing! Ahh... sweet and caring, intense, loving, strong and hard music. I stopped while the going was good to keep the energy flowing and to entice me to create more tomorrow.

July 16, 2006

New Jersey

My friend Cindy and I took a drive to Margate New Jersey to plan for a performance booking next week. Cindy brought along her pup Laci for the first time and I was surprised at how well Boner handled another dog in his den, the truck. It was no problem. I was not going to miss the opportunity to play at the ocean so we took a drive to find a perfect overlook which we found in Longport, New Jersey right on the beach at sunset. The sun was behind us and we pulled right up to a beach wall. I do not think I have played on the beach like this since I was in Mississippi a few months ago. The air was so full of ocean. The waves were light and small and in long lines along a vast beach area. There were residential homes behind me and it took about ten minutes for neighbors to begin to wonder up to us. At one point, there must have been about 15 people who slowly walked up to the truck at the same time and right to the beach wall to stare at the waves. Everyone just listened no one talked. The music was much more than the dog or truck as everyone wanted to experience it as they watched the ocean. I think I am beginning to draw on the energy response I am getting from people. Their feelings about the experience are feeding my creativity. A Rafael from Russian jumped onto the truck to play. He was with his beautiful wife and newborn baby boy. A woman came up to say that the music was inspiring and when I found out she could play I cajoled her into the truck. She swooned and swayed as she played, "When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" and at the end exclaimed, "I'm in heaven". I was reminded that the piano is not like the guitar, an instrument that you can just carry around and how special it is to be able to hear it outdoors, and then to have the opportunity to play one outdoors... I get allot of fun in seeing people have the experience. A group of about 10 kids came by on skateboards and bikes and one of them tried the piano on for size. There were about ten neighbors chatting and I heard on say they thought it was a boom box at first but the music was too good so they had to look. On the way home Cindy and I wanted to get something to eat but the outdoor grill we found had just closed. I asked the manager to make our cheese stakes even though he was closed and I would play some piano for them while they did it. I played about two minutes and they presented the steaks. I asked them how that happened so fast. They said, "because the chef wants to get outta here and go home.

July 15, 2006


I have just arrived home and it is three in the morning. Peaceful is how I feel and I know why. I just finished musically hanging out with the same people for the last few hours in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. I played close to three hours. This was the first time the same people hung out for an entire time and that I played this long. I really enjoyed the company. My energy ebbed and flowed. Sometimes I would just sit and create sounds and then I would get into something serious and then I would go into a period where I needed to wakeup! The residents who all sleep in the park came around the truck to hang out. They sat on the ground, on the wall and on the benches. This was something different for their night and they liked it. I liked it too because I was accomplishing exactly what I like to do most which is create a presence, give of myself and do it as part of something larger (the park). I was conscious on the drive down to not make this an event for me and I did not want to be in the state of mind to perform for people. I just wanted to "be with", to improvise and create an ambience. That is what happened. There is definitely magic happening with what I am doing. One person came up to me and said, "this sounds and feels so natural". I met Jord and John from Kansas, Jord is a one-man band guy traveling around John is taping everything for their documentary. I connected with them because they are so with the flow creativity in the present. If you think I'm off the wall check out www.jayrodin.com. This guys making a living doing street performing and he's making money! I never developed that talent for collecting tips. Some people threw money into the truck tonight. As I was leaving I gave it to the crew that had been with me. When people started to applaud I said, don't applaud you'll get me thrown out if they hear us! Then I thought, "who's they"?

July 14, 2006


I am chuckling to myself as I write this. I went to the field by my house where I played to a full moon a few nights ago. I figured if I positioned myself with the abandoned school to my back, I had a clear six-city block view of fields. That worked. I drove to the end of this dead end driveway and parked in the middle, shaded by a tree. There was no chance of anyone coming into this area so I thought. Two cars come racing down the road. They drive around me maneuvering this way and that. I could not figure out what they were doing, I am not sure they knew what they wanted to do themselves. They turned around right next to me I mean like four feet away, passed me again and then parked right on my other side. It really was strange. They got out and when I stared at them long enough to catch their eye, seeing as they had not looked at me once, they smiled and that was that. Then another car came and did the same thing. Then many cars started coming I was right in the middle of the turn around. I just kept playing. Funny, it was funny. Finally a guy came over to pet Boner, what would I do without him, and I discovered that this specific spot I had chosen in all of this humongous area was where a bunch of Indian guys get together every night to play volleyball. Who knew? There was to be about 50 of them. They liked the music. I gave a few my card. I had to leave before the game started but I may go back to play for a volleyball game and see what that is like. They were nice guys. Before they arrived I was smacking the keys with my palms and thinking, "so what, so what if I am smacking the keys"? I don't have to be coherent. I did not feel coherent; I didn't need to be coherent so I was playing around on the piano keys just smacking them. I enjoyed it but I am not so sure anyone else would have enjoyed it.

July 13, 2006


Whew! After last night I definitely needed a less stressful spot to head for today. Seeing as last night I played at the first place I ever performed Ragtime and Boogie Woogie on the truck, today I decided to go to the first place I ever played my improvised music on the truck. It was in Resurrection Cemetery in Bensalem PA. The first time was at night; today I did it during the day. The place really filled up since my visit a year ago. Dead people had token my spot so I had to find a new one in the back of the cemetery. I drove onto a grassy plot near some trees. My friend Kathy is buried in this cemetery. She was the only person I was able to trust in being a true musical fan of mine up to the day she passed through to the other side. She's still around, just not physically. The way I was facing the trick it looked like I was playing for my first audience. It was a seated audience, a big one, all in rows. Everyone was there, the Mr. Fienstien, Miss O'Hara, The Giuliano Family, the Zizelberger's. They were all headstones. A group of woman were walked around and around the cemetery for exercise. They never stopped but gave me a great big smile as they passed. Maybe they weren't smiling at me but for my Boner.

July 12, 2006


While on my way into town tonight I prayed for God to give me the balls to drive the truck into the center of Rittenhouse Square with Boner on the piano and to improvise. I had an appointment until 7:30pm and had to wait until 11:30pm because that was when the officer I had met the other night came on duty. I could not do anything during the four-hour wait, not even go for a walk. I was so full of angst. I drove round and round the park, got out at a corner and walked in to scope it out, Bo kept looking at me with his, "what's up, something is up", look. I waited, waited, waited. I once bungee jumped off a bridge in New Zealand and I thought, "this is the same feeling". 11:30 comes around I setup the truck and spit, spit, spit the rain starts. Damm. I cover everything up and the rain stops. I do a repeat and the rain follows. Damm, Damm. Third try, I drive in Bo jumps up, I sit down, and the rain starts. I said to myself, "you are here and you are not leaving". I started to play in the rain. I was wet, the keys were wet, the speaker was wet, I was not leaving so the rain decided to stop. Then the police started to swarm the place with police cars coming in from all directions. I just kept playing as they checked me out to see if I would cause a disturbance, stand out too much, be too loud etc... They left me alone. Thank you police officers! I am fairly certain the officer I had met brought everyone around to meet me while he was there in order to see that I was ok. Thank you again!

So, I started to get into my playing. The grass sprinkler systems were hissing away and it was interesting to play to the visual flow of the water. A really large rodent scurried across the path beside me. He wasn't dumb he knew that nearby sprinkler was about to turn on. A group of break-dancers gave me their space and then started to do their moves to my music. One of them sent me the picture you see here from his cell phone. Thanks guy. A skate boarder guy came buy and hung out. We talked while I played. He is a sculpture artist. People thanked me. Everyone left, the sprinklers went off and it was me and Bo and the music. We were alone. All I could hear was the roar of the tall buildings all around me. I never before heard the roar of a city so distinctly. I thought to myself, "Here I am in Center City Philadelphia, in the center of Rittenhouse Square Park, that is in the Center of the City. I am not going to be able to leave here until the sun comes up". I felt like I was in a dream and then I realized that I was actually in a dream. I am living my wildest dream. It started to rain again so that ended the night at about 1:30am. I am going back again Saturday night.

This was a very symbolic evening for me. You see, the first time I ever went out into the public to play on the back of a pickup truck it was to Rittenhouse Square and that was over nineteen years ago. I synchronistically got a parking spot on the corner on the outside circumference by a meter at lunchtime. I remember very clearly putting money in the meter and then going to a phone in a nearby hotel to call a friend. I literally cried to her over the phone in fear and then I went outside jumped on the truck and began to play. Thus, the career began. Oh, the drama of it all. The thing is, my entire life I have mostly circled around everything. I always stayed on the circumference, on the outside. I was never was able to fully go inside experience anything too deep. I was too afraid. Well, here I was tonight and I was not playing outside the park on the circumference, I playing inside the park, right smack damm in the middle and with my own music as in, "it is what it is". I call that progress! Thank God... or whatever.

July 11, 2006


A very muggy night indeed it is. I went to an unused parking lot on the Bensalem Township PA municipal grounds. There was an event going on nearby and the energy did not feel good so I left and retuned to the same spot I was in last night. I did not want to waste any time and I feel comfortable in this spot I suppose because it feels so familiar and it is the most open space around yet private. The moon was maroon in color and set more to the left than last night. If I had stayed, I could watch it float up and across the sky from one side to the other. Three kids walked by in front of me less than fifty feet but still we could not see each other's faces. They did not stop; I would love to read the minds of people who cross my path this way. They never looked back once they passed and completely ignored me as they went by. I felt almost detached from the music I was creating; it was from my subconscious for sure. I am not certain how I feel about it.

July 10, 2006


I feel like I just let go of some of my twisted psyche, not sure that makes any sense. I did a lot of trance like banging on the keys. Some of it was really nice and then again some of I thought, I hope no one can hear this it would weird them out. I started out with staring at the moon while envisioning all the people who I love that have already passed through this life swirling around me. Gertrude, Kathy, Mike, Mom, Dad, Laura, Ray, Oni, Thelma, Dave, Marty, Eleanor, Jerry, Sam and a few extended people of the one's mentioned who I have never had the opportunity to meet. Then I started to connect with a few people that are disconnected presently in my life. They all brought a smile to my face. It was a full moon at midnight and it was showing bright with no stars. I drove to a new spot, a place I would not go in the daytime because it is too exposed, close to home and an ugly view in the light. It will be nice to go again to this spot on another night. It is in a large open area between two old schools across a main street next to the development I live in, far enough away from any apartments or houses and no lights. I parked by a football shed looking straight at the moon in front of me. Every once in a while a flash of lighting would show through the clouds. I have not yet played with lightening, that will be something to look forwards to. I was very much into exploring sounds tonight hitting notes and holding them while listening to the breeze, the leaves of a nearby chestnut tree and I really noticed the sounds of crickets tonight as I explored how the swallows would respond to my mimicking their rhythm and sounds in unison as they flew around us. Behind me was the football field where on summer nights just like this, at just this time of night, my high school girlfriend and I used to spend time together on the fifty-yard line. That would never happen these days as skunks now rule the ground at night in this area. They were running all over the place. I was really jonsin' for someone to discover the music, Bo and I tonight for some reason. Maybe because of all the personal interaction yesterday.

July 09, 2006

New Jersey

For my birthday present today I decided to specifically go and give other people performances. I went to the Trenton New Jersey Island neighborhood that had their homes flooded for the third time a couple weeks ago to do exactly what I did in New Orleans and Mississippi earlier in the year. I have been meaning to do that since it happened. It was a lot of the same thing with piles of trash on the street from gutted houses, many houses without electricity, house for sale signs had started to go up, etc... The energy was depressed, people were moving slowly. I saw a woman sitting on her porch waiting for a volunteer group to show up and decided to pull over and play some piano for her. I did this at about five spots today. Everyone was responsive and appreciative to me. It would take about ten minutes before neighbors would wonder out of their houses to find me and then as usual everyone would gather around the truck to talk with each other and listen for about ten minutes more. One guy said, "I thought my neighbor got a new stereo and changed his taste in music because of the flood". These neighbors all have a bond now through hardship. One lady said, "we have all stuck together, we leave the neighbor together and we all come back together, we deal with it". It is a beautiful spot I can understand why people put up with these floods. A woman took me to the back of her house she wanted to show me her beautiful flowering garden and pond that was destroyed and is now being restored. I found a huge pond at the end of a block and played while families fished together. One family ran away when I pulled up to play in front of their house. I tailgated on the back of a red cross truck at just the right moment. They were about to leave for the day and as I learned from my trip down South, they waste a major amount of food at the end of the day because they have so much that nobody wants it. They were happy to load me up with about 12 hoagies and packages of peanut butter crackers with a case of water. I was tempted to take more. They toss what is left over for the day in the trash. All good food from good donations... it is the "gotta use up that money game". Ouch. Well, I do not waste food; I'll use it all. My favorite interaction was with a group of three adolescent kids lying on a curb, sort of punkers. I asked if they would like some music and they said, "sure". I said, "up music or down music". They said, "up". I played some Boogie. They said, "great, now down". I improvised for about five minutes. After I was done, I said without thinking, "now which did you like better?" Then I said to myself, "you just set yourself up for possible disappointment Danny so prepare to deal with the answer no matter what". They said they liked the "down music" better. Hurrah!

I then really put effort towards a birthday gift and went to play for my nieces... husbands... mother... who is eighty years old today. I have known her for about twelve years and had a pull towards her this morning when I was thinking about giving presents. We have been together the last several years on our birthdays. I knew there was going to be a party so I stopped by my nieces house in Fallsington PA on the way to Trenton to find out where the party was. I didn't know my neice was throwing the party and it was in her backyard so it was an easy hit for on the way home. I was parked on a nearby deserted road fifteen minutes beforehand psyching myself into giving more and aligning my motives correctly because family was involved (issues). This guy drives by me, turns around and comes back, gets out of his car and starts with, "a piano in a truck..." That ended up with me sitting down to play some music for him while he called all his friends on his cell phone to listen. Into the birthday neighborhood I go, Bo jumps onto the piano, we drive up onto the sidewalk, onto the lawn and right into the backyard. I played while watching about fifteen little kids swinging and sliding and climbing all over a swing set. There were lots of new babies floating around; this was an all age celebration. Someone said, "your music is perfect for swaying with the baby"!

July 08, 2006


This... was a dreamy and magical saturday night. After working in the yard all day moving belgium blocks around and pulling weeds, my hands are feeling rough and pricked from cactus. I wanted to do something special tonight and it was to either go on the prowl for a hookup or go play somewhere stimulating musically. I choose the later. Tomorrow is my birthday and this has been an incredible first year for me in many ways. I have "found myself". That is first and foremost and it has been through my wildest dream. I thought, "I want do something grand to take myself into my fifth-first year". I left the house at about 10:30pm and drove to the top of the Art Museum to play overlooking the city of Philadelphia from the top steps. I am still amazed at my courage to do stuff like this. It was not without insecurity and effort I can tell you that. This space could not have been a more perfect fit for my music. I was Rocky the champion on the truck only I drove up to the top and he ran up to the top. It was wide open, there were the sounds of the water fountain behind me. I listened to the light ramblings of people chatting while they meandered around in the night. Right in the middle I was. If you know what the Philadelphia Art Museum looks like, take a moment and just visualize me up there on a beautiful summer night front and center on the top step and I am facing directly forward into the city! I was making "love connections" for people. Couples took advantage of the romanticism that I was creating. I really enjoyed manipulating the love connections between several women and my dog Boner. I was making them ooh...ahh... and swoon... head to head with him and I watched as they became more and more incredible mushy together as I would delve deeper and deeper into the music. That really was fun! The space felt sacred to be creating music in. The police officer came by and he was into the music. This is his city beat, so we set it up for me to play on Wednesday night at 11pm in the middle of Rittenhouse Square in center city. That will be an adventure! I hope he follows through for me. I love the ability enter different spaces and not come across as intrusive, to fit in and be a perfect part of people's experience.

July 07, 2006


I wanted real bad to try a new spot so I forced myself to go to the Lynden Avenue park area of the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia. I drove right up on the grass overlooking the river. It did not feel like police would give me any trouble. I was aware that there were residential houses behind me. There was a couple lounging in chairs directly in front of me with their Doberman sitting on a blanket between them. I went up and asked if they would mind my playing a little music and their response felt like they knew me and were expecting me. It was like a concert just for them and they loved it. Next came the first time ever that someone has hung onto the piano listening while I played. It was Andre from the Ukraine. He was with his daughter Elizabeth who has just started taking piano lessons. With a little coaxing, she came up onto the truck and we jammed together. When they left, Andre said I was from God. Nice. Then a whole crowd of people sort of appeared and everyone was talking to each other including me. Get me talking these days and I cannot shut up. I'm beating myself up now because I could not resist impressing the group with a Boogie and a Ragtime moment. I don't want to use any crutches in presenting my improvisation.

I need to stay focused that I am out on this truck simply to improvise, develop and share my creativity. Of course I need to make a living and music is my career to do that so it gets confusing for me when the issues of... am I performing for the public or for myself, am I exploring, experimenting and practicing my improvisation or looking for work or exposure or to meet new people. Even though it was not dark yet, the moon showed bright directly in front of me and the sky was open with clouds swirling. I was in tall trees overlooking the water.

A lot of pictures were taken I hope someone sends me a couple. Someone's dad gave his kid six bucks to offer to me. As it was getting dark four kids came up saying they had seen me in Peddlers Village in the early days and also Ocean City last year in fact they signed my wildest dream signatures of support sheet at a performance last year. You can find out more of what that is about on the Raggin' Piano Boogie Wildest Dream Link next week. I said to the one,"you must have been a little kid when you saw me at Peddlers Village". It was when he was 17. What was interesting about these guys was that I used profanity in our conversation three times. The first time I saw a strange response. It barely registered in my brain. The second time it was more specific I could have sworn that I just saw them all physically cower sort of like what you see in religious pictures when people cover themselves in fear and from the blinding light of God. I would never have connected the dots had they not expressed that they were uncomfortable with "the word" after the third use. Sure enough, they were from a gospel church. Two from the group were brothers and the one got on the piano to improvise for a spell. The other explained he had difficulty improvising, finding the time to play and his issues with the need of a teacher. I said to improvise all you need to do is take the judgment out of it. I said "use the tool you care about most, just hit a musical note and give it up to god, don't think past that". It turned into a fifty-fifty night, half music and half social and I feel grateful for it.

July 06, 2006


As I was driving to the river thinking how I just wanted to be left alone as I am distressed with computer problems and loss of hours of writing for the second time. I was determined to go on with my life but I needed to clear my head. The reality in situations like this is I need to not go into my head and I would rather not use music to create and express chaos even though there is nothing wrong with that. Anyway, because of my wanting to be left alone more people than usual approached me, figures. I am glad they did because I need to be around and hang out with people as much as possible especially in times of distress. One guy says, "this is amazing wait till I tell my friends that I was sitting in the park today and some guy pulled up in his truck with a piano on the back of it and started to serenade me." Another guy, he looked like he was in his late fifties, and I were talking at length and as we talked I was "diddling on the keys" to the conversation. At one point he said, "that sounds like Mr. Rogers on television, my kids used to listen to him all the time and after awhile I got used to it and started to like his piano music". I laughed and thought, "it is what it is". I am definitely going out again tonight to play; I need more of a "keyboard fix".

July 05, 2006


Here is a rainy day "flashback"! When I need to do a job, I will find a way to do the job! I always say, we can work something out and I always have worked something out when given the opportunity. One of my first real challenges was for the Ocean City Doo Dah Parade back about ten years ago. Before that period, I had a claim to fame of being able to say that if you hired me for your event there would be no rain. For ten years, I would even drive to a performance and if it was raining, when I arrived the rain would stop until I finished and then start again after I left. This is a true fact but my luck ran out and I was dealing one day in April with a rain or shine parade to celebrate the end of tax season through the streets and on the boardwalk of Ocean City NJ. The spirit of the parade was to feel and be silly. Well, I was not only silly but a real "trooper" too. The other musical units bailed out and I said to myself, "I can do this". I threw a clear plastic tarp over the entire truck and fastening it with duct tape. I cut a slit in it for my head and a slit for Bo's head. Out our heads popped and away we went. It was a big hit and an even bigger success for me in overcoming the obstacle. Bo just dealt with it. I think he was still at the stage where all he wanted to do was be with me and part of the crowd no matter what it took. Ahh... what I have done to be with a crowd, have fun and make money no matter what it took.

July 04, 2006


I need to give myself more than a half hour to shower, shave and leave for my jobs in the morning if I want to be cool, calm and collected, I know better. I survived last nights performance physically, my hands do not hurt as bad but I thought they would but I also know that it takes forty eight hours for my body to catch up with my mind or my mind to catch up with my body. My Goddaughter Alicia came up from Wilmington to help with her friend Matt who was the driver for today. One of my favorite feelings is to have other people experience what I do up front and center so I was glad to have Matt and Alicia with me. We left for the Oreland PA Fourth of July parade. I really enjoy this community every year they have been so appreciative and respectful of what I have to offer. They save me to be the last in the parade every year and it has become almost like a tradition, "It's not over until the piano player plays"! Matt practiced the clutch without incident and we were all set. It is not easy to drive in first gear, stop and start on a two hundred thousand mile stick shift for an hour without throwing the piano player and his dog off the truck. I started improvising with my energy beforehand and created a real pre-start feeling with the sound. During the route we stopped on an overpass with cement walls to listen to the sound bounce back at me. It is like my little tradition each year at this spot. In this town the feeling is like we all know each other, there is a real family feeling for me.

I booked two parades today; my record for booking parades on July 4th is five! Those days are over for sure, as I am not a young pup anymore. We took a short break and headed off to the Glenside PA parade. I have had a relationship with this community for over ten years. I value this longevity and I enjoy giving my all and feeling welcomed back every year. Rain was looming overhead so we raced to get my check to get that little/big detail out of the way. Everyone was trying to maneuver in two directions on one-lane streets to line up and then the wind started and it began to pour. Everything became about opportunities. Ways to deal with the chaos while looking for a place to duck under with the truck, how to cover the truck, figure out how to perform in the rain I needed a towel to wipe down the keys etc... Every time a situation like this arises the engineering for the problems are unique and thought of that day. Knowing about late afternoon summer rains that hit certain towns more than others... certain towns like Glenside PA... I brought along two plastic garbage bags to throw over the speakers with wire to puncture through the plastic to keep the wind from blowing them off. I had two huge beach umbrellas, one for Alicia to hold over the piano and the other for a lucky parade viewer who I would pluck from the crowd and beg to hold over Boner for protection.

Luckily, the rain stopped but then came another challenge. Close behind us were a group of civil war enactors with guns to shoot off throughout the parade route. That does not work well for Boner who has become very, very gun shy over the last year. One of the parade organizers shifted us in the lineup, which helped, but during the parade, everyone squeezed together. It took one big gun shot and Boner was hanging off the piano shaking like crazy. I thought it was all over for him until a lady asked the fire trucks behind us to create some space, which they did, and this calmed Bo down. I really appreciated those guys caring so much for this dog who creates so much enjoyment for everyone. We stopped under a traditional cement train bridge, love that sound!

Along with the incredible responsibilities that I am dealing with, I become completely immersed in the ridiculous fun we are all having in these parades. If I think about what I look like, I can get grossed out. If I saw someone else do what I am doing, I would be filled with excitement and the experience of utter absurdity. It is all about pure fun. I am jumping like a bodacious maniac on the piano keys with my hands while flailing my body all around and shaking the truck with my pounding feet and screaming at everyone screaming at me all the while creating music. Parades are two times the work of performing stationary but also two times the reward. When I come home, I am completely soaked like I have jumped in a swimming pool with my clothes on. I often thank God when I am in the middle of all the insanity.

I visited with friends afterwards for some Fourth of July dinner. This has been a long grueling and fun day, not to mention yesterday, and I could not resist sitting down at their piano afterwards to play some improvising for them. I wonder if I am going crazy, I just want to play the piano all the time. It is a way of communicating that is starting to suit me like never before.

July 03, 2006

New Jersey

I just got home and I am numb. I wonder who noticed the sharply brightly sliced half moon tonight. I was waiting to pay for my gas on the expressway and the guy asked if the cops were after me. I said, "you can see that energy level of mine?" I told him that I just got off work and the adrenaline was still pumping. I was on Beach Drive in Cape May the southern most part of New Jersey where there are neighborhood beach houses on one side and the bay is on the other, perfect setting for a Fourth of July festival at sunset. The atmosphere was a bit testy when I arrived but how could it not be with everyone making last minute adjustments to work out the kinks in a temperature that was about 130 degrees in full sun and no air movement. The crowd and traffic control setups these days are amazing. I got settled and began an almost non-stop four-hour set. Some passed say, "glad to see you back". This is the second day in a row that this happened.

If there was ever a setting for my improve this was it so I said to myself, Its now or ever". I decided to really put my stuff out there strong for the first time at performance, performance level. People say the strangest things and they have been good one's so far. I finished after about seven minutes of improve and a guy came up to me to ask if I had a CD with the song I just played on it. He said the music reminded him of the Jersey shore and he would like to have it to play while driving that it was relaxing. Another guy came up a little later and asked if I knew any John Legend. I said, "does Ragtime and Boogie remind you of John Legend"? He said, "no but the music you were just playing does". I forgot that I was improvising. The mind is a funny thing. I can not yet visualize myself performing improvisational on stage solo but I defiantly heard myself in my minds eye as though I was outside a huge outdoor summer concert hall walking towards the entrance hearing this concert of piano music coming from inside and it was the music I was playing in the moment. People applauded for me and people stood dazed as before when I stopped. It is all very interesting and wonderful as I spent so many years afraid to express myself musically. When I began I said to myself, "just relax Danny you are allowed to mess around with the piano and mess around with music", and then I began.

The parties in the beach house kept offering me food and bringing it to the truck. Marie Hopkins without question makes the best lasagna I have ever had. There is something about witnessing a mummer's string band passing by dressed in full American Indian regalia, plums and all while performing the Washington Post march for the Fourth of July. I hope my fingers work for tomorrow's parades. I couldn't stop playing as it was so much fun in adding my own material. The crash will come, it will come... hopefully not until I am done my jobs tomorrow.

Bo had some good chicken on top of his piano. He spent the first three and a half hours tail wagging and head hanging for thousands of petter's and then he had enough. I mean really enough. He was like, now leave me alone. He situated himself with his head front and center and down plastered against the piano front, less than an inch from my fingers while I played. He was trying his best to get on my nerves enough that I would stop so he could get down. He also knew the fireworks were coming and he did not want to be on top of the piano when they started. The little while snappers that kids throw on the street were getting to him. The guy who hired me came up at the last minute and said I could not leave until it was all over, the police would not allow it. He knew better than to try this, especially when the barricade was less than 500 feet away. I said, "that is not going to happen because there is no way that I was going to chance my dog going over the top with stress so that he would never want to come back to a festival on the Fourth of July", I had told him we needed to leave as we did last year and pronto because of the fireworks and also because I had a long drive home needing to get up early for the next days job. He said he would go and ask again and while he was doing that, I asked a policeman on a bike to lead us out which he did with no problem and another policeman held the barricade open for us. No big deal and we were outta there.

July 02, 2006


The truck is packed from yesterday's performance and I am going to leave it that way for tomorrow's performance so today will be a "flashback"! Performing yesterday reminded me of a few years ago on the Fourth of July weekend when it was fun in the sun and hot on the keys in Mays Landing on the beach, it was Cove beach and the truck got stuck in the sand. As the tide came in about twenty sunbathers came running from their blankets along with a few swimmers from the water to push me out. No problem.

July 01, 2006

New Jersey

This was a picture perfect performance day. I had all the necessities and props in order so I did not need to leave the house in a rush. It was a late morning start which is perfect for me, sunny and hot but zero humidity and the performance was for three hours, which is not too short and not too long. I was down to the minute in leaving but did not feel rushed. I felt a good sense of self as I drove along with all the holiday vacationers on their way down the shore. There were a lot of cars filled with kids in shorts with feet and toes to the dashboards. I was in my shirt and tie going to work with Boner. There was major traffic on the way down but coming home there was three times more traffic then going down so I considered myself lucky. I joined the Mays Landing New Jersey Community as I have in the past few years for their hometown celebration today. When I arrived a guy driving by in a pickup truck greeted me. He yelled, "hey piano man, glad to see you, we are glad your back!" Comments like that go a long way to help me through my day.

I was not certain of how much energy I would have but I knew I did not have the energy to bring the improvisation up to performance level along with the regular music and I needed to give to the job everything I had so I took no chances and stuck with the Ragtime and Boogie Woogie music. Actually, I was probably just too chicken to improv it. I did feel strong today and I defiantly listen to myself play the regular stuff more closely because of the improvising.

Man, I love great bookings. It is all about cooperation. Everyone does his or her part with appreciation, respect and trust. It is wonderful when we all know the game rules and plan and I am given the space and freedom to get my part of the job done and I am given a full vote of confidence to do it. Smiling police, I don't think people realize how much the police can add to an event when they are friendly. Sometime they just stand around like they are looking for trouble and it is such a downer. I have never seen this at a Mays Landing event. Organizers ride around on golf carts doing their rounds throughout the event waving hello at everyone. They stop by me to thank me for coming and drop off my check. Ahh... to be able to do my job without worrying about chasing after the pay at the end or the need to even ask for it. That goes a really long way.

No need to check in with anyone, I just get right to work. I pull into the crowd and setup while scoping out the environment for troublesome booths... for that special someone who will always step out of their booth to walk up to the truck and give me trouble because they need to control, I am too much in their space, I look like a vulnerable doormat for them to step on in some way, etc... There is always that special someone in the crowd. Yep, sure enough after two songs a guy comes up, "you can't park here a horse wagon comes through". These people are like fellow employees telling me how to do my job. I reassure him I can handle it. The wagon comes by, I move out of its way and then continue back to the original position. Not a big deal. Sometimes that special someone comes up to complain that the music is too loud but I "nip them at the bud". After nineteen years I can usually sense the approach of this type of person. Before they get their mouths open I step in with, "I am here for five songs and then I am gone". That usually sends them on their way. I will spend the next couple of hours traveling through the crowd providing music, filling in needed areas, making sure that everyone who wants a piece of me gets one and that I avoid as best as I can those who do not. Most booths yell for me to stop and play for them. I enjoy bringing my energy to people.

This is the second day in the sun that I was talking with a group of people between songs and we all sort of zoned out together dazed in silence for several minutes, like three or four minutes. It was really strange for everyone. I'm wondering if it was them, me, the sun, age, my vitamin, emotional deficiency, something unknown or a mixture of all of that. I'll need to just observe it over time.

Little kids were jumping up and down to the music on the street as well as inside the balloon jumpy amusement things. It feels so cool when skateboarders and low bikers start doing their moves to the music. Two boys walk by and tell me "I rock". I have never taken these phrases of support for granted ever, ever, ever. My favorite all time phrase came as I started playing today. Someone from the crowd yelled, "Go Danny Go"! For some reason that particular phrase of encouragement always gets me going full force. I did not come home to an empty house. People had already emailed me pictures from today. One from a cell phone and a whole bunch from a great photographer. Thank you whoever you are and Lynn!!!