HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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December 31, 2008
Boner and I spent a quiet New Years Eve by ourselves. I was under the bed covers and Bo was on the floor on his blanket at the foot of my bed. I have been feeling under the weather... actually very under the weather and for the first time in years. A bit disappointed in myself because I thought the life style that I created cannot afford illness, I thunk wrong! Ha. I will afford whatever life brings to me and do the best with it, I will. Sometimes I can control and sometimes I cannot control. I'll always be working towards allowing life's positive control work its magic with me. Actually, I was just so happy not to be working. It felt a little strange after more than twenty years of working on New Years Eve but not strange enough that I would wanted to be doing it. With the temperature outside in the single digits, both Boner and I would not have been able to handle it. Twelve years ago we did it in three feet of snow, wind gusts of 59 miles an hour and temperatures in the teens for Providence, Rhode Island. Ha, what a crazy night to remember. Did that, done that! I could be feeling very uncomfortably sick in a strange place but here I am in safe, comfortable house fighting off the urge to have my friend Charlie wait on me hand and foot and he would ...only because he wants help to move chopped wood for the stove! Naa... I have to be honest, he would do whatever I ask because he's a caring guy. I found a piece of artwork from Walter Bruneel (I turned it sideways) named Phoenix Fire - Emerald. His comment about it... "A new universe being born out of the ashes of the old one."
December 30, 2008
What a journey this is that I am on. It certainly is not linear. I'm not so sure of my terminology but I am sure this is more of a circular, cyclical thingy that hovers inward and outward, up and down, deeper and deeper... this experience. I always said I prefer life as on a roller coaster ride verses like a merry-go-round as they talk about in the movie Parenthood. Right now am I going down a hill or up a hill? God, all this analogy. Anyway, I am consciously not pushing life along I want to see what it shows, what develops I want it to shine through me. Keeping expectations away and especially dead end projections out of my life is a challenge. I enjoy challenges and to be conscious of the joy and wonder that is this life. Sometimes I tend to start forgetting. You see I have not been out interacting musically with people and nature. The truck and equipment needs to be replaced and it is too cold where I am for Bo to be hanging out on top of the piano. Plus, I want to meander into big time environments with newness not in the same olds spots.
I was creating music today in my friend Charlie's living room and Boner was with me with the music speaker nearby and on the ground. The first thing I ever did with Boner when I brought him home was to sit down and play some music for him. I wanted to see how he would react. He went right up to the speaker, laid down in front of it to listen and sleep. Twelve years later I had the speaker once again in the house and began to play. I had forgotten the first experience but Bo did not. Once again he went up to the speaker, laid down and went to sleep. This blew my mind away. Today, he did it once more... such a bond of spirit we have.
December 29, 2008
The end of the season, the end of the year... with three years of daily bloging and pictures almost coming to a close I am questioning wether to continue or not. This is not so much fun when I have nothing new to share from musical interactions with other people. I am at the end of the rope with the truck and music equipment. Wow... I just said that! If I am to continue I must get a new setup which will mean the rest of my security. The big question is what will make me happy, what will give me joy. Maybe moving to some small town in the South of New Zealand and resigning my life to enjoying the beauty of nature might that be the route. Am I talking crazy? Where is my Traveling Piano passion. The passion for my piano music is still coursing through my veins, the desire to share it, have fun with others, respect... travel, create friendship... I'm just talking my thoughts, I am not sure what they are worth. The most clarity I have about anything is to enjoy my time with Boner. We must have fun together!
December 28, 2008
Should I drive the Traveling Piano to California and deal with it breaking down and my not being about to get up hills. Do I ship Traveling Piano on a train and save on wear and tear and gas money and then just play around on the West coast, do the Hollywood part of the dream... do I fly there and build a new truck there... build a new truck here... fly to China, Europe, the Middle East and build a new truck there... you see this is where I can get stuck bad. These thoughts are all a distraction from focusing on a decision. Just do something Danny! Cooking, cleaning, walking... thats what I did all day, I emailed some friends... and it all felt good for today.Of course I played some piano also. The truck piano is in the living room of where I am staying.
December 27, 2008
As I began to wake up this morning I went through the usual thoughts to begin my day... Fun, Friendship, Respect, Musical Inspiration and Empowerment, Abundance... then I tried to feel a little in that direction and then life began. The Traveling Piano is gutted. It is difficult to stay on track. I suppose I will be practicing this for the rest of my life... balance, consistency, patience, tolerance. Everything has its time.
December 26, 2008
I was out visiting friends in Philadelphia today. Boner was glad to get around people. I let him out of the truck on his own on a city plaza and he just keep running in every direction to every person that he saw. He would run up say hi, wag his tail and then run to the next person. The piano and equipment has been gutted from the Traveling Piano truck. The top keys on my keyboard are beat! I think I will need to purchase a new one, ugh. I am constantly pondering my next move. New Years Eve is going to be really weird my being in the area and not performing a gig. This will be a first in many a year not making some cash... and its needed. I did not expect to be around! In today's picture Bo and I are getting ready to do a parade at 8AM in South Jersey when the temperature was about two degrees. I've played the piano in some coolddd,,, weather!
December 25, 2008
My Christmas present today was to watch Boner and my friend Charlie's dog Tilly interact with each other in courtship. This was for over an hour. Too bad Boner is fourteen years old and neutered. I would have loved for him to have been able to have son's and daughters. I promised to myself after I realized it was too late to throughout the future... listen much more carefully to societies and other people's agendas. What a mistake it was to have neutered my dog. Bo is my first pet. I didn't know any better. Today... hormones were responsible for their lovey-dovey play. For the first time ever Tilly is in heat! This hot female dog has been for months constantly trying to play with and get his attention. Bo has done nothing but growl and bear his teeth... for hours at a time! He has constantly worked to keep Tilly at bay. Not today. I guess she wanted it bad enough to seduce him as needed. Not so bad Boner being a dog in his late nineties (in human years) and still desired by and interested in the opposite sex, eh? It was wonderful to experience mutual interest and desire.
December 24, 2008
Danny with Boner Wishes Everyone Peace, Health and Happiness!
December 23, 2008
Todays pictures remind me of the high and haphazardly fun energy that exists when doing my shtick and how Boner always just goes with the flow. It has been great! When a typical family jumps up onto the Traveling Piano truck they are usually just passing by and something will spark a spontaneous piano jam. Everyone will pile into the truck and musically bang away, sometimes a ditty will sound out, a picture gets taken, we laugh a bit and its over... everybody jumps off. It can all happen in a matter of three minutes easy. When I did parades, as much as I prepared I still felt completely disheveled in manic readiness until it all started and then nothing matters... I'm into it, whatever fun craziness I that I can project.
December 22, 2008
Wish I had been home in October for my yearly flu shot. Too late... its been about four days now, glad I am not on the road moving to a new location every two days meeting new friends. Who wants to make friends with the flu man? Ha... I think I'm through the worst of it. I do feel a little pressure with this site not having new activity everyday but I remind myself constantly, I have no obligations or expectations all of my work is a labor of love. Gotta remember that. I still take Bo outside everyday for a bit even if I feel under the weather. A little bit because it is in the teen's out there, it is cold! Flu or not I would not be outside with the Traveling Piano. In my younger days... if there were places close by... if there was a purposeful agenda... I might, warmer weather definitely but right now I need to get centered and ready to leave for a long period of time. The pictures today are from many moons ago a Christmas parade and once when I drove Raggin' Piano Boogie indoors into a mall to create music for Santa's arrival. This was Boner's first day wearing his reindeer antlers.
December 21, 2008
December 20, 2008
I've often wondered what it would be like to live far away from people. Well I'm about a forty-five minute drive from the nearest mall. I've had a cold, been in the house because of an ice storm, its been three days and... I'm going crazy!!! Not that I like malls... especially at this time of year. I forged my way out today no matter what and milled around people a bit. This felt good. I have not been playing music. This does not feel good. I bugged my friend into turning on the house heat. Its too long a story to get into but I could not take wearing a knit hat in the house anymore... Hahaha... he's a good sport. My sense of time is going fast. Todays pictures are from two years ago. I'm looking older these days. I've been amazed at how safe Boner feels on his piano. One of the reasons he has liked it up there is because he can get away from people if he wants. He just goes to the middle to take a break or get a quick snooze.
December 19, 2008
Boner has been such an incredibly wonderful life experience for me. Having a dog in my life, specifically Boner and he is my first.. is without question the best life experience I have had to date. The consistency of our relationship has been unparalleled. We both have been growing up together. I have had a lot of fun doing Christmas parades with Bo hanging out on top of the piano. His doing this with me sort of just happened. It was never planned and I never trained him to do it. Same with his reindeer ears. He just took to it. When I think about my playing the piano in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania a couple of years ago (todays picture) it feels like another life time. I am very grateful for this Traveling Piano life experience I have been having and for friends like my bud Charlie who has been sharing his home with me. I told him how much I appreciated his spirit tonight. This I think is very important to do (verbalize the words) and not often easy for me... I could get analytical on that subject big time but I won't.
December 18, 2008
All day I spent finding and formating my favorite Christmas pictures from the past to share in a larger picture format as a sort of fun Christmas card presentation for everyone who visits this site. I began to have trouble with thoughts of Christmas's past. I was becoming angry, twisted, disappointed, needy, disillusioned, resentful etc... working with these pictures while listening to Christmas internet radio really helped. Christmas will soon come and go and I now want to make the best of the season with good, positive, loving and grateful feelings. Ya know, I want to feel joy one day at a time, one moment at a time even and most importantly I want to share my holiday spirit. The first picture was from when I played everyday for weeks before Christmas on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia to raise support for this journey. I had fun but support, not much. The second picture was right before the start of one of my favorite long standing Christmas parades in Ambler, Pennsylvania.
December 17, 2008
I drove back from Canada to travel South. I wanted for Boner not be cold hanging out on top of the piano. I got as far as Pipersville, PA and thats not too far South. With Las Vegas reporting one foot of snow today its pretty clear I am where I am supposed to be at the moment. Only problem is im getting sick, maybe? First time in years. I'm moving through it with not too clear a head but hey, has my head ever been really clear when moving through anything? If it has, when I am feeling like I am now I can't remember if ever. I'm not playing piano and creating the Traveling Piano for others and I must say that it surprises me how much it affects my mental and emotional stability. Hmmm... For Christmas I am going to post some of my favorite Raggin' Piano Boogie and Traveling Piano Christmas pictures from the past. I wish they were from the present buy hey, "it is what it is". These are moments of Christmas fun to remember. The first picture is with a four hundred and fifty pound, six foot eight santa claus sitting on my lap in Ambler, Pennsylvania. This guy was for real!!!The second picture is in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Merry Christmas!
December 16, 2008
The snow here in Pipersville, PA is beauuuutiful! Today, I was given the idea to take the Traveling Piano truck and put it on a vessel ship to Iraq where I would go to play for the troops and other people. Hmmm... Never have I not had double the fun than I could ever anticipate when I push myself forward with fun anticipation. :) To be a person that makes lemonade out of lemons, is flexible and who will work with dilemmas to make everything alright, this is the kind of person I have always wanted to be. I'm just sharing my thoughts for today. I am learning to give relationships time to develop. A little hesitation or mistrust is ok in going with the flow. I strive to stay consious and lucid in the present moment. Some people get confused when I write or speak about money. Me too, I get confused when I think about it. I'm still working it all out in my head. I have come to some clear terminology for myself. More thoughts... concerning my work and money. For now everything I offer is without a fee. I have worked to perform and be a piano man in order make money for my entire life. I made my way ok up to this point. Now, I offer the Traveling Piano and my creativity to the world without cost. Back to the termonology... When people speak of a "tip the piano man" that feels like, "give the monkey a peanut" ...and that is usually what "tips" amount to. When people speak of a "donation" that feels like, "ohh, your needy, here I will help" ...and that is Not how I want to feel. When people speak of "contribution" that feels like, " I want to be part of, involved, in partnership with, enjoy along with, support, help keep it all going with approval" ...and I think this kind of thinking is fantastic in all the best of ways! It gives me the most wonderful of feelings. This is the way I want to be as my own person ...not self-centered conveniently with personal agenda. The Traveling Piano is a fantastic creation that deserves a life of its own! These are my thoughts for the day... I'll probably be reworking them for the rest of my life. it is what it is.
December 15, 2008
Between the bouts of drizzle today I drove the Traveling Piano truck into the driveway of the farm where I am staying and played for some wild turkeys eating corn in the field. This was after I wiped chicken poop off the trucks rear bumper. There are baby chicks sharing shelter from the elements in the garage. I really needed to create some music. Time is moving on. Creating music is keeps me sane. Somebody sent me an email and said, "Forget It!" Hahaha... Forget what?
December 14, 2008
In Pennsylvania now with pictures from the summer. I'm helping my friend Charlie clean his place and make a space for myself. Do I buy I new truck and create a new setup? Do I just leave and keep traveling? Do I hang around for Christmas, oh God. Times a wasting. I'm going crazy not playing the piano. Its supposed to rain all week. Arghhh... or something like that.
December 13, 2008
In Pennsylvania now with pictures of Canada from the last two months.
December 12, 2008
These pictures are from some past fun spontaneity times with the Traveling Piano in both Canada and America. I'm busy inside today taking care of business. Wish I was outside with the Traveling Piano. Too cold today. The idea of creating a new Traveling Piano setup (inevitable) tends to overwhelm. The full moon tonight might be stirring my emotions :)
December 11, 2008
It has been raining forever! I am about to send out to my email list a Traveling Piano Update 2008. Here it is:
The Traveling Piano brings music to people. It's about inspiring. It's about encouraging and empowering people to express themselves freely through music. The Traveling Piano delivers a gift of music and creativity, a lift of spirits for communities and people from all walks of life.
The question on many people's mind... has the Traveling Piano accomplished the goal of traveling to China? The answer is no. I believe in dreams, the dream is alive. I have learned the lesson of enjoying the journey, the process. I set goals for the future and focus on the present. In order to achieve the dream of "gifting" the rural areas of China with the Traveling Piano, support is needed.
Piano Dog Boner and I have just returned from a two and a half month peregrinating musical exploration of Canada. The journey took us throughout New Brunswick and to the easternmost point of Newfoundland. After the sale of my home, there are still some belongings but now... no home in which to store them. We traveled to contribute an oversized truckload of clothing to friend Cory Richardson for his Stitch Uganda Together project. For info see... Stitch Uganda Together We met Cory down in the hurricane Katrina affected areas of the south in 2006 and again in the Mexican tribal village of Roblito in 2007. New friends provided eighty-five percent of the Canadian need for food and lodging. My personal out of pocket expenses topped $3000.00 (financed from the sale of my home). Fuel topped the list of expenses followed by truck and equipment repairs. In 2008 to date... seven people have contributed to the Traveling Piano website... total contributions $645.00. This is the link where you can contribute. Contribute!
View the daily log with pictures and writing (three years running) on the Raggin' Piano Boogie website... Daily Log Contribution's will help to continue the Traveling Piano's ongoing creation and sharing of spontaneous musical performance for people to discover. I work as an individual with no commercial, organizational or political affiliation for the sake of fun, friendship and respect. We charge no fees for what we offer to the world. More information can be found on the Traveling Piano website.
This year Boner the piano dog has turned fourteen years of age and he remains as spirited as ever! I am blessed to share our partnership and what we have to offer with the world.
All the best...
December 10, 2008
I am now back in Pipersville, Pa with the cockle-doodle-doo chickens and quacking ducks. It is difficult to not feel overwhelmed. Hell, I'll just say it, I'm overwhelmed. It is a challenge to function in this state of mind but I will. Everything is much simpler when I need only do the Traveling Piano agenda. Now I must take care of personal business and all the business that goes along with the Traveling Piano and then... there's still emotional sub-consious crap baggage still associated with the area I am staying in that was once my home. What is my next move??? Day by day...
My friend Charlie went with me to look into new trucks for the Traveling Piano. After about an hour I was ready to pass out. I want this to feel like fun! Hmmm... Anyway, if I end up getting a different truck it cannot be too high from the ground, people need to be able to reach Bo. It must be red and have a truck bed of at least 7' long and a seat bench that Bo can stretch out on. Just that information alone knocks out most of the trucks that are on the market today. They just don't make them like they did over 20 years ago. Built in 1987, that is how old the present Traveling Piano truck is. Should I get a used truck, rebuild the present truck, buy a new one in China??? With the present state of affairs a new truck, piano setup and plane tickets will wipe out most of my funding from the sale of my house. Fact: for this whole year of 2008 which is almost over... seven people contributed to this journey via the website. Kazilla Yikes!!!
I took some pictures of my friend Charlie tapping maple trees everywhere on his property. He sticks metal taps into the wood with bags attached and then maple sap starts dripping out to fill plastic bags and containers. He saw that a local sapsucker bird was tapping one of his trees and then the sap running down the tree. Last year the trees started running sap in December. The norm is in February, March and April. This year it was even earlier... by two weeks. Charlie says nature is going topsy turvy. Anyway, it is all fascinating. The sap is like water slightly flavored with sugar. I drank a large glass of fresh maple sap today. He fills huge pots inside his house and on a wood burning stove they sit overnight until all the water evaporates and the consistency becomes maple syrup. It is literally over 100 degrees in the house right now. It takes forty to fifty gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. He already has 2 gallons of fresh, delicious, (very expensive in stores) homemade maple syrup! I am amazed that more people are not making there own maple syrup. It does not get healthier than this.
December 9, 2008
En-Route Massachusetts to Pennsylvania
I have discovered a new alarm system that works to wake up in the morning. Four year old Mark running around between the living room and kitchen while making morning noises, a new experience for me to be in a house in the morning with a youngster. I was glad to get up earlier. My new friends Jon and Lori sang a song to send me off. Really. What a gift that was and also through the experience of staying with them to become less afraid of strangers. That is what has been happening through this journey, my becoming less fearful of people. Once in Pipersville, PA I think I got a little afraid again returning to my friend Charlie's place. Being upfront and working out the terms of shelter and support from someone else can take a lot of nerve to address. I cannot look back on the fact that I do not have a secure home during this time period of my life and I am excited to continue moving forward to create fun, friendship, and respect to musically empower and inspire with the Traveling Piano. What a difference between driving in Canada and America's urban areas. While driving back, once I hit New York... manic, fast, chaotic, unpredictable driving behavior flooded the roads.
December 8, 2008
Westford, Massachusetts... where is that, where am I? I just turned on the GPS and began to drive. It did not work for the first half hour because it was frozen. I am staying with Jon, his wife Lori and their children, Mark, Lisa, Anna and Jared. Another daughter Sara is off away at college. Boner is laying by a fireplace. I am worrying about the Traveling Piano being out in the cold as I would Boner being out in the cold. My sponge yoga mat in the truck bed is frozen solid.
My host family, the Forsyth's are Mormon. I've never really understood what Mormons are about. Everyone came outside to hear some music and then to jump into the truck for a minute... and it was truly a minute. The temperature is in the single digits. I've been given the opportunity to learn and understand a bit about the Mormon religion through everyone in the family. I learned about temples which are different than the houses of worship, it all began here in the USA, it is a restoration church and similar to many other Christian churches. They follow the Bible, the message from their leader and other writings. I was privy to their practice of a "Family Home Evening. This happens every Monday night and includes doing things together as a family, activities like reading, cooking, praying... they sung together, acapella and in harmony an old shaker hymn named Come thou Fount of Every Blessing. This is a singing family! You can see the video on the "Videos" link. It is under "Good Stuff" to the left of this page or... just click here. The Forsyth Family It may take a few minutes to download. What was interesting for me was to see that no matter what the relationship is between the individual family members, or will be anytime throughout life... when they sing together as a family they are musically, intrinsically connected in relationship to each other.
December 7, 2008
Snow!!! Good thing the Traveling Piano had a garage for the night. The speaker cones have snow in them. I tried to use a Q-tip to get it out but it just packed in tighter. For some reason I thought the Q-tips would melt the snow? The piano and speaker still works although everything is making crinkling sounds. A piece of the piano wood literally froze off. Ha, die, die, die!
My hosts Chris and Dorothy are so great. Dorothy is orginally from Holland. We took a walk around the property and went to the street for some pictures and to play some piano. Chris refuses to recognize banging on the piano keys as "playing on the piano." Fine... I'll reluctantly give that attitude to him. Chris studied the classical recorder (used in Baroque music) at Trinity College in England.
In the afternoon I headed across the street to Lee and Secha's place. They were hosting an annual family "Aunties Christmas Tea" get together. It was just a bunch of nice women from Maine :) I parked the truck outside and then ran inside to throw myself into the come together, told a bit of my story and then everyone trooped outside into the cold for a few songs and pictures... then off Boner and I flew across the street and back into the garage. Most of them already knew about the Traveling Piano because there was a big fat local section front page picture and article in today's Sunday paper from yesterday when we were playing in the town of Skowhegan.
My host Dorothy wants to share her yearly handmade art and verse Christmas card with the world. It is all about Olivia, her two and a half month old first grandaughter.
We hope it creates for you some Christmas spirit!
December 6 , 2008
Significant communication such as, "this made my day, I was really messed up over my school exams that I am having and I really needed a break. For something fun like this to happen to me is all I needed"... or... "I'm retiring from a job I have been with over thirty years in two weeks and what you are doing and have done with your life helps me with some courage concerning my own coming life changes" ...well, I never before had people talk to me this way. I was always around people who expected me to know that they appreciated me, they never said it out loud or told me why the appreciated or respected me. I want that for my life because it helps create validation which helps me to feel grateful that I have something to offer to the world.
I'm now back in America and still finding new Canadian food dishes to eat. Dorothy my host cooked me some Ployes this morning. This is authentic French Acadian buckwheat pancakes, Yum! Afterwards, Chris and I drove to the town of Skowhegan where he was volunteering to help sell Christmas wreaths for a local community project. The fact that it was 32 degree weather did not bother me at all. It is bothering the truck and piano, everything is squeaking from being frozen. I say, "squeak away I ain't stoppin"! We had fun. Afterwards Chris showed me around his house. He is building an outside sauna made from cedar wood cut from his "wood lot". People own land here specifically to grow trees and to use the wood. He has a Bog Stream next to his house with the sound of rushing water where there was actually a saw mill in 1886. Thats pretty early in time for a saw mill!
At night I was treated to a neighborhood dinner at a community center with music from local students and a bunch of harp players which brought back memories of the first time I jammed with musicians. That was some three years ago with eight full size harps in a local Pennsylvania park. While I was there I took the tarp off the truck and played a few tunes for some neighbors and then we went back to the farm house for cheese, wine and soda and hung out by the wood burning stove.
December 4 , 2008
The pictures on the website... I email them to everyone who asks. I am back logged with about four people. If you are waiting, I will get them to you, I promise! I'm writing this blog and putting the music and pictures at 2AM after driving about 8 hours today, playing music and doing everything else. I love it all. I had no trouble at the boarder coming into America from Canada today. It is colder here than it was up North... in the teens. The piano, the tarp... its supposed to snow Sunday! I drove through some real, rural areas. I stopped to get a bite to eat and asked how rural is it? "Only a few hundred in this town, it is a non-organized town, the only people who live here are those running from the cops and those who do not want to live around other people." As I drove through I could see only two types of houses... the druggie type and and small tidy homes. "Who calls the shots with the law?" The state.
I drove to the Town of Mercer, Main and got here in the dark. I really have no idea where I am. My hosts Chris and Dorothy, I only talked with them briefly by phone before I left Canada and we decided to feel out the arrival time and everything else. They had a community Christmas concert to attend. When I arrived there was a sign on the street "Danny the Man" telling me I had found the spot. They were not home but left the door of this amazing 1800's house full of amazing wood and furniture and much more... they just left it open for me to wait for them until they got back. Heroes! Everyone who has Boner and I stay with them, this is such a wonderful act... inviting Boner and myself with full trust.
I decided to find the concert to be with them. After-all how many concerts can there be in a rural town of less than 700 people. I had arrived earlier then they had expected. I found the concert at the Colby College chapel about 22 miles away and two towns over in Waterville, Maine. One thing lead to another and I was given a ticket to get into this sold out concert. Dorothy was sitting directly across the aisle next to me (I found out once we got back to the house) but we had never met so who knew? I was "in the moment" for the entire time with this community event. This translates into a state of bliss. There were many groups... a flute orchestra, trumpet orchestra, guitars, all kinds of singing groups, a bell choir, full house candle lit carol sing, sermon, readings... I was thinking earlier in the day, "how am I going to escape Christmas" and as a result of thinking Christmas I was thrown into it body and soul. I had not been to a concert like this in twenty years. I feel like my life is a dream full of wonder. My life is wonder-full...
December 4 , 2008
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
I'm beat. Two straight days of travel, truck trouble and ongoing Traveling Piano performing fun. I'm heading out of Canada tomorrow so I wanted to take it easy. "No music today, give it a rest." Hot bath in the tub this morning, go on a hike with Boner at the irving nature center. When we got to the place I found twenty foot waves splashing about 50 feet from the truck. "Just gotta play to the waves." The spray from the waves made it too wet to play. "Good." We began out walk up the hill onto the cliffs about a quarter mile above the smashing waves. As we walked in a forest of green pine and white birch trees I was amazed how loud nature could be with the wind through the trees and then the ocean below.
We ran into a porcupine. It hid it's head in a hole and as for the rest of his body, it said, "come get me." This animal had no fear because nothing can get past those sharp quills. I took a picture of Boner posing with his typical pose for such situations... "what am I looking at a porcupine?" I met a dad with his kids on the hill. When I got back to the bottom I was moved to create some music no matter what, so I went with the flow. After all this would probably be my last opportunity to play music here. The ocean waves were magnificent and for the first time I could not drown the sounds with my music so it was truly a duet. I knew I was there for the dad and his three children as they came down the hill. Turns out two of them take piano lessons so there ya' go. They had turns on the truck with Christmas songs, we took pictures and then I gave them the last Raggin' Piano Boogie poster I had with me.
December 3 , 2008
Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia
The ferry landed around 7:00AM in Sidney, Nova Scotia. I had decided it was getting too cold for Bo to hang on the piano and I wanted to get out before we get stuck in snow. I remember enjoying an awesome bordered stretch of road with birch trees a half mile deep and in the mountains on the way out. First thing today was to find a service station for the truck which did not happen for two hours. No one was open. Next, no one had the parts needed for a 1987 Toyota. After the twelfth try I ended up in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia at a Toyota dealership. While waiting out in the lot someone showed interest in the Traveling Piano so of course I jumped up to play some music. The usual ensued and then Scottie 'O' and his intern from the Hawk 101.5 top 40's radio station appeared to do a live remote interview with the Traveling Piano. The dealership is a big advertiser with the station so they jumped on the opportunity. I was happy to do it because I want as many people to meet us as possible.
Did it turn into free service? Nope, but what did happen was they took the truck in right away for me and when done a guy came out and told me they did not have the parts needed but... he had them on his vehicle at home. He went home and got them for me and told me he would charge half of what they cost him, forty bucks. Remember the forty buck thing from yesterday's blog? The service cost eighty-five bucks and by the end of the day four people had contributed without my asking or hinting for anything. Guess how much aside from yesterday's forty that paid for the parts ...the total day's contribution was? Eighty-five bucks! On the way back to St. John I stopped and spent some time with my friend Jeramie who i stayed with earlier last month. I have made what will be long lasting friendships here in Canada. It was like a sunny winter day with melting snow all around. This is the first time I have seen snow up here in Canada and its December! I am so tired writing these last two days of blog, I don't even know what I am saying... Its all good tho... :)
December 2, 2008
Grand Falls Windsor, Newfoundland
Today, my last day in Newfoundland Canada, it is sixty degrees outside and clear, sunny spots even. I did not think I was going to get to play in Grand Falls Windsor but the Traveling Piano mission is stronger than my conscious thoughts. I ended up driving with Zach the eighteen year old son of my hosts... to the local lake and then we drove throughout town. I drove, Zach played piano, Bo was on top while we traversed through several main streets of the town. It was major fun, short but sweet.
When we returned to the house I was treated to a dinner, another Newfoundland feast with moose (tastes like roast beef) and seal flipper. (tastes like a meaty healthy fish because that is what they eat) Afterwards, Evelina told me that she booked the ferry for 11:00PM and paid for the cost as a contribution and then Derek handed me $60 bucks for the gas to get off the island. This generated lots of gratitude that makes me just want to give more and more. This really has been a mutual give-give with this family.
As I drove across the last half of the island, I was in constant awe of the scenery until the truck began to act up. Of course this shifted my focus. the Traveling Piano began to cut out, it sounded like a motercycle slowing to 40 miles an hour up hills, putt...sputter putt...putt...sputter putt. Also, the tarp cover snaps are no longer holding together. I had to stop twice to secure them. I was thinking that Boner and I might lose some weight, the truck was vibrating our bodies so much.. I began to listen to my friend Deva Premel and Miton's music on my CD player while I envisioned that I was on a magic carpet ride through the air. It was dark so there was nothing to see but the road in front of me.
Seven hours later I pulled into the lineup for boarding the ferry. Zach and his friends appeared. I never feel alone. I seems I am being escorted into, during and out of wherever I am. Zach and his buddies were taking the ferry to travel up north to Alberta, Canada. Big money is being make in Alberta with all the oil and such. Lots of people from the island are going there to work for a few months and then bring the money home to family. Of course I had to jump up on the piano and play for everyone. I thought, "boy am I going to be tired once I sleep again." The plan is to catch the ferrry and drive straight through to St. John, New Brunswick.
Zach looked at the truck for me and then called his dad Derek for advise. The conclusion was that it is the spark plugs and wires. One running, three dead ones. He said it would cost forty to fifty for the parts and at that same time someone who was also in line, sitting in their car watching, got out to hand me a forty buck contribution. These maritime people have surly lived up to their reputation as givers! I've never asked for a penny they just "give" and it has not stopped since I came here.
December 1, 2008
Grand Falls Windsor, Newfoundland
Amazingly enough for me it is December and I am still in Newfoundland, Canada. Not so amazingly, it is raining. Fairly amazingly, it is not snowing. I'm with a terrific family, like souls... we were drawn to each other, attracted to each other. I am blessed. Boner needs a good run and walk. Derek my host is owns the Stroud's Auto Repair and Salvage business here in town so he has been looking after the Traveling Piano truck for me. I can also thankfully park it out of the rain for a day as the cover's insulation is not holding as well as it used to. Zach, Derek's son jumped onto the piano for a bit, I showed off a song for Derek's brother who is a partner in the business and there is a piano in the house that I have been playing on and off all day. I love creating music on every piano I can find. Each piano presents a unique opportunity for a different approach to sound. I enjoy variety and possibilities. I want to get Boner into warmer weather...