HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.
May 31, 2009
Still In My Head but also with People at Lake Nockamixon, PA
I went to Lake Nockamixon today and saw green! I have only been to this favorite place of mine during the fall, winter and early spring. Of course, as usual I had several exchanges with fun people but now I feel that I must begin to move in a different direction. Wish me luck. Better yet send me your feelings of faith and joy.
Tomorrow I will begin to switch up my life a little by taking the first break in three years from doing what I do.... After today, please keep returning to this site. It could take several returns just to read this blog entry because it will be long! Read the pages and pages of entries, explore, listen to the music, check out the almost 10,000 pictures on the Boner the Dog link to the left of this page. The Boner The Dog website shows in pictures my body of work over the last three years and five months. I have not even finished posting pictures from 2007 and I still have ninety percent of 2008 and all of 2009 to post. So that will give you an idea of how much work has been accomplished to date.
I first began this blog on February of 2006. The website was created in December of 2005. The intent was and still is to stay connected, keep a line of communication going for anyone interested. The website manifested as a result of pursuing my Wildest of Dreams. I have had a crazy wild dream of streaking across the Superbowl Field playing wild Boogie Woogie piano for fun entertainment and why not bring that to life? Also, with this website there is desire to share and be involved with life. I have created new entries for this website everyday since I began with fresh music, pictures and blog entries.
Here is a little history. I left behind a burnt out conventional life, my career with Raggin' Piano Boogie. As a result, the Traveling Piano began to take shape. Performance image and money concerns became replaced with fun, friendship and respect... musical inspiration and empowerment... at no cost... and without commercial, political or organizational interests. I discovered my own music for the first time in my life. Before that I had performed the same hour of memorized sheet music for my almost entire twenty-year full time career so... if I had a seven hour gig in one day I played that same hour of music seven times... in that one day. Can we talk about being stuck in an office cubical for twenty years? Now my life is totally about spontaneity. I am more synchronistic with a free flowing musical stream of consciousness.
Although I had always performed from the Raggin' Piano Boogie truck I rarely traveled out of my home area because I had been booked repeatedly in the same communities for almost twenty years. With Boner, the first big travel departure with our new Traveling Piano life was to the Katrina affected areas of the south in 2006. After returning North from Louisiana and Mississippi, along with the discovery of my music and the sharing of it through spontaneous and synchronistic daily experiences... I began to also share for the first time ever the Traveling Piano stage for others to enjoy. I found an amazing amount of joy through empowering people to create their own music on the piano, especially if it was for their first time.
I was thinking about exploring Alaska with the Traveling Piano in 2007. Just before we were about to leave town a new direction came into play. Boner and I ended up traveling across America and down to Mexico into a small tribal village where a friend was staying. We stayed in a small fishing village named Roblito on the middle West coast. After about a month in Mexico we headed for Los Angeles. I thought that would be fun to be on a television show and expose my Wildest of Dreams for the world. Also, I want everyone to meet Boner (now in his fourteenth year) before he retires from the Traveling Piano truck.
One day before our Hollywood destination, the Virginia Tech tragedy entered into our lives. We were asked to return east by their student government to be with them, "to help keep joy in their lives." They could trust us in seeing we have no other agenda than that of joy. Afterwards, as an alternative to heading back to Los Angeles, I decided to head for the Olympics in China. The world could meet Bo at the Olympics, what fun! In the moment I remembered a thought I had twenty-five years ago. It was really a strong feeling that the people in China would love my musical energy more than anyone else. I sold my home and let go of all possessions to be financially responsible for the journey. Contributions for the Traveling Piano have been very slim. My house sold one year ago, June 1, 2008 as a matter of fact, and I ended up leaving life as I knew it officially on the day the Olympics began. I accepted the fact that we did not make there in time because I would need more support with our journey to China especially concerning Boner's comfort.
While my focus is not lost concerning my Wildest of Dreams, "the musical streak"... hahaha, Hollywood, Alaska and China... I have learned that life is about enjoying the journey toward my goals and not so much about accomplishing any specific goal. Pushing onward, Boner and I ended up last year at the most Eastern tip of the Northern Hemisphere in St. John's Newfoundland. After that amazingly wonderful excursion and also truck trouble frustrations... I finally and totally accepted the fact that if I am to continue... the present Traveling Piano truck made in 1987, with 200,000 miles of heavy duty use... must be replaced.
Presently the money from the sale of my home is funding a new Traveling Piano truck and life's necessities. As far as the new Traveling Piano, this scenario is more complicated than just putting a piano in the back of a truck. There are electrical needs, storage, securing the equipment, sound, charging and wiring components, weather considerations... the list goes on and on. Also, changing trucks is proving to be more emotionally challenging than letting go of my house and everything I have owned. The new truck process has begun. The piano for the new truck is in the process of being built.
Everything I do today comes from desire. I have learned to trust my desires. I was originally taught to not trust my human desires. Now, I trust all of my desires human and otherwise. The trick for me is to be clear about what my true desires are. I now know consciously and I have always known innately... that all my desires are all good. This comes basically from a faith in a power greater than myself, God as I understand. No other human being can dictate good or bad and neither does the God of my understanding. The God of my understanding is pure good, therefore so am I. All negative thoughts are an illusion that deserve no drama or attention.
I have been reborn with the education of unconditional love through the actions of other people in my life. I began to learn through my personal experiences... the truths of my intent. I began to trust my spirit over twenty-five years ago with the help of others who trusted me first... before I could trust myself. I have had the greatest fortune to have found supportive people for my life. I thank God for my strong spirit and the strength needed for the major amount of work and perseverance that I continue with to this day.
I have learned to trust my intent. My true intent in any moment can amazingly become covered up. It can happen easily and insidiously fooling through myself, illusionary powers greater than myself or societies in general. I easily can lose not only awareness of my intent but all direction for a progressive life. Validation for my life's intent can come through books, nature, my head, words from other people but... all of my life's solid progress concerning intent comes through personal and ongoing relational one-on-one interactions with people.
Presently I am exploring the idea of who I am verses what I do. Is there a difference between the two? I'm not so sure there must be... or is a difference. I do know that my job today is to feel good. It is was it is. Feeling good is work for me! I have learned that work is not such a bad thing if I enjoy it. A question I ask myself is... should there be more than just work? Is it necessary to differentiate? What is balance? I'm not so sure there is such a thing as balance or needs to be. After three and a half years of almost daily interactions with people... what would something different be like, something like " fun playtime" ...a vacation, or downtime, what would that feel like.
I presently have no clue to what "different" looks or feels like without the Traveling Piano truck, music, the computer blogging and sharing of my spirit as I do. The only way to find and feel something different is to experiment. I like the idea of different. I like change, even though it can be difficult. As a matter of fact, if I use the word challenge in the same context of the word difficult... I can say, I like difficulty. Ha, yes I do! So for a week or two, maybe three... I am going to take a break, my first break in three years from this journey I have been on as I know it. I am going to do something different, something other than play the piano, interact musically with people, blog about it all, create awareness for the journey, etc... etc... etc... What am I going to do? Wish I knew, really wish I knew. Am I having fun yet?
There is a fear that if I stop the music even for a short while, I will lose interest. That thought is an illusion. I am more afraid that I will go crazy from the lack of attention, usefulness and interaction. Also, will everyone forget me and lose interest in my work? Who is everyone? I don't even know how many people visit my website daily. Why should I care? The only thing I am getting from all this work is what I am giving!!! Ha! Fuck, shit... Ha! I do care. Who's in charge of it all anyway? (my choices) I am. I'll get whatever it is that I want. To stay honestly clear about what I want is a challenge for me.
What I want is to create joy for myself in order to share what manifests from my joy... with the world. This is clear for me. I say several times every day that I want... fun, friendship respect, musical empowerment and inspiration, intimate personal human relationship on all levels and with everything... and in every form... spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I want to experience the most of abundance and life's luxuries. I can be more specific? Do you want more specifics? i don't think so, not right now at least.
Onward to feeling. My life works with feeling. My most basic feeling is joy. This is all that I need or want and the more the better. I feel joy so that I can think joy and I think joy so I can feel joy. I experience joy through life's manifested experiences. This is the way it is for me. I enjoy being down to earth. I want to continue the manifestations of my intent and desires whatever they may be and to continue to have faith and trust in them. The direction, my direction for life is for joy. As my sixteen year old friend Tyler said in clarification for me the other night... "my job is to constantly feel that I have "the direction"!
I'll be back whenever... with a new piano, in the new Traveling Piano truck! I can always be reached by email through the "Contact Us" link on the websites... phone and mailing address can also be found on the websites. Boner The Dog and Traveling Piano and Raggin' Piano Boogie
May 30, 2009
Still In My Head, PA
It is important that I stay conscious to project and feel everything in the present moment. My past good memories, the feelings... I must apply to the present moment. This can be tricky for me. I can feel my past feelings and keep them in the past and out of the present. When that happens they serve no purpose for me. They are just good memories, facts and experiences no longer present in life. Why would I want to feel the illusion of living in the past? Past memories serve no purpose unless I apply them to the "now" of my life. I am just now becoming aware of this information. Same holds true of projecting past feelings for what I want in the future. This can open up major pitfalls that I have fallen into in the past. I get lost falling down into black holes of illusional opportunities and potential. Ugh, I want to apply positive and progressive feelings past and future into the present moment...
People often ask, "how can you do what you are doing with your life, the Traveling Piano, live without a conventional job income, a home" etc... Well, the answers are being written daily here in this blog... for three years now. I work to remember all my enjoyable past experiences of fun spontaneity, faith, synchronicity, reality... and practice bringing the feelings of those experiences into the present moment.
May 29, 2009
In My Head, PA
I have been in a process of learning how to "feel" unconditionally. Feeling unconditional for me is the same as loving unconditionally. Feelings are happening through the grace of God as I understand, the universe, my human experience of caring, respect and friendship. As I post pictures to this website... if... I am thinking about neediness as in... what I do not have, want, am not getting, should get, deserve, did not get, whatever is being kept from me, taken away, how I am being used, unfairness, etc... as far as feelings of neediness... nothing ever changes except for that fact that needs I am thinking about become stronger. Bottom line... if I am thinking about anything needy I just continue to experience neediness, the same old, same old.
If I feel the experience of loving what I do and the relationships being given to me and that I create in life on every level and in every form... how much I bring to the world, enjoy, care about, appreciate with gratitude... then life changes for me. New and "like" great experiences constantly flow into my life. The experiences are not bigger or better than anything in the past because all goodness for me is as "good as it gets".
May 28, 2009
Tinicum Township, PA
What to do, what to do... feeling hesitant about relating to the Traveling Piano truck but getting outside to play even though it was a raw and grey day was a good idea. While driving I decided to go to the closest spot because the truck might tap out with its last engine valve forever while driving on the road? I do not want to worry about it. When it goes it goes. I want to treat the Traveling Piano truck in the present like I do with Bo. I want to care... Boner will never become a smelly old dog that I no longer want to hug, touch and have relationship with. I consciously treat him today as when he was a pup. We are very physical together. If he gets a new bump somewhere I rub it and embrace it as a new part of him. As he becomes slower and more rickety I do not get impatient, frustrated, fearful... I adjust myself to accommodate him. Same with the truck, no drama as things change and become uncertain... just appreciation.
It was very quiet in the park. Bo and I were alone. I was able to get simple with music. Out of nowhere two young guys synchronistically appeared. They were not sure wether to approach; I am glad they did. We were meant to meet today and share some music and friendship for a short time. I needed that, a good connection of spirit with someone. The four of us (boner counts as one) in the quiet park together with some music. One of the guys, Christian gave me his interpretation of my life, "your life is to live in the moment, destined to meet people who are there in that moment to teach you and for you to impact them at the same time." Wisdom that took me fifty years to learn was clarified even better today from a guy in his teens. After they left a guy named Michael drifted by playing through on the frisbee course where I was parked. He also understood this Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration. I feel most fulfilled with a connection of spirit, the more spirit the better.
May 27, 2009
While walking along the Delaware canal today I made a turn and ended up walking into the small village of Erwina, Pa. The whole village is only a couple of streets in size. This area of the world is so amazingly beautiful. It would take hundreds of pictures to express the essence of todays late afternoon lush greenery after heavy rains. The houses, yards and properties are in perfect 100 year old natural condition. The key world there is natural. Nooks an crannies at every turn up and down hills and valleys through a small covered bridge... walking helped to slow me down to take it all in. I am staying in the most picture perfect rural countryside but it is not a picture, this is reality!
I received a legitimate scam Email today, I normally want to smack these people sillier than they already are but this one was just so perfectly funny I have to share it here... THIS IS MY THIRD AND FINAL MAIL TO YOU!!! On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Engr.Jochen Kruger. I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter were returned undelivered. I wish to notify you that late Engr. Jochen Kruger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$30, 100.000.00) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL. This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Engr. Jochen Kr?ger until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job. You are advice to contact me with my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Await your prompt response. Yours in Service, BARRISTER MARCUS ANDREEN ESQ. PRINCIPAL PARTNERS: Barrister Aidan Walsh.Esq Markus Wolfgang, Mr. John Marvey Esq., Mr. Jerry Smith Esq.
Finally, someone who's wording and grammar is worse than mine! hahaha...love the names.
May 26, 2009
In Charlie's House
Today was a rainy day. I took the truck over to Charlie's neighbor who is a repair guy. Charlie said it sounds like one of the engine valves are tapping. As soon as I drove into the guys driveway the problem completely went away. Go figure!!! It happens every time. This is about the fifth time I went over for him to check on something strange. The guy thinks I am a Traveling Piano hypochondriac! He said, I'll give you a repair bill as though something was wrong if you want one. He said it with a snicker. The whole day I worked on pictures.
May 25, 2009
I sort of miss performing for my usual Memorial Day parade in Warminster, Pennsylvania. I performed in the parade for over fifteen years with Raggin' Piano Boogie. When the township took it over from the vets a few years ago, Bo and I lost our status as a priority. Ahh... anyway, I began to drive to a local park at sunset and something snapped under the truck hood. A hard clicking sound followed. I was able to drive back to the house and decided to play in the driveway. ...musical therapy... I'll deal with whatever is broken tomorrow. I guess you could say I played music for the twenty or so baby chicks that just hatched from an incubator in Charlie's dinning room, kitchen area of the house. Do you know what it sounds like to hear twenty new born chicks scratching around in a cage and chirping twenty four hours a day? Charlie loves it. He's sleeping with them tonight on the couch. I have my earplugs ready and I'm trying not to project thoughts about smell and dust. Everything is a work in progress.
May 24, 2009
Raven something or other in New Jersey
necessary that I have constant interaction with life in more ways than just with music and mother nature... I must interact with people too. When I shut down into myself for any length of time, I begin to dive into the depths of neediness, resentment and confusion. The fact is, I love to interact with others. I have set the present course of my life because of my love for people. The opportunity to become a better person is ever present. I guess the issue of down time and being alone verses being actively engaged with others will be a balancing act for the rest of my life. It is what it is.
So, this was my attitude as I pulled into what I hoped was an empty boat launch along the Delaware river in New Jersey. Who was I kidding? An empty boat launch on a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, not a chance. There were several different groups having picnics. One guy tried to approach me and I sort of pushed him out of my space and then a fun mother and daughter approached and I knew there was no chance of my being there and ignoring everyone. Hahaha... It was time to interact. I ended up with a bunch of Brazilians, some who live here in America and others who were visiting. They invited me over for a steak dinner. I declined on the food because I knew I would pig out if I started. (I have gained 40 pounds!!!) I did visit with them for a spell of friendship. Boner had my steak. I did not know that Portuguese is the language of Brazil. It is the only South American country that does not speak Spanish. Who knew? I got back onto the road just in time to avoid a torrential rain.
May 23, 2009
Northeast, Philly in Pennsylvania
I am exhausted today but also determined as ever to get the body of Traveling Piano work up on the Boner the Dog website. See the link at the top in the column to the left of this page. I worked on pictures today. I choose them, toss some out, resize, adjust, create thumbnails, name files, move them to folders and the server and then post each one. The pictures for today, below... are from last Saturday, you can read about them also...below.
May 21, 2009
Northeast, Philly in Pennsylvania
Today I started out with a long drive to see my doctor for a checkup at his office in Northeast Philly, the Mayfair - Holmesburg section of the city. My Doc, Doctor Angelo Di Bello has been in the same office, a corner rowhouse, since 1955. I was one of his very first patients. He delivered me into this world. I have had the same doctor for all of my fifty three years! Doctor Di Bello is known for his loyal following. I have never known a man more genuinely interested in people and with such a willingness to be helpful, still going strong at 82 years of age! He still makes housecalls and phones his patients to check up on them when he does not hear from them as expected. He contributed the cost of my appointment today for the Traveling Piano's present journey. I asked him to do it and he did... immediately and willingly with a feeling I thought is want I always want family to feel like. He and his wife Matilda came out to the truck for a picture but I could not get them onto it.
I was sitting in the office waiting, and it was such a beautiful day, and the truck was right outside, and I thought, "I wonder if it would be stupid to go out there and play." Before I thought to much I asked the secretary to call me when it was time and I jumped up onto the truck and began to create some curbside music. Within minutes there were about twelve people around the truck. Neighbors and fellow piano players who had never before met. A twenty five year old self-taught guy began to play even though his hand was majorly stitched up. Another guy John, who was really a professional piano man began to play and then a few neighbors who never played the piano before had a go at it. The time was going so well I went inside for my appointment and left everyone outside to continue onward. When I came out they were all still going. This was very cool. It felt so good I gave them all Raggin' Piano Boogie posters. After we were done, I drove North and went to a park for a short while with my niece and her son. Back in their neighborhood I played on the street corner while we waited for the schoolbus to drop everyone off. It took no time at all for the kids to run, jump and climb onboard the Traveling Piano. Boner isn't the only one who enjoys being on top!
May 21, 2009
Kingwood, New Jersey
Boner and I headed into New Jersey today with no set place to go except to met a friend in a town named Raritan. As I was driving down the road I thought, "I wonder where this road will go" and turned left onto a random street. I headed up a steep incline and was reminded how this present truck would have a very tough time going over the rocky mountains. I saw a sign saying sheep and yarn by a driveway and thought, "I'd like to play some music for a few sheep." I turned into the driveway to explore and found Barbara, an older woman sitting in a chair getting her sun for the day. I introduced myself and as I felt my way into the situation, offering some music. Barbara went into the house to get Alexander who was putting in his hearing aid. Interestingly enough it turns out that Alexander is a major fan of piano music and his favorite music is Ragtime and Boogie Woogie. This all happening in a period of about five minutes; by coincidence into the yard walks two granddaughters Sara and Holly. Can you imagine the randomness of walking to grandma's house in a rural area with no other houses or people around and finding a piano man playing the piano on the back of a pickup truck with a dog sitting on top of the piano? It looked like they were delivering cupcakes. We all had a time together of talk and music. I gave the girls a poster and Alexander and Barbara two Raggin' Piano Boogie cassettes. I ended up being there almost three hours! as I was leaving, Alexander gave me a book he wrote on art and some prints of his work. Both Barbara and Alexander are artists and very well known... like in the America's who's, who of artists. As a teenager he used to create art for the navy, has been a teacher and much more. He showed me a book of his work which was amazing. At eighty three years of age he paints everyday. The best part of the visit was when everyone jumped onto the piano to simply explore with musical notes.
May 20, 2009
I drove the truck once again to Bristol to have more measurements taken for the new trucks piano. The present Traveling Piano truck broke down as I pulled in front the shop. The clutch was dead and I could not get the gear shift to work. It was serious. I could tell. This was not one of those, "it will fix itself situations." I could have created drama in my head... "shit, why did I not renew my aaa membership, how am I going to get home, what am I going to do with the truck, life is ending, hahaha etc..." I just stayed present with the three guys standing in front of me how had looks on their face... "what do you want me to do?" I said, "any of you guys have any idea what might be wrong?" After a few minutes and looking under the hood the older guy says, "I think its the drive slave cylinder. If its on the outside, an easy fix, on the inside you got trouble." Then I asked if there was a place nearby to take it to. They helped push the truck into position as I put the clutch to the floor and the truck drove itself in first gear to a repair shop about a half mile away. They were about to close for the day but were interested and helpful guys. I knew what needed to be done and they were able to verify it quickly. The clutch was on the outside and a half hour later with a hundred bucks now outside of my wallet, I was back on the road.
On the way back to the farm where I am staying I stopped by an old favorite river wharf parking lot. This is one of the first places I ever improvised. The same fisherman guys were there as usual along with a few new people. It has been almost a year since I have seen them. Fisherman love my music and I love fisherman. We just "be" with each other. They fish, I create music and we are all very content with the feeling of hanging out in friendship. With no need to interact with each other, this is the best! People stopped by to meet Boner, try out the piano and to give me the most amazing compliments of how my music and journey affects their lives in positive ways. As I was creating music I had the thought... "whenever I am having a difficult time with decisions, choices, impatience, anger, etc... it is probably because I am not creating enough music."
May 19, 2009
More Pictures from the Past Weekend
On a level of thinking, I am enjoying the process of life that I am experiencing. The day was mostly spent posting archive pictures. I want to finish before I begin to use the new Traveling Piano truck. I also spent time meeting with the guy who is going to help me build the new truck setup. The transition into a new truck while letting go of the present truck is without doubt more challenging then when I let go of my home. Twenty three years of major history, my entire musical career from a truck, has been with my present truck. I have hate it, I love it, I everything it.
May 18, 2009
More Pictures from the Past Weekend
I am conflicted in my decision making process. I would like to take some time off. I have not had any kind of vacation since I began this journey in 2006... I cannot remember one day. Sometimes I doubt the intent of my passion, thinking I need to prove to myself something or prove something to other people. What that "something" is, I am not sure. I think to myself, "go away without the Traveling Piano truck, forget this blog and the music, the work of relationship with other people, the work on the computer, give it all a break, see if you can do it." I would be more apt to do that if I could fly on a plane somewhere but with Boner that is not an option for today. If I had bookoo bucks doing something via a plane would not be a concern. :) I have been gaining weight and that is sending a clear message to me that something is amiss.
I would like to spend time for just Boner and myself to enjoy each other. That means no obligation or expectation concerning any work. If a get-away is going to involve driving, why would I drive anywhere without my piano? Creating music for myself is not work. Creating music for others there is no question... that it is work. This journey has been work that I love and have a passion for. It has taken a lot of commitment which has been easy because the rewards have been great. Also, I have this amazing passion that translates into a need to share everything, my entire life with others.
I love to create music for others but it feels like I just need to explore on the road some without the need to capture it all in pictures and with writing, and for others, and with the journey's agenda of fun, friendship, etc... I think I need to take some time for just me and Boner. That means not answering to anyone or anything else but ourselves for anything. I always feel an obligation of some type with anyone I stay with. Maybe call that consideration. The money supply from the sale of my house is shrinking fast but if I make that excuse to not enjoy some free time... thoughts like that only sends a message to myself that my faith is shrinking. It is not. I have been working and will continue to work and I will do whatever is necessary without cost or with cost... to be as responsible as possible for my life. I am still reeling from the fun of this past weekends festival, parade and prom escort. I hope everyone reads the details below.
May 17, 2009
In a Chair, PA
I spent the entire day today processing the pictures and writing the blog for yesterday. It took over twelve hours. I am posting some more pictures from yesterday for todays blog entry and I'm probably going to do the same for tomorrow.
May 16, 2009
Phoenixville and Pennsbury, PA
My friend Charlie who I am presently staying with agreed help me out. He was the Traveling Piano player driver for today. We headed to Phoenixville, PA for the 55th annual Dogwood Festival Parade in separate trucks and took pictures of each other as we drove along the way. I was a little nervous because I have not done a parade in a long time. I was concerned about my stamina and Charlie having too much fun with his camera and... his dog Tilly jumping all over the place in the cab... all while driving the stick-shift. The Traveling Piano truck is having a tendency to overheat with a burning clutch and 200,000 miles on the vehicle. Well, Charlie turned out to be a champ from start to finish and so did Tilly.
I was discombobulated over the fact that I had forgotten how to play my parade boogie. A ninety second piece of music that I have looped over and over for parade routes. Can you believe that? I think it is safe to say that I have performed this piece of music an easy million times over the last twenty five years and one day I just forgot it!!! I lost the sheet music for it, have not taken the time to find it in a library because I have been so frustrated over it. I knew I would make do in another way so I just tried to keep unnecessary drama concerning the problem at bay.
One of my work arounds was to Improvise my music on the parade route. Wow, wow, wow! I am going to stop thinking of my music as only soothing, mother nature oriented, easy listening etc... and get real about it. My music is what I want it to be in the moment. It is my energy both soothing and chaotic... fun and healing... it is everything life has to offer... it is the expression of my spirit in the moment. As I was stopped waiting to turn the bend at a street corner I improvised. When I stopped the crowd applauded more than when I finished a Boogie or Ragtime piece. All I know is that I was trying to manifest high, uplifting and spirited fun.
Before the parade we drove through the route to pre-hype it. Before we got a half block into the route I started to invite people to jump onto the truck to play. Ha, another first... people who have never played the piano before, playing the piano in a parade on the Traveling Piano. Can we talk joy? The journey's mission of sharing... jumped to a new level with this activity today. When it came time to turn around and return to the start point I jumped down from the piano and said to Charlie, "you play." I saw and heard an initial mumble of, "you gotta be kidding" but then he jumped right on board like a trooper and it was great! I want Charlie to use the present Traveling Piano truck after I switch to the new one so this was a perfect opportunity for him to get a better feel for it. While doing the pre-hype I also lined up a woman on the parade route to jump up and jam with me as I passed by my favorite party house area during the actual parade.
During the parade after the woman jumped off the piano, I offered for anyone else who wanted to "have a go" at being a piano player in the parade. A guy named Greg gets on board and says... "your giving me my wildest dream, I have watched you pass by every year in this parade and I have always dreamed of doing this." Greg turned out to be a REALLY good piano player. He totally embraced the opportunity. I was in awe with his ability to jam musically to naturally create what was needed. He was able to create the ultimate Traveling Piano parade experience for everyone. He had no idea how difficult it was and how much energy it was going to take which made me laugh as I kept pushing him, "keep going, keep going!" He got so into it that he began to stand as he wailed away with music for the crowd. I moved to the back corner of the truck and just screamed and screamed while I failed my hands over my head clapping with excitement and joy for him, me, the crowd and for the parade.
I was in the experience of feeling totally... observing, hearing, seeing... the epitome of all I could ever want to experience for this journey of mine... the Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration... that of another human being in total connection with what it feels like to be playing the piano outdoors on the back of a pickup truck... creating high energy, spirited, crazily musical, synchronistic fun... with an amazing dog hanging out on top of the piano while riding down the road on a sunny day in the wind, in a parade, with thousands of people of all shapes and sizes, ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and social backgrounds jumping around and responding with happiness and joy together. This was a total connection with life and everything as one in the moment.
We were heading for the reviewing stand and I had to think quick. Should I be... do I want to be... playing for the big crowds, the reviewing stand etc... and then in the moment I decided... "Go for it Gregg!" He was doing as great job as I can do. This was his community and friends seeing him in action. The Traveling Piano is all about sharing. He was manifesting the job that needed to get done for the parade. I hoped for the best that the organizers would embrace the excitement. As we passed, jaws were dropped from the organizers... I hope they were having fun with the spontaneity! I was too in the moment to be able to take pictures of it all with the crowds... damm!
Wow... Boner was such a champ to have made it through it all. He is one hundred years old in human years! With our going through the parade route three times I made sure we were in the beginning of the parade lineup so he could deal with it. He did. Afterwards, Charlie and I drove to Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. We had some time to regroup our energy which was needed because I had promised a bunch of kids in the area that I would escort them to their high school prom. Pennsbury High School has created a name for itself concerning its annual prom parade of floats and cars through the school grounds each year and we wanted to create a special craziness for this year. I randomly met a group of musicians, young guys... while playing on my nieces street outside her house a few months ago and having never before done a prom escort, I suggested it for them.
We were going to have about twelve people in the truck along with someone dressed in a huge gorilla and also as a banana. Everyone was going to be playing a musical instrument like a saxophone, jews harp, string base, drums etc... just banging away and creating noise as loud as we could for the entire ride. Well... these duffus's (I say affectionately) were not only late in arriving they had no instruments. This worked out for the best because there was no room for the playing of instruments with all the dressy clothes. While Charlie and I sat waiting we hooked up with a bunch of Philadelphia string band Mummers to jam "When the Saints Go Marching In." They had to show me the basic chords on the piano. Ha.
I was able to keep the rain clouds from dumping water on us with faith by not caring about the passing dark clouds. This is a talent that I had and then lost it. I used to brag that it never rained when I performed. This was true for fifteen years. For real... and then I lost the faith. Today, my faith returned and I knew what was happening in my soul. I was keeping out the drama, bad karma fear and embracing the acceptance of whatever was to happen. Guess what else returned? The Parade Boogie I lost in my head!!! What a gift. This was a gift for my doing this parade without charge. I just knew it. As I began to play the music on the piano keys, I thought, "damm, I was stuck on thinking this and it was that."
This prom parade was really insane. No monkey or banana outfit showed up, no musical instruments, the girls were so dolled up, beautifully nervous, the guys were waiting to be told what to do. They didn't know how to handle the primped up girls trying their best... to be the best that they could. As we had planned for the girls to sit on the edge of the truck bed well, their gowns were too tight to bend over. I suggested they take off their heals while standing in the truck so that they didn't fall down. "What are you kidding?" That wasn't happening. When they did sit out of necessity I kept yelling, "the people are out there, not inside the truck, turn your heads around!" Hahahaha... They were like, "its hurts, my feet are aching, it's going to rain, I can't keep standing, I'm going to fall off the truck, my dress, my purse is getting dirty, etc..." Hahahaha... I told them to deal with it and have fun!!! I must admit I got on them a little too much about not following through with the plan. In reality the plan was happening just fine. We made a plan, had a goal and we were enjoying the journey. It was hard work but damm... we had fun!
In the beginning I thought that I was going to have to carry all the energy for this whole crew for the entire parade... create the scene for and with them... by myself with no help. Let me tell you... having had expelled so much energy from the Phoenixville parade earlier in the day, I was a little concerned. There was no need for concern because there is no limit to the availability of energy when I am having fun and I was having fun! They were all great!!! Also... a friend of the group, his name was Richie, what an amazing spirit of fun! He took pictures for the entire way running all over the place just being stupid. His friend Sean who was the organizer sat on top of the piano with Boner and he was also really got stupid with it all. I was sure the others were having fun too even though I could not see them behind me. I began to improvise whenever the parade stopped and Shawn would act out my improvisation with body movements from on top of the piano. Hahahaha...
I could catch a glimpse every once in a while of whomever was sitting next to me in the moment, I caught their reactions to my performing. I could see in their eyes what a shocking and major experience it was for them to be in the moment... up and so close within inches to the major performance energy. I was really giving it my all, throwing out fun and love into the universe and into their lives. We were all packed like sardines in the truck! And then... another major gift for me and I am sure the entire group was not consciously aware of it. I was working as hard as I could playing by Boogie Woogie and Ragtime songs to get these prom goers a-hoop-hollerin'. At one point of the ride I began to improvise my music with as much high energy as possible and all of a sudden everyone in the truck started clapping and screaming with the music. All I can say is, the experience for me was "MAJOR." I have been working to get my improve up to performance level with my energy and today it happened and people responded. Thank God.
When all was said and done I laid flat out on the grass by the school parking lot for a short time. Boner came over, gave me a few licks, rolled in the grass a bit and then spread out for himself on the ground about four feet away from me. Charlie sat in the truck eating grapes while waiting for us. I am very grateful for the friendships, relationships and support that I have allowed into my life. There is no getting to bed before 5am. Todays shot of joy is going to take some time to process.
May 15, 2009
Boner and I made for one busy Traveling Piano team tonight. Just can't help myself I will again break my record of picture posts with todays blog entry... and I am posting only about 50 percent of the piano players for the night. We were at the Phoenixvlle, Pennsylvania Dogwood festival. We had an amazing amount of fun for four hours!
I was going to drive around and stop on different parts of the carnival grounds like I have done in past years but I found one great spot and ended up staying there for the entire time. There was no break in the action. I was too busy to move anywhere else. The Traveling Piano became an amusement ride... free, no tickets needed. Pictures, music, fun abandonment, inspiration, empowerment, friendship, respect and... I gave away a bunch of free Raggin' Piano Boogie posters for souvenirs.
I was lucky the Traveling Piano truck made it. We got caught in rush hour traffic, ugly rush hour traffic. The truck is now hitting the hot mark on the level meter when I get stuck in traffic or it sits idling. It jumps between hot to cold... up and down. Do not know what is happening and do not want to know. We reconnected with many friends I have met from the community over the last few years. A guy who I pulled off the street two years ago when I was desperate for a parade driver five minutes before the start of the towns parade jumped onto the truck to play some piano. A guy who is a spacebook friend and I didn't know it stopped by. Now I know him. Made lots of new friends.
The experiences continue to grow when I improvise. I was playing a little Ragtime, a little Boogie with not that many people around and then when I began to improvised a slew of teenagers appeared all at once around the truck. There were so many that a woman standing nearby noticed and said, "look at the energy you just created." The Phoenixville police were great as usual, they have always been supportive, love Boner... one of the guys actually jumped onto the piano for a picture. What a great sport! I have had some great experiences with the Traveling Piano and law enforcement. A few run-in's too... hahaha...
As I was creating music I could not identify what my music was attached to... the swinging, climb and drop movements of the amusement rides, the flashing multi colored lights, the screams and sounds of laughter and people milling about, or the night air and event energy. It was probably moments of each and a little of everything. Boner's hair was flying all over the place and it stuck wherever it landed from the humidity.
There are a lot of deer around everywhere. As I drove to and fro the event through Valley Forge National park i found pure Bambi land. As usual I could not give myself time to eat or drink any water while I was working and I could not justify spending $2.50 for a small bottle of water from one of the venders after I was done. I stopped at the supermarket on the way home. I actually prayed for help, :) as i walked down the isles of potato chips and white cream donuts and finally settled on a gallon of ice tea with some cheese and low fat triskets that were so dry even Boner did not want them.
Boner was a champ dealing with all the smells around him all night. I am so happy to share our partnership with everyone. We stayed until after all the rides had shut down and the lights were turned off. I have not worked an event in a long time and was glad to still have the strength and performance stamina needed. It felt good to not think of tonight as a job. It was for pure fun. I dressed casual. Ha, as I post these pictures (I have hundreds) I realize that I am not in one of them. Not that there is anything wrong with that!
I'm going to give up posting pictures for today as I am just to tired. Plus I have nothing more to say, Ha! There will be another twenty-five or so pictures from todays event that I will post in a day or two.
May 14, 2009
Representing Zip Code 18947
it is a cloudy day with rain on and off. This makes me think of last year, or was it the year before... when I still owned a house and had all of my possessions on my front, back and side lawn to raise funding for this journey. I spent most of the days running around like a crazy man putting on, taking off and securing tarps on top of about sixty... six foot long tables to protect everything from constant scattered heavy rain showers and wind. Ninty-five percent of what I owned is gone but I still had some belongings stored where I am staying presently... in my friend Charlie's house. He's tired of having them around so yesterday and today I have been tossing things off a pond cliff on the property because, well... I won't go into that but it is all jarring for my spirit to say the least.
This weekend will be busy with the Traveling Piano. Tomorrow I will spend some time in Phoenixville, PA for the annual festival that the Jaycees hold for the community. And then the next day I will do the parade and then later on... a prom parade escort about two hours away. I have not performed in quite some time so putting out the high level of energy needed and to sustain that for the entire day, and not wear out from chaotic nervousness... well it will be interesting to see what I can do! I also need to go out and buy a shirt or top to wear! Ha, I have purchased practically no new clothes in years. I won't be wearing a shirt and tie, (old performance clothes) that is for sure. I'm a casual guy now!
May 13, 2009
Representing Zip Code 18940
Everything is so green, the seasons have changed. Bo and I drove to the park to meet up with a group of prom goers. Yep thats right. the Pennsbury High School prom in Bucks County Pennsylvania is this Saturday. I told a few musicians that I had met last month I would escort them to the prom on the Traveling Piano truck. So with nobody quite sure of how to go about it, we all got together to explore ideas. There will be four couples on the truck and basically we will make a lot of noise as we drive about a mile down the road to the prom entrance.
A few of the guys created some music for me and Bo and I was just amazed at how beautiful it was. Sweet, nice, inspirational and original music. Sean played self taught piano and Nate also self taught, sang. I am constantly in awe at how each generation of people just keeps getting better and better in every aspect of life. If they can keep up the energy... me too... it should be quite a show for everyone who sees us.
May 12, 2009
Yep, today was a traveling day. I left Virginia to travel back north to Pennsylvania. Amazingly, the journey was not that difficult. it took eight hours but I guess I had so many thoughts going on in my head I did not notice the time. I love the people who are in my life. As a departing present, Tom (my host) went and had four new magnetic signs made for the truck. He thought that the Traveling Piano's message needs stronger road appeal then just that of music and wanted to offer a fuller message for the world so... along with the present "Bring the Beat to the Street", he added "Delivering Happiness to You" and "Loving Here, Living Now" ...as in the present moment. How cool is that? Very... Ahh... fun, friendship and respect. I have friends who "get it" (me). Gratitude... gratitude... gratitude...
Speaking of gratitude... I am now back on the farm with Charlie and his dog Tilly. Usually I cover the Traveling Piano truck outside at night to protect it from the elements. Tonight I covered the Traveling Piano truck inside... the garage to protect it from the elements. There's a bunch of young chickens in a large cage sharing the space so they don't freeze in the night. Charlie... wheres the chicken coop??? Years ago I would have never had the thought to, or vomited thinking about, or choked or refused to talk the way I do today as in... I feel love from the people in my life.
May 11, 2009
Zip Code 23430, Virginia
I'll be leaving Virginia for now. Tomorrow we will head back north. I wanted to get some family pictures so my friend Amy's mom Charnell made a special trip over to the house with her dogs for a Traveling Piano shot and then Amy, Tom, Trey, Ryan and the dogs and all jumped aboard the truck. Afterwards I was playing a little in the driveway and a neighbor passing by stopped to listen. I invited them out of their car to jump on board and we had a mini Traveling Piano session. When I get back to Pipersville, PA I will need to do something about moving forward with the new truck and also the agenda. I would like to find a large luxury yacht big enough to carry the Traveling Piano truck and hitchhike across the sea to China on it. Or maybe do it on a cruise ship to Europe. Maybe I will just head to Alaska and then Hollywood. First things first. I'll be heading out of my present location tomorrow. I would be VERY sad but I remind myself that I can come back anytime and have many places and people to stay with. I feel very connected to my present family and this is permanent connection.
May 10, 2009
We were invited to Heather and Doug's place for the afternoon. Heather is Amy's best friend and Tom's sister so I spent the day with more family from both sides of everywhere and extended friends. Amy and Tom are new friends who have been hosting us. Aside from it being Mothers day, it was Robin's daughter Sarah's 20th birthday. Robin is Tom and Heather's sister. Robin and her husband Michael's 16 year old son Tyler was the first to jump onto the Traveling Piano to play even before I got it set up. I drove back and forth around the street while he played on the truck and Boner hung out with him. Afterwards, I was very content to sit and eat under a canopy while watching him musically explore. I could have cared less about getting pictures for myself only for those who wanted them. Ya gotta love it and I can tell you what I especially love ...that is being with this inclusive family. I have now met several times and stayed with parents, in-laws on both sides, hung out with brothers and sisters, friends, nieces, nephews and uncles... all of this in less than two weeks and it has not been all about me and the Traveling Piano and Boner. it has been about family and relationship... fun, friendship and respect. What a privilege I have had!
May 9, 2009
Ware Neck, Virginia
Sometimes I can be a dork and today was one of those times. A few days ago I had phoned a couple who I had not yet met... to create some friendship. I don't know why I am writing this except for the fact that I love to expose the ridiculous. After a few emails... the couple's name by the way is Tish and Will... I had a... damm l will just say it... I created the feeling for myself that the visit might be work and that was not my intent for the visit. I was not going to work without getting paid even though I don't play to get paid anymore! Yea, so I still fight old thoughts and behavior and can even conjure up old dysfunctional feelings that are not facts from my depths. Anyway, I sent a email... it was what it was.
Email: Tish, I'm looking forward to meeting you and your friends. I'll get there as soon as I can. I'll be leaving here about 3pm and will probably get there between 4pm and 5pm and... you better not be setting me up for a musical performance or to entertain musically!!! :) ...because it sounds like it and that ain't happenin' so... if there are expectations floating around... that will make me feel very uncomfortable so.... please set the record straight with everyone. I'm coming to meet and spend some personal time with you and your friends and I happen to have my piano with me... if you all play on the piano... I will too. See you soon. Looking forward... Danny
Ballsy, eh? Maybe something inside me wanted to push away friendship. So... here I drive into this rural area of Virginia to the tip of a huge peninsula where I find this amazing house with a totally inspirational view of God's nature and meet this wonderful couple with their beautiful friends and neighbors and between bouts of rain we musically played for and with each other. It was a typical Traveling Piano experience. They were all gracious, appreciative, attentive and I was thankful. I stayed until dark. I must return for a second visit. "Do not project danny do not assume, do not project, allow mistakes" I tell myself. In the end all was good. There was one passing storm with major, major winds. The piano tarp has been holding pretty well. Maybe the full moon is affecting me?
May 8, 2009
Virginia Beach, Virginia
This was a beautiful day and I felt lazy about it. There was little motivation to take out the Traveling Piano. I did get a walk in with Bo. We need to get more walks into our days. The biggest accomplishment of the day was to surpass number 6000 in Traveling Piano picture posts to the Boner The Dog website.That is a hell of a lot of pictures! Only about 12,000 to go.
Tom and Amy treated me to a show tonight at the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Virginia Beach with comedian Ralphie May. Amy's mom Charnell and her neighbors came, Amy's friend and sister and their husbands were also there. I kept wondering throughout the show what Charnell and her neighbors in their 70's were thinking because there was an awful lot of foul fuck and suck humor flying around!
After the show our crew seemed to want for me to bring the Traveling Piano out of the parking garage to create some music on the street. We were in the new Virginia Beach town center and it was after 11:00PM. I was not feeling sure what to do, the situation felt a little awkward. I was self conscious in not wanting to come across as trying to get attention with the Traveling Piano. There was a group of young adults nearby taking pictures so I went over and invited them to the truck. This turned out to be an easy way to transition into the environment and the fun began.
May 7, 2009
Buckroe Beach, Virginia
The day began as another rainy day but by mid-afternoon the sun was shining bright. Amy, Boner and I headed for the beach. It is a challenge when anyone joins us to create a syncronistic adventure. I must learn to share my frame of mind and agenda, learn how to be inclusive with my thoughts and feelings on where to go, placement and how it all begins. Usually (really, always) my passengers are uncomfortable with my pulling up on the grass in a park or... into an illegal parking spot or... ignoring police when they appear. I am used to all the "no-no's" ...because I have learned how to "work it" ...tricks and ways to deal getting away with whatever I am doing without being thrown out wherever I decide to do it. But... if someone shows insecurity, concern or fear... forget it all.
We were talking with and sharing the Traveling Piano with neighbors on the cement strand right off the street next to the beach and I hear Amy kidding around, "oh, oh here come the police." Normally I pretend not see them and most of the time they do the same for me but... when they can smell us smelling them they always stop. I attached myself to Amy's concern and became paranoid trying to pretend that I wasn't and that ended our time on the beach for today. It was fun while it lasted. I guilt-ed Amy, I could not resist and she felt bad about it and then I felt guilty! Ha... it was all not that serious. The people we met at the beach knew us from the local newspapers we were in and that made for an easy introduction. Later before sunset we took a safer direction and hit a local neighborhood street where one of the kids brought his trombone outside for a jam and a bunch of us made silly musical noise together. Ahh... for the love of music.
May 6, 2009
Inside Tom and Amy's House, Virginia
Raining again today... the Traveling Piano has been moved to a garage. My friend Amy's Uncle Bill has taken it for me. I could never impress enough how important it is for me to know there are people in the world who experience life as I do. Specifically with my situation... those people who respond to needs second and the opportunity for friendship first. That is the way it has been with the people who host us. Right now I am writing this blog while listening to frogs in a pond outside the window. I heard a small dog barking today and went to investigate. Guess what? It was a frog! Have you ever heard of the barking frog? Its true.
So this is how it works. I have been thinking about these kids I met in Pennsylvania who I told that I would give a Traveling Piano escort to for their prom sometime this month. They were to get back to me weeks ago and did not so... I am thinking, "I'm not sure I want to go back to Pennsylvania right now, I would like to go to Kentucky." I'm thinking, "the gas and toll money, time, effort and they did not show they really cared by getting back to me in a timely manner." And then... they phoned. I let the phone call go to message. And then I thought, "shit, now I have to deal with this... unconditional giving, responsibility to myself, the journey, needs, fun verses possible not fun, etc"...
I went back to work posting pictures on Boner The Dog from the annual Phoenixville Pennsylvania Jaycees Dogwood Festival that I have done for many years. I was working on pictures of the guys who run the event, a group who has been very supportive of the Traveling Piano. I was thinking about how much I appreciate them and how they are terrifically hard working for their community with this event and then... an email came through from them asking me to come back to perform. They are willing and able to contribute to the Traveling Piano once again this year.
Both events happen to fall on the same date and I'll be able to do both as the one in Phoenixville starts at 1pm and the other at Neshaminy High School, 5pm both in Bucks County. One will be a freebie for a bunch of young musicians and the other will help pay some bills. The Jaycees contribution will be the Traveling Piano's first for this year aside from an ongoing friend who contributes $20 a month and another who gave us $50. Thats right, so far this year the Traveling Piano as received the exact total of $150 to help defray the cost of living. Nothing to worry about, it comes when needed, always. (although a surplus would be nice :)
May 5, 2009
Hampton Roads, Virginia
It rained all day today and that was good. The Traveling Piano is soaked. Lets see what happens.
May 4, 2009
Fort Monroe, Virginia
I moved to new digs today. This will be an interesting experiment! I have been very allergic to cats (Boner is also, but for different reasons. :) We both have had good luck so far when staying with people who have a cat. Well... this is a full house. Along with Amy and Tom and their two terrific sons, Trey and Ryan we are sharing space with Lot, a big, geriatric golden retriever, Mini Pearl ...bloodhound, first dog Bo has ever run away from, Hokie a springer spaniel, Bal the cockatiel, and a rabbit name Gram. Add to that four cats!!! Cybil - Sammie - Chill - Rosie
The Traveling Piano started out the day at the Bennetts Creek Home Away from Home Boarding and Day Care Facility in Suffolk, Virginia. We attended a 13th birthday party for Grace a very loved and inspirational dog who has been paralyzed because of a rare disease that attacked her spinal column. It was all about fun and the celebration of life. We all had pizza and birthday cake. Boner's favorite treat has always been pizza crust. Grace is a client of Amy's who owns Pawsitive Paths. Amy provides canine therapeutic massage for animals with issues such as anxiety, joint and hip dysphasia, obesity, healing for post surgical injuries and many other needs. The place was amazing. For between twenty to sixty bucks a day your animal can have a couch to sit on, its own flat screen television and a camera in the suites so you can watch your dogs while away on vacation. Outside I found acres of fenced in land along a river where the dogs could run in the woods. There was a dog bakery where everything is cooked fresh daily, and you can sit and have lunch with your dog! All this type of hoopla I used to think was ridiculous but now I understand better. There is a difference between a dog fanatic and a person who has a passion for the love of dogs. The kind of dogs that would frequent this facility are highly domesticated and you need to experience them to see their special nature. Some people spend twenty thousand bucks on a car and others on a dog or anything or body that they love. Different strokes for different folks.
Later on, I headed out to Fort Monroe an open military base located at the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay. I drove to the back along the ocean and found a fisherman with his wife and two visitors from Indiana. My musical improvisation is a perfect match for fisherman while they are fishing, always has been and I enjoy fisherman because they appreciate my music to the hilt. All day long, it was raining everywhere but on the Traveling Piano truck. On the way back I stopped at a vegetable stand on the side of the road to purchase a watermelon and of course I had to include some music with the visit. A workman's truck pulled up as I was playing and this really rough guy got out and started to dance with the music. It was a satisfying time.
May 3, 2009
Isle Of Wight County, Virginia
Charnell's friends needed to meet the Traveling Piano man and his dog or... so I suggested. We took a drive to her friends house and parked in the driveway. A bunch of seniors here... so out came the lawn chairs which automatically puts me in a performance mode. No problem. I began to play and the rain began to fall. Heavy ocean by the beach type rain. Then rain passed, the sun came out, I tried playing again and then... the rain really came pouring down. The ladies just sat in their seats holding umbrella's like I was just to continue playing. They didn't seem to mind. I asked the neighbors to take some pictures of that for me. When it was all over I found out that there was no camera card in the camera. Everyone obliged to my request for a re-staging for pictures sake. It was all very funny. We did get some quality time in even though it was short. Driving back to Charnell house the rain was torrential. Water got into the truck but not too bad. One of the tarp rivets broke, this is not good.I spent the day getting ready to load another hundred pictures onto the Boner the Dog website.
May 2, 2009
Village of Chuckatuck, Virginia
I woke up with not enough sleep and drove to Amy and Tom's son's soccer field game. It seemed that just about everyone who lives here was there, allot of people! I could not feel any Traveling Piano action fitting into the park so Bo and I went exploring through the country roads. Just about every road is bordered by water in some way. The area here is peaceful and serene. I experienced some great visuals within a trailer park that also included an auction site and neighbors all along the roadways were letting it all hang out. My favorite visual was a woman mowing her lawn in her nightgown while wearing big pink rollers in her hair, a classic. She lived in a modest house and her next door neighbor lived in at least a quarter million dollar house... people of all class types present. Just the way I like it. After about two hours of not having any Traveling Piano success I returned to where I am staying and crashed for about three hours. I needed the sleep.
When I woke up I again went out and and tried a new direction but it looked like I was driving into rain so I turned around and found my way to a local park right at the end of a bridge. There was a Traveling Piano picture and article in the newspaper today. I could tell because cars were beeping hello as they passed on the road. The first people to approach the truck at the park... "hey, I just read about you in the newspaper and here you are!" although the mom afraid to have their picture taken with the truck. I drove back to where I am staying and the neighbors were happy to see the new celebrity (of course I am talking about Boner) and so we created some music and friendship in the driveway before I drove the truck into the garage.
There was a family wedding and afterwards everyone went to hang at Tom's parents house. I was invited with or without the truck. (I appreciated that) Of course I took the truck. We headed to the village of Chuckatuck which is an indian word meaning crooked creek. The house is built at the foot of a peninsula on the widest creek I have ever seen. It looks like a bay. Tom's dad experimented on the piano. This retired, Army man who has also run the city of Suffolk public works called my music ethereal and said it painted a picture for him of his favorite spot in Colorado Springs. I felt very easy with this family and privileged that they would all welcome Bo and I with such inclusiveness. We were one with mom and dad, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews... I have been fortunate to have shared true family feelings several times throughout this journey.
I have begun to notice new experiences with my music. One is that I am finding more and more that my music captivates groups of children not just individuals and that I enjoy their attention while sitting all around me in the truck as I improvise. Next, the need to coach people who have never before created music on a piano is becoming less and less. Adults and children are mirroring my improvisational musical thought and intent as they explore for themselves. Thirdly that people are beginning to describe there musical experiences of my improvising in great detail and the descriptions are usually with visual fantasy, nature, and imagination.
May 1, 2009
Hampton Roads, Virginia
I am really with wonderful people! I decided to hook up with Rene today who I met yesterday and I took her to a park for some music. Her sister Amy joined us. The three of us with Boner crammed and I mean crammed into the Traveling Piano cab... for fun. We drove around in the parks circle several times until like a dog, I found a comfortable spot to settle in. I began to play music and after I finished Rene told me of a journey that my music had taken her on and then proceeded to describe it in detail. Wow, that was a first!
I will never cease to be amazed at the fact that I can now create inspired music from my soul. I have always known, and it becomes clearer and clearer everyday that the ability to make music is not a talent, it is simply a language. A baby starts out making sounds and will eventually create words which turn into phrases, sentences, etc... This is a natural development of environment and with personal desire. Everyone has the same ability to create and express music at any age. The more you talk and the more you use your sounds the better communicator you become. Language is a natural form of communication all one needs is the necessity, desire or courage to use it until it makes some sense to you and others.
As nightfall began the Traveling Piano parked itself on Tom and Amy's driveway and all neighbors and dogs were invited over for an opportunity to create music. I began to get introduced to the children as Mr.Kean, a formality which makes me feel very uncomfortable but we negotiated for the sake of learning respect and I became Mr. Dan with my option to call the children Mr. Joey or whatever in return :) Bill who I had met yesterday, the retired Marine came walking up to us, "Dan could you play that tune you were playing yesterday..." I thought he was going to ask for Ragtime so I interrupted... "The Entertainer?" ..."no, your music... the improvisation", he said. Way cool....