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.
November 30, 2012
I cannot remember being without the truck for such a long time. I miss playing on the piano. The truck is in a shop for repair. Last night my friend Joe picked me up and we went to dinner with a few friends. I left Mo in the cabin by himself for the first time. He did good. We need time apart. It is good. Space is good. Everyday I try to spend a few moments meditating. Taking deep breaths, bringing in the light... focusing on breath and light being here now... ha, I can barely do that for thirty seconds at a time. Trances I can do, meditation... I wish. For me a trance is more like giving up consciousness and feeling free in nothingness. Meditation is like trying to achieve something. I know, I know thats not what it is about. Nobody knows that more than me, nevertheless... I do the best that I can. It is what it is.
November 29, 2012
So, the Traveling Piano is in the shop. They called me today to ask where the key was. I told them I left it in the ignition. Several times I told them as they looked everywhere for a long time. I found them. They were sitting in front of me here and not there with no transportation. The truck is far away up and down over the mountains. I never leave anywhere without my keys. Habit... Problem... Shit.
November 28, 2012
Spent the day going through images to update my Twitter account which has not been updated since I created the account in 2009. Changed everything from Piano Dog Bo to Mo pics... It took half the day. When all was said and done... there is a bug in Twitters system and it will not let me upload the friggin' background. Troubleshooting without sucess, that was where the second half of the days time went.
November 27, 2012
This morning when I woke up, actually it was in the afternoon... there was snow on the ground. Surprise! Hibernation can feel good! Each time I hibernate no matter how short a time I get a tingle of concern because the attachment between Mo and I gets stronger. Is that bad? We just lay together all day in the recliner with short breaks to play around or just look at each other face to face, cuddle, etc... ha well, when he came into my life I asked myself if I had to choose between a relationship like I had with Piano Dog Boner... if I could have another relationship that good or this journey which would I choose. I chose the dog. I got both the joruney and dog ongoing. I'm enjoying it bigtime. My dog gives me total companiionship.
November 26, 2012
The Traveling Piano got dropped off for a few days at a friends neighbor garage for some diagnostic testing, upkeep and repair. I need it to start in the mornings. That has been becoming more and more difficult. My friend Josyln drove me back to stay here in the woods where I will be with no way out until it is done! Ha, I purchased some bacon, bread, eggs, candy bars, potato chips, pop corn, soda and have fruit, soup and veggies to hold me over for a week. Having done not much physical activity today... whatever I did was too much. It felt like I was going to have a heart attack. No big deal. :) I watched about six episodes of the television show Breaking Bad which is the darkest television show I've ever seen but too interesting not to watch. During the day it was sunny and perfect for creating music. I did so for myself while the opportunity existed. There is no piano in the place where I am staying. With winter coming on everyday I think about the people on the east coast affected by hurricane sandy and how difficult everything is for them. Today is the last day I will post pictures from Thanksgiving in the area. Having visited and put myself into situations like... that the perspective of reality is not easy to forget or ignore and creates an ever ending desire to be helpful.
November 25, 2012
I am coming to believe we are each our own world... and awareness of that fact is what makes it work. I do not run my world in this universe and... how it runs is beyond my comprehension. Whatever runs my world, it happens through God, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius... whomever I choose to put my trust in. What I "run" or control is the awareness of my happiness and I have three basic tools that come to mind to do that. The first is to consciously think, say and do my best to feel "Fun, Friendship and Respect" every morning as soon as my thoughts come to mind. Next, I think and feel gratitude... even at the most basic level like the enjoyment of taking a breath. If I cannot get any enjoyment from a breath of air I stop breathing. When I suffer enough and breath then I become grateful. Ha, just kidding but as an analogy that is how it has been many times in my life. Then as I begin to have a good day I settle my mind into peace and serenity before any shit can start. Next... I stretch my body to use my breath. Need to spend more time with the stretching and breathing like I did at the beginning of this journey.
November 24, 2012
The pictures I have been posting have been from our recent trip to Rockaway Beach, New York on Thanksgiving. I just finished posting all of the recent pictures into the galleries. There were over a hundred people on the Traveling Piano truck in the few days I had spent this week and last week while in Brooklyn, Hoboken New Jersey and Staten Island, New York. My thinking today... I believe the overwhelming majority of people in this world have a desire to share but do not know how to do it for themselves and... when it is not done for themselves cannot feel the personal sense of worth, reassurance and validation that results and that sharing creates a sense of belonging and having a right to be here on earth and in the universe. There is too much thinking about how, who, what, when... doing it because they are supposed to, are told to, etc... What comes to mind is that the over whelming number of people who have hosting us on this journey so far. When we first connected, they have said yes without thinking.
November 23, 2012
I am really glad to be back in the little space I have been given to use for how ever long. The Traveling Piano's latest venture into the world... Mo, me and the Traveling Piano, we did as much as was possible. It feels like I subconsciously knew enough was enough and then the situation played it self out of my control. (subconsciously) It feels important to be good to myself now. I was thinking about money today... I watch money being thrown around like crazy especially after a disaster like Hurricane Sandy. I always see plenty of money being used in relief situations for practical purposes as well as for different personal agendas. People have money for what they want... they give it away or spend it according to preferences, pressures, loyalties, ego, needs to impress but not so much for the sake of simply sharing it... in of itself. Next thought... When I want something... when I go to a "well" so to speak for water... my seeing there is no water and just leaving without question has really improved. I used to put myself into denial and try to create "well water" out of nothing. Ha, that is true but work on myself is still needed to decipher wether the well I am seeing has any potential for water. Reliance on potential when there is none has been a bad habit for my life. Practice... practice... practice... Last thought: Someone a few days ago said they had seen me recently in a documentary and that is not good for me. I do not want to be in documentaries I know nothing about. Sometimes, the less I know the better. :)
November 22, 2012
Rockaway Beach, New York
I cannot seem to get a grasp on the fact that I left West Virginia yesterday morning and am now back tonight in West Virginia again. A mid-afternoon departure yesterday with ten hours of driving... working all day today with the Traveling Piano in Brooklyn and Rockaway Beach, New York today... and now back in West Virginia after a seven hour drive... that does not seem real. I do not seem to be able to get a grasp on the fact. Maybe it is because of all the extreme stimulation's... having been in a totally rural area with few people, trees and darkness, then into major traffic for what seemed like forever, thick industrial super smelly smog ... driving through Manhattan with its amazing skyline (wow), big old Brooklyn apartment buildings, city lights and fast paced smiling holiday minded people with agendas... lastly, today at the beach... (I got to see the ocean) messy destruction and happy people, Thanksgiving food out the schnoz... Had I known I would be driving back I would have filled the truck with food. There were frozen turkeys and full cooked seven course meals wrapped individually... could have filled a freezer for two months and for sure, a lot went to waste. That food would have saved me a lot of moola! Ha, not to worry... For all the complaining I have done in the past concerning rural dirt roads, pots holes and rocks... ha, I have found that paved, or what used to be paved or even worse constantly repaired urban city roads can be equally difficult to use.
The day started in finding the Traveling Piano safe having been parked and exposed all night on the street. There was shattered car glass laying in the vehicle spot in front of me but it was not from last night. I had parked outside a small live-in disabilities home so I knocked on the door and invited them to open the windows and also wanted them to come outside for a few minutes to meet Mo and hear some music with the truck. An aid came out with a guy. Afterwards a neighbor stopped while walking with his children and then Debbie my host and I headed off to Rockaway Beach. Deb was going to drive me down the streets for a couple of hours while I played music. During the first stop three girls who were looking to volunteer somewhere hitched a ride with us. They didn't know where to be helpful so I suggested they simply approach someone cleaning out their house and ask what was needed to be done while being open for conversation. People dealing with the aftermath of a major storm always need to tell their story, to have someone to talk with about it.
While the truck was moving I found myself being very directive with Debbie. My needs had to be yelled loud and clear so she could hear me as I created music and also with all the outside noise surrounding us. When driving down the road unconventionally with a dog sitting on top of the piano absolute no safety issue can be left to chance. An acute sense of awareness is needed especially with distracted people walking and driving in cars everywhere. Since this was Deb's first time in a situation such as this and she was completely unprepared for the intensity (mostly mine) she became very disturbed and took my directive yelling personally. I think I became a little fearful to begin with before we started. I had seen a book she had been reading sitting open on the passengers seat next to her and projected possibly unnecessary concern with that. We had agreed to go straight down the road. After the first turn to see the beach and getting stuck at a closed road with traffic coming at us, I reminded Debbie of the plan for straight down the road. Also, we had three riders in the back looking for a destination. Sometimes with drivers it works and sometimes it does not. In this situation I sensed it would not work at the start but went into denial until it was too late and we were already in action doing it. By that time there was no option but to ride out the storm as best I could and I did not want to quit what we were doing because of implicating results. I wanted for everything to be nice. Then we stopped in the middle of an intersection. I think Deb was trying to decide wether to turn again or not and oncoming traffic was coming from different directions. I began to panic and yelled, "Debbie keep going straight, Go, Go Go! She felt humiliated with that: it broke the straw of tension for her and she said that she knew the city better than me. She quit on the spot and I heard... "go find another place to stay for the night!" Apparently, my giving good direction was not good enough.
About an hour into the day, my having a place to stay for the next few days ended abruptly. Shit happens, I could have spent my time setting up another place to stay. I did have resources but they were all at least an hour away and at the time I could not think about them. I did not want to spend time figuring out what I was going to do. I thought out-loud... Fun, Friendship and Respect. My priority was to look at what was presently in front of me and why I was there. It was to be all about the Traveling Piano agenda. There were two distinct mindsets to choose from fear or fun and I choose fun. I decided to make the best of what was in the moment. In retrospect I wonder if I should have spent the time restructuring my visit. I had planned to stay until Monday and skipping by Thanksgiving may have served a better purpose after all the hoopla. Then again I was also aware I was serving a personal needed distraction for my own subconscious emotional issues. The energy to drive back to West Virginia after dark probably came from those deep seated emotional holiday turmoil issues as well as the abruptness of having lost my place to stay. For anyone who reads this blog at times... the older I get the more I pray for God to keep me safe. That comforts me. It was a challenge today with every interaction not to insert an "I need a place to stay" agenda. Hahaha!
I pulled into a nearby shopping center to gather my thoughts and within sixty seconds a woman I had met a little more than a week ago came walking by. It was more than strange. She said hello and I told her I needed a place to stay for the night. She asked if I was a catholic and I answered... born and raised catholic but would that matter? She asked me once again to come and play at her church where relief efforts were going on outside with other organizations. (this is how we met last week) The monsignor would be at the dinner they were having in about two hours. He most likely would have a place for us to stay. I should have taken the lead from her asking if I was catholic (conditional help) along with the recent rejection from a catholic retreat house on Long island last week. Like the cartoon strip Peanuts... Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football... I fell into the trap again! Hahaha... I went to the church. The woman was not there and last week she also disappeared after we arrived. She felt to me like a spirit who appears and then disappears. I went inside. There was an over abundance of food on the serving tables. People sat around half empty tables as dinner was winding down. While waiting to talk to the monsignor I heard him telling two girls who had brought people to the dinner not to bring anymore outsiders because the food was only for the parishioners. At that moment I knew there would be no assistance for the Traveling Piano agenda or me personally. I was correct and disappointed... more disappointed about outsiders not being welcomed into their Thanksgiving dinner. I am so very grateful for the friends in my life who are catholic and "live" its faith. The most significant loving people in my life have been and are presently catholic. Otherwise the hierarchy, bureaucracy, the controlling bad apples... ugh.
I did look for a shelter. Often over the past few months I thought about staying in one in LA when I was out west earlier in the year... and then again In Washington DC just to be with homeless people. I looked for about an hour and then gave up. Staying at a shelter would be scary. The humility needed would be draining and because of the environment I would not get much sleep. Staying in one was not absolutely necessary. The Traveling Piano work comes first and I was already exhausted from the last two days. Sleeping in my truck was not an option because I need to feel good in order to give people good feelings. It was mentioned about playing for poor people today verses the rich and I stated that the rich struggle just as much as the poor emotionally when experiencing unwanted change, loss and chaos. As I drove around the city I saw the poor communities taking care of themselves nicely. Large low income housing community complexes had their own Thanksgiving celebrations. There were long lines of residents waiting to get into the centers... music dj's were included. All day I watched different shifts of vehicles change hourly in the city parking lots and along the streets. Churches dropping off food left pamphlets in the food packages so credit could be given. An amazing number of private families came to set up home cooked food to share. You could see that just about everyone volunteering had an agenda to get out and home for their own celebrations by dinner time.
The police both this time and last, lots of them everywhere... clearly there to observe for assistance needs only. No threatening looks or looking for trouble, no directing this or that... simply leaving people to their business without interference. Their presence felt comforting for no specific reason. On the way out while driving through Brooklyn a record number of people extended friendship to me while stopped at red lights or while slowly passing in a travel lane while driving they would roll down their windows to chat. I was getting super friendship. At one point I even pulled over to the side of the road so a family could get onto the truck for some music with a picture. A guy got on the truck today and began to play Christmas music. Ha, I suspected that would happen and for that reason brought along Mo's reindeer antlers and a Christmas hat for the guy to wear.
November 21, 2012
Brooklyn, New York
Before leaving West Virginia I thought it might be a good idea to check the trucks oil level. I pulled the stick out and there was no read. I tried three more times thinking I was missing the hole... there was no oil in the truck! While sitting on the road for over an hour waiting for an accident to be cleared I learned that many people now watch television while they drive as well as talk on the phone. The truck in the old days was so air tight that Piano Dog Bo's breath kept the cab warm on cold days. Not any more... Mo and me, we be blowin' in the wind! After my GPS taking me (in the dark) through New Jersey and New York's integral industrial truck road mazes and... holiday people in Flatbush NY driving worse than on a full moon, etc... after ten hours of driving I arrived in Brooklyn to stay with Debbie who I met less than two weeks ago when I was here last. I don't think I mentioned that when Debbie saved my butt by offering her home to use for sleep verses inside the truck... because I was so tired and could not drive any distance after playing in Rockaway Beach... this women who I had never met before offered me her bed and was going to use her futon. Wow, in addition to being invited into a strangers home to stay and then being offered their bed... it warmed the cockles of my heart!
November 20, 2012
All day I have been trying to take it easy. Did the wash, cleaned sand out of the back of the truck from last week in Rockaway... separated a few links in the photo gallery so now there are 7,000 pics on a link verses 14,000 hahaha... I am serving myself in going back to New York to play through Thanksgiving. The holidays can be a real pain in the ass, depressing, a dilemma about what to do. If I had stayed here in West Virginia I would have been by myself for Thanksgiving. That would not be good for this year so I am grateful that I have something worthwhile to do... that I want to do... that I can do... that I am going to do.
November 19, 2012
Originally, I was planning to leave again tomorrow for the hurricane affected areas but a pang of uneasiness came over me and I must force myself not to rush. The plan was to use the Traveling Piano the day before Thanksgiving because the day the before Thanksgiving is a big emotional day for many people but I need to take care of me first and foremost. I will leave Wednesday and play Thursday. My new friend... NY city taxi driver Debbie will drive the Traveling Piano while I create music through the streets of Rockaway Beach, New York on Thanksgiving. Today, I got up to date and finished posting everyone's pictures from the last two weeks. Hooray! 2012 July thru December ...if you have had your picture taken on the Traveling Piano, good luck finding it... click on the thumbnails to bring up the larger resolutions to download for yourself. The photos, 8000 photos from this year alone (a major accomplishment) ...all in a time line. The first of the year is at the bottom and the most present at the top. The Traveling Piano Picture Galleries are heading near 50,000 in number. I have had over 40,000 personal one-on-one interactions with people on the Traveling Piano in almost seven years. Oh my God!
November 18, 2012
Everyone waiting for their pictures... I promise I will not forget, they will be sent! :)
Ha, I am lost in time. Ahh... to wake up in a familiar bed with my own sheets and under my now old familiar goose down comforter. To use my familiar pot, cook some steel cut oats for breakfast, slice an apple to mix in... relax in my recliner. I have little grasp of the last few weeks. For now it is just Mo and me... for a short while. Driving the distance however long to be here if only for a short while was worth it. All day I worked to post pictures for people we have met during the last few week, more than twelve hours of work while feeling... gratitude. What an amazing life I have and want to remember when I feel stressed, burnt out or insecure. I have experienced an enormous amount of joy from thousands and thousands of people... all one-on-one with what Mo and I have to offer... the music of relationship, intimacy... fun, friendship and respect.
November 17, 2012
Everyone waiting for their pictures... I promise I will not forget, they will be sent! :)
Last night my friend Ed mentioned there is a catholic retreat house in Long Branch, New Jersey where the recent hurricane hit. Several times over the years people have suggested that when I pass through towns looking for a place to stay... the local church would find a place to put us up. I always think sarcastically, "yea, right" ...while deep down inside wishing it would be true because I feel that religious organizations should have open doors and I would like to experience generosity from a religion or church community and share it with the world. After thinking, "give it a chance, you will never know if you never ask, don't be pessimistic about a situation, give the benefit of doubt" I looked the place up on the internet to find the grounds had been damaged from the hurricane but not the retreat house itself which holds a hundred fifty people and gets $175 a weekend for stays with meals. What the hell, I sent an email figuring I might go there after New York... after Thanksgiving to share the Traveling Piano with the community. I asked for them to extend some charity for a few night stays in the middle of the week. It was not easy for me to do as in keep from feeling stupid, get rejected, did not want my intent to be misjudged... The reply: "Thank you for inquiring about San Alfonso Retreat House. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate you. God bless you on your journey. Mary." It made me wonder if the place is filled up with homeless, displaced people from the storm and if not... I suggest, Revolution! Take over!!! Ha.
After waking up this morning Ed, Janet and I spent a few moments together, I drove Janet to the airport for her flight back to South Carolina and then Mo and I drove to West Virginia. She contributed a full tank of gas as a gift. Driving back such a distance for only a few nights was the right decision. On the way I stopped at a supermarket selling frozen turkeys and wished I had the time to purchase one and do a couple of weeks worth of cooking. Almost to my end destination while driving I ran across a flock of wild turkeys. They knew it was hunting season. So here we are in familiar surroundings, a small home base (not for much longer) ...Mo stretched out with me in a recliner, candle lit, quiet and peace along with a few life long possessions... my mom's hand knitted pillows, a dark green ceramic christmas tree, a water color portrait of Piano Dog Boner and myself, my slippers... feeling still. My mind tends to wonder to people who have lost everything back in the hurricane hit areas... how some guy was talking to me a few days ago that he will miss his family pictures most...
November 16, 2012
I stayed with a family in Virginia several years ago whom I had never met before the day I arrived. Amy and Tom with two son's Trey and Ryan... I came to know their mom's, dad, uncle, sisters, step-relatives, parents, dogs cats... we have stayed in contact often and close at times since our first meeting. Amy was the catalyst for the original visit and while I was there a new canine family member was brewing. He manifested as Ecco D' Oro an Italian Spinone. Ecco is now a philanthropic dog and figure head for a non-profit titled Nawty Dawg Big Heart. He has also become a champion Westminster dog show competitor and when he was competing in New York City this year met metropolitan opera star Janet Hopkins who serenaded him with an Italian aria.
Since... Ecco has been asked to star in a new television pilot for the Live Well Network about the private life of show dogs being filmed today in Philadelphia. Along with Janet, the Traveling Piano, myself and Mo were asked to participate. Did I say yes... of course! If all proceeds as planned the show should air sometime in April. It was a full day and we tried not get bored while waiting most of the day. Janet drove the Traveling Piano while I created music around the neighborhood. Trey and Ryan hung with us. The family hosting the shoot in their backyard jumped on the piano as well as camera, sound man and producer. The pizza delivery guy got in on the act. While exhausted, later we had dinner and then Janet and I took in the movie Argus. Mo slept in the cab. He had been running all day with Ecco and two other family dogs.
November 15, 2012
We left our friends in South Orange and headed for Philadelphia to meet up with my friend Amy and her family. The idea of staying with my friend Ed for two nights, I worry about getting enough sleep. I feel a commitment with myself to go back to the hurricane areas in New York for Thanksgiving. I know without question the Traveling Piano will be helpful but... I am driving three hours away now, and to totally "collect myself" and be with just myself for a while... I would need to drive another five hours even farther away to West Virginia for just three nights and... then drive all the way back east and up to Rockaway. It feels a little irrational but I do not want to stay at a Motel. Getting rest in a motel is not much better than staying with a friend. Also if I drive back I can pick up a huge truck cover I have stored in West Virginia. Any protection i can add for the truck from the ocean air would be helpful.
Also today, when I got to Philly today I headed straight for the airport to pickup and meet a new friend... renowned dramatic mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins who is a sixteen year veteran of the New York Metropolitan Opera. Can we talk FUN???!!! Janet, Amy, Philanthropist Dog Ecco D'Oro, Piano Dog Mo, the Traveling Piano and Me... we are getting together tomorrow with a bunch of other people to... ha, I want to save the news until tomorrow. While waiting at the airport I was early and had some time to clean the truck as well as create music and even interact with a few people. It has been a long time since I was at an airport. There was no such thing as a Cell Phone Waiting Area parking lot in my day, ha. It is a great idea. When I met Janet she wanted me to decide what to do so I took her to the Schuylkill river one of my favorite spots to create music and while the sun was setting I played some music, so did people who wondered by, Janet sang some... there is no way I can put into words the experience of Janet's musical voice singing next to me on the Traveling Piano. I can say it was un-worldly in the most memorable and beautiful sense.
November 14, 2012
East Orange and Summit, New Jersey
I am a little ashamed of my limitations at times and how difficult it is too function and what I often go through to just... "do." I write about that a lot I know... and I also know it makes people wary but the bottom line is... I always do what I need to do in time no matter how precariously, overwhelmed or confused. Been doing it all the same way for my entire life. My cell phone died and I purchased a new one online I just hope it gets to my friend Ed's house by the time I pass through Philadelphia... eighty bucks. A new cell phones come with a battery and charger, right? Hope so... then I went to get the spare tired filled. The first repair station guy was an ass. I asked him to fill it for me and he said do it yourself. It was underneath and I said I did not know how and I could not get under the truck. He acted like I was an idiot and said again to do it myself. The next place, the guy was great, everyone there was interested and jumped onto the truck to bang a few notes of music. I found out the tire was worthless (what did I expect form a twenty five year old spare tire, ha) so I purchased a new one from them... seventy five bucks. Then... the hair on my camera sensor... God, that friggin' hair continually putting a line through every photo. They were going to charge me sixty bucks but then just put the tweezer in and pulled the thing out. I do not know how I missed it. I looked for that hair for hours and hours, days and days. So anyway, I purchased a lens cap and filter from them... thirty bucks.
Someone contributed ten bucks this week and just now someone else sent me twenty. So that takes care of the camera. Tank of gas... fifty bucks. People keep asking me what I am going to do once I run out of money. I say I hope I DIE. Ha, half serious about that. I almost could not get into the camera shop because everyone walking by on the street was so interested and wanted to have a go on the piano. There is a lot of money floating around East Orange and Summit New Jersey where I am and... everyone wants some of it. Fur coats, savvy clean dressed people... the street lamps in East Orange are the original from way back when. They are still lit at night by gas! For dinner I went to a gourmet supermarket, tonight is my treat for the family and I acted like it was Christmas and purchased everything that looked good, tons of meats and fish, vegetables, italian stuff and also a huge fruit tart... eighty some bucks! The tolls have cost a hundred bucks since I left West Virginia and my friend Evey sent me a hundred bucks so that is that. Its all good. She said, she would rather give money to individuals rather than organizations to help out. I totally agree. We will be heading to Philadelphia tomorrow but will come back to be with people in the hurricane affected areas through Thanksgiving.
November 13, 2012
Brooklyn, New York
I woke up this morning, it was raining. I was going to go to Rockaway anyway but at the last minute oped to head back to New Jersey. It would have been a big mistake not only for the piano, truck and equipment but I was feeling dizzy and lost my objectivity a bit yesterday. I took in too much of other peoples sadness and if I went back today would have left depressed. Also, I wanted to get the blog up to date and process some pictures for people. The truck sat in a Dunkin Donut parking lot all night. It barley started. The manager said I was lucky because they have surveillance cameras that automatically call towing services, they have no control over it. It has been a long time since I have seen people walking on streets using umbrellas. Debbie who we met on the street in Rockaway and invited us to stay overnight... I hope will become the best of friends forever. I cannot tell if I had a good sleep or not. I'll never get used to acclimatizing myself doing things different, everyday... finding work arounds for needs... etc. Actually, it is impossible to get a good sleep at this present time. When I got back to South Orange, NJ I realized that it is Tuesday and not Wednesday, damm... I could have stayed another day but then I realized I need to stop. I tell people to email me for their pictures so they have been doing that... need to get them processed filed and uploaded.
So, I am staying with new friends Ann and Joel and their daughter June. They did not blink an eye when I asked to share their home which is in New York Cities first suburb. I never understood the land layout in this part of New Jersey until now. First, this family has an New Jersey accent as strong as the strongest Southern drawl. They live in South Orange New Jersey... the Oranges, four separate distinct cities. There is an Orange city, South Orange city, East and West Orange but there is no North Orange city. The neighborhood looks and feels exactly like the main line of Philadelphia full of massive old homes with large trees many of which are exactly now peaked with autumn color. The property taxes alone are from around $17,000 a year and up for each home, each house uniquely old and beautiful. Both of my hosts consider themselves knee jerk radical liberals... Ann is an Italian humanist. Ha, that sounds funny to me and she also attended Antioch college which is radically liberal. They are both life long career social related attorneys. I asked if I could use the garage for the truck and eleven at night I was helping Ann move dressers into the house and stuff out of the way to make room. She uses a bicycle to get around the city and bikes five miles to and from work each day and also owns and manages her own properties. I am with people who share wealth without hesitation or expectation.
November 12, 2012
Rockaway Beach, New York
Even though it was a late start as usual, questioning whether I feel well enough even to go out... I wanted to drive to Rockaway Beach, New York. A tiny part of me wanted to see how bad it was, another... I just wanted to see the ocean (that did not happen) but my core intent was to share the Traveling Piano. The driving was long and difficult. It took an hour just to cross Manhattan, the city is something like two miles wide? There is still a lot of cleaning going on from flooding everywhere in Manhattan. It has been a long time since I have seen masses of people on streets. While sitting in gridlock at 34th and 8th avenue a guy walks by and says,"Hey, I saw you in Hoboken Yesterday!" Wow, that was crazy and then looking for gasoline became an issue. I found a place mid-afternoon in Forrest Park and after the long wait I thought about how stressed I was from it all so... I stopped for a while to create music by the gas pumps for the workers and all the other people stressed out waiting in line. I thought I might not make it to Rockaway because it was getting late. As I left the gas station, the owners kept wanting to give me anything I wanted from the connivence store but I felt that would have detracted from my giving to them. It feels like now is the time to give not to get. (but I do think about saying yea, if you want to give in return help me get to China with the Traveling Piano and Mo, :)
As I drove more confident with a tank full of gas... the oncoming traffic from the opposite direction was so bad I could not imagine getting out from where I was going. I crossed two bridges and after the first... it was really bad from the storm and then I crossed the second... it became very ugly, dark a mess as bad as it can get. It felt desperate. I could tell it had been a beautiful place. I never been to this part of Long Island before and am sorry I'll never see it as it was. People are just coming out of their daze and shock while entering into depression... realizing what is. There was nothing but sadness coming from everyone's face. Stories began instantly, Mo did his job great, me too. There was fun happening if only for a few moments at a time. A bus driver pointed to her condemned high rise condo while telling me how she and her husband are sleeping in their car because there is no place else. It was getting dark. I was super tired and I thought it was very probable I would be sleeping in the Traveling Piano overnight for the second time in almost seven years. (and 7 years older) I asked the woman if it gets really cold in the middle of the night. She said she just keeps waking up when it gets too cold and heats the car up for a while.
After stopping a few times and having many interactions with people... I was in a big open downtown shopping center parking lot on the main street playing music and a woman came running up to the truck saying, "Oh, my God I was just thinking of how we need Spirit here because everyone is sinking and... here you are!" Her name is Debbie and she lives a few miles away in Brooklyn. She came to see if her bicycle was still here after a week of being tied to a street pole and it was. It did not take long at all to learn Debbie is an aspiring writer, New York city cab driver who has a masters degree and is teaching childhood education part time at a local college. She also volunteers a lot and is a forty year old proud lesbian. Having just cleaned up her apartment because she was hoping to get lucky with a comedian she has a crush on and performing in NYC, she says... I guess I was really cleaning up the place for you and Mo to come stay over without knowing it. I took the offer without blinking an eye. It felt very right. Along with other people a few police officers came up to join in some fun, someone from a local food tent dropped a ton of food into the truck and then another women came up and asked if I could bring the truck down the road a few miles to where her people were working, milling around sorting through dry clothes, eating, trying to stay warm etc...
I was thinking about how I would get to shave and brush my teeth. It was really... needed and then a guy asked if I needed anything... he had toothpaste, a brush and a razor. Debbie found some shaving cream, had a towel, wash cloth and a shower to use. We stopped at a pet store for dog food and then I remembered I had some stashed behind the truck seat. When all transportation shut down the New York cabbies had a field day with work. Debbie's colleagues were gloating on and on about the money they were making. It gave her a bad feeling. She responded by making enough to pay her rent and an extra fifty bucks and then stopped working, went home... collected everything she thought might be useful from her apartment and was down by the beach with people the day after the storm working to keep spirit alive. She began to realize she was going overboard with too much and stopped after giving away her sentimental saxophone that belonged to her father. It was given to a little kid who thought it was awesome. Rockaway Beach I found out has no fees to use the beach. Maybe on some level, subconsciously without knowing... I was drawn to this place to give some support and love specifically because of that. There are so few places left in urban areas to enjoy this earth freely. I do not believe there should be fees to enjoy public parks or beach spaces.
November 11, 2012
Hoboken, New Jersey
I woke up and found Phil my host and his daughter June very upset because their internet was not working and they thought it was my fault because I had disconnected the ethernet cable to use. June needed to do school work and Phil needed not to have any aggravation. He called friends who came over and fixed it and luckily it was not my fault. It was afternoon by the time I got going and too late to drive any major distance so I headed for Hoboken. It is a city I had never been to and had flooded really bad from the recent storm. Beforehand I got to meet and interact with a neighbor and...
The truck has had a garage that it barley fits into. As I slowly backed it out I heard a slight creaking and once it was outside found out the tire was flat. Not one but two screws went into the tires as I was driving through all the debris yesterday. I find the fact that the tire did not go flat in the darkness back on Staten Island last night or while I was driving on the bridge or dark highways for an hour and a half... it stayed inflated and useful until I was safe and secure in bed... I find that "be" a miracle. Phil had AAA insurance and the guy who came to fix it went out of his way to take the truck tire back to his shop, put plugs into it and return to put back on the truck. My spare tire had no air in it. I was VERY thankful and the time waiting for it to get fixed gave me the opportunity to clean some of the mud and dirt out of the truck from using it the last few days. So onward to Hoboken...
After pulling up to a random street curb the first people I met... a family from Pottstown, Pennsylvania who were in the area to help out said... "Hey we saw you in a parade in Pottstown about fifteen years ago!" Hahaha... It was really fun on the street corner where I was. It seemed everyone was drunk. As well as being yuppified, Hoboken I found out is said to have more bars per capita than any other city in the United States! A guy named Eric appeared. He improvised music with high energy and together the three of us... me driving while Mo walked back and forth on top of the piano and Eric created music... we wandered through the neighborhood streets. I would stop at corners to let traffic pass as the streets are narrow. People would come to their windows open them and look out and applaud every time Eric finished a song. A few came down and jumped onto the piano to play for themselves.
Many people I meet in New Jersey and New York are born and bred here. I have not met one transplanted person. There is something special about born and bred east coast city folk who live their entire lives following generations of family. I stopped at what I thought would be the last corner and it coincidentally was across the street from where Eric had grown up. He knew many of the people we came across and was especially elated because with all the hoopla fundraising musical events that have been going on from local musicians... he had felt left out and had not had the opportunity to contribute musically for his neighbors concerning the storm... until today on the Traveling Piano truck! Hoboken is a very cool place with a lot of character. It has many five, six story old stone row houses. Mo... more than once today brought some fun, play and joy to other dogs who needed it. That was interesting to notice.
November 10, 2012
Midland Beach, Staten Island, NY
Major devastation, something that would need to be seen to be believed... along with lots of compassion, care and Traveling Piano Fun on Staten Island, NY after Hurricane Sandy today. It felt like I just fell into every spot I was supposed to be in. The first place was simply a dead end street where neighbors came over to the truck and all joined in with the piano for a picture. Stories began like a neighbor who's body had been found in the shrubbery across the street... three kids in the house next door at the window yelling from the second floor trying to find out how high the water was rising all the while not knowing that the structure holding them up and supporting them from below had been blown away. Neighbors helplessly watched the boys from windows next door in amazement that the room they were in withstood all the storms pressure. We drove on and found a street corner where a lady from down the street came buy and dropped off some homemade cookies while another guy brought by some homemade soup etc...
The Showtime television network was their doing a documentary on a guys journey through the storm. He happened to be a piano player and jumped onto the truck for some music. I told them they could use the truck and all visual footage. Then they began to get legal oriented asking for me to sign over all my rights, etc... I said no. It happened later in the day with another interview in wanting me to relinquish my rights into the video camera... not! I suggested people use the coverage they create like the media does. I am not going to take responsibility by saying they can do whatever you want with me, my dog, my name and what I do, how participates... I met a caravan of suv's full of dog rescue ladies who were walking door to door giving out dog food and followed them for a drive to another area of Staten island known as Midland Beach. It looked like hurricane Katrina. Some the streets were still impassable strewn with belongings from people's houses. I had a lot of one-on-one interactions with people cleaning out their houses and also several full blown neighborhood gatherings with the Traveling Piano. Some people used the piano to just take a break, have a distraction from everything and sat for ten minutes at a time just tinkling away at the piano keys.
I thought I might lose some weight from being so active through all this... not a chance. All the home cooking... and it was interesting the different types of relief sources, people connecting one-on-one. Single people from out of town who just went to a store, purchased supplies and brought them to distribute from their cars... families who came into the neighborhood for the day and set up tables with food they had cooked from home, the usual organizations... there were hippies and just a bunch of macho men who live on the same street taking control of whatever needed to get done... members of the community who had moved away and took a plane flight back to help out. Seeing as the sun was out and drying everything there was dirt and dust was everywhere. Lots of people had masks on for breathing issues. I drove slowly while Mo hung out on top of the piano through many streets still full of debris ant burnt out houses. I could not leave. It got dark and a whole new experience began. Kids who were in there houses sitting in the dark with no electricity came outside and the Traveling Piano became an activity for them in the darkness.
I was really out of it... tired and fumbled through the entire experience. That was ok, "it is what it is." I had a large bowl of beans, ham and rice. In the dark I spilled the whole thing into my travel bag with camera and necessities, all over the truck seat and floor, a big mess. Mo was throwing up all day because when I stopped people would give him food before I could stop them. He threw up almost a whole hotdog at one time. There were special moments. Several times people who had never played the piano before got up to try it out after I had improvised and I could hear them imitating my musical style. It was beautiful for me to experience. There were really significant soundbites all day like an older guy saying as he was banging on the keys, "Never thought I'd be laughing today." Whole neighborhood street blocks were involved with taking care of each other. One lady told me that two days after the storm, thirty people came down the street, saw her house and knocked on the door asking if she needed any help and by the end of the day the entire house had been cleaned out and repaired.
Driving out... I thought I was once again, like riding a bike... getting used to the urban network of road mazes. Between the GPS taking me in circles (on toll roads) the darkness and my developing nighttime blindness as well as being super tired... I really, really needed to concentrate on the road when to look out for people and when not to care, how keep the truck from falling apart when going over the road bumps, and where to turn. Once I got onto the street where I am staying... after driving up and down it ten times (I could not think of where I was) I called Phil my host and asked him to come find me curbside! Ha, made it to a comfortable bed for the night.
November 09, 2012
Staten Island, New York
There was snow on the ground when I woke up but the sun was shining bright. It is strange to see large piles of autumn leaves to be picked up at the street curbsides all covered with snow. We headed off to Staten Island with the Traveling Piano mantra running in my head... Fun, Friendship and Respect. I forgot to pack my hats, gloves and scarf... hate when that happens. We drove over the super narrow and big twelve dollar toll... Goethals Bridge onto the island and stopped to ask a postal lady delivering mail where a good place might be to go. She directed us to the beach area where the recent hurricane did the most damage. We got lost along the way and found a fire station so we stopped to get more directions and had some fun through that process.
In finding the first spot we just pulled the truck to the side of the road. It took no coaxing for interactions to begin with people even though I could see young kids were scared, people were in a daze, the awareness of the shock has not set in yet. We were outside a destroyed biker club who's members set up a twenty four hour food and supply point for the community. Stories began to surface for example about the fear of seeing the tidal water racing down the street towards people in their homes or when a dad saw everything was getting really bad... put his son on his shoulders to get him out of the house and got swept off his feet immediately from the water current... several people cried today which was really good. One person was laughing and it turned into crying. The Traveling Piano works well in scenarios like today as a needed release for a lot of hardship being held inside people's soul.
Physically the area was very messy, cold, wet, muddy, lots of destroyed houses and property, debris in the streets but... let me tell you... human spirit is best exemplified when people are interacting with each other through compassion and care. That is what I experienced today. Everyone was helping everyone. Mo stood on top of the piano as I drove through the streets. That created many a smile. If any therapy was provided from our presence today I think Mo contributed more than the piano on the truck did. As it began to get dark he needed his paw mitts. A coat was not enough to keep him warm. My dog worked very hard today and did a terrific job at what he does which... is simply to love. On the way out he heaved on the truck seat from eating too much chicken and pizza crust. I must remember to be careful about using food for expressing my gratitude with him.
We found an amazing area. The neighbors (they told me) after giving up on the idea that the Red Cross was going to give them the help they needed immediately... took it upon themselves to do what was needed. They were given a local abandoned catering hall to use for a month and began cooking and pulling on resources from friends outside the community for supplies. People were bringing loads of home cooked (mommy) food. I saw a local restaurant deliver twenty five pizzas while I was there. Coats, "quality" necessities were being dropped off and picked up, no organizational participation... people just taking care of each other. If someone wanted to come in and take five pizzas for themselves... so be it, no questions asked. That is ultimate love for me to experience. Once it got dark I almost choose to stay at one of the shelters because I knew the alternative was going to be hours of sitting in traffic, the cost of tolls and gas (hefty) wear and tear on the truck, my brain was in lala land, body exhausted.. I choose the drive out. At dusk everything turns into a frenzy as people rush to get supplies delivered or picked up and the sanitation trucks arrive to pick up all the debris from cleaning out houses all day. Everything has to get done before it gets dark because there is no electricity. I needed to get away from the area if only for a short while to recoup so I can go back in. I could have stayed and played until...
It is crazy, when I used to perform for money how many places I have been to that I have forgotten. Like in this area of New Jersey and New York... I'm driving through thinking how I performed for the Staten Island St. Patricks Day parade here about fifteen years ago. I drove by Seton Hall University in Jersey and remembered I performed there like twenty years ago... passed Merck Pharmaceutical... every time they presented a new drug (when they had big money) I was doing the music for the celebration... through Newark, I performed for the Performing Arts Center ground breaking. Ha... did that, done that all with a piano on the back of a pickup truck! The truck now is all muddy from people climbing in and out of it. I give up on trying to keep the truck clean and me looking great. It is what it is and thats the way its going to be... :) I sure feel gratitude for the opportunity to participate in life today. To be embraced and appreciated by people, that fills me up so I can simply continue to throw it all back out.
November 08, 2012
We are heading out to East Orange, New Jersey. I woke up thinking, feeling, "this is not fun anymore" all the while knowing from another place in my soul that this was a false fact. Maybe I thought that because a feeling of "need" was involved. Everything has a need to share. I have a need to share whether I want to or not, think I can or can't, think I have something to share or not and whether I think someone deserves it or not, especially when I feel compelled to. (the whole journey has had a focus to avoid the concept of "neediness" but I am now going to let that go) My need to share must be without agenda or expectation of compensation to be fun. It is fun to share for the sake of sharing and nothing else. It is even more fun to find other people of "like" mind and that happens through sharing. Thank God I have found a way that works for me and that I can do. (he knows how much work I put into finding it, half my life of full time learning a way) I've already shared in difficult situations and have those experiences behind me for any needed proof, confidence and support. I build on every tiny little step forward with my life when I can, and how ever much... building on threads of success. (the thinest, tiniest threads) It is important to be always aware of complaining and wining that has a tendency to surface in my mind. I am consciously thankful for the walls around me after I open my eyes in the morning and then the toilet... that is how I begin... to get the fuck out of bed and go start living in this world! Ha.
November 07, 2012
I have a ridiculous amount of angst going on... damm. Wish I could just totally except it. Acceptance would translate into nothing getting done. I would do nothing which is what I want to do... nothing all the time! I have to laugh at myself I can be so ridiculous. Fear of doing "something" is at the bottom of the angst. As a child the message I received was... I couldn't do anything. I really want to go into the hurricane mess on the east coast, the cold, the wetness to create a bit of distraction from the misery, create some love. When its time to go I will just throw my heart, body and soul into it all and it will be a fantastic time. It always has been in the past so there is nothing to say it won't be now. I couldn't get out of bed this morning... no, no, no I'm not leaving my little nest! Speaking of nest, there have been several blue jays, a mountain blue bird and a red headed woodpecker hanging around here the last few days. I like it. Blue jays are usually strong, aggressive birds but the woodpecker is stronger. He constantly harasses the blue jay. The mountain blue bird just flutters around. The piano is packed with dog food and old Raggin' Piano Boogie cassette tapes! I found them in a trunk here. I'll be giving them all away as nicknacks to everyone I meet. It will be a little token remembrance for people. Through the years I've given away over a thousand posters. All that merchandise stuff was from the old days when I used to perform. It was all lot of fun, mucho, fun... until it wasn't fun anymore. Does anyone still own a music cassette player?
November 06, 2012
When it comes to trillions, billions, millions, thousands, hundreds... all of that can be trumped by "one." The relationship I have with Piano Dog Mo is "my" one. Nothing is as important... he needed to get out and run today so that was the priority. The truck now giving me no problem is such an interesting thing. I decided today to be less sensitive with it. Instead of driving it like a hundred and twenty year old woman I am now going to drive it like I would a hundred and ten year old woman. We stopped in town and I thought I had better see if the piano worked. I heard beeping, I saw a light flickering, the speaker did not work. I hoped that the inverter was not dead again... or everything was going bad because of the weather and then I thought to look at the speaker wires. The two wires were exposed at exactly the same spot and were touching. Tape to secure them solved the problem before I made anything worse from troubleshooting.
We met a guy from Montreal and after that a girl named Mary who had heard about the Traveling Piano and wanted to meet us. She is from Cap Cod. Before she departed she said my energy was a little messed up... (I'd say ALOT) and sometimes she can do some healing. I let her do her whammy on me even though I could tell I was fighting it. I must want to be messed up on some level. I certainly have tremendous angst about going east to the storm areas. In the park with Mo I began to create music as it got dark and in the cold while thinking... "I can do this." ... as in travel east, share some strength, energy and create music in the wet and cold, windy sea air. I mean it is not like I haven't done it before... just that I'm older and more out of shape. But... I know, "I can do this."
November 05, 2012
Pictures : Seattle - Badger Mountain - Mukilteo 2011 and 2012
I put out feelers to the communities of facebook, twitter, couchsurfing and even though I have decided to detach from servas, sent a few emails to that list because I have stayed with significant "like" mind people from that and then I thought... why not on my own website? Is it because I have never received an invitation from someone reading this blog... seven years of it? Hahaha... so that does not mean it will never happen, right? Whatever... I was thinking about how much less... "people - to - people" relief will happen for Hurricane Sandy affected communities because it is now cold outside and also how I cannot envision evangelical high tech buses and tractor trailers full of people and supplies usually found in rural disaster areas... traveling to east coast urban areas but I can do that even if for a short period of time. Also, people living not far away from the affected areas have no clue to how difficult it is for the people trying to survive shock, loss, cold, etc.. I know, so I am going to go and give some love wether I like the idea or not.
Here is the gist of the email: My name is Danny Kean. I have been on a journey of fun, friendship and respect with musical empowerment and inspiration at no cost, with no solicitation and without commercial, organization or political affiliation. I use synchronicity and spontaneity to create music for people to discover. For fifteen years I owned a home in Bucks County PA and sold that in 2008 to help pay for the journey. I now stay with strangers (along with my 100% lovable, domesticated pup named Mo) because I like the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of each other.
This email I hope finds you, your home, family and neighbors safe and secure after the initial hurricane punch. I do not consider myself a "do-gooder" but sometimes I feel compelled to visit distraught areas to share Traveling Piano support and spirit. I am feeling an urge to do that now with the storm affected areas and can do that for about a week. The Traveling Piano spent time in the aftermath of Katrina, the Virginia Tech student government called and asked us to be with them after the massacre there, we traveled to Joplin MO after the tornado, etc... We are in the flow of life with both its struggles and joy.
Here now in West Virginia I must be in Philadelphia on the fifteenth and if I am going to spend time in the neighborhoods at the Jersey Shore, now is the time. It is all work for me, work without a conventional payout that I am grateful to be able to do. The point is... No babysitting will be needed if you or any friends or family can host us. Would that be possible for a couple of nights or more (week tops)?
I have a website with a blog posting pictures and writings everyday since the journey began... www.travelingpiano.com I would get to NJ in a couple of days or more. Looking forward...
Yo! Website readers... lets get some support going... New York areas are good to go too! I am going to do it wether anybody helps me or not.
November 04, 2012
It feels like yesterday did not happen. The day was and felt very dark. I thought it was Monday today when I woke up and then I realized daylight savings time kicked in and that felt really good to gain an hour of time. The sun was out for the first time in almost two weeks. Took a drive over the mountain to see friends. Played some music for a short while to see if the piano would work as well as my hands... after a week and the storm. Everything works. Mo is ready for his sweater now when we play. Its getting cold and he has so little coat you can see his skin through his hair. The truck is working better than it has all year. I think it knows its going into the shop because it has been giving me so many problems and as a result is trying to be a good boy. (so I don't take it in) I thought about the last time I was at the friends house I visited today. A local guy was walking down the road looking for litter to pick up. I asked him how he got the job. He simply devotes one day a month to take a walk and clean up debris along the way. Now... thats what I call great community stewardship. I got an email from a Traveling Piano friend in Nigeria. "You are next in line for divine visitation...Think Rapture!!!" Ha, I'm ready... give it to me good! (the state of being transported by a lofty emotion; ecstasy)
November 03, 2012
Been thinking and that is both good and bad. Been struggling... that is nothing new. Purpose... do I want always always put my best foot forward for the world to see? Yes and no. Sometimes I put out less to get attention, sometimes because I am feeling bad and I feel I should do it... simply because it is the truth. Sometimes I want to bond through less than and sometimes I want to be that way simply because I can. The best role models for my life have always put their best foot forward in my eyes. Well, thats not true. I saw what I wanted to see. It would be great if I could role model for myself in the best of ways but that does no seem to be. I do the best that I can.
November 02, 2012
Martinsburg, West Virginia
We drove over the mountain to my friends Josyln and Joe's place today. Their neighbor is a car mechanic and work needs to be done like... get the truck to start when I need it to. I am afraid he's going to tell me the carburetor is almost useless. There I go projecting again. We did some shopping. Two bags of dog food and a small toy cost a hundred and ten bucks! A new piano rug for Mo was needed because the other lost its grip... sixty bucks! Candy for me from Josyln and Joe's bait and tackle shop... free. Its cold out. In the old days... ha, like when I started this journey, playing piano in forty degree weather was no problem. Now its a problem. I have thoughts of traveling east to lend some support for people affected by the recent hurricane. The thought of cold, wet, gusty sea winds... I don't know if I can do that anymore. When I got paid money for performing I used to do every Christmas parade along the Jersey coast. It did not matter how cold it was and let me tell you... sometimes it was super cold. It was fun, money making cold. Now it would be fun love and support cold? Hmmm... I'm putting out feelers' it might happen. Part of me wants to, part of me does not.
November 01, 2012
Autumn is moving fast! I voted early today. As I pulled the voter registration card out of my wallet the volunteer asked if I had my drivers license. I said NO. I am now registered in West Virginia where photo identifications not required in fact no additional information is to be requested! Voter Fraud is in fact a scam idea. "Danny, Do not be intimidated! Do not think giving it to them is being cooperative." We moved on... I voted. We visited my friend Dawn and Mo went crazy. We have not been out for a run in awhile, he needs a run and Dawn gives him toys and treats. I just wanted to get back inside. Its cold out! On the way out I stopped a random utility worker on the road to thank him for his work. Forget the business aspects of everything... without people doing the jobs of clearing downed trees, figuring out solutions, repairing the power cables... I'd be sitting in the dark still... after hurricane sandy from a few days ago with few resources for comfort or to live and no way out. The guy told me how in Oakland, Maryland it has been snowing for days, is still snowing and his co-workers have been trying to help people with no heat or food or way out... by personally buying heaters and food to deliver to them. One-On-One thats the way things get done. What will happen with the Traveling Piano in the next few months will be interesting to see. Already it is November? Four years ago today the Traveling Piano was in Newfoundland, Canada. Where to focus... on getting to China... or to the East Coast to share our spirit with people coping from the storm... to Miami... maybe quit all together (probably not )... something yet to appear on the horizon... Right now I want to get trunks of Raggin' Piano Boogie and now Traveling Piano archives along with a few personal possessions into safe storage and create some picture slide shows with my music. And then... there is always at least a little itch to be "Out in the Field" doing what I do.