Raggin' Piano Boogie


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

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June 30, 2013

The original plan for today was to go and park the truck on a street, practice performing for the parade I will be in on the 4th of July. Its been a year since I performed and I need to get used to distractions around me. When I create music in the woods... no distraction. I had no idea it was going to be ninety five degrees out and there was no shade so we drove to Maryland by the river to play under a bunch of trees. My friend Jeff found us with his daughter and we had some fun along with a few other people. There was a seventy year old couple relaxing on lawn chairs where I wanted to park the truck. I asked if they would mind my parking next to them and they said certainly not. I was sensitive to the situation because I thought the music might be too loud. They said they were old and can't hear so not to worry. Real down home folks, once again I was amazed as I listened to the guy describe his experience of my music in nature. It was with sweet details about the clouds and trees, the water and breeze and how it all fit together perfectly and made everything better than ever. He said it was like watching an artist create a painting. His wife kept nodding and verifying that was what he was saying to her as I was playing.

For me to affect people's lives like this is astounding. I could never express enough gratitude especially as I never dreamed I could feel so validated as a musician and could never be a person worthy of such praise... for the first fifty years of my life. I can say beyond question of doubt that if you love nature you will love my music. That being said with no ego involved... I think you would need to be with the music live in nature to have the type of experiences people describe. Just as a beautiful nature picture cannot convey reality in the present moment, a musical recording cannot convey live music in the moment, especially mine. Even with the slideshows I have made putting nature pictures together with my music does not compare to the present moment because... when I create music in nature it is instantaneous and ever evolving in that present moment just as nature is with the wind and clouds and life all around. The music becomes the nature and the nature becomes the music. They are one. I think thats a Zen thing, right? Ha. Driving out it began to rain and I mean a torrential down pouring. I figured it was a good time to see how the tarp is working. It rained so hard my windshield wiper blew off. Luckily it was on the passengers side and there was so much water the metal never reached the glass as it swung back and forth. Ahh... another hassle to deal with.

June 29, 2013

A friend pushed my rage button today. He sent me an email saying he saw this guy with his piano and dog in Arizona on the street performing and he had a bucket out for tips and it looked like he had enough money for a cheap room for the night and to get a meal. He suggested that if I... "swallowed my pride" by accepting tips that might help me get to China and I'd still be giving joy to people." I emailed him back and said... "Who the fuck are you talking to about pride my friend?" Ha, button pushed! First I know the guy traveling with his piano and dog, he's a busker. (collects tips to get by) Thats great for him. It is not what I do, have ever done or have ever had an interest in doing. Why would I collect dollar bills for a scummy hotel room and scrap by for a meal when I can extract performance fees for what I do as I did my entire life and own my own house and eat as many meals of whatever I want as a result. When someone says to me... "you know those tip jar dollar bills add up." I say........ " No, those tip jar dollar bills do not add up." Pennies don't add up... dollar bills don't add up... five dollar bills don't add up unless you want to work your ass off twelve hours a day and consider it a minimum wage. This is 2013 people! I remember back in the seventies how I would tip waitresses double at a local center city diner because the place was always full of old people who were tipping fifty cents for their meals like it was a hundred bucks! Reminding people, trying to help people understand what I do and the benefits, takes allot of patience. Sometimes I just lose it. Of course I want people to give me money but... just not give because I'm looking for it or asking for it. A lot of the magic people experience from what the Traveling Piano contributes to the world is because it is all being given unconditionally. There is no angle, no hidden agenda, no expectation, obligation, etc... If people want to give me money they will do it wether there is a tip jar present or not. That is a fact. Otherwise they think its because they should or... or I have a need to get a scummy room or something. As far as collecting money as in busking while also giving joy... I can work for Walmart while giving joy to people, I've experienced it first hand from Walmart employees. I am the only person who gets to decide how I want to create joy for myself and others in life. Every time this comes up and it has not for a long awhile, thank god... I understand a little more. Like for example, some people just do not want to see a musician on a street creating music without a tip jar or bucket because for them a piano player without a tip jar is like someone driving down a road without a vehicle... too out of their box, different, unusual for them to experience. So after I sent a fuck you email back I went to the park to create some music. Two young woman found us in the dark and ended up making music with each other by kissing and playing piano keys together by the lake. There has been a lot of kissing this month on the Traveling Piano. Whats up with that?

June 28, 2013

My friend Gary got me thinking about Joy and Beauty because he said, "Joy doesn't know Beauty." He posted a picture of himself online where he is as ugly as can be but his spirit is so beautiful... that was all I cared about while jokingly making fun of his looks. I realized that joy does not come from beauty. Joy is a feeling from within. Beauty is interpretation from the mind, the outside in the world. In this present reality beauty can inspire but cannot create joy. There is nothing anyone wants in life more than joy . This includes myself was helpful because I have major issues with the way I look physically and how people now see me in pictures. I've been seeing myself a old, portly, and ugly. After that bit of philosophical thinking Mo and I went to my friends house. Her goat came over and got into the truck with Mo. Then Mo began to treat the goat like another dog wanting to play and dominate, etc... I got Mo onto the piano and wanted to get the goat up onto the piano seat. Since Mo was ontop first the goat wanting to get up but wasn't going to take any chances. I should have had the goat get in first! It would have made for a great picture, eh?

June 27, 2013

Between rain storms I went out to practice. Mo needing exercise is what really got me going. Thank God I care about his needs as they are so intertwined with mine. Two working together is always stronger than one, eh? I do love a good pouring down straight rain... its been doing that on and off where I am in West Virginia. While practicing in the woods where I could pull the truck under a shelter if needed... some interesting things were going on. I am talking about the memory of my old performance pieces. I must find the inertia to put out the energy to play them. Its not there naturally anymore. Before that I must consciously "want to" remember and create the energy. That does not come naturally either. Then in the memory process I must go into a performance zone that once was and took twenty years to create. I could remember the pieces better when I thought of them all in a performance space of an hour, the whole repertoire at once. I was thinking ahead to the next song I was going to play all the while needing to consciously feel positive and good about where I was in the present moment of performance. The second I got lazy in any way... blank. Everything in my brain stopped. There was no fading away. Also, I had to keep aware of the energy, keep it in control and not fly of into chaotic sloppiness, spin out of control with the playing. When I thought in terms of one whole hour I remembered more. I remembered fifteen of my twenty pieces. When leaving I was on the lookout for fiddlehead ferns... I think its too late in the season to get the buds. They are delicious for eating and had them for the first time up in Alaska!

June 26, 2013

It was raining but I drove to the park anyway and once I reached my destination, an overlook... the sun came out. I created music for a good hour. It just had to be done, being tired was not going to stop me. With today's politcal events... It feels beyond words to experience a respectful statement of law concerning equality for relationship and commitment from the highest court in the land concerning gay rights in the United States. Through the suffering, injustice, prejudice and pure hate I have experienced over sexuality in my lifetime... this step forward is without question miraculous. Respect for... "It is what it is!"

June 25, 2013

With the temperatures in the 90's and the humidity levels in the 90's... there was not much "doing" today. Maybe thats just an excuse. I am "doing" everyday its just a teeny weeny bit but still, I'm "doing."

June 24, 2013

West Virginia

Have you ever had for example a table piled with stuff that needs to get cleaned off and you would like to take at least one thing off it for the day like a simple piece of paper but the self motivation to do it does not exist? So all day... it feels like I did nothing but I did do things. After processing some Traveling Piano pictures, Mo and I took a long walk. My legs were feeling it and its been a long time since that happened. I was feeling sick from the walk two days ago and will be curious what will happen now. I wore a back pack just like last time and sipped water from it the entire time walking. Thats very important for me. Getting healthier is a major priority. We were walking in the dark and the fireflies or I call them lighting bugs are out in full force. They are such a wonder of nature and I can imagine people who never saw them, their responses to seeing them for the first time. I feel fortunate to see them every couple of years. Having Mo in my life, I feel fortunate almost every moment of my life. When we were walking I was thinking about how I enjoy my patience with him I think because I worked very hard in my life to have patience and now it has been paying off. Patience is a wonderful feeling to cultivate.

I am absolutely fed up with people who own companies like Nestle trying to take over the worlds water supply to sell. There is a humorous Stephen Colbert segment about it posted on my facebook page. Got Water? The people running Monsanto who recently influenced lawmakers into creating the Monsanto Protection Act where the company can reserve the right to withhold information about our food supply while they take control of it and create fake food. One more, no two... Wall Street controlling more and more how much money people can have and the government controlling where we go, what we get to see and our conversations. I can't turn a blind eye to it all, I just cannot do it. So much... I think about the consequences of my being outspoken on every level especially if I ever want to be in the commercial world again. Thank god for people like this guy mountain biking in the forest. He found the Traveling Piano and as a result created his first note of music. Getting the Traveling Piano to China with no idea of when or how but once it happens I will most certainly be living in the present moment and will not be thinking about the worlds problems, I hope... only fun, friendship and respect with musical inspiration and empowerment.

June 23, 2013

West Virginia

Playing the piano today was not on my agenda. I needed a break. The moon being full and the biggest one this year... to see it rise was on my agenda. It was no bigger to the eye than any other moon. The media hype that had surrounded it became irritating once I saw it. The full moon is best when you discover that it is full. It is best when a friend says, "hey, go check out the beautiful moon." Still always beautiful, the experience became somewhat diminished my having got caught up in the over-hype ahead of time and being told to look for it as something special or never to be seen again or possibly missed. The spot I choose down by a lake... I ran into an older guy with his grandson who I had met and had a talk with the other day. His wife was with them and they are all from the middle part of West Virginia. The real thing! They were countrified reserved, friendly and respectful. While sitting by the water together watching the moon rise over the trees we talked about dogs, rural life, growing up with one room school houses, deer, the eastern whippoorwill that was singing in the tree up the hill and the deep inhales for the smell of wild peppermint and lush plant life in the warm humid air as I drove back to where we are staying... really, really nice.

June 21, 2013

West Virginia

Feet and Toes, Hands and Fingers, we had it all on the Traveling Piano today. I hiked the longest in a long while, really getting toned on some of my old music performance pieces... at night there were fireworks in the park to commemorate the one hundred and fiftieth birthday of West Virginia which was on Thursday.

June 21, 2013

West Virginia

Dare I say this? Today it feels like I am on vacation. Ha, a part of me wants everyone to think I am working hard all the time with purpose, passion, intent, servitude, etc.. well, I am but it still feels like a vacation. The sun was bright and warm, I've been socializing more with people on the Traveling Piano, taking my time going out, preparing food to take with me so it feels like a picnic, I took a cloth folding chair to sit in the grass, a gallon of water. We met some new local people, some visiting and another musician and his girl partner. The picture of orbs posted today from yesterday I did not touch up. When processing the picture I explored some enhancements to make the image as clear as possible... the raw data was the best option. This was not dirt on the lens, bugs in the air, light reflection, it is pure spirit. Of all the pictures I took only one picture had anything like this in it.

June 20, 2013

West Virginia

On days like this I say to myself... save some pictures and info for days when you don't have anything to post. Ha, has that ever happened? I started out by heading to the park until dark with piano, dog, truck, bug repellant, recording equipment, a towel to dry off Mo from the lake and a salad (romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumber, ham, radish, red pepper, provolone cheese, tomato, turkey) blue cheese dressing, a bag of croutons and a banana... an orange too and I'm telling you this why? I want everyone to be there with us in spirit even though the time has passed, it still counts. (I'll even share the salad) The people we met, when they arrive it feels like, "were here, we have arrived" as in it is supposed to have happened, they knew I'd be there and I am expecting them.

The guy who used to deliver the propane for the house where we are staying showed up with his wife. I had a good connection with him so it was a pleasure to meet again and with his wife and also share the Traveling Piano with both of them. Three people had Orbs in their pictures today in daylight yet... and I also captured two Orbs (spirit) as clear as can be in a picture while walking. I will without question post that picture later. Have you ever heard a Pileated Woodpecker Diggin' on his Wood in a Forrest? It is awesomely organic!!! For the last four days as I have walked in the park, this is what I have seen and heard. Its heaven for real and its on earth. I wish some for you, go get it. When you watch this video via YouTube, make sure you choose the high resolution option HD 720p.

June 19, 2013

West Virginia

I really don't feel like saying much except that my life, its process, the goals have moved nicely through today and I met some really fun people at the park... some who I've met before, others who have seen the me but we never met and then also people who had heard about me and this was their first time seeing us. Everyone was a little more than fun! I enjoyed it all.

June 18, 2013

West Virginia

Having been able to fall asleep at midnight because I was not feeling well I thought it might be a good opportunity to get up earlier, like around eight in the morning. On waking at two in the afternoon well, guess I was in fact sick and needed the rest! It had been raining and then stopped so I headed out to the park to get some exercise and practice some piano. Yikes, the idea of practicing, just thinking about that gives me the heebie jeebies. Not that there is anything wrong with it... for other people! Anyway, after a walk with Mo it began to rain so there was no practicing. My priorities are to get in shape, learn how to speak Chinese and keep doing what I do with the Traveling Piano. God help me on the health, the Chinese I am approaching like a hobby to enjoy and how the Traveling Piano continues is a day by day happening. I can do this! You might know that I am returning to Oreland, PA to play piano in the towns Fourth of July Parade. You would not believe how I work to keep away fear away. I almost died physically doing it last year and could not remember the regular old Boogie Woogie and Ragtime pieces I used to play when I was working with a career. To get up to performance level in all ways for one day a year ain't easy! If your reading this blog for the first time... now I improvise my own music/spirit from a stream of consciousness thats easy and flowing and have no idea what I am doing... so there is no practicing involved! With that said, even for the performance needs I know it is all about feeling.

June 17, 2013

West Virginia

I have been creating music more and more with my eyes shut. It helps me to think only about the music because the scenery around me has been the same for awhile so... nah, I'm not sure why it has been becoming easier to play with my eyes closed but... funny thing, while trying to bring back the memory of old piano pieces I used to perform I look at the piano keys once in a while. Mo has developed a way of laying on the piano with one leg hanging over, right in the middle. With the piano keys being black and white and his paw being white with the piano black... I get dizzy and confused. Now thats... crazy! I'm not kidding about that or making it up.

June 16, 2013

West Virginia

I ate the last morsel of food where I am and went out food shopping for more. This happens only a couple times a year. I'm only in one spot long enough to have food around only a couple times a year. It took three hours. Deciding on what to get, how much to spend, what I will use before leaving again if I leave... the stress of decision making gave me the "runs" if you know what I mean. (supermarket men's room time) A grapefruit that cost .60 a few years ago is now $1.25. What cost a hundred bucks years ago now cost two hundred thirty five. Is that amazing or what??? Thank God I have the money and so much food to choose from. I've been in places where the pickings are slim to none. On the way back I stopped at the park to create some music. The first guy to ever find the Traveling Piano in West Virginia I think it was in 2007, found us again along with his sister and ninety year old dad. Today is Fathers Day. I played that Maple Leaf Rag for his dad and the guy said it took him right back to World War One. He is a war veteran. Our meeting up again was significant. I tell the story of this guy Howard finding the Traveling Piano, his reaction and our exchange all the time. He had been hiking in the woods and thought he had died the music was so beautiful to him, he was crying and I was almost crying because he was crying as he climbed into the truck to create his own first note of music ever. More details of the original meeting is on this blog somewhere. If you want to read about it... with a blog entry everyday since 2006 good luck on the search! lol

June 15, 2013

Yesterday inspired me concerning the journey and that meant I had to get out today and not miss a minute of doing what I do... with the Traveling Piano. "Pace yourself Danny." So I drove to a friends new gift store first to give her a Christmas wreath I had kept and used for twenty five years when I had a home. Yes, I'm still letting go of stuff. There's very little left now. Then there was an unfortunate accident on the road into Berkeley Springs where I was heading so I got lost again on back roads on another beautiful sunny day. I stopped and another new store that had just opened in town to give a welcome and then I met, well... I was meeting people all along the way today but I met a group going to a big party in the area and they wanted me to go with them but I had made the commitment to get to the local park by sunset for a young piano playing guy who wanted to explore some music by himself in the park. I'm glad I stuck to the park commitment although I really could have used a social party connection today.

June 14, 2013

This was a special day. I feel grateful yet disturbed, whacked out yet in awe. Mo and I drove to the park and on the way I was thinking about a nineteen year old friend Jimmy who had passed away some years ago. With that said, I drove to the park area where I could get some protection if it suddenly started to rain. There where people occupying the shelter so I parked the truck in the far back area away from the shelter. After about ten minutes of creating music I heard something going on under the shelter and did not want to be disruptive so I decided to drive to the nearby lake area. I had created music to a nearby butterfly while it danced with smooth motions on the ground where I was. As I was pulling onto the road I suddenly decided to turn right instead of left and head up to an overlook. I really didn't want to go up there because it was late in the day. I saw a jeep driving up earlier. As I long back now, I remember noticing as it drove by more than the usual and knew it would probably be there at the top. On arriving at the overlook the jeep was parked with three people next to it sitting on chairs at a table with wine glasses on it. I thought it must have been fold-up furniture that that brought with them and it looked like they were having a picnic... a three way tete-a-tete. I yelled from the truck, "Did someone ask for music?" It was the local town mayor who I had never met before but always wondered about with her. She was with her husband and son Arron's girlfriend.

Arron passed away a few years ago at age nineteen in the same way that my friend Jimmy did. The four (Arron in spirit) were having a reunion as his girlfriend was in town on break from school. Arron had a passion for music. My having had "like" experiences as this in the past... I knew at my core there was no chance our meeting was a coincidence. The Traveling Piano was there for them... God, through Arron, through me and Mo, through his parents and girlfriend. I did what my heart told me to do and as I have done before I told them that Arron wanted them to know they are loved, everything is good and ok and not to worry. I added that I believe through our joy Arron experiences joy. Just when I was about to begin creating music for them another car began to drive in. My first impulse was to want for them to go away but then I realized they were there to take our picture together. The guy was with his wife and an about to be born baby named Grace. They are in the area for a wedding visiting from a Christian based school in Haiti. On the way back to where I am staying, in the middle of the road I came across a brown baby deer with white spots no more than a day old. It was confused as the mother was trying to call it and with the truck headlights and barley able to walk and so cute and small, and Damm, Damm, Damm... I could not get my camera to work! That baby deer was one of the most precious wild sights I can remember ever seeing.

June 13, 2013

West Virginia

With the rain and periods of just strong wind today, it felt like autumn. Its been fun going with the flow and enjoying the variety of weather. My goal of taking the Traveling Piano to China has never left my mind throughout this journey. Now it is time. China or Bust. Thats it. And it is hard for me to say that without... I think, I hope, naa something else or... ask myself if I am willing to die there, never return, or suffer and... what do I want to do there if not everything or maybe another try for Argentina, Europe would be easier, just stay here in the states and roam, blah, blah, blah. Next is to do away with the curse of "hows." I really, really want to block all that out and just focus. I must use the God said to Abraham bible approach of "go to the land that I will show you" because that is what I have always felt in a way. The security of where I have been staying here in West Virginia this year has been filled with trepidation but once I decided to not let that get in the way there has been no problems. I needed this stay and will continue to just accept and embrace the continuing process... goals achieved or not. First things first so learning the language is a must. While wanting to get into better physical shape and make Chinese connections I must learn the language as a sign of respect and so that I can deal with whatever while there. I flunked out of Spanish in highschool and tried many times through the years to learn French. Some people say Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn. For me... nothing else can be easier because its all just as difficult! Ha, can you see me in the picture I created of the Traveling Piano driving into Shanghai?

June 12, 2013

West Virginia

Just posted on this page 2013 Part 01 ...three hundred pictures. To date for this year there are about a thousand five hundred Traveling Piano pictures in the galleries. Gloss over the thumbnails, its fun and then click on something you might like to see to open it and make it big! There is a link to the left of this page that says Picture Galleries. Use that for the future and then on the Picture Gallery Page there is another menu to the left. Some of the pages for different years have around five thousand pictures on each page. Ha, so that is what I did today.

June 11, 2013

West Virginia

Priorities... the internet went down for twelve hours and it made a difference in my life and not a good difference but adjustment came quickly. I got the picture galleries here on the website up to date, listened to some Chinese language tapes, sat out in the open air with the crickets, cleaned up some and then when out to the park. Today was fulfilling. Not many people have been getting onto the piano but that seems real ok by me. I'm not into pushing anything. In practicing the old songs I remembered that I used to know how to play Scott Joplin's The Entertainer. Having been a long time since I last played it, the memory came back to me! How memory goes in and out of my consciousness will never cease to amaze me. I ran into a local preacher with his wife who I had met before. I created music while far away across the lake there was a kid fishing. I had no idea his dad was also fishing on the other side and they were connecting via cell phone trying to figure out what was happening concerning the music. I met them. The guy at first was reserved saying in a minimalistic way that the music was pretty good. As we talked (I laugh as I write this) his descriptiveness became more and more detailed with feelings about the experience. He started to talk about the clouds and stillness and how the music I was creating was lifting him up, the nature how special it all was. That of course gave me an awesome feeling. His son Landon jumped onto the piano with the catfish he had caught. Mo got his own first up close experience with a fish on the piano keys. On leaving the area a clarifying thought passed by. I create music for ... insert your own descriptive word here be it beauty, glory, love, whatever... I create music for the ... of God. Specifically... God as "you" individually understand. My understanding of God in my creating music is irrelevant.

June 10, 2013

West Virginia

The chicken mushroom I saw in the park yesterday... I wanted it. The rain stopped and so we drove to the park. Somebody else got to it first! Damm, damm, damm! In a parking area I thought it was to hot and humid for music and then as I was about to leave the word responsibility came to mind to get into music shape as I have been doing for the last few days. The rain began and I drove the truck to the shelter nearby where for over an hour I practiced and also created music in the rain, under a shelter, in the forrest. Music has been created under highway underpasses in tunnels, barns and garages but never before in a forrest. It was like, Wowewowowow! I closed my eyes while creating music and after a time opened them wondering where I was. Then the rain stopped and I made it back to where we are staying completely dry.

June 09, 2013

West Virginia

I've been preparing to leave like I will not be returning here, where I have been staying. Late in the afternoon I went out to create some music. I ran across what I think is Chicken mushroom growing at the base of a tree while remembering last year how mushroomy this place in West Virginia is at this time of year. I was too "chicken" to take a chance and take it back to fry up with some butter and it looked so beautiful I did not want to destroy it if I couldn't eat it. The bugs are out full force and even the new repellant I have been using did not work. Spiders everywhere are eating me alive. I'm trying to keep the place I'm in clear of them but in my sleep they get me! Gross, eh? Each bite, the itch lasts for almost a week. Let me get back to thinking about the beautiful mushroom and the picture I got of it. When I upload it to the galleries there will not be any croping and it is a winning picture for sure!

June 08, 2013

West Virginia

Everyday I must get out and practice. My agenda these days is to practice. I haven't been personally connecting with many people to share the piano. The music has been more about hiding in the woods or at the lake and "practicing" ...the Boogie Woogie and Ragtime stuff, working to bring back as much as I can in ma' brain. I made the commitment to parade on the 4th in Oreland, Pennsylvania. The parade will make a large contribution to the journey, large which of course is relative but never the less it is the only commitment I have made through the last few years and I take the work very serious. Physically being in shape with my stamina, strength and clarity... getting up to performance level will take a few weeks. Also, I improvise in the woods just to keep my sanity. When working the old pieces of music if my mind fixates on any one musical note from the past... interestingly enough thats where the memory stops also. If I close my eyes and think fun, flow, intent... then I remember. If I become aware of forgetting in anyway on any level... I forget again.

June 07, 2013

West Virginia

The rain was falling pretty steady and then it stopped and then I thought, Mo needs to get outside but so do I and there is a covering I found last week where rain would not affect anything. We drove there. I'm really liking this new (old) spot that I never used but have passed many times. In practicing my old repertoire while trying to remember it... I was aware of being afraid to even try. It was interesting how spaces of music I remembered a few days ago disappeared while spaces I could not remember a few days ago came into my consciousness. It was almost like there was a limited amount of memory and the data was switching around. Never the less, the fact that I could remember what I did after so many years of not even trying is amazing in of itself. While leaving I was thinking of how own original new music trumps everything I ever did in the past. There are only aspects of past piano playing that I enjoyed. Now with my own music, I enjoy it all... or I don't do it at all.

June 06, 2013

West Virginia

It is rainy and has been dark all day... I kinda like it... just for today. A new friend asked if I have any outside interests from what I do and it made me think... my interests are travel, my dog, nature, music, photography, relationships, writing, food, hanging out with both just myself and people too, my website, sharing via internet... I've combined all that into one product (me) that is both my hobby and work, it takes all of my time and now I am adding language. (Chinese) Now, if I can just get interested in exercise again.

June 05, 2013

West Virginia

I went in hid in the woods to practice today the old fashion way. The 4th of July is coming up and I told my friend Sid back in Philadelphia, PA I would perform once again in his town's parade. It is just so crazy I am still around to do it... well, not so around. It is a five hour drive away. The piano man with the dog on the truck has missed only one parade year in Oreland PA (I think)... since forever. I must get my stamina back as last year I almost died doing it. Creating wild piano music for a couple hours straight in hot direct sun is very physical and draining especially seeing that I am almost fifty nine years old. Jesus, did I just say that? I created music for an hour in the woods today without stopping. That is a long time from the usual. Also, all that I have been doing for years now is creating my own easy, woo-wwo, environmentally nature related music. I kept the sound down with the Boogie Woogie and Ragtime practicing so I would not go crazy. That kind of music can now make me crazy. Ha, it probably always did but now I don't "do" that kind of crazy in life. I used to love it. LOL. Amazingly... really amazing to me... I was able to remember eight of the old Ragtime and Boogie Woogie pieces I used to perform. (out of twenty) They were all learned by sheet music and rote so as I played each one I'd get to a spot where I would forget and then every time... I had to go back and start from the beginning with the hope that I would get a little farther with each try. Thats a pain in the butt with songs that are long. And then there is the issue of playing the music notes clearly. My fingers are out of shape for that music. Some of the songs I have not played for years. Well, today was promising. Before dark I drove to the lake to play. I wanted to create music for people. No one wanted to get onto the piano. I had a long fun conversation with a local retired military guy who used to travel with and take care of the Army bands and on the way out of the park took a picture of a deer thinking... who ever labeled these animals as "cute"?

June 04, 2013


Many people the last few days including today have not wanted their picture taken half because of vanity and half because of fear about how the pictures might be used. So be it. I headed for the Potomac river in Maryland and had planned to walk, create music and study some Chinese language until after dark. There were more people there than ever before. Lots of people... for the first hour or so, no one connected and then it started. With lots of interactions, I met the local priest. He began with something religious and I said half jokingly, don't try to "out god" me, I'll beat ya at it. He talked about the bible which was totally unusual for a Catholic priest. Anyway, he was the first person I met. The last... the paster of the local Pentecostal church. He got onto the truck to play as did several of his family members. When I got back to where I am staying a friend sent me a "text to landline" message via phone. You can send someone a text message and it will come across as a phone message and the person talking out the text sounds real! Thats a new one on me.

June 03, 2013

West Virginia

Into the park we drove. I did not expect anyone to be there but there were lots of fisherman. A bunch of guys were friends... as back woods as it can get and they seemed to know about the Traveling Piano. Mo ran off so I went and hid by a rock in some high grass. When he leaves my sight I use that for practice in his being able to find me should we ever get separated. Mo ran by me both sides about three feet away looking but did not see me. I was amazed because I was in full view. He was running on nose power, totally. Thats the hound dog in him. As soon as he put his nose in the air I knew he found me and he came running straight into me. When I got back to the truck one of the fisherman warned me to stay away from the rocks and then showed me a picture of what he had found in the area last week. He and a few friends turned over one rock, and there were both rattlesnakes and copperheads in the same spot. Nine in total!!! Some places like in Florida and Australia people learn to live side by side with crocodiles. Now, here its snakes big-time. As I was leaving they turned around and thanked me for the music. I can't tell you how good that made me feel. My stereotyped upbringing would have said they were too gruff, uneducated, dirty with too much male macho to be so appreciative and respectful in front of each other. I always knew the stuff I was told about people "not like us" was a bunch a crap. All the stereotyping of people bred into me as a child and young adult... I think this journey is partly to prove it all wrong for the world.

June 02, 2013

Mo and I were heading into town to create some music and I stopped off to see a new business opened up by a woman I had met the other day. We began to talk and that lasted hours. It began to rain so I headed back and that was pretty much the day. It was some heavy talking! June marks the 78th month of this journey and the most amazing part about it all... I have blogged every day of it.

June 01, 2013

It was dry up on the ridge where I am. Fifteen minutes down the hill and into the park I saw it had rained. I went to hide where no one would be and created music amidst lush, moist greenery. The air and feeling just could not be better. I found a new insect repellant that works fantastically so being able to play in this kind of environment was a first. In the past the bugs would have over powered me. It started to rain so I drove down to a covered area I decided to use if I ever needed it and there was a couple there. Being really surprised there were people nearby I found the guy was a musician. We spent a short time, they left and I continued creating music. The rain never happened... it felt like the drops that began were to nudge me over to meet these people. As it was getting dark I went to an area where Mo and I could walk some before going back to where we are staying. A beautiful woman appeared with two babies inside of her with still three months more of growing to do. She looked so beautiful with these children in her belly and also a young brother and sister where there. The woman was a piano player. I hope she contacts me so we can get together again to spend more time. Before leaving another couple happened by in the dark.