HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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April 30, 2015
Mount Vernon, Illinois
Not quite sure how we got here, it is kind of a blur. Last night I had very little sleep. Mo and I took to the road trying to not take routes we've been on before. We heading east. After a long wait in construction traffic I just had to physically stop and we got a motel room for the night. If I wasn't receiving help from a friend this would not be happening. I wish a few other people would step up to the plate to help keep this Traveling Piano going. The sun was out, we have not played in Illinois for several years and have always been up north so I went to check out the town. We found a park with a spot for the truck by a lake. As I was heading down the street I saw a small group of people making their way up the street. They were walking together. I turned the truck around to get to a spot I saw while thinking they would arrive just after I got set up which they did. A little girl asked if she could play and then everyone got up to play. Another girl had minimal use of her legs but that did not stop her from climbing up into the truck. We also met two twin sisters who are both getting married this week and their cousin. Everyone felt significant to me today probably because it just felt like we were all meant to meet and interact. I am very appreciative that the journey works through me and that my difficulties in continuing does not hinder or affect the journey it of itself in anyway. I'm exhausted now and think for a change I'll be able to get to sleep early... for me.
April 29, 2015
Blue Springs, Missouri
The entire day was spent getting my act together to leave tomorrow. How am I going to get up before noon when I won't be able to get to bed until four in the morning and then drive all day not knowing where or when to stop driving and where to stay and how much to spend of money thats dwindling for a motel room? I'll have to get up, I'm in a motel. My friend Stephen is helping to get my archives in West Virginia and move them to Philly on Friday where I am looking into a place to stay. Help! I need a place to stay in or around Philly for a month or two or three. Anywhere within any radius will do. Ha, I mean it. Stephen will need to get in touch with my friend Jeff. I'm dealing with storage, renting a moving van for him, changing the address I use for legalities, renting a room for him to use overnight... lots of logistics. And then there's organizing my stuff where I am now, repacking the truck from after a week where I've been staying. Recording music from the piano has been giving me trouble. I've forgotten one of the steps in the process to save the data so I drove to the nearest park to read the manual and try to figure it out. Three high school students found us and one had her flute with her. I gave them all a Danny Kean music lesson. We all had some unexpected synchronistically spontaneous flute and piano musical improvisation. It is amazing that in-spite of how difficult everything is for me, at the same time... the Fun, Friendship and Respect with Musical Inspiration and Empowerment... it all continues....
April 28, 2015
Argentine, Kansas City
There are two Kansas Cities... one is in Missouri, the other is in Kansas and both are connected as one. They both boarder their states next to each other. I think now I got that but, still it sounds crazy to me. Anyway, there is an neighborhood named Argentine in Kansas City, Kansas. I was heading to Argentina a few years back with the Traveling Piano and never made it because I burnt out and did not want to lose my truck in central America or Columbia to a gang or something. I had thousands of flyers printed in Spanish that I've been handing out ever since so that people can find the Traveling Piano web address to connect with in order to get their pictures. (and I have told the story of why the flyers are in Spanish thousands of times) Agentine in Kansas City is a very Mexican area, more than sixty five percent of the children living there are in poverty... I enjoy visiting places where musicians rarely travel to, and enjoy sharing the piano with people who never get to play a piano or see a piano player create music... well, I finally made it to Argentina as the neighborhood is called. First, I found a small Mexican restaurant (the real thing) where the owner was from Zacatecas in Mexico. The Traveling Piano has been there!!! It is in central Mexico. His dollar priced tacos sounded right so I figured a lunch meal would not be expensive. With his suggestion I ended up paying almost nine bucks for what I got! So much for the dollar taco incentive. We did meet some fun people and then I parked on a nearby street and played music for the school kids letting out. We went to the small local park and played. On the way back to Blue Springs we stopped at the dog park we were at the other day.
April 27, 2015
Fleming Park, Missouri
Doing what I do gives me a sense of purpose. I don't know how I'm going to continue in this way or find another or go back to the old ways which I cannot fathom but something must be done. That feeling of urgency kicked in today and god, I hate when that happens. Out of curiosity because of how much housing costs in many places, I looked online to see what my house back east would be worth today if I had held onto it. The value has not changed much in ten years which is a wow but then I looked in the area I am in now and there were a few for under fifty thousand which were really acceptable. That got me yearning, wondering, projecting, assuming, a little afraid maybe of where I am going and where I am going to stay in just the next few days. Damm, I have three more solid nights here and I want to enjoy them. We found a lake with very few people around. Another couple found us and the woman is a retired piano teacher. She and here husband have been married for sixty years. That is two couples I've met in this same area in a week married that long. The guy at the hotel desk found us getting ready to leave during his smoke break. He's a writer. For a few hours I watched television. The novelty of it is wearing off in only a couple of days and I think about how when cable started the big sell was no commercials. Now everyone is paying for the commercials they used to get for nothing back in the day. Does anyone want to pay for commercials to begin with? I think when online about social issues and world events and where I have been commenting and arguing with opinions to people over the last year and now tell myself that I am not allowed to do that. There is a feeling that I need to focus all of my energy on what matters for my life and what I can give to the world personally.
April 26, 2015
Independence Missouri was on my mind strong today. We headed out and found the historic center of the town was empty not only with people but with buildings, character, etc... we drove to find a dog park and landed in small local park first where we met a dad hanging out with his young son. After that we ended up at the dog park, my energy level was too low to interact with people. They were mostly woman with their dogs hanging close to them. Someone shot a gun off in the neighborhood and all the guys taround whooped for more. I notice that kind of thing. Then we drove to another area of the park to record some music and well, there are some pretty good looking people in Independence, Missouri. People from a group home arrived, a mom was there for a baby shower with her boyfriend and young son. There was a homeless guy sitting in a car with a woman teaching her the ropes on how to stay out of trouble living in the area without a home. They were too cautious to get onto the piano. I was thinking about what is next after I take care of "stuff" back east and China came back into my brain in the sense of what I can offer to the world best before I die. People seeing my manifestation of the dream to take the Traveling Piano to the western part of China... that would be good to manifest and create for the world. The accomplishment of that would take giving up a lot, the trade offs in and for my life would be tremendous. I think it needs to get done. At least, thats what I'm thinking these days. It is not new. Anyone who knows the story of my journey will see China has been part of the journey from almost the start.
April 25, 2015
Blue Springs, Missouri
Well, I did it. I'm sinking into "self-dom." It was cold and dank, cloudy with drizzle and I sat and watched movies in a motel room all day except for a walk with Mo and a drive to the supermarket to get some salads. Of course I did some picture processing while watching television. It feels interesting to not feel rushed, not have to think about anything in the future... it is a practice. The need and/or desire to interact with people, thats on a shelve for today but I see it clearly in front of me.
April 24, 2015
Blue Springs, Missouri
It was supposed to rain today so I was looking forward to doing nothing. It was cloudy when I woke up, ribs purchased from last night were on the menu for breakfast. They were actually better than I thought they would be. The hype from Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que where I purchased them is credible. I was thinking about a Chinese buffet where I ate my first night here. It was run by Mexicans and under new ownership. They were offering fresh food to be cooked on a hibachi. Three people waiting in line asked me what the food was. They could not identify the raw chicken, pork, beef or shrimp to be cooked. I was wondering if it was because they are so conditioned to eating processed frozen or deep fried food that they cannot identify the real thing. Ha, like just because its raw, its real? It felt like a rainy weekend day from my earlier years. I watched a gladiator movie although it was not a bad like the old days, this was an HBO film. It feels good to watch some decent television. Good television can make commercials tolerable. The rain never happened. In fact the sun came out and the doing of nothing became difficult. Mo and I went out to meet some new friends and had dinner with them. We met a couple married sixty years and they got onto the Traveling Piano for some smooching with music. Once it got dark I felt a need to create some music for myself so I drove to a random park in the dark and did just that.
April 23, 2015
Kansas City, Missouri
I feel really good about being here in Kansas City. There is a sense of well being about the situation as though this is where I am supposed to be. The idea of stopping here was not on my radar at all. It sort of just happened. The motel we are staying in is nicer than usual and that feels really good. I've never felt good in full economy accommodations and where we are is a teeny step above that. Everything fell into place with an inexpensive weekly rate and three nights without cost so we will be here for a week. The first thing I did today was to share the Traveling Piano with the motel receptionist who helped us get the room. I gave up any feeling of rushing back east. Mo and I were in Missouri after the Joplin tornado back a few years ago I've been wanting to visit this place ever since. Kansas City has strong roots with Ragtime, the style of music I performed for the first twenty years from the back of the then called "Raggin' Piano Boogie" truck. Also jazz guitarist Pat Metheny grew up here and it is a little embarrassing to admit that knowing this information makes me feel even more connected musically to his spirit. He has affected my life on the musical realm more than any other musician I've ever heard.
Once the decision was made to stay I had to get right out and have some fun. We first drove to the most poverty stricken area of the city and did not find anyone around. That was probably good because I want to start enjoying some upscale areas again. Low income environments are becoming too comfortable for me. I saw a couple guys hanging out in front of their house and stopped to get some location ideas. We had some fun. Then, on the way to find a dog park we ran across a torpedo like monument that looked interesting enough to get a picture with. It turned out to be a world war two war monument. I thought, "what a interesting, permanent glorification of killing, death and support for the military industry." Still... it looked great with the skyline. I asked someone to take my picture and with that people began to find us and interact. The police came and without any commotion I used that to move on or else I would have been nicely trapped there for the rest of the day having fun. On arriving at the dog park the local news station was setting up. Having asked several people about the dog park I was wondering if they had been tipped off. I found the perfect spot at the end of the parking lot right next to them although I did not pay any attention, got Mo and took him into the park to play with other dogs.
It felt a little like the news crew was stalking me by waiting and I had no interest because I was not there for the television news, I was there first for Mo to play, me to get some walking exercise in and then to play some music for myself and others close by. I waited at a distance for the news crew to leave and I waited through all three broadcasts the 5:00pm, 5:30pm and 6:00pm segments. It felt like forever and then once they left some fun began. I tried to get one guy to encourage his great dane onto the piano with Mo but he was too cautious. I was told there is a must visit famous barbecue place in Kansas City. How could I resist? It has constant lines of people waiting and hype out the ass. It looked like they even had a staff photographer milling around to help create the idea of being there as an event. Outside, rain was coming. I met two girls from Boston. I didn't want to take off the truck cover and they did not want to play so they climbed on top of the piano and I sort of pushed Mo up to be with them for a picture. There is nothing like crazy spontaneity!
April 22, 2015
Blue Springs, Missouri
We are close to Kansas city Missouri and it feels like I'm in a twilight zone. A guy named Jeff showed interest in the Traveling Piano and I could not resist opening myself up to him and sharing it. He's from Oklahoma and in the area for work. There are not so many travelers these days as there are workers that stay in motels or people without homes who live in them. While driving through Kansas today I thought, "This is a good state to ride through if you have stuff to think out." I almost ran out of gas but found some in a town of about 700 called Almo. I chose to get gas at a local coop to support local business. As the guy was filling my tank someone he knew drove up. Even though he was almost done with me he stopped filling my tank to take care of the other guy. Then he finished mine and went inside to again take care of the other guy and made me wait. After I paid him I asked why he did that and he said he did not know why. We both knew why. I was an outsider and the situation was an opportunity or obligation to show loyalty as to who counts and who does not. While driving away I wished that I was more direct with letting him know I did not like that. I was acting like people who had put signs all along the highway communicating out of the sides of their mouths. Signs like, "one farmer feeds 155 people and you." I wondered why I am not one of the 155 and also thought... yea, for a price you feed 155 people.
There were more signs like, "smile, your mother choose life" and I wondered if that still applied if I were born of a muslim mother or gay. Lol, my mind... thats how it goes... often. That town... the entire place had a speed limit of twenty miles an hour, most everything was run down except for the spiffy, high tech cop car crawling up and down the streets. it reminded me of the entire drive from western Colorado into Denver the other day. I passed no less than twenty and I am not exaggerating twenty cop cars either hiding on the sides of the road or with vehicles they had stopped. A tip for travelers... if you need gas don't stop at the first station off the highway. Today I drove into a town two blocks and paid a whopping .50 less per gallon. That is eight bucks less for a sixteen gallon tank. Mo: I always wish that he would lay with his head against my leg while driving like Piano Dog Boner did. Today for the first time, Mo did that and it felt oh, so good!
April 21, 2015
Crazy, we ended up in Hays, Kansas. I was here many years ago. Too bad my friend Ryan who I stayed with last time no longer lives here. I don't know whats going on with the journey except for the fact that I must constantly stay aware to choose the feeling of security, adventure, faith and flow. After signing into a motel I was ready to climb into the room and just shut down. There were people outside around looking to engage with anyone, people living in the motel. The city is growing, so is the smell of pollution. Anyway, one woman named Abigail traveling through with her dog Kevin... I was not going to escape them and as soon as I saw there was a connection between us, that had to transfer onto the Traveling Piano. My energy snapped into high gear. She told me that shie is an intuitive spiritual advisor. Both our vibrations were on high and we both needed low. Afterwards, at first we were going to get something to eat together and then we both realized that would be too much energy to put out. A group of construction workers were hanging out and I sort of engaged them and then felt a necessitation to go interact and they also let me off the hook... not really interested and we all laughed about that. Lucky for me. Mo and I took a walk, did some computer work, after the driving today I'm ready for bed.
April 20, 2015
Lakewood, Denver Colorado
Marlene suggested we get together for lunch. The gesture made me want to share the Traveling Piano specifically for some of her co-workers. Originally I was going to spend the day trying to figure out what to do, where to go, where to stay next. I'm clueless, riding on the faith that if I do the right things the right things will happen. Living in the present moment has always worked best for me anyway. Remembering that can be tricky. I pulled up to the street corner in Lakewood which is on the west side of Denver and began playing. It took about ten minutes for people to begin to get enough nerve to come up and interact with us, mostly people working in stores. The first guy just had a constant smile on his face. After Marlene appeared her co-workers began to arrive. Two of her friends she has been working with for fifteen years appeared. I was outside of a broadcasting school and the class had been given cameras and then set loose with no instructions or agenda.
Most of the class went one way and five of the kids found us, the other way. They were funny to watch in not knowing how to even turn the cameras on. They did get some good footage and I'm sure will have some fun with it. After lunch I took Mo to a dog park and sat in it numb. (about the future) It is crazy how I was in Denver five years ago on this very day. I've been having major flashbacks constantly, all just strong life and journey memories, great connections with people. Berkeley Lake was next to the dog park and I saw a good place to park by the water so I parked there to create some musical therapy for myself and then took a walk around the lake with Mo. Bill and Marlene treated me to dinner again tonight and it feels really good to be in a safe environment with good people who have invited us into their home for a second time. The bed... such a nice bed, ha... such a nice bed!
April 19, 2015
Colorado Route 70 East
We went from sunny desert to a foot of snow through the rocky mountains today. I thought the truck with the new engine would handle the hills better... not. It was forty miles an hour tops at certain points. Luckily the hail and snow was not too bad. I had made the right decision to stay in Utah two more days until the major part of a storm I had read about on the internet had passed. There was over a foot of snow in some areas of the mountains. The ride into Colorado towards Denver on route 70... awesome, as awesome as can be. It was absolutely beautiful! Preoccupation in my mind of what to do about this journey blocked desire to take pictures and that was probably a good thing. The "what to do" is not a good thing. I need a place to live and can no longer take the uncertainty anymore. I can afford an apartment for about two months. Also, if I get a place I'd need to start working immediately. Doing what? Would the journey end? How can I acclimate myself back into conventional society? Can I and do I want to? I'd like for this journey to make it to ten years... that would be at the end of the year. There is no one to stay with for any length of time. As I was driving through Empire, Colorado a deja vu came over me. The last time I was here was five years ago after Piano Dog Boner had passed and I was living with the same feelings of uncertainty. The only difference then was I had a lot more money and a home base to run to if needed. We are staying with friends Marlene and Bill tonight in Denver, Colorado and I just looked it up in this blog... coincidentally the last time we were here was five years ago almost to the day!
April 18, 2015
Green River, Utah
The sun was out but I resisted doing anything musical or scenic about it. These days I am preoccupied with what to do with my archives back in West Virginia and Philadelphia, where to store them along with the idea of having a home or at least a home base to stay. I wanted to meditate some about what to do with my life which did not happen. Avoiding my life seems so much more palatable for me these days! Ha, that ain't gonna happen either. The truck needed cleaning really bad from sand and dog hair etc... so I spent time doing that and of course some music began with, and for people working at the motel where I am staying. Then a conversation started with a guy staying in one of the rooms. We ended up talking for most of the afternoon. He has lived on and off in a van for years and wow, people are so interesting! People have so many ways of living successfully. He has two gym memberships to keep in shape and to use as a place to shower and he uses clothes that need no washing, gets jobs here and there. He recently brought a really nice huge van for sixty five hundred bucks that he is about to convert into a living space. I'll be heading towards Denver, Colorado tomorrow. Thank God for a friend who is helping me to keep going in the present moment. Most of today was spent taking care of myself and keeping the pressure off from deciding what to do.
April 17, 2015
What a messy day! I woke up with a headache from no air in my motel room. The heat has to stay off because it is either on or off and I would suffocate with it on. It is too cold and noisy at night to have a window open. The entire day was rain, wet snow, cold and fog but today was my only chance to get to Arches National Park so off we went. Mo could not get out of the truck because I am allergic to wet dog and with the headache... oy vey. Yesterday the weather cleared in the afternoon. Today it just got worse and worse throughout the day. I was thinking how wrong a society is that inflicts monetary fees on its citizens to enjoy this planet earth. With almost 800,000 visitors per year in this park at $10 a pop for sure there is corrupt national park industry money laundering going on. And they want to raise it to $25 and... there is minimal upkeep with no facilities needed. I was thinking about how the idea of ownership with government as well as individuals is an illusion. In reality the restrictions that ownership provides is for the sake of fear and that fear is used to satisfy self centered pride and desire. As soon as I got back to the motel by headache disappeared. I found a local restaurant that had a take out salad bar for five bucks. That was great because in Moab a grilled cheese sandwich was $9.50! That place was as touristy as can be and full of bicycles, and extreme4X4 vehicles for dessert adventure.
Even through the fog I got some good pictures and with everything wet in the dessert, WoW! Next week here will be fantastic because all the wild flowers are starting and with todays rain... The rocks were slick, smooth and wet. Most all my sightseeing and pictures were from the car. At the furthest area you could drive into the park, I got out and started to walk. I had only seen one arch from a distance and was not impressed. What kept me walking was not of my mind. I was wet, not in a good mood and the muddy sand was messy. While trying to keep my camera lens dry well... I wiped it so many times the protective lens broke. Luckily I had an umbrella under the truck seat. Ha, finally for the first time after all these years it came in handy. I used the umbrella to keep the camera dry while I huffed and puffed along a trail. It was so worth it. It feels like my days of hiking are over. I came across the Landscape Arch. It was amazing especially with everything wet. It felt like a gift to see. It felt like spirit wanted me to see this beauty so it could enjoy through me. This is a hiking park for sure. You must get out of your vehicle and walk to really be awed. The green stone in the mountains... awesome. The painted like colors of the landscape desert sands, awesome. While walking through the huge stone shapes I was reminded of a visit to France when I explored in and around the base of a castle roof top and also of the fantasy feeling while in old city Prague of the Czech Republic. All in all, I am grateful for the experience of today even though it felt as chaotic as can be. I am learning to adjust to age and limitations that are creeping into my life and hope to adjust more gracefully as time progresses.
April 16, 2015
Green River, Utah
I completely lost my cool this morning. Before going to sleep I adamantly asked that room service not wake me. They know guests who are leaving do not need room service and they should not be knocking on doors until checkout time. I phoned after settling in the room to remind them. I put a sticker on the door saying do not disturb and at nine in the morning they began knocking on my door! Unfortunately the screaming of dissatisfaction from my bed woke up anyone who was not already awake in the rooms all around me. She ran. I got out of bed, ran out the door and found her in my bare feet. (lol) A guy working with her said it was not her fault and then I yelled, "I know its the managers"... who then appeared and calmed me down by saying he would lower the price for the room and then began to give not one but all the explanations... they forgot, it was a mistake, she's new, the desk guy forgot to notate it, blah, blah, blah. The girl continually said she did not understand English to me while I continually asked how she was able to answer my questions without understanding English. This is my number one button of dissatisfaction. It happens eighty percent of the time. Motels just don't care when they know your simply passing through. They want everyone out as soon as possible to get the rooms cleaned and to get the help off the clock as soon as possible. Concerning the customer, check out time means nothing to them. My temper these days... its sharp. I don't like it. It rained until the afternoon and I liked hiding in my little stuffy room to get some work done and send some people their pictures. Once it began to look like the sun was coming out I had to go check out Crystal Geyser. It is a little known and rare, cold water geyser that just happens to be a few miles from where I am staying. The colors were dense and dramatic. It is so wonderful to be in nature with no governmental or tourist industry restrictions. Driving down roads less traveled is so fantastic. As usual, someone found us there which is always the best! We created music.
April 15, 2015
Lots of fear! Then, my feelings and thoughts shifted to anticipation of fun and adventure. Mo and I headed out of Zion and then everything shifted to pain in the butt thoughts about needs that must be dealt with. I decided to skip Arches National Park to just get back east as soon as possible and deal with life. The weather shifted from the high eighties to freezing. Watering systems along the roads made for fine crystalized ice on grass. Snow showers were everywhere. At one point when driving it was almost a white out. The shading on mountains made for many amazing colors in the rock, dirt and sand. The sun and clouds and the sunset in canyons with sharp cliffed edges... throughout all my angst I just kept stopping on the side of the road to take pictures. Route 89 north was awesome. I found a cheap motel in Green River right before dark. The town looks almost deserted with abandoned business and motels full of broken windows, very sad. But the room is cheap and coincidentally, I am forty five minutes away from Arches. How crazy is that? After driving all day I thought I would be way pass it. Now, I'll have to stay and go see it.
April 14, 2015
The wind was so strong all day long it blew over a covered wagon on the ranch where I am staying. It was a major dust storm that lasted all day with a lot of dirt flying everywhere. With the cover over the piano, I just reminded myself that I have been through this before several times. There could be no playing of music which was perfect because I was way too tired from yesterday. I wanted to stay in and just enjoy my accommodations for one last day. I had some bath salts for the whirlpool tub and I watched a movie while enjoying it. Mo and I went for a walk, I had one more buffalo burger from the property restaurant and I did some computer work. It is a challenge to keep anxiety away knowing I will leave here tomorrow heading for Arches, Utah and then back to West Virginia to deal with what is left of my life one last time, again. I think about how I want to "go out" with this journey. Do I want to leave it on a high note or "it is what it is." (which could be quite low) It almost ended a few months ago when death was at my doorstep in Arizona. A secure, comfortable home base is needed... now. The resources or funds to create that do not presently exist nor does the where with all to create one in my mind or the energy of spirit. Is the journey in the swing of a pendulum or has it swung. The Fun, Friendship and Respect has become without question my work but it is still work that I love with as much passion as ever. Insecurity concerning finances and accommodations have begun to slow down my energy more than ever before. The difference now from before is that all my backups are gone and resources have been used up. Something new and better must happen to replenish my spirit. I know I will make it at least until the tenth anniversary 1016... I think. Settling somewhere for a few months may be a good idea but the decision process of where is excruciating and also what do I do with my life long career archives?
April 13, 2015
Upper Kolob Plateau, La Verkin, Zion, Utah
I way, way over did it physically today. Twelve full hours of riding around, taking pictures, waiting, hanging out, creating music and sharing the Traveling Piano. I just had to make the most of everything. It began in Zion National Park. There was a little pull over area in the road where I could back the truck up into and where no one else could pull over but, they were able to do that a short distance away. Every chance, I would remind myself that I am in Zion National park creating music after seven years of attempts to get here. There was not too much recording possible because people began finding us and of course we all had fun. Afterwards, Mo and I drove out of the park and found the La Verkin overlook. Just by ourselves we created music and sat in the sun. It was strong and hot with the temperature like in the high eighties. I've been living on food wise, ensure and power bars for the last two days but could not resist stopping in La Verkin to get a fresh turkey, cranberry and tomato cheese sandwich. Food is super expensive everywhere. Ten dollars for a sandwich. Afterwards we headed to the Upper Kolob Plateau and there was road work going on. We had to hang around three hours to get through and were stopped at a place that was full of lava rock which is very light in weight and I thought how I'd love to have some of this stuff if I had a home to put it in. Later I found out we were at Lava Point.
The Traveling Piano was shared with the road workers and also people while we waited for a pilot truck. One woman with a friend had a German Shepherd dog and they were in the business of promoting bullet proof vests for police dogs and bullet proof backpacks for school children. Lol... I showed them my "Gun Free Zone" sticker on the back of my truck. It is really great to have so many ways to connect with people. We had our love for dogs, the fun, friendship, respect of life that can happen in the present moment through one-on-one relating, music, creativity, nature, human spirit in of itself... While waiting for the road to open I drove into Virgin which had of all things a small book store. There was no other business in the area except for a campground and the bookstore had of all things... fast internet and they shared it if you went inside. Someone had brought fiber optics to the town. Around five in the afternoon we got going into the Kolob alpine pastures and headed for the end of the road which was a reservoir. I did not care if we had to drive back in total darkness, everything was just too beautiful to pass up seeing and I just had to get to the end of the road. After creating some music by the water we headed back. I keep musically recording over everything I record and need to stop and read the recording manual sometime. Time... Anyway, there was a small community way out where I was but I think it is about dead because every place had a for sale sign on it. There was even a community grave yard.
Rich folk are buying up everywhere around Zion park on all sides and I can see this area will turn into not suburban just... developed "sprawl" in about ten years. It was dark once I got to Zion and I broke down again to get food because I was starving. It had been a physically draining day. The local supermarket is trying to "force teach" people to stop using plastic bags for environmental reasons so while charging top dollar for their products they also charge a nickel for every bag used to carry out purchases. It pissed me off they would do that. If they don't believe environmentally in using plastic bags don't provide them, period. Charging people for them is deceptive, manipulative, profitable and self serving. I walked across the way to get a sandwich wrap and the girl there shifted my energy into a good place immediately. That carried into more Traveling Piano fun which transferred into other employees and then onto friends down the street working at another restaurant. The ride through the park in the dark was not too difficult. I just wished there was some energy to stop and look at the stars in the mountains or even play a little music. Once I got back to my cabin I gorged myself with food and then could do nothing else but fall to sleep.
April 12, 2015
Zion National Park, Utah
It is a very interesting feeling in not having internet, phone or cable like, "oh wow, there is space in my life... what do I do with it... how about using it to take a deep breath or just sit and experience the present moment and everything in it." In not wanting to deal with crowds in the park today, we drove to Kanab in the opposite direction were I was able to get some internet in a Mc Donald's restaurant parking lot to update this blog. I must admit it did feel comfortable and safe to connect with the world in that way again. The town is about forty minutes away from the park and I am glad I did not get a room to stay there, it would have been to far away. Where we are is perfect. I need this kind of environment to escape back into after a day of doing what I do. Its time for a home or at least a home base in order to continue or either way. I don't need the size of living space I gave up for the journey, it does not have to be large but it does need to be comfortable and clean relative to what I once had. We took a drive through Kanab Canyon where the Friends Animal Sanctuary is. There were thousands upon thousands of dog, cat, etc... graves and just as many wind-chimes. I stood on a ridge overlooking many of the graves and the sounds were uniquely beautiful but could not stop thinking about how much money was poured into that place with the expensive looking markers for each grave.
Onward... I decided to get back to the cabin and create music to record outside of it. All the cabins looked empty like no one was around... wrong. After about five minutes of playing a guy came over and offered me forty bucks to go over to his cabin and surprise his wife. It was tempting but not in the spirit of what I am doing. Then two mom's came buy telling me they had four kids taking piano lessons in a cabin on the back side of the property. We all had fun. They wanted to give me, I forget a hundred or two dollars for stopping by and it did just not feel right but I told them they could contribute via the website if they wanted. I really do need money, although I did not want them to think that. There is no fun in neediness. They really tried to push to give me money then and there to get it over with, lol... then I suggested they find me a place to stay instead of the money. We shall see ha, as usual I'm not crossing any fingers. This journey is about fun without agenda, thats what makes it unique. Any kind of thank you must come unattached to the experience otherwise it turns into a trade for the music and fun. There's nothing wrong with that but it is not what I do. Half measures avail me nothing and its always been that way.
April 11, 2015
Zion National Park, Utah
Again, at six in the morning I woke up from the popping sounds of the water heater in my cabin. In the middle of the night I woke up with what sounded like a city trash truck outside my window. It took me a few minutes to realize it was the cabin heater going on and off. This noisiness was not going to work for me. I went to the front desk and told the woman that I really liked the place, the people were nice and I didn't want to leave but unless something changed that was what was going to happen. She began to shift around in an unaccommodating way and offering lower alternatives which was not going to fly. Coincidentally the owner was there and stepped in saying he would find a place for me. She said, "but the dog" and he said, "it might take some time, don't worry we will find a place for you". That made a major impression on me. I thought, "this is hospitality, a good business man." I'm staying at the Zion Mountain Ranch which is two miles outside of the park. It is a wide open area and away from the tourist congestion, all cabins, horses, chickens, buffalo etc... There is practically no phone or internet.
I collapsed back into sleep after that and woke up in the afternoon to drive through the park and record some music. It was impossible. Times are changing with more people. Their interest in the Traveling Piano was intense. Lots of cameras, lack of inhibition or shyness. There were few places to stop so that made it even more busy for me. Of course, I gave in and enjoyed everything for all it was worth. There were some worthwhile periods of time spent just talking with people. I had to ignore some, which is so difficult to do but there was no choice. People from all over the world got onto the piano to have an experience. Japan, France, Germany, Canada, Slovakia, Spain, Italy, Mexico... it was all a wow! A blacksmith new to the area, we spent a short time together. The longest time was spent with a super strong Libertarian friend of that Bundy guy who with his gun totting friends, fended off the federal government over the use of grazing land back a year or two ago. Both he and his wife separately had been homeless in the past and through the interactions with their son and daughter it felt very inspiring for me to see how they all have survived successfully as a family.
It is also interesting to hear different sides of stories as with the Bundy incident... the federal government, the media and then the communities side all have different points to make as in government, commercial and then people. I could not have been more in line with the way they think about how people handle land, but then on the gun issue well... we just stayed away from that, lol. They said I would be welcomed in their area and then I showed them the "Gun Free Zone" sticker on the back of my truck while saying if they can handle that view from me I'd be willing to deal in relationship. Again, we both sort of distanced ourselves from the issue for the sake of the Fun, Friendship and Respect we were sharing through the Traveling Piano in the present moment and the true-fullness of our human spirit. Staying in one spot as the sunset I watched the colors of the mountains change all around me. It was much more than emotional. The best thing to happen today was with a group of four who had been hiking up on one of the mountain rims. They were so excited to find the Traveling Piano! They had heard the music while hiking from far away in typical Traveling Piano mode, the "creating music for people to discover" and fell right into it for themselves... the pure reality.
April 10, 2015
St. George, Utah
Trucks revving their motors to climb a street hill outside my motel room woke me up at 6:30am. It was supposed to be a quiet room. I had already been angry at being price gouged. Online the same room was half the price for the weekend. I kept praying for the ruminating anger to leave me. I'm sure there was also frustration in my head about what to do with the immediate future. I was ready to cause trouble if they did not refund the money to at least the weekend price but fortunately for them they did. That helped my day a bit. A young couple stopped me in the reception area when I arrived and asked if I was the Traveling Piano man. I told them we could hook up in the morning and we did. It was an amazing spiritually validating half hour together and then as I was driving to Zion I began to get disappointed that I was not driving more into nature. It was just more messy human structures, wires, cars, dirt, poles, streets, etc... I scoped out places all along the way to stay the night in case I could not find one in Zion. Then, when I reached the town I found it packed to the hilt with cars and vehicles parked everywhere and all lodging was booked. This week is spring break here in Utah and also it is the 100th anniversary of Zion National park. The noise, ugh, I broke down for the annual pass to National Parks and began to drive to the other side of the park to find a room. If you know anything of how I feel about paying money to see the worlds nature you know that paying for that park pass was a big cave in for me on this journey. Through a mixup at the entry I was able to get a red pass for the park lodge.
The government no longer allows people to drive through the park unless of course are paying to stay in the exuberantly priced lodge. Everyone must take a tour bus that costs $25 unless your walking or have a bike, then it is less expensive. Even with the red pass, at the lodge you must stop. I decided to act like a foreigner that had no idea what I was doing and just kept on driving while thinking how I waited all these years to be here and I am going to see the park no matter what especially since mu ability to hike now is little. It was too late in the day to take a tour bus and you can't take pictures from a moving bus. What could they do throw me out, fine me, arrest me? Ha, I'll deal with it. I told myself I was not going to miss this one time opportunity even if it meant not being able to get a room and sleeping in the truck for the first time ever. It was awesome even though I was driving while looking over my shoulders the entire time and not being able to get out of the truck to take pictures for fear of a bus coming by or a driver radioing the rangers to come and get me. The park scenery reminded me of how thankful I am to know, love and see this planet earth and also that there are people like me who feel the same. Once out of the restricted area I could not really stop to take it all in. I was so exhausted from very little sleep and the all day drive yesterday. That did not stop the scenery from affecting me. I became immersed in the awesome nature all around me. It was like another world. As in all the other places I have been, I could not compare it.
Pictures could never grasp Zion. Unlike the details I could photograph of Bryce Canyon or the vastness of Alaska, the northern Rockies or the drama of Glacier park, Zion park is just in your face grand. Nothing can really stand out. You just have to be in it and part of it... in total reality and feeling. This is the only option. As I drove on looking for a place to stay... in my mind the price of what it would be worth kept going up in my head. Was I ready to let the rest of the money go to pay for a place where I could feel comfortable enough to fully experience this? Yes. I found a really expensive cabin on a ranch with really nice people who are welcoming and interested. Only problem is the water heater goes on and off and it like corn popping in a microwave for like a half hour at a time, at random times because of the hard water in the area that has destroyed the water heater. Will I be able to take this? As tired as I was, interactions with the Traveling Piano began on arrival and although I was having fun, I also had to stop after about an hour and actually ignore people because I was just too exhausted. The music would have gone on for hours with people into the night. There is a restaurant on the ranch and the chef gave me a great buffalo burger and fries at half price which was ten bucks. It was definitely worth ten bucks. The full price I could not have paid. I'm still holding back on spending. The chef played the Moonlight Sonata on the piano earlier. I have it videotaped and need to get it uploaded onto youtube.
April 09, 2015
Let me tell you something about my life. As I get older, every day becomes more real. I have been finding my own worth, for myself... through reality. I have created my world, not other people or outside circumstances. Wondrous comes to mind and also grace. Reality as I perceive it has been beyond my Wildest of Dreams... not to say it has all been great in fact sometimes it really feels bad, but... at least I get to choose it. Even more wondrous is being able to share it all with you... the good, bad and everything in between. When I left San Diego today I did not now where I was going. I ran some thoughts through a friend and then decided that I really needed to get back to West Virginia quick. After about an hours driving I thought, "your passing up Zion National Park and this may be your last opportunity". It has been nine years since I first started to heading for Zion. I drove almost straight through today. It took nine hours and we landed in St. George at a Motel 6 that with an AARP discount cost $111.36. I was too exhausted to complain. It was midnight and just wanted a quiet room. I am acclimating to my new Iphone quickly. The phone I had been using was a pre-flip up. I've been taking pictures and sharing them with my computer, I no longer need my voice recorder as the phone has one. I've been texting for the first time, finding directions... You just talk into it and tell it what to do, call someone, send a message, find something, etc... The trade off is a total lack of privacy and all the data collection with what I do and how I live my life. The strangest thing happened. I've been using my GPS for years. As it gets knocked around because I keep it on the truck floor, buttons get pushed on it. I picked it up and a new window appeared on it asking if I wanted voice activation. What??? After all these years, I can't tell you what a pain in the ass it has been to search for places and insert addresses, especially in the dark. Was this a fluke or what? Then I noticed the word "App." Having never been able to understand the concept of phone apps before and now getting an idea with the new Iphone... I pressed the app button and that accesses the voice activation. That’s just crazy to find after all these years but typical. It feels like I learn one new thing a year. I have always said, I'm a slow learner but I learn.
April 08, 2015
Ocean Beach, San Diego, California
This morning I woke up knowing it was my last day in San Diego but did not know where I was going. It was either West Virginia to deal with issues I wrote about last month or to Philadelphia to deal with the same issues, Montana, (same) Zion National park (the agenda) or somewhere else. A lot depended on whether people were going to followthrough with helping me. I said my usual morning mantra of Fun, Friendship and Respect and then created a gratitude list, then said the serenity prayer asking for help to get through the day. After that everything began to pop. My friend Jeff called from West Virginia to tell me he got another friend of mine Fred to help get the few things I still have from my past life out of were it is and put it all into storage for me. Another friend is helping me pay for the storage and rental truck for transfer. This was a huge relief on every level and now even though much more needs to be done (like finding a home which I am ready for after ten years) I can be present with the rest of my day. It was to be an easy day just for me and then I thought... this is going to be Mo's last chance to really run and be with other dogs on the beach. We went to the dog beach. Mo ran for hours and so far away in and out of the water at times I could barely see him. Every five minutes or so he would return to touch base with me, literally he would come up and bump me with his nose and then run off again.
I laid in a lounge chair and it was chilly so I was wearing a fleece jacket given to me when we were in Alaska. I moved into the present moment thinking about the fact that I was laying on a lounge chair at the beach in San Diego California wearing a jacket I got from Alaska and I was at the pacific ocean on a beautiful sunny day while my dog is off running around playing with hundreds of other dogs. Life is good. Then a surprising inspiration came to me. We needed to go to the first place I found when we got to the pacific ocean and create some music. Also I really wanted to climb down the cliff to the beach. Every time we were at the spot it became all Traveling Piano time and I never got away from the truck. Well, today I got down to the beach and also had some Traveling Piano time with people and also... played for a good forty five minutes straight by myself until the sun set. A woman walked past me and said I gave her a blessing. That felt really good! Another guy, a surfer who had seen me in the past but never stopped, sat behind me the entire time. It felt like he was just "being" with nature, the music, me, Mo... he had some good vibrations going. I was exhausted and really pushed myself to keep creating music until the sun set and it happened all through feelings of saying goodbye in gratitude. Lastly, after it got dark I spent more time with friends. Tomorrow its off to Zion National Park in Utah.
April 07, 2015
Clairemont Mesa, San Diego, California
We will be leaving San Diego on Thursday and today was about sorting out immediate needs in my head as to what I am going to do and where I will go. No matter what if you are connected to people, no matter how close or distant the relationship in life there is no getting away from them having an impact on your life's decisions... if you are the kind of person that I am. Once again, the free spirited romanticism concept with this journey has never been. Everything for me in life is a trade off. The best thing about this journey is that I choose it. The purpose of this blog is to show my life for better or worse. We met some really great people today and they put the spirit in my day by joining me with the Traveling Piano and some music. Once I sold my home many years ago to pay for the journey, a home base was given for me to use by a friend in West Virginia. It was never secure and the trade offs in using it have been tremendous. (not because of the friend, they have been unconditional) Well, that now is officially over and unless someone in San Diego gives us a home (which will happen when a cow jumps over a moon) or anywhere else, Mo and I will dependent on a power greater than myself which I choose to call god as he works through people. I am fortunate, it is more like having grace... to be able to see god working to help me through life through other people almost everyday. Still, I get stuck often in thinking it is all the people themselves.
April 06, 2015
San Diego, California
Went to the Apple store because of a problem with my phone. Same old, same old... they put products out on a level that necessitates the customers complaining about the bugs to find or fix or a dissatisfaction level about performance and then decided whether is worth it to deal. Meanwhile in a store of at least thirty employees a quarter of them standing around doing nothing... you'd think they might be able to problem solve the products they are selling without my waiting for a "genius" as they are called. The store manger was totally, "just return it if you don't like it or we can switch it out." Absolutely no sense of problem solving. I had already invested too much time in it to just "return" and go back to my old phone and did not have the time to "switch it out." A few hours later a non-apple, non-techy friend of mine with a simple phone got it working in minutes... because she was interested. Mo and I went to the bay to create some music and met a few people. A friend was telling me about a recent quote she read about Mohammed Ali and exercising. He was speaking of doing sit-ups saying don't start counting until it starts hurting because that's when it's doing the most good. Well, concerning this journey, I've started to count because its hurting so... lets see what good comes from it now.
April 05, 2015
San Diego, California
Will and Steve had invited me over to their friends Easter pot luck dinner being held from noon to three. I overslept and they let me off the hook. Mo and i relaxed on the back patio with sun and a nice breeze. Then I thought about going to an event someone was having and then I was going to go downtown to the homeless area with the Traveling Piano and then I thought, I just need to take care of me today. I made a great sandwich to have with my coffee and then Will and Steve came home and we just talked shooting the bull for over an hour. Thank God for these two friends. It has been a relaxing Easter. Of course I've also been doing online work throughout the day. Everything is very up in the air and I am taking things one step at a time, one day at a time. Some interesting Easter memories came to mind... one year I woke at sunrise and went snorkeling in the blue hole of the red sea off the coast of Egypt. It was so beautiful I cried. I've also spent Easter, and the whole week before living with the monks at Holy Cross Monastery off the Hudson river in New York State and then there was Easter morning in Texas at a mega church of thousands. I'll never forget that show... and down the street there was an even bigger church with five thousand people giving away a car and big screen televisions after the service. That sort of grossed me out. Of course the family easters were kinda fun sometimes. The red sea was the best, the monastery comes in second.
April 04, 2015
Rancho Penasquitos, California
The moon is full with an eclipse. We drove to Black Rock Mountain in Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego County California for a different view of the moon in order to create music. The place was not easy to find and I never did find anywhere I could drive to with a view. There was plenty of hiking views. I just love the open unrestricted natural spaces in San Diego county. I hope the people keep it that way. The neighborhoods were unusually diverse and the people friendly. The first guy I asked from had a French accent, the next Australian, the next I asked, he was from Afghanistan, there were a few more that I forget but, wow! On a wide dead end street at sunset I saw a boy and girl who were playing and they looked like they could use some distraction so I told them to go get a parent if they wanted a Traveling Piano experience. Grandmom came out with her dog from preparing Seder dinner and we all had a moment. Did you know that Easter is always on a full moon and that both Easter and Passover used to be on the same dates? Each are celebrated according to astronomical occurrences specifically of the full moon.
April 03, 2015
Ocean Beach, San Diego, California
I woke up with an alarm clock to make sure I was out in time to get the truck to the mechanic shop for a new muffler. With six hours sleep I stopped first at the shop that was going to check my engine after the muffler was installed to make sure they would still do it. They said yes. The muffler guy was great, interesting and charged me a "buddy" price. He was a full blooded Arab from Jordan who was also a Christian which I thought was interesting because I tend to forget that not all Arabs are Muslim. Afterwards I felt secure from our interaction (as in the journey is going ok) and drove to the engine guy who ended up waffling over having time to take a look but he took the time to set me up in his books, write down the truck vin number, registration getting info, asking for my address and phone, etc... "I just need for you to check the engine, you don't need all this other stuff" I said. Then he told me how he had to do diagnostics, and try different things and I ended up calling the first guy to ask him for the additional help I needed.
After taking the truck back to the original guy it was explained that I have one of the early carburetors made, which is a computer of sorts with sensors and my problem was probably one of those sensors, not worth looking into, just keep going and when the carburetor goes... get it replaced in one of the southern states because it will be less expensive. Don't worry about it, keep going was what I wanted to hear and I believe him. This is what has been told to me many times before and I just hook onto the faith of what I am hearing. It works. Forget all the crap with the other place! It is like doctors who get right down to dealing with the problem verses those who put you through appointments, bureaucracy, tests, medications, specialists, etc... Screw all that. Then, feeling really tired I wanted to take a nap but decided to push myself which would hopefully result in getting to bed tonight earlier than four in the morning. At a gas station I met some funny guys, one who liked to make funny faces. People have begun to tell me they read about me in newspapers. Ha, I made a strong decision not to care. What people write about or report on me, if their "spin" is correct, thank you and if not there is nothing I can do about that although the idea of people doing news articles about me and this journey without an interview or giving me the curtesy of letting me know they are doing it, is simply lame.
I connected with my new friend Jo and her dog Cleo on the dog beach in Ocean Beach. It was fantastic. I laid in a lounge chair in the sand, walked barefoot in the water, had great conversation, watched hundreds of people spread out on a huge beach with hundreds of dogs running loose and free... thats a rare happening indeed. The temperature was in the eighties. Two adorable blond boys were making sand angels near us and I had to share the Traveling Piano with them. There can be nothing better than connecting with and supporting free spirited energy. That began more connections in the beach parking lot. Afterwards, Jo and I went to get some tacos in the center of town and I passed a grassy plot on the beach that I've had my eye on for some time. I could not resist stopping and creating music for the sunset. I would play just a few single notes of music and watch people turn their heads in interest. I was having some fun with that, the engaging of people with single notes of music. Then I watched people slowly gravitate onto the lawn area and mill around near where we were situated. There were a lot of homeless people in the area. A non-profit group arrived and began serving dinner. As the sun set I could not resist people's interest and started to let people have the piano seat. The energy with life today was without question a little more wild. Then I realized it is the beginning of a holiday weekend and tomorrow night will be a full moon with a total lunar eclipse. "Stay aware Danny." I can get crazy with a full moon.
April 02, 2015
San Diego, California
Dealing with the end my career archives as well as a the few personal possessions that remain in my life from birth being stored in West Virginia... the ever ending letting go of, purging, saying goodbye, moving everything around... my archives are my legacy. I'd like to die before I see it all disappear. The not having a secure place to go and live, where to go next, how, when... blah, blah, blah... I was completely drained emotionally which translates into physically drained all day. The feeling of passing out was constant. I did connect with a friend, created a little music which I am too tired to talk about, found someone to replace the truck muffler tomorrow, another guy to re-adjust the engine I hope... talked to my friend Jeff who is trying to help with getting my stuff out of where it is in West Virginia... I wish this blog did not have all the "downer" stuff along with the "upers" but my goal here as I have said many times is to tell it all as it is, this walkabout I have been doing for ten years... I'm not out to entertain I am out to "show" myself as much as possible and I want to connect most with people who can and want to relate so we can grow up together. Bottom line, I'm still doing what I want to do, it is more fun than not and people are helping me along for sure.
April 01, 2015
Mission Bay Park, San Diego, California
One of the most important ways to get more life into my life is to connect with a constant flow of new people and the more different and diverse the better. The "inner circle of trust" that I was brought up with concerning family, religion, social status, etc... it is bred out of fear and thank god I escaped that because it would have led to a very boring and dissatisfied life. People who work menial jobs because they enjoy interacting with people... I understand that completely. Mo and I drove to connect with a new friend and her dog at a local park I have had my eyes on. After a few interactions with people on the Traveling piano Mo and I along with our new friends Jo and her dog Cleo, we took a walk and hung out in lounge chairs on a small pier over the bay while the moon came up. It was so nice to just hang out with someone and talk away from the Traveling Piano. That does not happen very much for me. Tonight was the first moon rising I created music to while here in California. There have been lots of sunsets. The moon here is not very large. It is what it is, I still love it and always will.