HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.
July 31, 2015
Really, we are about to go into August? I'm in one of those slow moving modes where I just can't get going and I'm trying to embrace what is... but I did post another two hundred and sixty pictures to the Traveling Piano galleries here on this website. The idea of leaving to head across country again is so mixed with different feelings. It looks like I will be heading to Montana. Now, I know where I am going is a vortex which makes me a little uneasy concerning getting out of there once I'm in and... also concerning the friend I will be visiting. We both can be major individual spinning vortexes ourselves. Then, what to do with my time there. I'm out of money and my resources are very limited. Can I stand not being around people for a few months through the winter? I really need people in person. The internet (if I have service) will not fulfill my people interaction needs. I wish I had someone to stay with in Los Angeles.
All my time there in LA a few months ago was on skid row. I did not get to Hollywood at all. The idea of being in the nature of Glacier Park, Montana once more, (Piano Dog Boner's ashes are buried there) all of it makes me almost sick with excruciating excitement in a good way. If this really happens I will just sit in nature and cry for as long as possible, I love it so much. I hope I get off my ass here in Philadelphia to enjoy the hell out of it with the Traveling Piano and otherwise for these last two weeks. I have no plan or need or reason to return here again. I am in my last hurrah. Its a full moon tonight. I'm all over the place as you might gather from this writing. My old life long neighbor from across the street where I owned my house found me on facebook tonight. She posted over a hundred "likes" on my page, lol... she's now in here late eighties and was always a good friend to me.
July 30, 2015
It was hot, humid today. We stopped anyway on Broad Street in Center City Philadelphia with the Traveling Piano and almost immediately a guy wanted to jump in to play. Then complete strangers walking down the street began to gather and sing. We were outside a huge church ministry and everyone was eating lunch outside because it was too hot inside. It was a lot of fun but I had to watch not to over do it with my energy. The sun was burning my head and I was with my friends Stephen and Shehara who wanted to get something to eat. We stopped in the local market and a woman who found the Traveling Piano in Fairmount Park about eight years ago was there playing piano for lunchtime. She found us again about four years ago and I had driven her around the city while she played. She must be about ninety years old by now! It was weird because I paid for parking, we went in to eat, found her today and then left without eating... sort of like we were just supposed to connect for a moment. When we did finally eat it began to pour rain and I could not keep the truck windows totally closed because of Mo. The cab is going to be damp and smelly for a few days. It felt good to get out and about with music today! There has been a lot less lately. Last night I played in a park in the dark for a spell. It feels like I don't know what to do everyday. In my mind I'm getting ready to leave and it taking all of me psychically to do it.
July 29, 2015
"Dear diary" ...thats pretty much what this is. I'm not allowed to let myself know how many people visit this site, what they are reading and how often. Some days I assume a lot and other days I'm fairly sure hardly anyone. It important to for me to remember that people are more preoccupied with their own stuff more and more, also less and less people are being able to access this site because they are using iPhones and its too difficult. I need an app. I know it has had millions and millions of hits but that might be just one person constantly clicking on the same pages, lol God forbid. Back and forth I swing from trying to understand my life, its relevance to others verses me for myself. There is so much equity built into this journey now on so many levels and in so many ways... what do I do with that fact? Can I stop, how do I transition and into what, my mind is preoccupied with these thoughts often. Little is getting done these days, or as usual and often... so it feels.
July 28, 2015
I was parked outside a store dropping off archives to mail to Montana. Some guy walked by interested in The Traveling Piano and got up to create his first notes of music ever. Within thirty seconds another guy walked buy and tipped him a buck! He felt like he had won the lottery. I also gave him one of my last Raggin' Piano Boogie posters and gave one to a guy who was a fantastic pianist who had not played since being a child from Georgia the country, and also a sales clerk who was super friendly inside the store. A few I shipped to Montana. The store was requiring its employees to wear merchandise product being sold like human advertisement, large student pack-backs on their backs all day long while they work to push back to school sales. It felt very wrong! More music would have happened today but the off/on rain showers and humidity with temperatures in the mid-nineties... wasn't going to happen.
July 27, 2015
Well, it definitely looks like I will be heading to Montana. A friend has offered a place to stay, I must do something different as I am out of money and done with asking people if I can stay with them. (we have stayed with over a hundred fifty people we've never met before) It would be a wonderful happening if someone stepped up to the plate to fund this journey. For ten years, the money came first from the sale of my home (I've been able to make every penny count) and then secondly from people inviting us into their homes, third... small contributions here and there and this year... I've survived mostly from one friend who's "financial well" has run dry. Any association commercially, organizationally or politically has never been what this journey is about and that is stated in the mission statement. The Traveling Piano is all about people sharing freely with each other and without any other agenda then musical empowerment and inspiration with fun, friendship and respect. I shipped some life long career archive material to my friend in Montana and may start selling my music or create an (ugh) kickstarter or something like that with what posters and cd's I have left. While at the store today the employee's were so friendly I shared what I have to offer with them and then a few customers of course got into the action. With all the angst I'm feeling, these people really helped me through my day.
July 26, 2015
When Piano Dog Boner was alive I was writing a book about him but I have not written so much about Piano Dog Mo that I can remember. We were laying together head to head today our faces less than an inch apart and I watched his eyes roll around in his head completely relaxed, content and trusting. His trust is not in that I will take care of him or that he has someone to run to in a moment of trouble as much as it is in my love for him in general. He's a dog and with my experience and respect for him as a dog, I really can't project very much into all that. But, I do know he trusts me almost one hundred percent in many ways. He has three levels of smiling that is conscious for him. Level one is to show one fang, then there is the two fang smile and then there is the two fang, total bottom grid of teeth smile. It is awesome to see with the look in his eyes. Before I knew him I would have thought that all looked gross. Whenever I was affectionate with Piano Dog Bo, after a time he would always turn the affection into play. With Mo, there is no end to the tolerance of being treated affectionally. I told him the other day that when it is time for us both to leave this earth that I might have to go a few days before him. I'm fairly certain of that at this point.
July 25, 2015
Mo and I basically hung out today, a little bit with friends and also went for a long walk. People want to know what I am going to do, where I will be next, what my plans are and I wish I knew but to "know" is not how this journey works and let me tell you it can be difficult at times. There are always options the difficulty is in choosing and deciding. How many times have I written that in this blog over the years? Lots, I don't think I've repeated anything else more.
July 24, 2015
Wow, I was depressed when I woke up. That is not usual. The mass shooting epidemic around the country has been affecting me deeply. Seventy four mass shootings since Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Every time it happens, myself along with hundreds of thousands of other people, we relive the situations on different personal levels. For myself it has been with the Traveling Piano, a deep sadness I feel. Every time, my mind goes right back and relives being in Sandy Hook CT and Virginia Tech after those murders with the families, friends, schoolmates, neighbors and communities. The Traveling Piano has been with six different national tragedies since the start of its journey. And then when people come out with pro gun and "no" commonsense gun safety law self-centeredness as a result... it is a slap in the face to the validity of human spirit. My grief turns to anger that these people are more afraid of getting their dicks cut off, as in their gun taken away (an indoctrinated illusion) ...then caring about the validity of human spirit as a nation enough to do something about the injustice throughout. So as I lay numb I thought, "you need to get up and get active." What a gift to be able to do that even when depressed. Before this journey, no way. So, Mo and I went to the same park as yesterday and hiked for about an hour then created music as usual. I like the place, the sense of community, I'm getting to know everyone, it feels very good and I find myself missing a core community of people to hang around with. Mo and I will be back on the road in a few weeks.
July 23, 2015
Trying to make my days feel like I don't have to go out and play is difficult. It was really nice weather so it just had to be done even if late in the day. There is a new default place for me to hang out in and its Pennypack park. The same people frequent it almost every day with their dogs, I am there and then there are always new people. I like the feel, the friendliness and everyone really appreciates the music when I get a chance to play. There was an off duty Philly cop who allowed me to rant about my police issues and he used me to practice staying calm. Lol, I really appreciated him and he played some piano. A guy with his two golden retriever's got onto the piano, a family visiting from Israel... little kids who take piano lessons from Israel have no inhibition when it comes to showing there "stuff." I've met several over the years and they really enjoy just "going for it" to show what they can do. After dark Mo and I went for a walk across the street from the park. I found out is was another park area with a trail in a pasture with rolling hills next to a farm and also there was more creek to explore. It is a definite place to return for a day walk before we leave. There were times today where I was barely functional... it happens every time I get into the reality about road travel again.
July 22, 2015
Delaware River Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The truck has not been a problem for the first day in about four months. What can I say about that? Nothing... mum's the word. I didn't get up until the afternoon and feel very unsettled about the future but it was such a beautiful day I had to get out and into it. Mo and I went to the river and walked about an hour and then created music for about an hour. We had an interaction with a couple and I was very conscious of how I come alive when interacting with people through the Traveling Piano. Earlier when I left the place where I am staying, my friend Cindy said I am very negative, always negative... it might be that she just wants to push away anything from me that is not positive like most people, they don't want to hear that I have difficult times but that leaves me with me, myself and I... not good. When I feel like I don't have anyone to talk to its usually... I don't have anyone to complain to, dump on or to give me a suggestion. (which I never want anyway) The word gratitude came into my thoughts. It is weak, I can barely feel it these days... where has it gone, how do I make it stronger? Life ebbs and flows, all I can do is be aware and desire it as much as possible. Gratitude exists in me as great as ever, I know this so I just need to relax and flow. When I get into a "what should I do" mode... that creates a lot of conflict for me.
July 21, 2015
Got the truck back from the shop, he didn't put a carburetor in. He simply tweaked the timing and adjusted the flow of fuel. It all feels very strange but... the truck is working ok as I write this. The guy told me to take it out for a test spin and then left the shop to get his hair cut without telling me. Very... strange. Anyway, the situation saved me five hundred bucks! It cost total eighty five cash. With the heat today, I went into my friend Cindy's pool. Is it possible to sweat in water? The water temperature was in the high nineties. I wanted to see if I could float with Mo in my lap and wanted for Cindy to get a picture. The lap idea and floating did not last long but out of about a hundred and twenty quick pictures, I got three great ones. I stayed up until almost seven looking at online fundraising sites. Something must happen soon. The financial situation to keep going, a home base to use (I have none) with my age and almost finishing ten years of journey now... I wonder if I am wanting to beat my head against the wall again with trying to fundraise again. It has never been a success in the past and my passion to do it is not strong. That is why I sold my home to keep going, to help pay the way all these years and thank God for people who have invited us into their homes!
July 20, 2015
The truck went back into a shop today to get a new carburetor. Its weird because the guy ordered it over a week ago but I don't think he really got one. Also, I'm not sure they are interested enough because I had to call them three times to see what is going on. What can I do? Hope... The heat was sweltering so I stayed inside all day. Online I can really be a monster with words and how I reply or post about social issues I am passionate about. Problem is, I don't think any of it creates change. Still, I am aware of the strong communication skills I possess and thought, "you need to put all of that into your music. It is one of the things I always say to people when they create their first note of music. "When you mean what you say and say what you mean, its the truth and everyone will like it." Being clear and succinct with what I say musically, I like that but also... I have a long way to go in that area. Always, I make mistakes and hit cracks in the keys, etc... When you listen to my improvisations online, at least nine out ten of them have imperfections.
July 19, 2015
There was no chance I was going to go out today but by dinner time I realized the truck is going to go into the shop tomorrow and I might not have it for a few days, so I had better take advantage of today. The sun was going down and it was not too hot or humid although by the time I finished the humidity must have been a hundred twenty percent. Its almost midnight now and ninety degrees out. The room I am in is about eighty degrees and thats with an air conditioner running full blast. Taking a walk today was out of the question because interacting with people was the priority. Some time was spent simply creating music but I had to keep my eyes closed the entire time because if I see people I can't help myself.
I need to get them onto the piano to share some musical time. Also, if I look at them while I play everything turns into performance which is not what I am about. After some really nice time periods of fun, friendship and respect with people we headed out to the supermarket to get some food and the Traveling Piano fun started again in the parking lot. While driving back to where we are staying I came into more clarity that even though the social environment (laws, fear, police, restrictions, etc...) of todays world has made what I do more difficult than ten years ago... without question people are craving all the aspects of what the Traveling Piano has to offer ten times more today than ten years ago. This is what I am experiencing.
July 18, 2015
It felt brutally hot and humid out and was supposed to rain but it didn't. In the late afternoon the humidity let up so I went to take a walk with Mo. That never happened. My friend Tina's grandson Timmy was visiting and then Cindy's friend, her daughter Mary was here and then Ryan from next door, today is his sixth birthday... so you know what happened with all that... Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect. Other than that, I processed pictures while going at it full blast with a few people on Facebook about the fact that automatic machine, assault rifle guns have no place in society. I speak as a result of my experiences at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook CT with the Traveling Piano. There is an implosion happening in this country as a result of a few self-centered, profit seeking business people and politicians promoting division and weapons amongst people. Those who have not been taught to think for themselves or have not learned to think for themselves are being coming indoctrinated with fear and hate. My speaking about it often comes off arrogant, strong or abusive but the fact is I am speaking as passionately as possible. My passion of spirit comes out not only when musically interacting with people, it comes out in relationship to respect for human life, especially for those who cannot speak for themselves, I speak as strong as possible sadness and also anger.
July 17, 2015
Yesterday wore me out, I did not get up till afternoon. For most of the day today, I processed pictures. There is a lot of energy to experience on a city street! These days I'm being aware of my need to adjust to the fact that I cannot put out energy on a sustained level as I used to. Thats ok, it is natural and I want to keep reminding myself of that as I get older. It became very clear that I must do something with this website. With more and more people using only phones to access the internet, this website is set up to view on a computer and is now ten years old. To contact me or see anything is very difficult. I'm thinking I need to create an application real soon. Now, I know why more people have not contacted me for pictures and also why some emails come through with no return address. People make mistakes when sending their contact info and do not realize it did not go through. Im posting a video of a group of skateboarders that passed by the Traveling Piano while on the street yesterday. They made some rad moves while I Improvised music. Tonight I realized why I connect so well with society-wise marginal people, lol. While growing up I always wanted to get along with all types of people but was forbidden at all costs to associate with say, public school kids or... we could be friendly with but not friends of people who were not in our religion. Nothing in life has been more gratifying than to have grown up and out of the fears and ways of thinking that never felt right for me. I have become my own man and I associate with whomever I please. Some people are afraid and run away from me because of that and... so be it.
July 16, 2015
South Street, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
I'm sober thirty three years today. My reason for bringing it up was that when I made the decision to "give up" concerning the disease of alcoholism, I also made the decision that living in the main stream of life was not going to be a "casualty of war." Well... I certainly was able to handle that decision very well, eh? All through the grace of God and fellowship with people in life who have been supportive. Then... there has been the necessity of living life on my own terms, as an individual. The understanding of that, still to this day confuses me and has not been an easy road to travel but without question worth it. Mo and I headed for the east end of Philadelphia's South Street area and hung out with the Traveling Piano for a few hours. There were not many people around which was good because I am not out to appear as I want to entertain or perform. With lots of people around it would look like that.
My piano sound bottom end is gone, that is not good. The equipment, specifically my sound speaker... every new generation of product gets worse. Anyway, I had fun giving out my posters and connecting with an amazing variety of people. Skateboarders, a church gospel organist, a woman who just arrived from Afghanistan a month ago and a couple visiting from Israel, a girl from Venezuela, etc... People who live in closed minded communities around the country have no clue that the world today, the United States in particular in knowing from personal experience, is much more peacefully diverse then they could ever imagine or what is projected to them through media outlets they get information from.
July 15, 2015
Something under the covers did not want to come out this morning. That something was me needing to just not deal with anyone on any level. At two in the afternoon I crawled out and kept my interactions as minimal as I could for the rest of the day. Doing nothing if needed, is an aspect of this journey that I never take for granted in being able to do.
July 14, 2015
Olney, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
We started out in Wyncote, Pennsylvania today having lunch with my friend Sid. We went to his work place and of course everyone in his office had to have a visit from Mo. Two of Sid's secretaries who I have talked with via the phone for years came outside to have a moment on the Traveling Piano. Across the street from where we had lunch there was a pet grooming store with a pup in the window. The dog was marked with Mo like colors and spots so Sid and I went over for a look. It was up for adoption, rescued from Puerto Rico. I let Mo in to play with the pup a little and he was like, "let me outta here!" I was thinking, "the money, time and effort spent in saving this one little dog has more value for dog rescuers then babies in need living in squalor down the street!" Then it was onward to the corner of Olney and Broad street in the northern area of Philadelphia. It is a major bus transit area that I have never played in but have always wanted to. As usual, cars were parked all along the street even though it is a no parking zone.
Public parking in many urban areas now is almost impossible. After a few minutes of playing a cop came over and told me to move. I told him I was only going to be there for about ten minutes and he said it takes forty seven seconds to write a ticket. I wanted to ask him how long it took for him to write tickets for his friends, the other people he lets park there as well as the one's who pay him off to park... but I just moved on. The idea of "laws" and "its my job" stuff is crap. It amazes me how people do not see that laws are made for those who make them and apply only for those who can't get away with breaking them. So, we found a park in the area named Fisher park. It was brutally hot and humid but I wanted to create music and share the truck in that specific area. We had interactions with a bunch of people and in giving out posters was asked to sign them. That felt good and respectful, I really appreciated that.
July 13, 2015
Pennypack Park, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Have your ever walked up the center of a creek? While walking alongside Pennypack Creek in Northeast Philadelphia taking pictures last week I wondered what the views would be like from inside the water. It is warm now and the water about three feet high at the deepest point so it became an agenda to be fulfilled today. It was fun and once Mo got the idea he had fun too. He swam from side to side, found rocks to walk on, some areas were just sand. With my sandals on I had to be very careful to not lose my footing. At one point where the water was rippling I began to get dizzy. Wow, it is an age thing and I thought, "you need to do everything you can while you still can, like walking and moving around in water on unstable creek beds. It did not last too long, about a half mile. Maybe I'll do it again on another day. It was fun and the water was clean, just a little too much city trash, plastic stuck in the tree twigs and on a few rocks. Afterwards, Mo and I rested in a grassy area and then I felt drawn to the corner of a parking lot area to create some music in the trees. There where a group of young kids hanging out and they came over. It always gives me a good feeling to see groups of friends hanging together. After they left another young group of bikers stopped. A few families stopped. There was not much time for me to play music because there was a steady stream of people.
My state of mind has been giving me difficulty. There is anger, angst, rumination in bad energy all at the same time with the positive nature and fun that people have been sharing with me. I am sure they are getting fun and positivity from me also but I don't feel enough from within. I did get to improvise for about ten minutes at the end of my time in the spot and when I finished there was one guy sitting behind me listening. We talked and a conversation about my first original neighborhood where I lived. It was close by and my family moved out when I was ten years old. The guy was my age and as we were talking he asked my name and then said that we knew each other, went to the same grade school and even mentioned my childhood best friend and how we used to hang out. How on earth could someone remember me from forty two years ago at age eight! We had a good time talking. He has lived life a lot like me having never been able to adjust to societal pressures. He knew all my old childhood friends, maybe his memories are strong because he never moved away. But then again, I remembered how last year having never had contact, I phone that old best friend of mine. It felt like he thought I was crazy for calling him after all that time and it felt little awkward. As I was leaving the neighborhood I told him I would contact him again some day and that memory stayed with me my entire life so I did it.
July 12, 2015
Today was more of yesterday but with about seventy percent less energy. I must stay busy. Since this journey has started I now have had practice with staying busy for almost ten years? I have not been down emotionally, mentally or spiritually for one day completely. Well, maybe there have been a few. All in all, the journey has been a major accomplishment for my life to date. As far as settling down, I hope that can be. I have not had that settled secure feeling for a very long time. Also acclimating back into a conventional life I think I have already asked myself on this blog... can that be done, do I want for that possibility? So, where I am today is in thinking well, I'll need to just get up and go again but at the same time don't want to and then there is the... I "can't" idea that wants to insert itself. With all my experience one would think this would be all easy... it is not. But, my life is my choice. I want to continue to live and enjoy. Its probably my destiny, ha... I'm blabbering, whatever.
July 11, 2015
It is crazy that it takes so much for me to keep going. Everyday I am organizing and packing a little to move forward. It is not that I have a lot to pack or even organize but the smallest thing takes total effort because its all about moving... shall I call it forward? When I am in one place for more than a week, everything starts to come out of bags and I spread out. It is a practice to start living out of bags and cases, so everything is starting to go back into bags to begin practicing again. I think as a person gets older, complacency is more in order to ease through life. Complacency equals lazy, I think that teaching was wrong. It depends on the individual. As I have learned for myself, complacency does not and never did work in my life for better or worse. That is why nothing for me has changed from the start of this journey for better or worse. It just is what it is. I trudge through life more than flow. Although there was a lot more fun when I had money and a home base. I have complained in this blog about fear, anxiety, being burnt out, neediness in all ways... all that always exists along with the opposites of faith, peace, joy, gratitude and "but for the grace of God" ...as I understand God, sometimes I can choose and decide on the more positive side. Fun, friendship and respect exists always whether I see it or feel it or not. The entire day was spend moving stuff around and organizing my friend Cindy's garage. I don't know why because I know it will be a mess again in a few days and not from my doing.
July 10, 2015
I'm still cleaning up from my past with letting go of the very, very, very last of my most favorite possessions stored in my friend Cindy's garage. Along with that, a Birthday dinner was created for me. It was filet mignon which I grilled... salads, and a variety of cooked veggies, mashed potatoes with of course cake. Too much was going on in my head to get a picture of it. My friend Tina's family came over with a surprise visit. I stayed mostly out of the energy and sat in the back yard with my old friend Pat and Karen her health aid. Pat was able to get outside in her wheelchair. Later I created some music in driveway because my friend Tina doesn't get around much as she cannot see, her mother Marie needs to use a walker. Cindy's friend Jill came over to hear the music and Tina's son with his wife and newborn daughter got in to the Traveling Piano. The babies name is Haven and she is one month old today. Her parents helped her to create a first note of music. The next door neighbor video taped from inside their house. I wish they had come out. Then... a squirrel came by running across the roof of the garage where we were and got so distracted it fell into the truck. Damm, I missed a good picture with that! My focus turned to what the squirrel was going to do. What it did... climbed out of the friggin' truck as soon as it could, jumped back onto the roof and ran. Lol...
July 09, 2015
Today is my 60th Birthday! That fact is difficult for me to process. I know all about the saying, "your only as old as you feel" but the reality is... I am now old. Oh my God! It is what it is. I woke up slowly while sitting on a back porch on this hot humid day under a canopy with a bagel, cream cheese and coffee and took a selfie while connecting with 100's of people who know I am alive, saying they care. It all feels good! I admit to being somewhat of a nut when it comes to gratitude concerning relationship. What did I do for my birthday? I spent the entire day all except for an hour and a half... thanking over 600 facebook friends for their Birthday Wishes, visiting their pages to get to know everyone better, translating communication into at least twenty different languages... I need a break! Its difficult to believe that there were that many friends online today. For real, it was amazing and what I love most about life... being connected in Fun, Friendship and Respect with lifelong friends, friends I've met throughout the journey and friends from all over the world through facebook. I'm a fortunate man. So I did what I enjoy doing most even though it bordered on being a ridiculous thing to do, and was definitely exhausting. Now it is done. Thanks to everyone who extended themselves to me for my 60th birthday! I'm feeling a lot of love. Thank you.
July 08, 2015
Neshaminy State Park, Pennsylvania
Heavy rain clouds loom everyday sometimes they dump their wetness and sometimes not. There was one particular person in my old home town who has put effort into wanting to be helpful with the journey throughout. She has done so once in a small way but when so few people have done anything... small ways are big ones to me. So, I reached out for a visit. We had dinner in the park. She's the only person I've wanted to connect with and I understand she doesn't have a place to share and stay in that would be a fit for either of us. She brought takeout dinner and gave me a birthday card with several gift cards to local stores and a few bucks for the journey... we had a few minutes with the Traveling Piano, she made loevy, loevy with Mo and we sat at a picnic table and simply hung out together in friendship. That was enough to make a day totally fulfilling for me.
July 07, 2015
In the beginning, 2006... I had my truck carburetor rebuilt. For months now there has been a hint all my trouble has been from the carburetor. As I drove to find that guy who did the original work (since I happen to be in the area) ...as it turns out the parts to rebuild a carburetor are no longer made but a new carburetor can still be purchased. So... the plan, get a new carburetor put in. Thanks to a friend I can do that. I wish there were more friends to help out. This journey cost about $60,000 a year and thats with staying with people half the time. There was a place that I thought of that felt safe as in good memories nearby to create some music. There are not many places around my old haunts that have anything to offer me anymore. Its all... did that done that... drained of goodwill with most of it. But... a wharf by the Delaware river in Bristol, Pa right on the water with a few guys fishing... even though the sun was hot and it was humid, the breeze was as good as it can get and the water rippling from it, friendship, fun, respect with the guys there... a beautiful fresh, summer day. With the guys there I was able to just simply hang out for a while and feel mesmerized. That felt really good. Mo and I went for a good walk too.
July 06, 2015
Crispin Gardens, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Almost everyday has the threat of rain but it doesn't happen. I took the truck again to two different repair shops with no luck. Not focusing on hassles... I must keep several positive triggers in place to not get totally depressed and jump off a cliff somewhere. I work to feel my words of gratitude, remind myself that Mo is here with me, that I may feel lonely but I am not alone. Feeling lonely can be a motivator. A friend has been helping me financially but I'm living with that as marginally as a person can live, I presently have a place to stay, the truck runs even though... no, I'll just remind myself that it runs... if needed, and push comes to shove I do have a place to go even if for a short while, I'm giving away my archives and even though that is difficult it feels good, I'm creating music almost everyday and always meeting new people to enjoy in life, there is an air conditioner in the room where I sleep... really I could go on and on and on with reasons to be thankful, that is one of the "positive triggers" used, just wish the gratitude was there without having to remind myself because negativity seeps in so naturally. I'll figure it out, always have. The proof as they say, "is in the pudding" this website blog every day for almost ten full years.
Mo and I took a walk in a different section of the local park and it was like wow! I took pictures for a half hour before realizing the camera card was not in the camera. I'd say about eighty five percent of the people living less than a mile from this park which is almost like a forrest with a river (large creek) running through it, rocks, animal life and many varieties of greenery and a large paved path... people don't even know it exists and have never even been to it. Part of me wishes I would be here to see the autumn leaf colors change because of the many textures, shapes, sizes, tree varieties and shades of color... I'll bet it is beyond awesome every year. Afterwards we headed for the parking lot in the back of a school close to where we are staying so I could get back quick if rain began. Kids hang out there for various reasons and each time more get the courage to come over to the Traveling Piano to check it out.
July 05, 2015
Pennypack Park, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Keeping my sanity is a challenge. The need to move on, no home, the finances, decisions... I tell people that this life style of mine is a trade off. Everything in life is a negotiation with what and how much you can handle of anything. Living my so called "free spirited life" has its own difficulties as does any conventional life. And as far as "fun" yes I still have it but I must be more conscious that I am having it more than ever before. The first eight years or so, yea... pure exhilaration for a lot of the time but I had more finances and a secure place to run to (like a home base even tho it was never secure) where I could be alone for as long as I wanted to. With that said, Mo and I went to the local park and of course people found us. It was a great spot. I'm escaping into my music more and more these days for inner security or maybe its to hide from an outside world? I must leave Philly in a few weeks and its going to take me that long to get ready in my head.
July 04, 2015
The neighbors all came outside and the crowds gathered for a parade to celebrate a Happy 4th of July in Oreland, Pennsylvania. I think it may have been my 20th year with the community. One year was missed and that was when the Traveling Piano was in Alaska. This was the last year for me. My friend Sid who volunteers with the local Lions club has run the parade for all the years and this was his last also. My practicing over the last few weeks paid off. The musical notes were strong in my fingers, I was a little short of breath but felt in control the entire time. In fact, my performing was musical and not all just manic energy. Parades are a high energy endeavor. I worked them as part of my musical career for twenty years pre the Traveling Piano journey and all on the same truck. It was cloudy and that helped a lot. The sun would have made it difficult energy wise. I had everything ready to go when I woke up... gatorade in a cooler, food, sweat rag, umbrella, posters to give away, camera, directions, etc... you would think that after twenty years I would not need directions.
Anyway, rain held off until the very end and then it started to downpour. I was thankful to have made it through but when the drizzle began at the end... I decidedly could not have cared less if I got soaked or if all the equipment got ruined. The fun was more important. When there were pauses in the parade route I invited people along the route to come over and bang on the musical keys to jam with me... very, fun! There were people I've known for almost thirty years in parades and it did not feel like any of us were older. Afterwards I hung out back at my friend Cindy's house with her friend Tina and family. I must say that I had fun today! The best part was not being afraid and to be able to have fun and interact with people all along the route. It was all about Fun, Friendship and Respect... totally! Mo walked back and forth across the top of the piano the entire time. You know... everyone Loved that and him. We were the last as always... it is not the end of the Oreland 4th of July Parade until the piano man and dog passes by... one last time.
July 03, 2015
I just took it super easy today. Went for a walk with Mo, purchased food for the house where I'm staying and found a really good clothes sale. I need something new to wear tomorrow. Two pairs of shorts and six tops for a little over a hundred bucks is really a good deal for what I got. Problem is I'll need to let go of what I already have as there is only so much storage room traveling full time on the road without a home. The truck went to a new shop today but it was so crowded with other vehicles I'll need to try again on Monday. It ran perfect while I was there then stalled while I was driving ten minutes later. I've been giving out the very last of my posters, cassettes and cd's from my archives randomly to people I meet with the Traveling Piano. It feels like I am dumping them because I guess I want more of a response like people jumping up and down with joy or kneeling in in reverence of it all. Ha, no one will know what it means for me to let go of the very last of my "stuff." The damm posters might of fetched a half million dollars each some day after becoming big and famous or maybe when I just die in which case the money would have been too late to enjoy anyway! Lol
July 02, 2015
Between on and off drizzling, I cleaned the truck and practiced in the driveway of where I am staying. I've been practicing to keep my stamina up and high while playing music. It needs to happen at least an hour a day for a Fourth if July parade I will be doing. I'm used to short periods of playing music (minutes) and then interacting with people... mostly my life has been more about interacting with people creating music then my playing music myself. Pacing is everything. Also, when I play my old Ragtime and Boogie Woogie pieces, I must practice to keep constant clarity of structure. When I improvise my music it is in a stream of consciousness with no structure so there is no thinking. My music is all about feeling and emotion although patterns do happen subconsciously, and then I see them in reality. Cindy, Pat, Marie, Tina, and Tina's daughter, two young kids... three dogs and a health care worker... its a crowded house I am staying in! Thank God I can escape to upstairs where my bed is. I freaked one of the dogs out the other day in the morning because it was constantly waking me up with an hour of rhythmic barking in the morning. No one was home and I came downstairs to stop it with a death eye stare, no words needed and now it either runs from me or barks incessantly at me when the other people are around and it feels safe to do so. My friends want the dogs to bark when someone comes to the door but do not have the where-with-all to get them not to bark when it is inappropriate. This issue I created puts a strain on my visit here. I'm in an all woman, dog lover sometimes love more than people house.
July 01, 2015
The truck is emotionally draining me. Sometimes, it starts, sometimes not, usually with a different problem, every once it a while (rare) it starts perfectly. It never idles perfect. Every time I take it to a mechanic it works perfect. Then after I leave within fifteen minutes it usually stalls. It makes me want to scream my head off. The engine goes into a hard core whirling pulsating cycle whether I'm stopped or driving without acceleration on the road. Thats new. It sounds like an old man gurgling. I drove to the park so Mo could play with some dogs, created some music, shared some piano time and then headed off to my school parking private spot to practice for the Fourth of July and get my stamina together. I'm creating music a lot more with my eyes closed these days, I can get lost in it better that way, not thinking... don't care what it sounds like or what I am doing... it is all about simply "being" and expressing.