Raggin' Piano Boogie

 

 
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.

August 31, 2015

New York State

The last day of August, its crazy... the concept of time is crazy, life in the concept of time is crazy. I woke up exhausted with little sleep to take the truck in to a repair shop to find out why it lacks power. The new engine is still under warranty and I was hoping that the problem was related to it. That is why I had little sleep, I was worrying about that. These repair people now charge buy the hour to basically diagnose and hopefully find the answer to whatever problem exists. It is wrong! The customers pay for their experimenting and lack of expertise. When I pay to have a repair, it should be repaired. People should not be paying to hope for a repair or keep shoving out money to the point of... if and when. I stopped at two hundred and thirty bucks. The truck runs better but the problem still exists and not $230 bucks worth. Then, back at my hosts place I started to do some yard work. That did not last too long as I just don't have much strength anymore to do weed pulling and digging. A little boy across the street was sitting on his lawn like a yearning puppy wanting to connect so I took the Traveling Piano over with Mo. His two cousins, and aunt came out to meet us. John and Susan soon followed and we all had some neighborly fun. They had three puppy dogs and they walked along the piano keys creating sounds of music. A regular house dog sat on top of the piano with Mo.

August 30, 2015

New York State

It was definitely a take it easy day. I got up in the afternoon, putzed around with website and picture processing, read some of a book while soaking in a tub, made a hot ham and cheese sandwich, used up fresh blueberries Susan had picked for me, had some delicious local made pickles, went for a little walk with Mo... I need to drive an hour away to an engine repair guy first thing tomorrow and the thought of dealing with that totally drains me emotionally. Also, even though I will be here for another week I have to begin to get ready in my head to leave beginning tomorrow. Susan and John are having a labor day get together which I will want to help them out with, so I need to have everything in order to leave soon afterwards. First I must get my brain in order concerning being on the road again for a long drive across country, then have everything ready to be packed into the truck, ready to help out with the party, clean up the area of the house I've been using and of course the ongoing journey in the meantime. It is a lot to think about and do and never easy for my anymore. Was it ever easy? No, but "doing" what I do has always been worth it. My friends John and Susan have created a space where I feel no pressure as to what I am doing or need to do. They have been one hundred percent unconditional with everything they have to share and it has been a lot in friendship as well as resources!




August 29, 2015

Sullivan County, New York State

It was a lazy day doing practically nothing but... we did visit some people up on a hill from where Mo and I are staying. Its a guy renovating a trailer with some friends and we all hung out for a short while. I created some music and then left the truck and camera and everything for them to use while I walked back to John and Susan's to make some dinner. Through dinner I thought, "what are you doing, are you crazy, why did you leave everything unattended with people you do not know." I suppose it was an exercise and/or experiment in trust. Everything turned out fine. I think I'm buzzing... like a lot... which has happened many times through the years from the full moon!

August 28, 2015

Woodstock, New York State

My friend Susan wanted to take me to a favorite waterfall in the upper Catskill Mountains and to see the town of Woodstock which is near where the historic Woodstock Music Festival was back when. The entire area of New York state both the lower and upper Catskills, all I can think about is how beautiful it must be in the fall with the variety of tree textures and color. Of course everything depends on it being a good autumn season for color. As it all was today... beautiful. We took pictures at the waterfall and even with a small water flow it was very special. Through the back roads up and down and around mountains I saw that there are still thriving resorts and places to stay. Woodstock is a typical commercial tourist trap for people heading into nature. It reminded me of a place called New Hope in Pennsylvania where I lived for much of my life with artists, hippies and yuppies. After being treated for lunch I began to create music on the street for a while. First thing... I had to deal with another dog abuse fanatic out to make trouble, a PETA member. These mental retards have no capacity for animal empowerment, can relate only through feelings of neediness.



She was trying to attach some stupid, "I'm using Mo for an act to make money or something like that." What a huge downer that was for everyone in the surrounding area. These animal advocates mindlessly look for trouble in the streets without even seeing what is real. Must have been about 8 to 10 people passing by started to come down on her, everyone screaming in the street. It was quite a scene. Next time I'm going to remember to video one of these idiots to show everyone what too much facebook dog rescue focus has wrought. After that was over, it was all fun. We met a couple from Argentina. The guy played a tango on the piano. Its was his first time in twenty years. Another boy, about to become a man was proud to be having his bar mitzvah tomorrow. A few families, most of the people were locals and that is what I always enjoy most, meeting the people who live wherever we are visiting. One person reminded me about the asshole, that... I need to "take it all" to enjoy the most in life, even those who come out and need to crawl back into their holes. Lol, it was a great day. The people in the town were very friendly and thanked me for being there. Even though I am totally exhausted, it is four in the morning, I cannot sleep!


August 27, 2015

China, New York State

I saw a place on the map for China in New York State? So we headed there and first found a soft ice cream place named the Pelican. I've been thinking about getting soft ice cream for about two weeks, today was the day. They had an old fashioned ice cream machine that used blocks of vanilla ice cream from a local dairy farm to be blended in with my choice of flavors that created the end result. It was really, super cool. The guy said he figured it out once and found he could create 180,000 distinct different flavors with what he had to offer. There was nothing else commercial for miles around and they do a great business, no wonder. The owner asked me to stop in Masonville which was down the road a few miles to play for a store owner there. She had piercings everywhere and I asked if anyone ever gave her trouble about it as the area seemed very rural and conservative. She said no. Across the street from her store there was a Federated Church which I had never heard of before. I looked into it to find a bunch of Presbyterian denominations that originally separated and then decided to get back together and worship in one place because its cheaper that way. What drew me to it was the billboard outside stating they had both smoking and non smoking church services.



We found China area in the Arctic China State Forest more specifically Oquaga Creek State Park. It was cool and overcast. We parked overlooking a beautiful lake used for swimming. No one was around. I created music by myself with Mo for over an hour and it was heaven. Afterwards, I walked down to the water and found three female life guards. They said it was the first day with no one around. I said that must have been especially for me. Then I found a woman with her child and we had an interaction with the Traveling Piano. Back in Livingston Manor on the street where we are staying I took Mo for a walk before dark and came across the largest black bear I ever saw. It was getting ready to walk across the street having come up from the woods and through someone's driveway. I whistled to let it know we were there and we both stood looking at each other for a few seconds. It was a good six feet long. Mo moved to go run and play with it and wow, I had no idea a bear could run so fast and so smooth and gracefully. Right back into the woods it went.

August 26, 2015

New York State

My music speaker worked to day but its shaky in sound. Hey, lets call a spade a spade. This is National Dog Day. It was created by the pet industry for commercial gain through political laws and lobbyists. It is about money first. Dogs come second. The purpose, to create emotional attachment especially as bait and then simply reel in the money through baited dog owners. Don't get sucked into the scheme. For example, I just took Mo to get a Rabies and Lyme disease shot today.The vet needed an extra $40 for an office examine because... its the law. That is pure crap. Who wins here? Is it the dog or people who can benefit from having stewardship of an animal to love? It is the vets, drug companies and those who who support this ridiculousness by spending money on the dog's vaccination rather than food for themselves. I don't have $150 bucks to put out for this yearly prevention so I will adapt to the mindset of letting go and letting god as people have done throughout human history with their pets before the dog industry began to profit off them or maybe I will... find a reasonable vet who thinks as I do. We drove to the river and I created music to let off steam. It helped alot. A truck with three guys drove by to dump stuff deep in the woods. I was going to try and engage with them on the way out but hid all my belongings behind the truck seat instead and just created music. They listened for about five minutes and then drove off.


August 25, 2015

Middletown, New York State

So... my new IPhone has been recalled for a defect. Just another pain in the ass to deal with. The closest Apple store is in New York City about two and a half hours away and there is now way I am going to deal with tolls, gas, parking, time, etc... Apple sent a box Fedex, to send it back Fedex. I caught the guy when he dropped it off... asked him if he would wait a minute while John took the Simm card out and packaged the phone for me. With quick thinking I tore off the truck cover, Mo jumped into the truck and onto the piano, before he could think I told the guy to get in and onto the piano seat... gave him a quick explanation of what was happening, he play a few notes, picture taken, package handed to him and he was on his way. Then I drove the truck to Middletown, NY because the rebuilt truck engine just does not feel strong enough to get up any major hill and it is still under warranty. Next Monday it will get checked again for like the eighth time in the last two months. I wanted to stop and play on the street somewhere in Middletown, so I meandered around while saying "Fun, Friendship and Respect" out loud until I found a spot and then had some... musical Fun, Friendship and Respect. I think the speaker has fried from being out in the hot sun and under a tarp the last few weeks. The musical equipment made anymore is just plain shitty! Tomorrow I'll have to take everything apart and try to troubleshoot while hoping I don't need to get another speaker. Paying for a new speaker again could be a killer for this journey. Before the sunset we met a few more people in Livingston Manor and had more fun.


August 24, 2015

Livingston Manor, New York State

John and Susan are so easy to be with. I really appreciate their letting me stay here with them. I've contributed to food minimally, they have been cooking and treating me with special little gestures but most important the friendship equals my love for Mo. Love is love, eh? I trust them and I think that is a major component in love. I don't feel pressure which I always create myself concerning payback for example by going out to meet as many people as possible with the Traveling Piano. In fact I can do just nothing and it is ok. I sat in a whirlpool tub and began reading a book. Last month when I stayed with my friend Cindy and her household I was usually trying to stay out of the way of everything because of the close quarters. I must say she and everyone else there are as family. I love and care for them all very much. Here, there is plenty of room. The quiet of nature also adds to the ease. I'm enjoying the warmth, the summer breeze, because I know soon winter is coming.


August 23, 2015

Livingston Manor, New York State

It became cooler here for a few days. I tried to lay on my bed in mid-afternoon and take a nap... because I could... but I couldn't, ha! I ended up processing over 250 pictures some really nice ones too. If you can't figure out where to find the link, here it is. Galleries 2015 Part 02. As the sunset, I found a spot in town along the river away from everything where I was able to pull up to the river bank and create music while listening to the rushing water with the moon glistened on the waters surface. Surprisingly, there was an old black guy hanging out with his dog. He got on the piano with Mo to have a moment. He carried a gun on his waist and I thought, its sad he needs to carry a gun to feel safe but if anyone needs to feel safe its old poor people of color in white controlled rural areas all over this country.


August 22, 2015

Callicoon, New York State

While in Philadelphia I noticed along the Delaware river and in Pennypack park a wild flowering bush. There was lots of it along the water that I had not remembered seeing before. My friend John mentioned it here in New York and I said, "yea, I just saw that for the first time in Philadelphia." He said it is an evasive weed that is taking over everything and is called Japanese Knot Weed. The World Conservation Union says it is one of the worlds worst evasive species. Again today I saw it along the Delaware river and it looked beautiful. I mentioned it to a new friend Vern who said he knew where it came from. He likes it because there are many more varieties of wildlife that exist in the area as a result of it. They live safely and use it for cover. He had worked on building a coy fish pond for a Japanese artist some miles north from where we were and the guy brought a piece over from Japan thirty years ago. They both watched that one piece multiply and spread throughout the years down the Delaware river and I found it while in Philadelphia.



The fact that I was creating music along the Delaware river in Philadelphia ten days ago and now again here in Callicoon New York is interesting. I did not know the river even ran this far north having thought it began in New Jersey. Shortly after talking with Vern I met a couple with the Traveling Piano visiting the area from Rockledge Pennsylvania, a neighborhood on the edge of Philly where I first noticed the Knot Weed. I had mentioned that I had visited the Badlands area in Philly with the Traveling Piano and the guy said he was just there yesterday as he works as a Philadelphia police officer. Then I found out he grew up in Pipersville, PA along the Delaware river where my first home base was for a few years at the beginning of this journey. He even knew the house where I stayed. These crazy interlaced connections felt a little stronger than usual today. Also, we stopped at a small local art gallery in Livingston Manor. The executive director had emailed me last night with kudos having heard me create music on the street while waiting for a pizza last night so... we went to visit him and played on the street with people today. We also did that in Callicoon as the sunset.

August 21, 2015

Sundown Wild Forest, New York State

John and I with Mo, we went on another hike today. I forced myself to leave the Traveling Piano truck and ride in John's car to practice separating the journey with personal time. We drove into the Sundown Wild Forest and headed for Vernooy Kill Falls. I'm beginning to get into a "how much can I take mode" with hiking. The ability to exercise feels good as I think about earlier in the year when I almost died and could barely hike at all. The falls at first had a dirty water look to them. John told me it was tannic acid from the bark of trees. After awhile in knowing it was not pollution of any sort my mind began to adjust and then the visual became magical, especially when the sun made it glisten. The flow and sound was strong and loud because it rained heavy yesterday. There were only a few people around which is always a good thing. The less distractions the better. On the way to the forrest we passed through many small crowded towns full of cars. They were full of hasidic jewish people packing into the local stores to get supplies before the sabbath began at sundown. On the way back everything was deserted. In John and Susan's neighborhood we stopped to get pizza on the main street and I created music while waiting for the pizza. John and Susan's friend Jim was there. We had a lot in common and talked into the night until I was so exhausted I didn't know what we were talking about.


August 20, 2015

Livingston Manor, New York

Re: Yesterdays blog entry... a friend pointed out that it seems I have been drawing conflicts into my life concerning dog abuse fanatics, police, etc... The fact is, I am "conscious" of what is happening in my life that needs attention, a better direction and a response. No one should lay down and play dead as if what happens is "the way of the world." That results in living a life that is restricted to the whims of others with no chance of personally living life to the fullest. It rained today which was a good excuse to do some computer work. John and Susan are graciously allowing us to stay in the area until Labor Day and I think we should take advantage of the opportunity. Tonight I met with some new friends. I wonder if and when I will ever stop trying to typecast places I visit before I know whats around. Seeing that Livingston Manor is a small community in a rural area, part of me wants to think "small town predominantly one sensibility" when in fact no matter how small a town is, I find there are all kinds of people, all levels of wealth, politics, education, life experience, social behaviors, etc...

August 19, 2015

Mongaup Pond, New York State

John and I went for a hike with Mo in the forrest. There was a local campground and two girls met us with interest so we told them we would visit with the Traveling Piano when we were done. We drove into the campground and well, here is the complaint John sent: As a lifelong Preserve user and former DEC (actually "Conservation Department") employee, I am both pained and obligated to write a complaint about one of the employees at Mongaup Pond. An out of town visitor and I pulled up to the entrance booth yesterday about 5 PM and I showed my NY drivers license (age 65) to the booth attendant, saying "I just want to drive around and show my friend the campground". He handed back the license and waved us through. I noticed he didn't give us a free day use pass, but I attributed this to my statement that indicated we wouldn't be there long. As we drove around the west side of the pond, a vehicle pulled out of a campsite and tailgated us. Through the side view mirror we did not recognize it as a state truck, if that's what it was. We slowed up below the 15 mph speed limit to give it ample opportunity to go around us. After a few minutes we pulled into an empty campsite on E loop and as I was describing some of the history of the pond, a young man, slender and relatively short, in a campground uniform walked up to the driver side window, with clearly aggressive body language and asked us what we were doing.



I handed him my license, which should have been complete evidence that we were in the campground legally. My friend joked something to the effect, "I saw someone tailgating me and figured it was either a real jerk or the police." The man (who I assume was an assistant caretaker) replied, "I'm the guy who throws you out if you don't stop when I signal you." Seeing the tenor of the conversation, I replied " How were we supposed to know you wanted us to stop?" His reply was, "We're working on that." which I took to mean he was hoping to get a light bar on top of his truck, just like the real police. He then went into a rant about how we should have a day use permit, to which I responded, "We pulled up to the gate, showed the license, and were waved though. What is your problem with that?" He told us that the lifeguard was manning the booth and he would talk to him about procedures, but from then on, his face clearly showed he knew he had no grounds for his attitude, Nonetheless, he couldn't let go and continued being aggressive, saying we needed proof of vaccination for the dog sitting quietly between us in the cab. I tried to soothe him by explaining that I was a former employee and knew he was trying to do his job (I politely restrained myself from adding "however incompetently") and he ended the encounter with an angry warning not to let the dog out of the truck, before stalking off.



My complaints about this encounter are numerous. 1) I understand that caretaker duties have tilted more toward policing from facilitating over the years, but his indignation and authoritarian attitude was completely inappropriate. 2) He could have unambiguously signaled us to stop by simply pulling alongside (at 15 mph) and waving us over to the shoulder. 3) He had no reason to think we were in the campground improperly, since the entry booth was staffed. 4) He should never start out angry when approaching someone. 5) As soon as he saw the license, he should have politely asked for our permit and apologized for the lapse when we said one wasn't issued. 6) The staff should only go into police mode when it's clear they're facing a defiant or dangerous person, and even then, it's probably a better idea to defuse the situation or call a Forest Ranger or trooper. Granted, my friend's initial joke was in mildly bad taste, but DEC employees aren't enforcing cringing deference from park users. 7) I'm quite sure that having been embarrassed by his inappropriate confrontation with us, he probably chewed out the lifeguard far more severely than the minor procedural breach warranted. Let me say 2 things in conclusion: 1) Had this aggressive employee been armed, I would have feared a forcible gunpoint arrest. 2) Forest Preserve camping has become far more formal and rule-laden over the years, and an officious approach to what we always referred to as "friendly campers" is far more destructive of the DEC recreational mission than result from any minor behavioral lapses of campers and day users. The staff's goal must be to help everyone enjoy the outdoors rather than swagger around looking for opportunities to exercise their authority. I know I can't force a response or followup, but I would like to be apprised of your views of this incident and any action taken after you investigate and corroborate my statements. I will not be satisfied should DEC consider yesterday's interaction appropriate.



So... I'm posting John's email so people can see what is, and also a good response made. Needless to say, I did not stay to visit with the two campers we had met and I really did get angry afterwards about the dog issue. Dog abuse fanatics are destroying the love in having the stewardship of a dog. Owning a dog is becoming a pain in the ass for responsible people like myself. Irresponsible idiots are creating laws that protect themselves from being sued if they wrongly accuse an owner. They have driven up the need for care buy creating unnecessary veterinary services... in the name of safety and endangerment, in some towns you cannot walk your dog on a sidewalk even with a leash... take your dog to a park or leave your dog in a vehicle on a nice day with windows down and today I was told I needed rabies papers to have Mo in a park! Dogs are suffocating from over caring owners leaving them alone at home while they go out, not letting them interact naturally with other canines, (god forbid they growl, show teeth, hump or touch each other in anyway that is like what a dog does in fun and play) people are not giving them exercise at a normal pace by letting them run freely off leash, they keep their dogs chained to themselves all the time via leash. Misdirected dog advocates need to learn what empowerment is verses restraint. They must learn to respect a dog in the ways of being an animal not a person like themselves. They need to stop creating a pet money making industry through laws, costs, political bureaucracy and stupidity that is making the enjoyment of dog ownership impossible for lack or resources, patience and tolerance. This overzealousness is the new version of our freedoms. So guided, politicized and sensitive that it is in fact made the idea of freedom more restricted.

August 18, 2015

Rosco, New York State

It still has not settled in that the Traveling Piano is in New York State. We may be leaving in a day or two. Maybe I'm looking for something extreme to differentiate the environment like... Ok, we are in Nevada and I know because it is desert, or Florida because of the tropical nature. My truck key went missing. Fortunately, I have a spare and have been staying super conscious of it. Why is a no brainer. It is the only key I own because I have no use for any other. Now I must find a key chain to help me feel it on my person at all times. John went with me to a nearby town to try and find a replacement. The last time I was able to find one was in Mazatlan, Mexico. Everything is a trade off... difficult to find a key that can be made for an old 1987 Toyota verses more than two hundred bucks for a newer vehicle key. Great luck! The guy was able to make two out of three from the same template keys he had. Big relief! We played on the town street for a short while and then headed back for dinner and for a fire pit in the back yard later. We hung out with another visitor named Jude. Spending time with a woman and two other men around my age, it has felt like we are all in our twenties listening to music loud, all working to get the meals together sitting and talking with banter, arguing, opinionating, flexing how smart we are, exposing our idiosynchronicities... I have not had this kind of interaction in friendship or the feelings of it for a long time, longer than I can remember.


August 17, 2015

Beaverkill, New York State

The pictures for today have a Mo focus. I don't know why. It is what it is... ha! My new friend Susan is Mo gaga. I've rationed her to giving Mo six dog treats a day and suggested she break them in half for double the joy, and then to give them slowly so the process lasts as long as possible for her. I love watching people enjoy his fun, friendship and respect. Waking up with a warm breeze fluttering through light curtained windows close to my bed in a sun brightened second floor country house bedroom on a lazy summer day... I just wanted to lay with that feeling and never let it leave today. Susan with John and another new houseguest invited us to go swimming with them at the local water hole. First I had to stop on the street in the center of Livingston Manor a really, really small, maybe the smallest town I've ever stayed in. The street was almost empty but of course people began to connect with us and leaving was difficult as in my wanting to spend more time there.



Working with the Traveling Piano now has a bit of self induced obligation attached to it (my offering to whatever town we are staying in) as well as self centered need to just share and play music. Some people may want to associate it with an obsession but that is so wrong. There is everything right about wanting to do something you enjoy and doing it as much as possible especially when it adds to life in a good and non-harmful way. I do need to be conscious about it concerning balance in life. There is my work (the Traveling Piano) and then there is play. After the "work" which I do because it is fun... Mo and I went swimming in the most amazing creek with constant different changing levels of water created by long flat slabs of rock in a totally natural setting. Hanging out with people and new friends was more important than the Traveling Piano today and fortunately I was able to create both scenarios for myself.

August 16, 2015

Claryville, New York State

My host John asked if I'd like to go on a hike about a mile and a half each way. He's lived in this area most of his life. Now in his sixties, he knows the land well. Also, he is fortunate to be able to work at home as there are practically no businesses still alive in the Catskills or work opportunities in the region. People are basically poor. John is an graduate of MIT and has a computer company so his work is online and that is what keeps him going. We are in the lower catskill mountains which used to be a major summer resort destination back when Jewish people were kept out of usual places and rejected because of prejudice. They had build this area up for themselves, especially people from the New City areas and it was full of famous hotels with entertainment and fun. As Jewish people began to become more excepted everywhere, this place died. It was all gone by the early 70's. There is nothing spectacular scenic wise in the area and is more simply a feel, a country feel in woods which is quite beautiful. John volunteers for the Red Hill Fire Tower in the Sundown Wild Forest. It used to be government run and is now under the stewardship of neighborhood volunteers. Most fire towers are now gone.



I never understood what a fire tower was, I thought they were maybe water towers set up in places for possible fires... A fire tower is a look out tower where in the old days people had full time paid government jobs considered cushiony, usually hired through favors and corruption where someone would sit and hang out in the forest to look for starter burns. Once cell phones came to be, there was no longer use for them as people who see any smoke in a forest, just call it in right away. Climbing the tower was very uncomfortable for me. My balance, fear of heights, sureness of body movement is way off, just need some practice the same is as with hiking. Mo surprisedly had no hesitation and climbed the stairs up or down on every level with ease. Hiking with John as a a new partner with us in exploration, he was clearly beyond contentment and happiness. We all were a true bonafide pack of animals together. The more the better. John is like that in being around with people. No music today, I had to let go of a slight feeling of obligation to choose the hike over the music. I don't want any feeling of obligation or expectation at all with the Traveling Piano. It has to all fun whenever and however it happens naturally.

August 15, 2015

Catskill Mountains, New York State

I slept in mountain air for the first time in a long time. Its humid but there is a nice air flow. Our hosts have more experience than I do in staying with people as well as hosting strangers from around the world. They have been everywhere! I didn't get a full eight hours sleep and thought I'd be ok but after a breakfast John cooked for me I just conked out. Later in the afternoon we went to the Beaverkill Creek which is in the Catskills Forrest Reserve. There is a campground nearby and locals go there to swim under a 750 year old covered bridge. (I don't remember how old it is, just joking) The swimming hole was seven feet deep and from the sides gradually got deeper through smooth sheets of rock. It was really cold at first and I had to just dive in but wow, was it worth it. Mo went in before me, no hesitation and swam first to the other side then in a circle. Both before and after the swimming, we connected with people through the Traveling Piano. Mo is bonding bigtime with both John and Susan and I am loving that. Tired... I'm so tired but not in a bad way and must remember to not get too comfortable with the hospitality and environment. Thats a pain in the ass, to keep in mind that I cannot stay too long, dealing with that. The idea of staying with strangers and being completely burnt out from doing it has disappeared for now and I do not know what to do with that fact. The good situations are so great, its just finding them that is difficult and also sustaining the energy for the life style.


August 14, 2015

Livingston Manor, New York

The day began with having lost my keys. Actually only one mattered, the truck key. It could be packed somewhere in everything. Luckily I have a spare but feel uneasy about because it is just one key. I'm used to feeling a couple on me at all times. I only need one key in life, its for the truck, ha! While driving north we got stuck in traffic bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour on the New York throughway. It was hot and not fun. We ended up in a small hamlet called Livingston Manor. A guy named John and his wife Susan invited us to stay for a few days. We've never met before. Susan is a Facebook friend of mine and a celebrated poet. John has been on the board of SERVAS, an organization I used to belong to that promotes peace and understanding for the sake of cultural exchange between travelers. Susan brought fresh roses for my bedroom and for dinning. They treated me to pork chops, red cabbage, fresh string beans and corn on the cob with pie, ice cream and cake for dessert. They cooked the corn in its husk to keep in the moisture via an eight minute microwave which was awesome tasting. The pork chops were smeared with mayo before being breaded and then baked. That is way easier then using eggs, flour and bread crumbs! John shared some of his chocolate covered ginger with me. Who knew? Wow, it was like candy crack. It has a strong taste that leaves fast and then you must have more!

August 13, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

My wheels are spinning, I'm trying to grab some traction, its happening at the usual slow pace. Tomorrow, I'm leaving here after a little more than two months. The Philadelphia Inquire published a feature article about me in todays newspaper. I wanted it to be about the Traveling Piano (it wasn't) and the only thing I asked was for them to include a link to this website. The guy who wrote the article did a terrific job but I was really disappointed that they did not even show the whole truck with the Traveling Piano banner on it let alone put a link. I called the main editor and he said he did not want to put the web address in because it would look like I was out to raise money. I told him that was a false assumption. There is nothing remotely suggesting anything like that on this website and held back from saying... what would be wrong with my being out to raise money? You don't want to support what I do? Like, your not making money off my story? Then a friend made a positive comment on the article with a link and they removed it. Another friend did it and they removed it again. Of course they left the stupid reader comments in, like comparing me to Happy the Clown. I emailed the guy responsible for that and told him there was nothing offensive about the positive reader comments posted, it is wrong for them to censure, pick and choose the comments published by readers.



I told him, in giving the interview I was not looking for publicity as I have nothing to gain from it. If you look into my website you will see one link that is offered for contribution among ten's of thousands of other links. I am not looking for contribution. I want people to see my work over the years. All of my work is without commercial, organizational or political affiliation, no tips, no fees. I told him from the news feed, the Traveling Piano information stops dead in its tracks and asked him to please allow the only crumb they have to offer, to share with their readers a way for people to see my work for the last ten years. The reply was a bunch of blah, blah about URLs with a suggestion that I share their story and photos on social media, and add my website link that way. Something like: 'Hey I was featured in the Inquirer! See the rest of my work here: xxxxx.' The guy must have thought I am a "wanna be." Thats probably what he is. I told him he had me pegged wrong... like I need or want to promote their self-serving commercial gain without any appreciation whatsoever for what I shared with them? They have a "taker" mentality. I have no need for exposure... I would have liked some appreciative support so I can extend myself even more. While keeping stupid comments they deleted any positive comment that mentioned the Traveling Piano Website. Its wrong, its rude... from my home town no less. Just another nail in the coffin for my giving media interviews in the future. After all that... I popped the pink elephant in the room at least for myself. I'm fairly certain the issue was more about this website being too individual, personal and intimate for their readership. They are too cowardly to allow anything that might be controversial and out of their control to be associated with the spin of there publication.

August 12, 2015

Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Ha, after all the time I've spent in this area now, that I'm about ready to leave at the last minute I'm breaking through some self-centeredness concerning disappointments real or fabricated it doesn't really matter when you get to the bottom of everything there is only love. So in the area where I used to live and with some people I've known there I made a few connections today. The first was with my niece and a few grand nephews and a grand niece. We met at a park, had some lunch, I talked about stuff my family never talks about and told them some important facts about myself they probably would not have heard from anyone else. The motive was transparency, the desire to pass on some courage and truth about relationships and basic love. Then I headed into my old town of Bensalem to visit an old friend at a salon she owns but she was not there. Luckily it was not busy so some of the girls working could come outside for a few minutes to meet Mo, play some music and get pictures.



Then it was off to see Bea... this woman was at my very first performance ever on the truck back in 1987 and has followed me around through the years. I knew the complex she was in and that was about it. She had no idea I was coming and the place was huge. One of those independent living into nursing home places. I pulled up to one of the front doors and walked in to take a look and see what I could find. Well... I found Bea sitting right there ten feet away from the door as though she was waiting for me. She said she had been waiting for the call to dinner. It was a typical chance coincidence, the type of thing that will never cease to amaze me even though it happens all the time. I played the Maple Leaf Rag for her and then other people began to gather. She slipped off to dinner and I wondered if she wasn't the only person I was there for. An old woman came up who was a pianist and played Amazing Grace. Talk about touchy feely... I was afraid she was going to kiss me on the lips we kept getting so close, lol. An eighty four year old women with seven children took no time climbing into the truck. My time there could have gone into the dark but I had to get going. Time feels like it is running short.

August 11, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It was after two in the afternoon when I woke up. Yesterday exhausted me. It rained heavy on and off all day. I had hoped to get some pictures processed but also errands needed to get done before I leave. Supplies like toothpaste, instant milk for my coffee, trail mix for when food is not available, I cashed in some gift cards for gas and other stuff. I must have run into seven stores looking for a protective filter cover for my camera... nada. I needed a spare flashdrive to record music from my keyboard. You would be amazed at how much little stuff is necessary for traveling on the road and to keep the journey going. I'm pacing myself as easily as I can.


August 10, 2015

Fairhill Section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Four people were to contact me for a visit today in Philadelphia. Luckily only one did, so I was able to spend some quality time in one spot. A woman named Bambi who I had met the other day asked me to bring the Traveling Piano to her block. It was in the Fairhill section of the city that boarders North Philadelphia and is near the Port Richmond area. Many blocks in Philadelphia are self contained neighborhoods with there own personalities, diversity and behaviors. The area of the city I visited today is more densely populated than 95.8% of neighborhoods in all the US with 22,900 people per square mile living here. Only 0.1% of U.S. neighborhoods have more row houses than this neighborhood. Three quarters of the residential real estate here was built from 1939 or earlier, some much earlier. This is a greater concentration of historic homes than 98.6% of the neighborhoods in the United States and one quarter of the households are run by single mothers which is a higher concentration than anywhere else found in America. The average per capita income is lower than 95.2% of all the neighborhoods in the United States.



So... I pulled up into this street and there were about forty kids hanging around on the street, some playing basket ball and there seemed to be a spot saved for me to park so I took it. Before any of my music... one of the adult neighbors got onto the piano for a musical experience. Then when I got on and about twenty kids surrounded me while I created music for a full five minutes and the entire time they all listened silently. I've created music in many situations with large groups of youngsters. Never in ten years has that happened. It was so respectful, they were completely interested and appreciative and... all without being told to do so or be that way. I was floored! It was beautiful. We had some group playing, picture posing and everyone who wanted to, had their own minute on the piano just by themselves. The Fun, Friendship and Respect just does not get any better than it got today. The one word that comes to mind is gratitude as in thank you. Bambi is a real worker for this street she supplies lunches for everyone and also activities as a single mother. There is an emphasis on everyone working to have a good neighborly relationship with each other on this block.



After about an hour I asked about a huge mansion across the street, what it was. They said it was a funeral home and then in the back of my head I wondered if they knew my friend Stephen's family whom I've been close to for many years on an almost family level... they are funeral directors in Philadelphia. Then out of the blue one of the family members from the mansion comes out to see us. It was just too coincidental! I knew my friends had one location that I have been to several times but forgot they had a second location which was right where I landed today. Betty Ann a relative of my friend Stephen, (who I have talked about many times since I arrived in Philly) she got onto the piano and began to play Ragtime. (which is the style of music I used to perform) Crazy! When we were finished I headed out through Port Richmond to take some pictures of a few churches along Allegheny avenue because they are all so awesome in stature. I was thinking how the catholic church reigned and had a stronghold on this area in the past... for sure. Every few blocks there were huge double decker churches that stand out and above everything else.



While laying on a cement sidewalk down on the ground trying to get a picture angle that would take in an entire church... a family walked by asking if they could take a picture of the Traveling Piano. Well, you can guess what happened then. The girl told me that she grew up in North Philly and with her husband and little boy, they were one cool, smart family together! The neighborhood I was in originally was super duper polish so I began to search for some good Polish Kielbasa. (sausage) My parents used to get it from this neighborhood to cook for our family when we were young. I found what I was looking for. Mo and I got back to where we are staying just as it began to drizzle rain. Tonight I went to visit with a group of friends that I first met over thirty three years ago in downtown Philly. Going back to old haunts, seeing people from such a long time ago, being sixty years of age... its almost surreal and incomprehensible.

August 09, 2015

PennyPack Park, Pennsylvania

We started out for a long walk in a new area of Pennypack Park and ended up back in the same old area where we feel most comfortable and now, know people. One lady in her late sixties told me that she has the Raggin' Piano Boogie poster I gave her a few weeks ago hanging up in her bedroom. Lol... is that just too much? It made me feel very, very good! A woman visiting her son from the Ukraine played some music and strong feelings of my mother came front and center as she was full Ukrainian and prayed for the country her entire life. I met a guy from a small country called Moldova next to Ukraine who considers himself Russian which is confusing to me because the country only boarders Russia if someone considers the Ukraine as Russian which I do not. He has a day care center in North Philadelphia and asked if I would go there and I told him to call me.



Also, another couple, the girl from Columbia and the guy mixed Arab and Venezuelan... they live in the Latino neighborhood of Philadelphia around 5th street and I told them if they emailed me I would visit their neighborhood with the Traveling Piano. I'm really getting into the swing of Traveling Piano work and unfortunately it is time to go. I wish I had a place to stay. Now, it is clear why I've not done as much Traveling Piano time as I would have liked to in Philadelphia. It is not that I did not want to, it is because I was so preoccupied with getting my personal business in order... whenever I had the time, I just fell into a few fail safe spots because they were easiest with less people around. Now that I'm free to devote all my time to the music and sharing it in neighborhoods, its time to go because my friend Cindy needs her bedroom and there is no space for us in her house. Damm! Triple damm that there is no one in Philadelphia my home town to stay with! Oh well, I have tomorrow, the next day it is supposed to rain, then part of Wednesday, Thursday I'll need to pack the truck and ready, set... go on Friday probably never to return... again.

August 08, 2015

PennyPack Park, Pennsylvania

Today, I'm still processing yesterday so... taking it easy was the bill of fare. Originally, I was not going to return to Pennypack Park which is close to where we have been staying but... it is beautiful with trails, fields, water, woods, the people are nice, Mo has dogs to play with... I wanted to not miss any opportunity to enjoy as much as possible where we are in the present moment although I am living at the same time totally in Friday which is almost a week away, our departure day. An eleven year old girl created music for the first time ever and she took me right back to what it felt like for myself, the touch, feel, sound, pushing of the piano keys, etc... There is a creek a way off across a field from where we were parked and people would come back from fishing, thanking me in saying how beautiful the music was. One woman told me she originally came from Idaho and was very much missing the energy of her home in every way and then began to cry as she told me, "You gave me the peace I was looking for." Of course it was through the music which is equally as gratifying for me and totally fulfilling because there is no ego is involved.


August 07, 2015

Badlands, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Usually, I operate through fear. Recently, I've been operating through anger. What I have been angry about is not important when I'm actually dealing with it in positive ways like... working the journey. Anyway, in allowing myself to create connections with those who I would rather punish (when I'm really punishing myself) pushing through my self-centeredness always gives me a sense of accomplishment usually I feel better. Next... my friend David who used to be an editor for the Baltimore Sun emailed a friend of his from the Philadelphia Inquire to tell him I was in town so the newspaper called me. I've turned down several media requests this year but thought... "your leaving Philadelphia with no plans to ever return, it would be nice to let people know I'm still "doing the doing" ten years in... there are a lot of good people in Philadelphia that would appreciate reading about me and the Philadelphia Inquire has always been good to me both during my past career and with this journey at the start. I've been avoiding the Badlands neighborhood of Philly in Kensington since I've been here. It is considered the most dangerous, a low bottom ghetto and my camera got stolen there last year but... the time spent was so much fun, really I wanted to go back so I arranged to meet with the reporter and photographer there. I pulled up to the St. Francis Inn where they serve food to people who need it and they were closed for dinner today. The first person I saw on the street yelled, "Hey its the piano man" which felt really good. Then out of no where Mike Duffy the Franciscan priest who runs the Inn appeared. I took no time in telling him I was disappointed that he did not send me any pictures from last year in knowing that my camera was stolen and the pictures were more important than the camera. He said that was interesting because only two days ago he found pictures on his computer and here I am now. He promised to send them to me. Then people began to interact with us as the reporter and photographer came and of course I had to attend to the people first so we jostled back and forth about the news article.



The reporter asked me an excellent question. "Do you feel better or worse about people since you began the journey." I told him I now feel better about people. I think its because I have been blessed to witness so much diversity in the environments people live. It has given me a true perspective of reality... that most people simply want to enjoy life, share spirit and get along with each other, no matter what their status in life is. There was a young kid no more than six years old who came out of a building with no windows. He was on his own and asked if he could play. It was his first time and amazing to experience his speaking through music within minutes. The creativity, playfulness and exploration was beautiful. Before I left I went to the steps of his building. The door was open but I was too chicken to walk up the stairs or yell in. I wanted to tell whomever was taking care of him how awesome he was. I went back to the piano and was able to create music on my own, alone on the street for about five minutes. Another young guy walked by on the way home from work and asked if I would stay until he was able to get his two sisters at home to come and see us. They all came back and had been on the truck when I was around last year. When I had felt finished it was still daylight but I was going to call it a day anyway. Then I saw two church steeples and I wanted to take a picture of them. I found myself driving lost deep in the badlands through West Somerset, Front, Lehigh streets and at the end of Cambria street I thought I was at a dead but it was Lee street. The block was long and narrow with about a hundred people on it mostly kids and I thought of how I enjoy taking the Traveling Piano to places where musicians never go and people never get to see a piano player play let alone play on a piano for themselves. Talk about the feeling of going into the Lion's Den... there really wasn't any fear, only thoughts of Fun, Friendship, Respect with musical empowerment and inspiration. I did ask out the truck window if there would be any trouble if I stopped and if people would watch out for me. Of course all I got back was "I don't knows" but I could tell from the way they responded that everything would be ok.



It was after work time on Friday afternoon and I was on the corner with a grocery store and a mens barber shop across the street. Kids and people walking, running, flying by on bicycles and motorcycles, fast vehicles screeching everywhere... lots of energy and chaos but through it all, people seemed to watch out for each other. They used cones and a barricade on the corner so cars would not race around it and run into the kids on the street (which would have happened) Guys made sure the mothers were asked before I took pictures of their kids which I could do little of because all my time was spent giving them full attention and the entire situation full attention. The kids were crazy. I let bunches of them bang away with music while constantly pulling bunches of kids out of the truck while they were climbing in. I also let them each get on for a minute by themselves. I created music while a couple drug deals went down in front of me and also while two adolescent girls got into a full blown street fight, tumbling around while pulling each others hair out. One of the neighbors stepped in to break it up which was not an easy task. As I left everyone was asking when I was going to return, to please return, and I thought about two of the kids when they were playing musical notes on the piano. They would turn to me and say, "this one is for you." It was so great to experience them doing that. Half way down the block the ethnicity turned from black to latino and they all wanted me to stop because they could not hear me from the end of the block. It was the birthday of a fifteen year old girl, wow more fun.



Then at the other end of the block it turned all Puerto rican people and they were not going to let me get away. From one of the houses a woman with cancer, she and her husband wanted to get onto the truck in the spirit of living life with every opportunity, through all the pain and sadness... to the fullest. Then neighbors joined in with them. Several times, people wanted to give me money. Without question people who live at the bottom of the barrel offer contribution the most. They are willing to share whatever they have in life with me. This has been my personal experience to date. Once I got off the street I ran into a Pentecostal church having a service with singing and live music on the sidewalk. I stopped and the leader there laid his hands on me and prayed over me. Then I needed to get out of the area as quickly as possible because it was getting dark and crazier but first I was stopped when turning a corner by a homeless guy who asked me to call 911 as he just saw another guy die in the bushes nearby. So I got out of the truck to make sure what he said was true, called 911 and waited until the firetrucks and helicopter arrived. (before any ambulance) The last thing the homeless guy said was, "please pray for that guy who just died." I did, and then thought of all the pricks in life who look down on drug addicts and people of color who are poor and how they are out of touch with reality. The poorest of the poor are cut off from the most basic aspects of personhood that the rest of us take for granted. People who are poor live with no sense of security from random violence in their neighborhoods.

August 06, 2015

Ocean City, New Jersey

Ok, I'm on the home stretch in leaving my old home probably for good, one more week in Philadelphia. So now that the tasks of why I came back here are done, it is time to make the most of what is left. I hooked up with my friend Stephen to take a drive to Ocean City, New Jersey and visit with my friend Mark Soifer who is head of public relations for the city. At eighty three years of age he is still working full time. The city tore down the building he used to work in and made it into a park. It is called Mark Soifer's park and he plans on having his ashes spread all over it with signs saying please do not let your dog poop on me! Mark is one of three people who made a contribution to the journey this year. He sent me twenty five bucks because... thats what friends do. While I was with him he said "I want to give you some money." I said ok and he gave me forty bucks to cover the expenses of the drive down because... thats what friends do. He certainly is not a wealthy man from working in the city for all his years as I know well how tight the people with money are who control it. My friend Stephen with little money insisted on treating me to dinner because... thats what friends do. That all felt very nurturing for me as there have been very few acts of kindness from most of the people I have considered friends before and during this journey.



After telling about the hassle I went through yesterday with an over-reactionary dog abuse fanatic, Mark topped me with his own story. The day before in Ocean City they had the 17th annual Miss Crustacean Pageant on the boardwalk. Every year they have dress up, crab races, etc... never painted shells and always giving out pamphlets on how to care for the pets. Everyone who has one loves their crustacean as other people love their dogs, cats, etc... Well, this year the event was protested with people carrying signs saying, "captivity kills hermit crabs" etc... Ugh, sometimes I just wanna smack people with self-serving ego's disguised as care, people who help nothing and are out to highlight their agendas without consideration of how it will affect others. Onward... I created music for a minute after Mark left and a guy came up with his two kids on bicycles. They had seen me perform in Buckingham, Pennsylvania twelve years ago... love when that happens. I had connections with a few other people and then went to the boardwalk. Stephen sat with Mo while I went up and over the milling mobs of people to the beach for a few moments, and then we switched out. Stephen had his time on the beach. I used to entertain on the Ocean City boardwalk back when... and I ran into another entertainer still doing it. He said the pay has remained the same for fifteen years running and the respect for his work from the city has become less. I could never do gigs like that again unless a city like Ocean City that pulls in millions and millions every night paid me at least a couple of those millions! All in all, the best part of the day was seeing and spending time with my friends Stephen and Mark and of course with the new piano players that I met.

August 05, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

After dealing with archives that were to be sent to Montana that never left the store because... they attached a wrong (sender) address and phone number to the account... instead of calling my friend where it was to be delivered, I guess it was more exciting to create an identity theft alert which would involve the Staples stationary store who UPS Shipping sub-contracts to do their work and an excuse for special police to come and open it all for a search... looking for trouble. You know stuff like machines guns and narcotics or whatever. It was pure God stuff that I went to the store today and found everything sitting there in the back room and thats where it would have stayed until after I left the area and called to complain about the packages never having been delivered which would have created an even a bigger problem. Then... some idiot dog activist came into the store looking for the owner of a truck with a piano in it because... there was a dog sitting in the front seat in danger because of too much heat. (Mo in shade mind you with all the windows open hanging out, smiling at people at the store entrance) I told her that he was not in danger. She then said she was going to take a picture of it to post on facebook to tell everyone... and get them not to give me business. I pray to God she does that. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to chew her a new asshole in public. (god knows, she needs one) Lol... problem, all she has is a picture of Mo smiling from inside the cab.



In center city Philadelphia while visiting with a friend who I was already upset with before arriving... another idiot from the condo building where we were called security about a dog sitting on top of a piano... its not allowed because of liability issues! I told the security guard there was no law concerning liability issues with dogs on top of pianos. What idiots! It was a good thing I was leaving anyway because with my mood I would have stirred some trouble up. This crap really makes me want to blow the top off of my head. Then, I took Mo to a local dog park where everyone was walking around with their dogs on leashes. It was all very pathetic. People creating stupid dog laws from living in fear and self-centeredness are getting worse. Even though... throughout the day with all its aggravations we had some Traveling Piano fun. In South Philly on the street where my friend Stephen lives I created some music and kids and neighbors joined in. At sunset I drove to east river drive along the Schuylkill river to create some music to soothe my soul. I know the people who passed loved it and wanted to tell me so. They wanted to connect but I just needed to be left alone. I did connect with one guy at the end of the night. He was a hesitant musician who extended himself to join me in simplifying life thought the sound of just one musical note at a time with me.

August 04, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The idea of being lost in playing music was rare before this journey even though I have been a musician my entire life. Daily thoughts, life thoughts have always ruminated in and out of my brain even when performing. That is because I always thought concentration was needed. For me it was a matter of forcing or creating a discipline of concentration and the idea has always registerd a zero for me. Concentration must flow into place naturally or its just not going to happen. That is the way my mind works. It has only been since I began creating my own music that I have been able to flow totally into immersion with music with mind, body and spirit. Its been mostly spirit as in feeling. Now, I am beginning to naturally shut out distractions around me while playing, especially if I am using headphones. It is a wonderful feeling of escape and not harmful in anyway and is in fact a positive energy... productive to life in every way. In my past, most all forms of escape that I have been able to embrace have been destructive, dysfunctional, a waste of time and mindless with negative energy. I think maybe even more than my dogs, the experience of music may be what I am most grateful for in life, my relationship with music... really, that is a relationship with myself. And then... being able to be in relationship with other people through it... that is total earthly bliss.


August 03, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cheezzz... it gets difficult at times, the process of letting go. I've been feeling sadness concerning failed relationships or relationships not meant to be here... stale, stalled relationships here in my old hometown and knowing I will leave the possibility of ever connecting again physically in this realm with any of those people (family included) probably forever and trusting in my heart it is the best decision all around. I'm the one who has needed to set the boundaries and limits for myself and for the sake of myself and others. (from my perspective) Having worked very diligently throughout my life concerning relationship, I can now trust my intent and then I just have faith and let God or the Universe take it all and do whatever with my desires, love and intent. It is not easy. Also ha, I boxed a few more clothes and pillows my mom made me and a teddy bear my dad gave to me to ship off to Montana. I can't believe there are still a few possessions left to leave. There are my archives and now these few items.



More so, what is crazy is that I am still clinging onto whatever I can cling onto until the very, very end, lol its been boarding on ridiculous for the last ten years. Its not like anything will be safer in Montana as it will just be another holding base for how long I have no idea. The things I am leaving behind will be given away or used by my friend Cindy. Two of my most loved possessions will be left here in good hands, a watercolor painting of Piano Dog Boner and I... a gift from the beginning of this journey when we traveled to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, it was a dream in my minds eye to have ever since Bo came into my life and it came to fruition and... also I'm leaving an old white metal porch chair my mother nursed me in as a baby. Can you believe I've been able to hold onto that for an entire life? Anyway, I've been creating music at night every day, just a short while for myself no interacting with people. Without question the music has been keeping me sane. Hopefully, I'll get to interact musically with people before I leave. Every move I have been making is in slow mo so taking care of business in order to leave well, that has all been in super slow mo.

August 02, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

So, in preparing to leave this area of the country, I have a few things I'd like to take with me that I do not want to ship to Montana, the next destination. The Traveling Piano has very little room to pack anything into it and if I do take anything that means no music along the way because it would be too much trouble to empty and then pack again every time. Not being able to share the Traveling Piano might drive me crazy because I know there will be opportunities around every corner. Also, if I pack the truck... that might force me to reach my destination quicker, just drive straight through. Otherwise it might take months like when I came east as the journey takes precedence over where and when with synchronicity and spontaneity. If I drive straight through, there would be some time to enjoy the Traveling Piano in Montana with people and nature before the snow starts and it gets too cold. Ahh... back and forth with decisions and choices.



There is a couple who invited me to stay with them in New York state for a week before I leave and that is a must because I always stay with any stranger who extends themselves in friendship. Its been a huge part of this journey, the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of strangers. There has been over a hundred and fifty people, most of them strangers who have invited us into their homes since the journey began. A few months ago I was really burnt out from staying with people but now I feel I can do it again for a short while. It takes energy, full time attention to my hosts along with the full time attention I give to people who I encounter with the truck... its all a lot of responsibility and I feel honored, humbled and grateful with that responsibility. Knowing I have a destination helps. Usually while staying with people I am constantly wondering what to do and where to stay next. A destination helps with one less thing to think about. There is also a friend in North Dakota I must stop and see. So as I write this, I have the answer. Stay a week with the people in New York state. That way I can unload the truck and play some music. Then, drive straight through to North Dakota, possible make a stop along the way hoping that I get to Montana before winter sets in.

August 01, 2015

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Moving from one spot to the next is excruciating. It is not like... just pick up and leave when I've been in one place for any length of time. I'm wanting the feel of a home. So where ever I am I try to live in the present moment as in "home is where I am" ...but also I must live in "need to be moving on" because even though I am with friends they all have boundaries and limits as far as how long I can stay. When leaving Philadelphia I'm pretty sure it will be the last time. I've said that before but now... there is nothing to come back to, no place to stay, belongings to deal with, the 4th of July parade I've done every year, this past one was my last. There are friends here, but friends are with me wherever I go and I can't stay with any of them here. It is not like I hang out with the same friends all the time where ever I am although I do miss that from the past. So... it will be on to rural Montana where a friend has invited me to stay. We both care for each other very much but I'm not sure if we can live together and not kill each other at the same time. Also, I don't know how long I will stay, but the plan is to make the place a home base. Success will be against all odds, one day at a time... but of course it can happen.






August 31, 2006

Pennsylvania

I slithered into my parking spot on the Bristol riverfront. Actually there was a couple smooching while parked in my usual spot. I asked them if I could have it and they said sure and moved their car. It was dark and the water was just...just...just about overflowing the brink. It could not have been more on the edge. Just like I like it, on the edge of life. It is such a great spot. Bo went to jump into the truck. He has been having trouble as of late. It is a high jump and he is now an old man. I went to open the back to make it easier for him but he said no he wanted to go the side route as usual. He barley made it but he did it. I applauded his effort. I want to be just like him as I get older. I could hear the water lapping at my side and sometimes water would run to the wheel of the truck. A boat raced by and created a large swaying mirror of water in the night. I made a commitment to play only for me tonight. I did not feel like developing... stretching my skills... or being interesting... intelligent or smart... or performing for anyone... or needing to think. For the first fifteen minutes, I had to keep reminding myself to relax my ass muscles while I played. I had a very stressful day and I tend to tighten up with my musical emotions, which is not good. I wanted to let my music out... not internalize it. I closed my eyes and breathed deep as I played. It was fun. I even brushed up on some of my Ragtime and Boogie Woogie. I did what ever I wanted to do.