HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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April 30, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am on a food bank roll, lol. I went with a neighbor today to the first place where I connected with people via the Traveling Piano in Las Vegas. It was just before Christmas. It is a place where retired military veterans live and neighbors come to get food every Sunday. Many of the people now know me from playing around. I was told there was a complainer but the other 99% were so thrilled I was there... that I felt no problem. An older guy with no legs climbed up into the truck. He played and sang "Oh What a Friend We Have In Jesus" for the first time in years. I felt so empowered that he would put forth the effort to do that! Once he got into the truck two guys helped him get up on the chair. A woman who I have seen many times on the streets over the last few months found the courage, actually it was really "trust" to get onto the truck to explore some music for the first time. Many people I meet who live on the streets want nothing more than to connect in relationship.They want me to create musical notes along with them, to sing with me improvisationally. I can feel there yearning to be part of and belong with other people. It is a tremendous yearning.
I know that yearning well and that is why it is so easy for me to connect with them. I met a Jewish woman, 12 year Navy veteran and another older woman military veteran of Hawaiian, Chinese decent who got onto the piano to explore some music. While I was playing I thought about how I am so in my element and how important this work is and how much I must continue to do it as long as possible. Also, I enjoyed being around all the food volunteers and management. Like me, a bunch of fringe people, rough around the edges with personal issues in life and yet are able to step outside of any personal difficulties they have to be one with... and to serve humanity. As another guy said today, thats all God wants from us... to help his kids. At the end of the day back in the parking area where I live the maintenance guy Elio's who is really a nice guy, his family was visiting and so we got a group picture and had some Traveling Piano fun.
April 29, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
There has been a food bank I've been wanting to check out but I can never get up early enough to get there before it closes. People line up at seven in the morning. I woke up at six this morning basically because I could not sleep last night. It is rare for me to get up before 10am but I was up with a strong urge to go to this food bank, a very strong urge. I did not want to do it and prayed on the hesitation and the answer was constant... just go, just go. Knowing it is ok and the right thing to do played on my mind. Any negative I knew was only old dysfunctional tapes in my head for sure. I have taken a vow of poverty with this journey and I live from asking for contribution 100% at this point. It is what I have decided to do up to now so... accepting food from a food pantry especially now in having a home... any help I can get to help me continue forward is right to accept and to do. It was not this way for the first ten years as I was fully self supporting through my own contribution. The place was about twenty minutes away and I took several wrong turns, got completely lost but I kept feeling urged forward. Just when I was about to quit looking it appeared. It was a huge church with lots of people getting food, I was at the end of the line.
The head of the church "care" was a jolly kind of santa claus guy. The man in charge of the kitchen was sincerely wanting to be of any help possible and of course that made me want to engage him in conversation. He said the food kitchen is his hobby. There was no talk of religion or pressure of any kind with people in this church but there was alot of "god bless you" which works fine for me. I felt unconditional kindness from everyone. The entire experience made me want to give back, so of course I engaged a few workers at the end with the Traveling Piano and felt out the idea of returning with questions and inquires. We shall see what happens but the entire experience made me wonder if the reason I have been so tired over the last few days is because I have not been living my joy which is to create music and share the Traveling Piano with people. Thank God I have a way to participate in life that works for me. No one really can tell the piano speaker is broken except me so I just worked with what I have to work with. Once I got back to my apartment I should have been totally wiped out exhausted, but in fact, I felt energized. When I first woke up I was in the depths of nothingness with a tinge of humiliation from the idea of going to a food bank. Then I looked out the window and saw an alcoholic neighbor who I think I've written about, he keeps going on tears of drinking in a completely programed way and each bout ends up with him needing a 911 call for an ambulance to take him away. It happens every two weeks.
As I saw him shuffling out on his walker at 6:30 am to head for the 7/11 to get his liquor for the day, gratitude came over me. My neighbor doesn't drink because he wants to. He drinks because in his mind he has to, there is no choice. He has a disease that tells him he does not have a disease. Anyway, I think the hit of gratitude that came over me was over my being relieved of that obsession for such a long amount of time in my life, almost thirty five years now. It takes work, one day at a time. The gratitude set my day into motion. With so much energy I had to go out and it started right on my street in meeting a new neighbor who is a full time working musician on the strip. He and his dog got onto the piano. Then I headed for a very dreary area around Bonanza and D street where alot of homeless people just hang out alone, zoned out all day long. I pulled the Traveling Piano up to a random spot on the street in full sun and a woman came running over from across the street. She said that she brought me to the spot in her mind praying because she needed to play on a piano really bad. Her name was Bonnie and she has had a very difficult life, an amazing life, she said she had been the girl of the original Hell's Angels motorcycle group and how he used to beat and abuse her and she told me lots of other things.
She was full of spiritual creativity and a bit of mindless insanity and... she played the piano and sang really, really good mostly religious music. She was pure joy and in her sixties. She kept her belongings packed and clean on the sidewalk always keeping a watchful eye on them. There was stuff going on everywhere, I witnessed another car accident down the street while interacting with someone. I was parked outside a drug rehabilitation missionary where they set up a water tank inside their fence for people to reach into in order to fill up containers with water. The stories people were telling me about their lives, it is just amazing how people end up homeless. Each story is unique and is rarely any cliche reason that people with little compassion or empathy would ever dream of. I watched two zoned out guys on the piano sooth themselves in creating single notes to listen to. They were healing themselves through music having never before played. The last guy who created music almost made me cry. His was creating music so pure and beautiful... musically telling his story of the present moment... what he found on the street (me, Mo, the Traveling Piano) and what he is doing with his find. It absolutely blew my mind when he finished and told me without my saying a word... that was in fact exactly what he was doing. Having a conversation and talking with me through music telling me about what he thought of everything. I never heard anyone else create space and time with musical notes simple and clear as I do... when I'm not going off in a manic rant, musically that is. His notes were full of love and devotion to the wonder of beauty of relationship.
April 28, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Something is very physically off with me. Maybe its my allergy to Mo. I'm sleeping in his hair every night and he's shedding... alot. I brush him often and it doesn't help. Maybe I'm not drinking enough water... maybe, maybe, maybe. Figuring it out could take years and I don't have that many years left so its better to just flow with it. I picked up my broken piano speaker from another repair place that I could tell was going to sit on it until they felt like doing the work. I told them, "When you have a customer in trouble and you tell them that you will give them the service needed and they put their trust in you... follow through. There may be a hundred customers who will put up with your lack of responsibility and one "important" customer will cancel out those hundred. I'm that important customer." Onward... I'm sort of obsessing on the first artifact ever, that I found in the desert yesterday.
Finding, recognizing and knowing artifacts I have always been a zero with. I was in an area with a lot of petroglyphs and just looked down to find an spearhead as sharp as the day it was made. It felt like I was an Indian in a past life and I was looking for that arrowhead for many thousands of years and finally found it. It feels very special. Lastly, a five dollar ebay butter dish came! Its the small things... So big! Now I have a butter knife, butter dish and toaster. It feels so good, lol. I'm thinking all the time about what I can do, that I will followthrough with to earn money to continue the journey and what will be fun. I feel a strong urge to sell my photos along with many other urges. What I do know is that I must share my love on all levels with the world, one on one with people. Spiritually, it is absolutely required now and as much love as possible must be manifested in and for the world... now!
April 27, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Before it gets too hot I want to get into the desert as much as possible. We took a hike. It is the rawest of nature here and means everything to me and of course Mo. My energy level is really low maybe it was the sun and heat? Mo without question will not be able to handle the heat once it gets in the mid 90's. I used my back pack for the first time and brought along water which was a necessary idea. The wildflowers peaked while we were in San Bernardino. Was that last week? I can barley remember day to day. I waited for those friggin' flowers for a month as I will probably never have the opportunity again to see them and asked myself, would I have preferred going to San Bernardino or see the wild flowers to photograph? No question, I'm glad I did what I did. I've been very fortunate in life to have no regrets. The landscape was beyond awesome, once again feeling totally immersed in the reality of visuals I have seen in pictures all my life. What a gift... total gratitude. We took a nap in the shade in one of the out-coves for awhile and that helped. Out-coves, hell it was a little cave. The place was full of caves and landscape vistas of color, textures and shapes. Laying on the ground in the dirt resting with not a care in the world because I couldn't really think, my mind was not working and oh, how beautiful that was, in simply being!
April 26, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I felt really tired today and spent most of it doing some volunteer work for a community of friends near and dear to my heart.
April 25, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
We are stopped until I can get enough support to continue. In order to continue I am asking you to contribute. As little as five dollars sends support. A new Traveling Piano speaker is needed and it will cost $800. My chosen path is to ask friends to give freely to the Traveling Piano so that I can use what you give... in order to give freely to others. The Traveling Piano is my full time work and it takes 90% of my time. The other 10% goes to eating, resting, bathing and exercise. Contribute via the Traveling Piano Website: Contribute Here ... Contribute another way, email me and lets talk: Send a Message
April 24, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I'm feeling very tired and need to feel inspired. Dealing with the broken piano speaker is taking me down. Maybe I'm just tired but emotionally drained for sure. Remembering to remember my purpose, goals... I really want to... I don't know what... although I'm always "doing" journey. The pictures take a lot of time. It feels like I want to get them out into the world more as in print out to give to people, but to sell them to people sounds more practical. Mo, the little devil is getting impatient waiting for the treats he gets every night. Traveling Piano dog Boner used to do the same thing but Mo, he knows that he gets them after he comes back in after his pee before bed at night so... he's been at the door acting like he needs to go out... right now! And of course I can't tell whether he means it or not and I'm not going to take a chance, lol! Three nights in a row now if it happens again tomorrow I'll know for sure the little trick he's figured out.
April 23, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Mo and I enjoyed the king size bed we had last week. Now, its back to fighting for mattress space on our full size mattress as we toss and turn together all night, lol. I ordered a butter dish today and have been enjoying toasted muffins with butter and jelly in the morning with my new toaster. Ahh... for the little domesticated details in life. I've been making sandwiches of meat, cheese, mayo, pickle and lettuce just like in the old days, lol. A head of iceberg lettuce for $2.50 at the supermarket is just crazy. I remember when they were .29 cents a head. Familiarity can create such relief! We take so much for granted with many simple creature comforts that we are used to having. Who knows how long this apartment will last but after twelve years... to have my own stuff again (basics) well, there is a lot of satisfaction to be had in that! Surprisingly, several neighbors missed me while we were away last week. I could actually see they were glad I was back. One came over right away with an excuse to re-connect, another flat out told me they missed me, another guy came over to give me an apple! Just all ways, reasons to connect. Its becoming more and more obvious how subconsciously or not people are having a need to connect with each other in real life, one on one in relationship more and more everyday and... not just online or in a crowd that has gathered for some reason.
April 22, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I can be such a maniac. After waking up I felt ok but then felt a sore throat coming on and need to stay conscious of the work and travel I've been doing so that I don't over do it enough to become sick. I took Mo out for a walk in the neighborhood and well, some call it Graffiti, some call it Art, some call it Graffiti Art whatever... there was a lot of it going on in the Arts District of Las Vegas, Nevada today which is now the Traveling Piano's home base so... of course it was only right that we share our Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect with hundreds of people visiting the neighborhood from Los Angeles, San Diego, all over California, Arizona, New Mexico, etc... Graffiti Art was happening everywhere! I rushed back to get the Traveling Piano and we hung out in alleys and on the streets with people until dark. The words "salty people" come to mind, "down to earth" people, I really like them. Serious graffiti artists and I share the same sensibilities and from Los Angeles especially...
I like people from LA as much as New Yorkers and people from Brooklyn, etc... there's not so much bullshit as in trying to cover up who they are because they feel comfortable with who they are. There are always assholes in every crowd but they are necessary as it takes all kinds to make this world but on the whole... these are my kind of people and I really enjoyed meeting and hanging out with them. While I was working with fun I kept saying to myself, "drink water, drink water" but I just could not. I was too focused on what I was doing to stop it even for a second. I hope I'm physically ok tomorrow but if not... so be it, the fun is where its at. With the piano's speaker seventy percent dead and the quality like shit I was thinking how thankful I am that I have a professional work ethic that says that the show must go on and that drives me to just work with what there is to work with no matter how difficult and not fun and... just make it all work, do the job as best as I can!
April 21, 2017
Traveling, California and Nevada
We took the road less traveled from San Bernardino back to Las Vegas. Were we were, what roads we were on, I had no idea but just hoped I would not end up in Mexico or in the Ocean. At a gas station I asked for someone to point us in a good direction as I wanted some scenery and to avoid the interstate highway. I've been craving desert wildflowers and the entire way along the road was almost unbelievable. There must have been six or eight stops in order to take pictures while thinking... "What is that flower doing here growing right on the side of the road? Its not like there were flowers everywhere in the desert as far as I could see, just right there on the side of the road in the middle of no where, every color, a gift, exactly what I was looking for. This was a first in returning to my new "home." It doesn't feel like a home yet, a familiar place but too new for a homey feel. Its does feel awesome that I live in Las Vegas in the center of all the activity and driving on the roads like they are mine as in, I am not a tourist or a visitor.
April 20, 2017
San Bernardino, California
Being in a bad mood when I wake up is no fun. In knowing that anger will not work for my day I must give myself purpose, get my act together as far as my agenda. I think the anger comes from a delusional feeling of being alone. So, Mo and I drove to the North Park elementary school for our last day with the Traveling Piano. A teacher and student were murdered last week and another seriously injured. It felt completely right for me to be there in getting the perfect spot, it being in the shade, my experience from the past, etc... With the fourth day, connections began to get more personal. I very much wish I could stay longer like for another week because I know the work really begins to set in as trust develops and it takes a few days. I talked with a few teachers for the first time, a few parents... and as the stories start to come out I felt privileged that I can be a vessel for some release. It felt validating that they could trust my intent. One person noticed how the news channel said there was a piano player present but did not mention my name or the Traveling Piano and I really appreciate the news stations respect with my request to not use me to draw media attention with the situation.
I noticed that some of the children today are beginning to become attached to us so getting too attached to me, Mo and the Traveling Piano would not be helpful at this point. Also, I do have a little personal fear of taking in too much of the sadness in remembering that it took me two months to recover from Sandy Hook, CT when we were there. At one point today there was about 20 kids around the truck and a police vehicle beeped its siren for about 2 seconds behind me to get a parent to move its vehicle out of the way. Instantly, every single child had a major jolt as one, shut down all at once and went into panic mode. I could see the fear in their eyes, the uncertainty in looking to see what to do, trying to understand what was happening... that was just awful to experience. Its all going to become real in their consciousness and I wish I could be there for each and every one of them to give them some feeling of security if only for a moment as they process the trauma. At the same time I feel grateful that I could come here even if for a short amount of time. Fighting off expectation that never happens, frustration that so little support comes my way to function and do my work with the Traveling Piano is a constant. There were some other random connections today and of course that is always fun!
April 19, 2017
San Bernardino, California
I met up with another piano man today his name is Dave and we connected through Twitter. He lives in Pasadena which is less than an hour away. After hanging out with me at the school, I drove him around downtown San Bernardino in and out of neighborhoods and shopping centers as he played on the back of the truck sometimes with Mo on top. We stopped at a couple of places and a bunch of thrilled kids jumped on and at another place some people who just happened by. Then I was treated to dinner. At the school today the kids are connecting with us more and more and I wish I could stay at least a week, two would be ideal to really make a mark but thats not going to happen because of my lack of resources. A bunch of them felt comfortable enough to jump up as a group today on the piano to bang away. The piano speaker is getting worse daily, its really upsetting because when I get back to Las Vegas, well... I just don't know what will happen to my ability to create music. Dave gave me some funny clarity about money. I was all about money before this journey and then the journey became all not about money... but its still all about money for me.
April 18, 2017
San Bernardino, California
There was no getting up early as last night was full of motel sleep and not good air for me so, I was verging on a headache. I fought off the urge to look at the news when I woke up to feel connected with the world, it does me no good. Instead I turned to listening to Kate Wolf singing through my computer as I processed some photography from my recent hike in the desert. With the sun out I just didn't want to do anything. My conventional motel room is twice the size of my apartment, lol. After trying to drink motel room coffee to save money I thought, "how did I drink this crap for a year"? Luckily, I brought some fresh coffee beans with me along with my grinder. There are a lot of empty business store fronts in this city and beautiful mountain scenery but what I most notice is air not full of old restaurant grease and tourist helicopter fuel... like I smell everyday where I am now living in Las Vegas. I don't miss those six, seven or eight helicopters flying in circles over me every night, ha!
I got at the school today at 1:30pm and played continuously for two and a half hours. That was an amazing feat, not only in staying interested musically but the stamina needed. It felt really good to know I can do it. Thoughts fed the music I created like... what did the big overshadowing American flag hanging on the fence nearby with condolence acknowledgements have to do with the gun murder of a school teacher and specifically an eight year old while destroying innocence for many. For the first hour I was alone fighting off thoughts of "what the hell am I doing here" but... I know what I was doing there. I was creating music, healing, distraction not for any number of people but for the sake of spirit in general and its not what I do, its what happens when I do what I do. That may not make sense to some people but it does to me. There is zero chance of my presence as not being worthwhile here. I have too much experience with it and know. A guy doing some ground keeping came over and told me how he's having trouble with a separation and the music just helped him to feel safe. There were several people who expressed appreciation but I really knew what was going on as parents came and were waiting around to pick up their kids. It was not a pretty situation as I could feel the sadness, confusion, frustration and the vulnerability of helplessness. What happened is slowly sinking in and the reality of it all is surfacing after the initial shock.
I wish I could be there in a way, more for the parents everyday than the kids. My presence was a good distraction and much better for them than waiting in total silence together while being in their heads thinking scenarios like I hope my kid is going to come out of there alive. Feeling the appreciate was really nice and what was amazing is how so many people new Mo's name... I wonder how that has happened. They would pass saying, "It's Mo right? Hi Mo, bye Mo, etc..." as they smiled at me. Before leaving I saw the after school kids in the playground and I drifted the truck to them. We all had some fun together through the fence. Back at the motel before going into my room I connected with a railroad guy staying a few doors away from me. We were drawn together without question and talked for hours deep in personal conversation that only spirituality can create. After another guy got onto the piano to play I had to put the cover on as I knew it would go on and on. While driving here to San Bernardino I told myself I was going to work really hard with like eight hour days for the four days. Now that I am here lol, I realize there is no chance of that happening... don't have the strength, stamina or energy to do that kind of marathon work anymore. There was a time tho... I just do what I can do, as much as I can do, and feel happy and grateful about it.
April 17, 2017
San Bernardino, California
I'm taking care of myself and it feels good. I got the every half hour squirt air fresheners needed to mask the motel smell in my room. Last night while walking Mo, I snapped some red and white flowers from bushes to wake up to this morning to a small bouquet. Its the little things that matter in the moment. My motel fridge is so cold that the frozen soup and fruit I brought along is still frozen. Thats really good because nothing will go bad and I'll be able to use it all. The small room fan and humidifier I brought with me kept the air breathable for sleeping. The air conditioner is too close to the bed but had a removable shield to redirect the air which I've never seen anywhere, ever. Driving for so many hours is not so easy any more. I slept over ten hours from it and really needed that and... I slept really, really well. A part of me wanted to wake up and be there when the kids arrived for school this morning but I just couldn't do it. If I knew the situation was definitely going to work out I probably would have tried to get up. There is nothing more difficult for me then getting up early. At the school the first thing I saw was all the media trucks and thought, "there is no way this is going to happen." Then I began to go up to them and ask when they would be leaving thinking in terms of days and they said before 1:00pm as the school board was having a meeting downtown. Then I found out the kids were being let out at one 1:00pm. That timing was not coincidental me thinks and worked perfect for my agenda to be creating music when they came out. The media is very important, I appreciate the media and we must keep theses events present for everyone until positive change happens but... I don't want the Traveling Piano's work diluted with the idea that I'm looking for media attention. So, all but two media sources left and I asked if they would please not film or report on me. One camera man look astonished by the request and probably took the picture from behind while the other was in my face anyway while children were trying to interact.
I had to ask in a stern way to please be respectful. I talked with a police guy there beforehand and he was supportive. The perfect spot opened for me to park and a few people told me that hearing the music was magical. The kids came out with their parents and while passing were more than just the usual receptive. Several stopped and got onto the piano for some fun. Teddybears were given out to each of the children and it was amazing how tight they held onto them. That was a very supportive idea for the children. I emailed the school this morning and actually got in to see if I could talk with someone about being there but... I knew how hectic everything would be and was reminded how being on the school campus would involve a lot of bureaucracy, especially now but... where I landed with Mo anyway and the situation as it unfolded could not have better. Mission accomplished. I brought a pullover thinking it might be too cold without only a top on. Luckily I also brought sunscreen for the top of my head and I am glad I did because It got friggin' hot! I took my sunglasses off so the kids could see me clearly and know I was having loads of musical fun, friendship and respect for them. You would not believe how much I had to fight off the impulses of my feeling ridiculous in doing this and how it would be worthless, etc... but, I had set my intent to care, show empathy and compassion in a joyful way... to act out my anger with love, make sure my personal neediness and self-serving ego was absent and my pure intentions manifested as a result. As far as being appropriate, there was nothing to doubt about that as I've been here, done this enough times and know that when respect is present, all is well. The rest of the day... just laying around with Mo to relax.
April 16, 2017
On the Road, Nevada and California
Oh my God, Easter Sunday traffic in the desert is not to be believed! There is nothing like a couple hundred miles in mid-afternoon hot sun, bumper to bumper with traffic jams every ten miles. What was to be a three hour drive ended up being over six hours. And gas at almost four bucks a gallon, all I can say is greed, greed, greed! Anyway, why am I so angry? While I'm at it, I am so over motels! I'm using all my reward points from on the road through the last few years to stay in a smelly motel room, lol because people are not contributing to the Traveling Piano's journey very much at all. Thats sad. Has everyone fallen out of love with us? Ha, I know all the reasons people are not contributing believe me. I can list a hundred and say them faster than anyone as I've heard all of them so many times. So... we are in San Bernardino to lend some support for the community after the elementary school gun murders last Monday. First thing, seeing as it is Easter and the motel manager was wearing bunny ears, I had to treat her to some music. The motel assistant manager got on the piano to play and he was really good at it. Then next to my room I met a few truck drivers. One from the Philippines, another from Uganda and the last guy was from Philly. (where I originally come from and where the journey originated from) He lives in the neighborhood around the corner from where I spent time with the Traveling Piano last time I was there. Its in a neighborhood called the badlands, the worst of the worst ghettos in the United States. He got onto the piano to play and then I showed him some pictures of the Traveling Piano in his neighborhood. After the school tomorrow I'm going to have to put out fifteen bucks to get one of those spray air fresheners because this room I'm in smells like diarrhea!
I'm definitely on a journey roll. In the news last night I saw that ten years ago today the Virginia Tech massacre happened. The school called me almost immediately after it happened saying "Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews and Tim Mc Graw just called but all we can think about is the Love and Joy that you and Boner brought when you passed through, would you please come and be with us." You see, they could trust the Traveling Piano because it has no agenda as in ties to money, fame or commercial gain. And here we are today... coincidentally in San Bernardino, California to be with those affected by the elementary school shooting last Monday. The difference from today and ten years ago is back then, I had resources and was self-supporting. I sold my house and belongings to pay the way. Today, I need you to help. Please make a contribution. The Traveling Piano obviously has the worth of a few bucks from everyone. There is something about me spiritually concerning gun related deaths. There is a lot more events that led to Virginia Tech, its all documented in this blog as well as other gun murder tragedies where the Traveling Piano was like in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Trayvon Martin's neighborhood in Florida, Skid Row in Los Angeles one of the times after the police murdered a homeless man, etc...
April 15, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Murder is becoming a norm for many of us eh? Not for me. We hear about it with shock and a few days later, past history. Not for all the kids and families at the San Bernardino elementary school in California a few days ago. What they witnessed is still fresh and will be with them for the rest of their lives. I have significant experience with this fact having been asked by victims in the past to come and spend time with them in their communities with the Traveling Piano. Mo and I will do that now for San Bernardino but we need your help to do it. Do you ever feel powerless in not being able to help or know what to do after a tragedy? Help me to help them. We need to stay in a motel room, pay for gas and food... that is it. Make a contribution on this website Contribute Here or on GoFundMe below. Be a friend and please care. Please show some worth for our friendship, what I share with you in life and the worth of care you have for others in the San Bernardino community right now. We must take a stand against gun violence and the best way is to show support for love.
April 14, 2017
Valley of Fire Las Vegas, Nevada
I met a Vietnamese family. Five of them were children and everyone of them play the piano proficiently and without hesitation or fear! It was a beautiful experience. I wanted to keep the black canvas cover off the equipment today so it would not fry from the sun. Because of that, people kept stopping with justified curiosity. I need to get more honest with myself in the moment that I wanted that. We met a couple from Hawaii, the UK, it went on and on. Finally Mo and I started out for a hike and I was already totally worn out from working with people. I almost decided to go home but found some shade under a rock in complete silence away from any activity and zoned out for a short time which revived both of us. I thought Mo was not going to make it very far because I didn't bring along any water but he turned out fine. There were wild flowers everywhere. We met a couple at the end of a trail that pointed out a bouquet of flowers growing in the rocks. I thought of a friend who reminded me what a miracle it is to have flowers growing in hot dry desert sand and rocks with practically no water. We hiked and hung out in terrain I've never seen before and once again it was like walking on top of the world.
As strong as the desire was with Mo to take pictures of wild flowers, there was equally strong desire for Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect subconsciously... we drove forty miles from Las Vegas into the desert, to the Valley of Fire. In a parking area, a wedding party was having pictures taken and it did not feel right to insert myself but... the seed was planted again subconsciously. "a wedding party." Drove to the farthest overlook with no one else around except that... there was another wedding party! They were a group from the Czech Republic that flew to Las Vegas for a unique wedding experience with pictures in the desert. The bride was so stunning I had to tell her so. As I did one of the guys says... "I saw you playing on a ferry with this Traveling Piano truck in 2011, Dawson Canada, in the Yukon territory heading for the Top of the World Road into the north of Alaska!" And of course that lead to an amazing time for all of us!
April 13, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Last night I got really sick with an old groin issue. Thank God I still have medicine even though it is two years out of date. I felt better this morning but need to be careful. Its happens because of self inflicted stress and most of that stress has to do with relationship. It was difficult to function but I got things done that I've been sitting on for a few weeks. I brushed Mo's teeth, lol. I cleaned my place which always feels good, really good afterwards. World events get in my way. I had serious bouts of anger about what the people in control of the US government are doing. Who termed the phrase "Mother of all Bombs"? Was it to be cute, as in a bitch, tongue and cheek? Was it to relate killing and death with the power of a mother? I'm sick of hearing the term. Its not appropriate for what is happening. If you are of the mindset that some good people must die in order to get rid of the bad people and... that those who have the power to kill have the right to decide which innocent people are murdered... then, in today's world... you are setting yourself and your loved ones up to die and me too! Anyway, most of the day was filled with gratitude. I love living here in Las Vegas on the strip. Its better a night. You don't see trashy buildings or as much trash and dirt. I often take Mo for a walk down the strip where he can be off leash and we walk on a new sidewalk lined with palm trees. There is angst about going to San Bernardino on Sunday. My nature is to so burrow into whatever, wherever! And, at this stage of my life I can feel that more than ever.
April 12, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am very out of sorts. For sure I am going to San Bernardino next week. Another elementary school shooting, now just a blip on a media news feeds, the new norm to be forgotten in a week well, not with me. I will not let gun violence become a norm for me and I will respond when and how I can. The asking for support from people so I can lend support... as time goes on it just gets ridiculous. Friends of mine, "hey can I have five bucks, a cup of coffee's worth of contribution?" Then the litany... "I've already given to numerous causes over the past year, need money for my trip in August, we are helping out our daughter, our oldest is getting a divorce and most of her money is gone after being the sole breadwinner and paying for her wife's masters degree"... lol, thats just one example of a friends response. I hear constant litanies of that type of stuff over and over until I want to smack everyone over the head. Just give me friggin' five bucks! You know I need it, you know its for a good thing, you know its not going to kill you and its five bucks for Christ's sake! Its not like you don't get entertained with my life, contribute some to it, damm it. Lol, anyway... my friend Steven immediately send a hundred. That will pay for the gas.
I have enough motel rewards points from living on the road last year to get me five nights free and I have food I'll take with me. Its a done deal. I'm afraid to do it. Nothing new with that but I mean I'm getting sick afraid. Maybe its age although I'm always afraid, its a constant state of being for me when on the road. This will be the first time since I settled down. I couldn't think to day but I was able to do some tasks that needed to get done and of course the Traveling Piano happened. Synchronicities and spontaneity was a constant like dominoes falling into my lap in a steady smooth rhythm all day, at least when I could function. Its been one of those days where everything happened for me without my knowing it and in spite of having almost zero where-with-all. There was about fifty little things that happened, all tiny flowing details that arranged my mistakes one after another to make everything work out to my benefit. I met a new neighbor who has been living in his place for seventeen years. His passions... beer, music, the pigeons he feeds and birds he makes friends with.
April 11, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I'll always be amazed at how most days include some music with the Traveling Piano even when consciously I have no specific plan to have that happen. The intention is there automatically. So today I came out of the supermarket and a couple with their kid needed a battery jump for their vehicle which lead to some music which lead to a motorcyclist nearby who was very interested and having a most difficult time with his life, which lead to, etc... Interestedly enough I met a guy on a motorcycle the last time I was in this particular parking lot, in almost the exact spot, with almost the exact same story. I stopped to play for a city cleaning crew but they were like, "oh we are not allowed to enjoy anything, we are in prison." Some street ladies passed by, a guy painting a trash container for a fast food joint. Its crazy how random short connections of relational joy... fun, friendship and respect through music and me and Mo and the Traveling Piano happens constantly.
April 10, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
You would think if I slept 6 hours and got to bed early with 9 hours sleep I could get up early and be rested, correct? Always, I get the 9 hours when needed and need the extra hours I missed sleeping the night before on top to make up for the loss. Its crazy. Another school shooting in an elementary school in Bernardino, California happened today and that is even more crazy. People who protect the idea of having no sensible gun laws enrage me having personally dealt with gun related murder since 1987 through the Traveling Piano. I would like to make a strong statement to counteract gun violence around the world. What happened in San Bernardino yesterday is calling to me but I do not have the resources to respond alone. I need your help. Will you make a contribution to pay the way? The Traveling Piano has significant experience with gun related tragedies. The first (since the journey began) was with Virginia Tech in 2007 when the school called and asked if we would come and be with them 6 hours after the school shootings there. This was because they were able to trust that the Traveling Piano had no agenda other than unconditional love. Then there was Skid Row, LA, in Florida and in Sandy Hook, CT. With a motel, gas for driving and food it would cost $600 for 4 overnights, a day of travel each way and 3 days of work. I'd like to leave as soon as possible while the holidays are here but... whenever, and if I get the help I'll go. Do you know of anyone to stay with? That would really cut the cost.
April 09, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I was really wiped out the entire day today. The altercation I had with my neighbor disturbs me more than I can realize. It is what it is. I met another neighbor who knows me and was on the Traveling Piano playing before Christmas. He got hit by a car a few weeks later and is in a wheel chair. He was going to where we first met today, a nearby bread line and so I went with him walking very slowly down the street while he wheeled himself. I stood in my first bread line today to get some food. It was humbling but the right thing to do I must keep telling myself and I think it was therapeutic in a way for the people there because they all know me... and somewhat think of me as "somebody" the "piano man" with respect... totally on their level. I can use the help with some food. I've been learning street people language and wow there are some real scum-balls but aren't we all? The difference between them and most is that they know it with total transparency. Some of them just don't know how beautiful and wonderful they are too.
A woman was telling me about a local thrift store and I said I don't like the place as it smells and the employees have attitude. Now I know why it smells, lol. Street people go in there to get a change of clothes. They try on the cleaner "old" clothes and then replace theirs on the racks for sale and then leave. Its a pay back for the thrift stores that are now rip offs with pricing. I took Mo to the dog park because I was too tired to walk and then we headed to the supermarket. A young family there parked next to me needed jumper cables and a jump. I was able to help them. Then the Traveling Piano work started. Another also guy jumped at the opportunity. He is the third guy I met in this parking lot, at the end of his rope in life and who felt totally inspired with our interaction which of course makes me feel really good. I only had six and a half hours sleep last night so it should be an early night to get to sleep, I hope.
April 08, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Today was a putz around day, cleaning, doing wash, straightening up... how domesticated! I wonder when having a home will become normal again. The weather is just so relaxing and wonderful. My headphones broke about a year ago and they were very expensive to buy. I tried on several occasions to fix them with no luck and finally realized they would have to be glued back together. Then last week I dropped and broke my second pair. So today was the day to glue and... all I had to do was snap them together! I'm amazed at how simple and fast a solution can happen for me and also how long a solution can be sitting right in front of my face without my seeing it. I ordered some mace online. Its really getting crazy where I am living, lol. Walking the streets, it feels more and more dangerous. Once a week the police are at my complex and its just a small "L" shaped place. Today it was domestic something, I really didn't want to know. It continued with screaming about white people calling the police on black people.
My next door neighbor is an older black woman with racist issues but we've been getting along well. She's getting evicted and as she no longer cares about what happens so she went into attack mode screaming directly outside my door some major racist talk until I couldn't handle it anymore and yelled, "now stop it, I don't go around screaming nigger in front of you I don't want to hear anymore of your white trash shit." Lol, she turned on me and so ended that relationship. Most people stayed inside until they heard the piano man and then all doors opened and heads popped out. It was pretty funny, but what wasn't funny was her starting to yell that I called here a nigger to other black people who did not witness the situation. Luckily, everyone knows she's crazy and I'm not (very) crazy. The sad part is that I gave her two of my framed picture collages and now that gift is diminished. Life happens.
April 07, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
All the pictures you see are with gratitude for someone very special... who replaced my broken camera... who is not rich, who goes to work specifically to make money in order to help fund the Traveling Piano journey... so that I can work to share it all with you and the world. If I had more contribution like this wow, so much more could be accomplished. Thank God for people who appreciate, support, and enjoy the joining in and being part of, those who contribute to everyone's life in the world! We headed out in the dessert to take some pictures of the desserts spring wild flowers and it was a perfectly cloudy day for doing that and also for hiking. When I was about to leave I found another perfect spot to create music with the Traveling Piano on the side of the road and with a spectacular view. Three women came driving up from around the bend and they were from Pennsylvania where I am originally from, but even better... they have been Traveling Piano followers for years online. Lol, there was a mighty lot of synchronistic fun to be had between us. Cousin's from Kansas and Texas also stopped, two girls from Canada, a hot young couple, on and on it went until the sun began to set.
April 06, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Mo and I drove to sunset park because its a nice place, not only play but be somewhat alone. After about a half hour of creating music a couple guys got the courage to walk across the parking lot (its a distance) to where we were and an exchange began. It only takes one person for everyone to know its ok and then... one by one it goes on and on. I lost another hubcap from one of my truck tires. It happens every couple of months. It may have something to do with my thirty year old tire size or maybe it is the cheap hubcaps, but this time... I was so happy because in the past I've had to purchase an entire set and then throw away all but the one for lack of storage space. Now with a home I was able to store the ones I was not using from the last set. I had a replacement to pop right on. That felt really, really good because each set costs about fifty bucks. Now I still have two more! Ha, its the little things...
April 05, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Whether on a business street or somewhere in nature... when people connect with the Traveling Piano their mindset goes straight into relationship because... that is what the Traveling Piano is about. The Traveling Piano is not about performing, entertaining, promoting, getting tips or fees... its about personal relationship, first and foremost through Mo and I with the music and uniqueness of the situation and most importantly through mutual participation in Fun, Friendship and Respect. I'm feeling more and more settled here in Las Vegas and it feels really right and good. Thank God the means has been created for me. I used a coffee grinder today for the first time with fresh coffee after having used up all the motel coffee I saved from last year, lol. That lasted three months for everyday! I used my new food processor for fruit. I can now purchase and freeze in a freezer thats big enough to do that. Before I had a little fridge and constantly had to go out to purchase food, cook, then use it before it went bad. Now I buy, cook and freeze and use when needed. I was profiled as a vagabond for the third time last night! I went into a wedding chapel to check it out. They asked if they could help me and I asked if it was open for business as I just wanted to check the place out. They said its not open for viewing while trying to poo poo me with their facial expressions. I told the guy to not be a fool that he did not know anything about me who I am, or how I might be able to give him business. Then I turned around and left. Old single poor man syndrome, new clothes are needed me thinks. I'm not in Kansas anymore. Send money!
I posted that online and a friend got angry (probably with herself because she can't help more) but put in a public forum... "get a job" which of course pushes a button for me, lol. So I wrote back... You are speaking of my work, period. The Traveling Piano is my work and has been for 30 years. Being honest about who I am and what is going on in my life is how I choose to raise funds to continue it. If I was an organization asking for money or a non-profit for the same thing that would be different eh? I work hard for my money. The difference between me and most people is that my money is for everyone... so I ask for everyone to help contribute to that fact. If I painted a picture of need that was more "conventional" and well suited to "selling" to gain contribution, that would sit better for you? Not my game... Straightforward truth as it is for me is my game. And, the post was first and foremost what is going on with my life. Sometimes that can be difficult for people to hear. So, I should lie, stay silent to make it easier for others? That... I do when I am working. This social page is about "all" of me. If you want to see and read only the good stuff, use one of the several Traveling Piano pages on social media... as I have always said to everyone!"
I also said, "The Traveling Piano takes 100% of my time. I either do it or I don't. There is no other way to work it and at age sixty one, I know what works and... it has worked... very well as time shows and you know it. I've contributed quite a bit for the world and for my life. And, I enjoy it on the whole. I wish for all my "new" friends reading this with your thoughts in mind knew the history and I encourage them, if they want to see me personally in a better light, (that is key) to read the Traveling Piano daily blog posted every day since 2006. There will not be one "pissed off" person I can assuredly say that! I also suggest you read your message back to yourself and apply it to... you know what! Then you might understand and accept not only my needs... but also your own with yourself. Because your being pissed off, it really is about you, eh?" I'm not vagabond type begging here, I'm looking for friends to contribute to a worthwhile journey as I have... I've put every penny I own into it for the last 12 years... because it has been a good thing to do." Contribute Here Then she deleted the post, lol. Tonight my neighbor was singing in a lounge about a half hour away and that was a good excuse to get out for a long walk with Mo, listen to some music and feel some Las Vegas energy. I need to do the "Vegas" feel, more.
April 04, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Concerning my doctor who just passed, I still processing the fact. My spirit has the gift of gratitude and I want to use it, always have. I am always realizing as I go through life that I do not have self-centered ego issues (ego is a good thing when addressed appropriately) and if I feel that I do... it is because I have embraced other peoples past perceptions of me, wrong perceptions. My desire is to share and be part of, that I have said many times throughout this journey. What "trips" some people up is that I must find my own way of doing that and my own ways are often, non-conventional ways. There are many who will reject my needs to their core as a result. With Dr. DiBello I have a great desire to share the fact that I have had an ally in life from the start who I went through life with, someone who knew my every trial and tribulation and who never once judged me, not once. And... he was part of the 100% judgmental "clan" that I grew up with throughout all my formidable years.
I was able to trust him enough to tell him about all my irresponsible sexual escapades, physical excesses, dysfunctional thinking about relationships in the clan... he was "old school" as it was back when, where the medical field in general (here in the USA) provided "care" not for money as the priority for service. I even tested the doctor a few years ago about this. I asked if he would give me the visit as a contribution to my journey and without hesitation he said, "well of course, if you ask me to." The thinking this man adapted for his career was something he was taught... "treat patients NOT illnesses." As a result his patients were his friends. Some people did not like him because they either could not trust the truth or had to reject it out of fear of being rejected themselves. I'm with the doctor's kind of thinking. It is what drives my life. Being more conscious and by practicing this kind of thinking... it helps me to rid myself of the negativity I take in from others.
April 03, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
There was a thunderstorm that passed through today with lighting and rain. I took a picture with my iPhone. Too bad I could not enjoy it more as my mind is on many things. I went to the camera store for troubleshooting.Those places, I don't trust them at all. Online is the only place now to get equipment. And Canon, the company that made my camera is just becoming more and more controlling with everything. They are just like Yamaha with my keyboard. As soon as a new line comes out all older models suddenly disappear. They make sure of it. Anyway, an angel unlike any other to ever be in my life is helping me to get a new camera. Can't say anything more about that emotionally... I'm trying to just let it be and not think. It is a lot of money. My friend Ed back in Philadelphia attended the funeral of my doctor as my surrogate to extend my love to his family. I want everyone to know I was his first or second delivery as a baby. There is some selfish neediness that I wish did not exist about his death but it does and so it is. Actually, it was such a significant relationship as much... I want people to know that such a relationship can and did exist and still can in the world... an ongoing lifetime doctor patient/friend relationship from day one right out of the womb. We have told each other that we love each other in the past. That means a lot to me.
April 02, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
I got about six shots out of my camera before it died today. This is a predicament for sure. I felt a need to play a bit and drove to a park where homeless people hangout. I watched one guy come to life after about fifteen minutes he realized his reality and put his hands into the air towards me to clap in appreciation. A couple guys drove in to hang string from the trees to walk on. I invited a young homeless twenty three year old kid from Salvador onto the piano to play. He had actually had some piano lessons and as I have learned to know people... most likely has parents too rough on him as they threw him out onto the streets. Who knows, maybe he will respond to his parents needs but it will be with scars, that is for sure. I could see signs of emotional abuse in him. This camera situation is very unfortunate. The timing could not be worse. It was just repaired for the second time in the fall of last year.
April 01, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
My camera started to work and then it didn't. (see yesterday) I just put it down, can't deal with it and thought about life and my horrid financial situation. (it could be worse) As everything leaves my life while I stay in it... how do I want to handle it all emotionally? Do I want to get angry, frustrated, manipulative, feel victimized and sad while everything disintegrates piece by piece if that is how it is going to be? Grief is part of life's experience and feeling. I must not ignore it. While thinking about that, my neice phoned to tell me my doctor died at age 89. The grief of his passing has been hitting me in waves all day Dr. Angelo M Dibello M.D. delivered me into the world almost 62 years ago on July 9, 1955 and has been my medical doctor, friend and confidant ever since. He has always been there for me and has never once diagnosed me incorrectly throughout my entire life. He has been a supporter of my life in everyway. I have the honor of being one of his first infant deliveries in Nazareth Hospital, Northeast Philadelphia in the Holmesburg section where he worked since the beginning of his career. I've never known anyone more devoted to a life of helping people. Dr. DiBello has been an integral part of my life consistently until is passing on Wednesday.
I know spiritually he is still present. He knew me more than any other living human being has known me. His love and care for me will live on forever. I have the greatest respect for his family. The doctor and his wife Matilda are pictured with myself and piano dog Boner on the Traveling Piano in 2009. Doctor Dibello made house calls until the end, kept his office in his Philadelphia row house bottom floor, and visited his patients in the hospital on every Christmas Day of his career. This is a big loss for me. The people who have known me, I mean really know all of my history the good, bad and everything in between... he was the first and last. Interestingly on Wednesday, I had thought about giving him a call to see how he was doing and to tell him I was thinking about him. I think it was just a spiritual connection physically through mind for one last time... to thank him and let him know how much I love him. I took Mo for a long walk. We met a guy and had a deep discussion. What I came away with is that I am carrying a lot of negativity with me. It is good to be conscious of that... for the purpose of dropping it all from my life before I myself, pass from this world.