HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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July 31, 2021
Brewerytown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Originally, I was going to go into the Philadelphia tunnels tonight with some new friends who take out supplies for the homeless and drug addicted. Mo and I did this a few months ago in Las Vegas. But... after all the driving yesterday especially at night I did not have it in me to do. Instead, I was going to simply spend a few hours cleaning out the truck and maybe create a Facebook live video. But... that did not happen because I met a woman with her mother in the parking lot of where we are staying and they showed interest in the Traveling Piano which of course turned into an encounter. The conversation turned somewhat personal and they mentioned they we're going to a birthday party. I opened my mouth and suggested I go as their birthday present before I knew where it was. It was down in Philly where I did not want to go today. But... too late, had to follow through with the journey's agenda above and beyond anything else.
I did spend the next few hours cleaning out the truck. Then I drove down to north Philly again into the Brewerytown neighborhood. What a fantastic day it was with the air, the temperature, the sun... same goes for the nights cool and clear with the summer locusts singing their song. Everything feel perfectly into place, there was a spot outside with a cone for what I don't know, maybe for us? No one knew who we were or why we were there as we arrived before the people from the parking lot. Trying to get everyone together for a photo as a major challenge. I gave up with about 25% of the people cooperating. The kids loved it and a good time was had by all. Being able to rise to the occasion and push myself into sharing the Traveling Piano in different situations even though part of me does not want to do... anything, feels like the grace of God.
July 30, 2021
South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mo and I drove deep into South Philadelphia today where the Italian neighborhoods are still holding strong. It felt good. We were there to visit Tim and meet Jen who has offered to host us if and when needed. Jen is the embodiment of what this journey has been about with the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of each other. You may know I have stayed in over 150 homes of people I never met over the last fifteen years. It took only about two minutes before neighbors on the street began to come out to meet and greet and find out what the Traveling Piano is all about. I could have spent all day with different people. There is nothing better than neighborhoods where everyone knows each other. On each street the question is... can everyone get along? I was treated to a terrific dinner! The only problem in staying here is the parking. It can be tricky, it can be a pain in the ass with the need to circle the block over and over and over and... I need to leave the truck parked on a public street and trust it will be ok without being able to look out the window to check on it.
July 29, 2021
I could not do anything today. Physical and mental with probably a little emotional exhaustion was present from the start. After a day like yesterday, I was completely spent. I did not want to even think about this journey or work in anyway. Of course I still did some as the journey is as part of me as breathing is. Picture processing is all I could really muster along with some online posting and this blog and yesterdays entry. The fundraiser is really going through a dry spell, I'll need to breath some life into it somehow to keep paying for my room, gas, food, etc... There was a heavy rain storm with a tornado nearby that passed over us today. On my computer I watched the movie "Soul" which I've been wanting to do for over a half year. Movies are my greatest escape from... everything. I can really lose myself in a good movie.
July 28, 2021
Lambertville, New Jersey
On the way to New Hope, Pennsylvania today we drove through Doylestown a place I've driven through a million times in my past and, we stopped at Peddlers Village a tourist shopping are where I had the first paying gig ever with the Traveling Piano back in 1987. The grassy courtyard area where I performed was now cemented with tables and chairs. The stores were not as interesting as in older days but the grounds and flower gardens were well kept in fact gardens were awesome! I booked tmy first gig for one of the first Apple Festivals they had (still going after all these years) and before I had a piano in the truck. So, when I got the deposit money I was sort of forced into following through with the product sold, lol.
In the beginning, I ended up using the piano I grew up with and it magically fit in the truck within a half inch on both sides! For the first time back east with all my roaming, I actually "felt" some nostalgia. I played all the festivals throughout the year at this place until the owner died and it turned corporate. Then they got cheap and did not to spend money... just make it. Then, Mo and I drove on to our destination. I was looking forward to some walking along the Delaware Canal and through the streets, maybe get a bite to eat. As I drove around it became apparent the place has lost its character. It is living on past reputation. The canal area was dirty and unkept and the water very low. This area in the fifties was a summer get-a-way for the New York broadway crowd and many theatre shows used to be tested in New Hope.
In the sixties, it became a Hippy hangout and artists took over. In the 70's the new B&B industry at the time took over and gay owners gave the place a new facelift. In the 90's the town became gentrified with shops and attitude and with prices to match. Since then it has been nothing but a fade. We drove across the bridge to Lambertville and I could tell it had more of what I was looking for in character and nature. But, we got derailed at a parking area and ended up spending hours there with local kids between sixteen and twenty five working in the nearby restaurants and hotel. It was a lot of fun and intense. More activity than I can remember. Before leaving I took Mo for a short walk along the canal which was so nice that I'll need to return.
July 27, 2021
I've been having a surprisingly enjoyable nostalgic experience since I left Las Vegas and especially here in the Philadelphia area. Goggle maps has been taking me anywhere and everywhere and through the most beautiful roads and old neighborhoods with houses hundreds of years old. Not only have I been down most the the roads I drove over and over for a life time, I've been discovering many new ones that have aways been here. I just did not know about them. We drove to Newtown, Pennsylvania about twenty minutes from my old house today and I walked by the Temperance House where I had my first gig playing in a restaurant/bar when eighteen years old. The piano was gone, a guy was setting up for Karaoke in the spot. Then we walked down some old streets to take in the feel of historic houses in a very old neighborhood. Afterwards, we headed to the community college where I studied some music. Back in my day the music department was one of the top three on the entire east coast. I took a photo outside one of the music buildings, it is also the spot where I first got drunk off my ass! I drove to another building named Tyler Hall hoping to get a photo on the truck but no one was around. I had spent a lot of time in the building having performed both inside and outside, my first promo shots where in the parking lot. It is a wonderfully beautiful, old place.
Tyler Park a few miles away was one of my favorite places to create music with the sunset in front of me. This was when I first started improvising fifteen years ago. The fields of the park had something growing in them other than grass, it looked manicured. There we're a lot more people hanging out and having fun, almost too many people but I wanted a photo. Then... an eighteen year old kid pulled up, opened the trunk of his car, pulled out an amp and guitar and began to shred like there was no tomorrow. To shred is to play real fast and loud. It was so loud that over a hundred feet away I could not hear myself talk, literally! People come out into nature to have that experience? He came over out of curiosity and I told him to breath, lol. Then I got him up onto the piano but he would absolutely have nothing to do with what I was trying to share. He could not even play one note or create several random notes without complete distain for doing it. Whatever he did, had to have purpose technically. He was interested in music only as a craft. Music was completely objectified in his mind. Creating music from his soul or experiencing a feeling other than insane energy was not on the menu. He disliked what I was doing and as well my music because it did not have structure. I could feel that it almost made him angry. I know all this too well. It was me in my past living in a box.
Self-centeredness is full of fear. Few people have lived this fear musically as I did for fifty years. This week I met a fifteen year old girl who was learning how to sing. The Traveling Piano experience was the same for her. Two in one week, never before and with having over a hundred thousand people on the Traveling Piano in the last fifteen years! That ain't no exaggeration. These two kids are living in a lot of fear and have yet to individualize. Hopefully, they will mature and that will not take the fifty years of hell I lived in as a musician. Most people at some point just quit. They become emotionally stunted for life. This can be said not only about music. On another tangent here, it all reminded me of a realization many years ago of how people experience music. Some listen for the technique, what they think they are supposed to hear. Others listen for the soul, the truth from within the creator. Both ways can convey feeling. There is a balance to embrace for the best of all worlds. Few people go for that balance, it is too scary for them. I left that area as soon as possible. The peace and tranquility was gone. It reminded me of a vortex in Sedona that had moved away from all the disrespect that had invaded the area. Mo and I found simply a quiet spot and found once again the love for nature, relationship and music. We met a wood worker and a few hikers in the area.
July 26, 2021
Pushing myself to do anything will not work. I've decided to not go up north to Maine where a facebook friend invited us. Also, I was thinking about New Hampshire and Vermont where I have not been with the Traveling Piano, ever. Hotel prices are too high. I do not have over $200 a night for a room and cannot stay in a dump for $150 or less... no dumps no matter what the price, period. Those days are behind me. Thank God for friends who will flow along with me. My friend in Maine has been on hold for two months wondering when I would get there. She understands. Also, I am driving an average of two hours a day with the truck as it is and must consider the use over time in order to get back to Las Vegas. Another week has been booked where I am. The price is right, I'll never get another room like this and I am not done in Philadelphia. I've been filing data of the journey on my computer all day. Its hot outside!
July 25, 2021
Mayfair, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
On Sundays, my Facebook friend Karen's family hair salon, it transforms into a family gathering point for hair needs, dinner and today... music. The Traveling Piano pulled up onto the sidewalk in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Frankford Avenue. The girls got out of their chairs while getting their hair done tin foil and all to come out for some fun, friendship and respect! Greg who has owned the hair salon for over thirty five years joined in also! He's a trumpsucker through and through. I had to steer the conversation away from that which has to be done whenever possible when working with the Traveling Piano. That and gun conversations are no, no's. If I start speaking my mind I will unravel all the good will I am out to create. As passionate as I am about my work with the Traveling Piano, that passion is equaled with my demands for democracy verses fascism, life and death with gun ownership. Also, in this area where I am staying there is a proliferation of "I support the police" signs on people's lawns. Support good police. Do not blindly support all police. Support police who are professional and who do their job. Do not support police who are racist,immoral and corrupt. Does anyone think that there are no corrupt police? Ugh... the world is exausting! Back to the music...
July 24, 2021
Kensington, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
It feels like I am living in a parallel universe with the Traveling Piano. Mo and I are doing the same work in Philadelphia as we do In Las Vegas. Today we hung out with new friends who shared a tent covering as Mo and I cannot handle the sun. They were all serving food and resources to those addicted on drugs, living local and those living on the streets. It is important to know that good people exist who care with action. I had another COVID test with results in fifteen minutes. There is no need for a cotton swab all the way up the nose just around the inside. My energy level is super low. It is probably the humidity but also I have been gaining weight with all the mommy/childhood/reminiscent deserts, foods, etc... I've been eating. The nights, I need to pick one and just sit in it with the perfect temperatures and the sounds of crickets and locusts and life moving around in the trees and grasses.
July 23, 2021
Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania
Keeping pressure off on what to do, how, when... this is a priority. Also, balance with work and play. With play in mind, Mo and I went for a walk in a nearby park. It is astonishing how little energy we both have compared to past years and how we continue to slow down faster and faster. We did not walk very far and for very long and we were exhausted like pushing it too far, both of us. I nailed it with my thoughts when Mo came into my life of how his life would be ending in my mid-sixties and we both would be on equal levels of ability to hike and explore at that time. It is coming to pass. Ticks are everywhere. The diversity of everything green is awesome. I found some flowers to take photo's of, not too many, the early summer flowers are almost done. The reminiscence of youth is happening through the nature here in flowers, grass and trees.
July 22, 2021
North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It took awhile for me to get it together today but finally we hit the road and headed for North Philadelphia on Broad street. People were not feeing so comfortable with us there. Maybe it was because I wasn't feeling comfortable with myself today. But we did get going several times the fun and music and all. We stopped on several rough street corners to create music... Broad and Erie, Broad and Allegheny... we met serval moms with their kids. One mom with her two boys and twin girls celebrating their 3rd birthday were serenaded with a piano rendition of Happy Birthday and everyone jumped into the truck to play some piano. We got a picture and then we all dispersed while the going was good. North Philly can be kind of rough at times, especially for outsiders.
The situation was becoming dangerous as there we're lots of lit dynamite sticks walking around if you can catch my drift! (angry, crazy people) Once I got home a message came through on Facebook from a guy named Michal staying in one of the rooms here where I am. He said I left my truck lights on. Wow, I appreciated that of course! He had also send me $20 on GoFundMe as he looked up what I was about. So few people do something like that. I connected back to show him the Traveling Piano in an adjacent parking lot outside and I shared some music with him. With the virus getting worse I am feeling unsettled as how to proceed. I cannot do my work with a mask on, well I can but it is not fun for me. In order to interact with people, especially strangers they must see my facial expressions to know how to read me and... I don't want to be traveling around as it gets worse. We are far from home with a lot of uncertainty. One day at a time...
July 21, 2021
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
By nature I am a one-on-one type of guy who deals individually with people. Online that fact can suck up my time needlessly, especially with negative energy when going back and forth with different social accounts. One of my photos from Kensington the other day has gone viral on the internet. I first saw it on Twitter from a slim-ball republican in Florida who says she is running for congress. The account used my photo for her agenda to create negativity about Philadelphia and democracy. Her account I found out is run by simple fucked up immature kid with hutzpah from around where I am staying right now. Anyway, I just can't help myself... I went into attack mode on hundreds of comments until I had my fill, lol. Then to facebook, I laid into it deep with retorts. The only social platform with a sense of respect that I saw was reddit along with the usual losers of course. And when the dog fanatics start with "poor dog" watch out, lol. I say, "my pup is not for your use to negate a situation you to express concern when its really all about you. Thank God he's out in the world living, active and showing and giving the love that you should be doing... instead of sitting on facebook crying "poor dog" and critiquing." They use Mo to negate themselves as humans in saying that dogs are better than people. I have never tolerated that kind of self-disrespect for humanity on the whole.
And then those using my photo to trash themselves, their home of Philadelphia and for politics, to try and feel superior, joke at the expense of others and nothing else... its not going to happen on my watch without being addressed. People are not going to take a photo of the Traveling Piano and turn a positive into a self-serving negative for themselves... a photo of a guy with a piano on a truck and his pup sharing love in the worst of environments for people in need of respect, friendship and worth as a human being. It all sucked up my day. Oh well, it is what it is... a challenge to be response able and stay out of the drama and accept that about a thousand retorts was enough! Thats so funny, I really got into it. Mo and I went out to create some music in the Badlands of North Philly today but it began to rain. I forgot how much it rains here in the summer. I turned and raced back while not knowing that in less than a minute I would have been caught in a hail storm that would have destroyed my front truck window! All traffic stopped for two hours and two miles from where I am staying there is no power. I would die in the room I am in with no air conditioning!
July 20, 2021
The day began with my taking care of a bucket list item while here in Philadelphia. My niece Heather and I headed down to the Reading Terminal Market in Center City for some Amish, Pennsylvania Dutch real home cooking. Starting off with scrapple, eggs and home fries well, there is no place anywhere in the world like the food counter there, same as it ever was. Scrapple is also known as Pannhaas or "pan rabbit", and is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried before serving. After breakfast we went for some famous Amish apple dumplin's, shoofly pie and sticky buns and doughnuts all German, Dutch east coast Philadelphia originals. So I may die from eating nothing but donuts, pie and buns for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the next four days. I got back in the afternoon and began looking for where to go next. Thats not fun for me because it involves making decisions.
A picture I posted a few days ago is going viral on the internet. Some scumbag wannabe political scammer, a republican black woman of all things, (how can you be both black and republican) and her partner from Florida picked it up to use to gaslight people concerning what it is like to live in a Democratically run city. Wow, did that piss me off! I began trolling her page until I realized, the page is all fake shit and the worst of the worst type people are feeding on it. So, to satisfy myself I ripped a new asshole for about a hundred of her followers comments and then moved on. I had my say. Thank God the Traveling Piano sign does not show in the photo and it is not of me but... that very fact is helping it go viral because of people's curiosity about a guy in a truck with a piano and pup on top, who is he? My being response able in the best of ways is crucial for all this. I am happy to draw citywide attention about Kensington but I am fucking angry that people will use a photo of mine to create such negativity, especially trumpsuckers. I could capitalize on all this big-time for my fundraiser, lol! That is not going to happen. But for anyone who visits this website... join us, help us to continue... Contribute through Facebook here: Traveling Piano Facebook Fundraiser and through GoFundMe: Traveling Piano GoFundMe Fundraiser or PayPal Direct: Danny Kean and of course on this website Contribution Link just look to the left of the page!
July 19, 2021
The danger of covid is creeping into our lives again and I'm thinking I need to share as much Traveling Piano as possible... while it is still possible. There is a 'fan" of mine lol, I really have a problem with that word. If I had 700,000 fans yea, that would be cool but the idea of having something like 20 fans is just gross. And, the concept of having fans is really contrary to what the Traveling Piano is about anyway. This guy Charlie who lives about a half hour away from where we are staying has been following my posts online almost from the beginning of the journey and when he realized I was in the area and where I was staying, he stopped by to connect. The hotel management would not tell him my room number and, good thing because I would have popped him on the head if he had knocked on my door without warning. He took pictures of the truck in the parking lot and sent them to me. I know where his intent lays and so I had to make a point to extend myself and surprise him at his home before leaving. Today was the day for that.
On the way in traffic I was thinking how happy I am that I don't have many fans because I would need to treat them all this way! Lol, I parked on the street outside his house while he and his wife came out to find us. I could tell he was moved by the gesture. A neighbor came over and saw that my bumper needed repair and taped up my messy bumper for me. That was kind of random because every day since I got here I've been wanting to do that but have not been able to get around to it. Then another neighbor couple came over and we had an exchange also on the truck. The whole experience felt like an extension in spirit through the gratitude from yesterday.
On the way back to where we are staying, I stopped at the "Grocery Store" to get some pickles. As I was leaving the "Parking Lot" a guy named Greg raced up next to us in his truck. He had just seen a photo of Mo and I online and was reading the Traveling Piano page description on Facebook... the part that says, "We have been sharing the music of life with a passion that endures! We do not look to find people they find us. It can happen in the woods, on a busy street, at the beach or in a ...Grocery Store Parking Lot!" LOL... as he was seeing us online and reading about where to find us... the reality in the moment manifested for him in the grocery store parking lot!
July 18, 2021
Jenkintown, Pennsylvania and East River Drive Philadelphia
Today was astounding! First, my grand-niece Rachel joined up with Mo and I which really was wonderful. It was the first time we ever did anything together. The plan was to go hang out with the Traveling Piano on East River Drive in Philadelphia. This is an old favorite spot of mine to create music. Backtrack... yesterday I posted on facebook a photo of a guy I met serving food to the homeless. He was going to friend me on Facebook so I could post his photo for him. A "Tom" friended me and I saw pictures of the guy so I thought it was him. Tom I found out is a friend the guy and they work together with people on the streets. The guy I met his name is Cliff. On Tom's page I saw he was involved with the Bucks Mont Pride Festival in Jenkintown Pa a first time event being held today. The event was on the way to East River Drive and with my desire always to support those who support others, I thought to go and give the event some Musical Traveling Piano Fun, Friendship and Respect. When we arrived a person helping the event was willing to be inclusive, flexible and open to the idea of the Traveling Piano setting up, so I set up at the entrance where people were waiting to get in.
Then the fun began in meeting Tom and Cliff and friends of theirs, then a senator, judge and a few other high level politicians arrived to support the event and joined in some Traveling Piano fun and then... backtrack some more. As I was driving into the Philly area from Las Vegas I was in old memories of places from when I was eighteen years old. There really is no one I wanted to see or needed to see from that time period and then a thought of Jack my first roommate, a career musician I had gone to music school with, the first person ever to reach out to me in friendship as a young adult and his wife Reenie, yea I thought, would like to see Jack again. But that is a long gone friendship of over thirty years ago. Then, as I begin to play the piano today guess who walks up to the truck? I was flabbergasted, stunned, it was so random and of all places and times for us to meet again and there is a history with all that. I felt as blessed as could be, emotional even and it was specifically as a result of my being able to extend myself into the world. Its not the first time anything like this has happened to me by any stretch of the means but it has been a long time since, and every time, I get blown away like it is the first time. It is validation for me, reassurance from the universe that all is good. Wow, was that event fun for me! Rachael, Mo and I only stayed a couple hours but that was enough.
There was still time to get to the river. Once again I was driving through old neighborhoods I have known well. I lived, worked and played in just about all the neighborhoods and surrounding areas of Philadelphia throughout life. I was thinking the other day how I have played with the Traveling Piano in just about every neighborhood and town. Thats an easy "given" from working twelve months a year full time on the truck for twenty years. Eventually, every place will happen for one reason or another. Seriously, I have driven on at least thirty different roads since I've been back here where I thought.... "I played the piano on this road for the "...." parade. It was a perfect day for the river. Very overcast like it was going to rain immediately, cool and there was a breeze. What a relief from the hot sun, humidity and heat! The water, the lush greenery of Fairmount Park, large old bridges crossing the river and just the right amount of people around, not too many not too few. I interacted musically with a few different guys by the river, created some music for myself and it all was just perfect! Having Rachel hanging out with Mo and I was so totally, very special.
July 17, 2021
Today was a total down day. I could not do anything. There was no energy to be had. The last two days have caught up with me. Working in the heat, humidity and sun with all the people and noise on the streets and events that happened, it was a lot. Also, I spent a lot of time creating music, that can exhaust me. I enjoyed the day. The first half Mo and I laid in bed looking out at the sun and green trees blowing in the wind and the second half of the day we spent looking out the window with thunderstorms, lightening and a steady heavy rain.
July 16, 2021
Kensington and Allegheny, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This is going to be a long blog post, I have a lot to say. First, today July 16th marks 39 continuous years without a break from working on recovery for myself from the disease of Alcoholism and as well addiction to pot and other drugs. I use the word "recovery" because "use" of the specific mind altering substances mentioned... are for me nothing more than symptoms of the dis-ease I live with. Using Alcohol or anything else takes me down a rabbit hole that is not pretty at all. Use of the other substances will take me to alcohol. My daily reprieve is contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition which is contingent on the ability to be honest with myself which is contingent on the grace of God, that of my understanding and the 12 steps of living many of us know about. Having friends of "like" mind is also 100% important. Who would have thunk that I could live life in the "real" world for all this time sober and enjoy some of it! If I had not made the decision to stop with a lot of outside help, I would have been dead 39 years ago. I only mention this day for those who may garner some support from it and also for everyone to know me better. Today is a day for me to feel grateful but then again, that is every day anyway! Counting time, I find very helpful.
Now, Mo's teeth up front are so far gone they are about to fall out. This is a significant tell that his life span is coming to a close. This morning I laid next to him and said Mo your teeth are about gone, what are we going to do? He immediately flipped into play mode so I said ok, we are just going to keep having fun together and we began our day. But now as the day is ending I feel afraid. Everything is ok, I just need to keep my mind rightly related to life and gratitude and the truth of spirt. We drove back to Kensington where we were yesterday and spent most of the time on the corner of Allegheny and Kensington Avenues above the Frankford El. It is a "elevated" train that begins on Frankford avenue in Philadelphia. To start off with we created music under an overpass with the smell of piss and garbage. The day was another day in the high nineties. There were a lot of people camped out there where I witnessed the compassion and empathy of people have for each other while totally whacked out on Fentnyal mixed with animal tranquilizer. For example I saw a women falling down around a corner naked with panties down around her legs and a stranger running across the street to her to throw something on her and pull her panties up. Yep, Mo and I find the best places to create music.
I created music for hours today as I have decided to back away from interacting with people on the truck considering the new covid variant happening. I don't know, I'll take it one day at a time. Only one guy got onto the piano and he was doing community outreach by giving out food from a borrowed car for three different organizations. Selling drugs freely and out in the open in Philadelphia is big business. You can bet that means big bucks for the corrupt police and city government letting that happen. There are three main drug cartel sources where Mo and I were. The system of selling is sophisticated and complex. For example, the tent I saw yesterday with bodies that were being dragged out onto a lawn, that was a high paying drug transaction where fentanyl is delivered by a phlebotomist which is a specialist in sticking you with a needle so it goes to the right place, the right amount in the right time and you get the biggest bang for your buck. This is all so ugly. People come from all over the country to Philadelphia to be a junkie because of the quantity, price and quality of drugs offered. My old home town has been said to be the east coasts largest open-air drug market. Where we were is ground zero for the opioid epidemic in Philly today.
Lets switch to something better. Thank God I have a great place where I am staying to come back to after a days work like today. Also, I'm still feeling the love from family and the people I met with the Traveling Piano on the 4th of July. About eight different drug addicts wanted to give me a money tip today. Of course I said no thanks, can't destroy the love I am giving by doing an exchange for money. And also, once you take up an offer from someone on the streets be it a dollar or anything else, that can lead to trouble. Yesterday I had never heard of Narcan. God must have given it to me through a woman I met named Roz for today. As I was leaving the area I came across two scenarios on two different streets where people were trying to get someone passed out and dying on the sidewalk to respond. The first guy began responding to the Opioid overdose nasal spray antidote, the second responded a little but I had to call 911 to come as he was really gone. That was on a deserted street. So I was able to help two people stay away from deaths door today! Whoo Hoo. And, as I created music under the train tracks, it was kind of funny as I was reminded many years ago when I would play for old people with practically no life left in them... how I would see them respond with a flick of a finger, a jerk or a toe flap. As I watched people today standing with bodies hanging in a zombie like manner, I could tell they were jamming to my music even in their comatose state as every once in a while they would do a sway with the music or give a flick of the eye or hands...
July 15, 2021
Kensington, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Today, I took my grand-nephew out with the Traveling Piano and Mo into the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia for some Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect. The last time there was more than six years ago. The area has long been a hot spot for drugs, people living on the streets, prostitutes, thieves, those simply lost in mind, body and spirit. What I experienced was beyond anything I've ever seen maybe worse and more shocking then everything I've ever seen all put together. Skid row LA was nothing compared to it. There was a complete disrespect of humanity, an absolute fentanyl genocide out in the open, the abandonment of Philadelphia's own by its own. Hundreds and hundreds of people standing lifelessly hunched over or crouched on the ground along sidewalks.
There were complete walking zombies, people shooting up everywhere in public for blocks and blocks, syringes everywhere, people being pulled into tents where they would then be dragged out onto the ground bunched next to others passed out, lifeless... I could go on and on. And, it was close to a hundred degrees in high humidity. We ran into one organization and the woman came up to me to give me boxes of Narcan to give out. I told here, I won't be giving anything out. She said no, if someone comes up to you and says I need some Narcon they are about to die... give this to them. It is a nasal spray people take for opioid overdose. I took several boxes to keep with me. Most of it I did not photograph. It just did not feel appropriate. Thank you everyone for your contributions to be able to do this and share it with you.
July 14, 2021
Today cost $600 for 4 spark plugs and to replace both front brake rotors seemed a bit much but they did the job without an appointment in front of other jobs... and then, they said to play some music! I was hurting from the price and it was hot and humid as I jokingly said, "put up the money" ...but that is not the way this journey works! We had some musical fun, friendship and respect. I drove off from my nieces family and in rush hour traffic about 15 miles away the engine began smoking allot. I turned off the air conditioner and it stopped, found the closest repair place and of course it would not smoke for them! Onward... on day at a time, one repair at a time, one Traveling Piano experience at a time. Thank you everyone helping to pay these bills! The cost has been a lot in just a few weeks for simply driving cross country, over night stays, food and repairs... like $2200 so far! My experience with my niece and her family was significant. The love through the dynamics of family was felt strongly by me. They all really extended themselves to me and this while extending themselves not only to another family guest visiting but in general to other family. My niece Heather is the instigator for an amazing amount of life for the sake of joy and happiness. Most people consider what she does unwarranted and over the top and accuse her of being a control freak to accomplish it all.
I've done that. It hurts her feelings. I forget that we are both of the same spiritual mindset and how people have said the same things to me throughout my life... over the top, control freak, too much, obsessive, compulsive... all the shit words have been used against what I do that those same people simply take from... to enjoy for themselves while never giving anything back, nada, nothing, zero. We are who we are. Those who scoff at the goodness only see what they have no interest in doing themselves or what they feel they should be doing while choosing nothing. I have a large family that has done nothing for me or my journey or life. This one niece makes up for that fact. Personally I feel complete by her love in a family sense. I have her love, as I have God's love and that is enough. The fact that her husband and four children also have love and respect for me is icing on the cake! As I get older I realize more and more how nothing can compare to having family. (hopefully a non-toxic family) The experience is not for everyone nor should it be. Same goes for a partner in live, good sex, wealth, traveling adventure and many other life experiences. I feel very fortunate for all my life experiences no matter how large or small.
July 13, 2021
Life is a blur just like the photo for today. The Traveling Piano truck would not start. My niece and I we're sitting in it ready to go out for lunch and spend time together. As we sat, a tow truck passed by which she said has never happened before on her street. She ran over to ask him to try and get the truck started as we could not jump start it with the cables we have. He got the truck started and said he was from Puerto Rico where he had owned three trucks same year make as mine. Unfortunately he could not work on it, said that he thought it needed a spark plug. I drove over to the place he works and they could not help. They turned me onto another place and that is where the truck is for the night. I know nothing and will know nothing until tomorrow. I must leave here also tomorrow. My niece and I drove around my old haunts after that. Nothing has changed. I had no feelings of nostalgia at all. Then we enjoyed a mid afternoon lunch together. Mo by my side always, is the greatest comfort I could have.
July 12, 2021
Transitioning back solely into the Traveling Piano's basic agenda of old... music verses helping the homeless in Las Vegas, just for awhile... it was the only way to go for Mo, me and the truck concerning the heat there. I am so grateful for the friends that can continue doing the work they do for the honeless in Las Vegas. Now... if it would just stop raining here on the east coast where we now are! Lol... if its not one thing, its another. All is good. Thank you to everyone who has been helping us to continue forward with contribution to this fundraiser we have been having. Contribute! Join Us!
July 11, 2021
Today was a low key day and too hot and humid to do anything. My great nephew and I took a ride to see some of my old haunts such as my old house which is looking good and many places where I first began to improvise music. My old house has a magnificent magnolia tree that takes up the entire side yard of the house which I could have sworn was torn down but that must have been in a dream. It was good to see it is still there. Everything, everywhere looks exactly the same as last time I was in the area in 2015. I have not shared space in anyones home since then and... it is not easy to share space, never has been for me but that is part of my journey and I am so appreciative and grateful for people willing to do it specially a family member... one... family member out of many. Mo is dealing with a new large pup in the household. He used to be a dogs, dog... no longer. He's an old dog a bit fearful of young wild energy. He is easily hurt at his age and has been accidentally by our last young canine friend.
July 10, 2021
We are with my niece and shared the Traveling Piano with neighbors and friends today. The stay will be for a few days. It is the first stay with other people in years. I don't know how I'm going to sleep! And, I have a single bed so Mo is going to be on the floor which has been a rarity for his life and me as the toss and turner I am, lets hope I don't fall out of the bed on top of him. I am grateful for a family member to have extended themselves to invite us to stay. I have many but there is only one to invite. Thats OK by me. I have absolutely crazy family dynamics. So even with the heat and humidity today we were able to share some music and the word grateful continues to come to mind.
Also... concerning the fundraiser, we crossed the half way mark of this journey with a present tally of $4550... thank you, thank you, thank you. Every penny used to create musical fun, friendship and respect with people from all walks of life, a life right now that is very surreal and also the way it should be. Mo is my rock so tender and loving. He is dealing with a new lab pup named Baxter where we are. In Mo's younger days they would have had a blast together. Now as an older pup he has difficulty dealing with the energy of youth, a constant and driving force to be reckoned with.
July 9, 2021
I have no shame! LOL It is my Birthday *hint* *hint* July 9, 2021... and this Piano Man is 66 years of age out creating one-on-one Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect... with no Fees, Tips or Commercial Affiliation via this Traveling Piano Fundraiser full of friends who have been supporting the discovery of music and the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of each other. Thank you everyone!!! Photo: the Piano Man celebrating one year of age... 65 years ago today! You can contribute via Venmo at 215 639 9378 and you can contribute through the contribution link on this website. Contribute through Facebook here: Traveling Piano Facebook Fundraiser and through GoFundMe: Traveling Piano GoFundMe Fundraiser or PayPal Direct: Danny Kean and of course on this website Contribution Link just look to the left of the page!
July 8, 2021
Holmesburg, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
First, we went to see if we could get the truck fixed and had no luck. Then we drove almost an hour away for our pilgrimage everytime we are in town to the house that I was born into which is now almost covered with trees. Then up the street, we drove into the cemetery where my mom, dad and baby sister Pamela is buried. Lastly, next to the cemetery is Pennypack park where my mom would take me and friends for a picnic every year around this time. The park has definitely seen its days. It used to be groomed and had a beautiful water fall and walking path. That is all gone. Mo could feel without question the significance of being at the grave site with me. After all that... more rain with the temperature in the nineties.
July 7, 2021
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Ahh, yes the journey is alive! It was absolutely necessary that I see an eye doctor because driving without glasses is becoming more and more difficult. This was not realized until after I left Las Vegas and was on the highways driving. Going to one of the chain eyeglass stores for an exam is not something I wanted to do and I'm on the road, who creates glasses in one day? Then, yesterday as I was driving to get the computer fixed I realized I was on the same road and less than two miles away from the eye doctor who did my laser surgery over 20 years ago. What was his name I kept thinking. Where exactly was the place? I found it and it is now a homeless shelter! Is working with the homeless in my psyche or what! So far away from Vegas and I continue to run into my peeps. Once I got back to where I'm staying I went deep into my file archives and remembered George, George Pronesti. He was a terrific guy, had driven me in a parade, he and his son's were at my old house and I'll never forget how empowered they were as kids. Is he still I terrific guy? I shot off an email. He responded within an hour. Yes, he is still a terrific guy.
Dr. Pronesti is the Medical Director of Kremer Eye Center and one of the two pioneers of Lasik surgery in north America. I had a complete checkup today with all the tests needed and he said to just go to the dollar store and get a pair of +1.25 for driving, +2.50 for working on the computer and +3.25 for close up needs! I would never have known I could use reading glasses for distance. This is awesome news. The temperature is also ninety five degrees today and if not so humid I would have stayed to create music and interact with everyone at the center. Dr. Pronesti told me about a fundraiser he has going to lead a group of doctors on a mission trip to Ait Bogumez - a tiny, remote region in the mountains of Morocco with little access to healthcare to provide all kinds of services. If you do not want to give to my journey, maybe you will give to his... Kremer Cares Medical Mission Trip. It felt very significant that his seeing me today did not require my asking for him to donate his services, it was an automatic whether I asked or not. With everything they did the cost would have been significant.
July 6, 2021
I am totally exhausted today even after what should have been enough sleep. Maybe it is the heat and humidity. It has been very wet, all the time. I'm not complaining but functioning in the high 90's with almost 100% humidity is not easy. First today, there was lunch with my friend Sid. We did not get to spend any time together yesterday. Driving through older upper middle class and wealthy neighborhoods I know well from private piano teaching which began in my teens and then where I worked as a society pianist in my twenties... it felt very surreal. Especially in all the thick, lush greenery compared to Las Vegas where I've been for years now. After lunch, I stopped at a camera store to try and get the stuck lens cover off my camera. They wanted to charge me $35 to do that even though I was going to purchase a new lens cover.
I remember this place from many years ago. Nothing has changed, still a rip off. When I had my computers repaired a few months ago, it was from a place I found on Ebay while in Las Vegas. I shipped the computer to guess where? The place... fifteen minutes away from where we are staying here in Horsham, Pennsylvania! How random is that? They had not put enough memory back in and I needed help merging the data onto both computers. It was too expensive to send the computers back to finish the job. So they did it today. After the guys did the fix they jumped onto the Traveling Piano for a photo op. They all had a terrific working vibe together. Then torrential rains storms started again into the night. Still need to fix the camera, the truck brakes and get an eye exam... quick! At night, lightening bugs and then daises and punks to burn... all childhood summer feelings and memories from where I grew up... here in the Philadelphia area.
July 5, 2021
What a day it was spent with many old friends and new friends! Mo and I headed over to the 100th Oreland 4th of July parade, a small town parade I have performed in for many, many years when I lived here on the east coast. My friend Sid from the local Lion's Club, he runs the parade. He found a driver for us. Another member Tim, gave me a gift bag of glasses because he saw I was having trouble seeing while driving cross country. In the bag there was also a commemorative glass mug and a tea shirt that had a photo of Mo and I printed on it from a past parade. Interestingly enough, today I was wearing the same color shorts and top and sunglasses as in the photo!
There was little angst about anything including remembering the music and keeping the energy going and up high. Thank God the weather cooperated. It felt just so good to be driving through neighborhood streets with people sitting on their front lawns waving and happy to see us again after so many years. A woman by the name of Michelle was there, she had been at my first performance on the truck ever, in 1987. She took me out to lunch afterwards and we spent a few hours in friendship. It was an accomplishment, the goal of getting across country successfully to be in this parade while on the Traveling Piano's Final Cross Country Tour.
July 4, 2021
We are on the run! Took the truck to a park to clean it and limber my fingers for tomorrow and the interactions with people began. Mo is really happy. I'll tell you why. It is because I am really happy! We are having fun. It takes effort but is worth it. Happy 4th of July! I had my hotdogs and buns and pickles and deviled eggs and butterscotch krimpets and am ready to turn the music in my room really loud once it gets dark so Mo does not freak out from firework blasts.
July 3, 2021
In the last week the amount of time spent in rain has been 3x's more then all of the last 6 years combined. I'm not complaining but it is a huge shift in life experience. I am decompressing today and cannot seem to let my body relax from the last week of travel. I sort of do not know what to do with myself. For the last week 100% of my focus has been on driving, finding a room to stay in and getting enough sleep. The focus has been so strong and needed... that one day I forgot to eat. I drove through intense rain several times, had the tire blow out in Kansas, needed an overnight truck repair, was in several traffic backups one was over 60 miles in bumper to bumper traffic.
Between the rain downpours today I just had to go find out if the piano was going to work as everything was thrown around and soaked from rain and splashing water. The piano works and is awesome. It is a new piano, so needed and I had to make sure I could adjust my playing for it. But there is something even better! I am staying in a fairly upscale area and pulled into an empty corporate parking lot to see if I can put out the energy and sound needed for Monday's 4th of July parade... and this guy comes walking through the area, the first person I meet here on the east coast and in this neighborhood... he's living on the streets. People who have been with me online for the past few years know the significance of that!!! To share musical fun, friendship, respect, validation, reassurance and manifest the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of each other with someone living on the streets... and with no agenda to get something in return, in my old home town area of Philly... I am so happy I could cry!
I went to the supermarket last night to find that the food here in Philadelphia is at least 25% higher in price than in Las Vegas! As I was walking through the aisles I was looking for sandwich fixins' and asked the clerk where the pickles were. He said, "the barrel pickles are to your right." BARREL PICKLES! I was looking everywhere to find them last month in Las Vegas with no result. Next... when I lived in Philly I had an obsession for Herr's Cheese Twists until the company began to price gouge to a point that they we're no longer worth my buying. We'll, I saw them and the price decreased by almost half. What a find that was, only on the east coast. And also, Turkey Hill Ice cream can be found everywhere but not Chocolate Marshmallow my favorite, only in Philadelphia. Then I saw my childhood favorite Tastycakes... again only in Philadelphia. The hoagie rolls for sandwiches cannot be beat and as well the seeded rye, the best in my opinion... from Philadelphia.
July 02, 2021
Ha, we are not in the desert anymore that is for sure. The photos I'm posting for today are from when we first began this Final Cross Country Tour. We are in Philadelphia! Yes, we made it!!! We came in during rush hour so Goggle Maps took us the fastest route which was through all back roads full of winding roads with clean, groomed and cared for properties. Oh, how good that felt to be in after so long a time. At first it was all surreal and then a reality of happiness came over me to be here, I am not exactly sure as to why. It just feels good. It also felt good to avoid the toll roads like the rip off Pa Turnpike that charges over a hundred fifty bucks to use as an out of state rider. They no longer take cash so they can bill you 56% more than the toll rationalizing the processing needed via mail. The truck needed no cleaning once we arrived both inside under the tarp as well as outside. So much water running through it cleaned everything. A lot of the paint pealed off. It looks like the result of acid rain. I hope not. It was great to have my phone plugged into a truck lighter USB adaptor but did not know that destroys the recharging aspect of the phone. Oh well, stuff happens. Also I was able to hookup bluetooth to a speaker and listen to my Gyatri Mantra through my phone while driving. That is a mantra for gratitude. The room I have to stay in is GREAT!
July 01, 2021
Morgantown, West Virginia
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this journey! You can contribute via Venmo at 215 639 9378 and you can contribute through the contribution link on this website. Contribute through Facebook here: Traveling Piano Facebook Fundraiser and through GoFundMe: Traveling Piano GoFundMe Fundraiser or PayPal Direct: Danny Kean Everything is as lush and green as anyone can imagine. The green is translucent, the air hot and muggy with bugs everywhere and with the diversity of trees I think the fall colors here on the east cost will be the best of my lifetime. It began with green rolling hills about 40 miles outside of Topeka, Kansas. I thought I was hearing voices in the greenery, the feeling of the air is very familiar. Riding through small old towns like Flintstone, Maryland all in trees and hills, it made the some days of six hours of continuous, incessant pounding, the torrential downpours all worth it. I really was not thinking whether anything has been worth it or not as I just have been focused on getting to Philadelphia with the truck.