Leonard Pitts April 3 column was, once again, stellar. I have a list of heroes on my wall. Mr. Pitts is on that list. Here are the names of some of the others:
Harriet Tubman (she is my number one hero of all time)…I can’t believe we don’t have a National Holiday dedicated to this most amazing, courageous human being
Sir Ken Robinson
Jamie Lee Curtis
When you have time, look them up and learn about these folks. I’ll post more names later on sometime.
And, now, a breakdown of my continuing, unfolding journey:
APRIL 6, SUNDAY
Drove to Dallas after church (Lily was an acolyte this morning.) I had called my dear friend, Cyndy Goodman, who is a creative wunderkind…I first met her when she and Gregori Paul designed my clothes for “Shortstop”, and we have been fast friends ever since….so, I called Cyndy to see if she’d want to have some hang time with Lily, and she was thrilled…so, I asked Lily if she’d like to pal around in Dallas with Cyndy and her dog, Gabby, shopping or sewing or going to museums for girl time, and she said “YES!” So, after church, off we head to Big D, me and Lily….We had a great time listening to Aimee Mann and Stevie Wonder on the drive. It was fun listening to Little Stevie play his harmonica in front of throngs of screaming girls and switching to moody Aimee talk about Jacob Marley’s chains….We sang…didn’t talk much on the first part of the journey. But on the way home, it was a different story! We were listening to the news, when we decided to turn off the radio and just sing sing sing. So, Lily and I were singing song after song, and she carries the tune and I sing the harmonies, and then we went off on making up on our songs…I’d sing a few lines, then she’d sing a few lines, and then we’d find our way to a chorus together. I get so thrilled when we share these moments together. I can’t tell you how cool it is to hear our voices together, to hear her confidence, to listen to the places her heart and voice and mind take her. It is so so so inspiring! And, then, out of the blue, Lily says, “Name any of your songs. I can sing them all!” and I said, “What?”
as I’m driving up I-35, happy as a clam. She laughed, “I’m your biggest fan, you know. I have all your records!” We started laughing, so I started testing her, and my goodness, she DID know almost every song I threw at her…and not only did she know the melodies and words, but I could sing the harmonies to those, too! We sang the songs I wrote for her from “Newborn”, and I told her the story of holding her on stage at Kerrville and singing in front of the thousands of people who kept their word, who didn’t applaud after I sang her back to sleep in my arms in front of a mic singing “It’s Alright…” and then Lily sang “It’s Alright” and I got a chill, imagining her at Kerrville, singing that very song in the spot where I had sang it so long ago. Wouldn’t that be miraculous? Life
explodes with so many surprises!
In Dallas, I sang at a benefit concert for the East Dallas Community School at Poor David’s, which was packed!, while Lily and Cyndy went over to the Deep Ellum Arts Fest and had fun poking through handmade art and jewelry. After the show, I realized as I was signing picture-cards for all the SUPER AWESOME kids that I didn’t have a way to also sell cds, but no worries! The parents created an honor system and dropped money in a box as they took cds. This is the life I cherish and depend upon, where everyone works together in the spirit of love. So, a shout out to David Card for a jubilant afternoon.
APRIL 5, SATURDAY
Woke up at 5 a.m. in Oklahoma City in a Super 8 hotel that smelled like cigarettes. They didn’t have any non-smoking rooms. I had forgotten what hotels used to smell like in my early days of touring! Ooh, that stale smell was in everything: my backpack, my clothes, my hair… but you know, good for the soul to experience everything with eyes wide open, nostrils shut! Ha ha.
Anyway, showered and got dressed, had a delicious bowl of oatmeal at the Denny’s next door, got the rental car back, realized I needed gas, told them I’d be right back, drove down to the 7-11, filled up with gas while a man with a broken down car came over and started telling me how his mother was sick and he needed money to fix the car and so I gave him $10 and wished him well but then he started encroaching into my space, asking for more, getting a little too close, and it was still dark outside and no one else was at the gas pumps, the clerk inside had his back to us, and I felt myself get larger than life inside, I felt myself get a tad angry, and I told him I wished him well but that I could do no more at the moment and to please be on his way. I realized later, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten mad at someone who needed my help, but my internal voice was saying, “Look out! Be wise!” and that was the voice I was going to listen to. Still, I had to think about it as I was driving the car back, and I was grateful for the ability to want to help, but grateful, too, that the animal instinct/ the voice of God can guide us if we only listen.
Got on the plane back to Austin and arrived by my trusty old van, Martha, at the doorsteps of St. John’s United Methodist for my first event of the day, making music and sharing love as part of Paula D’Arcy’s inspirational workshop. This was good good good. From the moment I walked in, there was Bobbi Kaye, resplendent in turquoise glasses and matching shirt, the ever-smiling and present minister of the church. We were instantly engaged in whispers and I was catching up on what I had missed, got my guitar tuned up and headed in to the giant sanctuary, listened to some of Paula’s hopeful/helpful message, broke for lunch with friends, and returned to sing the first part of my two parts with a fantastic group of people. Many tears and happy hearts, singing and holding and even dancing. I hope Paula and I can take this workshop around the country; I think we were an excellent team. Paula’s trademark is a bright, red cardinal. They were everywhere around the church; I like that idea, of having something waiting around the bend that represents a part of yourself, to remind others of the purpose of the day. That was neat!
Got home around 4:30, after picking up some Slurpees for the girls on the way home (cherry/coke mix, of course), and I was feeling zonky. Laid down on the bed and fell into a nice slumber.
Like a bear. A sleepy, blonde bear. Woke up to the girls bouncing a volleyball against the wall of the house. Popped up and had some yummy leftovers from Mr. Natural, combed my hair, started gathering more cds and drove over to the Green House Concert, iolana in the backseat. She played with Georgia while I entertained in the Greens lovely home. At the end of the evening, iolana and Georgia came up and joined me on “stage”, and I handed the mic over to them so THEY could sing to and with the audience. It was a very merry way to end the day. iolana and Georgia then proceeded to ask anyone who was standing near by if they would like autographs, so they were busy signing away as I packed up my gear.
After io was in bed, I curled up on the couch with Lance and we watched some Saturday Night Live. I really liked the skit on “Laser Cats”. I think the show is really getting back to it’s original silliness and creative expansion. I had bought “Rolling Stone” that day because Chris Rock was on the cover, so I was in a festive mood for some more comedy. I looooooooooooooooooooooove Chris Rock. This will sound odd, but he has always reminded me of my sister, physically and in energy. If you knew my sister, you’d know what I mean!
APRIL 4, FRIDAY….BRAD HOWES’ BIRTHDAY AND BRAD, I DID NOT SEND YOU A CARD…YET…BUT HAPPY BIRTHDAY…ALSO, I THINK IT WAS MARK MURRAY’S BIRTHDAY. THANKS FOR ALL THE GOOD WEATHER, MARK!
Woke up to go see Turner Falls with Larry and Jean Lyon, the folks who had brought me up for the concert in Davis, OK. I started my morning by laying in one of the most comfortable beds of all time at La Ville Inn, which I insist you stay at next time you happen to find yourself in Davis. It is a bed and breakfast build inside what used to be a house of ill repute, plunk in the heart of the main street , across from the bank and the Mexican restaurant. And, of course, all the little antique/junk shoppes you could hope to find! (Didn’t get to peruse any of those, sadly.) After I got out of bed, I took a bath in a giant whirlpool/jacuzzi. Each room has one! Downstairs, Larry and Jean were kind enough to sit and listen to a new song I had started, and then Larry sang two of his songs for me. Then we all went to a diner down the street that has been in Davis since 1937. It was like being inside a boat with gianormous handmade creme pies on the counter! Off to Turner Falls, and how beautiful/relaxing the walk to the falls was….There was a cave, too, but I didn’t crawl/walk up through the underbrush to get to it…Heard the history of the abandoned castles and how Gene Autry had filmed around the falls. Larry knows a lot of interesting history! I heard about a flying squirrel and two owls fighting and some giant rats and wild pigs when we went to see the Lyon’s land they have purchased. It was there I saw a bright, red cardinal sitting a top a dead tree, bold against the morning’s blue sky. It stuck in my mind….
Drove over to a retirement home where I sang for a room full of beautiful, elderly folks in wheelchairs. I mixed up old standards with some of my songs, and met Mr. Winkers (a kind old man who would wink at me whenever I sang his way!), and the Mayor of Davis, and Sonny, who just couldn’t wait to get a hug…and another one!…oh, and just one more! Ok, Sonny, here…let me give you a hug! And Melba…and Norma….and Ruth….and Danny….and, oh, so many sweet souls with so many stories to tell. Just waiting for hugs and kisses and time together with family or friends.
I love music therapy….I really love what it can bring to someone’s waiting, expectant heart. I hope when I am old that I have many youngsters come sit and listen, talk and laugh with me, too.
In fact, if you’re not doing anything this afternoon, stop by a local retirement/assisted living home, and see what love you can share, even if only for 30 minutes. You will be giving more than you know…and, hey! You might strike up a new relationship with a very fascinating person!
Said my thank yous/goodbyes to Larry and Jean, and drove on back to OKC, where I checked into my hotel and then headed over to the Blue Door, just in time for soundcheck with Melissa Greener, who sounded absolutely lush and lovely! I was really happy because the room filled up and the Easterlings came, and Otis, and Kari, and Dino did a great job (as always!) with the sound, and Greg Johnson (owner) was in a hilarious, jolly mood. I just adore him! And the feel in the Blue Door is one of such friendliness, family. Really a swell time. I sang my heart out and Roger Osborn brought his daughter, Meagan, and she was turning 14, so we sang to her, and I also made a fool of myself answering a woman’s cell phone, thinking it was her husband, so I made up a song for him, pretending to be who I thought was his wife, but it turned out as I handed the phone back to the woman that it was her SON on the other end of the line, so we all had a long laugh over that one! Whoo!
Roger taped this all. I would love to hear my embarrassment leaking through the headphones on that one!
Melissa came up and joined me at the end, and we all sang and shared some love/music. Ah, happiness!
THURSDAY, APRIL 3
Got the girls off to school, finished packing and checking emails….Man, I am so behind on email. It is ridiculous. I don’t know how people do it.
Anyway, got to Fastpark, left my car, got to Southwest, checked my guitar and cd bag, got in to the terminal and bought the paper. (Oh! By the way! I’ve been a vegetarian for four days now. iolana and I decided we don’t want to animals anymore. So, we are supporting one another in our quest.)
Got to Dallas, changed planes, got to OKC, got my bags and my rental, got on the road to Davis for my gig at La Ville Inn, listened to XM radio the whole way there. Wow. I had no idea! I listened to four or five comedy stations, talk radio galore, all kinds of music (does “The Loft” play my music, I wonder?) Anyway, most of the comedy was really foul, but then I found Ellen DeGeneres and Andy Griffith, and they were both very, very funny.
Got my gear inside the inn just in the knick of time (my plane had been delayed in Dallas). Ran upstairs, freshened up and tuned the guitar, came back downstairs to walk onto the stage and started singing away. This is a nice room, forty foot ceiling with a balcony, holds maybe 50-60 people, like a giant open living room with tile. The event raises money for local charities, pays the artist a little bit of money, but provides a gorgeous B & B room and free dinner/breakfast, and I sold a lot of cds. Tatiana was special…a 12 year old girl with a huge smile and I ended up signing about 7 or 8 photo cards for all her friends…met Mr. Jones, who sells handmade jewelry, and was also very smiley, and all the folks were really attentive/responsive. I met several angels who I hugged and talked with in quiet, reverent tones. I am always amazed and astounded when angels appear at my shows…..