Sunday, April 24, 2016

Prince ...

I have never really been a Prince fan, but one cannot discount that he was a great musical artist.  I do like this video where he played guitar with others for the song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  Awesome.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Thank you Crowley Nursing Home . . .

Thanks to the folks at the Crowley Nursing Home for letting me come sing this past Thursday.  I "passed" the audition, and will begin singing their at least once a month (3rd Thursday afternoon at 2pm) beginning in May.  

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Friday, April 8, 2016

Singing to Senior Adults: #3 - What to being with you . . .

What do you bring with you when you sing for seniors?   My list is not that long, and I have links to a lot of these items in the link column on the right side of this blog page.

First . . . bring YOU!  Sounds simple.  Actually is sounds silly.   If you are a solo performer, then be sure to make every effort to show up a few minutes early.  Setting up to sing for senior adults seldom takes me more than 5 minutes, even with tuning.  Be on time and be prepared.  Be dressed appropriately for the venue and for the event.

Second . . . bring your instrument!  Yeah, it sounds simple, and even a bit silly.  There are several times in my singing history where I have showed up in a rush to get to the venue, and I brought the wrong guitar . . . which is always the one that has a broken string, or needs a fret job, etc.  The time to check your instrument is BEFORE you arrive at the venue.

Third . . . you need music!   OK, there are several options here.  If you have all your music memorized (and bless you if your mind favors this approach) then you are good to go. I have memorized quite a few songs: however, I do not sing every day.  Sometimes I need to have the song in front of me. If nothing else, it gives me 
the the confidence to quickly glance for the word or guitar chord that I might be forgetting.

When I first started singing, I simply sang from a songbook with the pages marked with post-it notes.  As my song list expanded over time, and my eyes got worse over the years, I began printing out songs on two 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of paper, and brought all the copies with me in a nice 3-ring notebook. The nice thing about printing songs on two sheets that face each other, you can adjust the print size for old eyes.

If you use a songbook or a notebook, then be sure and bring a music stand!  There are no guarantees that any venue where you sing to senior adults will have a music stand.

I made the switch to an iPad about 4 years ago.   Wow!   Now I have EVERY song I know, and some I don't know, at my fingertips. No more heavy 3-ring notebooks!   I use the My Lyric Book app.  In My Lyric Book, you can organize multiple sets of songs, or create a songlist specific to your situation.   I also use an AirTurn BT-105 bluetooth floor pedal, which helps advance the words to the song on the iPad screen.  It can also advance my iPad screen to the next song on the set list!  Great right?  It is . . .  IF you keep the batteries charged on both the iPad and the AirTurn pedal!

If you use an iPad, or another model of tablet computer, then you will need a music stand or a tablet holder attached to a mic stand.  There are countless numbers of tablet holders available.  Lot's of music stores have them, and you can find one to fit your tablet computer on the internet in no time at all. 

Fourth . . . bring the appropriate accessories!  My list is based on my personal preferences.   Your list may be different.  I bring a small back pack in which I carry my iPad and AirTurn pedal.  I have a spare guitar strap, a capo, a couple extra sets of strings, and a winding/string cutting tool.  I bring an electronic tuner, unless my guitar has one installed (like my Martin D-18e Retro).  I bring a couple extra  9-volt or AA batteries for the guitar, and 2023 batteries for the tuners.  I bring extra charging cabels for the iPad and for the AirTurn pedal.  I keep a 12' extention cord in my car to use in case I forgot to charge the iPad or foot pedal.

I always have extra guitar picks with me in a small pick holder attached to my key chain. You want to keep guitar picks handy in your pocket, or in your guitar case.

You will notice that I haven't mentioned anything about amplifiers.  At all venues, I usually play one of my Martin'ss, or one of my Guild jumbos.  My guitars are all loud guitars.  I don't need to strum or pick at them hard to get a good sound.  And . . . my experience is that senior adults, with hearing aides, don't care for amplified music.   I have a voice that projects well, and the venues I play are usually hard walled dining rooms or activity rooms, with hard floors.  I will make an acoustic amp / PA system recommendation in another article ni this series.

So . . . all I carry into a venue is, in one hand, my guitar (in the case).  In the other hand I have my folding mic stand with my iPad holder attached.  Over my shoulder I have my small back pack with my iPad, AirTurn pedal and accessories over my should.  Easy in, easy set-up, easy pack-up, and easy out to my car.

I hope this article gets you thinking about simplifying your set up, especailly if you primarily play the guitar.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Thursday, April 7, 2016

RIP Merle Haggard

As many music minded people already know, the great Merle Haggard died yesterday on the day of his 79th birthday.

The "Mighty Merle" is gone.  There is a hole in the music world today. 

RIP "Hag".

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Singing to Senior Adults: #2 - Treat the first time to sing as an audition.


Part #2 - Treat the first time to sing to senior adults as an audition.

OK . . . you've made a contact, gone and introduced yourself, and you've been placed on the calendar of upcoming events!   Congratulations.

Now what do you do?  Well before you go any further, please understand that singing to senior adults is NOT ABOUT YOU!   It's ALL ABOUT WHO YOU ARE SINGING TO!!!!!

Sorry for the caps, but I wanted to make a point (and no, I wasn't yelling).

I have certain songs that I love to sing.  I have an iPad (more on that later in the series) with the words and guitar chords to over 400 songs I've sung to senior adults over many years. That's all well and good. However, the songs you sing to senior adults need to be the songs that they want to hear and like to hear, or songs that are somewhat similar.

At some locations, all they wanted me to play was gospel music.   At another location, they wanted Elvis songs (yeah, mostly older women . . . I can sing Elvis songs, but I don't look a thing like him).  The people at another location wanted to hear mostly folk music.  Some wanted show tunes.

When senior adults in a nursing home or rehab unit come to hear you sing, they are looking for an escape.  They aren't living in their homes.  They are usually dealing with health issues related directly to their age.  Some will have short-term memory issues.  Many will just plain be lonely.   Learn what kind of songs they want to hear, and include as many as you can over the span of several visits.  In doing so, you provide them a therapeutic time of escape from some of the things they are dealing with.  Giving them a time of musical respite is a wonderful gift.  The issues about life they are facing will be waiting for them.  Perhaps our music helps them see their problems in a different light.

It goes without saying that irst impressions are very important, not to mention the quality of your singing and how well you play your instrument.   So, here is what I have learned to do when singing for the first time, and it works for me very well.

1) I approach the first time I sing for any group as an audition, especially for senior adults.   I will come prepared with several songs in various catagories . . . early rock, old country, gospel, folk, love ballads, show tunes, and even a few fun children's songs.  These will be songs that I can "nail" in just about any situation.

2) I do not take requests the first time I sing.  Rather, I sing to let them know that I can provide a wide selection of music. This is a program that I will be well prepared for, and it will show in the quality of the performance.  My goal is that everyone will have a chance to clap their hands, tap their feet, and sing out loud at least once in the program.

3) I will take mental notes of what songs resonated with those in attendance.  I look for smiles.  I always made the effrot to shake hands with as many people as I can after the program.  I believe that thanking the residents who came is always a good diea. During these conversations, I will listen carefully to their remarks and comments about what songs they liked best, or songs they wished I'd have performed.  When I'm back in my car, I will transfer my mental notes to the little traveller's notebook I have with me at all times.   Those notes then determine my lists of songs for that location that I will have ready in my iPad (again, more on that in a later post).

4) I always thank the residents for letting me sing, and ask them to let the Activity or Life Enrichment Director know if they would like me to come back again.  Now normally, the staff in charge know pretty quickly if they are going to put you on the calendar on a regular basis after just a few songs.  But I always ask the people to vote.  I also encourage them to suggest songs I can sing "if/when" they invite me to return.

5)  It may be my first time to sing, but I do make it a point to dress for the occassion.  I sang for a new local group of seniors this past Saint Patrick's Day.  Yes, I wore green.  They were all wearing green as well!

Perhaps approaching the first time to sing as an audition might not be everyone's cup of tea.  The process works for me. Tuning in to the desires and needs of the "regulars" helps improve the therapeutic quality of the program for everyone.

Treat your first time to a new group of senior adults as an audition.  You will be better prepared, and in a better position to be invited back on a regular basis.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hot off the presses . . .


Larry Dykstra's new book is available through Barnes and Noble and through Amazon.com

Hot off the presses!   A new book about singing as a way of serving . . . and you need to get a copy if you sing to children and/or senior adults as a volunteer.  You also need to get this book if you would benefit from learning more about another persons journey to discover how to serve others.  

Musical Hugs: Succeeding Through Serving, One Song At A Time.

Larry Dykstra, my good friend, music partner and Certified Therapeutic Music Entertainer (TME) mentor/trainer, is the author of this book.  I was pleased to read part of an advanced copy that he sent me by email.  Jim Newton, our good friend and TME mentor/"God Father," dropped off a copy of this book to me this morning.  Thank you Jim!

The book is about one man's dedicated and systematic journey to discover how to serve others through music.   One great take-a-way from this book is how Larry learned to value and then benefit from each of his experiences.  The last chapter, where he sums it all up, is worth the price of the book.  I don't want to give to much away . . . just get the book.  I give it 5 stars, and read it completely through in one setting.  It is well written, and you will find yourself feeling as if you are standing by Larry in each and every situation he faces as a musician and hospital chaplain.  This is a book you will easily connect with.

I have a shelf in my office where I keep a small handfull of books that I read each year.  This book is going on that shelf!

You can purchase your own copy of Musical Hugs by going to the Barnes & Noble website or through Amazon.com.  Click on on either of these links and you should go directly to the page where you will be able to purchase this book with just a few clicks of your mouse.

God's grace, and musical hugs, still amazes me . . . ><>


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Singing to Senior Adults: #1 - Getting yourfoot in the door!


Part 1 - Getting your foot in the door to sing to senior adults
Part 2 - Treat the first ttime to sing to senior adults as an audition.
Part 3 - The basic equipment you need to bring with you.
Part 4 - Giving senior adults the chance to experience emotion through music.
Part 5 - The "Do's and Don'ts" when singing to senior adults.

This blog post is "Part 1" of a series I've wanted to write for some time.  I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to email me your thoughts and questions.

As a result of a recent conversation with our local city manager (all relationships begin somewhere) I was put into contact with the coordinator of our local senior adult activity center.   I went over to introduce myself, and to volunteer to to sing.

Because I am a full-time pastor of a local church, I do not charge a fee when I sing.  Sometimes (Christmas maybe?)  I receive an honorarium.  I either keep it or donate it back to the group. However, I don't go in asking for one.

So, for those interested, here is my usual introduction (face-to-face with another human being), which I've used since I was certified as a Therapeutic Music Entertainer:

Good morning/afternoon!  My name is Pastor Rick and I am the pastor at First United Methodist Church.  As part of my personal ministry and individual service to the community, I VOLUNTEER to sing for senior adults in community centers, retirement centers, and at nursing homes and rehab centers.  I am a certified Therapeutic Music Entertainer, and I bring my own guitar and all needed equipment.  Would the folks here possibly enjoy or benefit from a music show which includes some light comedy and some group sing-a-longs?

And that, my friends, starts the conversation.  For the past 11 years, I have sung regularly for senior adults 3-4 times a month, and this introduction above (and it's earlier form) always seemed to help get my foot through a door. With the exception of one local nursing home, where the activity director and I just seem to always get each others voice mail, I have never been refused.

Something I also mention, if I feel doing so would be received well, that I come to sing as a volunteer.  I am willing to serve as an "on-the-spot" chaplain if needed, but I am a volunteer.  I also will attend volunteer training, and I always agree to participate in a background check if needed.   I've had to go get fingerprinted a time or two.  Such things are not uncommon especially if you are singing in a locked memory care unit.

In other words, it's not about me . . . it's about what I love to do, and those who are blessed or benefit by it.  It's ALWAYS about the people you sing to.  If's about you, then do this for money . . . and best of luck along the way.

So, if you have the desire to reach out in individual ministry or volunteer service by singing/providing music to senior adults, then consider the following list of contacts to make in your area.  I've learned from experience that these are the first phones calls or first-time introductory meetings to schedule:

-Contact the local Senior Adult Activity Center.   Many communities have them, even if you dont know where they are or have never been in one.

-Contact area Senior Adult Day Care Centers.  Again, unless you have been to one, or used their services, you may not even know if there is one in your community.  You don't know until you ask, or go on Google to search.  In smaller communities, this center may use the Senior Adult Acitiviy Center, or they may exist in partnership at different locations.

-Contact the manager at city-owned housing authories.   I sang regularly for residents of a local Housing Authority for 10 years.  I even called their montly bingo games (and got a free pizza lunch as well!)   I also asked, after the relationship had been established,  to mediate some neighbor disputes, provide workshops on how to be better neighbors, conducted a few funerals, and provided some individual counseling on request.

-Contact the Activity Director / Life Enrichment Director of nearby nursing home / rehab centers.  If you sing for free like I do . . . stress that information over and over.  These are great folks, but they equate free with "you must not be very good."  My response is simple, and one that will be proven.  I am a certified therapeutic music entertainer, and I sing a lot better, and more professionally, for free than the guy who comes dressed up as Elvis (who can't sing) who you pay $200 each time they show up.

If you sing to senior adults, you at least need to have the appropriate ego!  I am servant at heart, but free often means the program can be better than expected.

The venues I've listed above are all great places to start the process.  Remember, it's ALL about relationships.  Relationships begin with someone introducing themselves to others who might benefit from a music program.

One last thing about establishing relationships  . . . and that's referrals.  There are times when I do sing for a fee, and the venues where I do often contact me to check on my availability, because they heard something good about me from the folks who work at, or benefited from my volunteer music endeavors.  Being able to say "yes" to some of those invites, lead to other opportunities.

In the next blog in this series, I will write about treating your first time to sing as an audition.  This one approach has served me well, especially if I hopes to added to the locations regular calendar.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Upcoming Changes . . .

I recently posted  that I was thinking about gving blogging a break, or changing the direction of what I blogged about.  Since that time, I have been doing some soul searching of sorts.  I have come to the conclusion, in the process, that I love to write, but have lacked a plan to do so.  The plan is being worked on right now, and I am pleased in the direction it seems to be going.

I know that I don't have it all figured out yet, but I do now know that I want to continue blogging. In fact, I have decided that I want to take blog writing up a notch and expand my audience, and perhaps my sphere of influence as well.  I am wondering if my writing can become a form of mentoring that someone might find of value.

So, as as result of my soul searching, and some personal reseaarch, and on the advice of others who blog more regularly than I do, I have decided that within the next month or so, I will be moving my blog to wordpress.com.  I will post my new domain name / blog address on this site for several months before I take this site down.

I know that in some way I want to continue to write about about being a "stuggling-less-than-part-time-singer-guitarist" because that is what I am.  But as I reach the big "60" in another year, I find that I have some knowledge of a few things that I would like to share with those who might have similar interests, including doing some reviews of people, items, programs that have helped me obtain some needed life balance. That being said, I haven't quite got the exact plan worked out yet.

I am a little amazed at the amount of thought I am putting in to all of this.  I am going to chalk it up to my recent change to a gluten free diet.  It seems that a mental fog has lifted from my mind.  One thing about mental fogs, you don't know you have one until it lifts!!!   That being said, I know that I want to write about things I have used that helped my life and personal / professional ministry become more productive and effective.  Organization and life balance have always been a strong interest of mine, and now I am doing a lot of study on what it means to live more simply as part of the overall process.  Call it experience, or call it maturity, but I believe I have some good information to share.

Hopefully I will have this all figured out soon.  I may try to do two different blogs, but perhaps my focus right now should be on just one, and do it as well as possible, which means several specific hours a week focused on good content.

More to come.  Thanks for the support.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Monday, March 14, 2016

New singing gig . . .

Today our City Manager suggested I contact the Crowley Senior Citizen Center.

I've been here for almost 9 months, and I have spent far too much time in this church building.  I did't even know we had a Senior Citizen Center!

I drove over and met with Ruby, who is the coordinator there.  After a short conversation, I will be singing there this Thursday morning (March 17) at 9:30am.   I treat my first time to sing at any new venue as an audition of sorts, so I will be singing a wide variety of songs in an effort to find what kind of songs the folks there enjoy.  

I am glad I got out of the office and crossed paths with some neat people today!

God's grace still amazes me . . .  ><>

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Field Notes memo books ...

Several of the Field Notes I use on a daily basis. In the middle is my homemade Traveller's Notebook. It will hold up to 6 Field Notes, but I only use 4.  Works for me!
This is a blog article/review about Field Notes Brand 48-page memo books. I've been using several of these memo books every day since January 1st.  I keep 4 of them with me pretty much everywhere I go, and keep them in a little homemade Traveller's Notebook that I put together with some leather I purchased on sale from a nearby Hobby Lobby store.   If you look up Traveller's Notebooks on YouTube, get ready for a ton of videos.  You can purchase them from many resources, or make them yourself.  These are quite the rage among people who travel professionaly and recreationally, and they have found their way into the lives of several professionals who I keep up with on the internet through blogs and videos.

As I mentioned already, I usually carry 4 of these memo books with me at all times.  I have one that I treat as a Common Place Book, where I keep quotes and notes from books I am reading.  The second one is a daily note/memo book where I keep notes, appointments, thoughts when I am away from the office.  The third is my notebook for my daily devotions.  And the 4th is an idea book.  I try to enter at least one idea a week related to my ministry, personal hobbies and family trips and vacations.

So far I've puchased a set of their Cherry Wood (graph paper) memo books, and several sets of their Workman's Companion (a special 6 volume set), as well as some of their regular black covered ones.  I like how they are made, and their durability.  The covers are good, and the paper, for writing with pen, is great.  Yep, I know they are a bit on the expensive side, $9.95 for a set of three, but they are great quality and are American made.  I buy them locally at W Durable Goods in Fort Worth TX, and at Lone Star Lawn Supply in Rendon, TX.  Or go online at www.fieldnotesbrand.com.  The website alone is worth the perusal.

Field Notes won't  fit everyone's needs, but they fit my needs, since I am more of an analog guy than a digital guy.  They have several seasonal series which seem to appeal to collectors.  There are several video's on YouTube pertaining to the creator of Field Notes Brand, Aaron James Draplin of DDC (Draplin Design Company).  He couldn't find what he wanted for use in his design business.  So he made some and gave them to friends. One of the friends, Caudel Partners in Chicago, thought they could make them into a business.  A decade later, they are going strong.

God's grace, and writing things down on paper with a pen or pencil, still amazes me . . . ><>

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A recent trip to Arkansas . . .

My wife and I have just returned from a recent trip to Arkansas, my adopted 2nd home state.

Not sure if Arkansas will ever adopt me, but I have adopted it!

My wife and I spent a few days in our beloved Eureka Springs area, and then I attended a meeting at the Mount Sequoyah Conference and Retreat Center in Fayetteville, where I serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Whenever I travel anywhere with anybody, they soon realize that I love to quietly hum.  It has been pointed out to me that I hum out loud far more than I am aware of.

Really?

Yes, really.

My Mom hums as well.  She is coming in for a visit in a few days.  I bet we could hum together if giving the chance.  Humming in harmony!  It can be done!

Why is it, for some of us, that we make music whenever and wherever we can?  Humming, singing, whistling . . . I am one who could easily believe that life, in and of itself, is a song!   In my Christian tradition, life is supposed to be lived and experienced as an actual act of worship.   Worship for me would always include singing and music.   In fact, I don't mind attending a worship service were there is no sermon (except when I am preaching!!!!!!!!)

But the thought is intriquing . . . my life as a symphony.  It would a diverse piece of music.  The music would have to portray elements of joy and happiness, as well as sadness and sorrow.  The music would have to share the emotions of hope and  defeat.  Some aspect about the music would have to communicate a spirit of overcoming, and the ability to always, given time, trying to get back up when knocked down.

Lastly, the music would have to generate an understanding of life lived as a journey . . . with different stopping and starting points along the way, as well as course changes and corrections.  And finally, the music would have to clearly communicate the long held value of family and friendship, and of having goals and dreams, which become more clear because of maturity and lessons learned.

What kind of music would communicate about your life?   What would your song sound like?

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>




Thursday, February 18, 2016

A new book that will be worth the read . . .

My friend and past musical partner, Larry Dykstra, has a new book which is currently in the print process.

Musical Hugs: Succeeding Through Serving One Song at a Time is the name of the book.  Larry writes about his making a change in his life by singing to children in hospitals.  I got to read an advance copy, and I think it's a great book for anyone determined to make a difference in the lives of other people.  In truth, I took a couple of the same steps that Larry did during my therapeutic music entertainment certification process.  Larry was one of my mentors during that time.  Anyone who sings to others will be able to relate.

This will be a "must read" book for anyone who has ever said out loud, "somebody should do something about this problem," and later realized that the "someone" who needed to act was themselves. 

More info later on where/how to get a copy.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Darn sniffles and allergies . . .

Illness prevented me from singing this week at either of my two normal gigs.  When singing around patients in nursing homes, or to residents of a retirement community, it is a good idea, and just plain common courtesy, to not leave them a gift of whatever you are sick with.  Not much of a gift if you ask me.

Wait a minute . . . .

Ahhhhh . . . choo!

Excuse me.   I hope it's just allergies!

God's grace still amazed me . . . ><>


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's all about balance, balance, and balance . . .


 

Greetings everyone and a Happy Belated New Year!

Question: Why have people already stopped wishing each other a Happy New Year?  There are over 10 plus months left in the year.  I could use some well wishes!  And I figure others can use them from me as well.

You might wonder why I posted a picture of myself (taken on my iPhone . . . ain't I a geek?) holding a new T-Shirt that two of our church members gave me?

Well, it's been explained to me many times that a picture speaks and thousand words.  This picture speaks that and more.  It is a great illustration about why music has not been able to be one of my main focuses since I arrived here at my new church thsi past July.

At my previous church appointment, I was the Senior Associate Pastor (1 of 5 pastors), and as such I only preached about 4-8 times a year on Sunday mornings.  I knew weeks (often months) in advance when I would be preaching.  An example, for 10 years in a row I always preached on the last Sunday of December.

At my new church appointment, I am the ONLY ordained UMC pastor/minister/clergy type person on staff.   That means I am the main preacher for at least 42-45 weeks of the year.  I have already shared the pulpit with other staff who enjoy preaching, as well as some great guest preachers.  

As a result of preaching regularly, I have had to spend a lot of time each week in sermon and worship planning and in sermon preparation.   I have developed a good working system now, thanks in part to great people on our worship staff.  However, crafting a good sermon every week takes time.  There is necessary reading of different Bible translations and Bible commentaries, and note taking (I just love Steadtler Norica HB2 pencils and Cambridge Hardback Spiral Notebooks) as I read. Finally there is putting it all together and typing the sermon on the computer, then printing the sermon, then doing necessary edits . . .

All=in-all, my system is purring along jsut fine.  And therein lies the problem.  The time necessary to prepare good sermons, which IS my main responsbility here, takes from the time I used to spend playing and singing 2-3 times a week, and rehearsing, and learning new songs. 

My past church appointment (of 10 years) allowed me to focus on music as a major part of my commuity and pastoral care ministry.  And I loved it.  I really did.  I think my blog writing showed it.   My current church appointment requires that my main focus must be on sermon preperation, worship planning, vision casting for the future, administering a staff, and providing great pastoral care.  As a result, I only have time to sing at 2 current venues an month (a nursing home and a retirement home).  I believe that I can make the time to sing at one more communtiy venue as well each month, and I plan to get the word out that I am available.  

So, it's both fair and honest to say that this blog of mine is going to change a bit . . . maybe a new title . . .maybe some writing about leadership, time management, and effinciency topics, in addition to some writing about EDC (everyday carry) items that I have found helpful to have with / around me each day.   And, I will continue to post about guitars, singing and therapeutic music entertainment as the mood strikes, which I hope is more often than not. 

It's all about balance . . . but balance takes time to figure out.

What hasn't changed . . . is that God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>


Friday, January 22, 2016

Rest in peace Glenn Fry . . .

News has reached many about the recent death of Eagles founder and leader, Glenn Fry.   His death at 67 came too soon . . . too soon.

I've written before about the many folk artists who have influenced my personal and music life.  I have not written as much about rock music artists who have done the same.

The Eagles are surely an influence on my life and music.  As a teenager and young adult in the 1970's, the Eagles were so often on the charts, and their songs were the songs that we sang and played.  At the forefront as founder and leader . . . was Glenn Fry.   He was not the best singer.  No, that was Don Henley.  He wasn't the best guitarist.  No, that was Bernie Leadon, and Don Felder, and Joe Walsh.

Glenn was the leader.  Don Henley mentions that in commenting after Glenn's death . . . "Glenn was the one who started it all.  He was the spark plug; the man with the plan."

What Glenn also brought to the table was master song crafting, and a knowledge of popular music. He studied why songs became hits on the charts.  Song writing and helping lead a band were things he practiced as a craft.

He is gone from us too soon.  He will be missed.  The tributes about him on YouTube are growing and growing.

That is a good and appropriate thing to happen.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>