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Showing posts from November, 2013

Every once in while, I do something right ....

I was assigned turkey cooking duties this year by my wife and eldest daughter.  My last attempt at doing a whole turley did not go that well.  Edible ... but I had trouble keeping the Big Green Egg at a constant  temp. I know I could have done better.Just 4 people for dinner this year ... so we picked out a turkey breast.I fired up the Egg .... and got it right for once.Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Count your blessings today as many times as you can. And then count them again tomorrow. And again the next day and the next day and the next day . . . God's grace still amazes me ... ><>

SCORE . . . it pays to walk through a Half-Price Books . . .

I had taken a box of books to our local Half-Price Books.  I didn't want any money for them.  Just a box of books I had no interest in reading that were taking up space on the floor in our study.

So, after dropping off the books . . . just a very quick walk over to the music section . . . just a very quick scan because we had things to do and errands to run.

BAM!  Could it be . . . no way!

WAY!

A paperback copy (1975 - OUT OF PRINT) of The Folk Songs of North America by Alan Lomax.

Best $20 I've spent in a while.

If you are a collector of American Folk Music books and memorabilia, or a public or private school music teacher, or music historian or folklorist (perhaps a couple such people read this blog, one can hope) . . . you no doubt share in my joy!  Yes folk music collectors and teachers . . . there are some copies of this book still out there.

If you don't know anything about folk music history and folklore . . . then you are scratching your head wondering why I am ha…

Lean on me . . . seriously . . .

This past Tuesday evening, I provided entertainment for our Be Our Guest meal.  This is a formal sit down dinner we serve to  those in our community who wish to attend.

A great meal . . . served by some of the best volunteers ever.

I closed my song set (quietly singing in the background), I started the song "Lean on Me."

No big deal . . . except that it's one of the favorite songs for about half of our volunteers, who broke out in dancing and singing the song with me.

Several tables of people eating also broke out in song.

A great way to end and evening . . . a bunch of people singing together . . .

Lean on me
When you're not strong
I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long 
'till I'm going to need
Somebody to lean on . . .

To a lot of people in that room . . . those words describe how they are trying to live their lives.

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

Call me a goon . . . but I learned something important when I last visited Branson, MO

Today I performed for the sweet folks at the South Colleyvine Ranch retirement facility.  I have  regular gig there every 3rd Monday of the month.

The folks there really enjoy a "show."  

With that in mind, I always take into consideration what I learned attending music shows in Branson, Missouri.

Every music show there (pretty much) includes:

-Rock-n-Roll songs
-Country Western songs
-Folk Songs
-Patriotic Songs, and
-Gospel songs.

If you are singing to a group of "seniors" (I will leave you to define the ages related to that term) you need to remember to include songs from each of the above categories.

And . . . put some life into it!

Crack a joke (a clean joke still gets big laughs).

Tell a story.

SMILE!

In the end . . . sing the best that you can. 

The outcome of all this is two-fold.

1)  You see a lot of smiles and hear a lot of laughter, and . . .

2)  You get asked to return!

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

Starting to get "Holiday" busy . . .

I am sure glad that Liz and I were able to take some time off in October.  It's "Holiday Time" hear at the church . . . meaning I will start having a lot of extra events on my calendar through the rest of November and all of December.

Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter are truly the two busiest times of our church year.

Along with extra meetings, worship services, and various Christmas parties, it's also the time I take a look at my winter 2014 calendar.

Why?

Well, it's time to work some singing back into my schedule with the Hugwork's guys at various children's hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

I would have figured, years ago, that the older I got, the less busy I would be.

Not the case.  Not the case at all.   I'm busy . . . and to be honest . . . I like it.

Since my return home from Philmont/New Mexico this summer, I believe I've been doing some of my best work in several years.  I believe my focus on important things has been much more c…

We are all of the nature to change . . .

Sometimes I am contacted by area funeral homes to either officiate or sing at the chapel or grave side services of people I don't know . . . and because of their deaths, will never get to meet.  I honestly try to accommodate all such requests if my calendar allows it.  I guess it helps to have a great relationship with all the area funeral homes, and I do.  They all know that when I come, it's to serve those who are grieving.  It has little to do with me.
Most of the people I lead funeral services for  . . . are "old."

There really isn't any better way to put it.  They were old.  People who had lived long lives. Most died with families or friends by their side.

A few died alone. 
At times I sit with someone when death draws near, at their request or at the request of their family.  Doing so would make some people uncomfortable, I guess.  I find it something I seem "wired" to do, able to do, willing to do.   I listen to them breath. I hold their hand. …