Friday, September 6, 2019
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
FUN ON THE ROAD
We've been stuck in a lot of dumps,
but we don't want to talk about those today.
Over morning coffee (noon), I asked Misty this:
"All in all, what do you think were the best places we've stayed or played,
like apartments, houses, motels, gigs, and so on?"
She said "That's easy" and named three.
The Sea Palms at Saint Simon's Island provided the best accommodations,
and one of the weirdest jobs of our career, so far.
St. Simon's sits in the blue Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brunswick Georgia.
The booking came with a luxury apartment overlooking a small river.
Tropical flowers, trees and shrubs were trimmed neatly,
and the riverside grass was like a putting green.
Misty liked to sit in the grass and watch the ducks.
One particular duck liked to sit with her.
It moseyed up to her one afternoon,
quacked a few pleasantries, sat by her, tucked in its feet,
puffed up a little, and remained there as long as Misty would stay.
The job was for just us as a duet,
but we had all our keyboards and sounded like a big band.
Nobody knew who owned the place, and a rumor started that Misty and I did.
The lounge manager asked me if it was true,
and I said "Shhh. I can't talk about it."
Within an hour everybody thought we were the secret owners,
and we became royal hosts of a month-long party.
Everybody had fun and we got paid for it.
Another place that is on the top of our list was Key Colony Beach.
The place was called a "boatel", like a motel for boats,
and was situated in the between Key Largo and Marathon, Florida.
The apartments were built on pilings, like a long pier.
Ours was the last apartment, way out in the ocean.
Porpoises played outside our big windows,
and when the tourist fishing boats would come in at sunset,
hoards of seagulls and pelicans would gather noisily,
for the leftover fish that was tossed overboard.
The Steinway grand piano in the dining room was still upside down,
the way Hurricane Donna had left it.
When a bunch of guys turned it right side up for Misty,
it played beautifully.
In the restaurant/lounge we had our five piece band.
At the entrance there was a huge decorative champagne glass
that bubbled as long as it was plugged in.
Nobody in our band drank, so when customers would buy us cocktails
we'd dump them in the fake champagne glass.
We thought it continually brought in new bubbly water, but it didn't.
Soon there were swirling orange peels, olives, and other garbage,
and the imitation champagne was taking on a peculiar color.
When we realized our mistake we tried to look innocent.
The owner was a nice guy and never brought it up.
Our drummer made friends with the chef,
and smuggled out a couple of live lobsters to take to his apartment.
They were tied up and handcuffed, or whatever they do to lobsters,
so, in a hurry, Roy stashed them on the bumper of his car,
which was parked in a dark place.
They either escaped or were stolen,
and Roy cursed the lousy crooks
who would stoop so low as to steal his stolen lobsters.
One foggy summer night we got lost
and checked into a lodge on top of the mountain at Lake Arrowhead.
We got up the next morning,
pulled the cord on the drapes that covered a whole wall,
and they opened onto a huge picture window.
Outside, the mountain forest was covered in two feet of new snow,
without a sign of life, except for some rabbit tracks by our window.
The most beautiful real-life Christmas card we've ever seen…
in California…in June.
I may have told you all this before, but we wanted to hear it again.
Monday, August 12, 2019
Autumn is my favorite time of year a season of moods.
The first chill after summer has worn out its welcome...
That's when I start to feel the holidays coming on.
Not that we do any big celebrating these days
but it's the remembering of celebrations past,
and those who were with us during good times.
The empty places at our table.
I write more songs during the remnants of the year
when emotions are nearer to the surface,
the past is just over our shoulder,
and old voices whisper in our ear.
ONE WINTER, when it was minus 35 degrees and windy in Minnesota,
Misty and I stayed in a cement floor cabin on a lake shore.
I heard what sounded like whale sounds.
It was the frozen lake groaning as it expanded.
We had recently had such bad times
that we were thankful to be there with friends close by at Christmas.
We didn't mind the cold.
When we played Walt Disney World
Roy Clark and Hank Williams, Jr. were at the ends of the park,
and we were at the center stage.
We were assigned a guide for the day. He looked 12 years old.
Misty thought he was a boy and called him honey and sweetie,
and he liked it.
Turns out he was a Disney Vice President.
He must have started out as a duck and worked his way up.
After a week's shows at Atlanta's Chastain Park Amphitheater,
Boots Randolph threw a party for the artists.
Later in the party, there was some excitement going on at the ballroom door
when medics rushed in with a stretcher.
Roy Clark grinned, raised his glass, and said goodbye to everybody.
Then he made himself comfortable on the stretcher,
and was carried out to the ambulance.
He was late and had a plane to catch.
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the park,
One trailer was leaky and covered with tarp.
On the wall were two cards where you taped them up.
By the light of a candle I poured us a cup.
Our tree on the table was scrawny and thin...
A foot and three quarters of plastic and tin.
The carolers sang on our clock radio,
It's the thought, after all, that counts, as you know.
The snow on the window, the smell of the pine,
Were sprayed from a can, but we didn't mind.
No money, no shopping, no last minute rush.
Christmas with love is Christmas Enough.