Archive for May, 2013

The Day After Friday

May 11th, 2013 17 comments

Just a quick one here… A giant rainstorm came in yesterday and we completely lost power at the Fur Peace Ranch. The guys and gals in KIrchen’s Electric Pickin’ class showed a lot of intestinal fortitude and did what they needed to do unplugged. Bill Nershi was dealing with acoustic players and I’m working on songwriting so we were OK by candlelight. There was ground to ground lightning, high winds… the whole ball of wax. When I hit the sack last night about 2330 I was thinking about calling Bedrock Rentals this morning and seeing about getting a big generator out to the Station, but fortunately, the power came back about 0400 this morning. I’ve got a couple of little 7800 watt generators so the kitchen and the walk in freezer stay on but they’re not enough to run the Station or the workshops. I’d sure like to have one those Ingersoll Ranch monsters. We’ll see.

Still pouring… gotta walk the dog and head over to the Ranch. Izze has Brownies, a birthday party and some sort of function at the Dairy Barn. With a show tonight at the Station, Nessa has a real Mom Day ahead of her.

Into the fray…

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The Day Before Friday

May 9th, 2013 12 comments

Today, our lovely daughter Israel Love made the big move from Daisy Scouts to being a Brownie. Whoah! In three weeks, Schools in the Ohio school system will be out for Summer Vacation and there will be camps galore for the kids. Music camp, theater camp, wildlife camp, swimming camp you name it camp. It seems like the kids get out early here, but they’re back in August so it all works out. Yeah, yeah… I know it’s been said before, but they grow so fast and as my dear old Dad used to say with a wag of his head, ‘We are too soon old, and too late smart!’ Words of wisdom from the old boy… may he rest in peace. he also used to say, ‘Why are there so many more horse’s asses than there are horses?’ Point well taken.

This weekend teaching at the Fur Peace Ranch is myself, (doing a song writing class), Bill Kirchen, bless his pea pickin’ heart, and Bill Nershi. Kirchen and I are old buds from back in the day and I got to know Bill Nershi a year or so ago when he was at the Ranch. Helluva picker and a great guy. We’re going to have strum fun this weekend! Click the Strum Fun link and check the video of Eddie Peabody… speaking of pickers!

Saturday night we have a concert at the Fur Peace Station with Glass Harp. We are so excited about this gig. It’s going to be a rocker for sure. Next week I’ll be heading to Boulder to hook up with Jack Casady, Barry Mitterhoff, and Steve Kimock for a gig at the Boulder Theater in Boulder on May 18, 2013. The Boulder Theater is such a beautiful gig and when you throw Steve Kimock into the mix… anything can and probably will happen.

Big smiles! More will be revealed as the weekend progresses.

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Today’s Recovery Thought

May 8th, 2013 90 comments

Hmmm… interesting little dialogue that hunting morels started. I’ve got a couple of comments and they are my own and strictly from my heart. I am going to write this blog once and I am not going to engage in any on line discussions with anyone about any of this. What follows is essentially my experience, strength and hope. If we were at a meeting together it would be a different story but we are not. In any case, to begin.

I find it incredibly interesting and on some levels mystifying that grown adults, many of whom are my age or close to it, look back on their partying years with euphoric recall. There is no question that I am the man I am today because of the choices that I have made over the course of my life. Obviously, if there were do-overs in life I might or might not have done things differently. Probably not… The totality of my experience has shaped me as a person every step of the day.

Back in the late fifties and early sixties, my first forays into the world of mind altering substance had heavy shamanistic overtones. In the spirit of Aldous Huxley, they were doors to perception. I must that I went from seeking a view of the other side, to just looking at the person next to me and saying, ‘I’m fuuuuucked up!’ while everyone nodded appreciatively. And so it progressed. Have a nice day.

From my point of view, there is no possible way to discuss alcoholism, addiction and recovery with earth people. If you’re not one of us, there’s no way you could possibly understand. In my opinion, that’s why a twelve step program like AA works. It’s a drunk, helping a drunk. The doctors sitting on the couch don’t know shit. Someone who doesn’t understand why a recovering alcoholic would be grateful to be an alcoholic is not an alcoholic. Why should they understand? It doesn’t concern them.

I hear babbling about religious cults. Give me a friggin’ break. Religion is for people that are afraid of Hell. Spirituality is for those of us who have been there and don’t want to go back. Our sobriety is based on the meticulous maintenance of our spiritual condition. You want to know more? Read the Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous and don’t be put off by the dated language. It was written in the late 30’s.

The thought that just because someone has financial resources makes it easier to become a junky or a drunk is absurd. When I was out there, I had street friends who had thousand dollar a day habits and they were homeless. The disease of addiction is no respecter of sex or status.

It is important to me to always try to keep myself ‘right sized.’ There is nothing whatsoever special about me, my life, my problems, or my blessings. My job is certainly more interesting and rewarding than the one I had in 1959 when on an Antioch co-op job I worked at the Department Of Health, Education and Welfare in the Division of Air Pollution as in Informations Specialist, Junior Grade. I passed the Civil Service Exam and everything. I could type over a hundred correct words a minute. If I’d stayed in the government, I could have been retired a long time ago. Good times.

That wasn’t my path though. Being a writer and a musician as well as an entertainer is a great gig. It’s part of who I am, but it’s not everything that I am. Being a recovering drunk has been no easier or harder for me than if I had been a truck driver, which had music not called to me was what I really wanted to do. Early on I was told, ‘Jorma, you’re going to have to change everything but your name.’ I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but I do now. It’s a simple program, but it’s not easy. It’s a program of action… it takes work and the work is never done. Our goal is to be happy, joyous and free. What more could you want. If you can’t be happy, who cares whether you’re sober or not. Sad to say, even though the statistics are vague, it looks as if barely 15% make it. Remember, the disease of alcoholism is cunning, baffling, powerful and though it’s not in the book… patient. Remember one ‘Aw shit, wipes out twenty attaboys.’

Why did I feel called upon to write today’s blog. I guess I’m just casting my bread upon the waters. I truly mean no disrespect to my friends who have spent time with their thoughtful comments on my blog. That said, as always there is opinion… that’s OK. But there is also misinformation and that is not.

I thought the discussion about Mick Taylor was interesting in its pointlessness. How could one know what he did or thought. Does one think he cleaned up when he left the Stones? Does it matter? Is it your business? Who cares what Keith Richards thought.

There is nothing glamorous about alcoholism or drug addiction. It destroys all in its path. It shatters lives and destroys families. It is progressive and relentless. If left untreated it leads to death, institutions or jail.

A final note. I don’t care if people drink or do drugs. It’s not my business. I don’t like dealing with people when they are high because I believe that nothing they say means anything. That’s how it was for me… but that’s OK. As for pot. Legalize it, tax it make some money and a zero tolerance for driving high. It’s not an issue for me. I probably wouldn’t vote one way or the other on it. Some years ago at the Fur Peace Ranch, some guy engaged me in a discussion on substance abuse. “Hey man, no one in the State of Ohio has had more DUI’s than I and still drives.’ ‘What’s your point?’ I said. He went on. ‘I think smoking pot and getting high makes me more creative.’ ‘Look,’ I said. ‘It hasn’t always been this way for me, obviously, but here’s how it is today’ I went on. ‘Aside from the fact that getting high on anything today will kill me, think about this. Wrap a belt around your arm like a tourniquet. When your hand gets numb, jerk off. It’ll feel like someone else is doing it. That’s what getting high means to me.’

Nuff said!

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Looking Back… Thinking Of Today

May 3rd, 2013 52 comments
Ian Buchanan... my teacher and mentor... with unkown beauty

Ian Buchanan... my teacher and mentor... with unkown beauty

Happy Traum sent me this picture. Ian Buchanan, of course, is long dead… but in this picture he will be forever young. Without his mentoring I would not be the musician and man I am today. Thanks Ian.

I love my music and I love playing it for people… but I also love enjoying life here in the country when I’m not on the road. As for Morels… soak them over night, split them, bread them with egg and flour and cook them in butter. Yummy!

A man, his daughter and his four wheeler... pole barn in the background.

A man, his daughter and his four wheeler... pole barn in the background.

We’ve been getting a lot done and that’s good, because on any farm, there’s always a lot to do. I’ve got an old Toro Wheel Horse garden tractor… its about seventeen years old but I love it. It’s small compared to a real tractor but it weighs about seven hundred pounds. We were just putting up some new fence today and after it was done I thought I’d get a jump on the mowing. Saturday is mowing day and I’ve got about twelve acres to do. Of course I got the tractor stuck in the run off from an old spring, but the four wheeler pulled it out.

Me, Maverick and Izze at  dinner

Me, Maverick and Izze at dinner

Yes folks… we’re building BLT’s with Challah… the way it was meant to be.

Maverick, the big dog

Maverick, the big dog

I’ve had many, many dogs over the years, but I think Maverick (the boxer/doodle) is literally the pick of the litter. He’s loving, obedient, and large so that when he barks when someone comes up the driveway, it’s a real attention getter!

I’ll be mowing and weed whacking all day tomorrow while Vanessa, izze and the gang from the Fur Peace Ranch clean up the two mile stretch of highway we adopted down here in Meigs County. You wouldn’t believe the stuff people through out of their windows but don’t get me started.

Nuff for now… early to bed and early to rise!

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