1776 D St.

1776 D St.

So I’m trying to get some writing done… yeah, working one what I hope will one day be a book of sorts. I’ve been remiss. What else is new? But here I am today, back in the one consistent place of my youth. Yep. My hometown, the Washington, D.C. area. Why am I here when I could be home in Ohio? Because it is my son Zachary’s high school graduation and here I am with my pals Myron Hart and Phil Jacobs. It’s definitely one of those ‘sweet bird of youth’ moments where one really realizes how delightful yet finite life truly is. My graduation at Woodrow Wilson over on Nebraska Ave. was outside on the field where we drilled with Jr. ROTC. I recollect that my grandparents, Ben and Vera were there since I was living with them that year, but they were my only family. Somewhere I have my diploma. Maybe I’ll be able to find it and take a picture of it. Maybe not. Was I ready for the next step in life? Did I have a life plan. Did college really mean something or was it just what I was expected to do? I don’t know. I’ll have to think on that some more.

What a day!

What a day!

But here, today, I was at Constitution Hall… the DAR hall where Hot Tuna played in 1976. We were banned from returning. I guess either we or the fans or both misbehaved. In any case, I guess they didn’t recognize me. I showed them the ticket Zach gave me, and they let me in.

A proud place to be!

A proud place to be!

Myron and Phil and I found three seats just to the left of exit four on the second tier. The entire Constitution Hall was packed. We got there early. Welcome to my world… so like I said, our seats were great.

1959… I graduated Woodrow Wilson… I can’t remember whether I felt young or old or if none of those things mattered to me at the time. I guess the world was a younger place. My Selective Service Classification was still 1-A, and you know… I didn’t care. Here I am 57 years later… still looking at the world with amazed eyes.

G_d Bless America... Got to do the Star Spangled Banner Too!

G_d Bless America... Got to do the Star Spangled Banner Too!

I am filled with gratitude and wonder. Zach’s life is going to be different… no matter what… He’ll be voting in his first presidential election this Fall. What a way to enter his majority! I can hardly wait to read the next chapter. Like Steve James says in his song, ‘Talco Girl,’ ‘Goodbye Daddy… hello world!’

Well done kiddo! Well done!

A great day in D.C.!

A great day in D.C.!


  1. Comment made on June 27, 2016 by Hogan

    Hey Jorma,

    Love them proud Papa moments….Congrats Zach best of luck to you in the future and always remember there is nothing you can’t accomplish as long as you put your mind to it…


  2. Comment made on June 26, 2016 by Matthew Mace

    This is very cool. I’m from Arlington and much of my family went to W&L (grandmother, uncle, siblings, nephew) and it’s cool to learn you still have ties to DC.

    There’s no shame in being banned from Constitution Hall. The DAR banned Marian Anderson from performing there, which lead to her famous concert at the Lincoln Memorial. So, you’re in good company!

    I’m in my 30s but am a life-long fan of yours. In these posts you discuss your life with some frequency and I always enjoy reading them. I’d be fascinated to read more about your youth in DC and how it shaped your musical career. DC produced some great musicians from your generation. You and Jack. Danny Gatton and John Fahey. John Phillips and Cass Elliott. Chuck Brown and Roberta Flack. I know you and some of those other folks were government/military kids and lived all over, but you all have roots in DC. I’ve always wondered what the city offered to you and how it helped shape y’all’s careers and your music.

  3. Comment made on June 25, 2016 by Paul Schmitz

    So Zach is a W-L General, eh? Congrats from one General to another! W-L Class of 1981.

    Paul Schmitz

  4. Comment made on June 24, 2016 by Cyndy Consentino

    Dear Jorma,
    Congrats to Zach! What a fine young man.
    Wishing Zach and your family the best!
    Much love

  5. Comment made on June 23, 2016 by Sweetbac

    Ah yes…the infamous DAR banishment in ’76…I’m guessing Bob Steeler getting “frisky” with the Betsy Ross wax figure between sets didn’t help any!
    Congrats to your kid, Jorma!

  6. Comment made on June 23, 2016 by Pete

    Congratulations Zach! Onward & upward.

  7. Comment made on June 23, 2016 by Raymond Arritt

    Congrats Zach! All the best for where life’s journey takes you next.

  8. Comment made on June 23, 2016 by Ham n Eggs

    Hey Zach now the fun really starts!
    Good luck and happy trails
    Love All Ways

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *