A Country Preacher

I was introduced to Bobby Ward shortly after he moved to Dooly County in 1986 to pastor Riverview Baptist Church.  He soon became my customer at Bank of Dooly as well as my friend.  He was usually wearing overalls when we visited in my office or took an occasional trip to Marise’s for fried chicken.  While pastoring a growing congregation, Bobby also drove an eighteen-wheeler.  He’s a country preacher who juggled two full time jobs and had the boundless energy to do them both well.

He was grinning mischievously the first time we met, something I quickly learned was a side effect of his incurable optimism.  When I visited him on August 29th to talk about his diagnosis of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), he was still sporting that same grin.  Not everyone can smile when facing Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Dr. Glass at Emory University Hospital gave Bobby and his wife, Teresa, the news on July 30, 2019.  It had been obvious for a while that something was wrong, but that doesn’t lessen the pain of learning it’s a problem that can’t be fixed.  Yet Bobby cheerfully responded with a slowly spoken question. “So, you’re saying I have about 20 years to live?”  It took Dr. Glass a moment to appreciate Bobby’s sense of humor.

It takes a lot of effort for Bobby to speak now, something that came easily before.  Most of his years in ministry were spent at two churches, first Riverview then later at Victory Baptist Church.  He preached twice on Sundays plus held Wednesday night prayer meetings.  He’s delivered thousands of sermons and officiated at innumerable special occasions.

Funerals are where I’ve mostly heard Bobby speak.  He would read from Luke 12:15, “For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”  Then he would remind us it’s not our possessions that are important but what we do with them.

Several times I’ve heard Bobby tell how he enjoys visiting old cemeteries.  He likes to walk among their silent guests and read inscriptions etched on weathered tombstones.  On those unhurried strolls he is reminded that the dates of our birth and death are not what’s most important.  “It’s the dash between the dates that matters,” said Bobby at countless funerals.  Then he would tenderly ask those gathered at the graveside, “What are you doing with the dash between your dates?”

It was only a few weeks ago that I mentioned Bobby in our men’s Sunday School class at First Baptist of Vienna.  I hadn’t seen him in months and didn’t know he had ALS.  I had talked about his gift for conversational witnessing.  On the job with his fellow truckers he talked about Jesus, sometimes in more detail than they wanted to hear.  Or chatting with a waitress he had met for the first time he would talk about Jesus.  Bobby has been looking for opportunities to share his faith as long as I’ve known him.

He gave me a card when I recently visited in his home.  It has the same message he’s been passing along for decades.  “If we meet and you forget me, you have lost nothing:  but if you meet JESUS CHRIST and forget Him you have lost everything.”  He knows those cards sometimes end up in the trash.  He also knows they sometimes find a place in the heart.

Bobby and Teresa were passing through Lake City, Florida years ago and stopped at a Sonny’s BBQ to eat.  A lady approached the entrance at the same time they did.  Bobby rushed to grab the door handle with the intent of having a little fun.  “I’m going to beat you inside!” he said.  The lady made no reply.  She walked past him and sat alone.

Bobby discreetly paid for the woman’s meal and left a card behind.  That was all he knew about her until five years later when she called.  He learned that her son had been buried a couple of days before their brief encounter.  She had kept Bobby’s card all that time, waiting to explain her solemn demeanor, waiting to thank him for his gesture of kindness.

ALS is a hard road to travel, but until he reaches the off-ramp Bobby plans to keep grinning and sharing what’s most important.  He’ll continue handing out cards.  And he’ll keep posing a question that he knows one day we’ll each have to answer: “What are you doing with the dash between your dates?

Posted in 2018 | 9 Comments

Chasing Chason

A pack of fleet footed runners were chasing Mike Chason in the spring of 1973, but his tenacity proved too much.  He won the gold at the intramural cross-country race at Valdosta State College.  Track coach Dave Waples was so impressed he offered Mike the first ever cross-country scholarship for VSC.

The college didn’t have a budget for a team, so a $50 stipend was an honorary gesture.  Mike declined the offer, but he appreciated Coach Waples’ encouragement.   Winning that race was as much about character as speed.  When Mike Chason starts something, he sticks with it.

Mike and I have been friends since meeting at Valdosta State College in 1970.  I asked him recently about that memorable run from yesteryear.  It was a nominal accomplishment by worldly standards, but a defining moment on a personal level.  At Lanier High School Mike ran the half mile in track.  He didn’t consider himself a distance runner when he entered the Valdosta race.

He was surprised when he passed John Trimnell, an outstanding athlete and a starter on the VSC basketball team.  As Mike went by John shouted out, “Go on and win this thing!”  Those words of encouragement helped inspire Mike to keep up a demanding pace.  It’s been a lasting reminder of the importance of encouraging others, something Mike is passionate about.

Mike has run a good race in many areas of life and he’s still going strong.  When I asked him about some of the accomplishments I knew he had attained, he first went in a different direction.  He said the most important day of his 67 years is when he accepted Christ at First Baptist Church in Lakeland, Georgia.  He was ten years old when he embraced a personal faith that he readily shares.

He’s begun countless speeches by enthusiastically saying, “It’s a great day to be alive!”  It’s not a quote from the Bible but its message is consistent with scripture.  It helps him focus on positive thinking as he cheers others along.

Mike was a sportswriter for The Valdosta Daily Times right after college, then was promoted to sports editor.  On May 15, 1979, he became the Public Relations Director for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  That was his full-time job for 32 years and has been his part time position since 2012.  It’s not often you hear someone with a 40-year career in anything say, “I love this job.”  Mike gets a lot out of his work because he puts a lot into it.

Shortly after he joined the ABAC staff Mike took a Dale Carnegie course.  Ralph Edwards, owner of Tifton AM radio station WWGS, was in the class and asked Mike to help him put ABAC basketball games on the air.  When Mike told him he didn’t have any experience calling games, Mr. Edwards said, “I know you Mike.  You can do it!”  He called every play and had another 12 minutes to fill during halftimes.  That experience helped develop his speaking voice and style.  Mike fondly recalls Mr. Edwards’ encouragement and he keeps paying it forward.

He was the voice of Tift County High School football for 27 years on Friday nights and called the Valdosta State football games on Saturdays for five overlapping years.  In November he’ll begin his thirtieth year announcing VSU basketball games.  With ladies and men both now playing he’s sometimes on the air for five straight hours.  When I asked how he can manage such a demanding role, he credited his Creator.  “God’s given me the energy and enthusiasm to do a lot of things,” he said.

In May of 2019 Mike called out the names of over 400 graduating seniors from Tift County High School.  This was his thirtieth year, another record he’s still adding to.  They have one practice, during which Mike makes phonetic notations to use as a pronunciation guide.  “Some of these kids may never have their name called again from a stage,” he said.  “I do my best to get it right.”

It would take another column to list Mike’s accomplishments.  He’s set the bar high in multiple pursuits that are unlikely to ever be equaled.  But if he should hear the footsteps of those who follow him getting close, there’s no doubt he would shout out, “Go on and win this thing!  You can do it!”  Even if you’re chasing Mike Chason, he wants you to run your best race.

“It’s a great day to be alive,” he said as we ended our conversation.  Mike knows I sometimes need to be reminded of things I already know.  I’m passing it on in case you need reminding too.

Posted in 2018 | 3 Comments

Wallace Cemetery – An Unsolved Murder

Wallace Cemetery is a small country graveyard which rarely has a visitor.  An old headstone marks the spot where the young victim of an unsolved murder is buried.  I learned about it on childhood visits there with my father and Uncle Murray.  Sometimes I still wonder about the glaring absence of details.  It seems there would have been more evidence when it happened and perhaps a front-page story in a local paper.

John Larkin Joiner was born April 25, 1876, five years before his brother, Jim, who was my grandfather.  He was killed December 15, 1898, at the age of 22.  John had received his license to practice law a short time before his death.  He was single and lived, I believe, on the farm where he grew up.  It was just a short walk from the homeplace to the cemetery where he is buried.

The Joiner, Mashburn and Allied Families history book includes the sketchy details of his murder.  It’s the same story that my father told me, the same story that his father told him.

John was said to have been among a group of friends who were walking home at night from a dance.  A man on horseback, who was reported to have been drinking, approached the group and asked if John Joiner was among them.  When John stepped forward the man fired a gun and killed him.  Someone told John’s family that he had refused to dance earlier.  It’s not clear if that had anything to do with his murder, but it’s an intriguing bit of information that begs for conjecture.

The witnesses from that night in 1898 are long gone.  It’s possible though that someone is still living who heard whispered stories at family gatherings years ago.  It seems odd that no one knew the man on the horse or his motive.  And it seems the circumstances of John’s refusal to dance would have been shared with his family.  The account of John Joiner’s murder is inexplicably vague.

It’s possible the mysterious man on horseback was a character invented to cover up a quarrel that took a deadly turn.  That’s speculation on my part.  Daddy never hinted that might be the case.

If refusing to dance stirred up such heated emotions, it seems that someone would have known those involved.  It’s possible that John embarrassed a young lady by declining her request and that someone settled the score for her.  It’s more likely that he may have angered a jealous suitor of the woman, a drunken man bitterly riled that John had attracted her attention.

There’s a picture of John in our family history book that was made not long before he was killed.  He was a handsome man who was embarking on a rather prestigious career.  It’s easy to imagine how jealousy could have played a part in his murder.

I’ve always wondered who was in the group that night when they were walking home together.  I would think that John’s parents and siblings knew, yet none of that information was passed on to my father’s generation.  I wonder where the dance was held and if anyone there may have noticed something out of the ordinary.  And I wonder if the man on the horse ever confided to his family or maybe even bragged to a friend about what he had done.

It’s a long shot that mentioning an ancient unsolved murder in a weekly column will lead to any answers.  But it’s like a lot of other things in life, all we can do is the best we know how then leave it alone.  If I don’t find the answers now, I think I’ll have a chance to fill in the blanks later.

There’s an interesting headstone in Wallace Cemetery for Susan E. Carr.  She was born September 4, 1861, died September 21, 1881, and was the wife of Alexander S. Carr.  Her concrete marker tells everything that I know about her.  Its long inscription reads, “Susan we know how precious you were on this green earth but how can we envy heaven of so bright a juel.  She shoutingly exclaimed that she could see her loved ones who had gone before.”  It’s a captivating etching with a sense of promise, a modern-day reminder that death opens the door to another life.

It’s unlikely I’ll learn the rest of John Joiner’s story anytime soon, but one day I hope to get a firsthand account.  If he doesn’t want to talk about it, I may ask Susan Carr.  I’d love to hear more about her short life and final moments.  She died 17 years before John Joiner when she was only 20.  Her crumbling marker is a mere 50 feet from his.  It’s possible she knows his story too.

Posted in 2018 | 5 Comments

The Alma Mater

I’ve been playing the piano since childhood, but it was only a few years ago that I learned the alma mater of Unadilla High School.  I didn’t have the sheet music and I’m limited as to what I’m able to play by ear.  It took a while, but I ended up with a simple rendition that suits my audience of one.

I’m not sure what prompted me to learn it at this late point.  I graduated in 1970 and Unadilla High School is long gone except for a brick building and the gym.  I began playing the alma mater after one of several UHS reunions that Dale Rackley organized.  I guess walking down memory lane with friends and classmates reminded me of that familiar song.

Our alma mater was a common tune, the same tender melody used by a thousand other schools.  When we sang it at basketball games it evoked a sense of unity and gratitude.  From young girls in pigtails to old men smoking Camels, it was the tie that helped bind our shared loyalty.

Someone told me that one of our teachers, Mrs. Irene Daniels, wrote the lyrics.  Whether that’s true I don’t know, but it elevated her to a revered status in my young eyes.  It never occurred to me to ask her about it.  Maybe it was a competition or perhaps she was simply asked to do the honors.  Its history is not important, I suppose, but I wish I knew more of the story.  Sometimes we wait too long to ask questions.

It may seem an odd song to enjoy playing, but it takes me down roads I still like to travel.  The surfaces weren’t perfect, but they were smooth enough to enjoy the ride.  I realize now that I learned a few things by dodging some potholes.  The best lessons sometimes come from the bumpy sections on the highway of life.

It seems that a few big events would be what stand out in long term recollections, but that’s often not the case with me.  There are instead assorted remembrances which are rather insignificant yet cling to a memory bank whose vault door is slightly ajar.

Sometimes I think about Paul McIntyre.  We were in the F.F.A. string band together for a couple of years.  Paul played the drums and bass guitar.  He was talented enough to later make a living in the music business. But the time I recall most clearly was our close encounter with fame.

At some point during high school Paul and I were in a wrestling class.  I think it was taught by Coach Stanley Copeland but that’s more of a guess than a fact.  It was part of the required Physical Education program.  We learned the proper techniques and rules of wrestling.  We didn’t have ropes to jump from or throw people over, just a big padded mat on the gym floor.

Paul and I were tall and skinny, appropriately matched as opponents.  Coach Copeland offered us a chance to compete at halftime of a boys’ basketball game.  The gymnasium was always packed with excited fans.  We were intrigued with the idea of being featured as the entertainment, but we faced an insurmountable problem.  Neither of us wanted to be the kid who got pinned in front of hundreds of witnesses.

We declined the offer, choosing instead the safety of the bleachers.  I don’t remember who Coach picked for the match, but when the crowd cheered and clapped we knew we’d made a mistake.  We had focused on the embarrassment of losing rather than the joy of competing.

I can’t say that experience cured me of the fear of failure, but it helped a bit.  Paul and I sat together and watched from the sidelines.  We regretted saying no to opportunity.

As long as memories like that are stored within the alma mater, I’ll keep playing it a while longer.  That simple song is like a vessel that’s overflowing with treasured faces, places, and times.  If you want to join in, you’re more than welcome.  The memories are even sweeter when others sing along.

“In the midst of Georgia’s southland looms a school so fair.  Unadilla through the ages we your treasures share.  UHS our alma mater true we’ll ever be.  Blue and white our loving colors ever hail to thee.”

Posted in 2018 | 4 Comments

Four Friends With Three Eggs

My wife’s sister, Ellen, recently mentioned that a lot of my columns revolve around food.  I hadn’t thought about it, but I believe she’s on to something.  I have a thousand memories that involve food, and I can’t think of a single one that isn’t pleasant.  One of my favorites goes back to college days when four friends took a low budget weekend outing to Lake Blackshear.

It was the spring of 1971 when Don Giles, Dennis Mills, Mike Chason, and I pooled our resources for a two-night road trip.  We left the campus of Valdosta State College on a warm Friday afternoon, waiting of course until we had finished our homework assignments and returned any library books that were due.  We had seventeen dollars in the kitty, enough to buy gas for Dennis’ white Dodge Challenger and some grocery money.

Don’s parents owned a cabin at Lake Blackshear and had a ski boat that was begging for young riders.  We stopped in Cordele and purchased boloney, cheese, bread, mustard, and eggs, all the essentials for a wonderful weekend.  The baloney provided variety through tasty cold sandwiches or having it fried for breakfast.

We ate like kings until Sunday morning when our supplies were depleted.  Thankfully we still had four eggs and four slices of bread.  We reasoned it was enough to sustain us until we could make it to the V.S.C. cafeteria in time for supper.  Dennis buttered the toast while Mike ceremoniously distributed a single egg to each of us, cautioning that we handle them with care.

Don’s egg survived the transfer but soon met disaster.  It fell from his open palm and splattered like Humpty Dumpty amidst shouts of, “Scoop it up!  Scoop it up!”   We had postponed sweeping the floors that weekend, so Don refrained from what could have been a tempting situation.

As Don covered his egg with old newspaper, Mike began frying the other three.  Our memories differ as to what happened after that, and every time this story is told it changes a bit.  My three friends are not fully committed to factual recollections.

My remembrance is that I generously suggested we each share one third of an egg with our host and good friend, but Dennis strongly objected.  He was disturbed that Don would end up with a whole egg, leaving us with only two thirds.  I counter offered that we could each allot one fourth of an egg, noting that would provide an equal portion to everyone.

Dennis was silent.  He was struggling to check my math while anxiously searching for a somewhat honorable way out of his dilemma.  During that brief pause in the conversation, Mike seized the opportunity of a teachable moment.  He held up the spatula to indicate he had something important to say.  “If we share our eggs with Don,” he said, “he won’t learn from his carelessness.  But if we keep our eggs for ourselves, Don will understand that reckless behavior has consequences.”

Don and I had been good friends since the fourth grade at Unadilla Elementary School.  The thought of him having nothing but a slice of bread for breakfast tugged at my heart.  I realized, however, that Mike’s proposal was for Don’s long-term benefit.  And so it came to pass that three of us enjoyed our sumptuous breakfast, while Don nibbled at thin toast that once had been the end of a loaf.

We’ve laughed about that weekend much longer than could have been predicted.  Two years from now will mark its 50th anniversary, a milestone that’s significant only to the four of us.

I guess Mike was right about teaching Don a lesson.  He hasn’t dropped a raw egg since then that we know of.  But there was a bigger lesson for all of us.  We were given a lasting reminder that special moments can surface without warning among friends.  If Don hadn’t dropped that egg, our weekend would have been far less memorable.  It’s a blessing when four aging friends can laugh about a little thing from their long-gone youth.  That’s reason enough to get together when we can.

We’re planning a reunion in Valdosta for 2020.  To be on the safe side, I’m taking an extra carton of eggs.  I can’t bear the thought of seeing Don’s hungry look again.  Sometimes that image still tugs at my heart.

Posted in 2018 | 6 Comments

A Good Attitude

Mrs. Eloise Agerton will celebrate her 100th birthday August 18, 2019, but she doesn’t have the wrinkles to prove it.  When I asked the secret to her lovely complexion, she laughed and said it may be the Avon products she sold years ago.  Skin care is probably a factor, but I believe part of the reason she’s aged so beautifully is her good attitude.  Her cheerful demeanor goes back a long way.

Miss Eloise’s mobility is limited, and her hearing presents some challenges, but her attitude is outstanding.  My mother, brother, and I recently visited with her at Northside Villa, an assisted living facility near Rochelle.  “This is a nice place,” she said.  “I’m real pleased to be here.”  Mama enthusiastically responded, “It’s a wonderful place, Eloise!  I would enjoy it here too.”  Miss Eloise promptly extended a jovial invitation, “Well Margaret, why don’t you just come on down?”  She has a quick wit that easily leads toward laughter.

My mother is a long-time friend of Miss Eloise.  They knew each other when their children were growing up in Harmony Baptist Church.  Mama mentioned what excellent teachers Miss Eloise and her first husband, Lewis Fullington, were in Discipleship Training on Sunday nights.  Then the two of them reminisced about friends and pastors and treasured moments from long ago.

Life didn’t start out easy for Miss Eloise.  Her father, Jerry Hudson, worked hard farming to support his wife and three children.  Eloise was the first-born, followed by a brother, Harris, and a sister, Krissie.  Her sister couldn’t say “Eloise” so dubbed her “Wee,” the name she’s most often called today.  When Miss Eloise was eight years old her mother died, shortly after giving birth to another son.

Atha Scroggins, a registered nurse, offered to raise the baby boy.  He didn’t live very long, but Miss Eloise still speaks with gratitude for the kindness shown by Ms. Scroggins, other neighbors, and relatives.  Miss Eloise took over the household chores while her father lovingly did all that he could.  She remembers him rocking a flu sickened child through the night, then leaving early in the morning to work in the fields.

She cooked and kept house at an early age but has no complaints about the tiring work.  The chickens she fried on top of their wood burning stove were the ones she caught in their yard.  When a hen stopped laying, it was a sure thing that dumplings would soon be simmering in a big pot.

“We were poor folks,” she shared with no hint of regret.  “I only had two or three dresses.  I’d wash one out and hang it on the line to dry overnight so I could wear it the next day.  I knew I couldn’t go to college, but I was determined to finish high school.”

She graduated from Union High, a country school within walking distance of her home.  Miss Eloise described the small desks where they studied and ate lunch, and she fondly mentioned a special teacher named Gladys Ruth Robertson.  “Everybody loved her,” she said.  Then she gave us a glimpse as to why.  Miss Eloise enjoyed playing basketball, but her daddy wouldn’t let her wear shorts in front of boys.  She sneaked around to play ball until a caring teacher visited Mr. Hudson and convinced him it was okay.  It was a small gesture of kindness that made a lasting impression.

Miss Eloise’s family includes two daughters, Brenda Thigpen and Faye Gibbs, a son, Emory Fullington, eight grandchildren, 17 great grands, and one great-great grandchild.  Their photographs fill part of a wall, and the nightstand by her bed has a picture of five generations along with her Bible.  It’s easy to see what she values.

After we had visited an hour or so, she noticed my brother had closed his eyes.  “We’ve put Jimmy to sleep!” she said with an infectious laugh.  Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”  Eloise Hudson Fullington Agerton is living proof of Solomon’s wisdom.

If you’d like to send her a birthday card, her address is P O Box 1120, Northside Villa, Rochelle, GA  31079.  If you drop by for a visit and she’s taking a nap, it’s fine to wake her up.  With a mischievous smile she said, “I sleep sometimes because there’s not all that much I have to do.  I even have people to think for me!”  Don’t be surprised if you leave there feeling better than when you arrived.  I’m almost certain I lost a few wrinkles amidst the laughter.  There’s a lot to be said for a good attitude.

Posted in 2018 | 2 Comments

Music and Motivation – Part II

During my first two years of music lessons we didn’t have a piano at home.  It was, however, only a short walk to my grandmother’s house.  Mama Joiner had an ancient Price & Teeple upright in her living room.  It didn’t have a perfect tone, but it sounded pretty good to me.  Four days a week I borrowed her alarm clock to ensure I didn’t exceed the minimum practice expectations.

I plinked out basic tunes with the finesse of an uninspired second and then third grade musician.  Mama Joiner would say, “That sounds really good, Buggy Boy,” calling me a pet name which had no particular significance.

When it was time for fourth grade, Daddy sent my older brother, Jimmy, and me to school in Unadilla.  The last high school seniors had graduated from Pinehurst in 1958.  The eight remaining grades were expected to be phased out in another year or so.

Changing schools meant changing piano teachers, a perfect time it seemed to stop taking lessons.  But Mama wanted me to first meet the teacher, Mrs. Mary Frances Beddingfield.  Mama knew that once I boarded a ship, I was unlikely to jump off.

Mrs.  Beddingfield was a jolly lady with a constant smile.  She had no paddle in sight and assured me we would have a good time.  I reluctantly signed up for the twice weekly program.

Mama and Daddy soon bought a reconditioned piano from Bibb Music Company in Macon.  It cost $250, which was a sizable amount in 1960.  I realized that purchase had sealed my destiny.  Having a piano at home with no one to play it was an option I knew would not readily be offered.

Not long after getting that piano, my mother’s aunt, Kate Bembry Parnell, came for an unannounced visit.  She walked to the edge of the field where Mama and I were picking cotton.  I had even less enthusiasm for picking cotton than practicing piano.  We didn’t have thermos jugs back then.  We’d put ice water in a Mason jar and place it in the shade at the end of a row.  My water was usually gone before the ice melted.  I prioritized quenching my thirst over filling my cotton sack.

Aunt Kate said something that day that will cause me to forever hold her memory dear.  She said, “I was hoping to hear Neil play the piano.”  I only knew a couple of songs, the names of which I have long forgotten, but we all headed to the living room for a concert.

We didn’t have air conditioning at the time, but we had a big, square, green fan that had the force of a mighty wind.  It didn’t matter that the air it stirred was hot.  It was a welcome respite from the heat, sweat, and gnats of that cotton field.

I played those two songs until Aunt Kate raised the white flag of surrender.  That impromptu performance gave me a new perspective on music and inspired me to practice a little more.  My motivation for sticking with piano lessons had shifted from fear to comfort.  I found the rhythmic sounds of that whirring fan blade much preferable to the whines of attacking gnats.

In 1960 Floyd Cramer captivated the nation with his unique slip-style piano recording of “Last Date.”  Floyd was way ahead of Beethoven in my book.   Young ladies swooned, screamed, and sometimes fainted when he played.  I was ten years old and began having fleeting thoughts of putting the alarm clock away, especially during the season for harvesting cotton.

In the ninth grade, I joined the Unadilla Future Farmers of America String Band.  Charles Jones and Jerry Pickard were top notch piano players, but they were needed on guitars.  They patiently tutored me through “Last Date,” “Down Yonder,” and other country standards.  I began to understand that practice helps pave a road that can be worth traveling.

Aunt Emily, my father’s sister, inherited Mama Joiner’s piano.  She gave it to me in the 1970s, and Daddy paid to have it professionally restored.  We were delighted to find that beneath its dull black exterior was beautiful oak wood.

The discovery of that piano’s hidden splendor was unexpected, just like the improvement in my motivation had been years earlier.  Those guys in the band unknowingly helped me embrace a new attitude.  Playing piano in the string band of a small-town school is when I finally stopped watching the clock.  That old piano doesn’t have a perfect tone, but it sounds pretty good to me.

Posted in 2018 | 5 Comments