HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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February 28, 2007
Dunmire Hollow, Tennessee USA
I woke up this morning after sleeping on Harvey's couch, there is no way I was going to sleep in the spare bedroom. It was colder in there than outside. We each ate a grapefruit, and then I went out to create music in the meadow. After some pictures, we walked over to Harvey's friend and business partner Dave to help him with his wood shed. On the way back a big community dog came up from behind, (Harvey had warned me about this dog via Email) and took a chunk of Boner from behind the neck with his mouth and I immediately moved in. The dog began to shake Boner like a rag doll. I picked the dog of the ground by its neck and Boner came with him the dog would not let go, so I reached around to break its jaw to loosen its grip and then lucky the dog let go. I was ready to kill it with my hands if necessary but thank God I did not need to as the dog lay still and Harvey held it until we were a safe distance away. Boner was not hurt, physically at least.
I drove into the Waynesburg town center to get some computer access and happened upon a friendly hangout called The Portal. John the owner was "reach out" friendly, a biker and fairly new as a restaurateur. He gave me some of his home cooked chili, corn bread and cake. It was kickin' great food... and healthy. He had internet access, game rooms, sofas to hang out on, play areas for children and the ability to do one thing I have enjoyed often in the past... and that is to write graffiti all over the walls. He treated me to lunch. After I got some nerve up I went outside to play and the cars, trucks, buses and logging freights kept driving around and around the square getting an eye and earful of what Bo and I had to offer. The kids would be screaming out the windows of the school buses as they went by. It was fun... and the sunniest, warmest day yet. There was a probation office across the street. Some towns make their money on parking tickets I think this place does it on probation meetings and mandatory drug testing. The local newspaper lady came buy and jumped onto the truck to create and her granddaughter Katrina followed. Katrina had never seen a piano man play the piano before. Bingo, I hit the jackpot as that is one of the experiences I am out to provide on this journey.
Tonight I was invited to the community's weekly potluck dinner. I got there early to be playing on the truck as they arrived. I realized a need to keep up my old repertoire as I am losing my Boogie Woogie left hand. It was pitch black and I would watch the car lights like a set of eyes come up the hill and through the trees. Some had no idea how to react to the strange sight of us. There were seventeen of us in all and we stood in a circle holding hands before dinner and went around the room stating what we had brought to the table. It was like a reading off of the menu. What a wonderful experience for all the neighbors to come together. The farthest couple came from twenty-two miles away. After dinner we all hung outside around the Traveling Piano and almost everyone had a turn and creating some music. It was special for everyone including myself. They all thought I was weird in a good way.
February 27, 2007
Waynesboro, Tennessee USA
Now it is beginning to get interesting. I am in a place so rural there is no internet access. My national connection plan as advertised is not so national and Harvey, the guy I am staying with has modem dialup at the end of a very long phone line. I will soon drive to see if I can locate a town with access. I drove today south down America's first highway on the Natchez Trail. Louis and Clark founded it. The day was a beautiful sunny day and I wanted to take my time. Bo and I stopped at the Water Valley overlook and then to see water at the waterfall. The drive was peaceful and good for my soul. I had the road to myself except for one other car the entire 30 miles or so.
I am staying tonight with Harvey a 61-year-old extremely educated, woods craftsman who lives in a "holler" which is deep in a valley and his house is down a long dirt road along with neighbors here and there. The place is called Dunmire Holler. He lives is an intentional community. This is a group of people who often get together and buy land to live out their share visions and ideals together in cooperation with each other. There is a solid rule in the country that I have learned. Men do not pee in toilets. Harvey validated that after talking about ten minutes and then going over to the tree to fertilize it. Last night Gael invited me outside to pee with him. I am sure part of it comes from the male animal marking territory instinct thingÉ but it is also to not waste water from the earth and also because you cannot pee in a shithole (composting toilet). Did I mention before that Hector the guy from a few nights ago waters his porch plants with diluted urine? Harvey like Hector also has a composting toilet the only difference is Harvey covers his poop down in the hole with wood shavings when he is done and closes the lid. Hector needs to keep his lid open so the fan continuously blows the air downward. Yuk...poo...blah... Everyone I met is totally into recycling and making full use of natural resources. On to a cleaner topic.
I enjoyed the contentment in Bo's Eyes as he lay in the sun on the seat while driving. After I rub his belly a bit he reciprocates with appreciation by licking my hands and then opens his mouth with tongue wag to give me a big smile. Did you know that Nashville once had a Mayor whose name was Boner???!!! So there you go all you people trying to censure the name of my dog... Perverts!
I pulled the truck into the holler meadow and played in the warm sun while recording some music. I am learning how to take pictures of myself. Prop the camera push the timer and then the shutter and then run like a banchi to jump in the truck and start slammin' on the keys quick. Later at night, Harvey and I went for some hometown barbeque, pulled pork, which was just what I needed and then drove around town to siphon internet access from an unsuspecting house, which is the reason you can read today's bolg.
February 26, 2007
Nashville, Tennessee USA
For anyone who does not know, I have been living my "Wildest of Dreams". This journey I am on is a physical manifestation of the dream process. Another part of the dream is to work with Oprah Winfrey to take my wildest of dreams over the top. Harpo productions had an open casting call today in Nashville, Tennessee where I am presently located so of course Boner and I were not going to miss the fun opportunity of trying out for a reality TV show. It is to be called The Big Give. The winner is granted their wildest dream. What could be more perfect as that is what Boner and I are out to doing... a big give. I got up bright and early to meet at the Music Sheraton. All the buildings in Nashville start with... The Music... (not really, but many do) I had hoped to have more fun with the interview that lasted only about 60 seconds. Boner stole about 50 of those sixty seconds. Who knows what that was about? I sense physical looks dominated what they were looking for. There were four of us guys together in line and one had his picture taken, another had an experience like mine, and I do not know what happened to the last guy. There were about 400 applicants. Talk about energy with agenda. Everyone was an actor for the tryouts. They did many sweeping film takes of the line and we were all to scream and holler with excitement as the camera passed by. At one point while waiting in line the doors of the hotel conference room opened and about two hundred more people came outside. I noticed as they were standing that in less than about a minute... ninety-eight percent lit up cigarettes. The smoke was amazing. They were all people from the tobacco industry having a conference. That was too funny. They supported the company they work for. After we were done with the face-to-face moment... that is about all it was... I went and played some for the guys I stood in line with. I am glad I had the opportunity so they knew I was not just some dork piano player... I am a piano man that can jam!
February 25, 2007
Cookeville, Tennessee USA
Update... I stayed overnight with a Quaker family in Cookeville, Tennessee who welcomed me at the last minute. I woke up expecting everyone to have gone to Sunday meeting but they had not yet left. Their car broke down and Susie could not fit into any of the vehicles with her wheel chair so Susie was to stay home. I had some coffee while watching the red cardinals, chickadees and nutcrackers eat from feeders that were two feet away from me. I was thinking, "this is going to happen for her". I told Susie I would get her in my truck and if it meant an extra three hours shaved off the day to drive her to and from... it would be worth it and bring joy to me, so she decided to try it. What trust she showed to ride in a strange vehicle and to allow me to see her crawling, pushing, shoving, and grunting across the front seat of the truck so she could position herself to get inside. She had to allow me to lift and twist her feet and legs to get in. We did it.
Suzie and I learned a lot about each other during our ride. She is 72 years old woman who will be celebrating fifty years of marriage with Hector this December. As we drove I noticed she was wearing a tea shirt that said, "Why do we kill people... Who kill people... To show people... That killing people is wrong." Suzie was wearing it because a crack addict that was dating her daughter murdered her daughter after refusing to have sex with him. She knows this fact because she corresponds with the killer in jail. She has come to forgive him.
I dropped Suzie off at meeting and waited outside to brush my teeth in the parking lot. I also used cleaning wipes on my face as I am beginning to smell from not having a shower and then spent time trying to straighten out the mess in the back of the truck. In the rush to leave, I just threw everything inside the back of the truck and the wheel chair on top. After their meeting was over everyone came outside to invite me in for juice and cake and we took pictures.
I drove to the courthouse in the center of town to provide some music for a Peace Vigil. Today I was boogieing for peace! I was early and I did not want to wait so I got the nerve to setup and start playing with no one around. It was not easy, but I did it. As soon I started, smiling faces and waves began to appear from the passing cars. People started to stop and have their try at the piano. A woman was playing "The Halls of Montezuma" when the troops began to arrive. About 20 to 30 protesters, and they all looked the part with big signs saying things like, "Who would Jesus Bomb?" "Peace, Love not War". This was a first for me and it was a lot of fun. Everyone driving by was into it. How could anybody driving by give the finger sign to a crowd of hippie protesters carrying peace and love signs while dancing to a piano man on the back of a truck with his cutest dog hanging out on top? Hehehe... Then the "icing on the cake" began. Remember Fiddler on the roof? Well beautiful Elizabeth pulled out her violin and jumped up on top of my piano with Boner and we jammed creating some violin and piano music together.
After that, I drove to Mount Juliet just outside Nashville to meet up with Gael and Susan who offered me overnight lodging. They took me to meet their friends Pebo and Mel up the road at the couples Swamp Gravy Cafe... it was in their garage. Pebo is a self-proclaimed redneck and worked his identity to the hilt. I played some music for them and that tamed Pebo who is a bass player. Gael is a Franciscan priest who is now married to Susan and also in recovery from alcohol. Susan is a life long Nashvillian who cooked a delicious lima bean and ham dish with salmon potatoe cakes and we had delicious bread and fruit for dessert. Once again, I have found incredibly giving people. I have been around a lot of recovery people in my life and our talk reminded me clearly of the insidiousness the difficulty and the energy of this disease. I will be going to sleep once again with awareness and gratitude.
February 24 2007
Cookville, Tennessee USA
Wow! It is twelve noon and I have no place to stay for tonight. I think I gave the people who were to get back to me the wrong cell phone number. I called someone new "out of the blue" from my SERVAS book and asked if I could stay for the night. "Yes, you can stay with us, we already have guests but you can sleep on a futon we have in the office, you'll be welcome here." Off to Tennessee I go. Along the way, I stop to get some gas and notice the truck is becoming whiter day by day with smearing from the Dana cleaning sheets I used to remove the snow salt a few days ago. I go to wipe off the smear but the only thing that comes off is the trucks red paint. Yikes.
It is cloudy and spritzy the entire way and I hear of a snowstorm coming east from Colorado. It was fun to drive through the great smoky mountains; I always wanted to do that. Boner and I ended up in Cookeville at Hector and Susie's place... and what a place it is. I thought the last home I experienced was rural. It could not "light a match" to this place. I am riding along route 135 and all of a sudden, the road turns to dirt and I am going down and around, down and around, down and around. It was amazing... I ended up 300 feet below sea level under the highland rim of the Cumberland Plateau at a house that is built into the side of a mountain. It has smoke rising from a smokestack and as the universe is with me once again... they have a garage where I can store the truck from the thunderstorm that is beginning. The lighting is wonderful in the dark with the rolling hills. I am at Hidden Springs Nursery where they grown organic stuff like pa-pa plants or trees? A chicory banana like thing... and also eatable dogwood trees. I knock on the door and I hear, "come on in". Suzie is in a wheelchair from arthritis and fixes me delicious bread with a hearty stew that the neighbor had brought over. The floors are all linoleum so she can get around. I am instructed to pee outside and use the inside toilet for only poop, please... because they have a composting toilet. I can poop away on the toilet all I want and there is a magazine there if I want to read. Hector comes home with Geri and her guest Elizabeth. The ask me if I have ever considered doing some "Wwoofing". (willing workers on organic farms).
Hector and Susie have a Steinway Grand piano. It was just recently rebuilt, a man from Georgia offered to come and rebuild it for them out of the goodness of his heart. It took four solid days and three nights of continual work to fix it so Hector could play. It was broken from not playing as he had lost all interest since their adopted daughter had been murdered in Atlanta in 2000. After some talk I played music for them and they danced as pictures were taken. When all is calm, Hector sits down to play some classical music for me. I was completely mesmerized. Here I am in rural Tennessee with these wonderful people who have offered to take me in for the night and I am sitting in stillness watching a tall, blue eyed, crusty old (he said I could say that) overall wearing, Quaker, farmer, world war two veteran who is eighty two years old creating the most complex of classical Schubert and Mozart... music that drew my spirit out of my body completely. Hector studied when he was young and then again during the war and did a years stint at Julliard. He stopped because he did not want the grueling life of a musician to destroy his love of music and also he wanted to experience other things in life with his music. Who's doing the "gifting" for this journey?
February 23, 2007
Ashville, North Carolina USA
Fun. It is all about fun. Giving to life, creating and expressing the spirit but most importantly... allowing the creation. I worked to get some work done today. I don't have a place to sleep tomorrow as of yet so I was looking, I tried to get to a few emails, took an inventory of what is where, the truck is filled with lot-o-stuff and... I still have the usual stuff to do like this blog. Boner and I climbed a steep mountain and at the top lay together on the ground to soak in the pureness of nature. Then I took the truck out into the woods once again. Jamie the force behind Blind Lyle Films played and sang some beautiful music from the piano and Adam her husband of Byrd Designs who is also a percussionist joined in using a stick from the ground to create a rhythm from the truck bed. After they went back to the house, I set up my computer to record some music and created about a half hours worth of impressionistic sound. It was good stuff. Too bad I forgot to press the record button before I started. We had a delicious African yam and peanut soup for dinner, I think that is what it was and then had a deep philosophical discussion surrounding the laws of attraction until I had to run away from it...
February 22, 2007
I woke up a little manic. I was having coffee and talking with Adam. I could feel myself becoming combative with him and told him what was going on in my head. He suggested that maybe I woke with a lot of energy and not enough rest that I should go outside and turn the energy into creative music in the woods and then Jamie added, "yea and then you can go back to bed and get more rest." So that is what I did. I drove the truck away from the house and played the piano to the trees with no leaves and the hills while a songbird joined me. A low roar of wind supported the music in the background. I was reminded to create and express my energy for "me"... so I resisted taking the computer along to record and let go of wondering if any neighbors could hear the music. I was playing in a "holler" this is an echo mountain type area.
I need to do stuff like learn how to use my cell phone, as I can't figure out when the ringer is on or off, who called etc... I did get the truck stereo to work and the Icar with the Ipod yesterday. It is all such a pain in the ass to get going but it feels good once I get things moving. The truck roadmate, ezypass, the car inverter for battery recharging... it goes on and on.
After I awoke for the second time was afraid to go upstairs to see Jamie and Adam because I knew if we started to talk, the conversations would not stop. They are intense and focused artists... peers. Relating to new peers is a new experience for me. This couple is very interested in the body's health as well as the world they live in. Caring about one's environment is truly a life style and I am appreciating my growing awareness of that fact daily. Jamie cooked a deliciously creative pasta dinner and then I went with them to meet up with some "Liberal Drinkers" at a bar. Did you know there is a national organization of liberal drinkers? I didn't. I enjoyed the conversations and that some of the members were interested enough to want to come outside to the car and meet Boner.
February 21, 2007
It had been pouring rain last night and the truck with equipment had been sitting out in it. Only a trickle of water was underneath the tarp. Whew! I drove to Ashville, North Carolina. It took seven and a half hours. That is because I stopped to play in the town of Pulaski, Virginia as I had heard it had fallen on hard times. It felt like a ghost town or one of the Twilight Zone episodes as there were no people but there should have been. Every once in a while I would see one or two walking but that was it. It was amazingly clean. The buildings did not look run down. There was just no business or people. There seemed to be more churches and ministries than stores so I suppose the only day this place bustles is on Sunday. I stopped to ask someone where the local hospital was thinking maybe I would go play there and a cop drove up to yell at the people I was talking to about stopping in the road. It was not like there were any cars on the road and why was he yelling at them and not me? I drove on.
As I was leaving, I found the Drapper Mountain overlook so I decided to play in at my first overlook. It was a like a dry run for playing on the street with all the luggage packed in the back. I cannot spend time in setting up because it gives some people time to become fearful at what might, or is going to happen especially police and guards. If I just throw a couple of bags up front, throw Boner on top and plop on the piano seat before they really notice, once they hear the music with Boner, just about s any negative concerns dissipate. A guy drove by and stopped to take some pictures for my and then gave me all the bills in his pocket to contribute. That felt nice. Of course, I gave him a brochure as I do everyone I meet. The gas station attendant, coffee ladies, anyone who smiles at the truck on the street.
For anyone who does not know Ashville, North Carolina is in a beautiful mountain area with lots o' hills. The little truck that could's top speed was about 40 miles an hour climbing up the hills and I had to use the brakes the whole way down them. It was funny to see runaway truck ramps everywhere... probably not so funny, if someone had to use them. I saw my first totally red rainbow while driving. Jaime and Adam, my hosts... meet me in town and treated me to dinner. What an amazing exchange we had, We all are on the exact same paths, pages and levels in our lives. Jaime is an artist, musician and filmmaker... Adam is a retired veterinarian who produces Jamie's documentaries and is writing a book on food and nutrition. They are all about expressing and creating life unconditionally. I had never met them before now and knew nothing about them. They had read an extensive amount of my material from the website and I was thankful for that. We were able to bond instantly. They took me to their log cabin in the most rural area I have ever been to. We drove about 30 minutes out of town and then five miles up through twisty roads and through the woods. They live with a friendly cat and a dog name Lyle who recently lost his eyes from a condition and would walk around bumping into everything because he was excited and confused. A 100 percent lovable dog whose energy is unfazed by his new condition. Jaime and Adam also live with ladybugs. There are so many ladybugs that they have had to lean to co-exist with them. They were everywhere flying, walking, crawling, carcasses everywhere. I found one on my chest inside my shirt after sitting only fifteen minutes. They told me to consider myself lucky that they vacuumed the majority up before I arrived!
February 20, 2007
I am going to have difficulty in picking pictures as I have so many good ones. Jen started out the day cooking me a delicious breakfast. How great it is that people exist who open their houses to travelers and strangers at no cost. I was sitting by the kitchen counter trying to figure out where I was going to stay tomorrow and I started sending emails out into cyberspace. Each time I sent one, I made the request better. The first few emailed people must have thought I was crazy with mis-spellings, words written backwards, non-intelligent talk. I started to get insecure with the decision process and then I get a phone call. It was from a couple I emailed in Ashville just ten minutes ago saying, "Hi Dan, your welcome to come stay with us". I had no idea how far Ashville is or whether it is even on my way to Tennessee where i am heading, I just said yes, thanks I will drive to you tomorrow. I still do not know where it is.
Then a little magic happened. I lost a new glove and that really irked me. It was too soon to start losing things and it was a new glove. I think it was when I was climbing under a barbed wire fence to walk along a brook yesterday. I decided to try for a quick look before I left for my next destination and as I was walking to the spot, I saw a group of school kids waiting for their parents to pick them up. I thought, I want to give them a little treat so I ran back to the house and drove Bo and the truck to them. Everyone got an opportunity to play even the parents when they arrived to pick up their kids. They asked how I found them as I am from Philadelphia and I told them I had lost my glove yesterday while walking behind the building. They asked if I wanted any help in looking and I said no because it was down in the ravine. I walked a bit and gave up quick because I knew there was practically no chance of my finding it. As I went to leave, someone came up to me saying, "here, we found your glove". The experience was of a spiritual exchange.
Speaking of spirits, after I arrived in Blacksburg and I realized I was at Virginia Tech... I emailed everyone I had meet down in Mississippi volunteering after the storm last year asking if anyone had a couch to sleep on. I immediately had several emails basically saying, "Hey Dan we have a house with seven guys and your welcome here." I first met up with Zach, his picture is on the Tour of Synchronistic Wonder website link from last year, so I had to get another for this year but of him playing some piano on the truck. He and Boner were getting down to the bone in spirit. What an amazing experience to run into him a year later in Blacksburg, Virginia. We spent hours in deep discussion over Religion, Relationship, Spirituality and the State of Being Human. We both worked very hard to find respect for each other. He is like one of these 20 year olds going on 220 years of age. It was no coincidence that we met up again. I am staying with him and his three roommates tonight in their apartment. What a feeling to remember the energy of individualizing through the college years, the youthful openness to learning, the excitement of becoming your own man for the "first' time. Young men, for sure.
I almost forgot something else that is so much fun with what I am doing. It happens often. Jen and Peer, my hosts for the last two days had just moved into their house with their young daughter two months ago and have not had the opportunity to meet the neighbors. Well, as Boner and I have been walking... the neighbors have been approaching us to say hi. They were there in the school parking lot today and as Jen heard the music from her house... she came over with Abigale to see the action. I helped introduce here to her neighbor and everyone was bonding and finding something to talk about. The Traveling Piano brings people together, no kidding... it brings people together and "I helped". :) I love watching it happen. One more thing... the night ended with a cop raid. Zach was able to get a quick picture before we had to vamoose from the campus plaza. About six students had their hands at the piano before we left, so it was mission accomplished.
February 19, 2007
I woke up this morning with banging on my bedroom door." Danny, your dog needs to go out". It was Jen really saying... get up it is twelve noon, I need to leave the house and I am not leaving any strangers in my house alone. So much for a shower, my yoga... chillin' out. I had been up until 3AM and I had only 2 hours sleep the night before, and the room was so comfortable... I had been searching for a couch the night before so, I went to couchsurfing.com and Jennifer and her husband offered their home for me. I am in Blacksburg, Virginia. I was amazed to find it is the home of Virginia Tech. I had met up with a terrific group of students from Virginia Tech last year down in Mississippi after Katrina. Of all places to fall into and I literally fell into this place. There are mountains and hills and valleys (sounds like a song) I fell down a hill, a two mile stretch of super windy road to find this house. Poor Boner, he had to sleep in the garage, at least it was warm in there. Three young pups and a mother live in this house and a strange dog was not needed to create a spree of marking throughout. Especially since it was a new house everyone had just moved into two months ago. The mamma dog got into the garage first thing and crawled right under the center of the Raggin' Piano Boogie truck with Boner inside and took a dump. How she did it in such a tight area I do not know. The other three got loose and the first thing they did was poop in three separate corners of the garage so... Boners, "please don't leave me here" look was just not gonna work to get into the house for the night.
First thing I did today was clean the truck. Good thing I had some dyna wipes with me because it was Dirty! So now, the truck just looks smeared. It was totally white/grey from the road salt of last night's ride into town. It had been a snowy trip. The hood has chips of paint removed from the salt trucks hitting it last night. I remember yelling, "ouch, ouch, ouch" as we passed them as I knew large chunks were flying at us. Good thing I had a garage to clean it in... and I did not need to use water out in the cold. So, we went to the Virginia Tech Student building and I drove up onto the plaza to play for about an hour. Kids from up in the student center came running down to give me candy and a few tea shirts. I really enjoy appreciation put into action. The police came telling me to have a good day, the campus guards came by to say hi, and I had four college students jump onto the piano to play some. I feel very fulfilled improvising my own music and having the nerve to set myself up in situations as spontaneous as this but... what really excites me is when people respond so well and even better participate by creating their own music whether they ever played the piano or not.
Later on at night, I was treated to a terrific dinner and some red bean cake that Jen made to mark yesterdays Chinese New Year. It was really fun to eat, a very different sweet jelly like substance wrapped in a batter of fried egg and flour. I had a great talk with Jen's husband Peer who is absolutely brilliant, intelligent and progressive. They are both progressive and have an adorable fifteen month old daughter named Abigale. We all went into the garage to play some piano. Abigale wasted no time in trying out the piano. We all looked at the camera's self timer to have our picture taken while she became immersed in the piano keys. I recorded a few minutes of my improvisation with four screaming barking doggies in their cage. They happened to see Boner sitting on top of the piano and that made them go ballistic. Boner was like, "please tell them to stop, please let me out of here". I am sure he miss's his routine already. We will work out a new one in due time.
February 18, 2007
It is one in the morning of the 19th. I am way beyond exhausted. I slept only two hours yesterday (not my usual fourteen) because I was up until dawn talking with and getting to know Jake who was also an overnight guest where I was staying. The party I was at the night before had some really interesting people stories to go along with it. It is a wonderful experience for me to learn about other people. As soon as I got my act together, I headed for Blacksburg Virginia. It was weird not knowing if I should or could ask to stay another night. I chickened out, as I got no sign that it might be an idea. I stopped to have some Maryland Crab Cakes before I left town. How could I not? In Maryland do as the Marylandites do, right? My road mate would not pick up a signal so I got lost in the slums of Washington DC for about an hour. I did not mind until about my fifth hour of driving. I need to remember I cannot drive everyday for more than a few hours. Good thing I had my herbal "exhaustion" elixir with me. The snow squalls started almost as soon as I left but about half way through, I drove right into a blizzard. I could not see my headlights it was so thick. The piano was covered with snow but there was nothing I could do. It was fifteen degrees outside. I got off at the closest exit; there were no places to stay overnight. I thought the least I could do was fill up the gas tank to make the truck as heavy as possible. I started to visualize myself stubbornly parking under the gas tank overhang by the pump and sleeping there for the night. The snow started to let up so I thought I had better get going before it started again. In front of me, the mountains looked beautiful, as the sun had just set behind them. I was not thinking about the fact that those beautiful mountains were covered with ice and so were the roads and I was driving right into them. About three police cars passed me and I thought for sure, there was an accident up front that I would need to stop for. I was wrong, what I needed to do was focus and put on my blinders because for the next five miles cars were scattered everywhere but on the road. They were sliding off right and left. The little truck that could just puttered along straight ahead never looking anywhere but straight ahead. When the big bad tractor trailer passed and the wind started to carry the little red 200,000 mile pickup truck on the ice we both just continued to focus straight ahead and we made it. I found out that Boner could not stay in the house where I was staying overnight because of puppy dog issues and territory marking. Thank God fate took over for us and I was able to park the truck in the warm garage where he will stay in the cab overnight. Better than in the cold outside. I took Bo for a walk before bed even though I could barely walk myself, because he needed it badly. The stars where as bright as could be and the clouds as white as day against the darkest blue sky I have ever seen.
February 17, 2007
I left my house saying, "goodbye bathroom, goodbye bedroom, and goodbye kitchen..." I was full of joy, love, appreciation, gratitude and care. My neighbors gave me hugs and I was off. It is so very cold outside. I am sitting in my new friends Matt and Matt's living room right now in Severna Park, Maryland. There are dogs everywhere; everyone's dog has been welcomed to the party. A birthday party is happening all around me... right now, as I am writing. It is Matt's 27th birthday and all of his family and friends are celebrating. I met these guys briefly at the Philly Car show last week with their neighbors and when I told them of my journey. They said, "your welcome at our house anytime." so here I am. I had a great dinner with everyone, deep fried turkey and mashed potatoes, string beans and cookie cake, pecan pie, kiwi pie... I had it all. Of course, afterwards we all had to have some piano music for the birthday cake outside on the truck. I played on the ice in the driveway and Matt's dad took pictures for us. As more of their friends arrive, I feel like I am in an episode of Will and Grace. The interesting part of this scenario is that they are all armed. Most of these guys are law enforcement officers. I found out the cold sucks all the energy out of my equipment. My computer was dead when I went to turn it on. No computer in the cold. High energy first night! Great people, Boner loves everyone. The truck is packed to the hilt. Move one thing and everything is lost somewhere.
February 16, 2007
My wings are flapping stronger and stronger, I think tomorrow will be the day I take off. I have been emailing people who belong to an organization that hosts visitors in their homes. Here are a couple of the responses so far... you'll love this... "Wish all the best and hope to meet you" ... "You sound like a fascinating guy, and someone I would truly enjoy getting to know" ... "Sounds like an interesting life, fortunately, I don't have to be envious, as I like my own" ... "You would be generally welcome but I have a warning for you, our community has 2 resident dogs that seem to be fine for a little while, and then unpredictably they attack the visitor" ... "We are expecting my daughter and her husband and my husband's daughter and friend in march, we are also going to a wedding in SC and to visit a granddaughter and cousins in VA and to a couple other places in April thus we are unlikely to be able to put you up, Memphis is a very music savy place people here go to opera and symphony, a piano on a truck would not be a big attraction" ... "We would love to have you stay with us" ... "Of course we would be glad to have you!" ... "Sure, let me know when." I really love people. I went to tell my life long neighbors across the street today that I was leaving and to please watch the house. To my surprise, they had no idea of my plans. They stopped by my door an hour later with a hundred dollar check to help defray the costs and said I should drop my brochures off to the other neighbors. Cool! I wish I had time to do that. My other neighbor who I thought would have no idea of my plans told me they visit my website every day. Go figure... I HAVE TAKEN FLIGHT... WITH AN OPEN HEART.
February 15, 2007
I went and created some music for a few hours today on the ice and in the wonderfully two degree weather...not. I am staying centered; I can feel myself teetering to take off in flight. As I was reviewing what needed to be packed I started to visibly shake so that meant it was time for a walk. Bo and I met up with a few neighborhood kids to play on the ice. My camera is back and working. I am sending emails like crazy looking for overnight accommodations. I know my life will never be the same and will change dramatically once I start on this journey. I am very grateful to have Boner with me. Number one... I would not be doing it if it were not for him. I feel I must follow through with this mission and take it as far as I possible can... live it to the fullest.
February 14, 2007
I am starting to get excited again, focused about my purpose and goals for this musically spirited journey, I realize getting excited is good for energy but still, channel it, channel it, I must channel it. I went out in the snow to take some pictures of Boner today and the new $40 camera card I brought became defective. I am glad everything is giving me problems before I leave; I am working out all the kinks. I brought two more cards in case something like this happens again when I am not near a camera store. Still, the costs continue to mount. I still need to find an ac filter for my speakers. I started to call people who belong to an organization I recently joined called SERVAS. I have book full of phone numbers of people who may be willing to host us overnight while traveling. Can you imagine getting a phone call, "Hi my name is Danny and I am coming to your neighborhood with my truck that has a piano on the back of it and with my dog that hangs out on top of the piano? Can we stay at your house overnight?" Yikes! Do you know how much nerve it takes to do this? I just think of how wonderful it is to find people open enough to welcome strangers into their house. We shall see if it works. I said to myself, call ten a day... so far 5 no answers, 3 yes, 1 maybe, 1 no.
February 13, 2007
I am glad I decided to not drive in the snow/ice storm that my area is having today. I was going to relax and read a book all day but I slept instead. I woke after 5pm. I must have needed it. I made a meal for myself and now I am doing my "work" basics, watching some television, and hope to go back to bed soon. I was reminded that it is good that I have an eraser on the end of my pencil when it comes to this Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! I am in a life exercise of living in the moment with no opportunity for complacency. Someone else said, "it must be nice." I said, "it is what it is."
February 12, 2007
Flap, flap, flap, flap, flap... (I'm trying to take off on my Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration!) I am flapped out... screw it! I need a break. Oh the pressure, anticipation, fear, uncertainty... the drama. I am going to go to the movies tonight... (one of my favorite things to do) for the first time in TWO years. In fact, I am going to go to TWO movies and I will sneak into the second one. I am going to spend a day in bed reading a book. I am not leaving my home until my house is in order and I feel comfortable, rested, and ready. This journey is about fun and I will not be able to create and give spirit if I have none to give. I stopped over my neighbors house to thank them for supporting me with fifty bucks for the journey. I did not have time to stay for dinner but I walked out the front door with a breaded, well done porkchop in my hand. Karen likes em' well done. It was delicious. So, as the story of my life has been going, it may take me a while to get started but I ALWAYS get "it" going and I always get the job done with room to spare. I spend 100 percent of my time working and I accomplish 20 percent. I spend 100 percent of my time taking care of myself and once I get going, I accomplish 120 percent. And I have always been right on time. There is no need for any doubt. This is the way my life works. "Trying"... to work... or have fun... at any percent... results in one big fat zero all around. When I get in a trying mode I just need to stop. I am trying too hard so I.. STOP. For now... I choose love. That means I choose life and that means "my life"... so I can become stronger to share it. I am looking forward to creating new and surprisingly delightful experiences for people to discover. That is what I do best these days. For myself I feel like I am jumping off the cliff. I know this feeling... I have jumped off a cliff several times in the past. Once, I jumped off a bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand with roped tied around my feet. It is called bungi jumping. I am not afraid... uneasy... yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
February 11, 2007
Well... I am on my Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! My wings are flapping but I have yet to take flight. The cold air has frozen the electrical apparatus for the piano. In the old days... the hardcore equipment that was made back when... handled freezing temperatures without a problem. Now it seems nothing is made to last. The car battery inverter in the cab is also having trouble. First thing this morning I put the heater in the garage to warm up the room so I could troubleshoot and find out if it was in fact the cold. I went to close the garage and blew a house fuse. Luckily, there was a space left open of about a foot that I squeezed through like a little mouse... well not so little... I manually lifted the door. Good thing also... I have lost weight in the past year to be able to squeeze in. So it seems the problem last night was the cold because I had no problem getting sound and I improvised in my garage for a good forty minutes. I have a new speaker and equalizer which I was able to hear for the first time and what a difference in my spirit with better quality sound. I can do so much more. I can really make music when I put my mind to it! I am still getting used to the idea that I am actually a musician. I'm really good! Ha. After that always comes, "I want to share it." So time is passing but I am in the moment. Time is relative. Time to pack. I refuse to leave in a rush, under pressure, with a disgusting house; I want to straighten it up some.
February 10, 2007
What have I got myself into? A lot. Bo and I started with a sendoff at a tribe warehouse party north of Girard avenue in Philadelphia on 5th street. Finding the place reminded me of the old days when I was an underground club guy finding the secret door on the secret street. The only problem with this night was I was freezing as I ran up and down the deserted street with Bo in the truck and all the equipment exposed for a quick heist, "is it door number one, two, three, four?" I was looking through cracks in the walls for activity, listening for sounds, buttons to push. These parties are all so very low key on the surface most people do not realize what is going on right under their nose. By the end of the night this place would be warehousing a couple thousand guests. Finally I caught someone coming out a nondescript door to get something from their truck. "Is there a party going on around here?" "Who, you looking for"? "Lee". I could tell he was starting to play with my head. "Don't play with my head." "OK", he says, "this is it". I went to create some music before the party started and for the beginning of it. On the way down I was thinking, "you are doing this for you Danny... to have fun and experiment creating music in a new environment." I was not typical fare for an event like this and I did not know what to expect. I was feeling a little insecure that everyone would reject me. I kept telling myself, "it's an experiment." I had nothing to worry about everyone was welcoming. It was "thump, thump" music (techno) with tons of hoopers, yes as in hula hoops, with fire even... hooping has really gotten popular. The people who threw this party were incredibly inclusive to have me in their space at the last minute and I really appreciated that. The group calls themselves the Philadelphia Experiment and they were having their Heartburn Valentine Costume Ball. Great customs and fun and pillows on the floor everywhere. There was a swing hanging from the ceiling that I took advantage of. I was thrilled to find myself surrounded by cement and steel with all the sound bouncing off the walls. When I do parades, I always stop under cement overpasses to hear the sound. The only problem with tonight was that it was in fact a warehouse and it was twenty degrees outside and I was there before the burners had warmed the place up. Inside it must have been around ten. It was freezing. I started to play and I had just got to the right musical energy and then I heard a high pitched shrill and then the speakers went dead. I turned the inverter on and off and it kept happening again and again quicker and quicker until the system just would not work. I hope it was the cold. I am glad I got in about 45 minutes of playing, it was fun. The first time Boner was ever out in public was at a warehouse party in northeast Philly twelve years ago. He felt at home tonight just like he did back when, wandering all around on his own from floor to floor, from person to person. He is not intimidated by anyone, the strobe lights, the music; he just fit right in as usual. Myself, this was great for me because the music I have played for twenty years, Ragtime and Boogie Woogie was the first underground dance music in America and here I was playing it over a hundred years later in an underground dance club... full circle. Throwing my improvisational music into the mix was icing on the cake.
My life has really opened up. Last night I got an email from the daughter of Johanna, the eighty some year old lady who walked up to my truck using her walker this past fall while I was improvising on the bank of the Delaware river. Johanna nonchalantly pulled a harmonica out of her purse and started to jam with me. She died last week and her daughter told me of the great significance in our meeting, of pictures that we took together and of our sharing the passion of music. I really do feel passionate about music and I tell someone about Johanna at least once a week! It was so cool at this party tonight... a young guy came up to me saying, "hey man, I can't believe I am seeing you, I was having a really crappy day this fall and I drove buy you while you were playing on the side of the road in Penndel, Pa and you just snapped me out of it and I was happy for the rest of the day. I invited him up on the piano to play and he jumped up with his buddy. (Danny is smiling) I got to stare into the eyes of... and talk with a beautiful and I mean beautiful woman, a marine, who was just completely full of life and love. She took pictures for me and captured a great one of my angst when the piano died. And then along comes Rob. I have not seen this guy in at least twenty years, he is a burner like most of the tribe at this party the last I heard of him he was living in Alaska. He recently moved back to Delaware and here he is at this event and well.. It was just great to talk with him and share our souls together. Gee... now I don't give a shit if I can't get on the road by tomorrow, or if my entire electrical system is going to need to be replaced before I even get on the road, or if I get stuck in the predicted snow storm with the truck.
February 09, 2007
And so it begins... One step at a time, easy does it, fun... I am putting one foot in front of the other...sometimes it takes a good half hour for each foot but still... I am doing it. I woke up this morning to go play on 52nd and Chestnut Street in West Philly to start my journey. The wind chill outside was in the teens and when I went out last night into a field to check the sound system it was brutally cold, I could not do it with my fingertips. I thought while in bed, "no one is going to be walking on the city streets in this cold for fun and I will not have fun performing so it will not happen. If I was being paid a few thousands I would do it but... that would be work and not fun... and the Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! ...is about fun. It must be about fun. No pressure. Fun, fun fun. Am I convincing myself? Good. Let go and let God. Today is a wash out... as in I am going to get a chance to wash my dirty clothes before I leave but I know I won't because I am in slow mo... and maybe even clean the house a bit so when I come home it will be nicer... I wish. I did go to 52nd and Chestnut to get my stash of herbal vitamins for the trip. I talked Miriam the storeowner into to going with me to the party I will use tomorrow as my sendoff. She is a cool woman. I visualized myself playing on 52nd street in spirit today. I took a picture of the spot and put myself into it.
February 08, 2007
I used to not move forward in my life rationalizing that other peoples lives, the ones I witnessed, their happiness and contentment, their seemingly smooth riding life was fake. I used to tell myself "they are lying to themselves, they are in denial, they are not real, everything I see is a front, it is not real." My reality and my experience was one of struggle, fear, unhappiness, repression, judgment and stress. Anything good was warped in chaos. That kind of life never worked for me. I knew it was not "me" from as early as I can remember. There was none of what I now know as the good stuff in my past and I have been working my whole life to shed as much crap that I grew up with as possible.
Well here I am, one day away from leaving on my journey. I have this need to constantly remind myself of what my neighbor Ken said, "there's no hurry", another life long neighbor Larry reminded me today, "you can do this", and my friend Josh reminded me, "it is fun day". This Journey is an experiment for my life, an exercise in how life works best for me. I created it and its purpose is to contribute to the world. My biggest challenge will be to keep a strong sense of self and to manifest that sense of self-outward by being interested in others. I want to experience intimately every single person I meet. My story, my music, the truck with the piano on it and Boner they are all vehicles to help open relating. I have twenty-five years worth of experience and the tools to accomplish my intended goals.
This journey I am about to begin came from desire:
1. To have everyone meet my dog Boner, to introduce him to the world before he retires. Bo has been hanging out for ten years on top of my piano and is now twelve years old.
2. To create as much fun life experience for myself as possible before this 20-year gig on this 200,000 mile truck of mine drops dead. I am not getting another setup unless someone offers to pick up the tab and as a self-promoter on my present level of performing I am just about doneÉperiodÉdid itÉdone. It is up or out from here on in and I am going to enjoy every moment of whatever happens.
3. I want to offer and share my music with the world, no strings attached, mine or anyone else's. If money or fame ever comes from it, or I am able to make a living from it, whateverÉ I am going to let the universe decide thatÉ I just want to create music. Wow, that is a new, mind-blowing state of being for this career musician! Music... for the sake of music.
February 07, 2007
I am close to paying off the brochures I printed to help explain the journey that I am embarking on to introduce piano dog Boner to the world and to create music, friendship and joy. It will begin in two days. I continue to do the best that I can and everything I am capable of doing. I look forward to additional help from god, the universe, whatever floats the boat.... as well as present and future friends. My living expenses for the last two months and the next four... the expenses already incurred as well as the ongoing expenses that will incur during the journey while away from home, I am anticipating into materialization while working full steam ahead... today. I know completely that what I have to offer is good, is fun, and brings happiness and joy. I know that when I do the right things the right things happen. This is the story of my life. Boner and my contribution to the world is right and good so I am completely confident.... in the moment that is. Hahaha.
The number of friends who have contributed to this Journey to date is manageable to tell about so I want to do that with a spirit of gratitude and to remind myself that I am not embarking on this journey alone. There are people interested enough to be with me and Boner who support us at the bottom line, physically. I sent out an mailing in late December and Sherry, I don't know who she is but I do know that she is a friend... was the first person to contribute. She sent me $50 via paypal from a mass mailing. Anthony, a generous friend hired me to play for his church affair around Thanksgiving and contributed $600, Fran, the toy store owner on Germantown Avenue where I set up and played throughout Christmas dropped $150 into my tip jar one day when he saw that my attempt at getting tipped was not paying the bills very well. $200 dollars was donated by passersby over a period of three weeks performing on the street in Chestnut Hill. Andrea's school group donated $150 after I went to play for the kids. A senior couple from San Francisco the Cohen's sent me $20 bucks on paypal with some fun video shot on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill. My friend Mary helped me one night big-time designing my brochure and I tortured my friend Brad up in new York who helped with the wording on the brochure. Then there was a local guy, Troy from the car collision shop who started this whole thing. I threw the idea out to him that I might go on this journey and he threw $100 my way to start with the contributing. This woman I met Joan, wrote out a ten dollar check out on the street for me because she did not have any cash on hand. Matt in Ambler offered without my asking to make the new magnetic signs for the truck. My life long friend Cheryl sent me $20 cash from Florida in a Christmas card. My friends Patty and Lance sent me $200. Joe, my printer friend sent me a substantial amount of promo and business cards and put it on his tab. Harry from the local jazz society put in his $20 bucks worth. My tax guy Tim offered to contribute his services for this year's tax return. My neighbor and old town watch partner friend Wes is the reason I have been able to develop this website, his ongoing contribution as my friend and teacher for web design has been phenomenal. My neighbor from across the street came over to give me fifty bucks. I have a new friend Patricia who I met online and sends me emails of support daily. Shera from Canada sent me a hand made card of love and support for this Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! And today, Miriam who owns a health store in West Philly offered to supply me with herbal vitimins to last the entire trip. So there, it is so far. I am looking forward with security and joy.
February 06, 2007
I am planning ahead. Will someone please translate this into Spanish for me so I can present it to the police when they stop me?
I am sorry that I do not speak Spanish. I would like to learn. My name is Danny and I am a piano man. My work has been to play the piano as a professional for the last twenty years on the back of my pickup truck. My dog has been hanging out with me as I perform on top of the piano for ten years. Boner is his name and he is twelve years old. I am on a journey to introduce my dog to the world before he retires. We have traveled here to Mexico from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 3000 miles away to create music for people who have never seen a piano before or heard a piano player play his music. We have traveled here to extend our friendship and will be here for only two weeks. We have no schedule or plan except to find people and families in small towns and villages on my way to Roblito on the coast in Nayarit to gift with our music. In Roblito, we will visit friends who are helping the residents to build their village. We have very little to pay our way and would like to find overnight lodging and people to guide us through our journey. We would appreciate any help you can give.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
February 05, 2007
February 04, 2007
I am winding down with entries for the daily performance log. I will focusing towards a major life shift for me, the Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration to begin this coming Friday. I will attempt to publish everyday my experience, strength and hope... where I am, what is happening, and I will be posting a picture for each day as I have been doing on this present website link since May 06, 2006. Click on the... Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! link and take part in the journey. I sure would appreciate your support financially, and also with leads as to places to visit, help with overnight accommodations anywhere in the United States and Mexico, people to help guide me in strange lands, setting me up with friends to meet in any town anywhere, media connections, notes of support, spreading of the word, healthy thoughts and wishes, prayers etc... A friend recently reminded me to always remember... "Not all who wander are lost." - Tolkein ...I am so ...not... lost. I am found. I am embracing my gut feeling to follow through with an obligation to share what I have been gifted with... and to offer it all with the world... for whatever it is worth and that... is not up for me to decide. Forward in joy...
February 03, 2007
I am re...cup...er...at...ing.
February 02, 2007
Man Oh Man I had fun tonight at the Philadelphia International Auto Show. My load was lightened big time because my buddy Josh came along to help setup and detail the truck and also to take a few pics. I need to get a new camera this week mine is not focusing anymore. There was to be no slouching tonight, as the television cameras were on me most of the night. My creating music while entertaining, while responding to people wanting to communicate about Boner, while taking constant responsibility for Bo himself with people, while having my own conversations, giving special attention to people who needed it, keeping a watch for my friend Josh who had never before been to an affair like this, making sure I got some decent pictures for myself, addressing the press, keeping an awareness of the television show being taped, and breaking through people's agenda's to promote my future, the beginning of next weeks journey across the country. I had the truck covered in brochures and I was constantl handing them out. It is not easy to sell one's looks, music, personality and agenda's while at the same time putting forth my entertainment talent and creating my artistry while also taking responsibility for the venue, performance, the booking itself and cast members... all at the same time. Let us not forget the few thorns that are always sticking in ones side... part of the nature of the beast, misc security and union workers who seek to empower themselves with self importance by using whatever means possible as in me... "the dog can't come out of the truck" or, " the guy who pushes the button to get you in the building just went to the bathroom he'll be back in another hour or so". Overall, I must say the security and union people were great.
Anyway, everyone was there; Boner is so incredibly popular at this affair especially with his bow tie. I remember last year trying out my improv for the first time in public at this show and how proud I was at having been able to have the nerve to create my own music for five minutes. Tonight ninety percent of my playing and I played for almost three hours was my own improvisational music the rest was the usual Ragtime and Boogie Woogie. The energy for this black tie affair was high flying. The local ABC affiliate, television channel six resented a live show form the gala and I improvised my own music through the entire segment they did on Boner and I. That... I can tell you is beyond my wildest of dreams... to be improvising my own music on television... and it was good as I have always been good at creating chaos and excitement. What I have to offer was perfect for a wild and loud party. I guess that means I can be very flexible with my pianistic musical abilities and improvisational abilities. This experience filled me with self-confidence because I have always been mostly improvising outdoors, non-intrusively in and for completely serene, natural and quiet environments. I like versatility, to be able to do and experience as much of everything as possible.
Every television news personality was there hanging the Traveling Piano truck the entire channel six news team. Now at home I am crashing and I can tell you tomorrow I wonder if I am going to be able to move. Performing as I did tonight takes a major toll on me physically. It will have been worth it. One of my favorite visuals every year, this was my seventh year performance for the gala... is the big buxomed babes. I know that's crude and old man-ish; I am trying to be cute, maybe plump for a word? Anyway, there are always a lot of Beautiful women (with a big B) to enjoy looking at every year. Everyone is eye popping. I have the perfect overall view from my piano seat up above on the truck. Josh made the rounds of the food tables collecting entrees for us to eat when we were done. He stashed them all in the truck cab. Don't tell anyone that Wolfgang Puck provided us both with dinner for about eighteen... for a week. What fun with great tasting dinner entrees. This fundraiser is a benefit for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and I am always treated respectfully by everyone who runs the charity event from the top on down. Everyone who works the floors of the convention center is always glad to see us and they are as helpful as can be. I wanted to start inviting people up on the truck to play but thought better, especially seeing as the Philadelphia Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation paid top dollar for me to perform. Well tonight was the last, I think... of the high-falutin' lifestyle for a while. I do not think they have tuxedoed affairs in the areas of the United States and Mexico where I will stopping to performing in over the next few months.
February 01, 2007
I was so full of fear about what I have presently chosen to do with my talents last night... concerning my trip... I shut down for two hours, sort of passed out. Once I got going tho, I really started moving, I got into what I was doing, figuring solutions for storage, fixing loose wires, completely overhauling the electrical system in the truck with the help of Josh a great guy who is helping me just because he's a nice guy, works at the local radio shack. My life long neighbor Larry helped me build some storage shelving for inside the piano today as I have little room for anything to take with me. I was spray painting the piano chair and soaked my fingers in black paint, my fingernails are outlined in black! That should look real nice for the International Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Gala that I will be performing for tomorrow night. Dirty fingernails, ugh. Of course, it would be impressive for me to say I am completely sure of myself with this trip to Mexico and Hollywood and throughout rural America not having an idea of where I am going or what will happen. The fact is I am wavering big time with uncertainty as to my ability to pull this journey off. I am fifty-one years old and Boner is in his eighties? I found out the areas I will be traveling to in Mexico have no water. It is trucked in once week; do not drink the water... watch out for Boner as people throw out poison meat to kill the wild dogs I am told. Yikes. Well, my purpose is to go into non-luxurious areas, I may be sleeping in the back of my truck, not a pretty thought. I am prepping to keep my spirits high in areas and with people who are not high-spirited. That is partly why I am doing this whole thing... to lift spirits. I want to cry... cry me a river so I have water to drink in Mexico that is.