HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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April 30, 2014
In the Woods, West Virginia
Its raining outside again. I'll never forget at this time of year when I was selling my house and I had all the contents outside in my yard on tables trying to sell and raise money from it all for this journey. There were lots of big tables and everyday it would rain at an unpredictable time and I had to run around like a manic covering and uncovering, securing everything all the time. That was hell now that I look back at it! Ha. My friend Larry died. A life long neighbor, knew him for fifty years and met him when I was ten. He was a good friend in later years and had driven me in many parades, always willing to be helpful, a true male mentor for my life. I've written about him in this blog several times as he was a huge emotional support in giving me the courage to continue onward with the Traveling Piano truck and all its mechanical problems no matter what. Larry got the engine working for me last August with a sealer and its still going. We had complete closure. He died without any enemies or even one person disliking him. To me that is a most major life accomplishment... for everyone" to know you as a friend or just a good person. I had talked with him, called to say hello by phone two days before he passed.
Today is my friend Dot's birthday. I've never met Dot. We connected almost immediately after I left Alaska via online. She lives in Alaska and is a transplant originally from New York State. Today is her eighty-sixth birthday. We have a special upfront, caring and willingness in friendship together. I know she cares about me and she puts out effort to show it. Back when, I had sent her an old music cd of mine that has a recording on it of a novelty ragtime piano solo piece named Nola written in 1915 by Felix Arndt. I recorded it some thirty years ago. In wanting for her birthday to be special, I created a slideshow video for her birthday with Nola as the soundtrack. It s the first presentation I've ever put out on the blog (I think) of me playing anything other than musical improvising. Its long, a test of concentration... can you handle the challenge? This slideshow is almost 20 minutes long with just under a 1000 photos of a Traveling Piano journey through Alaska. All photos occurred over a period of three months and are in the synchronistic and spontaneous order in which the events happened. The entire piano solo is looped seven times in this slideshow, Ha! Details about the photos can be found here in the daily blog entries from 2011.
April 29, 2014
In the Woods, West Virginia
While its raining outside I'm torturing myself trying to decide how and where I will spend the next month. Florida was so nice everyday with sunshine, perfect temperatures and practically no rain. Now sometimes here in West Virginia it is nice... mostly its been cloudy, cold, dank and rainy... like old times. I have a wedding to attend in Brooklyn. There are friends where I am now who will watch Mo and if I go without the Traveling Piano truck and I could have the one last fling in New York City that I've been wanting for years but, I really don't want to go without Mo or the Traveling Piano and miss opportunity to share what we have to offer. Doing both is very difficult. When I am with the truck I am automatically in work mode. Then there is a friend four hours north of New York that would like a birthday visit on the 18th. Its very interesting how the truck engine is not an issue in my head!!! It has been running on a sealer since August. Also, I'd like to just stay where I am and chill for a while (like a month) after having been running around since January. But then again, if I am going to go west across the north part of the country and visit Oregon which I missed last time I was in that area and Montana again which I love... the fall season is going to come very fast so I can't wait to long to get going in that direction.
April 28, 2014
In the Woods, West Virginia
For many years on this blog I could remember whether I was ever repeating myself... I think. Not now. Maybe I just care less? It raining and feels good to get up at three in the afternoon! Lol, I mean without feeling guilty because someone is in the next room judging me. Its really nice not to worry about how I look as in wearing clothes. There are television shows to catch up with and binge on but also several thousand pictures to still process from the last few months and thats more important. When you don't make "any" money you don't think or worry about making "more" money. I do have a few friends who send me drips and drabs which does not come close to paying all my expenses but it all does without question give me more than enough emotional support in order to continue. My gratitude is expressed through my commitment to continue sharing this journey with the world for whatever it is worth. Yesterday, I read about a wise man saying that "Inequality is the root of social evil." This fact is good info to spread around. Oh my God I have decisions to make! How can I not laugh at that thought by now, like it is possible to live and not make decisions? To let life, or something else makes my decisions for me is a decision, something I have decided to do either conscious or non-conscious in of it self.
April 27, 2014
In A Vortex, West Virginia
The Traveling Piano has officially been designated a "Gun Free Zone."
April 26, 2014
Once again as I have said hundreds of times, the day was beautiful so I wanted to take advantage of it. Mo and I drove to Winchester, Virginia to have dinner with a friend but also to create some music. Yesterday when I went for a walk I pushed myself physically too hard. Also, with another present health issue, it was important to take it easy. There was a wine tasting festival going on in town. I was tempted to offer the Traveling Piano if the people running it were willing to be spontaneous and let me park the truck in the middle somewhere. After walking around a bit in all the activity, even though it was a beautiful day and everyone was having a great time definitely, it was not my scene. It was like all the typical events I used to work in during my past life. Work? Not into it, thank God I don't have to. Of course I'm talking about work in the conventional performing, provide a service sense. I'm working everyday for most of my days with the Traveling Piano in a very non-conventional way. We drove to the local park and I found a spot on the grass away from all activities. There were a lot of picnics going on. First, I laid in the sun for a spell. Then as I began to create music an older guy on a moped found us and sat an listened for awhile. While my eyes were closed in meditation creating music... I opened them to find him standing next to us. We began to chat and he looked a bit torn and tattered. I asked him if he had been sleeping in the woods (tongue in cheek) and if the music woke him up. In reference to his clothes he said his dog tore into them. He got onto the piano bench to create some music for himself and left the situation very grateful, me too.
April 25, 2014
In the Woods, West Virginia
It rained today. That can lead to a lot of thinking especially when no one else is around. I was thinking how I needed to get a gallon of water while on the road and was looking for a local store in several towns I passed through to make a purchase the other day. All the stores wanted to charge more than the dollar stores and the towns (4) were too small for a supermarket. Charge more, how much more? Well, one place wanted me to pay $2.49 for a gallon of water, the same price as Deerfield. (which is squeezing all other brands out of the market to force people to pay more) I said to the guy, "I'd like to support local business and will pay more money but I'm not going to allow myself to get gouged especially when down the street I can get the same gallon you purchased from the dollar store for $1.00. He said, "how about $1.50? I told him that I had no interest in bargaining and that he was going to go out of business if he did not simply offer product at a reasonable price. This type of stupidity is everywhere. Poor people, small local business trying to rip off poor local neighbors or visitors passing through. Communities need to band together and support each other in business as well as spirit. So I must decide, who I am going to allow to screw me? No one. I'll make it a fun challenge to discover other alternatives. Maybe I'll start with better planning for traveling on the road. Its all about priorities.
April 24, 2014
Cacapon State Park Lookout, West Virginia
For the next week the weather forecast calls for rain so I wanted to make sure we got outside today. I gave myself a relaxing pace. We drove up to the top of an overlook in Cacapon State Park. As I was setting up the computer to record some music, just before I started a car appeared and so I switched into a share the piano mode. It was for a couple out for a ride in order to enjoy life. Of course they wanted to explore the piano because they both love music. The timing was perfect because I got to interact with a few people and when they left no one else appeared for the three hours we were there. I created music, recorded some, and went for a long walk on the mountain ridge with Mo. Its right before pre-bug season and all of nature is primed for a spring to life big-time.
April 23, 2014
Morgan County, West Virginia
Most of today was spent writing the blog for the last two days. It took a long time. I know its a lot to read but I said everything I wanted to say. This blog is basically my diary with some consideration for others but, the bottom line is that I must please myself first and foremost. That is where I find the fun to continue from within myself first and foremost. I just realized that finding, choosing and manifesting happiness... it all happens at the same time. I had a conversation with someone about how I live my life. Its worth noting that I do let life find me everyday as far as my work with the Traveling Piano is concerned but that comes as a result of a conscious decision to let that happen... I make it almost every time I get in the truck to do my work. Other than that I do think, plan and project life in all ways possible... in my head. Its a neccessity for me to an extent in order to live. Something interesting happened a few days ago that is still with me. At the time I remember feeling it, thinking it, and now... am sure of it. I had a visitation from Piano Dog Boner through a dog named Bella two days ago.
April 22, 2014
Surry County, Virginia
There was another guy I had never met, and he had welcomed us to stay overnight while still in the area but I felt like a dirty rag this morning and just wanted to get back to West Virginia. I felt rested but told myself I wasn't because I slept on the floor last night and woke up at 7:00am. I had a twin bed to use but it was not against any wall and I knew I'd be up all night trying to not fall out because... I flip - flop when sleeping so... I just slept on the floor with Mo. It had a nice rug. Felicia my host had left for work (she's an elementary school nurse) just before I got downstairs and her parents were still sleeping. If the parents had not been there I would have had to leave early when she left anyway because I think the hosting situation was too new for her.
Mo and I were not on the road for more than ten minutes when my cell phone rang. I thought, "Who would be calling me this early in the morning as everyone knows I don't get up before ten or eleven." It was my friend Amy and she was about to have a difficult day at her work with everyone else there. Knowing we were in the area she asked if I could stop by and create some good energy and lift everyones spirit with the Traveling Piano. The thought was not thrilling for me because it was at least an hour and a half in the opposite direction and the drive back after a day interacting with people would then be over six hours. But then again I could not ignore the synchronicity and timing of the call and reminded myself that this journey is about spontaneity. Amy said the visit would create a lot of exposure for me as she works for a dog rehabilitation/rescue center that has a super large following on facebook. Ha, I asked, "Exposure for what?" I reminded her that when there is a goal for exposure there must be a plan in place that will create a specific guaranteed outcome. Exposure to people in of itself does nothing for anything and to gain anything from exposure someone has to have a specific agenda and that always takes work. Nevertheless, I decided to visit and had to reevaluate why I was doing it and sort out all "whats in it for me" thoughts because of the conversation. My intent was to be helpful and create Fun, Friendship and Respect with Musical Empowerment and Inspiration and do it without fees, tips, organizational, commercial or political affiliation. Thats my job and it has to be fun. I must set my own boundaries and limits about everything and that can be tricky at times. Amy took pictures of what is written on the bottom half of the Traveling Piano... "loving here" "living now."
We had a beautiful drive through cotton fields and ham country in Smithfield, Virginia. The dog rehabilitation place we visited was named Dog's Deserve Better. It is a non-profit dedicated to freeing chained dogs and bringing them into homes as a family member. The organization purchased the property that football star Michael Vicks had owned and used as a breeding, dog fighting compound for gambling and abuse... before he got caught. The place has a really nice house with three large black wood barn structures on something like eleven acres. It was very interesting to see and almost surreal to think about what went on there. I had never invested emotional interest into the situation when it was exposed but many other people around the world did. What was going on was without question disgusting. The property now is all about remembering bad while creating good. We had fun with everyone there. A dog named Molly got onto the piano with Mo and she was really liking him. Without touching she was creating very smooth humping rhythm motions behind Mo and so of course I began to jam musically with her movement. Lol, maybe thats disgusting but it was certainly interesting and fun! You would think I would fall into bed as soon as I reached West Virginia. Damm, too much stimulation... I was up till two in the morning trying to come down from all the activity over the last few days.
April 21, 2014
If there is anyone reading this blog who wants their pictures... they need to contact me from the link to the left of this page. Your email address needs to be put into the information field. It must be correct for me to send you the pictures. I get messages without any email address in the reply field so if you have sent a note and did not get a reply... send another note and make sure your email address is included.
The day began with a drive to the music store to replace my speaker which is why I drove to Richmond Virginia in the first place. This kind of situation can be very uncomfortable for me. It was ingrained as a child that if something broke it was my fault and I needed to be punished. So today even though there was no problem with the store I wanted to create a problem for myself. First, all jittery I stopped the truck and could not get it into reverse. Then I began to try and force it until I caught myself and said, "just get the speaker and deal with this later." Of course later... there was no problem. When I got out the the truck my thumb nail caught onto something and began to rip it off but... again caught myself just in time. This scenario has played out many times in my life. Thankfully I was able to get a grip, relax and know what I do not want to happen which was anything destructive. I used the serenity prayer to get some peace of mind and carry on safely.
Most of the people working at the store had a chance to come outside to see the Traveling Piano and meet Mo which says a lot about the kind of musical people they are. Often, musicians can be stand-off-ish due to an ego type a chip on their shoulder... not this group! Afterwards we drove into the city to have some fun. The first place I found was a park with a lake where I could drive to the waters edge. It was a beautiful day. I found amazingly colorful two feet long coy fish swimming around in slimy trash with dead fish floating everywhere. I was disgusted and left immediately in order to not lose my feeling of well being. There were two kids hanging out in a car next to the Traveling Piano and I asked, "do you want to try out the piano?" Rather than the usual, "I don't know how to play" or "I can't play" he asked, "will you show me how." Wow, that was great... and then the fun began. Two older ladies came over and then another girl. The six of us and Mo spent time and everyone got onto the piano to create music together all originally strangers, now all having fun in friendship and bonding over music and their discoveries... my favorite Traveling Piano scenario.
After that I drove to find a sandwich place to get something to eat. On the way I passed a bunch of kids hanging out on a porch. I pulled up to the sidewalk on a corner and they all came over to check out what was happening. The owner of the sandwich place we found, which was in the Carytown district of Richmond, jumped onto the truck as well as other people. Not very noticeable but all over Richmond I saw very nice and interesting retro 50's doo-wop type, commercial advertising signs and buildings. Also, I've been seeing in different places a new trend throughout the country as I drive around... people standing in long lines waiting outside barbecue places and rib joints to get lunch or dinner. Whats up with that? Who started it and how? Are these places becoming more popular for some reason? Towards evening I drove to Mechanicsville, Virginia which is a little north of Richmond to stay overnight with a new friend named Felicia who we were meeting for the first time. She is the next to last of nine children originally from south Jersey my old neck of the woods. Her husband was away turkey hunting and kids were away at school. Felicia's eighty-seven year old dad and his wife were visiting and we all had a good chat with music and dinner before bed. The house, yard and neighborhood was well groomed and reminded me of my past home... very comfortable. I slept on the floor with Mo because the bed was a twin and not against a wall. I knew without question I would have stayed up all night trying not to fall out of it, ...lol. My exhaustion level was past the point of being able to think or carry on a conversation by the end of the night.
April 20, 2014
First, I truly enjoyed this Easter morning laying in a favorite lounge chair outside in the sun and warmth and fresh air... here in Berkeley Springs, WV. Then it was off to Richmond VA to replace music equipment. The store of course is closed until tomorrow but I want to get it all over with as soon as possible and I don't have it in me to drive both down and back in one day. Last time I was in Richmond happens to be 25 years ago today! It was for the city Easter Festival, my 1st overnight performance stay ever. I traveled overnight no more than five times in the twenty years when I worked as a performer as I was always booked in the same communities over and over every year in the Philadelphia PA areas. That was back when I called the Traveling Piano truck Raggin' Piano Boogie because... I performed Ragtime and Boogie Woogie piano music.
I've never had the opportunity to write about the not so great stuff when staying in places because I want to focus on the good but now I have been staying in more motels and some of the experiences are kind of funny like... a shower head that is four feet from the ground? A floor so dirty that no matter how many times I scuffle around from the bathroom to the bed using the shower mat, the floor stays dirty. Soap that is so old it smells like it was made during the civil war or soap that acts like body lotion. (it leaves an oily film on your skin) This room I am now in has no ventilation, no fan, heat, air conditioning or a window that will open. Thats not as bad as having dry air blow on you all night from a wall unit who's filter has not been replaced in over twenty years and that totally dehydrates your skin and body overnight. Ahh... complaining, it can certainly serve as a frustration reliever for life, especially if you want to create more frustration for yourself.
April 19, 2014
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
I'm still looking out the window to see if its snowing yet! Lol, "Its going into spring Danny." I phoned my friend Larry. He is my Traveling Piano truck guru and life long friend. From my point of view... Larry (his health) has been deteriorating for years (his bones, cancers, a trip to the hospital for dialysis everyday, a battery tied around his waist to keep his heart pumping and more) but he just keeps going. From his point of view... he just keeps going and although he gets frustrated, he is not unhappy because his focus is on the keeping going. I need people in my life like Larry to help me keep a no fear attitude. So, with the truck engine today, what to do with it flip flops in my brain because its been running on glue since August, I'm going to just keep going. It made it back from Florida no problem. What is a problem... Mo and I were visiting old haunts today. I went to play music and found my speakers high end sound dead. No wonder it was giving me a headache the last few days in Florida. I thought I could not hear from the palm trees blowing and the wind. So now, I must backtrack three and a half hours to Richmond, Virginia because that is the closest place to switch out this speaker that I paid $850 bucks for a half year ago!
April 18, 2014
Morgan County, West Virginia
I'm still working in my head with the fact that the season is moving into spring and not autumn having just come from a summer like environment in Florida. The trees are all sticks and wood. Having not been alone by myself with Mo in three months it feels a little weird. There is a strip of towns calling to me with the Traveling Piano about an hour and a half away from where I am. They are in Virginia. On the way north I passed through them for the third time. There is a friendly, hometown, simple vibe from the old buildings and streets. People say hello to everyone they see. Even though the towns are close to each other, there are about five of them within a few miles along the stretch... there is still a break in development between them. Its not like everything is connected with stores to makeup a mass suburbia from someplace.
I did not see any Dollar General stores. Thats a good thing. The chain is on my mind because I saw my first Dollar General Market a few hours earlier. Owned by several corporations, two are Goldman Sachs and Citigroup...to see rich people proliferate these stores and move into neighborhoods too poor to have even a Walmart and then sell crap to communities who have little other options but to purchase the low class, fake food and products that used to be dumped into poorer foreign countries... it makes me angry especially because these companies are becoming successful by squeezing out what is left of local business. What can I do? I've been focusing on my breathing, listening to it in order to run inside myself until it feels safe and secure enough to come back out with Fun, Friendship and Respect. I cannot offer or change everything for the world but I can give Fun, Friendship and Respect with no interference, no matter what... if thats what I choose to do.
April 17, 2014
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Yesterday I went from palm trees, then to lush greenery and today spring appeared with light greenery with purple "redbud" trees galore. It is interesting that I saw these trees for the first time only last year. They are incredibly vibrant in bloom. I became conscious of not being with ocean water everywhere. When I saw my first mountain, that brought a huge smile to my face. In thinking about street lights and how there were very few in the Florida Keys... life is better without them. Street lights disempower people to be responsible in many ways and the waiting for them... I never waited once waited as long for a clear break in traffic as I have for every single street light there was in Florida. It only seems like the waits are long when I am doing it with my own cognizance. Also, I will not miss the overpass interstate road signs in Florida constantly telling me to be a vigilante and on the lookout for vehicles the government is trying to catch for one reason or another. That really irritated me. The nature and individuals I interacted with in Florida made our time there as significant as when in Alaska, Mexico or Newfoundland. It was as epic! So, we reached West Virginia just after sunset and while I made my bed and put the rug down for some comfort wow, "don't put too much stuff out Danny, don't try to get comfortable as in homey." This is not a home, nothing is secure for me here as far as staying at my friends cabin and I have more goals to accomplish with the journey.
April 16, 2014
Fort Mill, South Carolina
I'm conscious of not pushing myself too much with the driving. We stopped just a few miles south of Charlotte, North Carolina. I just head for any Mote l6 I can find because they are inexpensive compared to most other places and do not charge dog fees which are ridiculous or question at all. First thing I look for is to see how many people are living there. Where I parked I could not see the truck from my room so I asked if the area was safe and she said yes and then two guys came up to the desk saying their vehicle had been broken into last night. I ended up parking the Traveling Piano outside the front door of the motel all night. That was safer with light, movement and visibility. I have no urge to create music because all my focus is on the next leg of this journey and knowing I have no energy (like I used to when I was younger, ha) to empty the truck for a fifteen minute exchange with someone and then put it all back and then continue driving... nada energy for that.
April 15, 2014
Cheeeesss... I just went to go outside and need a coat!. Damm! Air conditioning was needed this morning. We left Florida dodging rain for most of the way but I was super tired so we stopped to get a room earlier than I thought I would. Of course now... I can't get to sleep. We are heading north back to West Virginia to get the truck engine replaced or repaired. The guy had not returned my calls. I called him today and so its still a go... with hesitation on my part. I'm too in the moment to realize I left Florida. There were so many experiences. It feels like I worked more over the last few months than ever for the beginning of a year. Who knows, its all a big blur now. Good thing its all written down here in this blog. I watched palm trees disappear as I drove and they were replaced with lush spring greenery of all other types and now here in Georgia, its friggin' freezing again!
April 14, 2014
Fort Desota Beach, Florida
I'm winding down the Florida part of this Journey tonight very thankful, appreciative and grateful. A few days ago the option to head for West Virginia would have been my last but today it is absolutely the right place to head for. I have a phone number for someone who said they would get the truck engine in running order there and they have not called back after two calls. I really hate when that happens because now, how am I supposed to trust that they are interested and all the rest. No worries, I'm feeling the direction of the universe. Today was all about me, not the Traveling Piano although I did play some and record music in two different spots but again for just me and the world after... a full day at the beach!
I got up early enough to get there by eleven in the morning with all my supplies and stayed until after sunset. I laid in a lounge chair under a beach umbrella about six feet from the waters edge and the best thing to happen... I went swimming in the ocean for the first time in over fifteen years. I may have mentioned in the past that the ocean has been my most favorite place. God, that felt good. I fetched a wood stick with Mo for the sake of a picture in the water. The temperature was perfect. We drove down a small road to see where it would lead and it took us right up to a roseate spoonbill wading in the water. Shell key was the stop for the sunset on the way back. I was taking pictures with my polaroid sunglasses on and everything looked amazing.
April 13, 2014
Shell Key, Florida
I'm milking this journey for all its worth. We went to the beach today in Fort Desota state park and I knew there would be more people but... it was more than more. Sunday afternoon at the beach on a warm, sunny and breezy day, tons of people all with dogs. The rest of the country should see this place and take note when it comes to restricting dogs. Very little scuffling, no dogs on people problems, no poop laying around... it was a great afternoon with hundreds of dogs. If I lived here I would make good friends with many locals for sure, especially from those who frequent this park.
Afterwards I drove to the north end of the island to play music with my favorite view of the skyway bridge. I wanted to record music and I used my headphones. Sunglasses and headphones... a sure way to keep people away. A few came over anyway and I am glad they did. My music was not inspiring to me at all. Ha, you win some you lose some. We ended up at Shell Key for the sunset. It was really a nice place but again, did not feel inspired. The headphones keep the music too in my head. Looking at the views, not enough... hearing all the sounds of nature around me along with the views while creating music is better.
April 12, 2014
Pinellas County, Florida
I was very tired today and even took a nap which was very unusual. Then, I realized that I had driven six hours yesterday and had also put in a full days work. I tinkered around and organized to leave and tried to take time to know about my next move west to Los Angeles. Something urged me from inside to call my Goddaughter in New York city yesterday to touch base and she called me back within twenty four hours which was another unusual happening. She is getting married in a month and wanted to make sure I would be there. After asking how it would be possible because of distance, time, truck venerability and journey agenda she said she would look into a plane ticket for me and then I said I may have a place to leave the truck and Mo in California if we take that route. Part of me deep inside had said just forget going because she has not reached out to keep in touch for years at a time then I had to get "real" about how much I love her and her family, how much they have given to my life and how important it is for me to be there for her. (from her point of view) My journey is first and foremost about relationship and my priorities concerning relationship have never failed me. So... it looks like I will be driving north back to West Virginia. My present will be the money that would have been spent on a plane ticket, ha! I'll have to purchase dress up clothes. (double, ha)
During the time I am backup north I will get the truck engine either replaced or rebuilt. Enough of dealing with the truck engine issue! Enough... enough... enough. It has had its time with almost 300,000 miles on it. I'd rather head west towards the end of May knowing I can make it up and over a mountain. I deal with enough uncertainty in other ways and need to pick my battles concerning it carefully these days. So in this case its no money or no truck. Money usually turns out to be a perceived problem in this journey the truck is presently... a real problem. Before it got dark today I forced myself to go visit a grill vendor selling sandwiches in a nearby shopping center parking lot. There was two synchronistic encounters with the guy running it over the past week and he asked me to stop by so I did. We and fun. I saw a couple pieces of meat fall on the parking lot ground and then after a minute or two picked them up to put back on the grill. There are lots of situations with food that happen all the time including supermarkets that hide outdated food inside packaging of good food and... the less I know about all that sometimes the better. In this case, I had no problem with them not offering me a sandwich or my purchasing one from them to support their business as I had already given with the Traveling Piano. lol
April 11, 2014
Very much I wanted to visit the neighborhood here in Florida where young unarmed Trayvon Martin was murdered a few years ago and was not sure it was going to happen because I am leaving the state soon and the city is more than half way across the state in the opposite direction from where I will be heading but... the thought just kept on nudging me until this morning I woke up and said, "just go." The disrespect for Trayvon's death by law-enforcement and the subsequent support from organizations such as the NRA was so irresponsible, I felt a need to go and share some Fun, Friendship and especially... Respect to people I think deserve more respect than they have been getting. Once I reached Sanford, at a red light I asked a woman in the car next to me where I could find some neighborhoods. She pointed me to an apartment complex and I pulled in and up to a shady area on a corner. The place looked decent. There were people interested. We had a great time.
As I was about to leave a slick all white car pulled up with all black windows and a sun glassed blond flipped out saying with a totally ignorant attitude and arrogant tone, "take the dog off the piano." My knee-jerk response wanted to say, "go fuck yourself" but the energy around me was too good to say that so I said, "its my dog, on my piano, in my truck." Her response was, "its my property" and I replied "and because of that, I'm leaving." I said goodbye to everyone and as I began to drive out she got back in her car. I stopped and paused as she just sat there hiding behind her windows. What really pissed me off about that was the fear I felt from a couple of the kids as they said, she was calling the police. I told them I was in a public place and doing nothing wrong and when your intent is one hundred percent sincere nothing can ever harm you so do not ever worry. A government that creates fear in children through law enforcement makes me very angry.
A couple miles back on the road I shook off all negativity by asking another person outside a store where Twin Lakes was. One of the younger kids at the apartment complex actually suggested I go there because thats where Trayvon Martin was killed. If thats not a nudge, I don't know what is. The woman I was asking led me to where I found a bunch of neighborhood kids in after school play directly across the street from the murder. We had fun! Then I asked someone where the hood was, "the area considered the worse where outside people never go into." I found a very funny looking downtown street that had a pizza shop and maybe two other small stores but mostly the street was full of churches and bars one after the other on both sides, all the way down the street. I thought, "no wonder everyone here is poor they are probably giving whatever money they have either to a church or a bar." I stopped in a field where lots of stuff was being given away and learned that it all came from a mission across the street. Not a mission with a church or religion attached name, simply a mission that serves food and acts as a homeless shelter a place to help people become self sufficient.
Before I departed the people working there did a prayer circle on me which has not happened since Mo and I were in Joplin, Missouri after the tornado there. The words that come from people on my behalf in prayer circles are always "right on" they validate and reassure me and my journey with a true knowing of who I am, what I'm about, what my journey is all about and what my needs are. Finally before it got dark I found a park in an hispanic neighborhood where I created music and then let Mo run for loose and free for a bit. I've been thinking about how I was ingrained with racial prejudice from the very start of my life along with prejudice towards kids who went to public schools, people of other religions, ousted family members, its a long list. Prejudice is a disease and it is generational. Like alcoholism for me, it will never go away. It is something I must live with, accept in myself and always be conscious of. I can keep it at bay through work to irradicate it from within myself... for future generations. I think everyone has either ingrained or learned prejudice in one form or other.
April 10, 2014
St. Petersburg, Florida
It is taking an awful lot of energy and thought in preparing to move into the next stage of this journey. Visiting Florida took seven years and I am reminded how everything happens when the time is right. Its been wonderful. It has been as fulfilling. Working to stay present is a challenge. A woman named Peggy got onto the piano today and I posted her picture on Facebook. A friend commented, "I bet you come across people that are really talented and a few who think they are talented.' My reply, "surprisingly, I've come across less than 3 people out of 50,000 in 9 yrs who have thought they were talented. People are totally involved in enjoying the present moment so they do not think or feel self-centered. 85% of the people I meet have never played a piano, don't think they can play or have been psychologically damaged from music lessons when they were kids so with a Traveling Piano connection, for the first time they feel empowered to have musical fun without judgement and with abandonment. The lady today Peggy, one of her skills is that she knows how to "tickle" the ivories as in "play" have fun on the piano with random musical notes. Now thats talent!
I wrote," Wow, the Traveling Piano with an engine running on a sealer (glue) life expectancy two months (diagnosed back in august) will be heading out of Florida on Tuesday... West to LA. Ha, die...die.die... I laugh at projected worry!!!" A friend commented, "...so what are the alternatives....a new engine or truck...be safe Danny." I replied, "the only choice is to live in the present moment while thinking about options for the future while being aware not to become inundated with those thoughts about the future. And you know... my life is not about being safe! Ha, If it was, I'd do nothing but try to stay safe all the time. For me that leads to complacency which leads to certain death. Your support keeps me safe enough." This friend is one of seven people who sends me a contribution through a subscription on this website every month. Together, they all come to a hundred bucks which translates into a little more than three bucks a day of emotional support. I'll take all the emotional support I can get. I'm not interested in tips, donations or fees... I'm interested in contribution and desire to be part of and that translates into emotional support for me. Another friend has contributed more and her contribution has given me the courage to "go west old man."
April 09, 2014
Bay Vista, Florida
I met a sixteen year old named Leon with his godfather in a small park that I've been wanting to check out. There is so much water here, I've been enjoying it all with the sun and temperatures... totally. There were people who stopped by and who were hanging around but it was just the two guys who seized the opportunity to try out some music on the Traveling Piano. Afterwards, Mo and I drove to the Skyway Park South and to the end of a cement fishing pier built out into the ocean. It cost four bucks to get on. I so much wanted to do it. Once I reached the end of the pier I found it a little trashy and it was windy and cold. Knowing it might be cold, I brought my night cap and wore a thermal top. Along with a jacket I was fine. There were fisherman there. Everyone enjoyed the music but no one wanted to get on board.
I have to admit I did not look very inviting as I was recording music with my headphones on while wearing a black cap and sun glasses. Today was the first day I recorded outside using my headphones. It gave another dimension to my sound but I could not hear the nuances of nature as I created the music. It is a unique experience to create music with three foot high pelicans, white feathered egrets and seagulls hanging out and walking around only two feet away from the truck. Mo was fascinated for about the first half hour. I did not feel very inspired with my music for recording but I did enjoy just expressing the experience musically which was everything to me. With my camera I caught a great shot of Pelicans taking a dive together into the water together. After the sun set I felt too exhausted to continue and called it a day.
April 08, 2014
St. Petersburg, Florida
It rained today and as a result two hundred more pictures have been posted to the websites galleries. I'm seriously getting my head together to move on. Florida has been fantastic. The amount of work I have done here is amazing. Leaving Josh and Courtney feels like a challenge. I've max'ed out my stay with them, ha... they set the departure date and I really appreciate that because... it is becoming more and more of a challenge to be on my own. I've been liking the roommate feel, having company to hang around with. Ah, the pendulum swings back and forth on staying with people and being on my own. Ultimately, I like being with people "around" (personal time) interact every once in a while... need to not project what will come next.
April 07, 2014
Fort De Sota, Florida
After the usual work all morning, it feels good to work intensely in order to catch up from my computer being out of commission for over a week, actually it just feels good to do what I do... Mo and I went to the beach. That felt better than work. There were waves today with white foam. ha, that was a first and the sounds were so fulfilling as I laid in a lounge chair listening to and feeling wind and waves. Mo ran around, he played a lot in the ocean. For years I've been wanting to get to the beach and I've been since here in Florida, but today with the waves, few people around, my dog, the breeze... we were in the garden of eden, my most perfect place. Mo learned to body surf waves while fetching his stick. Afterwards I went to the end of the island to record some music and met a few kite boarders. Woof! Woof! Kite Boarders, those guys are so fit... I'm going to walk a few miles tonight as I feel inspired to want to like my body more! As I created music I realized that sometimes there is no musical nuance because I'm just banging on the keys in order to hear above the wind. One of the guys had a Go Pro video helicopter and filmed me as I improvised. Its a great tool to use for a video!
April 06, 2014
Coquina Key, Florida
The weather is just so perfect here! Almost everyday, around seventy five degrees and sunny with a breeze. With my computer working I've been playing catch up with the blog, sending pics to people, all the usual. Later in the afternoon I took Mo with my friends dog Zion to the dog park for some exercise. The tarp stayed on the piano because there was no way I was going to work the Traveling Piano today. Then I saw a bunch of kids walk by and told myself I needed to get to work. One girl came right over and then her brother and a few others. Most of the kids brushed by not wanting to be interested. Then driving back through the neighborhood a few kids yelled out for us and we stopped for them. I'm enjoying the neighborhoods here more than I can remember anywhere. Maybe its because I've been here for a few weeks now and am getting to know them. For sure I enjoy the racial mix and how everyone seems comfortable in their own skin since there is a strong balance of ownership between the people types. I love it because I am constantly being racially desensitized concerning any ingrained prejudices from how people look on the surface. Zion acted as guest Traveling Piano dog with Mo the entire time. Its the first time I ever had two dogs with me while interacting with people. In the cab Zion jumped out. Ontop of the piano, no leash was needed.
April 05, 2014
South St. Petersburg, Florida
The computer repair guy called saying the computer was ready. I drove to pick it up thinking how everything is out of my control and how God works through people and if I have total faith in that then everything will be good in the end and thats all that matters. Final tally, thirteen hundred bucks! It feels good to have my computer screen back so I can see what I am doing image-wise. We shall see if it works over the next few days. Driving on the road I saw a sign saying "fish fry." Something made me want to check it out. Sharing the Traveling Piano was not on my agenda but thats what happened with a bunch of neighborhood ladies. God, that was fun! Then when I was almost back to where I am staying I saw another sign that said hotdogs and free stuff. A local neighbor puts out things on his lawn like most people do with flea markets, stuff his church members give to him and he simply shares it all with the people in the neighborhood along with hotdogs and chips, etc... that deserved some free Traveling Piano fun. Then I cooked like yesterday for another six hours, vegetable soup. I'm sure Josh and Courtney will be giving it away after I leave because there's so much! Lol... but the fruit salad from yesterday is going fast. Finally, the two forty pound bags of dog food I purchase for Mo had to be transferred into gallon bags for for travel. My back and neck, etc... is killing me, no... its my weight thats creating all the pain. It is what it is, I just do the best I can. There is a lot of "fish fry" going on... people grilling and selling sandwiches in their yards.
April 04, 2014
Greater Pinellas Point, Florida
I'm really guessing at what I am seeing when I process any pictures on the computer I am using. My main computer is getting fixed and everything about that is out of my control for now. I don't think the people doing the job care about it and I had little choice in using them. The act of "letting go" can be tricky when it comes to business. My gratitude is not helping my attitude! A guy I met the other day asked me to visit his father who plays piano and also a neighbor in his mid-nineties. They both got onto the truck. The older guy, Leo had to be lifted but he was a champ to go with the flow. They both made my day. Then I had to get dog food for Mo. I'd like to find an alternative for his food as the prices are just to much. I cannot justify fifty bucks a bag for dog food considering what they use to make it. After I got the dog food I found a produce market so I purchased food for the house where I am staying and then the rest of the day was spent cutting up fruit to make fruit salad and to freeze it in serving containers. After six hours the vegetables, I was too tired to cut them up. The truck cover needs to be put on as soon as the sun goes down because everything gets soaking wet real fast with the humidity here.
April 03, 2014
Fort De Soto Beach, Florida
My goal for today was to totally chill at the beach doing nothing. Well, I did a lot of nothing but its impossible not to have a Traveling Piano day when I have the piano with me. When the journey calls, thats the way it is. By the palm tree on the beach were I was yesterday I sat next to my truck with my piano in the shade in a lounge chair on a sunny day, temperature around eighty degrees, fish jumping, guys out in the water kite surfing, a few bucks in my pocket, a secure place to sleep for the night, no obligations, varieties of birds stopping by every once in a while for a visit, piano dog Mo in my lap as content as can be I pondered thoughts of gratitude with creation and more important in being able to share creation but mostly I just did... nothing. What a feeling and I was totally prepared as the wind made it chilly at times so I had a pair of light pants and a long sleeve top, sun tan lotion for my head, water and snacks. The only other time I felt this content was in glacier park Montana about five miles in on a hike back in 2010.
April 02, 2014
Fort De Soto Beach, Florida
To the beach... we drove with a new friend, a twenty three year old girl named Amelie from Canada. I headed straight for a spot I had scoped out last time I was in the area... onto a grassy beach to the waters edge under a palm tree. It was glorious. We took pictures. Friends and families found us. Fish were jumping in the water like crazy. Then the agenda turned to a dog beach where I could chill in the shade because I brought a beach umbrella to use as there are no trees. Mo was totally free and unsupervised for hours. I took a walk on the a beach in the sand for the first time in many years. A lounge chair and food treats, the only thing that would have made it better would have been if the water was warm enough to jump into. When we were leaving we met a couple. The guy was already retired from the military in his early forties having been in the air force band. He got onto the piano and others followed.
Did this really happen? On the way back I stopped at a random pizza restaurant. I ordered a pizza to go. It was about 9:10pm. At nine thirty when the pizza was done I decided to sit at a table outside to eat as the sign on the door said they were open till 10:00pm. As the last customer from inside came out so did six employees. They took all the tables and chairs in. I was sitting at the end of a row. They stood there looking at me. I stood up not knowing what to do thinking I'll go inside to finish and make it easy for them. They literally rushed to take the chair and table from me. All went inside and locked the door. As they all stood inside looking at me I banged on the door until they opened it and with a slice of pizza in one hand and the box in the other I walked in asking what had just happened are they crazy? I wanted to sit and finish eating to enjoy the last few pieces. They said I had take out and could not eat inside, they were closed, they charge more for eating the same pizza inside anyway. I asked how much more and they could not tell me. I sat on the cement ground outside to finish while they all left one by one in front of me. I left the empty box at the door and as I was leaving a server returned to take the box to the trash can. It was really, really weird almost comical.
April 01, 2014
Skyway Bridge Park, Florida
This is the 100th month of the Traveling Piano's journey... I think. It has been a Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! My friend Courtney is a server in a restaurant and she's really good with her work because as she says, "I used to think my past jobs defined me but now I know I define my jobs and... my job is paying for my next trip!" This for me, is an attitude of a successful life. I define my work and not getting paid keeps me interested! We headed for the skyway park today. It is a park off a bridge south of St. Petes. I've been wanting to check it out since Mo and I first drove to South Florida. It was perfect with just a few people and for the sunset. There were some nefarious characters roaming around. I spent time talking with a guy from Laos who was digging up atlantic marsh fiddler crabs for bait. There was a kite boarder sailing in the water back and forth in front of me. Mo and I walked on a beach. Every once in a while someone would drive up and create a connection. Everyone we met today got onto the piano to play.
A guy rolled his wife onto the beach in a wheelchair and we got her up onto the piano as she's a player. I saw a pretty rare pink bird called a roseate spoonbill in the water and what was most interesting about that is both Courtney and Josh my hosts saw one today also at different times in different places and we all brought it up to each other at different times. Ha! The day was very interesting indeed. At this random beach a couple came over to me saying "Hey, we know Josh and Courtney." I stayed with Josh and Courtney back in early March on my way down to South Florida and now I am staying with them again a month later on my way back north. In between that time they met a couple traveling on the road who stayed with them one night. It was this couple! Courtney and Josh had told them about me. Musical instruments came out and a bunch of strangers now friends began to have a special time together on the beach as it got dark.