Raggin' Piano Boogie

 

 
HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.

September 17, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

As I was leaving to go to my Monday commitment at the field, I realized that I now have structure. It is minimal, a routine after ten years of "winging" it. Three days a week, every third Sunday and several nights a week. It is all community outreach for those living on the streets or in poverty, with people like myself in many ways. When I was on the street last night, one guy I interacted with asked if he could sing a song for me that he wrote. He sang looking right at me for about five minutes and I thought about how special and intimate that was. In my family while growing up, I'll never forget in-laws from Finland singing them a Finnish folk song and it freaking everybody out. They did not know how to react and did not want to. Can we talk uncomfortable? Way too intimate.



The exchange was real and full of appreciative sharing. Tonight at the field I am discovering more and more the significance of both the givers and receivers. I've been probing background stories, motives and intent from people because I am truly interested in what makes them tick. With what I have been doing, I really meet some beautiful people. It is an extraordinarily beautiful experience to have two people, strangers bonding together as human beings through music, no fear of each other, having never played music before... creating, experimenting, inspiring each other with musical notes through fun, friendship and respect on the Traveling Piano.

September 16, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Local Las Vegas Piano Man Josh playing some Boogie Woogie on Main Street in the Arts District of Las Vegas, Nevada of course with Traveling Piano Dog Mo! Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect.


September 15, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I found a journey writing for this blog from 2008 that I did not use. Here it is: This journey created a substantial amount of debt with lack of support. I decided to return home after Virginia Tech to sell my house and belongings to become financially responsible and to continue forward. It took over a year to let go of it all. As a result I missed the Olympics where I wanted to take Bo. I have paid my bills to date with a little extra to get to China. Afterwards...? My goal is to continue into Alaska and then once again throughout rural and urban America. (with some personal time in Bryce, Zion and Glacier parks) I learned through this process to enjoy the journey. If I had been too focused on the goal (Hollywood with Fun), I would have missed the opportunity for Virginia Tech. (True Mission with Fun) I failed in getting to the Olympics but succeeding with the purpose of why I was going to the event, to have the world meet Bo. The fact is that people from all over the world have been meeting Boner almost everyday... through the internet, through word of mouth... the people from all over the world in New York city alone over the last week! This goal is being achieved. One more thing which is really, really, really difficult to be honest with. I have always known in my head that I would need to financially invest in myself with everything that I have in order to totally succeed with making it big with the Traveling Piano/Raggin' Piano Boogie concept. Done, every penny is invested in this dream of a life. Whew!

September 14, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was surprisingly filled with Traveling Piano work. I stopped with the truck on Main Street to have coffee with a woman interested in creating some outreach work in order to get people to vote. Of course, I was going to share the Traveling Piano with her and that led to some kids visiting from Germany, employees from a few stores coming out to discover and play as well as a local piano man named Josh who plays some mean Boogie Woogie. Then it was off to the rescue mission were I create music every Friday for the community dinner there.



One of the employees was celebrating her birthday along with her family sharing ice cream and cake for everyone. Another volunteer originally from Vietnam who is just one the sweetest, most sincere and loving persons I've ever met was also celebrating her birthday. So of course when dinner was over I wanted to share the Traveling Piano specifically for them and then a new friend staying at the mission also had some Traveling Piano fun for the first time.

September 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Every individual human being has unique personal desires. When pure and from the heart there is nothing to fear and it is all good. No one needs to learn from any other source as to wether his or her individual personal desires have worth or not. Unfortunately in my experience many people will never find or be able to connect in a real sense with their own personal desires because, the brain mechanisms to do that have never been accessed or have been destroyed or with most... repressed beyond reach. As a child any desires that surfaced up from within me were immediately squelched, and my entire being was threatened with pulverization. It took fifty years of hard work to fully experience my own desires, my own life. And now, it has been over twelve years of living that out.

September 12, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

99% of dogs living on the streets with their owners that I have met through the Traveling Piano, they are as well behaved and cared for as Mo is. I find that fact interesting. While walking the streets doing what I do almost every night with my outreach to people living on them... for the first time a conversation was struck with a guy, I learned his name is Harry. I see him at the rescue mission every Thursday and Friday about three miles away and he always comes back to where I walk to sleep on the sidewalk. I reached out to him last week to give him a gatorade which he appreciated and then a few days ago I passed him by thinking he was asleep. I'm finding out that people are rarely really sleeping as they must keep an awareness for themselves, They rest with their eyes closed. Harry saw me tonight from across the street and let me know he was awake so I went over and offered him a bottle of gatorade.



He wanted to connect. We've seen each other for over two months now several days a week and tonight he got the courage to interact. He's a thirty eight year old guy born in Houston, Texas and moved to Venezuela as a baby, lost both parents at age thirteen, has a history of taking drugs which he stopped doing many years ago and now keeps to himself with no friends even though he is around other homeless people all the time. I can relate to his inability to fit into society and the loneliness he feels as a result. Also i can tell he is a scared puppy, harmless and wanting to feel connected to the world. Tonight Mo and I took a walk in the desert which I needed to do, really... needed to do. Being in nature is a necessity for my life. I'll wither and die without it but wow, was I tired as I hiked. After it got dark I improvised some music for this website in the quietness of night with the stars and a cool breeze... real slow and tired like.

September 11, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

While walking around tonight giving out gatorades to people sleeping on the sidewalks, two guys told me how much they enjoyed my music at the field. Thats three miles away and it was where I have a weekly commitment for the Traveling Piano with myself. One guy told me he had walked there just to see me. I remember how in the early days of this journey how I would blog about people's reaction to my music and how mind boggling that was because having never created music of my own for the first fifty years of life... and having never felt the courage or sense of self worth to do so, every time people would say something it just blew me away in amazement. Now, people talk about seeing me with appreciation more than they do about the music. Of course it feels good but it does not give me any more sense of self-worth. It gives me validation of love, that it exists and can be found in everyone and that the sharing of love is more important than anything else in life. And, it always it fills me with gratitude and there can never be enough gratitude. Lastly, it reminds me how what I am doing, I could never get enough of reaping the benefits tenfold of any other way in life. There is not a person alive who cannot have what I have through the benefits of reaching out to strangers and through any process of strangers becoming less afraid of each other.


September 10, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

At the field today a guy came up to me and handed me a bag of sheet music saying he found it in the trash and that he had carried it around all week to save and give to me. It was about 20 pieces and five of them were my favorites pieces of music from when I first began to play the piano as a child. Out of the millions of sheet music pieces in the world, how random is that? And how thoughtful and interested that guy is in me to do that? It is a beautiful thing. I'm waiting for the weather to break and realizing it is not going to be for a few more weeks. Even though the temperature is still in the hundreds, the sun is not as strong. Thank God for that. What a strange and phenomenal fact that I have been able to not only live in, but work in temperatures of a hundred ten degrees... and at sixty three years of age! And, having a thirty-two year old pickup truck without air conditioning has been no help! Without question my ability to function has had to do with togetherness. I've been saying... if these people can live out on the streets in this twenty four hours a day, I can spend a few hours in it everyday. There is something about the power and energy of "together" that makes it possible.


September 09, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

My mind has been sort of lost today, so I allowed that and just took it easy. For the last few days, I've been looking at the pool downstairs in my complex thinking about how the heat will be leaving soon and I need to use it at least one more time. This, I think while the temperatures are still forecast as over a hundred degrees for the next week. Anyway I jumped in while the water is still warm enough for me to use. The sun does not shine on the water for as many hours every day to keep it as warm as in July. I socialized online today because I felt a need to be connected with people while being lazy. It is what it is... with the barking dogs next door and dealing with the neighbor and management over it... I begin to feel very, very insecure and the barking literally makes me crazy. The feeling of that crazy cannot be described. But... it has all calmed down (for now) and today served as a sort of healing. At night Mo and I walked with my neighbor and her dog to hand out some gatorades on the street to people sleeping on the sidewalks. I'm missing hiking and nature... need to get out in it real soon. The pictures I'm posting are from the other night.


September 08, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I wish I could be more productive in conventional ways with my life but then again that wish, is made up in my head. It is not real. What is real is enjoying life in the moment, with Mo for example. What is real is being able to stay clear in my mind that I am doing the best that I can to be responsible, caring, interested, loving, nurturing, giving, and sharing with what I have to offer in my world. For me, first and foremost... by taking care of me. It does unfortunately feel like I must do "life" by myself but then again that is an illusion. Just something more to keep clear but never the less a life long issue. It reminds me how someone once said, "Danny, I will walk alongside of you and hold your hand while working your way trough life but I can't live it for you, you must do that for yourself. As I have aged I realize that life is difficult for everyone through periods of time. No one gets away with a one hundred percent easy life, no one. One of the best things about "real" life for me is that everything changes. Again, the work in my mind is to remember to remember that fact. Especially as I get older, my mind tells me... no changes, no more changes, no change please. And then I get so complacent concerning the idea that I go crazy. But not so crazy that I don't pull myself out of that mindset to... change, move on, do what I need to do for myself.

September 07, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I think passion is keeping me alive. No matter how little there is at any given time it sparks the desire to continue onward. I have a passion for living life with Traveling Piano dog Mo. I have a passion for adding to people's lives as well as the environment I am in. Music, believe it or not is not my greatest passion but maybe it is just not developed to its fullest yet. It certainly enables my passions, that is for sure. Playing music at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission today for the dinner was very gratifying and I appreciate how people are connected with me now through consistency, music and my spirit... Afterwards, I took the Traveling Piano out specifically to a new music lounge about to open in the neighborhood building behind me. I wanted to show the Traveling Piano to the owner and offer it to him "once" without cost to support the business opening. Then, this being the first Friday of the month where I live in the Arts District, the First Friday street event was happening.



Mo and I drove over to Main Street, about three blocks over. The official opening of the areas revitalization was yesterday and we parked outside an empty building I have had my eyes on with a faint dream of creating a Traveling Piano home base. All the event activity was up about four blocks but I prefer playing down in my area for my neighbors. It is supposed to be a community event but in reality is about business. It is a good thing I know now, and can stop before I get too exhausted because... when my passion for interacting with people with the Traveling Piano gets going... there is no stopping and the ramification of that can physically knock me out these days with the inability to function for the following two. All was good today... except for my next door neighbors barking dogs.

September 06, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

My next door neighbors dogs are driving me crazy. They wake me up at seven in the morning after the owner leaves and the drug addict roommate stays behind passed out in the room. The barking of two high pitched dogs does not affect them. I have feeling of powerlessness about the situation and it is not powerlessness over action, it is more that I cannot resolve the situation without creating chaos with the neighbor. I just want to live in peace and quiet. Concerning where I live this is not a new issue. Having a way to resolve it may be a new challenge. It is not possible to move out. However, it is... getting me up earlier in order to work. That is the bright side. Onto better thoughts... Mo and I went to create music as we do every Thursday at the Las Vegas mission center and that always helps my day. Late at night, almost every night, we go for a walk with gatorades in a back pack to give to people sleeping on the sidewalks. I brought cases of them when they were on sale a few months ago when money was not so tight. The agenda along with Mo needing his exercise motivates me to get my exercise and also creates a "validation and reassurance" fix all around. People need to feel being cared for and shown signs that they have worth as spiritual beings if nothing else.

September 05, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Been thinking... I have a confidence deep down that everything will be alright. How that fact shows itself, how it manifests I cannot know and as a result it is difficult to stay in the reality of this truth as I transition from day to day. My desire to be helpful for others gives me assistance as well as being an example. I believe in a collective consciousness, a collective intimacy and therefore I must always stay actively in touch with people of like experiences and ways of dealing with life concerning that. Past experiences prove that there is no situation that stays the same and that I cannot live through. I am always examining what I am faithful to, devoted to and what I truly cherish. Faith is unerring. Devotion is unflagging attention to whatever cause, and to cherish is an act to hold valuable. Our states of being have created and labeled the roles of leadership and teacher. There have been periods of time throughout this journey where I no longer believed in these roles. Maybe it is the words "leadership and teacher" that I have issue with. Mentorship through example may be a more palatable word and leadership should be more of an idea.


September 04, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've been thinking about how I've been able to affect and add to the world through the last twelve years. Coming from a place inside where I felt no worth, undesired, not appreciated and in many ways shunned from family and society as being "different" earlier in life... I now feel the complete, one of and part of the whole. It must always remain clear that I create that for myself through the world. When I arrived at the field yesterday, there were more people than usual waiting and they all yelled, "your late." I waved a hello and instantaneously almost everyone returned the gesture, about twenty people. What a beautiful feeling that is. Watching Mo share the piano with Koda and not be affected by the fact that Koda was getting all the attention as a new pup... and how my friend Alex affected everyone there with her music... someone actually said with words part of the Traveling Piano's mission, for the first time ever. As Alex was playing the Rhapsody in Blue a guy said, "That is one of my most favorite pieces of music. I've seen it on tv many times but have never seen someone playing it in front of me live." The Traveling Piano's mission has been to take the piano to people who never get to experieince a piano, have never seen a piano player play, or have ever played themselves.

September 03, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I picked up our new friend from the UK to give her a lift to the airport to go home. We stopped along the way to look for a cowboy hat souvenir and then to the Iconic Welcome to las Vegas Sign on the strip for some Traveling Piano fun and some pictures. The temperature over a hundred degrees was brutal but that did not stop us. Around dinner time my friend Alex joined us for our weekly commitment at the field and wow, what a joy that was for her to be with me doing my work. More than that... as an accomplished international concert pianist with a somewhat sophisticated upbringing... to be grounded enough to join the world in the gutter so to speak says everything about her character, desire and commitment to musical relationships. Alex has a fast growing musical non-profit here in Las Vegas for community outreach. It is called Notes With A Purpose.



Alex's five month old German Shepherd, Koda who is friends with Mo joined us and they were both just perfect. Alex played the Rhapsody in Blue twice for everyone. The street was filled with people sharing food and necessities for those with no money and for those living on the sidewalks. In all my years as both a pro full time on the Traveling Piano (20) and now as a humanitarian through my work (12) ... Alex... get ready for this... is the first pianist ever to join me in an appearance strictly for the sake of the Traveling Piano mission. There have been less than five other piano players in all that time who have joined me, but it was personal gain. Alex was interested in of course having fun for herself, exploring what I do and also exploring for her non-profit but mostly, it was about the Traveling Piano's musical fun, friendship and respect.

September 02, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I insert text into photos often but rarely post them to this website. Stevie Wonder said what I posted during Aretha Franklin's funeral service the other day. Also, how we can talk about all the things that are wrong and there are many. But the only thing that can deliver us is love. Then after he repeated that we need to make love great again, he said... if we love god then we know truly that it is Love that will make all things better... when we make love great again. I agree.


September 01, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

When I got up it felt like my eye sight was getting worse so I headed to the eye doctor and thankfully they were able to see me before closing and at the last minute. I am experiencing a posterior vitreous detachment with my eyes. As my vitreous is liquifying it is also shrinking and tearing away from my retina. There are floaters, deposits with motility within my eye's vitreous humor, specifically one huge floater. Not an ocular emergency, but when I turn my head I am seeing silver streaks of light on my left side. I don't have to worry unless I see flashing lights or a curtain or shade coming down over one eye. It is not as scary as it sounds and comes with age. I felt so grateful I had to offer a Traveling Piano experience for them and then that happened also for a few passerby's.