HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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May 20, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
The temperature was still good so of course we had to get out for some Traveling Piano fun. I did not get up until the afternoon and for good reason, I was really tired from yesterday. It was too late to go into Red Rock so I headed for the overlook which was closed with police activity and as a result we just pulled off the road at a place where we climb the fence to walk in the desert. I was going to just practice which I had not done in a long time but right away people arrived. First there was a couple, the guy got on the piano and as they we're leaving two friends showed up who knew me from the viral TikTok a month ago. With four million views, a lot of people know me now more than ever before. It feels good of course lol, because it is all positive. They had amazing bright smiles the entire time and all I want to do was bask in them. Then another fun couple came up on a bike and all four got onto the piano. That of course is my favorite happening concerning the part of my mission of "strangers becoming less afraid of each other." They all howled at Mo with his name, the one lady played the Spinning Song which is well known to people my age from a children's piano learning book, the 3rd grade Thompson book. God it was all fun! Then Mo and I spent some time in the desert together just sitting in a dry river bed of round rocks while listening to the silence.
May 19, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Yikes, it was in the low eighties with a breeze today! I had to get out to take advantage of it. What a gift because my friend Mary was going in for dreaded results concerning cancer and I wanted to be there at the medical center with the Traveling Piano for support. I was prepared to die in a hundred degrees to do it but God saved me, lol! She was cleared of her cancer thank God and what an experience it was. Practically the entire staff came outside. I asked are there patients in there? They said yes and all laughed. There is not much that can bring me more joy than the short time we had. Everyone joining in with the Traveling Piano's spontaneity and synchronicity with fun, friendship and respect among co-workers together... pure love and joy for simply a moment in time. Afterwards, I stopped at my truck repair place as I was in the area. The owner was not there. We need to talk about my possibly taking another long trip in a month. We cannot stay in Las Vegas. Mo cannot take it, I cannot take it, the truck cannot take it, just like last year. Then it was a stop at the food market. The food I purchased that cost $42 bucks a month ago costs $72 now. We are all in for some life changes.
Next, we headed downtown. I played on Main street for the first time in about two years that I remember. It is a block off from my house but the street changed so much and there is so little support from business there, I've gone on to different agendas. But... a new small ethnic Mexican shop opened and while walking Mo a few weeks ago I told them I would stop with the Traveling Piano as a welcome to the neighborhood. It was fun and we interacted with some tourists and locals. We kept going. Around the corner where I ate yesterday I stopped to take a photo with the truck and Mo to give them a little bump online with a review because it was the best meal I've had so far in Las Vegas. The owner came out for a photo. Lastly, an art gallery that newly opened downtown, I told them that someday I would stop by and so today was the day. The guy didn't even come outside to say hi! When I went in he said he had been busy. There was no way he could not have come out because he did after I went in, lol. I thought to myself, "thanks for the heads up on this scenario." On the whole it was all just a great Traveling Piano day. You might imagine how tired I am. It was worth it.
May 18, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sometimes I feel incredibly loved and cared for. I know all the time this is the fact but when I get into my own head, I forget sometimes too. My friend David is in town with his new girl Carol. In their mid-70's they are like kids in their mid-20's living in hope with experience and all the crap that old age brings on too. They live in Mexico, Dave is moving their permanently and we got together for what may be the last time. He's been on this journey with me from the start. We have an interesting history where I thought he was different people until we met. A supporter, a brother, a friend he has been to me. He gave me a framed picture he took when in Vietnam of a young boy caring his baby brother to safety, took me to a fantastic dinner and gave me a load of cash for the journey.
On that note... I've a tooth ache and thought how my insurance will pull a tooth but it will not fix one. So, worry with money came to mind and then Dave gave me his contribution and two other guys from online sent me contribution. No one knew my predicament. I thought, 'now you need to let go of the drama, you have the money, use it." This is how God has been working in my life. Carol said the universe is abundant. I said, yea when am I going to get that abundance. It is always just enough but not enough to enjoy. Of course my type of abundance is not the typical. I have always had spiritual abundance out the ass and I enjoy it very much. Dave said, you get just what you need maybe, to keep you on your toes so you can't become complacent. Whatever, lol. I have freinds that I can "trust" care for me and love me. That took me more than half a life time to find. Just like my music, it took fifty years of working on myself to find.
May 17, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Part One of Two. I wrote a long news letter to friends who contribute for the first time. I'm printing it here on todays and yesterdays blog entry.
I have been wanting to write for awhile to let you know what has been going on as I have no idea if you keep tabs on me via online, lol. Really, just to connect to say thank you and let you know how much your contribution means to me, how much I appreciate you and value our mutual care for all that is good in life. I can say with responsibility how important the Traveling Piano is for the world right now and the work in fact has a worldwide reach via the internet but most importantly one on one... in the real world. In a spiritual sense, I have been shown over and over to just... keep going with the work. The world is exhausting for me right now and thank God I know the way to survive is to stay connected with what is and to give thanks for the world with action in whatever ways possible. Anger often motivates me. It can be great motivator when used rightly. That along with empathy and compassion through the grace of God.
Last year was a major year as it looked like covid was lifting. Spontaneity and synchronicity happened to help get us cross country and back with one final tour. (that tour will continue by the way, until the Traveling Piano is no more) Mo and I did more Traveling Piano work in one year than the last few years combined. After we returned to Las Vegas, I came down with covid myself. It was the second time and unfortunately as with the first, long term issues have been severe. I'm also getting old so that has not helped, lol. Never the less, Mo had some teeth removed along with a cyst. He is now twelve and a half and we are both still going... going... going...!
Over the last two months, we played outside a cancer treatment center here in Las Vegas for over thirty days. That was a five day a week commitment which was more than fulfilling. For the first time ever I got up with an alarm clock and with a schedule in the mornings. Of course, people really appreciated that. There was the consistency of seeing us as people arrived for treatment and they could take our love with them as they departed. The Traveling Piano was a great distraction from worries and discomfort. We took a ten hour drive to Sacramento California and back to create some validation, worth and healing for family, friends and neighbors of a mass shooting there. During teacher/staff appreciation week here in Las Vegas the Traveling Piano surprised a couple of elementary schools and their teachers with a visit.
Those living on the streets, there has been a consistency of relationship now for several years and just simply seeing us creates a sense of care for everyone. I gave a guy some food last week and he said to me... I love the food you cook, it is food for the body but your music is food for the soul, when can we get more of that? So I drove on to give out the rest of the food and retuned to his spot to create some music for awhile. In his drugged out sickness I think the music hit him hard as he became silent and spiritually moved not only that I would come back for him but the music created comfort that he is loved and cared for. Meanwhile, a woman nearby who was too afraid to take food from me the first time around, she came over with trust enough to accept some and also get on the piano to create music for herself for the very first time.
Along with some cooking and serving for the homeless downtown, giving out water... Mo and I have had time to spend in nature, places like Lake Mead, The Valley of Fire, Redrock and we also shared the Traveling Piano experience with people there. We created a segment for the Rachel Ray show on television and on Easter someone videoed a seven second drive-by of us creating music as they passed us from behind in the Valley of Fire. That became a TikTok uploaded to the internet which has since gone viral. To date over four million people have viewed it. With just seven seconds there are many thousands of comments, 99.9% of them beyond reaffirming and validating. For the first time ever the Traveling Piano's essence and core was captured on video. Continued Below...
May 16, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Part Two of Two. I wrote a long news letter to friends who contribute for the first time. I'm printing it here. It starts above on May 17.
If only... all the exposure created support! Ha... but the essence and core includes not soliciting for support and so it is. I have learned in life that most people do not give unless told or through obligation and expectation, or if it serves an personal agenda. "Working" all that to garner support would be a full time job in of itself. It is not possible for me but also not desired. People like you, thank God for people like you ... you help to keep us going. You're monthly reminder through contribution and care reminds me that we are not alone. That has a tremendous amount of worth. Just to let you know, I've been living on basic social security. Thank God that has kicked in and just in time but it is not enough to survive on by any means. There are 25 subscribers as of this month ranging from $3 to $100 and totaling $561 a month. Here we go with the money but you should know what is what. I am not asking you for more, lol.
My rent is being raised a hundred a month as of June and the property is being sold to investors. When that happens they will raise the rent at least four hundred more. (I live in a pit that sometimes does not have enough running water to shower with) I'll need to move but cannot show income that I make twice or three times the rent which is what apts now require. Considering safety for the truck, I'll need to find someone who owns a home with space to share who is clean, private, quiet and sane. (lol, good luck with all that) Mo's food, vitamins for arthritis and treats alone can be over a hundred a month. Income pays for gas, truck repair, food, and other necessities that people do not realize are necessary for the Traveling Piano's work. The equipment all needs to be replaced from time to time. I just spent $1500 on backup hardrive replacements last month for all the 15 years of journey data. The keyboard, speaker, computer, phone etc... all needs to get replaced through the years, clothes, etc... That is all just blah, blah but I want you to know how down to the wire I live financially and how none of this would be happening without your support.
So, I think this is the first time I've ever written this much or in a newsletter formate. I feel so strong about the appreciation and care you have shown it just has to be. It is a long letter, I know. How about the truck?!!! That baby still going after 35 years! It cost about $3,000 in repairs last year but that got us cross country thank God through the fundraiser I had. I have to say well, of course I know you understand... that if you know of anyone who might join you in contribution please urge them to do so. And/or someone who has room for, or may desire a house-share situation just about anywhere in the country for when I need to get out permanently from where I am. Also, I'll need to get out of Las Vegas again for the summer concerning the heat for myself, Mo, the truck and the Traveling Piano's work. If you know of anyone we can stay with for like a month at a time, someone who has a time share they do not use (i'll pay the fees) or motel reward points, needs a house sitter, etc... Where I stay is important concerning functionality and I cannot be moving around every few days at this stage of my life. A level of comfort is needed to be able to sustain myself and work. You know, like what was mentioned above... clean, quiet, private, light, parking for the truck, mo, it is a lot and... it is what it is. I know you understand.
So just let me end this with saying once again, thank you for being in my life. It is everything and that is not an exaggeration. I love you.
May 15, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
My friend Keith who has been making a small contribution monthly through this website is also president of the Las Vegas Astronomical Society that holds special events a few times every year. He never asks me to come with the Traveling Piano but of course whenever I can, I go because my giving to givers is important no matter how big or small. Tonight was a full moon eclipse which happens every few years and so the club set up in a North Las Vegas school parking lot with all their telescopes to share views with the community. There are no fees, no what is in it for me... it is all about community.
My music fits into an event like this perfectly and so Mo and I went with the Traveling Piano. It has now hit a hundred degrees during the days and I had hoped it would cool off especially since clouds moved in before sunset. Sadly, the moon was not visible but also it stayed in the nineties and that was more sad. We had fun with people but oh my, the heat is now a problem for my life. Maybe I needed more water, I'll need to stay aware and monitor that. Mo was hot but ok. I am working to look at life as Mo does. He doesn't think of it becoming more of a challenge or more difficult as he gets older. He just continues to live it making the most of it in whatever ways he can.
May 14, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Those who know me know what this is all about. I am consumed with anger over those who do not speak out against ownership, gun ownership with weapons of war, even automatic weapons and concerning ownership with teenagers. Then there are those who use innocent gun downed death as an opportunity to speak out in favor of gun ownership. Everytime a mass murder of innocent people happens, morons jump to defend gun ownership and no need for laws as in today Buffalo, New York. Lastly, those that go into denial, "just think good thoughts, just think good thoughts" la,la,la,la,la I see nothing I hear nothing. We live in a very sick culture of gun ownership cultivated in many ways by profiteers of authoritarianism. Vulnerable minds have been indoctrinated to favor the authoritarianism that will eventually destroy their lives and most everyone around them. They are stupid fools. 16,000 people dead, over 200 mass shootings in not even the first half of this year! Think about that. If you are not speaking out against the lack of gun laws... shame on you. This is all you're fault. What is on the horizon and coming for you... you're own fault.
May 13, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
This is being written on the 15th and what happened two days ago in my life, what I did... I have absolutely to recollection of. Probably, I was recovering from the day before out in nature. Life is exhausting. I've been watching Our National Parks, a nature series that Obama created and narrates. That has been giving me pleasure enjoying all the nature of planet earth presented in such an interesting way. I just love it! Oh yea, and three hundred forty more photos have been processed from last year and uploaded to the photo art galleries.
May 12, 2022
Lake Mead, Nevada
I thought yesterday was going to be the last cool day before heading into the hundreds for probably a long time God I hope there are a few breaks from the heat before October. Death Valley has been on my mind but damm I just cannot get it together early enough to leave and I'm also a little afraid of driving distances now with the truck and my age and just my usual fears. I know thats crazy but it is what it is. The Valley of Fire was an option but I will be going there soon with a friend. The choice needed to be some place not possible to go when the heat hits. So it was, back to Lake Mead. I'm figuring it all out with my and Mo's physical limits. His are more important considering the ground heat and his paws. We stop randomly on the side of the road, walk into the desert some and then back to the truck for the next stop. This way we are getting both the hiking and the resting in.
We ended up doing that five times. I took a hammer and chisel to maybe do some gem stone hunting ha, it was a nice idea but I'm no good at that. My finds as are my photos are all good luck. I have found something new to explore on my camera and as a result the photos I've been taking have different character from the ones of so many years. The result is to use less processing and more settings. We ended up at an old favorite spot called Redstone and found a wind blown hole in the rock to lay down in and take a nap. For Mo it is like a den. For me it is like being a kid and hanging out under a table with a sheet covering it or outside in a tent. Its very raw and when we come out Mo is red and my clothes are covered with red dust. The silence... I love the silence and stillness and the beauty in nature.
May 11, 2022
Lake Mead, Nevada
Enjoying the desert right now while it is possible with the temperature cool has been my greatest priority. With practically no energy we had to do something, whatever was possible. So, we drove out to Redrock Canyon which is only a half hour out of the city, parked the truck on the side of the road and just began walking into the desert across from the paid fee area. It got friggin cold especially high up! I wore a two heavy sweatshirts, one had a hoodie and also I wore a hat on top of that. I actually loved the wind and cold. It certainly makes hiking easier, keeps me alive and moving. Mo with me everywhere, everyday... I am thanking God in every minute for his being with me a constant loving companion, friend and I love to watch him be a dog. Now a days when he goes off on a tangent with anything concerning the opposite of cooperation, I need to consider if he is just being dense with age or feeling his oats more as comes with age too. Where I am living is going through another drug dealer phase. Its across the way from my side of the building and I am watching the antics all the time. Management could not care less and so I just thank God its not on my side and in the rooms on either side of me which has been in the past... allot!
May 10, 2022
Lake Mead, Nevada
Today and tomorrow the temperatures are in the seventies, rare and more than most probably will not be this cool again until October so... I wanted very much to go to the desert. It was one in the afternoon once I got my act together so Death Valley was a no go as was The Valley of Fire. We headed out to Lake Mead if only for an hour and took a walk up a mountain I've photographed many times. I kept telling myself, its never as far away as it looks. The entire time I kept looking back to the truck to keep my whereabouts as to not get lost which is very easy to do in the desert. My backpack had extra water for Mo.
The temperature was perfect and the winds as well and the ground was warm but not too much for Mo. After that we took some new driving routes and found an overlook where I pulled the truck up to the edge of a cliff next to where a dad with his autistic son were eating dinner. No one else was around. We talked a little, they did not want to get onto the piano. After they left I really began to meditate through musical improvisation. One more vehicle pulled up behind us and listened until I was done and then they left before I got off the piano seat. That was fine. It was truly a Mo and me day and we had enough time to enjoy hiking, exploring, taking some photographs and creating music.
May 09, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
It would be nice to take pictures of all the food I cook, make a video of what I go through with prep and cleanup in the small space I have to use, it would be of great interest, funny and fun but... I just do not have it in me to do. Prioritizing is a must and I have no choice concerning mental and physical limits. There is only so much I can do. For two days I have been making spaghetti with turkey hot dogs sliced thin to share on the streets. I took it all out along with two large cases of cold water that my friend Eric contributed. Carrying the water up the stairs to my apartment to put into the fridge and then down again to the truck with the food, I can barely do it but I do... do it! I had half the fixings from last year as in boxes of spaghetti, a bulk can of salsa, cans of tomato paste, ready made spaghetti sauce, Italian seasonings, fresh onions, salt and I purchased turkey franks to slice up and fry in butter to use as meat in the sauce. I had large containers, spoons and paper towels for napkins. All the work and food made for about 25 people but they each had a huge dinner. Some save it for two meals, others share with their friends.
May 08, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
The wind was ferocious today with up to 70 mile an hour gusts predicted. There was an alert for really bad air with the desert dust and city dirt blowing around. Even low flying planes coming in for landings we're barely visible. I was out with the Traveling Piano and it did not seem to bother me but I'm pretty sure tomorrow I will feel the respiratory effects. A woman by herself on the street was somewhat mistrusting when I offered her water but Mo's presence and the Traveling Piano truck itself in being something different helped. I was creating music up the street and she was drawn to it. Eventually she trusted me enough to get onto the piano seat herself to create some music and have some relationship in the best sense. She did not want her picture taken and these days I'm not really into taking pictures. Do people need to see the proof of what I am doing? Never, do I want to take pictures and share the journey out of necessity to gain anything or prove anything. There is no fun in that and as it is, I am working as hard as I can in doing everything I can do. If it ever comes to having to prove that, I will end it all.
May 07, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
With baked beans and turkey franks sliced thin, seasonings and sauce, I cooked up and took out some homemade chili to the streets today. I need to use up the food I have. It takes all of my concentration to do. People are so appreciative, they always say how they will never forget me. One guy, he's a mess and I am pretty sure he is the drug supplier for the homeless... I don't know how he stays alive, been around for as many years as I have been working the streets something like six years, he says to me, I love the food you cook it is food for the body but your music is food for the soul, when can we get more of that? So I drove on to give out the rest of the food and retuned to his spot to create some music for awhile. In his drugged out sickness I think the music hit him hard as he became silent and spiritually moved not only that I would come back for him but the music did bring him into his sad reality while also at the same time giving him comfort that he is loved and cared for.
May 06, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Mo and I took it easy today in my friend Eric's back yard with his pool. It was near a hundred degrees and a perfect day as long as I have my sun block on. I took Mo into the pool for a few minutes, he's not a fan of that but I know he also likes it on some level. As a pup he used to swim in rivers. For most of the time I just floated around and relaxed. Trying to figure out why I feel the way I do and think in a fog most of the time, manage my capabilities, limits and what I can work towards for any future that may or may not happen in life... all that is getting too tiresome to try and deal with. There is no question I have the effects of long term covid twice over now and I am in fact sixty-six years old, that matters along with frustration over humanity mind failing in general and on a large scale, the earths sickness and how I can best serve in a healing sense for all that... I truly am being forced to live in the present moment more and more. Doing anything else has not been getting me anywhere. And just look at what I have achieved over the last year living in the present moment in-spite of the thoughts, feelings and complaining. It has been as much as I have done in any other year of this journey when everything was going perfectly great and smooth.
May 5, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
We visited another elementary school today but unlike the other day, no one knew who we were or that we "might" come. With todays world the synchronicity and flow concerning school kids does not happen so easily but... luckily once again the teachers and staff were flexible and welcoming. There was a large permanent tent structure for shade on the playground. The temperature had hit ninety. No children on the truck and no photos without the parents there but some staff did get onto the truck for a pic and to bang out a few notes. The kids all lined up single file to try and reach Mo to pet him. He cooperated only so much, lol. And the principal who was having a difficult day just wow... she was a real trooper with everything. If only elementary sensibilities and educational learning spirit and energy could extend into middle and high school levels as is with younger children, learning would be so much more enjoyable. Also, elementary schools are embedded inside neighborhood developments which really makes sense verses higher educational campuses on main roads and in business developed areas. It was exhausting but totally worth it.
May 04, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Posting content online to different social sights really takes up a lot of my time. When it was just Facebook and my website it was workable, then Youtube I had to stop but now I'm trying to do Instagram, the GoFundMe, Twitter, Facebook, this website and TikTok with Youtube every once in awhile. All that takes hours in processing photos, looking for and deciding on content, how to descripe it... I just hope it all has some worth for the journies mission in some way. Also cooking, wow does that take time also. The moving around and manipulating of ingrediants, the prepping and cooking in the small space I have... a challenge. My apartment complex is being sold to an investment firm. Do you know what that means? The rent will be raised hundreds of dollars hopefully not until my lease is up. Looking for a place anywhere with someone who owns their home is seeming to be the only present option.
May 3, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
A school teacher emailed me about a month ago asking of I would bring the Traveling Piano to her elementary school for their Arts Festival. Thinking I would probably do it, I remembered it was in May but not the date. Another email came in last night from some guy asking that I go to another school which reminded me to check the date for the first request and found it was for today! That second request was fortuitous for todays school and so of course I went. It was a great time. The teacher has a child in the school who could not be there. The child broke her ankle yesterday. So after the school I went to their house for the child. Some neighbors appeared and I could see good relationships in the neighborhood.
It is teacher appreciation week, that is why I went. I always want to support teachers who care about their students and to see parents caring also about their child's education in attending school events... that just makes me feel very good. Normally, I would not do this sort of thing as school districts have plenty of money to throw around for what they want and I've never been about "freebies." The other good thing about this particular school is the relaxed nature of how everything was run. It was friendly, inviting and not prohibitive in nature. I could pull the truck into whatever spot I wanted, all the kids and their parents wanted to interact and there was even another dog in the equation, the school's mascot.
May 2, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Feeling kinda lost, I felt drawn to the field today a place I had committed myself to for several years every Monday and had not been to for about two years. People go to this random almost deserted street to serve food and share resources with those living on the streets. Trudy a person I know who serves the homeless was there and everyone else... gone. There we're some new people there, a Mormon group came to cook and serve food. A lot of street people I've not seen in years we're there and I felt, heard and saw gasps of "hey piano man, good to see you." There was a young group of kids there, it was one of the boy's birthday. Wow, I could feel the love, appreciation, joy and respect... it was very moving for me. Being significant in life in these ways completes my life. I will say something I'm sure I've said before...
I was never allowed in early life to acknowledge my worth or accept any from others. My learning to mature in life has been about learning, accepting and sharing my worth. Through the grace of God I found people who saw my worth as I became a young adult and gave it to me until I could see it in myself. To give that back to the world is just a natural thing to do. In my world today I can scream who I am and my worth from the mountain tops with overwhelming love, appreciation, joy and respect. It has just dawned on me as I write this... I was drawn to the field tonight specifically for that young guys birthday. You can never pre-suppose God's will. Only when looking back on a happening can you see it. It took fifty years of working on myself to discover and accept who I am in spirit. And now, fifteen years into that just... thank God.
May 01, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
I spent the day processing photos to upload... up to July of last year. Yes, I am back logged that far back. The cross country journey to the east coast last year was absolutely amazing. Looking back on it through the photos, I was able to reminisce and revisit so many "good" past life experiences when I was there. Everything I did not want to reminisce about I remember thinking, "yep, nothing lost here, nothing missed here." And then there was the college buildings where I first delved into music seriously, the food... only found back east, the parks I visited as a young boy, the parks where I first began exploring improvised music in, the east coast summer feelings with trees, sounds and smells and just all of the Traveling Piano work through the years back east. And then there was the fall colors in Virginia. Wow, it was all like a last past life of a good dreams come true and alive. Sometimes I think... how did we do that?