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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

6th Grade Graduation

(L-R) John Bernardi, Greg Butcher, Alec McKinnon,
J.B. Skogstrom, Blaine Vanderschuit

June 1980 (felt like '79 though). Me and the boys were the tough kids who ruled the playground and tried to rule the classroom--and the principal's office (never understood that spelling trick about how the principal is your "pal"). Note the OP and Lightning Bolt shirts (you'd also see Vans shoes) along with my sun bleached surfer hair (yes, that's me on the far right). I'm in contact with everyone on the list except Greg, although I saw him at the 20-year reunion [strike that, just caught up with him on Facebook]. John actually lives nearby (Big Bear).

Just last night I was thinking about those good old days on the hot Oneonta blacktop, prompted by one of my students wanting to learn the Cheap Trick song "Surrender". Hey Alec, remember when Mr. Comlossy did the Rock'n'Roll History thing and we lip sync'd to "I Want You to Want Me" and "Surrender"? Funny, I wanted to be the drummer but had to do electric guitar instead. Strangely enough, about 6 months after this picture I asked for a drum set for Christmas but got an electric guitar instead ("Get him a guitar, preferably a quiet one" is probably what my dad told my mom). The rest is history...

P.S. Dad, I have a drum set now if you want to come listen.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Art Show Benefit

Elisa's artist brother Stephen Romio participated in an event for a charity called Hope Gardens which helps homeless mothers get off the streets of Los Angeles. Elisa, her parents, my Dad, Nancy and I all attended. It was great to see my dad and we had quite an experience over dinner at Shakers with me confessing to a bunch more teenage sins, which took over two hours. It says something about my dad that I feel comfortable telling him this stuff years later. (I hate to "hide" this in a post, but please pray for him, as he's starting chemotherapy next week for cancer in his lungs and around his chest area).

As for the lack of art in the video, it's sort of a no-no taking pictures of someone's art at an art show, so the sample I have is a portrait Steve did of Elisa that hangs in my music studio. It hardly does justice to his talent, as good as the portrait is. It's one of the quick "30-minute portraits" that he does on weekends down at Universal City Walk. You might want to catch him there and have him do yours. Steve is a great brother-in-law and an impressive guy, and a true artist (he's at the end of the video).

(The song is called "City Lights". I wrote it and recorded it for my step brother's entertainment-design video. Somehow the first part of it fits just right with this, too. Sorry, Mike!)

The Goodbye Boy

Some of you have experienced Sammy and his long goodbyes. This video has a very short one for him. He's got it down to a routine now, out there sitting on the fence these days (see for yourself). Better than crying on the steps and running after the car with extended crying back inside the house, like it used to be. Funny, he even once cried saying goodbye to one of my music students he'd only met a moment earlier, and he's known to run out to say goodbye to students he's never really met. What can I say? Some people are just made a certain way. Sammy is and has always been the "goodbye boy."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Edd's 56th Birthday

Some of you know my good friend and fellow worship leader Edd Williams. This college professor and all around good guy had his 56th birthday party this last Saturday. It started at 5 p.m, but I arrived at 7:30 from a rehearsal, saying "What, you didn't set your clocks back--I thought I was only an hour and a half late!" I thought I was early (for a musician).

Edd's kids, his wife Kim and her daughters were all there, along with many others from Calvary Chapel Lake Arrowhead. Shortly after I arrived, I was offered a guitar to play, and Steve Smith, Edd and I all jammed out to various songs, including a blend of "Hey Jude" and "Better Is One Day" (naaaaa, naaa, naaa, na-na-naaa-naaa, na-na-naaa-naaa, than thousands elsewhere..."). It's always great to jam with Edd and Steve, because we've worked together so many times we gel almost effortlessly. I was the last to arrive and the last to leave, amid a pretty impressive electrical storm. At least it didn't rain on the previous night's festivities.