Saturday, June 20, 2009

At the order of President Obama, Special Forces spokesman said: Our mission apparently has changed and our motto has been updated to reflect that change. It is no longer  "Free the Oppressed"   It is now, "Here's Looking At You". "

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Some years ago, Ford Motor company stopped shipping new cars destined for New England by railroad. There was a huge train yard across the Merrimac River, just over the Lowell city line in Billerica, Mass. (home of Future Hall of Famer, Tom Glavine. One night, unable to sleep, I heard the sound of a single switching locomotive,  moving box cars around and forming up trains of empty car carriers. I could hear the sharp bang every time the engineer would add a car to the tree. All the windows in my house were open on a warm spring night.
       My dad was a Boston & Maine employee who worked around the yards, doing maintenence. He spoke to me once of how he would occasionally get lonely and a bit melancholy being out there at night. He explained how he would miss his wife and two small sons, but  he knew he needed to be out there making money.
      I remembered that conversation some 30 years later and I tried to imagine the loneliness felt by the men who work away from their families, often alone and isolated.

Open Windows in the Spring

                                                                  May 15, '00
                                                                  3:37 am
                                                                   sleep - my eye

lonesome cold
sound of
a switcher
banging empty
in the dead
of night-

oh sight

in the distance

folded back

my father walking
home with midnite
lunch bucket.

-cold swept
 iron tracks

                                    my eye
                                    empty now. 


The poem is not universal enough. 
No one else can see my dad.
Since my dad died young, my seeing
him disappearing  down the tracks, uncommunicative;
I've made him up; but haven't 
felt his pain or explained his loneliness.
I got no further than conjuring up a vision
of him that is sterile. No dirt, sweat  or grime.
No slack muscles.  No exhaustion. He's a ghost;
and the poem is not that interesting.

Monday, June 15, 2009


This is probably the most beautiful guitar I have ever owned. I still own it; I just can't play it. The neck is too thin for me. It makes my hands cramp up.  It's a Gibson ES-137. But this one was made in their Custom Shop. ( it has a piece of paper that says so! ). If you'll notice, on the top and the back, you cannot see where two pieces of maple were joined. That's because this baby has a one piece top. (and back) . The thinking goes beyond just beauty. It's supposed to sound better because the top vibrates better. Sounds reasonable to me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Which is a link to Katrin and her web page where you can hear some of her lovely folk songs and folk-rock. Nature Spirit is a nice CD and i'm sure she'd love it if you bought a copy. But i'm really pumped because I found out that John Harrington plays in her live band. ( when she's not playing alone ). There was a small, mostly old news new news story in the Merrimack Journal about John and how he and "Little John and the Sherwoods" dominated the Garage Band scene here in Greater Lowell and Southern New Hampshire. They went on to New York and came "this" close to opening for the Beach Boys". The band broke up and John joined Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels for a time. He played for years for money for "Mac's Mob", a great, highly popular show band. And then I lost touch.
Over the years, their single "Long Hair" became a classic, must have example of Garage Rock. (it's worth looking up a mp3 or whatever they are called ). This endearing popularity led to a Sherwoods Re-union about a year and a half ago. Unlike most events, this one was a smashing success and I expected to hear more from John.  I heard he was teaching. I heard he was doing ok. And now I find that he is back out there, still playing! He will be performing at theLowell Folk Festival this July with Katrin. Try and be there... you'll have to fight a few thousand Little John Regulars from the Commodore Ballroom days.
Oh yeah...... I'm the skinny dude, second from the right.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


This is a favorite of mine.

First built by Gibson in 1734, in their Boston factory.

Three P-90 Pick-ups.  Each has it's own individual Volume control to keep them from quarreling. There is one Master Tone control way up there on the lower treble bout. This arrangement allows the player a wide variety of tonal options. This guitar, besides having wonderful action and a fine, comfortable neck, can sound like the Jazziest Box in the neighborhood or the funkiest dirt machine in the Delta.

Thank you, Gibson.


As I wander around the internet seeking out nubile young women who seek meaningful relationships with old arthritic, lung-busted, limp, smelly old men; I cannot help but notice the appalling lack of standards applied to what we jokingly refer to as the English language.  It seems that whilst I was indulging in a post luncheon nap, down in the side Garden of the Manor, the youngsters picked up on the ancient ritual of enforced mis-information directed towards the elder, more staid and stable segment of society. Their parents.  It's as if they are attempting to hide from us, the facts of their lives. It's as if their generation is the first to have discovered the pleasures of sex. ( of course, the Baby Boomers invented sex. ). It's as if they watched "Animal House" and mistook it for a drug hazed National Geographic documentary gone horribly bad. Binge drinking is so Last Century.  And why is everyone either bald or tomahawked? The guys, I mean. They can't all be ex-Rangers, can they?  

The dog is wrinkling her nose at my pathetic lump of flesh and attempting to kick dirt over me. I'll have to dig out and pour out some Devil Dog Chow for the little mutt. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Welcome old friends and old readers. Welcome perfect strangers. It's the beginning of summer and I'm in the back stretch of life. On the inside pole, gaining on the nags, perspiring mightily, my lungs close to bursting, spewing  the accumulated noxious solid phlegm shot of epic proportions. 

"Out! Damn Snot!"  William Shakespeare

Right -well I need to make changes in my life. I need to simplify. I need to get rid of things. Material possessions that are chocking me. Death by Knick Knack. Cause of Death: Colorful Vacation Thimbles. ( Ski Famous Death Valley Amusement Park )

I have already culled my book collection twice. I have brought donkey cart loads to the local 1/2 Price Used Book Store. ( I can buy $473.00 of used paperback novels. But Not If The Cover Has Been Removed.)

I have a complete Black and White Photographic Lab in my basement. Thirty-five years ago, I decided I wanted to be an Artist. I figured paint was messy. Film almost never tries to kill you. So I learned how to do it with Single Lens Reflex Cameras. And one day I stopped. The laundry room fuzz bunnies mutated and claim the Enlarger. I gathered it all up and placed it gently in a trash bag and put that on the work bench and there it waits.

I've been into guns for maybe 50 years. Any shooter knows you need to reload if you are serious about getting accurate. Just Google Reloading and check out the 600 pounds of gear that is absolutely necessary to begin this hobby/vocation. Find out why old wheel weights are worth their weight in, well, wheel weights. Guess where this stuff is stored.

Vinyl. A word that stirs something deep in all old hippy hearts. Records. Long Players. As in, boxes and boxes of Records. From the Beatles to the Grateful Dead and Glen Campbell. Stacks of them covering 20 feet by 20 feet of valuable basement floor space.

Dead lamps, horribly Carradine corded into uselessness. Christmas gift boxes and coal fired Christmas Tree Lights twisted into impossible contours. Bike parts and mildewed Mouse nest material, still clinging to the false promise of one more camping trip.

All this and more is complicating my life. I am the King of Rejectamenta.

No more, I swear as God is my witness, i'll never be storage deprived again!