Friday, July 24, 2009


All the Bright Mornings

I. On Saturdays

this life no smoke 

lifted off the tarmac

heavy headed to Ploesti

dodging black flack downwind

the wind blows blue smoke

small engine repair

mornings so cold

you can your breath

catching fire watching

the bombs drop

silently framed in his 

eyes sweeping the row

of tools spread out

useless now half or

more fogotten in

the haze oil smoke-

blowing now he stands

as always at his post

waiting for the engines

to warm

before he can tell

if anything is wrong

on saturday morning

when St. Paul came

his tools too dangerous

now for him who once

flew with the Eagles

over Italy


All gone now

the memories flooding

together the ditch

run off water gathered

Gone Now the Bright Son

of father’s day


bent fingers

he stands

middle of the driveway

the robins

Charlie Mike,

as always

the young ones


as always he could

work longer harder

his generation

Old Lions showing

the young cats

how its done

the Youngest Son

stands watching

shaking his head

wondering if he too

Someday would.


The Children

now scattered

the Angels have come

so bright the Son

when it started.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

FDP THREAD : How many of you are old enough to have grown up with Good Humor and other roaming food companies?

When I was about 3-4, we were living on Grand Street in Lowell. I can remember a bakery guy coming like every other day, but the desert guy from another bakery came every day! I imagine great cream puff fights, running pie fights down to the Lincoln school!

I can remember Tom, the insurance guy, coming into our kitchen looking like the immortal salesman plodding house to house, cadging dimes out of the housewives for cheap insurance
policies redeemable who knows when.

It was a cold water flat, heated by coal, the entire building bleeding off small gallons to use for dishes. Baths were
Saturday night heated on the stove water, reused until the dog got tossed in about midnight.

We had an ice-box. Not bad in the winter, when the cold Montreal air aided in keeping our eggs fresh. 
Both kinds.
In the summer, the ice man would come down the street glancing up at the front windows of the triple
deckers, looking for the signs the wives, bored in the warmth of their sun dresses, had marked down 5, or 10, meaning pounds. He'd chip off an appropriate chunk and carry it up the long dark stairways, to the third floor. Then he'd repeat the exercise for the second floor.

We knew he spent a little more time with Mrs. Monty. The young women on the third floor back apartment. That's when we made our move; boosting someone brave like my brother John, up into the chill darkness of the truck bed. He'd scoop up the smaller chips rapidly melting into uselessness, and toss them down to the littlest of the street kids. Lowell
Popsycles. (To go with the hot tar we would chew as gum. Until we learned the secret pleasures of larceny).

One day Mrs. Monty must have had a heat headache because the ice man came down the stairs early and caught John in the forehead with the heavy leather carry strap. At the first sound of John's wail, my father dashed out of our old apartment and quickly sussed the situation and he punched and elbowed and bit and kicked the ice man until he looked like the Cherry Ice they sold on the South Common on the 4 
Th of July. 

We met in Saint John's Emergency room. John got his four stitches first. My father had his dislocated knuckle wrestled back to the same approximate place just as the Police walked in looking for the
narrowback Irishman who had wailed the tar out of some poor immigrant iceman hauling relief across the city.
The Policeman looked from the iceman to my dad and dad pointed to his first born son and the Irish Police just nodded as we gathered our few things and left.
We could hear the squealing all the way across the bridge that
separated the city from the town.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I remember being outside in my back yard for the first time with my daughter. First week of April and finally warm enough to bring the little St. Patricks Day Baby out. 
We had forgotten that the Blue Angels were to perform at Hanscom Air Base that weekend. Do you remember when two jets pass each other right in front of the grandstand and roar away? Only to come streaking back at the culmination of a manuever done by the other four. Well, the outbound terminus of one guys trip was 20 miles away from the airstrip, 100 feet shy of my house and about 200 feet high. 
He had slowed, you could hear the engine rumbling, just about spinning over when he made his turn. I swear to god, for an instant, it looked like he stopped in mid air. Then he pushed the Go stick and, man, it was like the WHO times ten!
Eighteen years later and my wife and I still talk about it. I have never felt anything as powerful as that in my life. And I used to own a V8 Ford!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I pulled these guitars up out of the Fender pile because I recently inherited a house that has a near empty two car garage. By moving my "stuff" to this storage area, it will allow us all down here at this house to move about easier. After all, not many people have a Music Store stored in their garage, basement, bedroom and family room. 
  1. 1996 Fender American Standard with a Malmsteen pickup set by Dimarzio. (all the notes come out in Swedish, ya?) I got it used and just loved the sound of it and used it until the neck needed re-fretting. Since Electron, from the FDP was always talking up his Robert Cray Model Strat, I took a chance and bought a near mint neck off of eBay. I took off the old neck and sold it and put on the Cray neck. I also changed the pic-guard screws to black, as well as the input jack plate. It looks nice, sounds nice, has a comfy neck. It's a keeper.
  2. This is not really a Stratocaster as nothing on it is made by Fender. It was put together in spurts. Spurts is a local Gentleman's club down by .........Never mind..... The body is by someone who makes big, heavy strat like objects. The pickups are mini humbuckers from Lollar. The neck is a beauty, a solid rosewood neck with an ebony fretboard made by Warmoth accessories. (A great company) It is part of their Boogie Board editions of necks from the late '70's - early 80's. This is heavy, but balances well and sounds like a Strat on 'roids.
  3. This is one of the best bang for the buck Fenders you can get. Many players modify their guitars because they want to get everything as close to perfect for them as they can. This guitar has done a lot of that for a lot of players: specially wound pickups, a thick neck, an innovative pickup wiring scheme, and a very thin layer of nitrocellulose lacqer. To me, this is a guitar I took out of the box, tuned it up and let it rip. It needed nothing to be a gig ready pro level instrument.
  4. A guitar I have always coveted on looks alone. Daphne Blue. I just love the color; all those '50's pastels. I still need to get a Pink Strat. This Daphne is a '97 American Standard, completley stock except for the addition of a set of Lace Gold sensors, which I hated until I spent the time to properly dial it in. Now, I love the sounds I can get out of it. That's it, a quick run down of my strats. What have you got?