Monday, May 25, 2009

The Father's Dance

There comes a point in every boy's life when he suddenly turns around and finds himself to be the 56 year old father of the bride, walking his amazingly beautiful and graceful youngest daughter down the center aisle to the handsome -- dashing -- young man who now becomes number one in her life. This is one of those never-to-be-forgotten moments in both lives. Certainly in mine. One of two major moments this past Saturday for Tracy and me. The Aisle Walk and the Father's Dance. Not that there were not many, many other memorable moments -- but these two mark the transition from one phase of two lives to the next with a certain unmatched emphasis.

It was easy to become distracted in the previous days and weeks by the planning, the family hosting, the bill paying, the anticipation of the frenzy -- the business of her wedding. Easy until that second that she steps through the door in her gown... this angel in white... this sophisticated, poised young woman. And for just a couple of seconds we both tear up in a rush of emotion that had been forced under the surface until that second. The you catch your breath, wait a moment for the direction that sends you down that narrow path between the sea of chairs filled with friendly faces that you don't even notice. You talk to her in subtext as you move, about the matching clover leaf tattoos you are going to get, about who is steadying who while you put your left foot down after your right. A kiss on the cheek, an admonition to the young man to "remember to be careful with this", and suddenly... you're dancing...

"Call Me Papa" is the song she chose. It was a long, sweet tune. I thanked her for the length of it.  Happy to have kept my feet off of hers. Hated to let go. But then life is all about letting go... It was an amazing evening.

Photos by Gar. Thanks, bro.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Piano Study I, originally uploaded by Paul-G.

Recuperating (still) from last weekend... preparing for Tracy's wedding in two weeks... writing, re-learning old songs, working, working. Irons in the fire. It's pretty hot in there. Patience is a virtue. Wish I possessed it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Not As Young As I Used To Be...

Jack Williams, originally uploaded by Paul-G.

Kay and I decided we would roll back the clock this weekend and camp with the other musicians at the Gamble Rogers Festival in St. Augustine. Around the folk scene it is a tradition to camp out, and swap songs late into the night after the stages are closed down. On Friday night we had 50+ players and listeners around our tent, including Jack Williams (pictured above in silhouette during his main stage sound check). That finally broke up at about 2:00 a.m...

There was a time when I could get away with just a few hours sleep and get up the next morning, gargle with a cap full of Captain Morgan's spiced rum, and hit the stage. Like Jack, we are all getting older, though he is the youngest, hippest, fastest-handed 65 year old that I have ever met. The guy's a super star (look him up), but utterly without pretense and ego -- never fails to look me up and remember my name on those once or twice per year occasions when we cross paths... anyway....

Come Saturday afternoon, and our first set... It was actually very good, but beyond that I barely had the energy to snap a few frames, and pass out on top of my sleeping bag shortly after 9:00 p.m. I woke up briefly to the sound of some angel's voice I was sure had come to carry me home... but otherwise slept through another late night jam a few yards from our tent. Some of the playing in the campground continued until the sun edged over the eastern horizon. There was a time....

I guess it's time to learn to pace ourselves... into the sack a little earlier (maybe at a local motel)... rest up in the afternoon. But I have to tell you, if you've never experienced a night by the fire, swapping songs with your idols, your friends, folks you've never met before but sure hope you will again -- you've missed something.

A few photos will be posted in a gallery on my website in a day or two (insufficient energy reserves tonight), including that song circle in our camp. Check it out... home made, live music. It's a thing of beauty. Simple.