Easter, family and reflecting…

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Spring time in Utah always brings mixed emotions for me. First of all the temps change and that always triggers the end of the ski season. I go through this every year, but I said “mixed”.. I know once the snow is no longer skiable, it’s time to do other sports, like hiking, biking and more flying.

Spring skiing

Spring skiing

This year we decided to take the weekend to visit with family and celebrate my Grandfather’s 95th birthday. My Grandpa is an amazing guy. He has lived his life in Southern Utah. As a young boy he lived in a sheep camp herding sheep on the Arizona strip outside of Saint George Utah. He also served in WWII as a radio operator. He served several LDS missions in places like Samoa and New Zealand (hence my love for the polynesian culture). This guy has always been outside fishing, hiking, hunting and exploring. He made his living as a plumber. Not just any plumber, but the “go-to” guy when it came to complicated boiler systems all over the state. My grandma would complain that if he got a call in the middle of the night from a neighbor to come over and fix a furnace, blocked toilet or general fixit projects, he’d jump out of bed and help anyone that asked. Never waiting for the next day to help.. always in the moment.

When we first got to St. George, we stopped to see my Grandpa at his condo. The lights were out and I thought that maybe he wasn’t there. Then I realized that because he’s blind, lights are for for everybody else. I was right, he was there and asked us to come in. As we sat down he said.. “now, who are you?” I said “Dain.. your oldest grandchild?!?” He went on to tell me that getting old has caused his memory to not work right. I didn’t feel bad, I was sad to see that one of my childhood heros was mortal and showing the signs of getting older. As we spoke, my Grandpa started remembering that I teach skiing and do radio, we have 3 kids and other details that really amazed me how sharp his mind really is.

Me and Grandpa at his 95th birthday party

Me and Grandpa at his 95th birthday party

I love this guy and love hearing his stories of his past. He always tells us how much he misses Grandma.. she passed away 4 years ago. They did everything together. These guys were the ultimate adventurers. Traveling and living all over the world.. with a home full of decorations from all these magical places. When Grandma died a piece of Grandpa died too. At the time he wouldn’t admit it, but now it’s pretty obvious how much he loves and misses Grandma. My grandpa is blind, yet he still walks for several hours at a time when he gets bored. I asked how he gets around town on his walks, he said,”well I’ve lived here my whole life.. I should be able to find anything here”.. what a guy.

Because it was his birthday AND Easter weekend we got to see cousins and family too. It was nice to reconnect with all of them. Dale, Chris, Kim, Marci, Jen, Jami, Russ, Preston, Joey, Scott, Jenny.. extended family and their spouses. My baby brother Jon and his wife made the trip too..

Me and Jon

Me and Jon

Jon and I have always been close.. he’s a good dude. Plus a drummer.. so hey! We’ve decided to go audition for Blue Man Group.. I’ll let you know.

One of my favorite things to do in St. George is to climb the red rocks around town.. as a kid, we would always challenge each other to see who could climb the highest, fastest and furthest.

Red Rocks

Red Rocks

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Today as we talked about leaving town, Lelani decided that she and Emi wanted to go to church with Grandpa. So while they were in church I decided to head back into the red rocks and do a little hiking and soul searching. It’s amazing how all my adventures with Grandma & Grandpa started flooding back. All the picnics, hikes and fishing trips.

I remembered one Easter I was hiking with my Grandparents on Cedar mountain. My grandma had hidden Easter eggs along the trail.. I found one that looked a little different so I bit into it…. it was crunchy, gooey and not candy.. I found a Robin egg and attempted to eat it. This one event has become family folk lore. I remember it like it was just a few years ago… I think I was 4 or 5..

While hiking I decided to stop by the cemetery and chat with Grandma…

Grandma

Grandma

I miss her.. she was a funny lady. Grandma and I had a heart to heart.. just like when she was here. I felt her presents and started to cry… I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since she passed away. I told her I missed her and will see again someday.. then it hit me. Easter!! That’s the promise! She taught me again.. to remember the significants of things. I smiled, said goodbye and walked through the cemetery where I found Lelani’s Grandmother and Grandfather.. Netty was a special lady too. I miss her as well.

I guess Easter took on a different meaning for me this year.. not just because we ate at Sizzler.. that was different.. It was all the family, reflections and Grandparents. What a gift..

I hope I get to see my Grandpa again soon… before he reconnects with Grandma… Of course I know that will happen someday, and of course that will be a mixed emotion day/event again. I think I’m starting to see a pattern here.

Yes… Today I am Rich!!

Catching up.. and reflections

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powder day at Brighton

powder day at Brighton

Great way to start… skiing powder!

I just realized that it’s been a long time since I blogged. Sorry for the delay.. Let’s see… My last blog I was talking about getting published in the Ski Utah supplement, finding a house and pictures of hikes.

Well the article was sent out worldwide and it was also published in Ski magazine!  I actually got paid for too. Maybe I’m on to something here. Writing about skiing would be fun. I’ll have to keep pursuing that idea.. I’ll let you know how it goes.

We did close on the house. It’s an older home from the early 70’s. The best thing about the house is that it’s on the bench between Little and Big Cottonwood canyons. Great views from the deck and close to skiing and hiking trails. Little did we know that when we started to make some changes to the house, it would take months, not weeks to finish. 3 months to be exact… we replaced flooring, re-modeled the kitchen and re-painted the inside. 3 months!! We moved in about 3 1/2 weeks ago.. right after Thanksgiving. In the mean time, I’ve been skiing and teaching skiing and skiing… oh and some skiing..

Here are some “before” pictures of the project..

Living room

 

 

 

more living room construction shots

more living room construction shots

 

kitchen

kitchen

Now “after” shots..

 

Living room "almost" finished.

Living room “almost” finished.

 

kitchen "after"

kitchen “after”

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My doctor found Basal Cell carcinoma on my right arm and carved a chunk of flesh. It’s still healing and I pray they got it all.

At work, my General Manager was let go.. actually the position was eliminated. This was a surprise and changed somethings at work to say the least. I got promoted to “co-Operations Manager” along with my longtime friend Sue Kelly. This will be an interesting new chapter in my broadcasting life. I get to oversee the “female stations” and she gets to oversee the “male stations”. We get along great and will have fun working even closer together for a common cause.

My real reason for writing today, was the experience I had earlier unpacking boxes. For the last 2+ years we have been living in a small condo. Most of our things have been in storage and out of sight and mind. Today we started unpacking many of the boxes we moved into the basement of the new house. We found everything from old hats, software, CD’s.. thousands of CD’s.. pictures, old documents and books. I found myself looking through box after box of old memories. I found and old contract from FM100, old promo shots with both Peggy and Jill, my resignation letter from FM100, goodbye emails from listeners and co-workers when I left FM100. I found old pictures of my dear friends in Texas and again, goodbye letters and notes from those co-workers as well.

The one memory that hit me the hardest was a book my Mom sent me when my best furry friend died. Sassy was a great dog/person.. When she died, I was so sad. It still affects me. Anyway, the book was “all Dogs Go to Heaven”. As I was digging through the box, I also saw a book from my dad too. The wave of emotions over whelmed me. It never fails to amaze me how fast little things like pictures, books, music and old items bring back all those deep feels and emotions. Emi watching all this spoke up and said, “wow, that’s a box of all kinds of memories and emotions..” All this made me look back at the last 6 months of my life and beyond. I realized that so much has changed, and yet nothing has changed. Sure we’re getting older.. evidenced by the old wedding pictures, and the picture of our first hike to Lake Mary over 13 years ago. And yet, I still feel the same.

One thing that I realized through all these emotions, was the feeling that another holiday season has come and gone. We’re all a year older. The whole family was together this year for the first time in two years.. and yet I couldn’t wait for all to be over. The holidays are just plain weird. I’ll leave at that.

So, as I start this new year. I have a new house, new responsibilities at work and a longer commute. This new year will no doubt bring new challenges and opportunities. Hopefully more hikes, injury-free powder days, health, good friends, family and of course music. My soul misses playing music. As we were hanging pictures today, I put my iPod on shuffle through the stereo and heard “The Sonnier Brothers” playing one of my favorite sings from our adventure in Texas. I miss some of those experiences and friendships. The music reminded me how much I miss music. I also found an old FM100 Christmas CD in one of those boxes with songs from “The Original” Mini Christmas concerts. I saw a song from Lokahi. My friends from Hawaii sang “Silent Night”.. so many memories… Is this what life will be like when we get old?

Or am I there?!

Until next time…

 

 

 

Family trauma, End of Summer and more hikes..

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Aspen grove on the Butler Fork trail

The colors are starting to change in the Mountains of Utah. It’s been a dry Summer and it’s obvious that the dry conditions will bring a fast, less colorful Fall colors season.

 

A couple of weeks ago, my little brother send me this text.. “(wife) just life flighted to the hospital and is on life support. She couldn’t breathe last night and heart stopped twice.. she can’t breathe on her own…”  HOLY CRAP! I tried to call him, no response. Call my Dad, he was headed to the hospital too. You know that moment when you hear the phone ring in the middle of the night, and you fear the worst? That what this was.. except in the new age of electron communication. Getting a text is as powerful as a phone call.

I spent the majority of the day at the hospital with my Dad and brother. We tries to make the moment a little lighter like we do. But the obvious always comes flooding back like a tsunami of emotion for all of us. I could see my brother was in shock. So scared  that he might lose wife, yet so many questions and no solid prognosis from the doc. My sister-in-law was in ICU on a ventilator and monitors on both sides of her bed. The doc had her in a drug induced coma to slow down her systems so they can stabilize everything to know what if any damage had been done. It was true, we were told that she had cardiac arrest at least once, maybe twice because of the lack of oxygen. Now they had to rule out brain damage, liver, kidney and pancreas. It was touch and go for a week or so. The word went out that we needed divine intervention and fast. We all prayed for her to recovery, and it worked… thank goodness I have some very religious, god-fearing family members.

Several days later she was moved to a private room, then days after that she went home. Phew!! I have to say, I have been a firm believer in the power of prayer for most of my life.. this was just an example or message for and the family to never get too comfortable. Shit happens.. to everyone. Faith seems to be the great equalizer regardless of your chosen religion.

She is still recovering, but getting stronger and healthier everyday. In fact she went back to work last week… she’s a school teacher. That was a close call.. as my brother puts it. She had a combination of pneumonia and asthma.

 

One of the things that always seems to user in ski season… Oktoberfest and the “Sniagrab” (‘bargains’ spelled backward) sale at the Sports Authority. Both are happening right now. Oh.. and ski instructor uniforms…

Too soon???

This was actually a shot that will be used in an up coming Ski Utah article I was in. It will be sent out this Fall all over the world to promote Utah skiing.. I get to explain how to ski powder. I’ll let you know when it’s published so I can brag a little more.

 

Today we took a hike up Big Cottonwood Canyon. This time a different trail.. Butler Fork on the way to Dog Lake. Here are some pix.

 

 

 

This week will be interesting.. we finally found a house that we’re trying to close on. That should happen this next week AND Emi gets to transfer to a new school. This is going to be a bit stressful for all of us, but we need the extra room and a place to call home. Plus it’s got a view of the Great Salt Lake.. from the bench of the mountains… sweet.

Today I am Rich….

Oh and guess what I made after the hike??

2 fresh strawberry pies!!

 

 

Post “beach” effects, hikes and ratings

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I’d like to start out with a picture I took last night….

View above Lake Martha and Lake Mary in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Every time I hike or run the mountain trails of Utah, I realize how luck I am to live here and soak in all this incredible beauty. I loved Texas, but for different reasons. I miss the totally cool people of the south, but nothing can replace views like this. Literally less than 30 minutes from my little apartment. The mountains are so recharging and mind clearing.

The last couple of weeks have found us looking for houses.  The Utah market has been really weird. As we started this little adventure we looked in Murray (where we live now), Cottonwood Heights (where we lived before the Texas move) and random locations in between. We looked at big houses, little houses, short sale houses, foreclosed houses and houses that should have been condemned. I saw one house that looked perfect.. It had a great view of the mountains, circular walkway to the front door and cool floor plan. The price looked right too. We saw the pictures online the day it went on the market, so we called our agent and set up an appointment.. it sold before we could even get in to see it!! 1 day on the market? This has since happened a couple of times to us. So we kept looking and looking… on the advice of our agent we decided to get pre-approved so we could submit that info with any offer we might want to make.

(cue the music… “pum, pum, pum”)

It seems that because I was under employed for 18 months.. not unemployed.. they want to take a hard look at our financials for the last 3 years to see if we can even get approved for a loan. REALLY?!?! In the past we would just make an offer and the bank seemed totally cool with whatever.. I guess not having stable income after 20+ years of “killing it” has an effect on financial credibility. So we’re still waiting to see what we can even be approved for… if any. Thank goodness Lelani’s business is doing well and her income hasn’t wavered. What a funny turn of events… not so funny. Losing a job has so many domino effects that you never realize. Don’t get me wrong, we have a ton to be thankful for.. just never realized that it might be hard to buy a house, let alone get one we really wanted. So we wait to see what the banks will approve us for. Then the house search will continue. It feels sometimes like we’re continually starting over in this process. Just another adventure I suppose…. nice!

The station is doing well. Our ratings show that we’re the top AC in the market now. I’m not ready to celebrate yet. Arbitron (our ratings service) is really inconsistent and schizophrenic to say the least. BUT.. a nice thing to see. Cross your fingers for  me that it continues..

Now more hiking pictures!!

Brighton hike to Snake Creek

Lone pine tree on the trail at Brighton

View from the trail above Lake Mary and Lake Martha

Lake Catherine

And of course…..

Me and Lelani.. my hiking partner through the mountains and life! Yes.. that’s my Bucc-ees t-shirt! “It’s a Beaver!”

As you can see…

Today I AM Rich  and blessed.

Pre-season conditioning, hikes and radio.. (my two lives)

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Lake Blanche trail

As I have said numerous times before, “there are two seasons here in Utah.. Ski season and Pre-season”.. we are now in the middle of Pre-season. My time has been split this year with a radio job.. thankfully.. and trying to maintain my running/trail running/biking needs. I’m not doing as well as I did last year at this.. However, I have been able to squeeze in a few hikes and trail runs so far. Next up, biking…

Over Father’s Day weekend we took a quick hike to Lake Mary at Brighton. This has always been a special event for us over the years. That’s because it was the first hike that we took together as a soon to be family almost 13 years ago. The kids all complained and dragged their feet back then. Now we find ourselves stopping and admiring the amazing scenery and smells of the forest along the way. I of course complain about how many people seem to have found this spot too. I can’t believe how many cars are in the canyon every weekend! It’s more crowded in the Summer than it is in the Winter.

Lake Mary and Brighton will always be a special place for all of us.. especially me.

Me and Alyssa at Lake Mary

Lake Blanche was another trail that we tried a few weeks back. This trail is a great one for older kids and takes about 1 1/2 hours to make it to the end. If you hike at a constant pace you can do the round trip in less than 2 hours. Again, the trail was packed with locals trying to find their “mountain chi”. Lake Blanche is a trail best taken in the middle of the week or early in the morning. This way you avoid the crowds and the heat.

You know there is something about feeling your heart race as you push yourself up a moderate trail and then pause to take in the beauty of everything around you. I wish I would have taken advantage of this idea sooner in my life. There really is something about the mountains that re-energizes me… and apparently 50,000 other people every weekend! At least that what it seems..

Me and Emi at the Lake Blanche trail head

Lelani and Emi at the trail head… notice the Buc-ee’s t-shirt.

Last weekend I did a trail run up Little Cottonwood canyon. I ran the Quarry Trail up to the Boy Scout bridge. This was a nice run and a great workout. I decided to wear hiking boots.. somehow I thought this would a good idea for a better workout. It was, but also a great blister maker.. so I bought Mole Hair for the next run. One of the interesting things I’ve noticed, is that snakes are easier to see when running the trails. I haven’t been on a run in the mountains yet, where I didn’t step over a snake or two… no rattle snakes yet.. phew. This time I saw a little Rubber Boa..

Rubber Boa in the trail

I had no idea what snake this was until I came home and looked it up. This poor little guy was injured by a mountain bike that had just flown past me at mach speed, barely missing me, but hitting the snake. He was okay, so I moved him off the trail. Look close, you can see where the bike ran over him.

Little mountain stream along the way

And the famous Scout Bridge.. it was an Eagle project for some scout many years ago, hence the name.

Scout bridge

I’m a better person because of these mountains. I feel very lucky and blessed to have the health and ability to enjoy all this. I will be there this weekend as well.. somewhere.

Radio

The station is coming along nicely. Our ratings are growing and the audience is responding. Being back in the business and feeling the need to constantly monitor us and the competition reminds how easy it is to lose yourself in radio and the constant pursuit of perfection… which by the way, you never find. I heard a couple of comments from a former employee the other day referring to how I managed them years ago and how my reputation preceded me. I heard this person telling another employee that “Dain expects perfection, not just from his staff.. but from himself as well.. he won’t put up with any mediocrity..” Hmmm, yea, I guess that’s true. I do demand a lot from my team. My focus has changed a bit over the years, however I haven’t relaxed my constant pursuit for excellence. I do have a high standard for myself too.. at least I think I do. My different approach is to make sure hard work is also coupled with hard play and quality of life. Balance..

Life is funny. I see my parents and reflect on their words of advice they’ve given me over the years. The older I get, the more I wish I would have listened to the wisdom earlier. That’s how life goes I guess. The more we figure it out, the faster it goes and the mortal we realize we all are. I know my kids are in that phase of life where I was at their age.. you know, the “destination” stage. “I can’t wait to graduate from High School”, “I’ll be happy when…” kinds of thoughts. My dad once told me something that has stuck with me for many years.. NO.. not “keep your pecker in your pocket”.. yes, both my Grandpa and Dad gave me that advice on my first date… The advice that has stuck with me is “find the things that make you happy, and hold on to them with both hands”.. this is a simple yet complex thought. I have realized that it’s less about control and more about letting go. Letting go of all things that you fear or question your ability in. “Happy” is a state of mind.. I have since modified my Dad’s advice, “Do the things you love, tell the ones you love.. and never stop doing exciting/scary/seemingly impossible adventures”. This will change your perspective…

Try it.

One interesting thing that happened to me last week. I got a call from Ski Utah asking me to be a featured Ski Instructor in an upcoming article they’re publishing this Fall nationally. I was asked to explain how I teach students to do powder turns.. So I was in the car driving home in 100 degree temps talking about initiating turns, controlling the turn, finishing the turn.. start again. Knees closer, both feet moving at the same time, hands in front… Funny. Here I am talking about skiing, moving my hands as if they are skis as I explain and then hearing the person on the other end from Ski Utah say.. “okay, say that again? I got both feet move at the same time.. then what”

How ironical!! This proves my theory once again.. Skiing is life and that there really are two season here.

Ski Season and Pre-Season…

Today I am Rich!!

Standing out, feeling unique, remembering the mountain trails..

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This last couple of weeks have been filled with the usual busy work stuff, catching up with family and thinking about planning some Summer adventures. I can’t believe that it’s already June!! May flew by must faster than I realized. Now that I sit in an office all day dealing with typical radio stuff, I find myself looking at the mountains and reflecting on all the cool adventures that I was able to find last year at this time. Last year I was dreaming about being back in radio, now that I’m back into it.. I am even more determined to not get so busy that my passion for adventure takes a back seat to my career again. The mountains are so green right now and the trails need my foot prints… TODAY I will leave tracks..

My Mom came into town this week to celebrate the High School graduation of my niece. We got to have lunch with her and celebrate her birthday too.

Me and my Mom on her birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!

;

This picture makes my hair look like I’m thinning on top… not so.. better not be true… reconnecting with family has been a great blessing since we came back from Texas 18 months ago. I hope to do another fishing trip this Summer with my dad and brothers as well.

This time of year also makes us want to fly Besse.. our little Cherokee 180 that still lives in Houston working at a flight school. We need to get her back here so we can play with her on the weekends. That will be another Summer project that I need to plan soon.

Isn’t it funny how time passage is different for all of is depending on our age or experience with life. I remember hearing my grandparents and even my parents speak about the value of family and friends. Savoring the time and experiences, to live a full life all the time. My Grandfather is 93 now and hasn’t slowed down a bit. I totally admire his spirit and will to find adventure. My Dad constantly pushes “the boys” to get together and kill some worms at Strawberry reservoir. My Mom as long as I can remember instilled a need to leave the highway or common path and venture out on a dirt roads or trail to see where it goes. I have damaged more than one car following that ideal.. but never disappointed by the crazy cool things I’ve seen on these journeys. So here I am writing this blog when I could be hiking another trail praying I don’t come upon a resting moose or bear.

I guess I’m feeling philosophical this week because of the loss of my friend Rusty Walker. I mentioned his tragic heart attack a few weeks ago. When these things happen it always makes me feel so mortal and fragile. So I try to re-ground myself and focus on the pieces of my life that may have been lost or forgotten along the way.

I will leave you with a thought.. I saw the new movie Snow White and the Huntsman last night. I didn’t expect a Disney-type story. I wanted what the story gave. A fantasy story of a familiar tale that was packed with struggle, deceit, hardship and of course good over evil. The story was a great escape for a couple of hours. After, I found myself thinking about how we all see ourselves in a Disney movie at times. Maybe that’s because I have kids and that seems to be my impression of how they view the world at times. All stories don’t end like fairy tales, happy endings don’t happen in 2 hours. The movie took you on a ride that was dark and difficult with struggles and loss. I came to the place that we all want to stand out and be unique. It seems to be human nature to want the recognition of others. Think about it. Good grades in school will get you a scholarship or admission to a prestigious university. Working hard at athletics will earn you a “letter” in that sport… never understood the “letter” concept. Being recognized in business with national or local awards in excellence. We are wired to want to be unique and stand out in something, or be known for something.. even if you’re a underachiever. Religion has engrained in all of us who were raised in a certain dogma, that we are destined for greatness in one way or another. This is a great motivator for life. We lose the concept when we forget that “we ARE unique.. just like everyone else!” Living life as if one day we’ll magically be recognized for our unknown greatness or abilities is a sad lonely way to live.. as we continue to wait and hope for this recognition. We live in a world of great technology.. look at all the artists that have been discovered on nothing more than a You Tube video. Evidence that it can happen, but you never see or hear about the millions who try to follow that same path and never see the bright lights of super-stardom.

My point for me is this.. damn you Hollywood for making us believe that we will all be unique and live happily ever after.. and thank you Hollywood for helping us see that dreaming is good and critical to our survival through this journey. (wow, that is way too deep)

I have been told that one of the things I need to be better at is “managing up”, or brown-nosing. That’s always been hard for me. I figure, you’ll like me or you won’t.. and quite frankly I couldn’t give 4 shits if you don’t. But deep inside I still want to be taken seriously and liked just like everyone else..

Because I am unique and want to stand out… and of course hope for the “happily ever after” story.

Then I realize that it was that way all along…

I will stop rambling now and go hike a hill, looking for adventure and new fun.

;

Today I am rich! Because I have been blessed with people in my life who tell me the truth and keep me grounded in real-life tragedy, honor, respect and love.

Sprinting a marathon.. kind of!?! Old friends and the Big Easy..

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I like goats..

I thought I’d start this blog out with a picture of a goat, or “kid” to be more precise. I love goat cheese, goat milk and of course just watching them play. BUT I won’t eat one.. not after being the 2008 Houston Rodeo goat milking champion!! (Another story)

So here I am, back at work. Using a computer to write reports, schedule music, communicate with emails, download policies… and so on. I guess it feels like showing up to run a strong 5K that I’ve trained for and realizing it’s a marathon at a sprinters pace. I’m not complaining, it’s just intense. This time it feels different though. When I hit the station front door at 8am, I literally don’t stop until 6 or 7 most days. That includes eating lunch at my desk as I ‘power’ through clocks, conference calls or planning/following up on a station event. I like it.. it’s in my blood.. I just can’t believe how much STUFF there is on a day-to-day basis. I’m lucky to work for a great company that is staffed with programmers who “get it”. But it continues to blow me away that most sales people seem to operate from the same premise.. “what I don’t know (or pretend to not know), can’t hurt me..” These guys here make me laugh. I know I confuse several of them when I beat them around the bush to cut-off the “I’ve never heard that before” scenario. Anyway, life is good.. same old radio stuff. Jocks missing shifts, spots missing on the log, computers crashing, EAS running in the middle of a music sweep, most employees have more than one title.. some have several (myself included). I do find myself approaching this differently these days. First of all, I have more experience to guide or manage ideas that could be better or more profitable and I don’t get as upset when things don’t work perfectly.. life is way too short for that.

This past weekend Lelani had a conference in New Orleans. I planned to go a long way before the new job came along, so I went with her. I did work from the hotel room most of the day doing the same stuff I do in my office.. schedule music, deal with jock/sales issues, merge logs, work on concert support promotions.. and so on. Visiting New Orleans is a nice place to reflect on some of my old ghosts from the past. I don’t know how many times I’ve been there over the years.. but it’s a lot.

Here are some of my favorite scenes..

Jackson Square at night

Gas lights

Back of St. Louis cathedral at night.. eerie shadow of Christ

Oldest apartments in the US.

Love this corner

St. Louis cathedral

Inside St. Louis cathedral.. beautiful!

The jazz at Maison on Bourbon.. awesome!

My old friend Hack Bartholomew.. Jazz musician turned crusader.

I have a picture of Hack in this same spot 5 years earlier. I was doing a remote from Cafe Du Monde back to Houston, he played his trumpet on the air for us and I made a friend. It was cool to see him again.. yes i bought his new CD.

An old communication device..

I took a picture of the old pay phone with my smart phone camera…. the irony is ironical, right?!?

NOLA is always a trip. The smells, the flavors, the sounds, the beads, the pralines.. never change. It was good to see how much the economy has come back since Katrina. Don’t get me wrong.. it’s still a dirty, smelly, funky place.. but I like it.

What hit me this time, was the absolute passion that all the musicians have for their craft. I felt so revived just standing on a street corner listening to a jazz trio, a marching band or basic street musician. Such a funky, honest place.. with plenty of spice and humidity.

The Crescent City will always hold a very special place in my heart AND my stomach. I found a new  guilty pleasure.. “Char-grilled oysters” from the ACME Fish Co. DO NOT PASS THESE UP!!!

Shifting gears….

On this trip I also got news that consultant, drummer, former drum factory owner, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, radio legend and my good friend.. Rusty Walker had a massive heart attack and is currently fighting for his life. He’s not doing well at all, so if you’re one of my radio people reading this.. please remember Rusty in your prayer tonight.

Rusty Walker Felled By Heart Attack, In Critical Condition

RustyWalker2012.jpgGet Well, Rusty

Everyone at ALL ACCESS sends get well wishes and prayers to RUSTY WALKER, head of RUSTY WALKER CONSULTING, on a speedy recovery from a serious heart attack suffered yesterday (5/19) while biking near his home.

WALKER is in critical condition and was airlifted to NORTH MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER in TUPELO, MS, where he is in the intensive care unit, and reportedly under sedation, on a ventilator and not responsive. The doctors are not detecting brain activity.

Please send your prayers and good wishes to RUSTY and his family.

 

Life is short…

Today I am rich.

Love you Rusty..

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