Wednesday, March 23, 2016

long time no post...

we made a flying trip down O'Donnell way this past weekend.  my sister and cousin made the trip up from down south to check on our aunt lu,  the way i figure it, any time my sis is that close I should make the effort to meet her.  in truth, i've  been needing to get down there to check on lu for a while but needing to and going are 153 miles apart.

the deal is, we worry about our aunt who lives alone in a town whose population was 831 at the last census. that number dropped by 6 or 8 in the last two months. no grocery store, one cafĂ©, one service station and an allsup's, a beauty shop, a few cotton gins (in season), the school store open for lunch and??-- you get the idea.  there's not much going on in little o-town.

her closest relative, another niece,  lives almost an hour away.  to her credit, she does check on lu often, at least by phone, but face to face response to a crisis is gonna take time. we've provided a life alert but, personally, I have my doubts as to whether she would actually push the button if the need arose.  she locked herself out of the house this past summer for four hours in 90+ degree heat.  did she push the button to at least ask if it was something they could help with?  that would be a-- NO!!

we've been after her for years to make a move somewhere--  anywhere.  a number of options have been met with the same response. "i'm not ready".   i get how hard it is to contemplate giving up ones home of umpteen years, of surrendering ones independence.  but is she really independent?  not so much, having to depend on friends to take her to the grocery store, etc.  stubborn, does not even begin to describe her.

i truly believe lu's current situation is a disaster waiting to happen. but what can we, her nieces and nephews, do?  when it was my mom in a similar situation, i simply gave her no choice.  we made a move.  she didn't like it at first but it was the right thing for her well being and her last years were happy.

i don't see an ultimatum as an option with lu.    surely she knows we love her but as it is telling her she has to do anything is not gonna happen.  thinking of her in her current situation is more than worrisome.  what can we do short of calling adult protective services--  which, i'm a bit ashamed to say, is a thought that has crossed my mind.

waiting for her to make up her mind or for the phone call to tell me it's too late is torture.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

In honor of Eddie Melin...

For a time our daughter worked in the ASO offices. She, as were most of the folks who've been associated with the symphony over the years or who knew Eddie Melin through some other connection, was especially fond of him.  He would often come into the office after one of his tennis sessions and continued even after he was forced to give up the game he loved.  K would greet him, "Eddie, baby!" and he in return would greet her, "K****, baby!"

K was deeply saddened when she learned that Eddie has passed at last at the ripe old age of 102. Seeing as how there was no way she could come from NOLA for his memorial she asked that we attend the service in her stead.  Which we did. The Rev. Dr. Murray Gossett, Paul Matney,
Dr. Dale Roller  and others did Eddie proud, summing up an outstanding life in under and hour. Nice, but...

Tonight, was the last concert of the symphony season.  After intermission Maestro Bairos spoke eloquently of what Eddie meant to him personally, to the ASO and the arts community and to the community as a whole.  He referred to Eddie as a common man who lead an extraordinary life.  In 2015-16 the ASO will honor Eddie throughout its 91st season.

But tonight the symphony honored Eddie with Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for a Common Man".  The link below is to the New York Philharmonic's rendition. It does not come close to what I heard  tonight from Eddie's beloved ASO, in the hall he was so proud of, a fitting tribute from our maestro and players who poured every bit of the love, honor and respect they had for Eddie into every note.  I had tears streaming down my face as I listened, as I do now as I write this .  My guess is Eddie did too. As Laura Street so aptly noted.  "He is here! He's in the sound booth, sitting on a stair or in the seat next to you.  He will always be here."


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year, y'all!!


                                    As the second hand swept to midnight the last page of 2014 turned.  in the next tick of the clock a new year was born, the pages blank, its story waiting to be revealed.

It is my fondest wish that 2015 will treat you well, that good health and good fortune will find you, that all you imagine for the coming year will come to pass. May the dawning of this new year open your heart and mind to the infinite possibility of what is yet to be.  Take up your pen.  364 more blank pages are yet to be written, the story of your 2015 yet to be told.

Happy 2015, y'all! May the new year be your best ever.


Thursday, September 25, 2014


the Jim Setapen tenure seems forever ago. with his departure Kimbo Ishii-Eto was named  conductor for our ASO.  his era was one of insight and ingenuity in which we witnessed an escalation of the quality of programming and general excitement about the symphony as a whole. not that i would have liked for him to have had as many years at the baton as Jim but i would not have been disappointed had he extended his stay beyond the five years of his contract.  maybe five years of little a-town was all he could take. maybe kimbo made a mistake in leaving when he did but the fact is he is gone.

we are now into the second season with our new maestro, Jacomo Rafael Bairos.  from where I sit he has the baton well in hand.  in my mind there was no drop-off in any aspect upon his ascension to the rostrum. he continues to amaze. my enjoyment of the concerts continues to rise. i appreciate that his programming has a high degree of cohesion, that he is exposing me to American composers and other composers who have not been moldering in the grave for centuries.  not that there is anything wrong with Bach, Beethoven et al, there certainly is not, but i truly appreciate the variety of his programming.

i do not pretend to know one damn thing about classical music. i don't. what i do know is that i am keenly anticipating whatever Maestro Bairos and our ASO have for us in the coming season(s).  His energy and enthusiasm are infectious. come on people, jump on the Jacomo/ASO bandwagon, we're in for the ride of a lifetime.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


i have two programs that i use to track visitors to kidsdonegone. bravenet shows me how many hits each day and from where they originated. it reflects the ip address of the person wandering on to the site. it's usually the same 8 or 10 family and friends but occasionally someone stumbles on to the blog using the "next blog" feature on any BlogSpot page.  bravenet also features a world map which shows where any hit is physically located.

I've been posting regularly over these last few days. last night I was checking hits when i noticed on the map feature a visitor from across the pond. referring back to the ip address list i saw one that was unusual.

curious to see where in the world the hit had originated from i entered the ip address into the tracker.  imagine my surprise when the tracker indicated the hit was from Moscow City, Moscow in the Russian Federation.  kinda neat, i've  not had many hits from outside the country.

the tracker puts a bullet point indicating the location of the hit. I about crapped my pants! are you ready for this? beneath the bp read-- "the Moscow Kremlin"! the Kremlin! as in the official residence of the president of the Russian Federation. as in where THAT guy-- what's his name?-- lives. oh yeah, that's right-- Vladimir Putin!

i don't for one second believed that Vladimir Putin viewed my blog, but wouldn't it be neat if he did!)  from all indications someone from the Kremlin stumbled across it. probably it was some mousey little secretary who was surfing the web instead of tending to business; probably didn't even read English.

then again, who knows? maybe the big red horde is tracking drivel originating in little a-town. are the Russians watching kidsdonegone? you don't suppose, do you? nah! surely not, do you think? nah!

it is intriguing to consider that someone halfway around the world laid eyes on my blog, if only for a second. now, if i could just find a few more and different followers a bit closer to home.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chris Rogerson...

to be a composer in residence at the tender young age of 25 is  amazing!  The piece he has composed in honor of ASO's 90th season is beautiful. 

if you think about it, the greatest composers of all time were all 25 at some point.  90% of an iceberg is lurking out of sight  just below the surface.  i believe that chris has only just begun to fulfill his potential, that like an iceberg we are yet see all there is to be seen, and heard, from him.

based on what? by report he has been composing since he was a youngster. and "the way through" was pretty damned good!  what wondrous pieces will he have gifted to the world in his lifetime?

it excites me that I might have been in the presence of, potentially, one of this centuries great composers.  will symphonies 200-300 years from now be playing bach, beethoven, rachmaninoff et al?  probably.  but, in my script at least, symphonies will also be playing concertos from the brilliant mind of chris rogerson as well.

i hope to live long enough to see chris realize his promise.  i can't wait to hear the next piece(s) he'll be writing for ASO.  an old fart like me has to take what he can get.


Monday, September 22, 2014

the phil and gus show... with guest star, chris rogerson

a guy just never knows where life is gonna' take him.  last monday eve I got a text from the dr. n. v telling me they were hosting two violinists for the ASO in from out of town for the week.  he related that one of the two is a runner and asked if i'd be interested in running with him. so, i'm thinking, if they can put two total strangers up in their home for a week it wouldn't hurt my sorry ass to run with the guy for an hour or so.  I answered his text asking if the guy would like to run at noon on tuesday from the flc at fbc, my usual time and place.

then my phone rang.  it was dr. v saying "hey why don't you just talk to phil".  so just like that, phil, who btw is a very young man-- at least when compared to my rapidly aging hulk, had agreed to run with me, a total stranger, the next day.  dr. v is the hardest guy to say no to as phil quickly became aware.

and thus began one of the best weeks i've had in some time. phil, being young, male, accomplished and ever so confident introduced a breath of fresh air into the ennui that has become my life since retirement.

i took him to medi-park lake.  he very graciously ran my pace, stopped to walk when my eeky-leaky heart demanded a rest and listened politely as I prated on.  never having made acquaintance of a professional violinist, i had a gazillion questions which he patiently answered without once giving the impression that i am an idiot for asking. we laughed.  the miles passed quickly and we agreed to meet again on Wednesday and again on Thursday for more of the same.  we agreed to give his bleeding ears a break from me on Friday, but we made a date to run on saturday.

at this point i still had not met gus.  that was to change when we went to dinner with the drs. v and gus before the symphony performance friday night.  he too, like phil, patiently ignored my platitudes and answered my inane questions with grace. OU is lucky two have both these young but rising stars in their program.

i met chris rogerson, aso's composer in residence, at the after party on friday night. it was a short exchange but he impressed me too-- with his willingness to look a stranger in the eye, his firm handshake, with his humility as he accepted the many honorifics for his work and without appearing   falsely modest.

the symphony has never sounded better to me.  i'll tell you why.  I've never known any of the ASO musicians, not even on a hi and a hand shake kind of level.  oh, i met maestro bairos last season when the drs. v hosted a recital from a guest violinist but having a more personal connection in the form of these out-of-towners served to increase my interest and appreciation of the concert.  this new investment served to amp up my enjoyment to the third power.  that connection is key, i think.

as it happened, on saturday dr. v took phil, gus, chris and me to the palo duro canyon state park.  it was a pleasure to show off the canyon to the three first timers.  the rains this summer has the canyon looking its best. the time spent getting to and from the canyon, the time hiking over hill and dale and sitting around at the bagel place for lunch afterwards gave us all a chance to get even better acquainted.

it was a pleasure getting to know these young men, if just a little .  i'll be able to say i knew them when.  where life will take them remains to be seen but i can't wait until it brings us together again.

until then.