Friday, November 16, 2012

Hey, Jim(my)...

Paul McCartney, "On the Run"; Nov. 14, 2012, Minute Maid Park, Houston TX

So this year I turned 35; my Daddy turned 60; my Umpy Dene (Uncle Gene) turned 65; and cousin Sean turned 23 (he kinda messed up the pattern, but we still keep him around.  He's cool.)  We celebrated these milestones this week at Minute Maid Park, singing along with the Cute Beatle himself.  This was my fourth time to see him, and the third time I've been able to share it with Daddy.  We actually celebrated the same way ten years ago, for my 25th, Dad's 50th, and Gene's 55th. (Sean, being in middle school, missed that one.)  This was the best show I've seen him do yet- all my favorites and some new ones.  Never heard "A Day in the Life" live until this show, and got a repeat of "Helter Skelter" as an encore. That, my friends, is one bad ass rock song- raucous, loud, rough around the edges- I love it.  It's my favorite Beatles song, followed by "Paperback Writer" (which he also jammed on.)  "Golden Slumbers Medley" was also a new one, and probably my favorite from the Abbey Road album.  Then there were the Wings tunes, "Let Me Roll It" is at the top my list for that band... and some solo stuff, and some Fireman stuff... over 30 numbers in all, plus two three-songs-each encores.  I hope I am still rocking like that when I am 70 (can you believe Sir Paul is 70?!)  Anyway, I digress... easy to do when I am on a music roll.

What made this show special, in addition to the performer, was that I got to share it again with Daddy. I'm a huge music fan, and it's because of him.  He's played the guitar for 45+ years, and you name it, he can play it.  (He's modest- he's a very good musician.  He sings, too.)  Rock (mean Stairway"), country (anything Willie...), blues, folk, praise... it was all around growing up.  Uncle Gene plays too, and some of my fondest memories are of listening to them jam... their version of Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk" is awesome.  He exposed me to all kinds of music, and taught me to appreciate them all.  Anything guitar-based, especially, draws me- The Beatles, Clapton, The Who (Townshend's windmilling is really epic live), Springsteen, Rush, Led Zep, SRV, Hendrix... I'm digressing again, aren't I?  Warned you.

Dad and I have also seen Clapton together twice, once with Robert Cray (talk about a blues JAM) and once with Steve Winwood.  Two more very special memories.  I am so blessed that this man is MY dad and we can do this together.  He has influenced me so much (way more than just musically) and we almost didn't get to do anything after Oct. 11, 1992 (see this post for an explanation.) So each time we get to do this makes it that much more special.

Anyhoo... Daddy.  Gene. Sean. Paul.  Magical night.  I hope we get to do it again in another ten years.

Hey, Jim..
You're a great Dad
You're always there to
Make bad days better...
You've always been a part of my  heart
And I could not
Have asked for better.
(Sung to "Hey, Jude- and now that's totally stuck in your head, isn't it?  You're welcome- could be worse.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dia de Los Muertos

Click on the photo for full-size.

Greenwood Cemetery, and Marshall Hebrew Cemetery, Marshall, TX

Since today is the Day of the Dead, it seems appropriate to post some of the shots I took last time I was in East Texas.  I had long wanted to photograph two of the oldest cemeteries in town, with their lovely markers and sculptures.  I find cemeteries fascinating and beautiful, and not the least bit scary.  They are generally peaceful places, and to me the older, the better.  I love the beautiful grave markers (you don't see them like this anymore) and the gorgeous, intricate wrought iron fences around family plots.  So much history is there, just waiting to be found- and remembered.  City founders, movers, shakers, names you've always heard... all here.  And in a small town like Marshall, it's much more intimate and familiar- my Mom was with me that day, and we found the resting spot of my great-great-step-grandfather.  (Died when she was young, well before I was born.)  But it was a chance to share her memories of him, and of some of the other families she knew in the cemeteries.  (Not many, since these are very OLD cemeteries- Greenwood was founded in 1840, after all.) But still- here was the grave of the namesake of the hospital I was born in.  Over there was the family that ran the historic old hotel by the depot.  And down there, is Rimpson Teet, the sweetest man who ever taught a four-year-old Marty to roll her own...
iFeliz Dia de Los Muertos!