Archive for May, 2016


I have had many reasons and time to do a lot of thinking lately.

My Lady and I attended a friend’s memorial today, (I pushed the idea of a “celebration of his life”), and did my best to get people to tell their stories about the happy times and adventures they shared together. It was both fun and enlightening.

Once again, it made me realize and face my own mortality. I decided to adopt something I read many years ago… “I am going to die… someday, but not today if I can do anything about it.” But the fact still remains. I am not afraid of it, since I believe it is only the end of one adventure and the beginning of another.

What I have really been questioning is the purpose of my life; what am I supposed to be accomplishing this time. Over 65 years (although I don’t recall much for the first two or three), I have had to deal with people. I am not talking about being on stage in front of large audiences, but one-to-one. I had only moments to find the right role to play with each one. At first, it wasn’t easy, but I had two very intelligent and people savvy mentors in my Mother and Father.

This all started really paying off when I finally committed to being in the music/entertainment business. It seemed a very short time before I started being put in positions of authority.  I seriously questioned this at first, but then I realized that in dealing with lots of people, it had also put me in many learning situations, and I have always been curious about just about everything. So, I learned.

I took on the job of Stage Manager for live performances and festivals, and quickly learned that 90% of my job was political. All I really needed to do was put together a crew of professional stagehands, and let them do their thing. Give them an assignment and walk away knowing it will be done, and for this I tried to keep them working, and give them their respect they deserve, which I received in abundant return. I am getting side-tracked.

In regards to my purpose/mission/calling, I discovered that my function is to be a communicator. I am supposed to acquire information and then pass it on for others to use. Of course, my favorite way is to be on stage, communicating and entertaining them.

If someone asks my advice, I give it to them; then it is up to them what they do with it. I ask, “Do you want me to answer with what you want to hear, or do you want the truth from a friend that might no sit too well with you?”

I have much more to share, but I want to leave you an idea I have lived by, especially the last line…

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” – Lazarus Long (Time Enough for Love, Robert Heinlein).

Namaste My Friends.

The Blue Wizard

 

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How to begin… Well, this morning my Lady came in and right after I sat down at my computer, and leaned over and put her hand on my leg and said, “I have to tell you something…” The look on her face was very telling that something was wrong.

She told me that my friend Steve’s son had called, and last night Steve went into the bathroom at home, put a gun to his head, and took his own life. All of a sudden I was just numb. I didn’t know what to say or think.

I met him in the early 90s, at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. I was managing what was then called the Main Stage at the South end of the festival, and we got the majority of the larger national acts.

As usual, the crew from the local cable access channel were there, recording the event. Steve had built a nice little recording studio on a trailer frame, and he parked it backstage to record the audio. We worked together for many years and established a friendship beyond the festival.

We worked side-by-side at The Space Studios, where he helped me build the audio/video control island, and helped with running sound on several shows so I didn’t have to do sound and video switching by myself. There were many things that needed to be done there that I was unable to do all by myself, but Stevie was there to cover my 6.

Three days later… I have been numb the last few days, trying to figure out what made him snap, and I am coming up with no answers. I keep coming back to the wish that he had called me first. I am sure, very sure, I could have talked him out of it, but that is now a case of moot 20-20- hindsight.

All I can say at this point is that if you know me, and you know how to get ahold of me, and should ever reach the point you want to end it all, then call me, come see me, whatever. After all, death is a great rush, but please, save it for last.