Saturday, 18 January 2020

I wanted to be a Tenor.

When my voice broke I wanted to be a Tenor.

Instead I was allotted a rusty Baritone voice, one which has served me fairly well.

I was fortunate enough to attend Fairfield Grammar School in Bristol U.K.  (In  my time the English usage of Grammar School, entered via a competitive exam, was the equivalent of an American High School).

Fairfield was fortunate to have a superb choir and orchestra under the leadership of W.J.  (Dickie) Richards.

Our annual concert would fill the Bristol, U.K. "Colston Hall" with its 2000 + seats.

One year we sang "The Heavens are Telling" from Haydn's Oratorio, "The Creation".

F/J. Haydn

It's a bit of music which has never left my mind. I can still hear my mind counting out the notes and rests.

Better still my best school pal Stephen Meyer could join the choir for music which was not specifically Christian. (60 years on, Steve and I are still in touch),

Here is the music!

Friday, 17 January 2020

Re yesterday's blog about Zion's new pal.

I am sure that this youngster who met Zion on 16th Jan 2020 (yesterday) found it hard to believe that my blond/white hair was once as coppery red as his.

It was!

With my then girl friend Anne, in about 1974.

I try to accept the ravages of ageing with good grace, but I do so miss my bright red hair!

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Zion's new pal.

At  one of our gigs this week Zion made a new friend.

In the interests of confidentiality I cannot tell you anything about the gig, nor about Z's new pal. 

It was a sweet time.  The young eleven years old  lad loved Zion, but he found it hard to believe that my hair was once as bright orange as is his.

I understand.  When I was his age I also found it hard to believe that my Mum's sandy-ish hair had once been radiant with vivid orange. 

It was so cool to see the young lad  with my dear Zion. They both enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Semper Fi,: - and RIP for a friend I made when I was 64 years old, and she was 85 years old.

I moved to Sarasota FL in 2006. Two years later I made a new friend.  

She and I would exchange cheerful greetings as walked around the pond at Glen Oaks Manor in Sarasota FL.

We became friends on Nov 9th 2008. On that day I walked the pond and came across Betty as she sat on a bench to rest.

"Well" she said, "what do you think of Obama's election?"

I took a deep breath,  (Obama was not universally popular and I did not know her politics), then  said: "I am delighted!"

She threw her hands in the air with delight. Her response changed everything! We became great pals.

She was Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Mullen.  .  

Betty was the widow of Joe Mullen who died long before I moved to Sarasota.  They were the parents of  John, Steve (dec'd),Mary and Michael.

Since 2008 I've spent so many late afternoon happy hours with Betty.

She was a WWII veteran Marine, as was her husband Joe, who was also called back to serve in the Korean conflict.

Betty was funny, feisty, as stubborn as a mule, and more liberal than God.

On Monday last her oldest son John (visiting her from Colorado) asked me to pray with his beloved Mom, who was moving toward 
death at age 96.

I did so.  

She passed from this life earlier today (Jan 15th 2020), aged 96.

I will miss her far more than you could imagine

  1. Zion and Betty.

Monday, 13 January 2020

I saw what I saw, but I did not perceive what I saw.....

.......... until later.


Arlington Park again on Sunday January 5th.

Couple of nondescript guys, maybe thirty-something, dressed in black jeans and shirts; hanging around in the parking area next to a somewhat beat up 1990's Toyota.

'Twas a bit unusual 'cause most of the men I see at the park are mostly old coots such as I with our dogs; or enthusiastic runners; or wonderful young dads with their children.

Zion and I completed our circuit.

The guys were still there.  Mr. Z. dragged me t'ward them. The younger of the two made a fuss of Zion whilst I looked into the car.

In the driver's seat was another young man who was leaning over a woman in the front passenger seat,  with what appeared to be a blow torch.

I moved away. The younger of the two said "they are taking a blood test".  In all my innocence  I replied "good luck with that".

As I turned onto Tuttle Ave. the light dawned.  I had witnessed free-basing.

In a way I was glad that my perception was poor.  For what could I have done?  I could have called the Police.  Maybe I should have done so.  

But the 'Toyota Four' would most likely have scarpered,  long before Sarasota's best arrived.

If  not, there would have been arrests.and maybe trials.  Fair game (maybe)  for the dealers; but not for the users.  I see no point in incarcerating people for the use of illegal drugs (unless they do harm to others whilst high).

Check this link for more information about Florida's Hellish Prisons.  (N.B. I have known Joe Kimock since he was a High School Student in Pittsfield, MA).



Now for the bait and switch.

Here is a photo' of Zion -  to get your attention to my main story (above).

The lesser story is that Zion does not want me to read.

When I go to my Lanai for my afternoon reading, (currently  "Isaac's Storm", by  Erik Larson - all about the 1900 Hurricane which hit Galveston, TX and  caused the death of 6,000 people).

 Just as soon I get into my book, Mr. Z  nudges my arm with his wet nose.  He nudges it again.  I put my book down.  I tickle his ears.  I pat his head.  He slinks to the ground and goes belly up.  In his world a belly rub is more important that my reading matter!