The Cradle of Ragtime Concert

(This is in a series of posts about my trip to Sedalia, Missouri May 31-June 2, 2018)

As I said before, here I am at seat G10 in the Liberty Arts Concert Hall, full of anticipation for my first concert at the 2018 Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri. A good place to start is to elaborate on the program blurb:

This unique concert celebrates the melodious compositions of the Missouri Valley, lovingly referred to as the “Cradle of Ragtime.” You might hear rags by James Scott, Brun Campbell, Charles Johnson, or John William “Blind” Boone, to name a few. There’s sure to be a wonderful mix of classic and folk ragtime to please even the most ardent fan of America’s greatest music.
Featuring David Reffkin as emcee, Jeff Barnhart, Marty Eggers, The Rhythmia, Virginia Tichenor, Mat Tolentino

Dave Reffkin, himself a long term participant in the festival, introduced the first act.

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Why do I love ragtime?

(This is in a series of posts about my trip to Sedalia, Missouri May 31-June 2, 2018)

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Squee and Red, 1936 Plus Jim, 1943

A digression. I cannot remember a time when I did not play the piano. My mother, Lorene—her nickname was “Red”—God rest her soul, came from extreme poverty. She was very bright, an autodidact, and she married Fernand—his nickname was “Squee”—who, having inherited a grocery store upon the death of his mother, was relatively well off. Mom wanted to learn about everthing, but one of the first purchases she made back in 1937 was a piano and a set of American School of Music lessons that proposed to teach her how to play the piano. And, by darn, she taught herself to play: popular songs, hymns, and an occasional pops classical work like Melody in F. So little Jimmie heard Red playing popular music, and he heard Squee singing along on all the popular songs, not so much the hymns.

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On my own in Sedalia

Rediscovering Sedalia.

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Looking South on Ohio from Amtrak

(This is in a series of posts about my trip to Sedalia, Missouri May 31-June 2, 2018)

Amtrak comes into Sedalia on the north side of town. The area around the terminal looks surprisingly empty. I’d expected a more urban ambiance. I knew I had to move my back pack clad body several blocks down Ohio Street to get near my various destinations. Even though this was about 1:00 p.m., no taxis were waiting, no obvious bus stops were present. My feet were the first to realize what the rest of me was resisting.

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My Musical Family Was a Gift

I grew up swimming in a sea of music. Music has deeply formed my character and continues to engage me in my late 70s. My mother often told the story of how she was in the kitchen and heard the tune “Three Little Kittens” floating tentatively out of the front room in her small “railroad train” double-house apartment. At first she thought it might be the radio, but no, she checked, and there I was, age 3, somehow picking out the tune on her piano. I have both figuratively and literally been playing the piano for as long as I can remember.

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A Blog for You

To the tune of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You”

I’ve wrote so many entries in my life and times.
I’ve ranted quite a lot about the world’s crimes.
I’ve posted lots of stuff on facebook
Where friends I’ve never met are watching,
But we’re alone now and I’m writing this blog to you.

I know your image of me is my avatar.
I know he’s not your type, but say, we can go far.
Your comments are important to me,
Surfer, give attention due me.
‘Cause we’re alone here, and I’m writing this blog for you.

You taught me precious secrets of the truth withholding nothing.
Your webcam was on, and you weren’t hiding.
But this is so much better,
And if I miss a word or letter,
Scan another paragraph;
My meaning’s in there, hiding.

My love’s in cyberspace where there’s no place and time.
Although you only are a myspace friend of mine.
And when our Yahoo chat is over,
And Twitter’s not enough together, 
Just read this blog where I am singing my song for you.
I am alone and I am writing this blog for you.

For Lack of a Better Wor(l)d

Dreaming My Future

I had a significant dream last night. I woke up from it at 4:30 am and said out loud, “Now what does that mean?” In this dream I was on a rural road in a car just outside a small town somewhere in the midwest. My passenger was Rich Egan. As we were driving through the small town, which bordered on a good-sized river, which we could see, I felt that we were blocked from our destination (not clear in the dream) by the river. I stopped at a construction site (two men were working at rebuilding a new bridge) and asked one of the guys if they knew how to get beyond the river. He indicated with his hand a road, and sure enough, once we were on it, we were headed again to our destination. Then I woke up.

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