Went Down Swingin’

By on Oct 9, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sorrow has won the day. And you can’t tell me it hasn’t. I’m filled with dread on this first Monday of October, simmering in a low-based depression for both the dead and the survivors of yet another terrorizing mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas at a country music festival. I can’t get out from under the misery. It’s getting harder, it seems, each week, to replenish my sympathies, though. Every ten days or so, I’m out in the front yard raising the American flag back up from half mast after a period of mourning. Then, a couple weeks later, there I am again, barefooted, dropping the stars and stripes to middle pole. Can’t keep track of the losses. The moment you start to focus on the lost souls in Texas drowned out by Harvey, some other motherless storm named Maria or Irma steals our compassions and breaks the backs of Puerto Ricans, Floridians and anybody else that got in the...

By on Sep 28, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ten years ago, my world changed. First, though, my heart broke because radio god, Howard Stern, was leaving the regular air waves for something called Sirius satellite radio. Mornings without Howard seemed unimaginable, a step backwards in life, hollow. Love him or hate him. He’s the Ali, Jordan and Gene Simmons of talk radio. The best in his game. Satellite radio sounded sketchy to me, though. I didn’t know much about home computers, let alone something you needed to rig up in your vehicle in order to get your daily dose of hilarity by the King and his crew. Unwilling to let go of Stern, I bought a satellite radio, paid the plan, and a tech at Best Buy wired my 97′ Honda Accord. Without missing a beat, Howard came out of the gate hot, and a decade later hasn’t let up on the gas, albeit working a much leaner schedule. Must be nice. After four hours of being...

Bonded Through the Music

By on Sep 18, 2017 in Blog |

Growing up, my brother, Mike, was mad about his music. He’d lock himself downstairs in the basement of our home for hours cranking Jackson Browne, Leo Sayer and a whole lot of James Taylor. We didn’t communicate much in those days, him a senior in high school, me, eight years younger, just a knot of nerves with nothing to say. But telepathy entered in through the music, and I grew as he grew because the music he played downstairs, because well, he didn’t hold back on the volume. Seemingly always there, before school and after, cutting through the gloom and good times in our home, the music Mike played reached me in ways that still influences me today. The simple beats, the heavy thinking wordplay, the triumphant hero leveled by a life less given. These songs filled me with a kind of beautiful sorrow that I wanted to drink in, feeding me in ways that didn’t require a textbook or...

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

By on Jul 13, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” So, we did. All the way to Woody Creek, Colorado on the weekend of Independence Day. Myself, my brother and a good friend flew to Denver, then drove three and a half hours through the Rockies, not in search of a parade, or a mountain, or even to witness a single firework flash through the star-studded skies. No, sir. Instead, we opted to stand in the kitchen of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s home at “Owl Farm” and drink good whisky while listening to his wife, Anita, and longtime friend, former Pitkin County Sheriff, Bob Braudis, tell hilarious and frightening tales of the famous writer’s fondness for firearms, how he loved to see his own byline, his struggles with aging and his fierce devotion to his readers. All this as we wandered his home freely, bathing in the spirit of the Good Doctor. If you’ve...

By on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

This years Market Days Festival is going to roar. Likely the biggest and best yet, for many reasons. Driving down Main Street these days, with the project complete, wherever my head turns, I’m looking at something new — a curb, a bench, a strip of paint, patch of grass, a store, a gleaming awning. All the colors blending perfectly downtown, day or night, without any modern gawkiness or traditional New England doom and gloom. Dare I say it? Concord is sexy again, shining from all points. Speaking of sexy, today I get to spend the day with Dusty Gray, the country rocker turned radio talker. Dusty and his good buddy, Brian O’Reilly, started a weekly radio show on WKXL about a year ago and called it “Strictly Local.” It airs Thursday nights at 6 pm. It’s a great show and Dusty puts as much into preparing a good segment as he does turning one of his songs...

Searching With The King

By on Jun 16, 2017 in Blog |

In August 1977,  things changed. The King died.  Elvis Presley himself.  And at seven years old, I had no clue who Elvis Presley was.  But when the Boston Sunday Globe arrived to our home the week he died, I remember picking through the remains of the paper after my father and older brother, Mike, tore through the metro region, sports, travel and editorial sections like two animals tugging at the same side of beef.     Somewhere inside the cartoons and mixed in with a hundred coupon cutouts from various grocery stores, I came across a 11×17 inch picture of this guy from Memphis named Elvis.  He was sweaty, jowly, tanned and, flippin’ marvelous.  My God, he was magnetic, a cannon of light sent to me by, yes, the Gods. Who else could it have been that tapped me on the shoulder with this vision and said, “Don’t let this moment get away, little buddy. Grab it.  It just might be...