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Notes from the Road   by Dennis Warner

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November 16, 2011
(Washington, D.C.)

It's been two or three years since I've been in D.C. Things haven't changed much, though I do love the new Martin Luther King Junior Memorial. It's a fun town to visit. Seems like something exciting is always going on.

Today, I had breakfast with Minnesota Senator Al Franken. He is sponsoring important anti-bullying legislation in the senate. I hope you agree that this isn't a republican or democrat issue. We're talking about the safety and well-being of our kids.

I was able to talk with Senator Franken about his proposal and to also present him with a copy of "Beads on One String", informing him about my role in working with elementary schools across the country on anti-bullying education.

Before leaving D.C. on Sunday, I have three concerts lined up in the area and am hoping to visit friends in the Pittsburgh area on the drive home, arriving back in Minnesota in time for Thanksgiving.

Gobble gobble.

August 3, 2011
(Austin, MN
Six months ago I had the band with me at Knowlton Auditorium here in Austin on a very cold below zero night. Only 100 degrees warmer today. What a crazy climate.

Heading over to set up in Ellis Auditorium this time. Found a cool little coffeeshop in town called the "Brickhouse". Under hours of operation it said, "We're open 'til we're shut!"

I like that.

July 12, 2011
(Fargo, ND)
It's great to be back in this area. I had supper tonight at the Tai Orchid, just across the Red River in Moorhead, Minnesota. Finding good Tai food in this part of the country can be a challenge. I hadn't been here for about a year and was surprised that they had moved locations and were now under new ownership. The good news is that the food was still excellent. Vegetables and tofu in a medium yellow curry sauce hit the spot.

I also visited Marguerites Music, a place I first started visiting 20 some years ago when I needed supplies touring through this area. Same nice folks. They are the ones who told me the Tai Orchid had moved to a bigger location. After purchasing a half dozen guitar picks, I was back on the road. Big sale!

I'm in the middle of "16 shows in a row". Busy summer and I love it.

April 28, 2011
(Nederland, Colorado)
I'm sipping an afternoon latte outside a little coffeehouse in Nederland, CO. The mountains are gorgeous today. Aren't they always, though? I drove up here to Ned (as the locals say) to have lunch at one of my favorite places, the Kathmandu. The owner, Rasam, used to cook for royalty in Nepal. As always, the food was fabulous.

No snow here today! Quite different from my first visit to Ned some years ago. I remember going outside in the morning and snowshoeing over to where I thought I had parked the van. Turns out I was in the right spot. The van was underneath me. We're talking lots of snow!

From here I head to the Black Hills in South Dakota for a speaking engagement and concert this weekend. Then to Minnesota to meet up with my band "The D's" for a series of concerts across northern Minnesota.

It's springtime in the Rockies. Someone should write a song about that.

April 6, 2011
(Toronto, Ontario)
What a beautiful thing to find a new favorite cafe. I just returned from lunch at the Mystic Muffin in downtown Toronto. The owner, Elias, is from Lebanon and immediately struck up a conversation with me while I looked over the menu board.
I settled on the falafel and hummus pita. Listed under "extra ingredients" was "Love (free)". When I said I wanted him to include that in the order, he said it was already added!

Listening to him talk with other customers, it was obvious that Elias cares about people. That his purpose was more than making sandwiches. Then he said something that really struck home with me in explaining his outgoing personality and why his food is so reasonably priced: "We can spend a lifetime trying to make a lot money, but we only have a moment to make a new friend".

March 14, 2011
(Sikeston, MO)
I had a new experience during supper tonight at Lambert's Cafe. I was wondering why they call themselves "Home of the throwed rolls". Now I know. If want a dinner roll with your meal, raise your hand and someone will throw it to you - even from across the restaurant. Heads up!

It's been non-stop busy since mid January. Lots of concerts and traveling. It was nice to play at the Iron Horse again a few days ago in El Dorado, Kansas. And yesterday I made a bunch of new friends in Independence, Kansas after being the guest speaker at the Disciples of Christ Church. Independence is the home of the largest cemetary I have ever seen. It must be over a mile long as it seemed to never end while I was driving into town. At lunch, I learned it was a combined cemetary with Catholics, Lutherans and anyone else who could afford a burial plot.

January 22, 2011
(Near Crestone, CO)
A new year and new adventures. I'm high in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Colorado. Two days off between concerts, I'm settled into a little cabin with no TV, radio or internet connection. I do have my one cup melitta coffeemaker and a bag of Caribou's Mahogany Dark Roast coffee, so I'm not totally roughing it.

This is a truly magical place. Natural hot springs abound here along with many other spiritually minded folks. When I was here last May, it was a Wayne Dyer-ish moment being in the sauna with several students from the Buddhist college in Boulder. At midnight and dripping with sweat, we all began chanting. Now seriousy, how many times in your life will you ever get that opportunity? One of many awesome memories.

This winter I'll be doing quite a few school programs for kids, but still, keep an eye on the tour schedule for the adult/family concerts.

I'm in Colorado this week to do a series of concerts in the Summit County Schools. I've been told that all the kids here know the song and have read my book, "Beads On One String". Last Friday, I did the first of the concerts in Breckenridge and was moved by the reception I received by both staff and students.

It's natural for the performer to get the credit for his/her concert, but the successs of my program here is due to the dedication and love from several people who made this tour happen. First, my friend Amanda Syphers who took it upon herself by asking me if it would be okay to mail out my flyers to several Colorado schools. Amanda had been to one of my school programs, saw the book, visited the beads website ( and believed in the message.

Then there's Barb Ellis, a counselor at Upper Blue Elementary in Breckenridge who received the flyer in her mailbox. Barb didn't know me or the book, but somehow it resonated with her. She purchased a copy of "Beads On One String" and shared it with the other counselors in the district. Together, they agreed they wanted me to come to Colorado and sing for their kids.

Then the Principals had to get involved and give their blessings. From there, the teachers in all six schools jumped on board to work on the associated curriculum. And let's not forget the kids. Close to 2000 beautiful children learning the song, reading the book and taking the message to heart.

It overwhelms me, thinking about all the factors that come into play to make a successful event. I get the credit and applause, but I know and appreciate the key players who make this happen. Every city there may be a different set of key players, but the role they play is crucial.

Thank you, my friends. We're all partners in this together. Please know that I know I can't do it alone and that I love and appreciate all of you for believing.



With Brent Passarella
Big Ice Cream!




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