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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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!
in the middle of "16 shows in a row". Busy summer and
I love it.
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.
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
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.
springtime in the Rockies. Someone should write a song about that.
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!
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".
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!
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (www.BeadsOnOneString.net) and believed in the message.
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.
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.
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.
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.