Tuesday, December 25, 2018

MY CHRISTMAS STORY

THE REASON OF THE SEASON -

BSC, CA – This story is barely three days old but it finished yesterday, the day before Christmas. It involves two other people besides me, in belief, one a Mormon and one a Muslim. Both religions believe in Jesus and both start with the letter 'M', but is that the parting line of reality for the two? The following is a real event and you, the reader, have seen this story develop here in the last few days. A homeless man who was known in the neighborhood died a few days ago. That story was a second embedded in the Keenwild music review of their new album release, FATE.


The spot where the man was last, whose name was known as 'Lee' but was longer in the actual French version, stayed on the front lawn by the donut shop under a huge shade tree. He had moved there when they viciously trimmed 90% off the tree tops at his former spot, which was by the tire shop at the opposite end of the small plaza mall parking lot. The donut shop lawn is between another small outdoor two store building area. The donut shop lawn was the site of a balloon release on Saturday, noon, December 22rd. I went.

It must be noted that this balloon release wasn't a funeral, but a celebration of Lee's life. I had seen the flyers attached to the trees around his present lawn spot so I made a special note not to miss this gathering. It wasn't that I really knew him but it also wasn't like I didn't know him. He called me 'Reverend' and I knew him as Lee. I had his cell phone number and we talked usually when I walked by, unless he was asleep. Obviously Lee wasn't like the majority of the homeless that you see, if you notice them, and you do if you walk or take public transportation.

Saturday rolled around and I walked down to the spot not really knowing what to expect. Gathered around were about 15 people plus several kids, mostly black but also with several whites in attendance. As we joined hands in a circle after taking the first color balloon, blue, people started to talk and share details about a person I knew in the last few days of his existence. He was 46.



Lee had shown much promise in his early life, even attending college where his major was pre-Law. In those days he had been a beacon to his close peers and a brick in his family's foundation. Then came the onset of schizophrenia and that changed everything. Mostly, he was left to medication since no one knew how to reach out to him in his family.

But Lee managed his own finances, ordered food sometimes, usually balanced his own budget, and took care of his own welfare. His conversation may have strayed to things imagined but he always had a course he was following and a smile for those he liked. There was also something about him that no one could explain.


Lee knew one woman in the circle who worked at the nearby Health Center by her family nickname and called her that. How did he know when no one else locally had such information. He would ask kids what they learned in class and they liked to tell him. Some people he would leave a message for. Other people were helped by the wisdom he gave them. All these stories circulated around in the circle to degrees of emotions. Even the young guy who called the paramedics was there and spoke.

Then the strangeness started. The blue balloons were released but one, Lee's?, was captured in the thick branches and leaves of the big tree. It is probably still there but you have to look for it, because it is almost hidden. Later the white balloons were released. And that was Saturday. I was probably home by three.

 
Sunday I looked out back and saw this.




Monday the home owner came by with supplies so I asked her if flowers were nornal in that spot and she said 'no'. I told the story of Lee and asked her if she thought it was a sign of Lee. She said 'no' again. She is Mormon.

Later that day my Muslim friend came by before his Christmas vacation and we had lunch. I told him the story and the appearance of the flower, which by the way, smells great. I asked him the same question and without blinking an eye, said 'yes, it is a sign.'

I think everyone knows which side I am on. RIP, Lee.


Merry Christmas, Everyone. BSC & Me


Thursday, December 20, 2018

SHAME & EMPATHY to Music

The Latest From Our Local Punk -

BSC, CA – If you're sandwiched between the themes of death & acceptance on one side, what can be on the other side? What else, shame & empathy of course. It's the same local music scene but a different artist and music style. If you are from around back in the day, you have to remember Nice Day Vincefrom the scene. That Vince is now Alex in Xuper Punktonix and their newest 5 song EP comes out tomorrow. Follow this link to check things out.

Like Keenwild, Vince was around long before he became a name in the music scene, and once again, I was there. This time almost goes back as far as Bill and starts with the valley's Best Buy, still a powerhouse for appliances to the area. Vince and I were part of the Best Buy team who opened the place. What a three day weekend. It started with a Friday the 13th and has never stopped. Vince played one of the last Madlins show that Bill put on there.


From there Vince developed as a solo artist and later with a band called Nice Day. However today I got a close haircut to reflect the punk that V, er, Alex has become. The five songs show Alex has a world view that runs with today and everything being a bit lop-sided when compared to how things were once thought of. The three piece Xuper Punktonix is featured in our lead in graphic.

The EP which is released tomorrow stars our photographed punk, Alex, who is back in the valley for the holidays and seeing family. Enjoy the rain-less weather here and dry out.


FIN

Saturday, December 15, 2018

KEENWILD'S NEWEST EP – FATE

DEATH & ACCEPTANCE -

BSC, CA – For most of us, the word FATE conjures up a deep question to life and what's it all about, Alfie. The new album title for Keenwild actually explains their existence, their beginning, and this present EP concept. Even the magical valley Keenwild calls home shares the word title of their latest album release. Although many confuse 'fate' with 'destiny' the two are really different in meaning. We are all destined to die or perish, but we do not share the same fate because we don't all have the same hopes and dreams. Bill & Jeney of Keenwild met because of shared hopes and dreams – music.

The new album themes are death and acceptance, illustrated beautifully by artwork showing the music's lyrics run from thoughtful to somber, not to be sandwiched in between Celebration [Kool & The Gang] and Disco Inferno[The Trammps]. Keenwild and the music made by the two piece group follows the soundtrack of tunes crafted outside the Top 40 and their past releases reflect songs that are serious,‘Dievercity’, The Long Road Home’, and ‘Sunsets’. This latest 6 song release started with a death in the family.


Keenwild's Jeney Kingsbury hails from Kansas and so shares a Midwestern outlook with me, being from Iowa [see Memoirs of Mr. Pete & Mary Jane Green]. Jeney is the voice of Keenwild and has a signature sound that is strong and vibrant, regardless of sound level. Bill Gould, her band partner [husband] is a So Cali native and has always had a thing for music, as in being a part of it and more than a talent. Now he is both.

New readers may be asking themselves just what does Keenwild's new release title, Fate, have to do with this review? Well this, Sports Fans. Though Bill and I met years before he was a name in Temecula, it was the early days in the late 90s, that a young man whom I shared an office space with asked me a pivotal question. Like a patient he wanted a second opinion. His question was simple and complex because it involved fate. Should he look for a career in business or in music?

Remembering the song Mr. Pete[Aussie download hit #2] and seeing the formation of Keenwildlet me know that I had given young Gould the correct advice, “Pick which one you like the best and everything else will fall into place.” Of course, I knew what he liked the best. I may not have known his fate but I did know that we were destinedto meet and influence each other.

As we move to sample the new release, Fate, the idea of fate itself must be addressed between us. Long ago there was a connection established between Bill and I. Fortunately I wasn't a priest or some eyebrows might have raised but being an Obi-wan always gets 'that crazy old man' tag applied. After Bill saw this connection early on, I just smiled and thought of Providence.

Keenwild's other two source themes in Fate for death and acceptance are Bill's Grandparents and a close friend, though the close friend isn't listed. It doesn't really matter, identity-wise, because Bill has many friends in the valley, but for this publication, a Gould venture, there is only one friend who affected us allin the music scene around Temecula, and her story hits numero uno on a regular basis though it is years old. It is the story about Bipsy. If she ever crossed your path, you knew it, like stepping from a shade into the sunlight with your eyes closed.

Bipsy's lead-in picture wasn't in the story at first. This editorial feature was gleamed from the first 420Nurses story done. Shortly after that when I added her photo, though the story had hit the No 1 spot like a specter from time to time, I began thinking about that shot. It had come from my old cell phone and was taken a month before she was killed by her fiance. I started staring at the sunglasses she wore that day. Soon I realized those glasses weren't a fashion statement. They were hiding one, possibly two, black eyes. Why hadn't I asked her for a face shot or to remove the glasses since she was preparing for a short tour? Any type of hesitation may have alerted me and changed history. Bill was the second person in the valley to know the fate of Bipsy. I was the third. Recently I have accepted the fact that I was not destined to change the fate of Bipsy.


The fate of death this past week hit the neighborhood where I live up in Riverside. The man in this picture, named Lee, was homeless and slept lately on the front lawn of the doughnut shop. He got his meds at the pharmacy in the same small mall and went to the county mental health center also located there. Having been to LA during the Occupy days, I have learned something about dignity among some homeless. Lee and I chatted most times I saw him. We always blessed each other. I saw him the day he was talking to the ambulance first-responders and he didn't look much different, aka standing, talking, etc. The next day word reached me that Lee had 'died in the hospital of pneumonia' from a tip at the doughnut shop. Lee's future and this collection from Keenwild, a strange connection to Fate.


Friday, December 7, 2018

MY SPECIAL DAY

THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM -

BSC, CA – Since today is Pearl Harbor Day, my hope is that somewhere a comic book fan is using their autographed picture of Bill Maher to set his NIKEs ablaze. For most people in this country, this is a day of infamy, but not for me. Or at least not after the third marriage. Knowing how bad a memory I have for birthdays, the third wife had a son by me on this very day, now special for another reason separate from the vast majority today.


The picture above comes from Los Angeles, of course. It gives a contemporary look at the start of a war – any war. Today's historical date is the start of a war. This war gave us the United Nations, a global entity that wants to control the world under one unelected control, with one money system, one religion, one language, and one thought. But as Gen. MacArthur once said, “Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear.” - Douglas MacArthur

Was he a prophet or just seeing the truth to war, old [rich] men talking and young [poor] men dying. Regardless of the outcome, the Men in Uniform bravely deserve this day of Honor. My father was an officer in WWII, Army, and two of my sons have Armed Forces experience, with the youngest active in the Air Force. A picture of the two comes out of my family album, a collection that resembles a war torn flag, a lot of it is missing.

Two of the Blues Brothers [it was all I could think of when I saw it]


At the time of the youngest son's birth, I was probably vaguely aware that it was Pearl Harbor Day, but I wasn't long thereafter. And I had to chuckle at the delivery date. It was in Iowa so it must have been cold but I don't remember the weather. I remember later it being winter outside but not around that birth date or time period.

Having a third wife that is descended from Little John [Robin Hood], information given to me by my wife's Burl Ives-looking Christian, guitar-playing, grandfather, who lived up north and had a flowing white beard, did lend itself to the season. It was a magical winter and a time full of joy. Young Jaryn was robust. He looked like the Michelin Baby, all he needed was a tire. Later, hanging suspended in a jumper between the front room and dining room [it was a hundred year old house], young Jaryn would bound up and down, pretty much all around, in that thing. He was part of the family circle and he knew it. He was a young prince.

In the mornings a small bevy of girls would come by and take him for a stroller ride around the block, which was bounded by a small street T-intersection, then a tree-lined median, single lane street with a large church on the corner. The church is over a hundred and fifty years old. It was as if we lived in the middle of a forest. Even the squirrels knew us. But magic kingdoms don't always last. Dressed as his favorite big purple dinosaur at his second birthday party couldn't keep the knowing that I was leaving, from being in his eyes. He was a sad Barney.

Though Southern Cali is paradise to some who come there, it was very different from living other places where you could travel back from. Rather than give a false promise as to when I would return to see him, I gave none and soon the hope I would return faded from his long distance but clear as a bell voice. I cried myself to sleep for the next two weeks but I vowed to send the most unique and best premium [sent away for] gifts that I could afford. There was a year that Jaryn came out to live with me, like a mirage, but then like a mirage, he was gone just as unexpectedly.

It didn't really surprise me that our mutual custody agreement had gone south, I understood what an influence Jaryn had on the entire family, including that of his younger sister. The year that he spent with me was the best year [financially speaking] and one that I wish lasted longer so I could have spent more time with my youngest son. I had the same wish with all my kids, blood and blended. However, it has never been the quantity but the quality of time spent. I always hoped I left a mark to anchor to.

In the case of my youngest, it was my desire to join the Air Force but a case of wearing glasses ended that possibility. Not so my youngest. The military was the direction I wanted so I could see the world, as opposed to learning about the world from others. Now you go to college for a job. So I saw the world from the path seldom taken; a view and a ride, all to a tune*.

When Jaryn stayed here for that year and grew 6”, I insisted that he take AFROTC, and he did. Later when he said that he was looking for some life direction and it didn't seem my fate to teach him or his sister any, I objected to him joining, not from joining per se, but him joining was the last bit of my kid that there was. Once he joined, he was a man, his own man. This time I cried for three days. After that I gave him my blessing.

Happy Birthday, Jaryn. I'm proud of you, always. Pops

(*- Memoirs of Mr. Pete & Mary Jane Green, Ch. 18)