Just keep addin’

May 26, 2010

I know I keep most of my posts to singing and weird stories, but I just can’t let this one go. If my household were run like this, I would be bankrupt. This is really not a good plan.

Sitting on the subway in New York is always an interesting experience. Most often you are serenaded by a Mexican Mariachi band, or a black gospel quartet, or some poor, white college student on their violin or guitar or you are asked for money by myriad of different folks, all with their own special story.

Well, this day was no different, except for the “special” part of the story.

A ragged, tired looking man drags himself onto the train and begins his slow, languid spiel (the “…” represents a long, dramatic pause). See if you notice something is not quite right. It goes something like this.

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen… My name is John… I am a man…living with AIDS…I live…in a group home where I receive treatment…I receive housing…food…and a small stipend for spending money…however…this is not much money…if you could spare…some extra change…so I can have a little extra spending money…I’d be very grateful…God bless.”

Ya know, when he started out with the AIDS part, I felt bad for the guy (though wasn’t sure if I actually believed him). But then when he began to inform me openly that he had food, housing AND spending money and just wanted more, I wondered, “Hmm…something doesn’t sound quite right. This is a very “special” story. Where in his mind does he think this story with behoove me to give him something?” Heck, I’d like a little extra spending money, too!

Does this make me insensitive?

Congrats, Richard!

May 21, 2010

I have to devote a post to Richard Russell, former Director of Marketing for Sarasota Opera. I met Richard while I worked down there and spent a good deal of time talking with him at different functions. I must say, that he is one of the nicest people I have ever worked with in the business (I notice that I say that about a lot of the folks at Sarasota. I think they are on to something:)). He recently took a new position as General Director of Opera New Jersey, a company I worked with a few summers ago. I truly enjoy seeing people’s careers progress, and I’m very happy for him. So, if you happen to be in the New Jersey area, check out their productions this season.


New Recordings

May 19, 2010

So I’ve finally got enough cash together to do a new recording. (Cue cheering, standing ovation, clapping of hands). I’ve got three of them up at my website.

By the way: If you are looking for a good recording guy, Sean Swinney in NYC if fantastic. He’s fast, knows what he’s doing, has a beautiful space and piano and doesn’t charge an arm and a leg.

We are Nashville

May 5, 2010

Downtown Nashville is not supposed to look like this

The streets are rivers

Below is a blog entry from another individual about the recent flood in Nashville. I couldn’t have said it better myself. http://tnne.ws/1H5

We Are Nashville
By Patten Fuqua
Published: May 4, 2010
We Are Nashville

Allow me a moment to step away from the usual voice of this website.

What I am about to write has absolutely nothing to do with hockey.

If you live outside of Nashville, you may not be aware, but our city was hit by a 500-year flood over the last few days. The national news coverage gave us 15 minutes, but went back to focusing on a failed car bomb and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While both are clearly important stories, was that any reason to ignore our story? It may not be as terror-sexy as a failed car bomb or as eco-sexy as an oil spill, but that’s no reason to be ignored.

The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. Nashville had its highest rainfall totals since records began. People drowned. Billions of dollars in damage occurred. It is the single largest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War. And yet…no one knows about it.

Does it really matter? Eventually, it will…as I mentioned, there are billions of dollars in damage. It seems bizarre that no one seems to be aware that we just experienced what is quite possibly the costliest non-hurricane disaster in American history. The funds to rebuild will have to come from somewhere, which is why people need to know. It’s hard to believe that we will receive much relief if there isn’t a perception that we need it.

But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, “Don’t play in the floodwater.” When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.

Some will be quick to find fault in the way rescue operations were handled, but the fact of the matter is that the catastrophe could not have been prevented and it is simply ignorant beyond all reason to suggest otherwise. It is a flood. It was caused by rain. You can try to find a face to stick this tragedy to, but you’ll be wrong.

Parts of Nashville that could never even conceivably be underwater were underwater. Some of them still are. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. People died sitting in standstill traffic on the Interstate. We saw boats going down West End. And, of course, we all saw the surreal image of the portable building from Lighthouse Christian floating into traffic and being destroyed when cars were knocked into it. I’m still having trouble comprehending all of it.

And yet…life will go on. We’ll go back to work, to school, to our lives…and we’ll carry on. In a little over a month, I’ll be on this website talking about the draft. In October, we’ll be discussing the new Predators’ season with nary a thought of these past few days. But in a way, they changed everyone in this town. We now know that that it can happen to us…but also know that we can handle it.

Because we are Nashville.