January 3 2021

Seed of Triumph

Things are seemingly foggy this morning. Not in the sense of foggy weather, however foggy in my mind. Brain fog. It is like an overload of information that is all circling in my mind at such a high rate of speed by the time I reach in to catch a thought, the idea has passed. I catch the tail of this, the head of that. This jumbled up material in my brainstorming makes absolutely no sense to me or anybody else.

Still not feeling well today. I went to a doc in a box yesterday. I really felt like I had the corona virus and a brain tumor all at the same time. (Not that I would know what either felt like). I went through the process. Vitals ok, check. What are your symptoms? body ache, head ache, on a scale of 1-10 how great is the pain? 7. Ok check. What else? I have no energy. Ok so you are showing signs of fatigue? Yes. What’s your major complaint? Head ache, sinus pressure, body ache, fatigue. I had a coworker who told me that he had been exposed to the virus. His wife tested positive. He has since tested positive as well. Ok so you want a swab test? Yes. During the process my nasal cavity felt as if it had been violated. This was my second experience with this type of test. This time it hurt much worse than previously. After what seemed like an eternity, the result of the test came back. NEGATIVE. Also negative for strep, and the flu. The diagnosis was a viral infection. I was instructed to treat with over the counter medication, rest, and fluids.

I am grateful for the negative test. So people can still be just sick and not corona virus sick? This is all good news. I understand the corona is real and it is killing a huge rate of people all across the planet Earth. I also found out yesterday, my own daughter has the virus. I checked in with her today. Her symptoms are much the same as what I too am having. I would love to trade my negative for her positive.

I am a huge baby when it comes time for me to be sick. I can be needy and irritable and very selfish and self centered. My wife reminded me of this yesterday. She is suffering the same symptoms and has been for some time. I tend to blow her off. Sometimes I minimize her feelings. This is something that have recognized I need to work on.

“Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.”

– OG Mandino

If I have learned nothing else through this experience, I have learned how I need to treat others. This life is not all about me.

I read a Christian blog last night. I agreed with his idea that 2020 was the worst year ever because of the pandemic, because of the election, or the economy is a false notion. The same problems that happened in 2020 have been repeated in history countless times over. Sure I will state that 2020 was a bad year for us all. I have recently posted that 2021 will get better it has too. We have to get better. I can start by saying, I have to get better.

Let’s all laugh a little more, care for each other, show genuine and honest compassion for our fellow man.

In order to change the world, we must first start within ourselves.

Pancho.

November 14 2020

Music vs. Pandemic

Country artist Joe Diffie died March 29, only days after sharing his diagnosis of Corona Virus.

John Prine, Americana Legend, died April 7 from complications of Covid-19.

Only days before the CMA awards, Lee Brice and Tyler Hubbard tested positive for Covid-19. Lady A also missed the CMA award show due to having a member of the immediate family who tested positive for the virus.

Is Nashville doing enough to protect it’s musicians and their fans?

Pinkie and I were planning a bucket list trip to Guitar Town in the near future. But after conversing, we are in agreement that now is not the time for inter state travel. This concept has certainly affected the musical industry more so than it has affected us.

Many artists have spoken out on social media that this pandemic is affecting their entire way of life.

When life is good again, I’ll be a better friend, a better person when life is good again. We’ve been brought to our knees. We’ve been so ill at ease, but there are no guarantees but life goes on. And when it’s over I’ll open up my heart and let the whole world in. I’ll try to make amends when life is good again

Dolly Parton

With the many venues either at limited capacity or closed completely these artists are having a harder time in doing what they do.

Selling out shows and selling merchandise is how singers and their bands make a living. And not to mention all of the behind the scenes that we never see. Think about the soundmen, the guys who set up the equipment, the drivers who get the band and it’s equipment from town to town, show to show? If the star isn’t working, then neither is the backup.

Can these venues and musical artists survive another lockdown?

Many artists have shifted to online events. One way we can help out as fans is to continue to watch them even if only online. We need to continue to buy the merchandise and music. If we only streamed our favorite songs from someplace like YouTube, then these artists don’t get paid. They have no way to pay their bills or to take care of their families.

I posted yesterday what Eric Church said at the CMA Awards.

 

“Music is about unity…it’s going to take everybody…to unite.”

Eric Church

This means us as the fans should be doing more to support the music and the artists we love. I don’t know about you, but for me, without music my life would be a dull blur. I am thankful for the many artists who have continued to write the songs and produce the records even though they have no where to go and perform it for the public. God Bless social media and the writers who are getting the information out on the newest and latest and greatest.

I am ready for the world to get back to some state of normalcy. Until then, I’ll keep my music up loud.

Pancho.

October 14 2020

Nasal Swab

I experienced something today, that I hope I never will again. It is something that I never heard of until my 45th year of life. A Covid-19 swab test. Seriously, they took a Q- Tip that is about a mile long and shoved it up my nose holes, behind my eye holes, and teased the worms that were eating my brains.

No it wasn’t quite that bad, but it could have been. Lets just say very uncomfortable.

The Corona Virus is real people!!

A coworker had become exposed, outside of work and in turn, I felt exposed. There was some real fear and stress going on in my little corner of the world today until I was able to get tested.

 I was negative for the virus. Thank God for small miracles!

I described the experience to Pinkie, like when you see ants on tv and all of a sudden you start to feel them crawling over you. Once I heard that this coworker and friend had a positive outcome on his Covid swab, I instantly began feeling feverish. My brain told me that I needed to cough and sneeze and that I was going to die of this dreadful virus. My temperature was only a 97.9. My sniffles were most likely due to allergies, and the change of the seasons here in West Texas. In fact I have had allergies at this time of year for most all of my 45 years on this planet.

I am going to recommit to the masks, which I have been laid back about. And wash my hands and use sanitizer.

If you are sick don’t go out. That simple. It isn’t something we can avoid as the spread is world wide, but we should not purposely endanger others with our lack of care and concern. I would never forgive myself if I gave someone a deadly virus. All I could think about was whether or not I had given it to Pinkie, or my parents, or inlaws or anyone else for that matter.

Just for fun, here’s a video by British folk singer/ songwriter Ralph McTell on the subject of proper PPE

Ralph McTell is an English singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player who has been an influential figure on the UK folk music scene since the 1960s. McTell is best known for his song “Streets of London”, which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world, and for his tale of Irish emigration, “From Clare to Here”.

Wikepedia

I am grateful that so far no one in my immediate circle has suffered long term effects or death from this deadly virus. I have fear as I watch the numbers infected increase daily.

This is scary times and we all need to take a moment to stop and pray for our country our planet and it’s leaders.

Wear your Mask

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Practice Social Distancing

I hope you who are reading this are safe and practicing safety. Take this bug seriously.. It kills.

Pancho.

September 29 2020

When I get to Heaven

PBS will begin airing, “The Best of John Prine” on Saturday October 3rd 2020. This is the premiere episode of Austin City Limits season 46.

Watch it here: https://www.pbs.org/show/austin-city-limits/

Austin City Limits is the longest running music series in television history. ACL  features artists from every musical genre in a live concert setting. The first episode was aired on PBS on January 3rd 1976.

The show helped define Austin, Texas as the “Live Music Capital of the World”

John Prine made eight appearances on the show during his career span of over forty years. His ACL debut was during Season 3 in 1978. John’s final ACL performance was during Season 44 in 2018.

During the Season 44 episode, John played a setlist of his career spanning songs. The episode also included a guest appearance from long time Prine disciple Tyler Childers.

ACL executive producer, Terry Lickona, stated “John Prine was so integral to the essence of Austin City Limits, and few artists graced the ACL stage over the years and decades more than he did.”

John wrote country-folk songs with an unpretentious, aw- heck demeanor

Roger Ebert

John would sing magical lyrics like – “That’s the way that the goes round. You’re up one day and the next your down. It’s half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown. That’s the way that the world goes round.”

In 1998 Prine had surgery to remove squamous cell cancer from his neck. In 2013 he had part of his lung removed as treatment to lung cancer. The operations altered his vocals and gave him a gravelly voice but six months later he was touring again.

“that’s the way that the world goes round”

During his career, Prine received six awards from the Americana Music Honors Awards: The Lifetime Acheivement Award for songwriting(2003) Artist of the Year(2005,2017,2018), Song of the year for “Summers End”(2019) and Album of the Year for “Tree of Forgiveness”(2019).

In 2019 Prine was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2005 John Prine became the first songwriter to read and perform at the Library of Congress.

Prine’s lyrics are simple yet phenomenal. He goes places other song writers only dare to go, and he goes there with his own style.

John felt that his success was created only out of dumb luck. Luck like that day Kris Kristofferson walked into an empty club in Chicago and heard him play.

I think his success was out of his wide imagination and the ability to paint a picture through his song. The Prine song “Lake Marie” is a perfect example of this ability.

John Prine passed away last April due to complications from the corona virus. He leaves a void in the music industry that no one else can fill.

One of John’s final recordings was a song called “When I get to Heaven”. I am most certain that he lives there now.

When I get to heaven, I’m gonna shake Gods hand

Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand

Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band

Check into a swell hotel, ain’t the afterlife grand

John Prine, you certainly had a grand career. Thanks for the music and the memories.

I will see you when I get to heaven,

Pancho