After recently finishing with upgrading i.webthings, the dailywebthing linkport, and daily pointers, my focus has turned back to my personal blogs and several new projects.

I’ve been enjoying my brand new tiddlywiki and working on, an older project that refuses to die (and which may become integrated with this blog and the tiddlywiki soon).

I do this stuff for fun and yes, I have been having fun. Thanks for reading.

(revised 03/13/19)

So this lady’s at our house a few weeks before Christmas and we’re talking. The conversation turns to her partner needing some rare medication that’s easier to get in Mexico. “We’re not sure about going to Mexico,” she says. “Okay, I know it’s a Trump thing and all but those caravan people are there.” Whoa!

Apparently those people aren’t really people. They’re like monsters getting ready to invade our country and rape our children. That’s the crap Donald’s been feeding people and millions are eating it up. Our country’s in a bit of a mess right now. I regret I was speechless at the time.

Saying more about that now just adds to the noise, so let’s move on. My mind swirled a bit when I first read this at Anne’s place and I’m still thinkin’ about it:

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

– Terry Pratchett

From Colorado to Delaware to Florida to Illinois to Michigan. All the stops in one’s journey define who they are and going back to where one started is just a visit to another new, though familiar place.

Some stops in the journey border on unbearable but a new world is always just around the corner and when we’re lucky, it’s a better place.

Originally, we weren’t planning on going. We were always too busy to do much of anything anymore, or, at least, it seemed that way. Brushing off the daily grind to have some fun enjoying what you really like to do seems so difficult at times, but some things remind you how important it is to hold on to the good stuff. Something inside told me that we should do it – make the time and go!

So, I thought I was just going to a Clapton concert. I had never seen him and this was my chance. I started playing guitar in college and Clapton was one of my earliest inspirations. I’ve always had this thing for the blues and he played it so well. We did go, excited on the way that we were gonna see the man. As it turned out, Clapton was just a part of the experience that affected me so.

It’s Saturday evening at Alpine Valley and the bill includes Eric Clapton, Jeff Healey and a guy named Stevie Ray Vaughan. I had all kinds of Clapton stuff in my vinyl collection and had recently bought a Jeff Healey CD which was pretty good. I know I had heard a song on the radio that Stevie Ray Vaughan did but I just wasn’t real familiar with him. I figure if he’s playing on the same bill as Clapton, he must be good. The band that Clapton had together for the concert was great. They did some of his classics, and some of the newer stuff and it was all great. I felt so thankful to be there.

Jeff Healey was damn good too. The way he played the guitar was unique, sitting with it on his lap with both hands above it. He fingered the chords like he was playing a piano or something.

But what really affected me in a big way that night was that guy named Stevie Ray. He played a bunch a stuff with Clapton’s band and I couldn’t believe how good this guy was. Then, when he played voodoo chile all on his own up there, it transformed me. Watching the closeup of his long fingers attacking the guitar on the big screen made me cry like a baby. It wasn’t the lightning speed that got to me – it was the way he was digging his fingers into every note he played. He made every note scream like no other guitarist I’ve seen. Not Clapton – not B.B. King – not even Jimi himself – nobody, as great as they are, had affected me so with their blues style. Mouth open, eyes glazed, I watched his every move, wondering where he had been all my life. My thankfulness for being there was soon replaced by a truly spiritual notion that I was part of a feeling that would never be duplicated. As I watched Stevie Ray, I knew I was there for a reason.

On the following night Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a tragic accident. To this day, I feel so lucky that I saw him. No matter what I’m doing, if I hear his familiar sound on the radio, I have to stop and give myself to his magic. My own guitar playing (and my love for it) was greatly affected by having seen him that night and I’ll always appreciate that I had the chance. Just as with other great musicians who died young, it’s so sad that we’ll never see the place he was on the way to with his music. Thanks Stevie!

(originally published circa 2000)