We Will Rise

 

The sun rose Wednesday morning. I woke up, picked up my coffee, and went to work. It seemed like any other morning. Except it wasn’t. Wednesday morning when I awoke Donald Trump was the president-elect. My stomach was in knots and my brain was in a bit of a fog. But the sun did rise and the world is still here and now WE all must rise to make sure that we have a tolerant and accepting world for everyone. Those of us who are devastated with the events of the week need to do whatever we can to make sure all people are treated with respect and dignity and acceptance. We need to make sure our voices are heard for those who have been or are in danger of being silenced. Here are 5 women who are most definitely committed to doing just that, my mom and my sisters, and of course myself.

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For people who do not enjoy white privilege, it has been a long and painful road for basic human rights that the rest of us enjoy simply because of the color of our skin. If political rhetoric from our president-elect is to be believed, then there is a danger for so many in our country. We cannot allow strides that have been made over the last 50 or so years to be erased. How can we keep moving forward?

Black lives matter and all people deserve love and workers deserve a living wage. There should be no reason for women to feel vulnerable and scared that they could be sexually harassed or abused. Children should feel safe and have full bellies and access to education. Those who are suffering from illness, both physically and mentally, should have access to health care that won’t send them into bankruptcy.

So, for those who don’t have faith in the person who is at the helm, what can we do? We need to band together and rise up and raise our voices to make sure that everyone has what they need to be successful and happy. Find what you are passionate about and join that group to help make sure people are safe and healthy and happy. It is up to us.

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By The Time We Got To Woodstock

“Road Trip!” she shouted. “Let’s go to Woodstock! You can’t write a rock and roll blog without ever going to Woodstock! Not when we’re so close!” How could I ignore that level of energy and enthusiasm? She was right, I needed to go.  I had actually been thinking about Woodstock earlier in the weekend when John tagged me in a Facebook post with this gorgeously haunting video by Good Harvest:

 

So we were off, leaving from Hobart, the Book Village of the Catskills (where I was attending the Hobart Festival of Women Writers) and heading towards Woodstock…

I should mention my very enthusiastic traveling companion is my friend Linda, who appeared in my life first as a local writing icon, then became a writing instructor, and now she is my friend, mentor, and cheerleader.  Linda was the one who encouraged me to blog about my band wife experience and even came up with the name of the website!! She keeps me focused and accountable, all the while singing my praises to anyone who will listen!

As we got closer to Woodstock, she took a slight detour down Mink Hollow Road, where Todd Rundgren used to live and record.  When she was younger, she drove down this road, hoping to maybe catch a glimpse of Todd, this talented guy she was crushing on. We started feeling a bit stalkerish, driving down this narrow country road, wondering if at some point we would be found out, but then we came to the end of the road and it was actually a trail head, so we didn’t have to worry about some sheriff stopping us and asking who we were there to bother.

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My Mom Is Better Than Your Mom

OK, so this may not be categorically true. Only one person was polled: me. I am sure your moms have done great things too and are superheroes in their own way. My mom turns 75 today and instead of a gift, she asked that the people who love her write a note to her or create a work of art. This is a little of both. Happy Birthday Mom. I don’t think she will mind this existing in such a public forum.

My mom has had many roles over the years, but I want to focus on one, motherhood. She has been a mom for 55 years now and if you added up all the years for every child, it is over 350!

11203570_10206205266758210_7823587336853467529_oAnd just in case you were wondering if that’s where she got all her gray hair from, then what about the purple or the blue?? Where did she get that colorful streak? I think it is from her sense of adventure and whimsy. There are so many stories, and I want to share just a couple with you that helped shape me into the woman I am today.

My mom had 6 kids under the age of 6. After they pick their jaws up, people always ask me how she did it. I am not sure anyone knows.  When she had the twins in 1967, before ultrasounds were the norm, she fought with the doctor for much of her pregnancy because he was insistent that she was carrying one baby when she knew there were two babies were in there. Imagine the chaos when she brought those two home to add to the four of us (ages 5, 4, 2, and 1.) And what a gift when she brought home one more 5 years later to make our family complete. Even with her hands so full, there were many things she did to make each of us feel special.  One of those days for me was when I was almost 10. She stayed home while my dad took a bunch of us somewhere, maybe to the Great New York State Fair. When we arrived back at home base, she had made me my very own bedroom (I think she gave up her sewing room.)  It was very special to have a space of my own with so many in our family. Thanks Mom, for teaching me that no matter how busy or chaotic life is, there is a way to treat people like they are important.

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#overpassfest

Many say that Syracuse is just an average college town, but with much more snow. There is at least one person out to change that perception (besides my mom, champion of the Near West Side) and his name is Michael John Heagerty, voted Best Community Advocate in 2016’s Best of Syracuse, run by our local community publication the Syracuse New Times.

 

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Last week I was once again at #overpassfest. It’s an informal gathering of artists and musicians that has been happening every week since June. So far there have been #overpassfests at the Onondaga Creekwalk, the Inner Harbor, the Erie Canal Museum, and at the Great New York State Fair, and each one has been unique and amazing. Musicians with guitars, basses, tambourines, trombones, and even a couple of cajons (a percussion box that you can sit on and play at the same time) show up at the designated place at the appointed time and just start to perform. The groups constantly change as the evening goes on. Add in photographers (like my friend Lisa Kane), artists of all sorts of media, and for at least one week, a guy with a typewriter that wrote poems on demand. Every week people gather and create together in a community space that otherwise doesn’t see a lot of action.

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Tramps Like Us

I spent much of the day today rockin’ it out to Bruce and his new album, Chapter and Verse, released Friday. It’s a companion CD for his book due out today, Born To Run. The songs on it were fun and span his life in music, but some of my favorites weren’t included, so I thought I would put a few of my own out there for you all to enjoy. Today is my birthday (those of you on facebook have already been informed several times!) and it is so cool that at 9:27 a.m. on 9/27 I am blogging, doing something I really love.  #lovemylife

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out (1975) 

This song is my very first Springsteen song, introduced to me by my college roommate Joanie.  We even had a dance, which we are sure to resurrect when I visit her next winter in Key West.

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Big Sister Little Sister Fair Day, 20th Anniversary Edition

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“At least I don’t work in a lemon!”, I said to Jen as we walked by someone pouring lemonade in a giant lemon.  I  could have been a little more humble; I had three part time jobs and none of them seemed like they would pan out.  It was 1995 and I was distracting myself from the reality that I was 33 and had just moved back home to Syracuse and in with my mother (nothing personal, Mom.)

Last year Jen and I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Big Sister Little Sister Day at the Great NYS Fair. We have a path we have worked into a groove, although we do try to put one new and different thing in every year. This year for the first time we didn’t go together, which may be OK since the landscape has changed significantly and our memories are just that, memories.

Curly fries with malt vinegar This is usually our first food item, within the first 2o minutes.  No matter how much malt vinegar we shake onto the overfull plate of fries, it never seems enough. Later in the day I always go to the Dinosaur BBQ booth for a sausage sandwich, then finish up the trip with a cinnamon candy apple. Continue reading “Big Sister Little Sister Fair Day, 20th Anniversary Edition”

You Can See The Stars And Still Not See The Light

Sweet voices rang out: “You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes, and your smile is a thin disguise. I thought by now you’d realize, there ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes.” No instruments, just voices, singing in perfect harmony. It was a bold artistic choice to start the song this way and my breath caught in my throat as I listened. And who pulled off this performance?  None other than one of my bands, Day Ja Voo. One of the strongest skills in their wheelhouse, their harmonies, were showcased when Day Ja Voo first performed Seven Bridges Road, a vocally challenging song by Steve Young, then moved to Lyin’ Eyes.

http://www.dayjavooband.com/

The guys were invited to participate in Tribute Tuesdays, a music series at The Ridge, a golf course and restaurant in Chittenango, NY, near where I live. This song was just one of the many amazing musical moments that happened last Tuesday night. I would like to take this moment to thank Melinda for her hospitality and her great staff for excellent service. Julie and Lexie were amazing! Now that she has listened to both the Van Morrison and the Eagles tributes, I think Lexie is finally realizing that she does know classic rock!  I have been to The Ridge several times for musical performances, including other Tribute Tuesdays for Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and I just love the venue. Unfortunately, I have been out of town for one of the most fun shows they have, Ridgestock, and hope to make it out there next year .  My sister and friends went last month and thought it was a spectacular day of music, recreating the music and covering the bands of the original Woodstock!

http://www.golfattheridge.com/

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