Thursday, November 28, 2013

Many Thanks

Everyone is posting on various platforms on this day about what they are thankful for. As I get older, I find much more to be thankful for.  Also, I find it disturbing that, in many instances, "them that's got" don't.  They are cranky about the burgeoning gap between the rich and the poor in a way that blames the latter for being who they are.  The United States has always been the country where you could pull yourself up by the bootstraps, especially if you had the help of your family, your religious community, your educational system, and, on occasion, your government.  

"Yes, the strong gets more/while the weak ones fade" is, sadly, as true now as when Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog composed "God Bless The Child" in 1939 (recorded in 1941). There is a belief among many "That's just the way it is/some things will never change" (Bruce Hornsby), especially the freshmen I come in contact with in Fall Seminar I facilitate at Quinnipiac University. "What can I do?" is a question heard more often than I would believe and the best answer I can give is "Get involved" - you see something you don't like, find other people who believe as you do.  With Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets, one is never more than a click or 2 away from making a connection and, yes, you have to suss them out to make sure these connections are real. There are so many examples of people who have made or are making a difference, one can always find a role model or a master to learn from.

With "Best-ofs" right around the corner, I want to use this space to acknowledge those who make a difference in my life and keep me "keeping on."  To my immediate family, I appreciate your patience in my endless quest for knowledge and fulfillment.  From my colleagues at QU (Betsy, Tom, Fred, Ann, Michelle, Mark, and Joanne) to those at WMRD-WLIS (Barry, Bob, Phil, Ed H., Ed L., Don D. and Don M.) to those in my town (Stephan A., Rabbi Haaz, Debbie, Art Meyers), I am continually bolstered by their caring, their insights, explorations, sense of humor and sense of place.

I would be remiss not to thank Ann Braithwaite, Jason Crane, Nicky Schrire, Matt Shipp, Matt Merewitz, Carl Testa, Taylor Ho Bynum, Stephen Haynes, Jason Paul Harman Byrne, Amy Cervini, Kari Gaffney, Lorraine Feather and so many others for their friendship, the music they make or send, and those other intangibles.

And, of course, you, dear reader, who keep me honest as I write about the great music that comes to my door, my town and my state - "Ain't we got fun!"

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