Anne Smith :: Blog for August 2011
July has come and gone…what happened to my July blog? I think it may have gotten lost in between trips to upstate NY, Vermont and Florida! I am happy to say that my CD, "Separated by Words", is getting nearer to completion and with every artist that adds to it, I am realizing how very lucky I am to be able to write, record and produce my music with the help of such gifted and inspiring people. My sister's friend and Orlando photographer Douglas Nesbitt was visiting NYC, and Marc and I loved having him stay with us. Douglas is a remarkable artist and wonderful person whose work you will see on my CD jacket. Check out his website: djn1111.com .
I just got back from Birmingham, Alabama-my first time ever there, from seeing college roommates-Carrie W, Laurie S, Robyn L and Tara H our hostess. Sue K couldn't make it, but the five of us carried on as if we hadn't seen each other in over 20 years. Oh…we hadn't. Please, everybody, don't make the same mistake I did, of letting too much time go by. I'm blessed to have been reconnected with such wonderful women, and we are planning to stay in touch. Since I already completed a Delta Airline Survey after they canceled my return flight on a moment's notice, I'm not going to share all of the details of my experience at the Birmingham Airport, but don't expect to get anything resembling coffee or food there anytime soon. And let's not mention the flight attendant who was waiting to board my rescheduled flight at 5:30am, and thought that nobody was awake enough to notice that she was finger brushing her teeth for over 10 minutes. I also can report that I was addressed as "ma'am" 31 times in one weekend. My Southern friends insist that it's a sign of respect, but the truth is, it just makes me feel old! You KNOW how I feel about that….in fact, I performed my original blues tune for the first time in a Birmingham bar, "Please Don't Call Me Ma'am". I think it was largely ignored in favor of pre-season football on the widescreen TV. Maryah, my twin sister, agrees about the ma'am thing, even going so far as to suggest the "mammogram" be renamed "the Mademoiselleogram". And I think that all "mammals" should be referred to as "Furry Friends". All those in favor, say "Aye".
Marc and I are starting to warm up to the idea (no pun intended ) that we will be in Florida after November 1st. I have to admit, I will be emotional….there are so many people here who have helped me and encouraged me, and supported me, both financially and spiritually. New York City has a big heart. But small sidewalks, crowded streets, too much noise, overflowing garbage cans, too many rude people, too many dogs (okay, okay, but Luke isn't really a dog, he's more like a little furry friend; plus, at least we pick up after him)….
Florida will be a new chapter in my life….I'm looking forward to the quiet, the ocean, catching up on reading and writing. Presently, I'm between two books…both historical, and incredible, each in their own way: The Frontiersman, by Allan W. Eckert, an excellent and engaging narrative surrounding the settling of America and the formation of the Indian Confederacy under Tecumseh and My Faraway One, edited by Sarah Geenough, a collection of letters between Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. I don't know what has gotten into me, that makes me so intensely attracted to biographies. They say that happens to "women of a certain age". Hmmmm.
Some very sad news from my family: our beloved neighbor and friend, Norman Madsen, has passed away. He was frail and struggling for some time. I was traveling and unable to attend his service. For those of you who did not know Mr. Madsen, he was a kind and sparkling spirit, endlessly helping others, and always with an anecdote for my brothers and sisters -most often one we had heard many times, but tolerated for the sheer enjoyment of being able to silently mouth to each other the anticipated punch line or quote. Norm's signature sign off to one of his stories, "As the fellow said…." He was many things to our family and community….Organizer of the Volunteer Emergency Squad, First Aid Instructor, high school Business Teacher, a sharp-witted tall and bony trombone player who loved Glen Miller, big bands, and playing in community ensembles. He was as anxious and excited as Dad when Girls A and B were born. Up until a year or so ago, he could be seen riding his bicycle around town, always ready to pull over and catch up on the latest. The last time I saw him, my dad and I visited him in the hospital, and I told him that the next time I saw him, I would have my CD finished, and I'd bring him a copy.
In the card that I sent to his wife Marge, I told her that it is my belief that the spirit lives on, and that we would be hearing from Norm. But now he will be signing off with these words:
"As the Big Fellow up here said"……Mr. Madsen, I send you my blessings for a peaceful transition. We love you-stay in touch.
Until Next Time x0x0