It seems like eons ago that I was selling Steinway pianos for a living.
A musician/artist/writer will do just about anything to get by.
It was a gorgeous Tuesday morning on September 11th that I paused outside the door to work.
I looked at the bluer than blue sky, the shining sun, felt the cool but comfortable breeze on my face and thought, “What a gorgeous day. Sucks but I have to work.”
It was around 8:50am that the phone rang in the store.
I answered it, “Hello, M.Steinert and Sons, how may I help you?”
It was one of our piano tuners calling to tell me he’d just heard on the radio that a passenger plane just flew into
one of the WTC towers in New York.
He thought it was strange and I agreed. We left it at that.
That CAN happen right?
The phone rang again at @9:05.
I answered again.
“Another plane just hit the other tower.”
Same piano tuner, more urgent.
“What the hell, dude,” I said.
It was at that exact moment that the world as I knew it had changed.
We were no longer the invulnerable United States, we were brought to our knees in front of the world.
An attack that could have and should have been avoided.
Are we safer today?
If we are, I don’t feel like we are.
We currently have an administration that has no viable/visible strength, united voice or ultimate power to
condone or publicly defile such despicable acts.
While I’m still ultimately proud to be an American, I fear for all that are out of our international reach.
These days the United States is powerless.
That is a sad truth.
My prayers go out for all those that were lost those 13 years ago.
I will keep Amy Jarret and her family forever in my thoughts.
As we still mourn, we will take comfort in the thought and hope that there’s something better for us out there.
An that maybe someday we will feel safe.
It was 29+ years ago that I married my best friend.
29 years ago that my world changed because I found something that
some never do, someone that understood me sometimes better than myself,
someone who has never let me down and someone who has made this thing called life worth living.
I have 29,000+ reasons for loving her with more reasons by the day.
29+ years ago I didn’t think I could ever love her more.
I love it when I’m wrong.
This Winnie the Pooh quote sums ‘us’ up to a T: “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
There’s a quiet forest that lives in my heart.
If you look long and hard enough you will find an oak tree that is older than any other tree in the forest.
If you look closely you will see a heart.
Inside the heart is inscribed: “I love Pamela Chesna”
It was written before we ever met. I know this much to be true.
And to this day that oak tree continues to grow . . .
Happy 29+, Pamel
Always . . .
I knew from the first time I saw your beautiful face that you were meant for me.
I love you more deeply today than I did 28 years ago.
I didn’t think that was possible.
Turns out it was.
Thank you for being the one I could always cry to, sigh to and ultimately hang onto.
True love is; “When your heart and your mind are saying the same thing.”
Peter Hanson made a cell phone call to his father at 09:00am on 9.11.01
“It’s getting bad, Dad. A stewardess was stabbed. They seem to have knives and Mace. They said they have a bomb. It’s getting very bad on the plane. Passengers are throwing up and getting sick. The plane is making jerky movements. I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane. I think we are going down. I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building. Don’t worry, Dad. If it happens, it’ll be very fast….Oh my God… oh my God, oh my God.”
[As the call abruptly ended, Hanson's father heard a woman screaming.]
In the past few weeks I have had numerous hits on my blog and
70% of them have been related to the tragedy of 9/11.
It’s a part of our history that will be told from a million different perspectives and from a million different hearts.
A sunny, beautiful and blue sky forever September day that changed the face of the United States forever.
The tenth anniversary of anything as monumental as this will have 99% of people scouring the internet for information regarding one of our nations darkest of days.
On the 5th Anniversary of 9/11 a website was born, dedicated to the writing of tributes to all those taken by this senseless and avoidable tragedy.
I thank Dale Roe for taking on the challenge.
I decided to write another tribute on this 10th anniversary;
for Peter Hanson, his wife Sue and their 2 ½ year old daughter Christine.
The conversation you read at the top of this post was from Peter Hanson’s cell phone, a message left minutes before Flight UA175 hit the south tower of the
World Trade Center, the plane we all saw live on national TV (and the flight Amy Jarret was on).
My thoughts now are what was going through the mind of Peter.
You are on an airplane that is headed for a destination unknown and you know it’s not a good place.
Consoling a 2 ½ year old is trying enough without knowing that you are about to die.
The plane they were on was descending at 5 to 10,000 feet per minute towards the end.
You can’t explain that to a child.
You probably wouldn’t want to.
My heart broke reading about the final moments of their all-too-short lives.
In my heart, I know they were all together and died in each other’s arms,
a beautiful prayer of sorts.
To the Hanson family, I can’t even begin to estimate the size of your sorrow.
My heart breaks for all of you with the upcoming 10th anniversary on Sunday.
In my mind, I see three candles lit and burning brightly, piercing the darkness.
Three souls together.
Three hearts finally at home, albeit a bit too soon.
God bless you Peter, Sue and little Christine.
You are all with the angels now.
Of that I am sure.
Maybe it’s time to turn the mourning of 9/11 into the celebration of the people that once were.
Thoughts of death and dying every year on 9/11 is futile.
It gets us nowhere.
Let’s look at celebrating the vibrant lives of all those lost, the unexpected heroes, the ones that gave all that they had, the ones that took a stand on UA Flight 93, a proud moment for Americans everywhere.
September 11th will never be a happy date but I feel it’s one that needs a serious makeover.
It’s been 10 long years of grieving and the United States of America has accomplished so much since.
I say it’s time we show the world just how strong we really are, and can be.
God Bless this land that we love . . .
Somewhere, amidst the shattered crystal silence of daybreak. . .
I find you
the dusty silhouette of a life
resting on a shelf in my mind that’s sadly gathering dust,
the gentle flutter of wings sets the shadows free
I watch as you dance among the countless stars, set deep in the face of a forever-winter sky
a whisper; but a sotto-voce prayer moves me through a time and space where I realize I have lost you all over again
A transient streak of starlight falls into the invisible arms of the waiting horizon
and I look to the east, my heart finally believing in the goodbyes and the time stained no mores
and I begin to understand why
He chose you
Just some thoughts regarding the past.
5 years and you’re still on my mind, Mom . . .
Welcome to Malarky Monday! If you haven’t been here, done that and bought the t-shirt we take the first day of the week to see if we can get you to one simple thing: Smile! It’s silly but we are having a hell of a time doing it. This is our ‘Silver Anniversary’ week. 25 posts! Be sure to visit my fellows in hijinx from the land of Oz after your brief visit here.
It was 5 years ago that I hit the ‘publish’ button for this post. Many things have happened since that innocent and ‘so me’ post. I like to think my writing has matured a bit and that I have taken many of you on my journey down the road of life. I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of my life (good or bad) for the past 5 years. You have enlightened me, guided me, made me laugh and have given me solace when I needed it most. You guys are incredible. I will pat myself on the back for blatant consistency. I think I can give me that. There are several people I need to deeply thank. Pamela, for believing in me when I no longer believe in myself. (and letting me know about it) My three girls for keeping me on my toes. Always. For Jon, he keeps me cooking. I love cooking, He is a man that will drive through hell and high water to have a bowl of my Cincinnati Chili, Thanks, Jon Last but not least, my family from Australia. Maureen, Mark, Kelly.Zoe, Mel, Steve, Tash, Stick, Wil, Stella, Lucas, Issac, Max and all! (who did I miss?) Thanks to all that have visited and commented. Read some ”’old”” Murph . . . . And watch the video at the end!
This is a piece I wrote several years ago but still seems to me to apply to the present day music industry. I am still a musician at heart but venues to work in are drying up faster than a droplet of water in a bucket of dry sand. It’s an abysmal state of affairs these days musically and sadly we all saw it coming. Some say business is cyclical. I wonder. Hey, Paul McCartney played the halftime show Super Bowl Sunday, right?
Remembering Miss American Pie
The musicians of the 60’s and 70’s had a wealth of powerful and insightful compositions from which to draw their inspiration. The songs had shine and creative musical integrity that would forever set them apart from today’s musical mainstream. The music spoke of the dynamic of the human experience; from love found and lost to political innuendo shaking hands with world peace. The older generation frowned upon these freedoms of expression and saw the music created as an irrevocable evil to be stamped out in the hopes of ending the reign of terror that floated over the airwaves. From the shaking hips of Elvis to the Mop-Tops from England to the androgynous and enigmatic David Bowie, the music written back then made us think and connect; it gave us an up close and personal view of the broken heart. So what the hell happened to perceptive content? Music, in its purest form is therapy, a most fundamental discipline of meditation the human race has, but along the way we altered the magic formula, ultimately changing its destiny as well. It’s supposed to make you feel good. Just think of a song that truly means something to you, take out a piece of paper, and jot down five things that come to mind immediately. Chances are you can come up with more than ten. That’s the miracle of music; when something unexpected touches the heart. Much of what I hear today is tainted, biased and so musically inept that when I hear one of these prized gems, I can only wildly shake my head and slobber saliva like an angry PBR bull (which tends to make loved ones around me very uncomfortable). A rule of thumb for future songwriters regarding lyrics: if it rhymes with shucking but has nothing to do with corn, get out a thesaurus and find another word. The English language is chock full of them. Really. It seems that few people write real songs anymore; that is a simple and yet sobering fact, not a generality. If it weren’t for artists like John Mayer and Dave Matthews, I’d have lost my mind by now. Much of the music today is like bad poetry, arranged, set to a groove from the late eighties, and thrown into a 4,000 track, all digital recorder (yes, all the tracks must be used, read the contract). Recently, while listening to a song on a brand X radio station out of Boston—the exact frequency slips my mind…you’re welcome—I remember thinking to myself, what language is this guy speaking? I strained to hear anything remotely intelligible. Musically speaking, the song was as mundane and pedestrian as an arrangement that oozes from a generic portable keyboard purchased at Wal-Mart. I also thought that somewhere in the midst of this urban cacophony, I could hear the sound of a dog being run over and over, and over again… I’m not positive about that and maybe it’s just me. Somebody call the ASPCA. The inspiration for this article came to me as I ambled down Main Street a few weeks ago (us old guys don’t walk, we amble…it’s much hipper) when a pulsating sub-compact Toyota Celica loaded with what sounded like two, maybe three 18-inch subwoofers drove past me towards City Hall, emitting music so thunderous it almost knocked down the lady walking next to me. Initially, I thought it was just wind. I didn’t get the license plate number because I was too busy bending over to retrieve my own two eyeballs off the sidewalk. Sound pressure levels that can cause buildings to vibrate precariously…hmm, I wondered if the Slater Building was up to code on that one. Nope, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Then there’s the whole debacle surrounding present day artists hiding behind the 5th amendment, and we all can see what a gush of rotting sewage that is, but it doesn’t mean we have to buy a bucketful of it. When a major proportion of the music available has a “parental advisory” sticker slapped on it, what’s left for those of us who prefer substance in what we listen to? Maybe we need a special store that caters to people fed up with listening to music and lyrics that insult our intelligence with the glorification of worthless profanity while wasting our hard earned money on garbage that someone in the recording industry somehow deemed fit for human consumption. Bon appétit. Maybe I’m not meant to understand what all the hype and excitement in the industry is about these days, because I’m no longer a child. But there’s always that outside chance that as I struggle with my own foreseeable mid-life crisis, I’ll pleasantly discover that perhaps I’ve grown a little bit wiser in the process. Just watch the Grammy Awards this year for a taste of the ultimate in garishness. In the end, the music we choose to listen to and support should remain solely in the hands of the listener, but the overall message that it brings should be more of a boon to society as opposed to an outrage against the machine. Comedian George Carlin hit the proverbial nail on the head when he stated that, “…inside every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud.” Get out your umbrellas, kids; it looks like rain.
Happy 5 To S&M!!!!!!! See you for the next five years . . . I hope!
I’ve always dreamed of singing this song for you.
In my heart, I know that I have, maybe someday I actually will.
It’s everything I’ve always wanted to say to the only person in the world that I could ever say it to. Our love is a slow, sweet dance . . .
Happy Anniversary, my Pamela
(put on the headphones I’ve left for you. Loggins is simply amazing LIVE.)
Now, while we’re here alone and all is said and done
Now I can let you know because of all you’ve shown
I’m grown enough to tell ya You’ll always be inside of me.
How many roads have gone by
So many words left unspoken
I needed to be be your side
If only to hold you.
Forever in my heart
Forever we will be Even when I’m gone
You’ll be here in me Forever
Once, I dreamed that you were gone
I cried, I tried to find ya
I begged the dream would fade away and please awaken me
The night took a hold of my heart
And left me with no one to follow
The love that I grasped in the dark,
I’ll always remember
Forever in my heart
Forever we will be
Even when I’m gone
You’ll be here in me
Forever in my heart
Forever here you’ll be
Even when I’m gone
You’ll be near to me
Forever in my life
Always thought I’d be
I’d be yours