Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Now Pronounce You Man and Wife

When I was a child comic books were one of the profound joys in my life. I well recall how pleased I was with the first issue of Spiderman, but that's another story. One of the ads which appeared in the back of almost every comic book I bought in the late fifties and early sixties offered to make anyone an ordained minister for the princely sum of ten dollars. Fast forward to around 2006 when I came across the Universal Life Church on the internet. They looked mysteriously familiar. I can't swear they're the same folks who were in the back of the comic books but, thinking they probably were, feeling nostalgic about it and because it's free these days (instead of being $10), I applied and received my certificate of ordination. I printed it out on card stock, then I carefully reduced the image and printed out another copy for my wallet. A few weeks back, just joking around, I showed the wallet card to some friends and, to my surprise, was asked to perform the wedding ceremony by a young couple I know. I then checked with the courthouse to find out that, yes, I can legally marry people.

Today I performed that ceremony and was profoundly moved by the experience. While freely admitting that my track record with marriage isn't all it could be, I remain a strong believer in the sanctity and power of marriage. I believe that marriage marks the beginning of life's most precious journey. I won't reprint the entire service here, though I may eventually post it to my website, but here are the words which were so powerful that saying them moved me almost to tears.

"By the power of your love for one another, before God and in accordance with the laws of the state of Texas I now pronounce you man and wife. You may now seal your union with a kiss"

I've played the guitar in front of thousands of people without feeling the least bit nervous but officiating over the marriage of two young people with perhaps a hundred onlookers was terrifying and yet exhilarating beyond description. My authenticity as a Reverend may be ethically questionable but this wedding was as real as it gets (and 100% legal in the state of Texas). Life is good, love is wonderful.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Great Castell Kayak Race

I had a very interesting gig last Saturday. My friend Jerialice hired me to run sound for The Great Castell Kayak Race. Entertainment was provided by David Lewis Morgan, David Byboth, Ross Vick of Trueheart and Joe King Carrasco.

David Morgan, David Byboth and Ross Vick all appeared sans-band, with acoustic electric guitars and I was fortunate enough to be permitted to accompany each of them during their performances. I've known David Morgan for a while and have become familiar with most of his songs but I'd never met, or heard, David Byboth or Ross Vick. They each risked having their performance degraded by permitting me to accompany them. Both are powerful and experienced performers with fully developed and complex styles so it was relatively easy for me to 'feel the groove' and blend into the mix though Ross has a love of subtle key changes which add wonderful depth to his songs but were a serious challenge for a cold follower. His chord structures are coherent and exciting so I got a little carried away on a couple of his tunes (sorry Ross).

Joe King Carrasco brought his band and they did a fabulous job. As a genuine Texan-By-Choice I love all the flavors of Texas music which include, though aren't limited to, Country, Rock, Rockabilly, Blues, Bluegrass, Tejano and Conjunto. Joe and his band are a wonderful blend of all these and more. They're accomplished musicians with no protruding egos and in combination their performance manages to be smooth, polished and professional while achieving the seemingly contradictory feat of being high-energy with the sort of slightly jagged edges that make live music so incredibly much more fun than recorded music.

I bought CD's from everyone on stage (except David Morgan who doesn't yet have a CD) and brought them home.

My Mind's Eye by David Byboth

The Road by Trueheart (Ross Vick)

Hot Sun by Joe King Carrasco

Y'all rock on and thanks a million.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Clueless is do-less

Trying to fix a computer for Missy's boyfriend, giving my grandson guitar lessons, trying to learn about blogging software, trying to learn about file servers, playing two-piece gigs with Ely, four piece gigs with Jerry or Fermin, helping Jerialice with sound at her Songwriters in the Round meetings, mowing the Benson's place every week, getting the ezine completed and published, taking care of mom...

Wow, and there's way more on my 'pending projects' list.

If there were three of me I'd be no better off because those other two bastages would be 'cherry picking' all the easy jobs and I'd just get stuck with the scut work.

I wash dishes, do laundry, run errands, shop for groceries, sharpen things (mower blades, axes, hoes, chisels, knives and/or scissors), do much of the cooking, change mom's diapers and try to do the occasional odd job while I'm at it.

Lisa's been after me to hang some grow lights for her African Violets. I think I've got all the hardware bought but I'm still pondering the details of getting it done. Once I feel certain I know what I'm doing, and how I intend to get it done, I get right on it but I do sometimes spend rather a long time thinking it over. Like an artist waiting for the muse, I'm a slightly challenged handyman waiting for a clue.