bright and early tomorrow morning i will rise, and head they way of july johnson and roscoe brown as i travel south and west across the state of arkansas into north eastern texas. unlike messers johnson and brown i am not looking for a runaway wife, nor a sheriff on the hunt, i certainly don't expect to come across any stone throwing pre-pubescent girls, and i won't be bringing along my son. also, i dont intend to die at the hands of blue duck and his men. i do however expect to spend some pleasant time in the arms of rtb, reading, and laughing, and crafting all sorts of arts and walks. we will cap the week off with a three day stay in austin. two of these days will be spent at the hotel san jose*.

if you want a postcard from the road please email me with your address. many thanks.

and now,

mtb's and my first listen to, "woman king".



Honey, I love

Way Down in the Music

I get way down in the music
Down inside the music
I let it wake me
take me
Spin me around and make me
Uh-get down

Inside the sound of the Jackson Five
Into the tune of Earth, Wind and Fire
Down in the bass where the beat comes from
Down in the horn and down in the drum
I get down
I get down

I get way in the music
Down inside the music
I let it wake me
take me
Spin me around and shake me
I get down, down
I get down

by Eloise Greenfield
from her collection of poems
"Honey, I Love"

as featured in the
"but you don't have to take my word for it"
segment of the June 25, 1986 episode
of Reading Rainbow*

episode was called "Feelings" and featured
the text by the same name, written by Aliki


Bleachers Fifty Cents, Grandstand One Dollar

"castro was still in the hills" jim zapp

"football and basketball are just revenue sports" butch mccord

"white beans, pigs feet, and cornbread was our steroids" sidney bunch

"if you can't make it in nashville, you can't make it anywhere" sidney bunch

these are just a few memorable quotes, the few that found their way into my notebook, from today's panel discussion about negro league baseball, at the main branch of nashville's public library. each of the gentlemen quoted above actually played in the negro leagues, and each being from nashville were wearing tremendous smiles at the attention being shown them by their home town. also on the panel, though i have no quotes from him, was chuck meriwether, a major league umpire who stood behind the plate at the historic 2004 world series.

i enjoyed my time at the discussion, and in particular enjoyed hearing senile old men talk passionately about what they love while driving the moderator, a local sports writer, absolutely mad by breaking from the intended path.

the conversation criss-crossed from experiences in the negro leagues to the diminishing numbers of american blacks playing professional baseball, especially compared to football and basketball.

umpire meriwether noted, perhaps touchingly, when asked about 2004 world series, that it wasn't till the second game that the import of the series really hit him. it was before the game, and the other umps and him were circled around home plate, when one observed that, back on the green monster (where during the normal season all the days games scores are displayed) that no other scores were posted. at this moment he found some butterflies.

during the Q & A one person noted that the red sox were the last team to integrate blacks onto the roster and speculated that perhaps this is why it took them so long to win a world series.

also during the Q & A a questioner mentioned that he was at a ball game and butch mccord was being honored with the opportunity to through the first ball. the announcer said, "and to throw out tonight first pitch is baseball great and former negro leaguer, butch mccord." at hearing this, a little white boy standing next to his father asked, "dady, whats a negro?"

i suppose i should say more, or at least offer some more synthesis or criticism. perhaps my duty is to tack more meaning onto these experiences through reflection. i sit here and try and do so, but nothing fills the head. truly, the greatest part of today was shaking the contorted and articulate hands of eighty year old negro league heroes.

there are forty living negro leaguers alive in the world, and i have met three of them, and seen another (buck 'nancy' o'neil) in person, and that makes ten percent. pretty good i'd say.

afterwards i went to the reception where i ate a hot dog. while i dont normally eat dogs, this was the third in twenty-two years, the occasion made it seem appropriate.

The Great Concert of Charles Mingus

side 1

Introduction and Presentation 1:35
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Part 1)* 23.30

side 2

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Part 2)* 5:40
Orange Was the Color of Her Dress 14:00

side 3

Parkeriana 23:00

side 4

Meditations on Intergration 27:30

side 5

Fables of Faubus 17:20

side 6

Fables of Faubus (con't) 11:20
Sophisticated Lady 6:00

the players

Charles Mingus - bass
*Johnny Coles - trumpet
Eric Dolphy - alto sax, bass clarinet, flute
Clifford Jordan - tenor sax
Jaki Byard - piano
Dannie Richmond - drums

recorded Sunday April 19th, 1964
Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris, France


From LP to Cassette

another friday night, at home, all alone.

dinner: baked potato, steamed broccoli, maccaroni and cheese, glass of ice water.

activities: pair timeline of lester young's life with outline of my documentary, record some select LPs (including "superwolf", "mind games", "will the circle be unbroken", "bonnie 'prince' billy sings greatest palace", and "viva last blues") onto cassette to listen to in car, watch "ghost dog", drink a small cup of scotch that was distilled before my girlfriend and my brother's were born, clean living space, and watch star trek: enterprise.

for tomorrow: clean kitchen and bed rooms, work on job application for nashville substitute teaching, find a job in DC to apply for, attend panel discussion on negro league baseball at the public library, visit farmer's market, make a stir fry, watch the x-files movie.

and remember: it is in those quiet alone moments that you can hear yourself breath.

"Down," By the River

hooray! wal*mart is in the business of matchmaking. apparently, according to american public media's "marketplace", the wal*mart chain of stores, in germany, has begun hosting singles nights wth remarkable results. as it turns out, in age groups ranging from late teens to late forties, wal*mart germany's sales go up forty-five or so percent on these singles nights. while its unclear whether or not any wal*mart couples are engaged or have been married, wal*mart america is intrigued by this information, and wal*mart canada is interested in starting a similar program.


a good way to spend time on a quiet sunny friday afternoon:

take advantage of the fifty-five degree weather and head, after work, down to the shelby bottom's park, where one can, if they choose to deviate the set path, find a nice place to sit by the great cumberland river. while the cumberland is not the mississippi river, ergo it is not, "in every way remarkable," its breadth and flow are remarkable in that middle of the country way. its pace is relaxed and its current strong. simply through proximity it has the wonderful tendancy to suggest new and peaceful paths for the human brain to follow. closing your eyes and sitting on the bank you will have a very base understanding of what really went down at the bodhi tree.


somedays, when i choose not to shower in the morning, i find that my beard itches latter in the day.

this was the case today as i was sneaking the hidden paths at shelby bottoms. whilst away from the trail my nose took in a great smell of a winter air that was ready to break on spring. this sensory intake set my mind a reeling.

again, as i stepped over brush and bent for bough, my thoughts were in the future, when i own a nice spot of land on the side of a mountain, near a stream, where i have a little cabin with a comfortable bed and a wood burning cast-iron stove. i imagine heading to this cottage in the autumn, to pick up my favourite fresh pressed apple cider and smell the leaves as they fall, and more sweetly, begin to decay.

i know it, i know it, i know it, and i often forget it. i was meant for the forest.


A Kiss With a Mustache In It. . .

"I cultivate this beard not for the usual given reasons of skin trouble or pain of shaving, nor for the secreet purpose of covering a weak chin, but as pure unblushing decoration, much as a peeacock finds pleasure in his tail. And finally, in our time a beard is the one thing a woman cannot do better than a man, or if she can her success is assured only in a circus."

--John Steinbeck "Travels with Charley." 1962