Happy Hour

Happy Hour

Buzzing through the busy social sprint
the hh, the ya ya, the finest house wines
resting above the slim stem pinched
by a thumb and a curled index finger.
follow the gestures, the ruby swishes
confined by the crystal rim;

wine party

My acquaintances all love me,
I give them hugs and my smile,
all dummy down for the sake of humor;
our “love” penetrates the air between us
yet, our hearts are hidden; remain untouched.

We share it all right there;
the sounds of happy voices
flux like an open sea.
Pacifying the discontent
from mundane painful silence
where the pearl of our hearts
remain isolated and covered
in that room full of friends
who all become strangers
when at last, we all go home.

Fall 2013 Japanese Garden Fort Worth Texas

This gallery contains 76 photos.

Spring and Autumn are by far my favorite times of year here in North Texas. I recently visited Fort Worth Texas which is about 45 miles west of Dallas. Fort Worth has it’s own set of esthetically attractive destinations and The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens is a must see, especially in the Spring and Fall … Continue reading

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First Glance

First Glance

Chilled rain comin’ down
beat my skin like ice
cold air blowin’ round
slivers, silver slice the lights

The flashing signals;
throbbed on wetted streets
stopped me thinking;
heard a heart beat;

warm illumination on faces
eye shine tracers fluxing in shadows
blue fire burning through the blushed red
pierced me like an arrow;

A blue stare, pierced me like an arrow

Rain

Escaping the Heat

 

The torch of a furnace,
height of summers heat
radiates through windows
car seats, even the pages
of my journal, like the sands
of the mojave dessert in August
these pages radiate
opened and turned
upon a small table
inside the air conditioned Starbucks;
Where poetry evaporates
and mingles with aromas
of coffees, espressos, and iced cinnamon dolce lattes…

Trend Setter

The trending status quo,
the mass of apathy,
the rebel sleeps beneath the skin,
for uniqueness feared–

their genius bound in Faberge.

Waters clear and still, slapped
with a flat palm;

watching masses
dither in the ripple,
liquid bands rolling outward,

The artist is inward,
slapping with a flat palm,
all else flows outward.

The Elephant

The Elephant

They wouldn’t say I was “wrong”
perhaps, for fear
a log of judgement would fall
upon them a thousand times.

And I,  for sure,  I wouldn’t say
they were “wrong”,
knowing all along
It was wrong to do so.

There we were
in a stalemate
under the elephant
taking shade,
practicing our liberties…

 

Urban Balcony Irrigation From A Rain Barrel – Look No Spigot!!

Poetry hasn’t come so easy for me lately so In absence of exercising my poetic creativity, I have worked on other projects; I love nature and Texas/Dallas living hasn’t done much to satisfy my need to connect with nature.  In my attempts to find something to suffice, I took up growing plants on my balcony.  While Balcony gardening isn’t as rich in as a backpacking trip through Yosemite Park, I have  found it to be rewarding and have received much enjoyment and satisfaction growing plants on my balcony.  Since I found the hobby to be a positive step in the right direction, I decided to turn it up a notch or two!  This year I acquired a bonsai tree, some gorgeous dwarf Japanese Maples, a flower bed and have planted Tomatoes, Peppers, Squash, and various herbs. Growing these plants in containers through a hot Texas summer equates to a commitment much like owning a dog, only, you can’t take the plants with you when you want to get out-of-town. Texas heat can dry a container plant out in 1-day if it doesn’t get water a couple of times daily. I attempted to alleviate the water requirements by purchasing an automated watering system. After many internet searches, I learned they don’t make anything like this for a large Apartment or Condo Balcony that lacks a patio spigot.  I wasn’t going to let that stop me. After more research, I decided to engineer an automated drip irrigation system that would have the ability to water my containers for 2-weeks so I can leave town without worry if the plants will be watered.

It took many nights studying ideas to gain an approach to how I might make the idea come to life. I set my sights on a pump driven system that takes water from a pre-filled rain barrel. I learned that understanding irrigation, flow, pressure and pumps was like understanding Algebra.  Finding the right pump was a chore.  The pump turns on and off automatically using a battery operated irrigation timer. I can set the watering intervals based on the climate for any particular time of year. On days where the temperature climbs above 100, I will set the timer to open two times a day for 1-minute at a time.

In a perfectly green world, I would harvest the rainwater from the gutters, but I am renting so I was not able engage that fantastic technique. I actually fill the rain barrel, which I placed in an inconspicuous area on my patio, with a hose I connect with an adapter to my kitchen faucet.

I created the embedded video to document the finished product. I love this irrigation system. I really enjoyed figuring it out and making it a reality!!  Now I am free’d up to write some poetry…

When Sugar Momma Talks – Spoken Word/Visual

This has been a long time coming. Special thanks to Ryan Sprinkle who gave me free studio time to record 3 of my poems while we decided together on sound effects. Ryan is a true sound engineer and amazing guitar technician. I am blessed to have friends like him. After listening to the spoken tracks with sound effects, I became inspired to add visual effects. Although this isn’t true to the tradition of written poetry alone, it is true to the creative and expressive spirit which poetry inspires me to explore. I hope you enjoy…

Secret Place

Photography by Reno K Lawrence

Secret Place

You poured out your heart,
without fears
as if cool rain, giving
in dusty heat.
I wade deep
in those pools
spilling in the harmonious
babble bubbling;
mirror of your soul;
shades of paradise,
the lotus cupped in His hands,
between us -
white call to greater abandon
where we
take on new meaning;
Tears of joy welling
from the dark tempest
in my core;
souls undressed
as if a sun
cut through clouds;
your giving rain,
the inevitable tears,
us wading there,
in that secret place.

Contagious Nocturnal Friend

Slow is tired;
me, a cool festival
hanging limp
as a willow in the night,
you smile
like a moon favoring
one hemisphere
over the other
spraying the dark virgin air
aglow, suffused with blue
livening us, along with you,
celebrating in your over world
over, and over,
above a day,
thousands of miles
beneath our feet,
with sleep postponed
until the morn dawns
when insistent desires
fade, like children
worn with amusements;
curled flat and
heavy as lead,
with festive dreams
inside their head.

After Algebra (revisited)

This is an older post. I actually wrote this poem when I returned to college at the age of 30. That was over 20 years ago. I was a High School drop-out and lived on my own since the age of 18. While I was attending college full-time, I was also the sole provider of my family of 3-small children and a wife.

Funny, some things rarely change, and right-brained gravity seems to be one of my favorite themes.

Algebra and English Comp were two subjects that taught me that I wasn’t book dumb after all, I just had a very uncoordinated focus that needed some discipline. After learning how to apply my focus, I did exceptionally well. This lesson of sticking to something, never quitting, was the best lesson I ever took with me from college. I learned there is a lot more for us to discover, sometimes it just takes clear determined focus to break through to the other-side.

At any rate, the human mind is amazing, those of us who are strongly right-brained, can become balanced in the left, and those in the left, can become liberated creative thinkers. With persistence we can become far more than the limitations we so often allow to define us. I was able to acquire my HS diploma and finished 2-years of general education with some additional courses of Art and Poetry to satisfy the hungering right brain. The poem renders the true challenges I had from switching from natural creative side to the extraneous work of analytical focus and boring process memorization. Focus has always been major work for me.

After Algebra

My fears are multiplied
By unknown factors
Step by step I am searching
for the undefined variables

The variables are better left
to efforts of desire, colored life,
X-equals my joy to live;
Purple sunsets
I bend against my better judgments
to allow myself
to be yanked from my heaven,
this freedom flesh
I levitate in pastels of soft nature
I dance in a landscape
that changes by factors
of emotional reaction
But the quotients of my efforts,
are reduced to penciled structures,
black bones on a white background

I tell you, I am dead tired!
I have exercised the parts
of my faculties that makes my
neck crawl, fire between the blades
of my shoulders,
I am so right, in this world better left…
I would run for summer meadows;
Sunshine, grass, and sky,
Yet, I am in the fetters
Of methodical deductions
for another semester

The anxiety increases
by exponential leaps;
Plus, minus, minus, minus –
The negative moves
From outside in

I could care
to marvel at a dry honeycomb;
perfectly structured hexagons,
raising powers,
intellectual perceptions –
Just leave me honey of a bee
like after Algebra,
when I go to Poetry.

Lovescape in Dark


Midnight stars
infinite spray of light rests
reflective on my eye

The hope of youth
is fragrant
and sweet as Fennel
combed by wind
blowing through
the coastal canyons
near my beloved sea

I am fluorescent and luminous
tossed in a perpetual rhythm of waves
tumbling to no end,
and you are eternal
as the ever changing moon
pulling me where you will,
shining upon me this dark night.

Linked to Seedlingsinstone Blog Spot

An Amazing Photo Shoot With Amy Grant

I recently attended a Christian music festival that featured Amy Grant and Jars of Clay as the headliner acts. Amy Grant’s is one of my all-time favorite female gospel artists, and Jars of Clay are a great group of unique musician/artists that stand out amongst the often unoriginal mixes, compositions, and melodies of the Christian Rock genre. This would be my first time seeing them play live.

I wasn’t so excited to get out into the 102 degree heat so I waited till late afternoon. Even in the late afternoon, it was so hot my phone kept shutting down anytime I tried using it.

(You may click on any one of the photographs to get the grander view)

I took my 35DSLR Canon 40D with a 28mm-135mm Ultrasonic f/3.5-5.6 maximum aperture zoom lens to shoot the event. I had to wait for the feature shows to get up before I could experiment shooting the stage lit performance from a 30 yard distance as I didn’t have a VIP pass and had to stay behind a fenced area. I knew I would be challenged to get enough light to the sensors at a quick enough shutter speed. I used the spot meter setting to pinpoint my exposures on the focal point. It worked out rather well, but I will let you decide. My camera was set at 1600 ISO, shutter at 125, and the f-stop was mostly set at 4.5.

While I waited for the feature shows, I took a stroll and shot all the unique umbrellas everyone was using to keep direct sunlight out.




Amy Grant finally took the stage at dusk. I was able to capture some great shots. Amy looked toward the camera several times, even showing her bright ivory’s on occasion- Perhaps there was a hummingbird flying over my head and I wasn’t aware. Regardless, I was able to capture her kind smiles.

Over half-way through the show, some angel of a gal interrupted me while I was shooting saying, “you really need to get up close with that camera of yours” then proceeded to hand me a VIP pass. I was able to shoot the rest of the show from 10 ft. out of front stage. After the show, I went to thank the girl who gave me the pass – She was no where to be found.

Amy Grant was born on November 25, 1960. She doesn’t look a day over 30. She has been performing since the late 70’s. She was branded The Queen of Gospel Pop and has sold more units than any other Christian Artist to date. Amy has 18 studio albums of which four are Christmas Albums. I understand she will be back in the studio working on another album soon. She has written several books, has been nominated for many Grammy Awards winning several. She is the recipient of countless Dove Awards and Humanitarian Awards. Amy is now married to country western singer, songwriter, and strings musician Vince Gil. My personal take on her was she was very down to earth, fun, humble, refreshing, and youthfully animated — Her stage presence was one of a friend as much as a performer. I hope you enjoy these pics half as much as I did taking them.




Amy Grant
Reverent passions reciprocate the depths
reveals peace on her countenance
Singing praises to YAWH!!







This Photo features Jenny Gill (Vince Gill’s Daughter) Singing a Solo with Amy standing close and out of the spot light. Jenny is another amazing Talent!

This one is my second favorite of the bunch.


Another of Jenny Gill singing back up for Amy

Amy was so kind to smile and allow me to get so many great pics! Me getting that VIP pass, what a blessing…Next time I will will bring my harmonica case, hmmm, well, it’s good to dream anyway, it keeps us young and kicking!!

Linked to Seedlingsinstone Blog spot

The Art of interruption

Urgency builds
waiting in the womb,
first gasping breath
demonstrates the power
of capturing immediate responses;

The very first fix
gets our lungs purged,
we get a bathing, then
immediately following,
soothing comforts
of a breast full of milk.

As with everything in life,
a certain way that works,
does so for a short season –
Our strategies sophisticate;
Baby once again takes the floor
uttering first angelic syllable;

Repetitions of “da, da, dad..,
or ma, ma mm, with cute gestures
drawing celebrated smiles
coupled with chattering
adults answering back
“woo woo’s, lookitdababyyy”–
Baby feels that surge
of power once again.

This continues with the tugging
of clothes, raspberries,
silly dances,
being a good or bad girl or boy,
and the list goes on.
All in the name
of being a center for attention.

We learn to be masters
taking our skills with us
into a world of sage communicators;
We lay camouflaged and stealthy
ready to demonstrate our wits.

Leveraging the wit is found
to be most effective
while speaker speaks
and we yield to the listening
yet, talk thinking is
peripheral behind the white dazzle,
and sub-rosa flirt of cinched lips –
This poise is inadvertently perfected
through years of towel drying
and primping before a mirror.

The yielded silence is a barter,
cloaked behind smiles
and utterings of “uh huh”, or “ya don’t say”

Disciplines of listening gives way
to weakly muttered syllables;
(as if fore-shocks were acceptable
and eruptions could be contained.)

Undefined grunts and blurbs
sporadic and breathy fill fractional
spaces between speaker’s words.

frozen thoughts begin thawing
under warm deceptive expressions
of interest while words silently
assemble, bulging into sentences;

The words line up like race cars
waiting for the vocal pause
of a checkered flag.

Nods pose for interest
as glyphs, with or without serifs,
fill and clog the ears prior to
spilling out; slinking and sliding
into the crease of smile’s edge.
This is where the chewing starts;
rabbity, and clandestine,
as if particles of food
were loosened
between listeners teeth

Subtle jawing motions are peripheral
while one repeats
opening lines
silently beneath breaths,
the head nodding continuous;
Is the meter
of a ticking countdown.

Opportune moments,
where words convert
to first audible burst
is like a swift changing
of lanes in the thick stress
of rush hour traffic-–

new voice wedges hard
and is heard
taking the old speakers floor;

(The power once again surges!)

while old speaker’s voice sputters,
fades, halting in a syrup of discontent.

The stealing of the floor is complete.
The involuntary listener soon
forgives offense
While chewing
on new strategy
demonstrating the insanity
for an art of interruption.

This post is linked with Seedlings In Stone Blog spot.

Amaranth Joy

From freedictionary.com:
amaranth [ˈæməˌrænθ]n
1. Poetic an imaginary flower that never fades
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Plants) any of numerous tropical and temperate plants of the genus Amaranthus, having tassel-like heads of small green, red, or purple flowers: family Amaranthaceae See also love-lies-bleeding, tumbleweed, pigweed [1]

I thought about poems,
being like photographs;
highlights,
and shadows
balanced in contrast;

With words free,
I shun the junk heap;
cynical breaths of vapor,
smoking hearts.
Causing eyes to sour
Where Emperor
is purely naked,
and we wish to say so;
Say leave the smoke,
the toxic, it’s noxious,
and I
need to breath;
Infancy
coming from nowhere
familiar;
not here, nor there,
yet pure,
bare, and fresh.

Joy again!

I would rather pick
from dawns drip
brilliant yellow
bananas;
coated
with glossy beads of dew,
dangling bundles,
ripening in fields,
sweeping Mid-West,
plains with tall stalks
that roll forever
buzzing with summer
into the horizon
of a coastal dream.

And her, exuberant
with bursting femininity,
running, spinning, dancing
in light purple and white
gauze flying like silk
gracious, long , and alone;
tethered to wordless poems
anchored only
by whimsical bliss;

All rational
turn-arounds
banned
so I can serve
plantains, corn
and sheer
Amaranth joy.

Note: I am always grateful to LL Barkat @ Seedlings in Stone for allowing me to share on her blog site “On and around Mondays”

Love Is Eternity

I often remember
your faint smile,
like sunlight;
found me through
the heavy slit
of a waking lid;
Sounds of rustling linens
approaching in my sleep,
illumine light
reflecting soft white
from the pale in your cheeks,
my consciousness
drawn out of me,
became filled
with glowing satiety.

The morning pours
sensual as Hollandaise
on poached eggs;
it’s spilling embrace,
slowly sprawling over
buttery whites,
thinning vague
upon the yellow,
oozing off-white wave,
sliding, rolling
surreal and slow.

I moved slower
as if to dictate the pace
of a morning’s passing,
and often, I did;
simmering into an afternoon,
melting with the light of evening,
reduced, thick, and heavy
through the midnight,
another morning;
The morning freely gave
away it’s moments;
It too, being intoxicated
with our love.

Curse or Gift

If it never was a gift,
the words upon the page,
if my playground was never built
with upper and lower
case blocks stacked
black against the RGB white,

I heard it is a curse –
over indulgent right brain
re-writing the past
re-creates worlds
as one would have it,

The grander success
could have crossed my path
had I used it less
and worked the left;
math master of hope,
builds logic falling
in deductive lines,
unceasingly.

I am blessed
beyond all descriptions
for giant feelings
not yet suited to words –
with vague glimpses
of Christ’s world;
personal truths
peaceful inside.

I feel love for everyone -
everything,
billowing as clouds
on hot spring afternoons;
bursting torrential rain
soaking landscapes
of emotions and thought;
gives way to spring
blossoms, a new birth
where everything intellectual
converts back to dreams;
and this gift
flows forever
cutting valleys
like streams.

Love After Obscurity

Obscure fleshy faces
blurred in a motion of hurry,
stand unrecognizable
in crowds, surreally tired;

Dull motions
translucent waltz
reflective in ebony pools;
swelling, glossy and glazed;

speckled movement;
elephant migrations,
suspend in hesitations
a dream, a muse,
and I am just another tired elephant

The vague mumblings;
muffled echoes: “yiT..YAaw,
SIThh..  …fa,  maw,     YAw…
stand, sink, fade, taper…
then, stop
with bracing thumps
as final door closes behind

Then, there is you,
precious star;
first fiery blossom,
naked, virgin, uninhibited
display of meadows splendor,
filling my eyes
with meaning and clarity.

When Sugar Momma Talks

If ever there was a slow
sultry train sensually
bending soul minors,
chugging upon the spine,
taking it’s riders
from a flooding delta
to alpine woods
where goose bumps
rise, drown, and resurrect
in the forget
of a sexy minute.

Teased just right with soft air
sucked in tight and lazy
on the curl of a tongue,
thin brass wisps
resonate in twisting hips;
pendulum swings,
while a blues man sings;

“She’s a gypsy with a mojo;
honey lips steal good men away
she’s a gypsy with a mojo;
honey lips steel good men away

A fool calls her Pandora
I don’t call her any day.”

Guitar or harp
continues talking where
the vocals stop.
Gypsy vapor sinks
beneath rind; honey
tastes like a
thousand tingles
moving from
soft kisses
between skin and skull,
to restless air
that follows bones -
makes them shake.

We want more
when we hear the sputter
of a turn on the five.
The crawling out
of dark pipes begins,
through steel grates,
along ditches, ally walls
trying to slide in the creep
of a hot blue measure
for another
twelve bars that may
forever hang,
perpetually arousing,
suspended on the one.

Then the sugar momma
may finally speak
and tell us where she gets
her sugar from.

Osmosis of Light

If I could bend my mind around light
or nearly wrap it with my flesh.
If I could weave my soul on it’s waves
or curl as an infant in the roar
of it’s pure white radiant spray.

If I could suffuse my heart
to detach and scatter
away from the pitch,
where blood flows like rays
through eternal veins.

Though infinity of light’s arc
embrace universe,
like embryo’s spacious fluid;
Exposing Sirius,
Pollux, even Arcturus
with unfathomable luminosity;

It finds me still, with leaf
over genitals, peeling away earth
that sticks tighter than flesh.

Love’s Rage

I was thinking,
the truest love
rages in the loneliness
of a passing moment

It must rage
entwined in pulling
and pushing
magmaculate dance
of resistance

where nectars sap
overflows upon tongue
koinonia (κοινωνία) binding
the all into one;

rage of wanting
catalyzing giving,
rage of riches suffused,
perpetual raging symbiosis;

The rage within me
the rage within you.

Cathexis Imprisoned

I stare down upon her
from balcony’s view.
Candles flickering in moist grey air.
My heart pounding
like a kettle drum;
a battalion of marching soldiers
closer, ever coming closer…

A petite arched window
in the east vault
gave way for white light
to spray stingily upon her.
Rembrandt kisses; slivered
silhouettes on gauze dress;
contouring cheek, neck;
blue strands of black illumine hair.

She stood aplomb
embossing the cold Autumn air.
Waiting, like first breech of winter squall.
Determined, imminent, eyes beaming
peripheral; at nothing, at everything;
a still tempest, silent skirl,
echoing empty in spacious dark
Much like me exposed to her coldness;
it removed color from life,
sun and warmth from spring…

Attractions

It is that mystery, those windows to the soul;
that have us passing by the deep wells often,
our intuitions searching into deep shadowy tunnels,
like curious children fascinated by obscured echoes
gradually fading to dilated stares and wonderment.

Her Country & Mine

You said the country
was always so sweet,
just as you remembered.
Yet, every time we drove,
following your perfect map,
we always got lost looking
for happy chickens with white
round eyes and yellow smiles.
You said the green grass
and lollipop trees spotted
on whoop-dee-doo hill sides
would render our hearts content
as we passed waving cows
having conversations with
crows perched on posts.
You told me of all the good
friends we would share
who live in the country
and that someday, we
would live there with them
spreading red and white
checkered throws in meadows
with frisky picnic dreams and
puppies tugging on blanket corners.
You asked me to promise
I would protect you
from rhinoceros beetles
you have never seen ,
yet, always feared.
And since, I too, have never
seen them, I told you I would.
We drove looking long
For that country,
You always believed
it was beyond the next tree line,
or over the next hill,
while I just kept looking
for the next mile marker
and a gas station.

Before I’m Aware

(Spontaneous Rituals)

The reflex activates
without much thought.
Some tractor rumbles
with herculean gyrations
chewing away at will
earthy rational;
You might think
the baby sleeps,
yet, hollow paths
of migrating butterflies
cocoon on joint and bone;
resulting in motions;
aboriginal steps;
than, coincidental practices
of spontaneous rituals.

Gravity

I thought I would rest for once, In the grass,
stop all this levitating upon the blades.
Just allow the gravity to pull me down
compressing my body to the earth.
Perhaps I should fear the ground
might swallow me whole. Yet,
here I lay, contemplating
resistance; all the
complex principles,
what they really mean,
where I might be
if I just let go,
allowing
gravity to
take me
where it
will.

The One

I rarely ever picked roses,
brave a thorn
to show my love,
but there was one
I remember picking
on a cold February day,
in the front planter,
at The Hawks Prairie Inn;

I always looked
upon her confidently,
at a distance that was safe.
The uncomfortable close spaces
between us, remained hollow
only filled with imagination.

She was talking with friends
in the big field at lunch.
They looked toward me
sporadically, in moments passing.
She and them giggled together,
she started approaching me
confident, with an irresistible smile.
I, remained poised, yet nervous…
She started flirting
with light conversations
gradually turning seductive.
Honey flowed from her gloss lips;
Her: “can you quote a poem you wrote,
I hear you paint,
what do you like painting”
Me: “I mostly paint animals”
Her: “Have you ever painted people”
Me: “uh, umm, well”
Her: “Nudes (coy, velvet tone)
could I pose for you,
what mediums do you use,
do you finger paint…”

Evergreen trees towering
all around as we stood
talking vague ear-shots
from other students.
I was shaking inside,
my face bursting a warm red.
She was insanely beautiful,
practicing dreamy stares,
while tying invisible
strings to everything inside me

I was 18, still virgin;
Boyish innocence bleeding
through dark adolescence
like charred roses
with bright scarlet pedals
just beneath the pitch
of the burnt ones….

2012 SPAH Convention – All about Harmonica!!

In addition to doing some writing, art, and photography, I play harmonica. I have played for over 35 years. I was actually able to take a few lessons with Tommy Morgan when I was a youngster. Tommy Morgan is one of the most heard harmonica players ever, yet one of the least known. He has played harmonica scores for the television and movie industry since the late 50’s through the 90’s. His contributions to the industry are innumerable. He was the harmonica in the Sanford and Son theme song, Rockford files theme song, Gun Smoke, Bonanza, Paint Your Wagon, and a myriad of other movie and television scores. Tommy mentioned to me that I should Join SPAH and attend a SPAH convention if I ever got the chance. SPAH stands for Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica. Well, thirty years have passed since then and I finally was able to attend my first SPAH convention. The SPAH Convention is the largest society of musicians who gather together to share camaraderie for any one instrument in the world. The full gamut of Harmonica players were in attendance accompanied by there harmonica’s of choice. There were Chromatics, 2-foot long Chord Harmonicas, Bass Harmonicas, Tremolos, and my favorite, the 10-hole diatonic harp. Seydel, Hohner, & Suzuki were all there with the latest greatest harmonica models on display. Every genre of music ever played on a harmonica, was being played all day and most of the night throughout the Westin Hotel in Arlington Tx; Jazz, Blues, old standards, Classical, Polka, Cajun, Country, Celtic, Bluegrass, etc.

During the five convention days, there were jams, seminars, teach-ins, both scheduled and my favorite was the unscheduled ones. Often I would run into a celebrity harmonica player and ask questions – Each and every one of them were there with attitudes to give back what the instrument has given to them. I received some memorable lessons during quaint discussions in the halls of the hotel.

Each night there were great performances and on the fifth and final night there was an award dinner with amazing entertainment. The performances the night of the dinner included; Stan Harper, Jia-Yi He, The Sgro Brothers. The coolest part of that evening was that I was a table away from James Cotton, and Charlie Musslewhite – These guys are legends. If you wish to read more about the SPAH convention, I suggest reading the article on the SPAH page titled Harmonica Players Share The Heart of Their Music.

This post is full of links for the celebrity names mentioned. Please click a few and get a feel for the talent that graced the Hotel halls.

As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the pics.

Here is yours truly playing my rendition of Shakey Blues

James Cotton & Charlie Musslewhite and some crazy fan.

Will Scarlet famous for his work with Hot Tuna back in the day.

Winslow Yerxa — SPAH President

Todd Parrot – Giving lessons on a cool country lick he picked up from Charley McCoy

Joe Spiers(Below) – An in-demand harmonica Customizer with a 6 month order lead time. I spent some time talking with Joe, a great guy by-the-way. Joe gave me some vague leads on how to make my harps better. It really is an art that takes years of experience to learn accurately.

Me with Charlie Musslewhite

Jimmy Lee

Grant Dermody Grant Tours with Eric Bibb and is a growing name as an amazing harp player. Grant is a purist. I was able to sit at a table with him during the convention – a great and brilliant musician. He has a love for old time violin tunes.

Dave Barret (Below)- Transposer, writer, harmonica player/teacher extraordinaire

Joe Filisko – below, is playing guitar for a late night blues jam. Joe Filisko is the most renowned name in Harmonica Customization. His harps start at about $250.00 or so. He builds for the pros. He is also an amazing blues harp player – a purist who is true to form.

This jam was a bit spiritual as we sat in a circle and took a bar to solo by. As the night grew old, there were a hand full of pros left and me. It was great being able to hear all the different styles and talent levels

When it was all over, silence was golden, if I could only eat a meal without hearing a harmonica, there was a sense of heavenly peace. The biggest lesson I learned was to be patient, gracious, practice and enjoy…Practice makes perfect and I was mingling with perfectionists that made something great and amazing of a unique obsession – playing that silly little instrument that offers so much with so very little.

San Antonio Photo Shoot

Well, it has been a while since I posted anything. I recently went on a vacation that consisted of going to San Antonio Texas to see my nieces Air Force Graduation and then back to Dallas for the 2012 SPAH convention. SPAH is an acronym for Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica. The convention was loaded with Harp celebrities from all over the world and from various genres. There were harmonica trios, blues jams, jazz harmonies, and old classics, cajun, celtic, etc. being played at all hours throughout the halls of the Westin Hotel in Arlington Texas. It was my first SPAH convention and with the experience I had, I will be sure to go back for the 50th next year in St. Louis. I hope you enjoy the photos.

I will cover the graduation and convention with a following post next week. I believe the architecture of San Antonio is so spectacular it deserves to be viewed apart from other photo subject matter.

Enjoy!!




































I recommend for all to visit this charming city with it’s renowned River Walk, century old architecture, and wonderful people. I will definitely go back, and oh, yes, Rembrandt loved it too – No disrespect San Antonio, it’s what dogs do…