Thursday, March 17, 2011

Love Potion #9

To me, family is the most important thing in life. So when my sister called upon me to help get the kids out of the house while she did some remodeling work, I didn't hesitate one bit.  In fact, I cut her off mid-sentence and told her I would do it.

I drove to my sister's house, loaded up my nephews and we took off to go play away the day.  A beautiful spring-like day, with a fresh breeze and sunshiiiiiine :)  We were so blessed. 

We had originally planned to go to Guitar Center and jam out, since Ryan, my youngest nephew, is convinced that we are a rock band that is destined for great things, including Hollywood.  However, among missing the Guitar Center exit we just continued along the I-70 into downtown with absolutely no agenda. Well, one agenda: food.  

And on a perfect day like it was today, there was no better spot than Grinders West in the Crossroads district.  We sat in the courtyard out back where they hold concerts in the summertime.  The rows of long picnic tables were pretty full, so we asked to share a table with a couple of hipsters, who were drinking beers and smoking Parliments with their Ray Bans disguising their faces.  It was definitely a unique scene for noontime on a Wednesday -- especially for a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old.  

After we ordered our food, we played a bean bag toss game in the courtyard,  and returned for more after we finished eating.  The sun was high and the bean bags were flying!  The boys really took out some aggressions on those bean bags, which I really think they needed, and I took the opportunity to write a little poetry in my pink Moleskin journal.

Michael, my oldest nephew, suggested we walk around a bit before leaving the area, and I knew that a little store was just around the corner.  We walked the block's length, dodging stagnant rain puddles and jumping over spray painted planter pots and old rickety picnic tables.  When we entered that store, with its wide open door, we were in music heaven!

The store is called Midwestern Musical Co. on 19th and Locust and is filled to the brim with old guitars, amps, radios, turntables, the coolest belt buckle collection I think I have ever seen, and nude art on the walls. The guy at the counter apologized about the content of the art, but I don't think the boys minded much! It's funny how we had planned on going to Guitar Center, but just so happened to stumble into the ultimate garage band breeding ground.  And the best part - there was a stage for us to jam on!

Ryan picked a guitar off the wall and Michael found a bass he liked and the guy plugged them in.  The boys played for a minute, and then I took over the bass and Michael hopped on the drums and we had a family jam session.  It was my first.  I have jammed with friends many times, but this was the first time with family, and although we have never practiced together, we sounded great! It was priceless.   As we were leaving, Ryan tried booking us a gig to play there!  The guy told us, "Yeah, get some songs together and come back soon!"  So, that's our plan.  Stay tuned...

The fact that we made it to a guitar store after all is a funny way of God showing us some humor.  Just like me, Ryan has a dream, and I know that in order for him to reach his dream, he will also need a solid network of people.  However, it is his "Ryan the lion" courage that took a giant leap and asked for a gig without a solid musical background that reminds me of myself.  There is much to learn still about publishing and playing guitar, but now for both of us, it will require hours of hard work, dedication and practice before we can enjoy the personal successes we seek.

Here's to reaching for the stars!  At least you touch the sky ;)


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