I am not a sleepwalker. I have never been one to get up in the middle of the night while I was not awake. The closest I ever came to sleepwalking was one evening when I was still in elementary school. I woke up and found myself sitting up in the bed. I wasn’t dreaming about getting up or sitting up. I don’t remember that I was dreaming about anything at all. I briefly considered what was going on and decided to aggressively fall back onto my pillow.
Growing up in rural West Tennessee, I wasn’t exposed to very much polka music. For years my only real exposure to polka was the occasional Myron Floren song on the Lawrence Welk Show. My next exposure to polka that had any impact on me was when a Camelot Music store opened at our local mall. This store had a wider variety of albums than the JC Penny and Sears stores in the mall. They even had an international section that included a few polka albums. I never listened to them, but I could tell from their album artwork, the accordion figured into polka music. “Weird Al” Yankovic was probably my next exposure with his occasional polka versions of rock songs but I don’t think that should really count. The Shmenge Brothers skits on the SCTV television show was probably the most authentic exposure to real polka although I didn’t really appreciate it. It wasn’t until I saw the Big Joe Polka Show that I got a real idea of what polka was about.
I drove a Chevy S-10 pickup truck for years. This truck had a standard transmission. When my kids were young, it was a rare occasion that any of them would ride in the truck with me, especially by the time we had more than one kid. The problem was fitting more than one car seat in the small cab of this truck. On the rare occasion when I would put two car seats in the truck, there was barely enough room for me to sit. And when I did get in the truck, it was difficult to reach the stick to shift gears. It was just easier to use my wife’s vehicle when I needed to go anywhere with the kids.
Back when my son was in school, he had an assignment that he needed to put in a folder. He was upstairs in our house one evening and shouted down to his mother to tell her that he needed a folder. He didn’t need the folder immediately, but my wife didn’t know this. Additionally, she had just gotten home from the store where she could have picked one up for him.
When my youngest daughter was little, she liked to sing. While all my children have musical talent, she is the one who continues to play. She is the most outgoing of my kids and has always been more likely to sing in public. At family gatherings, she would occasionally sing my song Wild Man in the Desert while my son and I would accompany her on guitars. But like most kids, she was more likely to sing children’s songs that she heard on the variety of recordings and videos she watched.
I’ve had more than one person ask me about the lyrics to my song Water into Wine. The confusion is around the difference in the lyrics when I’m singing about Jesus feeding the multitudes. Early in the song the lyrics are:
“He fed five thousand people
With five small loaves of bread
Two fish was all the meat they had
But everyone was fed”
Later in the song, I sing the following:
“He fed four thousand people
With seven loaves of bread
A few small fish was all the meat they had
But everyone was fed”
Most of my religious songs are based on specific stories from the Bible. This is the main reason that the title of my first CD was Bible Stories. My motivation for writing these songs comes from a desire to share the stories from a different perspective, usually the view of someone on the sidelines in the story. I will at least choose a character in the story that usually doesn’t have much of a voice in the story that we read. I credit my familiarity with these stories to years of reading the Bible. I haven’t always been a Bible reader. There are a couple of key moments in my life that brought me to the point where I am today and the way that I look at Bible Stories.
When I was growing up, there was a family that lived just up the street from us that we spent a lot of time with. The Steeles were my second family. They had 3 kids and their youngest daughter, Nan, was my age. Nan, my sister, Gina, and I played together almost daily. Our parents would get together at least one night every weekend and play canasta. Our families spent enough time together that it was natural for us to celebrate Christmas together and exchange gifts. One year, one of us kids received a Spirograph set for Christmas. I think it was my sister. We all were playing with the Spirograph set. We were at the Steele’s house and we were playing at a folding table that was set up in their living room. Our parents were at the kitchen table playing canasta.
I consider myself to be a movie lover. There are a handful of movies that I consider my absolute favorites that you would think I would watch them on a regular basis that I can go for years without watching. But I always watch my favorite Christmas movies every December. This is not intended as a complete list of every Christmas movie that I like. It only includes the ones that I absolutely have to watch every year. If you haven’t seen these films, I highly recommend them all. This is not intended as a review of these films, only a recommendation list and a few of the reasons I suggest watching them.
For a long time, I have been a fan of cult films and movies that are considered “bad”. I am always looking for bad films that I haven’t heard of before. A few years ago while looking at the CNN website, I saw a link to an entertainment article that said “A Room with a Cult Following”. Before I clicked on the link, I assumed the article was about the film A Room with a View and I wondered why it would have a cult following. It turned out to be about a film called The Room by a first-time filmmaker called Tommy Wiseau. I found a copy of the film and decided to watch it by myself. I was sleepy the night I started watching it but didn’t want to fall asleep on it, so I stopped about halfway. The next night, I finished watching it. I had watched it in our living room and my wife was already in the bed for the night. She had not fallen asleep yet when I walked in and told her that I thought I had just watched the worst movie I had ever seen in my life. She could tell I was serious. She had watched with me many of the worst films ever made and for me to declare this one as the worst was saying something. She was sick and stayed at home from work the next day. She watched it that day and she agreed. While she was watching, she texted me a running commentary about how bad it was.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller