Saturday, January 23, 2010

Clarifications, Expositions, and Compositions

First off, I guess I need to clarify a few things. More than one person was a little confused about my Facebook post concerning January 22, 2009. That was the date of Charlotte's first surgery to debulk the tumor in her brain. 6:30am was about when they started getting her ready.

Aunt B mentioned CJ doing her princess wave as we walked by the 7th floor lounge at MCV. I had almost forgotten that. I was so freaked out inside that my head was feeling fuzzy (the way it does when I REALLY get upset). I remember feeling that I needed to keep it together as we walked down the hall to the elevators. I'd seen this scene before in countless movies and TV documentaries wondering which way the dramatic shoe was going to fall at the end. (Does my life completely revolve around mass media!?) The real terror is light years worse in person, believe me.

Down in the pre-op area was where Mommy sang Frosty to her just before they wheeled her into surgery.

I remember shaking inside. Not shivering like being cold but more like a constant vibrating; like there was a humming going on inside me. Weird, I know.

I also remember feeling so completely helpless.

So that's what Jan 22, 2009 was all about.

On to other things...It's great to commemorate, bad to dwell.

Here's my Facebook post from 4:00-something this morning:

"Yesterday was halfway decent, considering... Spiritually, musically, financially, geographically, gastronomically... I'll do a full blog post later today but I just got back form Shepherdstown, WV and I need sleep."
Can't believe I could even type at that point.

To expand...
Spiritually - I was ready to be very mopey, grumpy, and unhappy all day yesterday. Just didn't happen. I thought about Charlotte all day and had a "moment" on the road just south of Shepherdstown, WV but for the most part, I was moderately cool.

Musically - Uptown had a workshop/gig at Shepherd University yesterday which went VERY well. The workshop was supposed to be aimed at the vocal students. They don't have a jazz vocal group yet but seem very ready to jump in and try. Ginny and I were going to split the time with me giving some fundamental, before-you-form-the group homework and Ginny guiding the group singing portion. We were also asked to touch on the career aspect of music, being honest but not terrifying the students! :-)

Well, of course, I kind of got on a roll talking shop and hogged most of the time. We did the other stuff but it was more like 80% Rog and 20% everything else but the students were responding and we were learning stuff. Some were even TAKING NOTES!!! Uh-oh...

Funny side note: I also spread the Pomplamoose word. I was doing the shortest possible bit on improv and mentioned that the easiest way to start getting licks under the belt was to sing tunes they already know with just syllables. I started with quick examples like the ABC song, Happy Birthday, etc... Then I started "scatting" "All The Single Ladies" which really seemed to amuse them. Then I digressed, as I usually do, and told them about Pomplamoose's version. (Jack and Nataly, I'll expect a check (or maybe just a bar of soap) within the week.)

The evening concert went very well and we got a standing "O!" There was also good, moderately healthy food in the dressing room including a bag of Gala apples! Yum! (That's the "gastronomic" part)

Because of circumstances I'll go into later, I drove myself up to the gig. I ended up taking Highway 340 into Shephardtown which unexpectedly found me in Harpers Ferry. I was inspired and pulled up "Tom Burleigh's Dead" by Eddie From Ohio. I think I listened to it 4 times in a row. Perfect! Here: You should too! :-) OK So it's only a snippet - Go buy it for Pete's sake!

By the way...what a GORGEOUS area of our country!

To close out the musical portion of this epic, here is a message I got from Julia Dollison. Though you'd might like to see it.

"Thinking of you lots today...

Kerry and I just finished tracking a cappella vocals for his transcription of Keith Jarrett's live (improvised) solo piano recording of "Radiance 8" (commissioned by Long Beach Poly). I added lyrics to it this past fall, but now that we're finally laying it down, it occurs to me that they're really about CJ.

As much as I wanted to post this on your wall, I didn't want to take up that much space, but you're welcome to share it if you wish. We'll send you our recording as soon as we mix it down... :)


(Roger's note: Kerry and Julia are mutants! In a good, musical way, of course)


Sometimes in her sleep, she smiles.
Is she dreaming? is she far away?

Sometimes in her sleep, she laughs.
Is she happy? does she wish she could stay?

Sometimes in her sleep, she cries,
and you hold her and pray.

Morning comes, and she'll forget -
Things we dream about never make much sense.
Then the sun shines in, so bright,
just like her radiance.

All these moments fly by so quickly,
but she never seems to mind -
as long as you're by her side.

Sometimes in her sleep,
She awakens to find you were there all the while.
With a smile, she returns to her dreams."

Beautiful. I'll leave you with that for now. More later.


  1. Beautiful lyrics!

    And that segueway (commemorating vs. dwelling) reminds me of a favorite quote from Michael Durant (the pilot from the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" incident in Somalia). On dealing with his terrible experience there, he says, "Look back, but don't stare."

    Thinking of you guys .....

  2. O my goodness that is beautiful! I think a few tears slipped out (okay maybe a whole lot). Sending prayers and thanking of you everyday. Megan and Bella Morton


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