I woke up Sunday morning to the Pearl being shook. I thought it was the wind, it has done that before. About 5 minutes after it woke me up, I got up and went to go inside for a coffee and saw my right tail light was smashed. Apparently, a car had back into me in the parking lot and took off. Obviously, I was not happy about this. There were a few people that saw it, however could not give me enough info do to anything with it. I asked to see the surveillance videos, of course only the police can look at them during an investigation. I ended up getting some red and white tape to put over it for now and I will get it replaced soon. To fill out a report, I have to send it to Austin and who knows if anything will come of it, not sure it is worth the time or effort over a tail light.
After taking almost the entire first half of the day to take care of that, I finally got out to play. I liked the spot where I was the night before, on the corner of San Antonio and Stanton, for two reasons. The first is the acoustics there, and the second is there is traffic there. It was a nice day, and I was plating well! There was a man who passed by who was texting his daughter in Philly. She was on her way to see Peter White play, as he does every year, but there was a 52 car pile up and traffic was delayed for hours, she missed the show. He asked me if I would play a couple of Christmas tune for her via speaker phone. Of course I did, and she told him to tell me “It made her day!” That made me very happy, as well as her father (his name escapes me- Bill, I think. I am sorry) He took a picture of us to send to her as well. We had a short conversation after and then he gave me nice tip and left. I was grateful, not only for the tip but also the interaction, he was a wonderful man! Later on a man at the stop light ended up turning around and coming back to talk to talk to me. He also plays the saxophone. After a couple of minutes he wanted my opinion of something he was working on, so I said yes. I had no idea he had his horn with him. He put it together and after a warm up, played his tune. For a second, it reminded me of “Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop” but it was clearly his own thing and it sound good. Over the next 20 minutes or so, we went back and forth with conversation and some playing. He played me another one he is also working on, it too sounded good. It was a little bluesier. He also played a flute for a few minutes. While he was there we got a few tips and I wanted to split them, he said “No, please. Thank you for letting play with you!” Then he proceed to go to his car and get the biggest handful of change I have ever seen anyone put in my tip box and said, “Sorry, I don’t have any bills, but if you will accept this….” I chuckled and said “Thank you!” Again, very grateful for him and the interaction.
On Monday, I got out after sleeping pretty late. I didn’t sleep much the night before. I went back to that same location, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, right? Almost from the second I set up, it was one of the best shifts I have had since I started my trip. There were a few short interactions I was able to have. An older gent came right up to me and told me “In the name of St. Jude, I give you this” except he said it in Spanish. I said “Gracias” He said it again in English to make sure I understood, and I said “Thank you, so much” and shook his hand. He smiled, I smiled and he went on his way. I love that he did that in the name of St. Jude! Not only is he the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, he is much more. I feel I may have received another blessing! A young woman, named Estefania, came up and asked me where I got my training. I told her about PMAC and she asked if I gave lessons. I told her if she had a saxophone, I would be delighted to give a lesson or two while I was in El Paso. Turns out she plays piano and lives in Mexico, must have been here for the day. But I thought it was cool she asked if I gave lessons. I have only ever had one student, Ryan, and has since become a a dear friend. It is something I enjoy doing, maybe I will do again if I am in a place long enough, or maybe when I get back home.
I am going to be here at least one more day. When Ruben told me this city is friendly, he wasn’t kidding. Even when I am not playing, I find the people I talk to, to be very friendly. It is also very cool that I have made a couple of friends here. I still haven’t been to Rosa’s Cantina- I guess that will definitely be tomorrow!
I arrived in El Paso on Friday, late in the afternoon. Traffic was hectic along I-10 going into the city. It was a beautiful day along the second half of the drive. I came out of that nasty cold weather into a cloudless sky and warmer temps. I was very happy to finally be in El Paso. A few days earlier I had sent an email to the Artist’s Market Director about being able to play there on Saturday. I received a response on Friday afternoon and told I would be there at 9am. At 11:00 the scheduled buskers were going to be there. I had the first 2 hours.
Again with the cold, windy awful weather. I chose the route I chose because it is in the southwest. The people at the Artist’s Market even told me, it is never like this until maybe late January. I mean everyone was bundled up. For the first hour or so, there weren’t many people there- probably because of the weather- some of the vendors came over to see me and say hi, everyone made me feel quite welcome. Shortly after I started; a vendor, Christine, came over and gave me a button. She is an artist whose boyfriend also plays the saxophone. He inspires some of art work. The button was a print of one of her works of him. It was very sweet! Another vendor gave me a coffee when I could no longer feel my fingers. In between songs I warmed up my hands as best as I could. I was wearing finger less gloves, so my fingers felt like glass. I was invited to play over by a table where it wasn’t quite so windy. It was Christine’s table, her friend Bonnie and Bonnie’s Dad, Ruben were there. I want to tell you I lasted the two hours. I couldn’t do it, after just over an hour and a half, I couldn’t feel the keys or my fingers moving. I know it sounds like I am whining, but it was 26 degrees. I wanted to hang out there for a little while though. I put my gear away, put on another layer and got my good gloves on.
I wound up hanging out at Christine and Bonnie Ruben’s table. I wanted to hear the other buskers. They were pretty good, it was a band of four, an Irish band with a Spanish name, The San Patricios- The St. Patrick’s- I liked it! While I was hanging out checking out their table, and talking to Christine about her work, she actually gave me a signed print of “That Sax Guy” That is the name of the series which he inspired in her. I wanted some coffee and Bonnie took to where it was and we skipped a little bit, like the Wizard of Oz, to try to warm up. It didn’t last long, I don’t even think I was skipping right, anyway…I try not to be negative, but my coffee was lukewarm, at best. They sell hot fresh corn and they dress it up with cheese(I don’t know what kind), spices, hot sauce and butter. Bonnie got that, apparently it was delicious. I was talking with Ruben for a bit. He is a healer and he gave me some tea to try. Before I even got my first coffee there, he said to me, “You drink too much coffee.” Told me I lack a lot of minerals the tea will help to replenish them. I looked around at the other stuff. It was a pretty cool market. They have stuff from jewelry, to paintings, handmade wooden flutes and even some other hand made goods such as jams and stuff like that. They broke down there display early because it really was very hard to stay warm. I was invited to lunch, with Christine and Bonnie. We went to an Indian place Bonnie used to work at and had the buffet, it was quite good.
After lunch, they went off to paint a mural with the Art Club for a Women’s Center. The sun had come out and it warmed up a little. I went back downtown, to San Antonio Ave and got to work. I played about 90 minutes again. Apparently, the spot I was at was the beginning of the Christmas Parade Festival of Lights. I put my gear away again and wanted to warm up some, before I went back to watch the Parade. I got myself another coffee and for the second time that day, it was lukewarm. I got back before the Parade started and met a man named Mike. He was there with his family, his son was in the parade. I hung out with him and talked during the Parade. He was a very nice man. He asked, so I told him what I doing. He was the second person that day to tell me all of the awesomeness about El Paso. The Parade was well over an hour long, it was great! There were many floats that played “Feliz Navidad” I said “That is a popular song here, I have always liked this tune!” Mike said, “You can’t have Christmas in El Paso without Jose Feliciano!” After the Parade, there were fireworks. I couldn’t stay outside for those. I went to the coffee shop to warm up again. By the time I got to the Pearl, I could hear them, but could not see them. I did some work and I called it a night.
I will say everyone I have met here is super cool and very welcoming. It makes for a nicer stay in the city I am in.
P.S. I have to find my way to Rosa’a Cantina before I leave this town!
Since I was not allowed to busk in San Antonio, I decided to leave shortly after I heard that. I left in the afternoon around 3pm. I figured I would drive 3 hours west on I-10, to a town called Sonora. Along the way, the views were really beautiful. Mountains and plateaus way off in the distance made for a nice drive. They saying “everything is bigger in Texas” apparently goes for roadkill too. I will not tell you what I saw, but there were some big animals along the road that weren’t raccoons or squirrels. I pulled into the “downtown” that my gps directed me to and found a gas station that was also a food mart and had a sub shop in it. I inquired about the downtown area, and there isn’t one. I got back on the interstate and found my way to Ft. Stockton. It was another 2+ hours, so by the the time I got there it was getting late. I had the sub I bought in Sonora and called it a night. The next day was cold and overcast. It didn’t really matter, there wasn’t much in Ft. Stockton either. After doing some work, I decided to hit the road and try to make it almost 2 hours down the I-10. Big mistake, I should have stayed put.
It hadn’t rained yet up to this point. I got on the highway, and it began. It was very light at first. It didn’t matter, I have no heat in the van so it pretty much froze on there rather quickly. It wasn’t too bad, for almost the first hour. After that, it became a nightmare. Every 5 or so miles, I had to pull over and scrape the ice off of windshield with a travel mug and towel. I admit, I was ill prepared for an ice storm in SW TEXAS!! I didn’t want to be driving after night fall, and that was coming quick. I was still a ways away from anywhere. I will also admit, I got a little scared. After it got dark I was concerned with black ice. Though the speed limit is 80 on that road I was going 45, 50 tops. It only got worse. Right before night fall, there was a dense fog. I could not believe this drive! It was so dense, I couldn’t see the trucker’s brake lights 2 seconds after they passed me, it was like they disappeared. I even missed the exit I wanted. As it happens, there was nothing at that exit either. I had 26 miles to go to the next exit. Finally, I saw some lights a ahead, as the fog was clearing a little. I told myself, no matter what, I am stopping here. I did, it ended up taking me over 3 hours to go just under 2. I didn’t care at this point, I just wanted to get inside. It was a gas station, truck stop. And oh, the characters that came in there in the course of the night.
After a few hours, I discovered a sitting area, and I saw a couple of dudes sitting in there. I grab my book and I was going to write and possibly catch up on my journal. I got as far as the date. I got talking to these two gentlemen. Ken, a trucker out of Louisiana and Willie, a man living off the grid about 5 miles from there. Willie was telling me of his solar panels and that got me asking questions. Ken got involved in the conversation and shortly he was telling his life story. Willie and I didn’t get to say much over the next couple of hours, but Ken had a lot of stories and he was good at telling them, I enjoyed listening to him talk. It turns out, he and Willie have both lived in Houston, so they were able to relate on a few things. It was about 2am and I went out to start the van for about 10 minutes and the conversation ended. Ken had to get some sleep and WIllie was going home. Before he left, Willie invited me to stop by his place and he’d make me a green tea. We exchanged numbers and he sent me a text with directions. My van was encased in ice, so I put off going in for as long as possible. About an hour went by and I had to go to bed, it was after 3am. I hunkered down and bundled up and got under every blanket I have. I was warm enough, thankfully! That day was an adventure in itself.
When I woke up, it was still overcast and really cold. Despite that, I was curious about Willie’s place, plus a green tea sounded good. I called him after I got off the exit and he directed me to his house. True to his word he made me some gunpowder green tea. He has a tiny little cabin out there and his brother help him to build a shop, so he can eventually build himself a bigger cabin to live in. He is in constant search of alternative energies and has even made a couple of his own designs to harness some of these. He is constantly working on these things. I spent almost an hour there and then I got back on the road. We wished each other well and I thank him for the tea.
I got back on the highway and there were a few drops of rain and I thought- I can’t do this again. Fortunately, that is all it was.About 20 minutes later, the sun came out and it warmed up. I went the rest of the way to El Paso from there and it turned into a beautiful drive through the desert. Everyone who drives through Texas, talks about how big it is and how long it takes to get through it. You know, I find once you accept how vast and big Texas is- sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. It is really beautiful!
There isn’t a whole lot to say about San Antonio as far as busking goes as I was not allowed to do it there. There were two things I did there though that were pretty good though. I went and got myself a haircut, an early Christmas present from my Mom. The barber shop I went to, I found by accident on my way to Supercuts. This was right there, so I went in. There was only one man working there, an older Hispanic gentleman. As he was finishing up his customer and starting on the next, I was next in line. I looked around this shop and it was the most badass barber shop I have ever been in. There were four other stations in there and each one of them had a framed and matted poster of Al Pacino as Scarface above them. One of which, had a shadow box of the the gun from the movie. Whether or not it was THE prop, I don’t know, I didn’t ask- it looked cool though. Also, at these stations, they all had a pair of nun-chucks. It was pretty wild, the only station that didn’t have these, was the older gent. Across from his station, was Marilyn Monroe. After I got in the chair, he asked what I wanted and I told him. We talk a little bit, you know, the usual small talk. A few minutes later, the other barbers showed up for their shifts. I don’t know if they were all related or not, but my guess is, it doesn’t matter. They were certainly a family and my barber was definitely the Patriarch. There was an air of love and respect in this shop. The conversations some of these guys were having were about fighting and that sort of thing. One of the other customers, a regular, perhaps- was talking to these other guys about how he was messing around with his room mate and got beat. Apparently he held his own but the other guy was too fast and hit harder. It turns out, the whole thing was over a soap opera! He was messing with his room mate’s routine when he went to change the channel. I guess one doesn’t do that.
I really didn’t want to cut my hair, but it was all split ends and not doing anything I wanted it to. It was constantly sticking out of my hat and it was quite long enough to pull back. As it all started coming off, I actually started to feel a little bit of relief. I had long hair twice before and it just didn’t look good on me. I really don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway, my guy asked me if I wanted to keep the beard, I said no. I looked at the cost of what a shave was and I thought I was in trouble, I would have been $10 short. He took the time and buzzed my hair, gave me a shave, and then touched everything up with the straight edge. When I was done, I said to him “I came in looking like a bum, you made me look human again. Thank you!” He looked up at me with pride and respect in his eyes and with a little smile and a nod of his head, he said “Fifteen dollars” I couldn’t believe it, he was so sweet! When I walked in, I gave him the full $20. Thank you Ma, for my Christmas present and helping me to maybe, make that man’s day too! There was so much machismo in that shop, and this one man is able to balance it with love and tenderness! At least, this is how I see saw it.
The second thing I did was stumble onto The Alamo. I say stumbled, because I was looking for a place to play and saw that. I had no idea the city was built around it. It is kind of unfortunate though, across the street, there are a lot of shops that almost remind me of Gatlinburg. Anyway, when you go in the first room is the Shrine. There are no pictures allowed inside, in fact you really don’t even want to have your cell in your hands. There are some awesome artifacts in the Shrine as well as in the other parts. In the other section, there are some rifles, sabres handwritten documents with the translation next to it. There was even the snuff box Santa Anna presented to Sam Houston. My friend Scott had a great- (great?) grandfather who actually made Crockett’s rifle. The rifles were from that time period, I asked if it was in fact Crockett’s rifle, and that is what the man told me- from that time period. Either way, the craftsmanship was superb! I saw a model of the battle The Alamo inside the gift shop and it is hard to imagine it with skyscrapers and souvenir shops taking up most of that space now. As usual, I tried to imagine what it must have been like during those two weeks. Especially at the end of it all, when the fighting started and the Alamo was taken. As I mentioned, it was hard to do with tall buildings and such, but it was cool be in the same place as Crockett, Bowie and the others who fought and died there.
When I finally found a spot to play, I saw a police officer right there so I asked him the usual questions. He was a nice officer, but unlike some past experiences, I could not charm this one. He showed me the ordinance in print. I had no idea playing a saxophone was covered under goods and services. I searched for over an hour the night before, and found nothing saying I couldn’t busk. I did find a few that said one could busk, but they were a couple of years old. So, I had to go. I didn’t see much else, except parts of the River Walk and yes, it is as cool as I heard was. In fact San Antonio is a beautiful city. Howeverif you are a busker coming through Texas, do not go through San Antonio, save yourself some time and money.
*As a silly side note, when inside, I whispered “Remember the Alamo” and thought of the Happy Days episode when they were talking about whispering that in a girl’s ear before kissing her. It was a brief second, if that. I don’t know what I am thinking sometimes, please tell me I am not the only one that remembers that episode!
I stayed in Austin to see the bats. I had been warned that most of them have already migrated. I was also told there would still be some, just not the “summer extravaganza” that one hears about. I got to the Congress St. Bridge about 40 minutes before the sunset. As I waited, I met a young man named Andy, who also was there to see the bats. It was first time there as well. He was here from Taiwan on business. We got to talking and had a pretty cool conversation. We both thought the boats in the water were there to see the bats too, they weren’t, it was there crew team, I think and the other boat was a river boat tour. As it got later, I asked someone walking by, what the story was. He said we were on the wrong side. So we crossed and saw “some” just circling under the bridge and one or two taking off into the dark. People who told me, were right on the money. But at least, I saw a beautiful sunset, made a new friend and got to see some of the bats! Not a total loss at all!
I can’t believe I forgot to mention this before; the night before, when I was on a break, I heard some beautiful opera music. I didn’t know where it was coming from, just knew that it was close by. When I went to work and I got back, there was still some opera being played and some other music. I went across the street to get a sub, and saw people looking up. I stopped and looked up. I had never seen anything like it, I can only describe it as “High Rise” Ballet. People on ropes hanging off the building and doing a choreography to the music. There was obviously a story between the man and the woman. The other parts of the cast did a wonderful job too. Between the ballet and music it was so beautiful- I cried! I stood there and watched the last 20 minutes of their show in awe! When they were done, I turned to go in the sub shop and they had closed! That was fine with me, as I found another sub shop a little while later.
After the bats, I left for San Antonio.
Even when Austin is “slow” there are more people walking around town on these days than other cities that are considered busy. Although, that doesn’t mean they tip as well as they do on Friday or Saturday. As I mentioned also, with Austin being the Live Music Capital of the World, it is hard for buskers to well here. Anyway, the last couple days in Austin have been pretty cool otherwise. I got to walk around for a little bit, I try not to walk too much on account of my ankle but, there is a lot to see here. I haven’t even scratched the surface! I was going to leave this morning and head to San Antonio, but one of the main reasons I wanted to come to Austin was to see the bats! I found out yesterday, when and where to be. So I am going to be there tonight to see the bats and then head to San Antonio.
I have met some cool people in this town. On my first day, I met a man named John and he gave me his info. I called him yesterday and it turns out he has also done some traveling. I am looking forward to sharing stories with him. The security guards, Bruce and Z, who work for the building on the corner I played at. They were awesome! They were kinda looking out for me while I was out there and we had some great conversations too. There are a several cool statues downtown, only two I took photos of. One was Willie Nelson, right outside of Austin City Limits and the other is a statue of Angelina Eberly. It was her actions with a canon, that help keep Austin the state capital instead of moving to Houston. I met a young woman named Katrina, who was working to raise money for Philippine children, in the wake of the typhoon. I could not give any money. Grateful for all of the help I have been receiving, I thought it would be nice to do something. I told her I would set up and play for an hour and whatever I made in tips, I would donate. Well, that lasted about 6 minutes. The security guard there was not as cool. I was right on 6th street. He told me “No, no way” I didn’t argue. As he walked by, he also told me the police might give me a citation for soliciting if they saw me doing that. Well, the police had seen me a million times, and I had no problems. I guess there are certain areas on 6th St. one can not busk. Needless to say, I received no tips in in that brief time. I said “I am sorry, I tried” She said, “It’s okay, thank you for trying.” We shook hands and I went on my way.
There were a lot of interactions with people while I was playing. The people here are friendly and genuinely love music. Austin seems to be a friendly city and generally pretty clean. I like the idea of all the food trailers in this town. I would liked to have gone to more of them for that “Austin” experience. I got to go to one and that was a lot of fun! I am a little disappointed I lost the card of the young man I met in Fayettville, AR. It must have been when I reorganized the Pearl. I have looked everywhere for that card, Billy, if you read this, please know that I am sorry. Rest assured, I will be passing back through here again at some point, I like this town for a lot of reasons. If I was to settle here, I would definitely need to get a full time job and look for a band to join, or perhaps start one. It would not be easy. I talked with my friend who lives here, and have done some of my on research. Though I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, the cost of living is very high here. For now, I am going to continue my travels and see what else is out there. Hopefully, I will get to meet more of you out there!
It wasn’t easy to leave Dallas. Scott and Traci and there kids made it very difficult to leave after practically making me a member of their family. Though the weather wasn’t very good at all, until almost the end, they were wonderful. I really can’t say enough about them and I may have to just do a blog post about them and my week there. We’ll see!
Anyway, I got to Austin on Friday, around 6:30 and I started playing around 7:00. A friend of mine, asked a friend of hers about the scene there and he she relayed what he said. It was most helpful and finding a good spot, it kind of took the guess work out of it, which makes for an easier time. I went to the corner of Congress and 6th St. All up and down the main part of 6th St. are bars and different venues playing live music. A lot of them with no cover charge, it is hard to compete with that as a busker. I went up a little further and set up. I played for almost 2 hours. There was guy working security there, his name is Bruce. Turns out he is from East Kingston, NH. Not far from my hometown. We had some cool conversations while he was making his rounds. I felt a little safer, knowing he was around. When I was done, I met up with my friend Nikki who used to live in Savannah. She took me to place called Friend’s where there was a great band playing. It is, so far, the only place I have been to see a band. She bought me a Lone Star and we caught up a little bit, before she saw a friend of hers who is leaving on Monday. It was fun hanging out listening to them and the band! Nikki asked if I wanted to go see this other band, but honestly, I was wiped out. We made plans for lunch on Saturday.
Based on the info I got, I went to San Antonio St. on Saturday morning. The Farmer’s Market was near there. I played there for two hours. I feel I may have got there a little late, but it was still a decent shift. I got to meet and talk to some cool people. When I was done, I went to Torchy’s Tacos. Apparently, in Austin, the thing to do is get food at trailers/food trucks- especially tacos. I wanted the full experience, so I went to the “Trailer Park Diner” to meet up with Nikki for a late lunch. Through some sort of miscommunication or perhaps I went to the wrong place, I ended up having a brushfire taco by myself. It was pretty good too, I must say! I would suggest anyone going to Austin, give it a try. There are also other trucks in the Park that have lots of different things. When I finished, I tried to see if I could get together with my friends Emily and Jim, also from Savannah. They were in the area for the holiday weekend. Apparently, not in the direct area. They were a little too far for us to meet up. It’s all good, I will see them when I get back to Savannah.
I went back out, and played for another 2 hour shift. This time, on 7th and Congress. There was a dude who likes to play a drum just for the sake of playing. He is not busking, just beating on an African drum. He was there the night before too. During that shift, there were a couple people who came from the restaurant across the street, who were dining on the balcony who liked what I was doing. I had a lot of fun on that shift. I had to feed the meter, so I took a break.
I did a third 2 hour shift. I went back to 6th, the drummer was gone. I got all set up and played 4 notes, literally, 4 notes and there was an incident. The police were pretty busy that night. Apparently, the corner of Congress and 6th St. is a place where a lot goes down. There were a couple of incidents earlier, when I was 7th. Oddly enough, I never felt unsafe, because of the police. Even when this incident occurred. I played 4 notes and a man was crossing the street. He starts yelling something at he top of his lungs while looking down 6th St. He has crossed the street and now on my side, about 6-8 feet away from me. I had my hand in my pocket, in case he got to close. He was hostile, and volatile, I wasn’t taking any chances. Let’s be clear- I did not have a gun, but I have a little something to protect myself. As he gets closer, here comes the police. Almost right up on the corner. He got out and told the man to stop. Also to get his hands out of his pockets, I took mine out too! There was another cruiser that pulled up and then two bike officers. THey don’t mess around in Austin. I saw the Paddy wagon out earlier twice, on my second shift. While they were cuffing this man, I started to play something soft and then stopped, it felt weird, So I waited until they were done and gone. I mean this all happened 6-8 feet in front of me. Damn phone didn’t have enough juice to work the camera! Fortunately, that was the last incident of the night while I was there. I got to see Bruce as he was making his rounds again that night. I enjoyed talking to thim.
I don’t remember the last time I had a 6 hour playing day, but it felt good. In some ways, I am glad I was not able to meet up with my friends earlier in the day as it gave me the time to go out and play. Though it would have been nice to see them! Although, it is so competitive in Austin, I had a decent day out there. But really, it was very cool to be out there for 6 hours. I mean I can’t do that everyday- yet- or I will have no lip! But I am definitely shooting for that! ,
I have been in the Dallas area for about a week. I have been a guest of Scott and Traci in Carrollton. They invited me to stay for Thanksgiving. I had never met them in person until last Thursday. I met Traci on Facebook or Twitter through a mutual friend. There have been a few people from social networking that I have met in person during this trip. I hope to meet as many as I can! Anyway, After the first day I went out, the next 2-3 days it either rained or was just too cold to go out. All I can say, is I am so grateful I had a place to be inside, dry and warm. It also gave me a chance to get to know this family. Scott and Traci have 2 kids and I am just in awe of this family and how close knit they are. One hears a lot today about how “family” time is kind of losing its way. Not here. I don’t want to go into their private lives too much, but they do a lot of things
together. People stop by all the time and they are welcome, anytime. They have also made me feel very much part of their family.
On the first day I was able to go out, I went to the Denton area, just north of Dallas. On Traci’s recommendation, I went to a place called Weinberger’s Deli. I talked to them about playing outside their restaurant. They didn’t have a problem with it. However, since the sidewalk is city property, it wouldn’t make a difference if the police asked me to leave. They didn’t come, so it wasn’t an issue. When I was done, I went inside to thank them and Charlie, the co-manager, asked me if I wanted a sandwich. He was very nice and he made me a lunch, complete with chips and a brownie! Weinberger’s is a huge supporter of the Denton Blues Festival, which means they love music. I was grateful for that and the lunch. They have a great menu and the sandwiches are delicious! On that day, it was a slow day, but there was a moment with a little girl, that just made my heart melt. She had the biggest smile while her Mom and Grandma stayed in their parking space with the window down through a couple of tunes. It was so adorable!
After lunch, I went to Fry St.. That is the area where the college is. I got right out on the corner where all the action was. I played a for just over an hour and the wind had picked up. It was a nice sunny day, a little chilly but not bad. The wind got a little out of control, blowing leaves in my face and almost knocking over my tip box. It was kinda of comical. By this time it just got too cold, I went back to the house. The next day, Tuesday was cloudy, cold and overcast. I did manage to get out for a 90 minute shift in Carrollton, at the town Square. I imagine,the weather had something to do with business, but at least I was trying.
Wednesday was a big day. Scott and Traci own a Chick fil-a and they had me come in play for while during lunch. That was a great time, the people seemed to enjoy the show- customers and staff. I know I enjoyed it! When I was done, one of their employees played guitar for a while. His name is Robert, 20 years old and really good on the guitar! I stayed and listened to him and thoroughly enjoyed what he was doing. He did some really nice work a 12 string also. When I left there, I went back into downtown Dallas, to Pelican Plaza.
My first 90 minute shift went okay. My second 90 minute shift went very well. People were out, and they were walking by and having a wonderful time. I like downtown Dallas at night, the way it is lit up. I was working down the street from a green outlined building and there were purple lights lighting up the upper half of another building. On my way back to the house, I got a little lost. I got to see the city lit up from the outside. By far, so far, Dallas is the prettiest city I have seen at night time. The skyline is unbelievable! I wish I could have taken a photo of that.
Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving. The list of things I am thankful for is a long one, but here are a few- I am thankful, not just today, but everyday for the people who come into my life. I am also thankful for the opportunity to take this trip I am on, the help I am receiving along the way. Obviously, my friends and family and the love between all of us. I am thankful for you, my readers, fans, listeners for taking an interest in me and my music.
Thank you, to all of you! May you all have a most wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones and a safe weekend!