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Roger Bissell, the Muse-Seeker
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June 2006

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks!

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2008, I thought I'd take a breath, reflect a bit, and express my gratitude for the good things that have happened during the past month.

First, I had a very nice trip to the Southeast in early November. It began auspiciously enough on Election Day with a flight to Nashville, Tennessee, where I picked up a rental car and dropped in on my older daughter, Rebecca, and middle son, Andrew, and grandchildren for a brief visit, then motored up to Lexington, Kentucky for a two-day visit with my oldest son, Charlie. He and I watched election returns for a while, but as you all know it was over fairly early. The next day we knocked around for a while and ended up playing nine games of pool. (That's how many games it took for my old "touch" to return. It has been years since I played that much pool, and my embarrassing performance each time I play a game or two reflects it all too well.)

On Nov. 6, I returned to Nashville, had another brief visit with older daughter, middle son, and grandchildren, then dropped off the rental at the airport, where I flew to Charlotte, North Carolina to join the Side Street Strutters Jazz Band for two days of pops concerts with the Charlotte Symphony. The concerts went very well, the crowd spontaneously shouting during some of the rounds of applause on our Saturday concert. And the city was a vibrant, cosmopolitan, booming place, with fabulous food. Ah, the blackened pork chops at Mert's--don't miss them, if you can!

On Nov. 9, I again returned to Nashville, picked up another rental, and proceeded to have three wonderful days of visits with older daughter, middle son, and grandkids. (Youngest son was busy working double shifts the entire time. But see later...) Andrew and I had fun recording a song I wrote based on his granddad's poem, "My Desire to Retire." Now all you curious readers out there can hear what I sound like trying to sing country music! Andrew did the studio engineering as well as all the instrumental tracks except for a little non-descript piano plinking, which I did, along with the vocal and all the "church choir" parts at the end. What a blast! (This was the first time I've overdubbed multiple voice harmony parts since about 1978, when I did arranging and vocals for the Louis Brown Orchestra album, "Big Band Bridge." Sadly, it has been out of distribution for many years. Sometime soon I will do an "In Memoriam" for Louis and upload some tracks from the album at that time. )

I returned home to SoCal on Wed. Nov. 12, just in time to meet up with the Strutters, who motored up to Oroville (north of Sacramento) for a community concert and an elementary school "outreach" concert on the 13th. These both went quite well, too. After returning from Oroville, I met up with Becky, and we drove up to Hollywood, where we rendezvoused with our college friend, Milo Schield and his wife, Cynthia. They treated us to the Reason magazine 40th anniversary celebration, which included a gala (banquet etc.) on Friday evening the 14th and a full day of panel discussions on Saturday. Milo again joined us for dinner Sunday evening at the Abbey in Orange, a converted church which serves great steaks, trout almondine, and what have you. We discussed life in general, the future under Pres. Obama, and a couple of projects that we will start working on in 2009 (one on logic, one on music).

Then, the prodigal (youngest) son, Daniel, arrived on Thurs. Nov. 20 for 3 days in the area. He and a friend came to Disneyland one day (seeing me in my Pearly Band glory!), did some recording in Long Beach another day, attended an improv theater in Fullerton one evening, and came over for a family dinner one other evening. He is planning a return visit in May, and is seriously considering moving here next summer to pursue his career in acting, voice-overs, improv, etc., possibly even applying for employment in the character department at Disneyland.

Tomorrow we will be having a family dinner after I get off work. Becky and her daughters, Desi and Rissi, and our daughter Rachel will collaborate on making a turkey dinner "with all the fixin's", which I will gratefully help to demolish, along with Rissi's guy Thomas and their little boy, Auggie. A nice way to cap off a month very rich in quality time with family and friends--and to launch into another month with more of the same on tap!

Thanks for letting me share.
REB
9:35 am pst 


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