Truck Stop Troubadour Volume 21-Growing

A wise old professor once said to me, when everything in my life was crumbling to shit, "Don't worry. This too shall pass."  A month later when everything started to click perfectly, I ran to his office to tell him all my great news and how I just could not believe how incredible everything had become, he listened patiently then looked me straight in the eye and with a poker face I'll remember until my dying day said, "Don't worry. This too shall pass."
The point was not lost on me. But I did notice a few distinctions in this theory. A few blogs back I remember writing about how I was going to take this easy job with a low end trucking company and supplement my income with money I was making on the side playing music.  It seemed like a viable plan at the time, but a few things took place since February that changed how I felt about that. Regardless of the mechanics, the overwhelming reason to change that approach came to me the day I realized that I had to give a certain amount of my time to somebody everyday in order to make a living, why not give it to the highest bidder? In other words, if I have to be away from the house 11 to 14 hours a day anyway, doesn't it make more sense to come home after earning $275 instead of $160?  I mean this is the kind of difference we're talking about. Granted, there's quite a bit more work involved in the higher paying job, but once again, if you have to be away from the house for that long every day anyway, why spend that time on your ass when you could be shaking your thing and making your family happier in the process?  Besides I sleep better when I work harder. So-blammo!-a decision has been made.
We tend to bandy about words like decision without stopping to truly ponder their real meanings. The etymology of the word decision is not too far from the word incision. It comes from a German term which essentially means to cut away all other possibilities. So when I told a truck driver friend of mine that I passed the drug test and the background check and I told my current job it was my last day, he proceeded to lecture me about how short sighted that was. "You should've just taken a leave of absence from your job and made sure everything was kosher with your new one.  What if you don't like it?  What if you can't handle the work?"
I felt a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach when he brought those things up, but as I continued driving down 84 near Hartford, I remembered what the word decision meant.  There is no going back. I want that money not this money. I left myself no out on purpose. Once I became comfortable with the reality of that, I felt a wave of euphoria wash over me. I am striving. I am achieving. I am pushing myself into uncomfortable places and forcing myself to grow.  That is where I find the juice of life.
For the past couple of years, my M.O. has been to play a few band gigs at the start of winery season to create a stir and get my name around. I like to find the best players I can and make as big a splash as possible before settling back into my solo work.  This year, as anyone who knows me can attest, was truly special. I decided to ask the greatest Jazz organ/piano player in NY, "what would I have to pay you to play this gig with me?" He threw out a number and I came up with it. I mean sometimes you just need to do those things. In addition to that I was also able to get one of New Paltz's hottest rhythm sections and I booked a gig at The Sloop Brewery in Elizaville for Mother's Day. Then I asked MK from WDST if I could bring them onto Locally Grown to promote it (I could gush on and on about how wonderful MK is--I've been grinding and grinding for decades and she has given me more exposure in the last year than anyone has in the past 20--so she said "sure!"
Long story short, you can't miss with a band like that backing you up. But something no less than magical happened after the band left the stage.  We still had an hour and a half to fill and I figured I'd keep the crowd happy with my winery repertoire. I opened with a rendition of Me and Bobby McGee where I could feel myself not only hitting all the notes that Janis would hit but the textures were very damn close. So close that I could feel electricity charging off of me and slamming into the crowd and then zapping right back at me.  The hairs on the back of my neck were standing straight out. Then a grunged out version of a Stones song. Then a hyper speed version of Me and Julio.
The energy exchange between me and everyone in the room was intense.
I bring this up because at one point in my life I felt utterly uncomfortable playing to a room with nothing but me, a guitar and a harmonica. I felt like I was trying to penetrate a dark room with a thin treble and people would just ignore me as they waited for the rest of the band who wasn't showing up.
Once again the same story held true. I faced those uncomfortable situations and I left myself the choice of becoming really good at it or just not doing it anymore.
Now I am leaving out the part where I worked really hard for years and I bought myself a sick sounding Gibson J-45, a nice PA, a few little extras here and there--and all this stuff helps a lot--but it was those countless hours of singing the same song over and over, taping it, listening back and then building up a set of 50 of those.
Striving. Achieving. Pushing myself into uncomfortable situations and forcing myself to grow.

 

Sloop Brewery Mother's Day 2017

13 comments

  • Virginia Sommer

    Virginia Sommer

    What happened to 'Lemons From Lemonade"?

    What happened to 'Lemons From Lemonade"?

  • Billy Manas

    Billy Manas

    Well Virginia,I began writing articles for Elephant Journal in early June and part of the publishing agreement is that they have sole ownership of the material. In accordance with this agreement, I took down anything I planned on using in my EJ articles. You can access these pieces by googling Billy Manas Elephant Journal. Thanks for your question Virginia.

    Well Virginia,I began writing articles for Elephant Journal in early June and part of the publishing agreement is that they have sole ownership of the material. In accordance with this agreement, I took down anything I planned on using in my EJ articles. You can access these pieces by googling Billy Manas Elephant Journal. Thanks for your question Virginia.

  • Melissa

    Melissa Mission Viejo

    I truly appreciate your writing and your perseverance in life, especially when it’s been damn hard. You are very wise to use all of this for good. Valuable life lessons in the struggle. Rock on, stay clean and sober, know that your dreams are very much there for a reason!!! I believe they are like acorns just waiting to blossom into a giant oak tree. Right conditions, right timing. Never give up.

    I truly appreciate your writing and your perseverance in life, especially when it’s been damn hard. You are very wise to use all of this for good. Valuable life lessons in the struggle. Rock on, stay clean and sober, know that your dreams are very much there for a reason!!! I believe they are like acorns just waiting to blossom into a giant oak tree. Right conditions, right timing. Never give up.

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    I have so much - So, very, VERY Much! To 'Learn' From You! & To 'Share' With You! The Stories, the Lyrics, Demos & Songs! (Yes! My Own!) I Am 'Woman' - Now, Hear, me 'Roar'! How ever, do I make THAT Happen¿? Lol! 😉

    I have so much - So, very, VERY Much!
    To 'Learn' From You!
    &
    To 'Share' With You!

    The Stories, the Lyrics, Demos & Songs!
    (Yes! My Own!)
    I Am 'Woman' - Now, Hear, me 'Roar'!

    How ever, do I make THAT Happen¿?
    Lol! 😉

  • Billy Manas

    Billy Manas

    😁

    😁

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    What an INCREDIBLE Smile you have, fine Sir! I have to run out, to get a few errands ran & Several 'Things-To-Be-Do' - DONE! THAT Said - When I return, I believe I'll start with a 'Poem' on ADDICTION I wrote many years ago! Yes! I think I'll start THERE! 😉 To a WONDERFUL Saturday Morning! 🌻 x

    What an INCREDIBLE Smile you have, fine Sir!

    I have to run out, to get a few errands ran & Several 'Things-To-Be-Do' - DONE!

    THAT Said - When I return, I believe I'll start with a 'Poem' on ADDICTION I wrote many years ago!

    Yes!
    I think I'll start THERE! 😉

    To a WONDERFUL Saturday Morning! 🌻 x

  • Bobbi Anne

    Bobbi Anne Naples

    You should do some YouTube recordings...seriously! People get famous off that little gizmo! I love your writing voice...reminds me of my angel guy Josh-our son who was a brilliant, if sometimes snarky writer! We lost that bright light a few weeks before his 23rd birthday to an (accidental-I HOPE) overdose. So whenever I hear a writer with a clear voice who has walked his path..I sit straight UP- listen - and CHEER! Keep on keepin' on my friend...you're almost famous!!

    You should do some YouTube recordings...seriously! People get famous off that little gizmo!
    I love your writing voice...reminds me of my angel guy Josh-our son who was a brilliant, if sometimes snarky writer! We lost that bright light a few weeks before his 23rd birthday to an (accidental-I HOPE) overdose. So whenever I hear a writer with a clear voice who has walked his path..I sit straight UP- listen - and CHEER! Keep on keepin' on my friend...you're almost famous!!

  • Billy Manas

    Billy Manas

    Thank you beautiful friend

    Thank you beautiful friend

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    Wow! My Best Friend DIED in our 20's . . . However, it WAS By 'His' Choice & It was horrendous! On MANY Levels, for many Reasons - Suffice it to say, that it was primarily because he tried to do 'It' - IN FRONT OF ME! When that - FAILED & He 'Followed' my advice . . . Due to being 'Turned away' - By not ONE, but TWO Hospitals, because their 'Crisis Team's Did NOT come in until 11AM! Well, he just couldn't WAIT! & So, he then Comitted Suicide . . . In front of HIS Father! (I apologize for dropping that on you, like THAT - Especially, being that you are a Father & Have just described losing your own Son!!) I am, so Very, VERY Sorry for Your Loss & I send you My Sincerest of Sympathies! One day - I'll share with you the 'Manner' of my Friend's actual Death & Some of the particulars . . . I think that's a bit too much, straight out of the gate & So, I'll wait a bit before I disclose more of the finer, DEEPER - Heartbreaking Details! I also apologize for being 'Tardy' - I am One who tends to be 'On Time'! My Mom however; called on me late this afternoon & Being she is Palliative with Lung Cancer - I RUN, When she requires my HELP! I was visiting a Friend in Hospital - Who broke a Hip last Saturday . . . So, a busy afternoon & Eve - Derailed my plans! Especially, with having to run up to my Mom's following the Hospital Visit . . . But - I am NOW at Home & Almost settled in! So, I will dig up the Poem/Lyrics, I mentioned earlier & Be back to provide you a Copy! As for the rest of my Work, though I've tried to play different Instruments & My Mom has always 'Begged' that I keep my 'Singing' for the Shower, ONLY! Lol! I've learned the hard way - I'm a WRITER at Heart! A LYRICIST, In my Soul & THAT's Where I remain most Powerful & My Spirit is FREE! Therefore, I've 'Written' for Others & Have had 'Others' come to Me - To put Words to their Music, or what usually works best - Is they 'Dig' thru my Pieces of WRITTEN WORK & Select what they'd like to Use, or Work With - Creating something 'New' with that which I've previously WRITTEN - Either as Poetry, or Lyrics! Being I 'HEAR' It, whilst writing, naturally! I've worked with a few local Bands, an Indigenous One from out in BC. A good Friend of mine uses a fair bit of my Work - Of course, I am credited on CDs & I also completed 2 Demos with a Recording Company out in Nashville! I write to 'Free' Me! THAT doesn't mean, I wouldn't like to see my 'Hit' come up! I'm not holding my breath, by any means ... Lol! 😉 I'll be back!

    Wow!
    My Best Friend DIED in our 20's . . .
    However, it WAS By 'His' Choice & It was horrendous!
    On MANY Levels, for many Reasons - Suffice it to say, that it was primarily because he tried to do 'It' - IN FRONT OF ME!

    When that - FAILED
    &
    He 'Followed' my advice . . .
    Due to being 'Turned away' - By not ONE, but TWO Hospitals, because their 'Crisis Team's Did NOT come in until 11AM!

    Well, he just couldn't WAIT!
    &
    So, he then Comitted Suicide . . .
    In front of HIS Father!
    (I apologize for dropping that on you, like THAT - Especially, being that you are a Father & Have just described losing your own Son!!)
    I am, so Very, VERY Sorry for Your Loss & I send you My Sincerest of Sympathies!

    One day - I'll share with you the 'Manner' of my Friend's actual Death & Some of the particulars . . .
    I think that's a bit too much, straight out of the gate & So, I'll wait a bit before I disclose more of the finer, DEEPER - Heartbreaking Details!

    I also apologize for being 'Tardy' - I am One who tends to be 'On Time'!
    My Mom however; called on me late this afternoon & Being she is Palliative with Lung Cancer - I RUN, When she requires my HELP!

    I was visiting a Friend in Hospital - Who broke a Hip last Saturday . . . So, a busy afternoon & Eve - Derailed my plans! Especially, with having to run up to my Mom's following the
    Hospital Visit . . .
    But - I am NOW at Home & Almost settled in!

    So, I will dig up the Poem/Lyrics, I mentioned earlier & Be back to provide you a Copy!
    As for the rest of my Work, though I've tried to play different Instruments & My Mom has always 'Begged' that I keep my 'Singing' for the Shower, ONLY! Lol!

    I've learned the hard way - I'm a WRITER at Heart! A LYRICIST, In my Soul & THAT's Where I remain most Powerful & My Spirit is FREE!
    Therefore, I've 'Written' for Others & Have had 'Others' come to Me - To put Words to their Music, or what usually works best - Is they 'Dig' thru my Pieces of WRITTEN WORK & Select what they'd like to Use, or Work With - Creating something 'New' with that which I've previously WRITTEN - Either as Poetry, or Lyrics!
    Being I 'HEAR' It, whilst writing, naturally!

    I've worked with a few local Bands, an Indigenous One from out in BC. A good Friend of mine uses a fair bit of my Work - Of course, I am credited on CDs
    &
    I also completed 2 Demos with a Recording Company out in Nashville!

    I write to 'Free' Me!
    THAT doesn't mean, I wouldn't like to see my 'Hit' come up!
    I'm not holding my breath, by any means ... Lol! 😉

    I'll be back!

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    SECRET PRAYERS The Wizard Blended Cocktails The Devil Hogged the Wine As Angels Hovered up above Their Wings kept beat with Time As a Magician pushed  Illusions A Witch untied the Knot The Scorcerer Shoved me so much Shit Burried my Shovel, my Needs, my Want I carried my Shell, for a little while But my Innards dragged behind The Angels Hovered up above Lost, were Reason & Rhyme Immobilized by the frigid Winds Out came the Dragon Slayers I dared not scream to God for Help God forbid, they'd sense my Scares I curled up, knees up to my chest A sad attempt to release my cares Gut-less to call out for help Silent - My Secret Prayers * I can't be weak, or show I'm in need - I know they won't believe I think I'm slowly slipping away, but it's not 'cause I want to leave Please show me the way - Hell, you can lead! I'll follow, I'll learn, I'll grieve ... I'll recover, find strength, I'll Pray & Believe No Silence, Secret Prayers will Free The Wizard Mixed his Potions The Devil, forever the Swine No Angels hovering up above They vanished, as did Time The Magician's Tricks did disappear The Witch, now CRAVED To Haunt The Scorcerer Shot me One more Hit Wounding my Soul, Spirit & Want Immobilized now, can't feel the Winds Out come the Dragon Slayers I can not scream to God for Help Paralyzed by Imagined Scares I stay curled up & Cry in Pain Feel the Burn in the Warlock's Stares Nowhere to turn, or run for Help Silent - My Secret Prayers. K S DeWitt © April/2001

    SECRET PRAYERS

    The Wizard Blended Cocktails
    The Devil Hogged the Wine
    As Angels Hovered up above
    Their Wings kept beat with Time

    As a Magician pushed  Illusions
    A Witch untied the Knot
    The Scorcerer Shoved me so much Shit
    Burried my Shovel, my Needs, my Want

    I carried my Shell, for a little while
    But my Innards dragged behind
    The Angels Hovered up above
    Lost, were Reason & Rhyme

    Immobilized by the frigid Winds
    Out came the Dragon Slayers
    I dared not scream to God for Help
    God forbid, they'd sense my Scares
    I curled up, knees up to my chest
    A sad attempt to release my cares
    Gut-less to call out for help
    Silent - My Secret Prayers

    * I can't be weak, or show I'm in need - I know they won't believe
    I think I'm slowly slipping away, but it's not 'cause I want to leave
    Please show me the way - Hell, you can lead! I'll follow, I'll learn, I'll grieve ...
    I'll recover, find strength, I'll Pray & Believe
    No Silence, Secret Prayers will Free

    The Wizard Mixed his Potions
    The Devil, forever the Swine
    No Angels hovering up above
    They vanished, as did Time

    The Magician's Tricks did disappear
    The Witch, now CRAVED To Haunt
    The Scorcerer Shot me One more Hit
    Wounding my Soul, Spirit & Want

    Immobilized now, can't feel the Winds
    Out come the Dragon Slayers
    I can not scream to God for Help
    Paralyzed by Imagined Scares
    I stay curled up & Cry in Pain
    Feel the Burn in the Warlock's Stares
    Nowhere to turn, or run for Help
    Silent - My Secret Prayers.

    K S DeWitt
    © April/2001

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    Sorry about my previous Post!. I recognize now - The error that I MADE! Please accept my apologies, Billy & Bobbi Anne! I should have verified the names! Pardoner moi, une autre fois! Je m'excuse! 😔 x

    Sorry about my previous Post!.
    I recognize now - The error that I MADE!

    Please accept my apologies, Billy & Bobbi Anne!

    I should have verified the names!

    Pardoner moi, une autre fois!
    Je m'excuse! 😔 x

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    Giving up me 'Phone' & Breaking out the Laptop! No more 'Mistakes' for THIS Captain! Lol! 😉 Again, I do apologize!

    Giving up me 'Phone'
    &
    Breaking out the Laptop!

    No more 'Mistakes' for THIS
    Captain! Lol!
    😉
    Again, I do apologize!

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    Good Morning, Mr Manas; Being your 'Guests' do not have the option to 'Edit' or 'Delete' their Comment(s), Replies, and/or Response(s) . . . I just wanted to ask, or run it by you & In order to keep your Blog 'Clean & Neat' - Please do feel free to Delete/Remove - The ABOVE 'Mistake' Comments of mine . . . In addition to THIS One, okay! 😊 Appears I was quite 'Chatty' last night & Then felt awful for the error I made! Being I didn't see the name above the one Comment I replied to & That confused me somewhat ... But, I got it ALL FIGURED OUT! So, with one more 'Apology' & A Hearty, Sunday Chuckle ... I wish you a fabulous day! 🎸 x

    Good Morning, Mr Manas;
    Being your 'Guests' do not have the option to 'Edit' or 'Delete' their Comment(s), Replies, and/or Response(s) . . .
    I just wanted to ask, or run it by you & In order to keep your Blog 'Clean & Neat' - Please do feel free to Delete/Remove - The ABOVE 'Mistake' Comments of mine . . .
    In addition to THIS One, okay! 😊

    Appears I was quite 'Chatty' last night & Then felt awful for the error I made! Being I didn't see the name above the one Comment I replied to & That confused me somewhat ...
    But, I got it ALL FIGURED OUT!
    So, with one more 'Apology' & A Hearty, Sunday Chuckle ... I wish you a fabulous day! 🎸 x

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