I Can’t Take It

I don’t think there’s one time that I get in my car to drive somewhere in this city and I don’t get aggravated. I just don’t get how people can be so out of touch when they drive and I find myself asking the same questions over and over;  

Why do people think 40MPH means 30MPH?? I don;t want to speed. Really, I use my cruise, even in town, I just want to do the damn speed limit.   

What is the DEAL with the lights on War Dr.?? I just came back from dropping my kids off. Coming back on War Dr., the lights at N. Monroe & California both turned red, for NO reason. No car waiting to cross over or turn onto War Dr. Nothing, No reason. This is a normal occurrence during the twice a week trip to the Heights to pick up and then drop off my kids. 

Turn signals. I can’t count how many times someone will suddenly stop in front of me and then decide to make a turn, usually performed poorly.  

Here’s a HUGE one. Light turns green: First car sits there. One… two… three… four…. Oh, time to go??? Good. because the next car is going to count three before HE goes. If this is a left turn, on a left turn, it means many times that the third car is not making the light. That’s normally me, because the morons in front of my can’t figure out of that’s the right shade of green. 

What’s the deal with stopping in the middle of the street to talk to someone on their front porch?? And then sitting there, obviously not caring that they’re holding up traffic. 

And then, we move north of Glen, and University becomes the Autobahn. Form 30MPH to 60MPH once they get passed that light. 

Why don’t people here know the little nuances that make driving a better experience. Timing the light to go as soon as it turns green. Getting right to pass the car turning left. Getting left in a four lane if you’re going straight at a light so people turning right can have the right lane to MAKE the turn….  

I seriously think cab drivers that have to deal with this nonsense every day should get hazardous pay or free psychotherapy….

 

From February 5, 2013

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Incarcerated!

Arrested
 Without going into details of everything that happened, and it happened quickly, I can say that what actually transpired in court last Friday during the modification of my child support hearing, is still a mystery to me. In short, although I was forthcoming on everything, provided proof of everything, and told every detail of my story, I was charged with Direct Contempt of Court for basically not checking my bank account for a month. It has become apparent that this judge hates me. In 2 court dates, I’ve been accused of being violent, aggressive, a liar, a schemer, manipulative and, oddly, very intelligent. 

I did nothing illegal or immoral, but yet, to my horror, the judge proclaimed “Bailiff, I’m going to need a deputy in here, now!” and delivered a sentence of 5 days in Peoria County Jail, leaving me shocked and mortified! 

I was cuffed and taken into a holding room off to the side of the courtroom and as the door closed, I looked at the deputy, whom I knew very casually, and told him that I had never been arrested before and had no idea of what I was in for. 

Nervously, I offered no resistance as he went through my pockets and and he reassured me that it was not going to be that bad, but he agreed that what was happening was definitely mysterious and uncalled for. I asked him at what point I could make a phone call as I surrendered to the inevitable, and he replied that as soon as I got to “county”, I could have access to a phone. It dawned on me that I don’t know any actual phone numbers anymore, so he allowed me to use my cell phone to call a friend and arrange for him to come and get my keys and take my car home. 

I waited about 30 minutes,  during which I prayed to God that the time would go easy, was led to a police van, full of prisoners who had obviously been through this many times, and off we went. Men on one side, women on the other, separated by a steel divider,  I kept quiet while the rest of the people yelled back and forth to the women on the other side. We arrived a few minutes later and I was kept behind while the prisoners were led into the building. I focused on being humble and calm. 

10 minutes passed and I was led inside, asked to remove my shoes and socks, walked through a metal detector, then given a lunch tray, my first encounter with jail food, and taken to a holding cell where 3 others were already waiting. Purple Bologna on semi-hard bread, some yellow looking juice, and some fruit, and a few other things I didn’t want anything to do with, I opted to pass on lunch.Within minutes, 2 were led out and the one who remained, I learned his name was Phil, and I started talking. We had a lot in common, both small business owners – Phil owns a towing company with a fleet of trucks – and we got along well. I told him this was my first arrest and he assured me it wasn’t that bad and that I, like him, in for a DUI and a 3rd time visitor to the jail, would be in a pods with others that were just doing a very short stay. Several hours later, I was brought a dinner tray. Purple ham steak, hard bread,  cold, sticky macaroni & cheese and peas that tasted like paste. Purple seemed to be the prevailing color for all the lunch meat I had in there. 

Booked
 After about 2 hours, I was taken to booking, had my prints and mug shot taken – why do they always make you look like you’re a serial killer in those? – and was interviewed. The booking officer was shocked that he couldn’t find me in the system,  until I told him I had never been in police handcuffs before. So far, everyone I spoke to, I did so like I would anyone, respectfully, and I was shown the same in return, something that carried over my entire stay with all the personnel at the jail whom I encountered. Then I was led back to the holding cell where I sat until almost 9:30 that evening. During my time, I prayed that God, who I acknowledged had put me here for a reason, would show me how he wanted me to respond to this event in my life. I would find out his purpose on Sunday. 

A young guard finally came to take me to the back. We went to a locker room area where I was given a striped jump suit, which I quickly changed into, then to a supply room to choose a blanket, sleeping pad, a sheet, and towel. We made small talk about this being my first incarceration, and he told me that it would be pretty easy time and handed me an extra amount of soap bars, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Something that came in handy while in the pod. Then he led me to where I would be staying. 

SP-6
 SP-6 is a smaller pod with and open area with 3 stainless steel tables, 3 cells on the lower “tier” and a shower and toilet to the right. Stairs went up the middle to an upper tier with 4 more cells. The guard told me to find a spot on the floor to put my things, and quickly he was gone, leaving me in a room full of about 20 prisoners. I found a spot by a wall and dropped my gear and looked around then heard someone calling “Hey you!” Looking up at a man sitting at the top of the stairs who was calling for me to come up, so I climbed the stairs and said hello. He asked me how long I was going to be there, and I told him 5 days and his shoulders slumped. Sitting next to him was a kid they call Tattoo due to the large number of tattoos he has from the neck down. Scott told me that this was his “Celly” who was leaving Monday and he was looking for a new Celly, but since I was only there a few days, I wasn’t gonna work out for him. Scott and I became pretty good friends while I was there. He was someone that had respect amongst the other men. He looked very familiar and I mentioned that he said the same was true for me, then advised me to move my things under the stairs, saying that was the best spot. We talked for a few minutes and then I went down to make up my spot and sat down looking around. Few people really paid attention to me, but I realized that I recognized a lot of them as people that came into the Circle K, where I used to work. 

A few minutes later, an older guy, named Rob, asked me if I played Spades, which I do, very well, and I was invited into a game with him and 2 others, Sheff, a former Peoria Pirates Arena League Football player and a guy named George. As I answered the inevitable question “Why are you here”, I offered my hand and introduced myself. It was obvious, this was rare to these guys. We played a few games and got along great, then the call was made for lockdown, meaning the TV was off and the guys who had cells had to be locked in. There were about 6 of us who were “On the floor”, and we sat close and talked for a while. So far, everyone I met was actually pretty cool. And none were there for criminal acts, but for violations, drinking or drugs. Eventually, I laid down on the hard floor and under way too much light, I prayed a bit and then I fell asleep. 

Saturday
 Saturday started off with a  6:30 wake up and a line of towels appeared at the shower, so I added mine and sat down and started talking to some other people, while the mop bucket and cleaning supplies that had mysteriously appeared in the door was used by people to clean out their cells. Again, everyone was pretty friendly. So far, this was not so bad, and nothing like I imagined. After a shower, breakfast arrived. Snotty oat meal, purple juice, rancid looking blueberries, I barely ate but saw how the trade game worked as people bartered for items on each other’s trays. This was my last meal that I didn’t eat. To be honest, the rest of the time, the food was pretty decent. Coffee, beef stew, ham and beans, goulash, etc…. Not so bad. Other men I hadn’t seen the night before appeared out of their cells and a few of us got to know each other. 

The day was basically spent playing cards watching TV and the arrival of my biggest annoyance began to set in; the echo. Being in the pod is like being in an empty, indoor swimming pool. That echo never goes away and by the end of my stay, I was pretty tormented by it and how the battle between the volume of people talking and the volume of the TV, which distorted horribly, the louder it got, went on endlessly.

By the end of the day, I was pretty well settled in and had gotten great news. My 5 days was going to be more like 4 days. Friday was considered a day served and instead of leaving Wednesday, I would be out Tuesday at 5AM 

Sunday
 I didn’t sleep well as the floor is really uncomfortable and cold and guards come in and out during the night for counts and other various reasons, so Sunday morning, I was up early and got on the list for Church. Afterwards, I could see that I had some really good friendships starting and had fallen into a sort’ve clique. Scott, for one, Mike, a hippy from Chillicothe – a bunch of guys were from Chillicothe, – ‘Drew, nice enough guy from the ‘hood who had been in and out a few times, Nick, a smart kid who was there for a DUI and who we later threatened to hunt down if he ever had to come back, another guy whose name I never learned that cheated at cards, some really odd dude that reminded people of a young Jim Carey and amongst a few others, a kid named Jeremy. 

Jeremy was in for the first time and was depressed that he might not get out in time to see his first kid born. He was really upset about being there, and worried about his girlfriend. We really connected and talked a lot, as he kept to himself, for the most part. This was it. I knew right away, God was at work here. By the end of the day, Jeremy confided in me that he was disappointed in himself and was committed to putting gang banging, drugs, negative influences and bad habits behind him and focusing on being a good father to his daughter and a good man to his girl. I told him I’d get a message to his family when I got out, reassuring them that he was OK, promised I’d be there to pick him up when he got out, and be there for him if he needed any help on the outside. We talked about God, my faith, and as the conversation ended, he asked me to pray for him. I told him I’d been praying for him since the day I got there. 

I walked away, thanking God for giving me this opportunity to be a part of Jeremy’s new found love and dependence on God and accepting Jesus. Later that night, he showed me a rap he wrote about putting his past behind him and allowing God to lead his life. God is so great. 

That night, I had more fun than I had in a long time. The pod was like a big party. Groups of people talking and laughing, card playing with a lot of joking around, and other than the echo that was becoming more and more of an issue with me, it was pretty fun night. One of the things that people do is pace. Walking back and forth from end to end, alone or in groups, talking. It’s weird, but a real part of passing time in jail. Eventually, lockdown time came, and those of us on the floor sat up awhile talking, joking around, passing time. 

Tattoo
 Tattoo was probably the most jail seasoned kid there. He wasn’t very big, but he was the guy that ran the trades between our pod and the one next door, getting food, tobacco, which was rolled in toilet paper, devised a way to light it with pencil lead and an electrical outlet – Jail innovation is pretty cool – and had a lot of respect from the other inmates. I never talked to him much, until Sunday night, when we ended up as partners in a game of Spades. I asked him how old he was, 23, how long he had been there, 30 days and he told me he had done 2 prison stints and was looking at 12 years when he got out. I said that he didn’t have to live life like that and could change it, but he replied that he had been in institutions since he was 10. I asked him if he wanted to change that pattern and he informed me he was a heroin addict, and that when he got out in the morning, he had some waiting for him and would be high before he got off the property. I felt bad for him. His life had been rough and he was comfortable with it. 

Monday night, ‘Drew called his grandmother to see how he was doing. That shot of Heroin he had waiting for him, it killed him…. 

I’m still pretty broken up about it, as was the entire pod, and I’ll be going to his wake this Friday to pray for his soul and give my respects. All the laughing and joking was underscored by the truth of the rough life these people live. 

Monday Night
 I spent the last few hours making plans to get together with some of them after they get out, traded phone number, Facebook pages, and talked to Scott about hiring him to come work for me, hoping I can help keep him off the Heroin that landed him there. Leaving with me in the morning, Nick and talked a lot of smack, but in the end, neither of us slept well. I was anxious to get out, but I felt, and still feel that I left something behind that I wish I could go back and revisit. People that I wish I could play Spades with and tell jokes and just make sure that they’re all doing easy time. I can see how profound jail time is on a man, as I feel the effect from just a few days behind bars, and I hope that the lessons I learned never leave me. I thank God for the opportunity I had. With God, everything is an opportunity to develop character and prepare yourself for a future in his kingdom, if you can identify where he is working and join him in that work. 

Freedom
 I was already awake when the guard came to lead Nick and I out. Turning in my gear, getting dressed, out processing, all of that was a blur, and with bus pass in hand, I walked out into the cool morning air to hear a horn and see the lights come on from my car. Kevin was unexpectedly there to pick me up!

 

From October 17, 2012

Metamorphosis (Or, How I Found God)

Is this what it feels like when the butterfly begins to emerge from the cocoon? Reborn, seeing the world, although vaguely familiar, through new eyes?? It defies my life-long, logic filled thought patterns. 

Something is happening to me, and it’s so good, I’m almost afraid to let it carry me off. To cut to the chase, after searching, questioning and doubting for my entire life, I finally found, and felt God. It’s just that simple. I’m sure thoughts of every bad thing you’ve ever heard or thought about religion are storming through your head, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the purest examples of God. A sense of calm; so calm it’s making my head spin. Love. Not physical love, but just love for everything I see and everyone I know. I absolutely feel love for the people in my life, instead of the normal feelings if disdain I’ve always had. And direction. I feel like I’m well armed, instead of the feeling of defenselessness I’ve always had. 

Kevin and Jim and their families have been very supportive of me, and have gently steered me in this direction. I’ve resisted, struggled, accepted at times and tried to see whatever it is that they see, without success. But this past Sunday, on a strong urge to go to Church, I truly believed God finally made his presence known to me. For the past months, I’ve spent a lot of time, curled up in a ball, feeling hopeless, lost, miserable; crying, no – sobbing – non stop sobbing, thinking it was on deaf ears. That whoever this God was, he wasn’t paying attention to me. He didn’t know or care about me. 

I always hear that it happens when you are at your most vulnerable. When you are at the bottom of the pit, and death is looking like a comfort. 

In Church Sunday, listening to the Pastor talk about Joseph and his murderous brothers, the pit he was cast into and how it relates to our lives, I suddenly, and unexpectedly felt like I was alone in that building. I truly could not sense the presence of the congregation behind me. And every word that came out of Pastor’s mouth, described me and my life perfectly. Not just described it, but it was me that he was talking about, and me he was talking to, and as I half muttered prayers under my breath, asking God to PLEASE just come to me, tears started streaming down my cheeks. I started to quiver, and felt displaced from the entire crowd of people and all I could hear was Pastor, describing how we put ourselves in similar pits; describing me to me; warning about Satan’s lies, and it all just happened. I wish I had the words to describe it, but afterwards, I felt like a different person. Like I was a blind man just getting sight for the first time in my life. 

Now, I can’t get it out of me and I don’t want to. I actually wish that traumatic moment would happen to me again and again. Like a jolt, keeping me conscious. Now, I’m not ready to grab a Bible and robe and walk the earth proclaiming God’s word. Hell, I don’t even know God’s word. But I do know his presence. That I am positively sure of and that God made that presence known to me, in the front row at Riverside Church this past Sunday. 

Could anything in life be as good as that? 

Well, I did meet a girl that I am just head over heels about, and I don’t even know her yet, but it just feels right. A woman that is walking the same direction I am, shedding a similar past. 

The hell with logic. Following my heart seems like the way to go.

 

From January 11, 2012

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead…

In 1989, I met a girl named Renee on December 30th, and we spent the next four years in a relationship. On December 31st of that year, she took me to a party and we stopped at her friend’s house, where everyone was given a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante. 

Tonight marks the 22nd consecutive New Years Eve that I’m breaking open a bottle of Asti. Last year, I bought 2 bottles, in hopes that I would be celebrating yet another bad ending and an optimistic beginning. Tonight, I find myself in the same boat. Looking back at a bad year and ahead with optimism. But this year, more optimistic than hopeful. 

This year ended just as it had begun; a 3 month stretch of not seeing the kids and the War Of The Roses, still Raging. I spent the year at the same hateful job, in the same overloaded position, the same low pay, everything the same. I struggled to pay bills and end this year behind on all of them, again. I struggle with untreated depression and aching loneliness and an overall empty feeling. 

So, what’s different? Why does 2012 bring expectations instead of just wishful thinking? 

Well, for one, I’m starting a new job next week. A little better pay. A lot better atmosphere. An appreciative boss and instead of filling the role of a manager, but not being recognized as one, I come to this new place in charge of my department. 

I made some friends this year that I know have my best interests at heart. Friends that think about me when I’m not around, and I about them. People that are pulling for me. And praying for me. Which brings me to my most profound change in attitude. After years of lying to myself and anyone that would listen about how “spiritual” I am, with the help of my new friends, I’ve taken a step towards God and a truly spiritual life. One step, the first of many, and I have my fears. Letting go is never easy for me. Trust is not easy for me. Belief in anything is not easy for me, but I’m looking and moving in the right direction. 

There are still setbacks. My truck is in the shop with an 800.00 repair bill, but I have the kids this weekend. And Bridget actually started talking sensibly for a change. 

So I take my first sip of this year’s Italian nectar and I toast you, Jim & Loni, Kevin, Chris & Cyd, Pastor and the people at the church and everyone else that’s had an impact on my life this year. 

Cheers. Salud!

Happy New Year and God, Bless each and every one.

 

From December 31, 2011

Sixty Five Dollars Expanded

Wow, some people think I’m on the verge of suicide, so I want to explain the previous post. 

I Can’t Pay My Bills

I barely break even on each of them and I’ve cut out as much dead weight as I can. I’m even trying to lure a 2nd room mate in here, but I’ll have to give up the bedroom that’s supposed to be for my kids, meaning them doing over-nights could be jeopardized. 

I’m Not Healthy

In the spring, I started doing P90X and I was killing it; for about a month. I could really feel a transformation too, but then, it just stopped and I haven’t been able to start it up again. In the mean time,  I can’t afford to eat healthy, so I live on frozen dinners, frozen pizza and junk food, trying to keep my weekly shopping budget to what I can afford; approximately 40.00 a week. 

I Can’t Find Any Motivation

And that’s the truth. I just can’t seem to do anything. 

I Procrastinate To A Fault

See above. 

I Hate How My House Looks.

It’s not a mess, but it’s not clean. I struggle to just put the laundry away. The belt broke on my vacuum, 3 months ago. I haven’t fixed it. I started remodelling the bathroom. Can’t seem to get up enough to finish it. I’d KILL to rearrange the living room, and I can’t take 5 minutes to figure out how. 

I Don’t Have A Single Close Friend

I actually do have a few good friends. Chef Kevin and Kevster are at the top of that list, but it’s not like a best, life long friend that I see so many people have. I don’t. Not one 

I Don’t Know Love

This is a tough one. I meet women I’m interested in, and not one, not one is interested back. In fact, they seem turned off by the idea. And any that ARE interested in me, are usually the lowest common denominator. I feel like I must be the least attractive person on he planet. I can’t even stand how I look, when I see pictures of myself. I just feel like no one loves me. No one. 

I Hate My Job & I Hate My Boss

Those go together. I LOVE the work I do, but I hate where I do it. My boss is so self-righteous, treats everyone like shit. Like he’s better than us. And he sits there and watches all of us struggle to get by, all of us, and will NOT lift a finger to give any of us a single dime more. On top of that., we don’t get paid vacations. We don’t get paid holidays (Which will kill most of us over the next 6 weeks), we don’t get insurance. Miss 3 hours in a week, and he takes a dollar an hour away for that week. 8 hours means 2 dollars an hour, or down to minimum wage for most of the people there. He only allows 2 excused instances of missing time a year. a YEAR! That means every time I go to court now or anything related to that, I lose an extra 40 bucks for the week, on top of the time missed. I can’t even afford to get sick. 

I Hate Most Of My Co-workers

Most of the people I work with have been in and out of jail, battled addictions, and are the shadiest people you’d ever want to meet. Note, some of my co-workers, I really like. 

I Hate My Neighbors

They’re all either loud, filthy, nosy or live in one of the three crack houses on the block. 

I Can’t Build My Website.

I started one, to turn into a personal portal and portfolio for my work, but I’m lost on the design, and I can’t find the inspiration to get it finished. 

I Hate Peoria

I just do. I just… do. I miss home so much. I can’t believe how home sick I am, and I can’t even afford to go visit. 

I Can’t Find A Better Job

I have looked and looked and looked. Until I moved here, I never, one time, didn’t get a job that I tried for, and I need to go back to my part time job, but the district manager, who I got along with fine, never returns my calls. 

I Haven’t Seen My Kids In Months

Bridget does this. She just arbitrarily stops letting me see them for extended periods, and gets away with it, every single time. My kids and I had this awesome bond, and she has made it her mission to drive wedge between us, and that just kills me. And no body takes her to task for it. No body. She just gets away with whatever she wants. Out of all the things I listed that I hate, none come close to how much I hate her. If she would just die, my life would improve, vastly. Somehow she made it through child birth. Maybe she’ll go back to drinking herself to death, if I’m lucky. 

I’m In A Dark Place I Can’t Get Out Of. & I’m So Lost

I just feel lost. So lost and empty. And I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

I’m So Lonely

I can’t even find the words to cover that one. I am, so lonely. 

I Feel Like I’m Dying, Slowly

Sometimes, I lay here and I swear I can fell the life slowly draining out of me. 

I Don’t Understand How I Got Here.

Not to be confused with I don’t know how I got here. I know how. I made some very wrong decisions, and it all started when I let myself get involved with my kids mother. My life was so good before that and continually just gotten worse and worse and worse since. What I don’t understand is why did do that? Why?? I NEVER made stupid decisions like that before. I’d NEVER have let myself get involved with someone as chaotic and out of control. What the fuck was I thinking? And how do I ever recover? How the hell do I get out of this crux I’m in? 

I Cry, A lot.

That is an understatement. I cry all the time. I see a movie where people fall in love and I cry. I see people’s losses, and I cry. I look at the ruins that my life has become and I cry like a little kid. Sobbing, tears streaming down my face and I wish I could disappear and pull the my whole life in behind me as I go.

 

From November 20, 2011

Sixty Five Dollars

I can’t pay my bills

I’m not healthy

I can’t find any motivation

I procrastinate to a fault

I hate how my house looks

I don’t have a single close friend

I don’t know love

I hate my job

I hate my boss

I hate most of my co-workers

I hate my neighbors

I can’t build my website

I hate Peoria

I can’t find a better job

I haven’t seen my kids in months and that doesn’t look to change any time soon

I’m a dark place I can’t get out of

I’m so lost

I’m so lonely

I feel like I’m dying, slowly

I don’t understand how I got here

I cry, a lot

 

I have sixty five dollars to my name….

 

From November 19, 2011

THIS Is What It’s All About

This week, I experienced the absolute best in people, and in some instances, it brought out the best in me.

I was invited to help promote the area appearances of the band Kiros by my friend Kevin Swadinsky. Not having heard of them, I did some research, and found out they are a Christian rock band, that spreads a positive message to their fans. The week actually started last week, when Kevin and I went to the Youth United at The Dream Center. There, I saw the room that Kiros would play in on Wednesday and met the youth Pastor, Corey, and really liked what I saw in how he has a house band play for the kids and the fun he instills in the evening.

This week, I took off work on Tuesday to go to Kevin’s house and meet the band, who had arrived the night before. He let them stay at his place for the time they were here, and most of the Peoria team was on hand to start working on how we were going to get through the next few days. Kevin and his wife were making breakfast for everyone and the house was full of people. We all helped move the band and their equipment to a recording studio in Bartonville, and loaded them in, then hung around while they worked on a new track.

Wednesday, I left work early and went down to the Youth United to help load in the gear and setup the stage. Once the band came on, there was a pretty large amount of kids cheering them on. It was a great night. Afterward, we all went to the Fieldhouse for an after show party.

Thursday, we moved everything again, to Five Points Auditorium in Washington. This is a really professional room. And the stage setup was amazing. It really took a lot of work to get it all set up, but it looked incredible. What Bill Keister did with the sound was nothing short of perfection. What a pro! The down side was that it was only attended by a handful of people, but that didn’t stop Kiros from playing like it was packed room. Barry, the lead singer, after the set, testifies to the audience his faith in God and invites people to join him by inviting Christ into their hearts.

But that’s not the point of this Blog.

I’m not a religious person. I don’t buy into the Bible as a literal book. I have my beliefs, but I keep that to myself, for the most part, but this week really affected me. I was so moved by what Pastor Corey does at Youth United, I pulled him off to the side and asked if I could volunteer there. What he does for these kids, especially in a world where so many kids are allowed to be disillusioned and unguided really got into me. I’m going  to make a few visits over the next few weeks and see if there’s a place for me top help out.

Kevin’s crew, The Nobz, mostly made up of high school kids, were totally professional in how they worked this week. Maddie, David, Jacob, Paul; It’s hard to imagine these are teenagers. They’re smart, hard working, articulate and just cool kids. I’m happy to call them my friends.

The band, Barry, Tyler, Ryan and Doug are just the greatest guys, and I can say that having been around some of the most famous, professional musicians for a lot of years. These guys really put up with a lot of shuffling around, playing to an empty room, long hours in the studio and never, one time, complained. They left that to their Roadie, Chandler, who I gave as hard a time as I could, all in fun, but in truth, I can’t wait ’til they come back again. Chandler was as cool as any friend I’ve ever had. I think I actually miss him a little.

Kevin’s neighbor, Jim, a devout follower of Jesus and Pastor, and who rides with a Christian Motorcycle group did something for me that I don’t know how I can ever make up for. He took my joking challenge about needing a car and going to Church one time if one would show up in my driveway, and found me a car. I go look at it tomorrow with him. That is something, I can’t put into words, how much that means to me. How truly important that I have a car, and how seemingly impossible it was going to be for me to find one, and this guy that barely knows me, that I debate religion with all the time, just like that, took care of me. No less profound, I was given a car seat and a booster seat for my kids earlier in the week by my friends.

Mostly, though, I have to say something about Kevin. He footed the bills for almost everything. The food, the drinks, The Fieldhouse trips, the production. Everything, and I know it set him back a lot. His wife and his daughter, Cyd are gracious hosts who worked endlessly all week to make sure everyone was fed, had a place to sleep, got to where they needed to go, and every other little detail that needed to be attended to, they were on it. Kiros is a mid range, relatively unheard of band, that’s been together for a long time and they tour and play relentlessly. I don’t know how often they get this kind’ve treatment, but the Peoria crew wanted to make an impression, and I think we did. Something profound happened through all of this and it brought a lot of people together that were all affected by it. I hope the friendships we all made are lasting ones.

I can’t say I’ve ever been more impressed by how a guy I really didn’t know very well has quickly become a friend I’ll have for the rest of our lives. Truly, again, I just don’t have the words, other than to say thank you.

 

Thank you, Kev!!

 

From April 11, 2011