Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunrise Overture

My Uncle Joe died of colon cancer in 1995, and I never really knew him that well.  The little I do know is that he was a musician, composer, performer, jazz instructor, and my dad's brother.  I didn't see him very often, and mostly I remember him from family gatherings at Christmas.  However, even though I hardly knew him, there is one thing about Uncle Joe that will always stand out in my early memories because of the profound affect it had on me.  Back in 1972, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition released an album called 'The Ballad of Calico'.  The album opens with my Uncle Joe playing a clarinet solo on a song called 'Sunrise Overture'.  It is a beautiful orchestral piece, describing musically the slow majestic progression of a desert sunrise.

'The Ballad of Calico' isn't a very well known record, and it differs from the more well known and popular country style that most people identify with Kenny Rogers... it's more of a mixture of rock, blues, country, folk, classical and gospel.  The entire album tells the story of Calico, a boom town and silver mine which existed in California during the late 1800's, and all of the songs are inspired by real people, places and events.  When I was just a little kid back in the late '70's, I used to lose hours listening to that album over and over.

Here is 'Sunrise Overture', with my Uncle Joe playing the clarinet.


Some information about my uncle, Joe Davis.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend adventure

This weekend I went to Shreveport to do a fur sale.  We did really well, but it came with a price... my pinkie toe.  Friday night I was stumbling around in the hotel room, trying to find the bathroom, and wouldn't you know it, I banged the crap out of it in the dark and broke it all to hell.

I didn't know it was broken until Saturday morning, when I woke up and it was all swollen and felt like it was on fire.  I couldn't put any weight on that foot at all.  It was the worst physical pain I can remember feeling in a long time... maybe ever.  It hurt right up to my hip.  I just couldn't believe that much pain could come from such a teeny little toe.  It just hurt and hurt and hurt all day long.  I really started to worry because I have to walk to get everywhere, and what if I couldn't walk to work?  I'd be f'd.  At least we had a good sale, I told myself.

Today it doesn't hurt nearly as bad.  That is, it doesn't just hurt nonstop like it did yesterday.  I can hobble around, and Ed gave me his crutches and I took a couple of test spins around the block to see how able I was.  I figure I can walk to work with the crutches.  The bitch is going to be standing up all day at the cash register, and walking around doing stuff that has to be done.

It was worth the broke swolled up toe though, as it got both Ed and I out of our respective financial holes.  Plus we just had a good time, and it was nice to see the people in Shreveport again.