Saturday, November 24, 2007

“The Miracle Bread Experiment”

c. 2007 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Note to Readers: The following story is absolutely true. It proves that in America, money can come from anywhere. Even the dinner table.

America is a nation plagued with addictions.

Examples are everywhere in our culture. Hard drugs lead to a downward spiral of hopelessness and despair. Alcohol, cigarettes, and fatty foods humble even the most disciplined personalities. Gambling and adult entertainment entrap us without chemical stimulation. Naked avarice permeates every level of our society.

But one ultimate thriller exists that can overpower any of these with a siren’s song no one can resist.

It is ‘The World’s Online Marketplace’ – eBay!

In the Icehouse, eBay has long been a favored tool for acquiring guitars, books, records, and collectable trinkets. But thoughts of using it to vend items never fully developed. I remained fearful of learning the process, and more afraid of losing part of my collection.

Yet Soccer Fairy, our nine-year old, exploded my apprehension during a recent spaghetti dinner. While twirling noodles around her fork, she made an observation about a slice of Schwebel’s traditional Italian bread:

“It looks like a mouse!” she exclaimed. Her eyes were wide with the glow of discovery. It was a gaze not seen in our household since the premiere of ‘Spongebob Squarepants.’

Liz, my wife, agreed. “Wow, it really does.”

I played the skeptic. “Come on! You’re stretching reality…”

“Don’t be a poo!” my spouse replied. She raised the bread slice until it was against light from our dining room fixture. “Admit it. This is a mouse!”

“A Miracle Mouse!” The Fairy added.

I groaned. “Okay, it’s a mouse.”
Liz lowered the slice dramatically. “Just imagine what this could be worth. We should put it on eBay!”

Soccer Fairy bounced in the chair. Her blonde curls danced as she cheered. “Yes! eBay eBay, put it on eBayyyyy!”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure, we could list it… if I knew how.”

My wife brushed crumbs from her pink blouse. “Oh Rodney! It can’t be that hard! Look it up when you’re at the computer!”

I tried to protest. “Well, you’ve got to register as a seller, upload photos, and write a description…”

“This would be the perfect way to learn!” she interjected. “Like a trial run!”

The Fairy agreed. “eBay! eBay!”

Dinner was over, and my new chore was about to begin! I took a seat at the computer, and started to write:

A small manifestation of higher power? 0.01 Opening Bid

Item Specifics

Weirdness: Slightly Unusual
Item Type: Schwebel's bread slice
Subject Area: Miracle artifact

MIRACLE 'MOUSE' BREAD SLICE - Discovered during a recent family dinner by our nine-year-old daughter. We took this as a manifestation of higher power. Slice of Italian bread looks like a mouse in crouching position. This gentle sign seemed to indicate that we were being protected.

We regret having to part with this incredible item, but must raise funds to support the household. After prayer and consideration we have decided to offer our 'Mouse Bread' to someone else who desires a blessing from above! We are certain that it is a gift worth sharing.

A personal certificate of authenticity will be provided. There is no reserve. Shipping & Handling is $2.50 USD.

Happy bidding, and may blessings be yours!

After posting the item for sale, I spent several minutes pondering my entry. The routine hadn’t been difficult to master. But doubt made me uneasy. Would anyone really be interested in this dubious item?

My answer came quickly. The first bid appeared in only a couple of hours. Messages followed, regarding the slice of bread. I struggled to reply with serious prose:

ITEM # 140177142144 - Question & Answer

USMOUSIE: I'm a little concerned about mold.

ROD: Thanks for your question. The bread slice has been naturally dried to preserve its integrity as a miracle artifact.

USMOUSIE: You've got a great kid and she has a great parent : ))

USMOUSIE: I was shocked to see a bid on it so I go to see who it is and it's
my mother! She's in Holland now and I sent the link to her as a
joke. Now she is buying it for me. Ha ha! Don't tell her I
know ;; ))

P.S. - What on earth does she think I'm going to do with it?!
Probably give it to my pet mice to eat!

ROD: Bidding could get frantic at the very end. Watch carefully if you desire this item! Thanks for your interest.

The final hours of availability elapsed with incredible speed. A woman from New Mexico won the item for one penny, plus the cost of shipping. It was indeed marked for shipment to a second woman, in Brooklyn, New York. The mother – daughter transaction was complete. I added my own thanks when finalizing our deal.

Miracle Mouse Bread
Subtotal: US $0.01
Shipping and handling: US $2.50
Total: US $2.51


We were amused, and happy.

“Congratulations!” Liz gushed. “Our experiment was a success!”

I nodded in agreement. “It worked. Somebody actually bought a slice of bread!”

Soccer Fairy bowed her head, silently.

“Okay, so why the gloomy face?” my wife asked, patiently.

“We only got a penny?” our nine-year old complained.

“She’s right,” I laughed. “What about the college student who sold a bag of sugar from his kitchen on eBay? He got more than that.”

My wife wrinkled her nose. “Bids probably came from his friends and relatives. I’ll bet it was a stunt to get on CNN.”

The Fairy giggled. “Can we try selling something out of the cupboard?”

“Take your pick,” I agreed. “It might work better than the Italian bread…”

Liz frowned. “No!! Don’t get any ideas!”

I opened a bag of pork rinds while waiting for dinner. My snack was crunchy, and delicious. But then, a familiar vibe made me stop. I raised a rind to the light…

“Does this look like a bird?” I asked.

My spouse shook her head with puzzlement. “What?”

“A dove,” I repeated. “This is incredible! It’s another sign. Peace, love, joy. A dove says all of those things. And the holidays aren’t far away!”

Silence filled the room.

Finally, Liz stomped her heel. “No! Aren’t you ever satisfied?”

Soccer Fairy resumed her chant from the previous week. “eBay! eBay! eBay!”

I forgot about dinner. There was more work to do in the Icehouse!

“Grits and Maple Syrup”

c. 2007 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Note to Readers: Jay Wright is the author of ‘G. A. S. – Living With Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.’ His book speaks about the need to constantly hoard plectrum instruments to the point of madness. Though Wright is a resident of South Carolina, his perspective is universal. ‘G. A. S.’ is alive in Geauga County, and everywhere!

It was late on a Wednesday night. Liz, my wife, had succumbed to the need for restful bliss. But I was awake, and at the household computer. The darkness offered a gentle cloak for my restless task. I searched for a dose of ecstasy. One random strike of fortune that would illuminate the night with a glow of quiet rapture…
Of course, my hunting ground was eBay!

In the morning, I would be busy preparing for a visit with Jay Wright. But slumber refused my supplication. I could focus on nothing but the chase. It was the perfect moment for conquest.

Entries popped up in a rapid succession. Yet nothing offered the emotional reward I sought. Then, something unique appeared, at last.

A Mosrite ‘Serenade’ acoustic guitar!

I blinked more than once. Such a curious axe had never been on eBay before. It looked authentic, but surreal.

Mosrite instruments were the product of an unconventional fellow named Semie Moseley. He was handsome, personable, and gifted. But flawed as a business director. Moseley first achieved notability by crafting a doubleneck guitar for Country & Western performer Joe Maphis. Later, his company struck a deal with The Ventures that helped promote the brand to legendary status. But deals went wrong. There were counterfeit models, factory fires, and trademark issues.

I’d seen many stylish Mosrite guitars. But never a flat-top acoustic. Still, my need had been satisfied. I was ready to collapse!

On Thursday, Wright and his friend John Geraghty arrived in the area without difficulty. My wife provided directions to our restaurant of choice. There, we joined Dennis & Liz Chandler, the ‘First Couple’ of Northeastern Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roll.

It was a family dinner of sorts – if your blood brothers were Orville Gibson and Leo Fender.

After introducing ourselves, I offered a brief bit of praise for Geauga County, maple syrup, and the Northcoast. Then, the topic of discussion went to pluckable treasures. Wright professed his affinity for G & L guitars. Chandler countered with an endorsement of Gibson, his erstwhile employer. I offered own my predisposition to Fender products, and off-the-wall, budget models. Our conversation echoed throughout the eatery!

I mentioned the uncommon Mosrite. But no one was familiar with its existence.
Eventually, Chandler’s professorial knowledge glowed with integrity. Like students, we peppered him with questions and observations about the craft. Finally, Jay Wright pondered a comparison that I’d mentioned, before.
“How do you think the modern Gibsons stack up against those made at the original factory in Michigan?” he asked.

The veteran artist and instructor considered his answer carefully.
“I would say that guitars from the custom shop are very close,” Chandler reflected. “It is a matter of how long these instruments will last. That question hasn’t been answered, yet.”

We traded raised eyebrows.

“When I worked for the company, they had a Quonset hut full of aged woods,” he explained. “The natural method of drying could take many years. Today, manufacturing often employs the use of artificially processed wood. As a result, we don’t really know how long a guitar will endure. Ten years? Twenty-five? Fifty? There is no answer.”

Everyone nodded. Now, we had grasped the concept!

After the meal, we were invited to join Chandler at home, for a session of authentic guitar abandon. The trip took only a few minutes. Once inside, the best part of out visit began.

I was moved to consider Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends…”

Wright and Geraghty literally spent hours mumbling unintelligible phrases connoting sheer delight. We were treated to a holiday parade of gold, silver, maple, and mahogany. Guitars of every sort dazzled us with their complex beauty.

Finally, Chandler produced the twang-box I’d anticipated since the evening began. It was his 1908 Gibson L-1.

“RoJo,” his wife said with a smile. The axe looked incredibly similar to one used by blues progenitor Robert Johnson.

Each of us touched the relic with careful glee. It was dark, resonant, and musky. An undeniable ‘vibe’ flowed from its pores.

I felt as if all of us were standing at the proverbial crossroads.

Our night ended with a whisper. We were drained, but happy. I passed out newspaper copies before we disbanded. The cool night cleared my thoughts with a brace of reality. I promised to meet Wright and his friend in the morning, for a tour of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

After our lively session in Chandler’s studio, thoughts of the ‘Hall’ felt tame by comparison. Yet the visit was a perfect way to conclude this adventure.

I arrived first, on Friday morning. Key Plaza was bathed in playful reflections of lakeshore sunlight. Humming melodies, I wandered through the forest of oversized guitars that led to the glass pyramid.

Suddenly, a drifter interrupted my tuneful introspection, with a plea for spare change. He was suspiciously well dressed, and held an empty paper cup from Starbucks. It seemed a poor choice for one who was trying to evoke poverty. Still, his candor made me smile.

I couldn't help but flash on the refrain of 'Ain't Too Proud to Beg.'

Mr. Starbucks waved his cup for emphasis. He wore layers of athletic garb, and stylish sunglasses. "Ya'll help a man out, today?"

I brushed him off, politely. But half-an-hour later, my new friends still hadn't arrived. Once again, Mr. Starbucks circled across the plaza. His cup remained empty.

"Ya'll got some spare change?" he implored. "I'll take anything ya got. Help a man out."

This time, I shifted gears.

"Hey, I need some coin myself," I responded. Drama fit the moment. “I don’t punch a time-clock, either.”

He froze. Sunlight smeared electric streaks of color across his shades.

"No, really?" he exclaimed.

"I’m a freelance writer,” I continued.

Mr. Starbucks looked truly puzzled. "How long you been doin’ that?"

"Twenty-five years," I answered. "When I get published, it’s cool. When I don’t, it ain’t."

He smiled. "Well then, I'll pray for you, man. I will pray for… you!"

We parted company with him still promising to petition God on my behalf.

Wright and Geraghty found the venue as I was taking pictures. Our tour of the ‘Hall’ seemed to pass in an instant. I added an autograph to their traveling copy of the
‘G. A. S.’ book, and then it was over. Quietly, I wished for a cold brew, and more time to chat.

Before leaving, Wright showed off his C. P. Thornton axe, made in Turner, Maine. It was exquisite in every sense. An instrument born of joyous craftsmanship, rather than factory production. I was in awe long after the case went closed.

Saturday morning brought a breakfast of fried ham, and grits. While dabbing with my fork, I wondered… did my Southern friend like grits? I hadn’t thought to ask.

It was a topic for future consideration - along with any new Mosrite guitars!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

“Bigfoot: Stepping Out in Geauga”

c. 2007 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Note to Readers: In this column, evidence has already been presented to demonstrate that Geauga County has been a point of interest for traveling aliens, and a home to melon-skulled children that roam our forests. But yet another tale has appeared regarding our quaint, Buckeye home…

Inspiration for a writer can come from nearly anywhere.

We were at the dinner table recently, when Soccer Fairy, our nine-year-old, offered a bit of wisdom she’d learned in school on that day.

She paused over a forkful of spaghetti. “Have you ever heard of Old Orange Eyes before?” she asked with an impish grin.

My wife, Liz, was busy filling a plate for Leigh. “You’ve got to eat, girlie!”

Our older daughter had just entered her teenage years. So she seemed more interested in the television than a hot meal.

The Fairy was undeterred. “Well? Have you heard of Old Orange Eyes?”

I considered my garlic bread for a moment. “No, I haven’t.”

“He’s a big, shaggy creature,” she explained.

“Hmm,” Liz interjected. “Like Bigfoot?”

“Yes,” our girl answered. “We read about him in class today.”

I nodded. “That sounds interesting, honey.”

“I told my teacher that you could write about Orange Eyes for the newspaper,” she said, twirling her noodles.

Leigh began to laugh out loud.

“That’s a good idea,” my wife agreed. “Another story like the UFO on Route 528, and The Melonheads…”

My face went red. “Don’t you think readers have heard enough strange reports from the homefront?”

Liz reacted with a giggle. “Okay, Rodney! How about another feature on pork rinds, instead?”

Soccer Fairy waved her fork defiantly. “Orange Eyes! Orange Eyes!”

It was time to get busy on our computer!

My first discovery came from a website called Bigfoot Encounters. An entry by Andy Ramirez confirmed the legend.

BF ENCOUNTERS: “Old orange eyes was allegedly an 11 foot tall 1,000 pound Bigfoot creature that is said to live in Central Ohio… the… creature first gained notice on March 28, 1959 when three teenagers observed a huge hairy orange monster rise from a ground fog at Charles, Mill Reservoir, near Mansfield. Then 4 years later the beast appeared again and this time it was witnessed by several people. Scientists were not sure where this creature lived, but it is assumed that the beast might have lived in a tunnel in Cleveland's Riverside where it lived in peace for more than twenty-five years. Then suddenly in the 1940's and 1960's highway construction destroyed the tunnel that Orange Eyes was alleged to be living in, forcing the creature to live in a stretch of forest behind the Cleveland Zoo… a group of teenagers invaded the creatures habitat on April 22, 1968 and chased the creature armed with baseball bats, flashlights, and ropes… (they) went into the forest to try to capture kill the creature but they found no sign of the beast. (In) June 1991 ‘Old Orange Eyes’ appeared again and this time the beast ran past two people fishing near Willis Creek scaring the daylights out them before disappearing.”

Truly local observations of the creature came from a BFRO report investigated by Mark Maisel. It was stunning to read that such a phenomenal beast had been sighted here in Geauga!

BFRO: Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization
Report # 15430 (Class B)
Submitted by witness: Saturday, August 05, 2006
Mother describes possible sightings by her children outside their rural home in Auburn Township


OBSERVED: “We only lived here a few weeks and my four-year-old came running into the house and said he didn't want to play outside anymore. He seemed upset but not extremely frightened. When I asked him what was wrong he said he saw a monkey man looking at him through the trees. I went out and nothing was there. I looked around the area but didn't see anything. My son took me to the tree and showed me where someone or something was looking at him from between a fork in the tree. That was two years ago. Yesterday my oldest son aged 15 was standing in the living room and glanced out the picture window. He said something huge and black ran from some trees we have there to beside the garage. I was kidding and said, ‘Is it Bigfoot?’ And he said very seriously, ‘yeah, I think it was.’ I ran out the back door, which is toward the opposite side of the garage than where whatever it was would be standing. I ran behind the garage and to the other side but nothing was there. I live near a heavily wooded area and the woods are close to the house behind and to one side of it. The garage blocks the view of the yard and you can only see the front/side from the window. Whatever it was would have had plenty of time to run into the woods.

(Later) my son's friend Bobby was visiting for the night and was outside getting things ready to build a fire when he called my husband from his cell phone to the house. He thought my husband or son was playing a trick on him and trying to scare him. Bobby told him something big was running from tree to tree looking at him. He said it was black and even though it was dark he saw the outline of the face. Which is why he thought it was my husband or son. He said it came from right outside the tree line from the yard and then went into the tree line running from tree to tree looking at him and getting closer to him. Like it was trying to hide from him but still keep an eye on him. Whatever it is, from descriptions given to me, its about 6'-6'4 and since everyone says it’s about the size of my husband or son... (My) husband is 6' 215 and son is 6' 240. The porch light was on and you can see the edge of the tree line because of the light.”

Soccer Fairy enjoyed reading the story she had inspired. Her teacher was impressed, as well. Yet I inherited a sense of uneasy curiosity from the process.
What other oddities of Geauga County would I discover next?

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Monday, November 05, 2007


I'd been to the 'Rock Hall' before. But it never felt like this...

Jay Wright, author of 'GAS' visited the museum with his friend from South Carolina, John Geraghty. The two men were on their way to a G & L guitar meet in Michigan.

During their stop in Cleveland, Jay brought out a bit of hidden treasure - his C. P. Thornton guitar. The instrument was completely hand-made, in Maine.

I look forward to seeing Jay and John, again!

The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

A giant Strat sponsored by Fender Musical Instruments.

The 'Blues Man' guitar for Robert Junior Lockwood

Jay's C. P. Thornton 'Elite' guitar.

John Geraghty and Rod admiring the Thornton axe.


Friends of this column will be familiar with Jay Wright, who authored a book called 'GAS - Living with Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.'

After corresponding with Jay, it was my pleasure to meet him in person on November 1st and 2nd. Jay paused here along with his friend, John Geraghty. They were en route to a G & L guitar meet in Michigan.

We met with Dennis and Liz Chandler for dinner, in Beachwood. Later, it was our pleasure to peruse DC's axe collection while discussing our love of plectrum instruments.

The night began new friendships that will endure and grow from our shared love of rock 'n' roll guitars!

From left: Dennis Chandler, Jay Wright, John Geraghty.

Dennis admires his 'The Les Paul' production number one.

John Geraghty admires DC's 1908 Gibson L-1, 'RoJo'

Jay with DC's 'Backwards Flying V' from Gibson's 'Guitar of the Week' series.

Dennis Chandler with his Gibson 'Victory' guitar.

Dennis with his red 'Flying V2' Gibson.

Dennis and Jay with the all-gold 100th Anniversary Gibson V.

Jay with DC's 1983 Fender Stratocaster 'Elite.'


It's only a dream at this point.

Yet dreams can become reality with a bit of faith, and much determination. I've wanted to build electric guitars for many years. Something in the vein of my primal Teisco, with a bend-o-matic whammy bar, chiseled frets, a clubby neck, and the tonal bite of a screen-door squeal...

It can happen... if you believe.

“Seven Years, and Counting”

c. 2007 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Seven years ago, I mail-ordered compact discs from an address in California. They were recordings by guitarist Davie Allan.

Allan and his group, The Arrows, were featured in many youth films from the 1960’s. In particular, their fuzz-drenched sound became synonymous with rebellious motorcycle culture.

For a member of any other profession, the simple act of buying CDs might have yielded no more than a small collection of recorded music. But being a wordsmith made me opportunistic by nature. And, a bit of magic transpired as my order was filled… because Allan handled the transaction himself!

I had included a brief letter with the request. It spoke of my lifelong affinity for Harley-Davidson, and the ‘Arrow-Dynamic’ sound. I mentioned how Allan had inspired my own six-string aspirations.

The result was a package of frenetic new tracks for my personal library. But when I opened the parcel, there was more inside – a personal response from the artist, himself.

This was the beginning of my unexpected friendship with a true hero of instrumental Rock.

As weeks passed, I began to write about the experience for readers here in Geauga County. When I sent copies of my work to Allan, he share them with others from the music industry. I penned letters on his behalf to organizations such as CURB Records and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Somewhere in this reverberating mix of ideas was a tantalizing offer. King Fuzz mentioned a desire for ‘liner notes’ as part of a future release. He thought it would be a logical contribution for a writer to make.

I was stunned by his suggestion.

Later, I mentioned the opportunity to Alan Bezozi, a cohort from my days studying in New York. He reflected that writing such comments was a typical way to begin reviewing music professionally. The assessment sounded intriguing. Yet I felt more jazzed by the thought of working with the Fuzzmaster General!

Months passed into years as other projects were developed. They included a live show, a new studio release, compilations of classic recordings and a collection of holiday compositions. Finally, Allan revealed his plan to release a second volume of Yuletide tunes.

He sent a pre-release copy of the disc with a straightforward request for scribbled verbiage.


With a cup of coffee and my reporter’s notepad, I began to write:

By Rod Ice

Davie Allan is a flesh-and-blood, six-string, artistic conundrum. He represents a past legacy of heroic proportions, yet has the passion and vitality of an artist who's best days lay ahead. He has proven able to channel electric fire like a wizard, yet can still speak with the subtle tones of a visionary. He is a troubadour, iconoclast, rebel, sorcerer, and plectrum-meister. One need only sample his vast body of work to realize that history will someday certify his prowess and magical ability. Though often victimized by fate, Davie has surpassed better-known guitarists by wielding a catalog of incredible compositions. He is an inspiration for anyone who would take up the electric guitar in a quest for authentic self-realization. The expressive story of this instrument can't be told without analyzing his portfolio. He is an immortal Pharaoh of fuzz, and a shaman of tonal distortion. Gifted and strong, he has soared beyond the limits of mortal musicians, and returned with a taste of oblivion for those too innocent to know the expansive nature of universal art.

I am speechless when listening to this recording. Quality work, very much an artistic statement - one that that transcends Davie’s fuzzirific legacy. I defy anyone to listen to FFTH + FFTH 2 and be unaffected. Davie has created a timeless masterpiece (or two) here! I mean that honestly.

You know, many 'Christmas' albums are lame and basically just an excuse to get more sales without much effort. But this one STANDS OUT. What a creative burst of artistry...!

Here’s a track-by-track overview of FFTH 2:

1. FROSTY THE SNOWMAN – Leaping across snowflakes while melodies meet in the white-draped forest. Sax and keyboards ride the sleigh. Frosty holds a conductor’s baton, swinging like a metronome. Elves dance to the beat. King Fuzz gifts the children with electric treats!

2. JINGLE BELLS – A bit of Yuletide bikerdom played out with winter’s glare off the snowbanks. Spinning tires melt the frost. Kick start prods boost the beasts to life! Off and away into the cold breath of day. A tease of The Wild Angels. Ride on, ye merry gentlemen!

3. BLUE CHRISTMAS – Malaguena! Strings rattle and hum. Rhythmic bursts prefigure T. Rex with a playful grin of musical mockery. The Earth trembles in 4/4 time. Elvis is laughing in his grave. Fuzz Daddy, make the reindeer dance!

4. I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – A promise made via satellite. Strutting through the snow. The Beautiful Loser is on his way with Heavenly Blues. Warbling doves sing to the heavens. Prayers offered through a fuzzbox. Sunset transpires at the glacier.

5. A WINTER SONG – Garage band experimentation. George Harrison whispers into the listener’s ear through a Silvertone amplifier. The tree is trimmed with a gnome’s pipe from Jethro Tull, and holly leaves left from an Everly Brothers romp. Squawk horns, squawk!

6. O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL – Charge on, merry travelers! Parade and sing. The time for celebration is nigh. Pluck the tones of a breaking day, full with hope. The chorus is pleading for you to play!

7. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN – A classic sonata, rendered in choppy waves of distortion. Skis slippery with ice. Faces ruddy with cold. The whammy bar steers through skies of frosted hues. A jazz backbeat bait-and-switch. The jolly old elf is riding high on sonic energy and the smiles of faithful children.

8. JINGLE BELL ROCK - Timeless, ageless, forevermore and again. The right time /is the night time / by the fire / with my electric lyre. In the game, lost in flames, reflected on the snow, all a-glow with the chime of inverted silver goblets echoing sound. Boots on the ground. A fist to the sky! Here’s crystallized mud in your eye.

9. DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR – Quietly the jesters skip into view. A quizzical verse on their lips. Do you, can you, will you? Flutes and fifes march to the drumbeat of history. Violas play. Pipers pipe. The King is plugged in and ready to wield his amplified sword. Be aware, he is mighty and gifted. His countenance kisses the horizon with cautious affinity. And then, he is gone from the throne.

10. SANTA ON THE RUN – Beach Boys, Christmas toys, the countdown has begun. Prepare for winter fun. Saint Nicholas has his chopper-trike loaded with presents. On a keyboard highway, Rudolph rides shotgun. Not a single kid shall know disappointment. Today is the moment when everyone will receive gifts and feel the embrace of love.

11. HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS – An invocation fit for mighty souls and humble folks, alike. Good cheer to you, kind neighbor! May the winter sun reflect peacefully through your windowpane, translucent with slush-drops from the wind. I am with you, again.

12. SEASONED GREETINGS - Flasks tipped toward the cosmos. A sassy retort to tidings of good cheer, given loosely. Reshaped through a vacuum tube pre-amp, boosted gain and quarter notes in flame. A gearshift kick, heel-and-toe. Punt the snowball into tomorrow. Eggnog with spiced rum and a snifter of old Noel. Highway lanes open through the muck. One notch down, and Santa is around a slow-moving pickup truck. This sled can rock!

When the CD appeared in my mailbox, I was overwhelmed. It felt surreal to hold the disc. Yet the prize glistened with authenticity.

An average guy from Geauga had made his contribution to Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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