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              It was a blustery weekend in Muskrat Flats. The wind was conducting a symphony as the poplars bordering the vineyard...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It seems like 2007 was a great year of transition for very many people in our little karrass. We have endured the loss of loved ones, personnel changes, heartache, disappointment. About every personal issue there is has been thrown in our faces, sometimes repeatedly. But we persevered. And the band...the Drunk Stuntmen, they did their part to keep things on an even keel, delivering an honest spirit filled set of music 99% of the time....We're no ready to speak of that one percent just yet.

We heard some great music at the 63 Roadhouse, especially New Years Eve. We heard some great music in the Tap Room at the Hyland Brewery and again during that very odd weather event during the tune "6:29" at the well attended Oktoberfest show. Sports seemed to interfere with attendance at some Drunk Stuntmen Shows in 2007. Who could forget the Halloween Show at the Iron Horse. I know I was following the World Series game pitch by pitch on my cell phone, coming dangerously close to depleting my battery before the game ended....oh yeah the Stuntmen's version of "Thriller" , that night, Rocked! And then there was the recent show at Piccolo's restaurant in Westfield, MA, which Scott Hall had so eloquently described in the message board on Drunkstuntmen.com. The band opted to play in front of the stage while the Patriots completed their undefeated season on a Movie Screen behind the band..And the music was incredible. Freddy was experiencing his new acoustic guitar "as fresh as the grass above plot number 5," exuding an energy he brought along to the New Year's Show at the Roadhouse two days later....We love you Freddy...fight the good....never mind. I swear there were points in the show when Steve and Scott stopped playing just to watch what was happening in lead guitar land. At one point Steve was trying to suppress a shit eating grin.

Stuntman Steve and Freddy Freedom did a bunch of traveling with the Young at Heart Chorus, a strong and eclectic bond which will benefit everyone in the long run. Perhaps with the release of State Fair, by far the most energetic and passion filled Drunk Stuntmen album yet. This, followed closely by the release of the major motion picture documentary, Young @ Heart, by Fox Searchlight, could be the catalyst which will spark the event where everyone involved with the band can all do some traveling, in style.

Personally 2007 was the year that I truly began my ascent from the depths of the shame, degradation and pain of physical addiction. I started the New Year living in a halfway house, where my main focus was to get a solid foundation in recovery from the disease of addiction. Living in that house was a very trying period of my life. I was grateful that I was there and had the opportunity presented to me to reclaim my life. A life which was about all I had left to lose when I entered that program.

But living in an environment with 29 other alcoholics and addicts who are there for various reasons can be challenging enough to make you want to pick up. The reasons ranging from being court ordered, looking for shelter for the winter, or simply taking a break so they can pick up where they left off, hoping they would have a little better luck this time around and that things would be different this time.

I had almost 9 months clean when I began to relapse. I stopped going to meetings, stopped praying and was associating with people who were active in their addictions. The day I made a decision to pick up, I was arrested. Ha Ha! I'm telling you jail was a damn good motivator for me to reflect upon how really good those previous nine months had been....I haven't picked up since and have a new perspective on my recovery.

Since then really good things have happened in my life. I'm doing the right things for the right reasons. I still have errant thoughts, but who doesn't? I just choose not to act upon my impulses today. A friend in the program, Rebbecca, proved to me that If you pick up you can die. Fortunately her toddler was just young enough that she will not remember that her mother was an addict and could not seem to find a reason to live. It is a tragic thing when parents have to bury a child. I will not let that happen to my family. That situation may occur but it will not be because I picked up my drug of choice.

The good things in my life are the fact that I, the struggling one in recovery, am the parent my child looks to for love comfort and support. Mom is a good provider, but just as she was in our relationship, she is unavailable to our child. Everything in her life includes long distances. Whether it be the job which involves 4 hours of commuting per day, the Boyfriend in England which she travels to see often, or her regularly scheduled work related traveling all add up to time lost with our precious child. A child who during these absences has to endure 30 second phone conversations, 15 of which are harping on her about whether she has practiced her saxophone or done her homework. My kid and I spend a lot of quality time together I really don't resent her mother for doing what she is doing. She is a kind decent person. But her upbringing turned her into an individual who has always put herself first in any situation. I do still love her, but am much happier now that we are not together. I'm sure my daughter would have preferred a quiet Christmas vacation at home snuggled on the couch with mom and the cats and a couple of mugs of hot cocoa. a gift which would be equal to 10 versions of Guitar Hero 3. Hopefully most of the insanity in my ex's life will change when her boy, who has left his wife and family for her, moves here from England.

My kid loves me unconditionally. Such a rare treat for anyone to experience, for that I am eternally grateful. Yes, things are good. I have reasonably good job with little stress. I write for whom I consider the best band to come down the Pike, in a long time. a shining beacon of light in a swarming sea of electronic, stale, uninspired lip synced tripe. I recently opened a glass working studio, you can see photos of my glass work on this blog and on myspace.com/muskratflats.

I have hopes and dreams for the new Year. As much hopes and dreams as I have gratitude for the fact that I am here to enjoy those visions for the future. I hope that the Drunk Stuntmen and the Young at Heart Chorus continue with their momentum to continue their journey and follow it to where ever it takes them...Hopefully Radio City Music Hall. I hope to continue with my glass work further improving my skill and artistic vision. I hope to continue with my writing and finally finish that feckin book I've been writing for close to ten years now. I hope to see my daughter succeed academically, physically and spiritually. She is truly a gifted child possessing wisdom and compassion beyond her years. I hope to continue my journey one day at a time. An easy thing to do if you are doing the right things for the right reasons. I want to travel with my daughter to Minnesota to see my sister and hopefully catch a performance of the Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater. I just hope that I can do all of this with grace and style. Living and enjoying life...

You will always find me.....

Running Hard out of Muskrat Flats.


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