Photo: Masha's snow-induced frenzy
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February 2005

Photo: Car, stuck.

As I've pointed out before, the road is an analogy, a stage to set the actions of an inner tour, and I will occasionally share some stops of that tour here. That this inner visit comes at a time when the car is stationary and the gig list short is pure coincidence.

My guitar playing and clothing improved, the guitar through practice, the clothes an assembled costume from thrift store cast-offs. While I note these changes, I am aware that neither facet required a whole lot of effort to qualify as "improvement". It's not unlike the little plastic cup given for "Most Improved" bowler in that you can't start off as a mediocre bowler and hope to win that trophy. "Most Improved" is an honor you can only achieve by beginning at "terrible".

I think Dan Marino holds the record for most fourth quarter come from behind victories, a similar honor, as it leaves unstressed the record number of times he need to play poorly enough to be losing after three quarters.

As I hold proudly my little plastic cup, I thank two fellow performers, one of them Sam Pacetti, whose words two years ago finally made sense. "Just think it," he said, "and let your fingers go." The other came from Chris Chandler, the simple comment "You don't respect the stage," regarding my dress, a nugget panned from the sloshings of a 12 pack of Bud Light on my DC back porch.

That all three of us came to performing after experiencing one Gamble Rogers, that a simple storyteller/songwriter could be weaving threads and twining strands still, puts a perspective to this craft and art that makes me want to respect it more than I have.