It’s a Christmas Letter…you’ve been warned

The following went to quite a few folks via e-mail.  Most of them will also get a JibJab.

I hope your 2017 has been a good one. Mine has been pretty awesome. I’m a lucky guy.

1/1/17 began with coffee, waffles and the hair of the dog with friends at my favorite breakfast place here in Springfield, MO. We welcomed in the year at the late show by Big Smith at the Gillioz.
In lots of ways that pretty much sums up my 2017: music and friends; friends and music. Plus roadtrips.

I could call the conversation in my head in early March an epiphany. It was on a long walk alongside Sinking Creek at Echo Bluff S.P. I decided that if a band that I wanted to see was playing within 4 hours of me that I’d buy tickets. What happened next is referred to as “Ticket Buying Thursday” in my journal.
That day I bought tickets to: Dawes at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa; Joe Jackson at the Uptown Theater in KC; Tom Petty (with Joe Walsh opening) in Little Rock; and Tedeschi Trucks (with Hot Tuna and the Wood Brothers opening) at The Amp in Rogers.

Three of the highlights of 2017:
1. My friends Tom&Gloria came from Atlanta in early June to attend the 13th Annual Rock House Summer Festival. The next day the four of us headed to Piney River Brewing in Bucyrus, MO for an afternoon with Bob&Jeff of The Rainmakers.
2. In July my son met us in Golden and stayed with us a couple of nights at an AirBnB. Joseph, Shelly and I saw The Avett Brothers (with Shovels and Rope opening) at Red Rocks. He and I had a couple of rambling late night chats.
3. In October my recently retired-from-NASA “rocket scientist” friend Troy and his better half Kathy came in from Floriduh and went to a show with us at The Rock House. The next day the four of us watched the Hawgs get spanked by Auburn in Fayetteville. Troy gave us the tour and showed us his name etched in the walk.

There were lots of other highlights:
A road trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Mesa Verde. One of the highlights was meeting up with my cousin Allison and her family in Alamosa, CO as they headed home and we headed for Leadville.
Daily walk-and-talks on the phone with my 91 year old Dad. Lots of reminiscing. Lots of talking hoops. He and I saw several games together….fun times.
A 5 year “Meet-aversary” for me & Shelly.
Bought myself a new car…a Prius4.
Weddings for both of Shelly’s sons.
Lots and lots of concerts in lots of different venues.
House concerts. 🙂 and 🙂 again.
Digging in the dirt and harvesting veggies from my garden boxes.
Attending quite a few basketball games, which included watching some “one and dones.”

Not many lowlights this year, and they were really just blips:
My new car got creased when some guy backed into it less than 2 weeks after I bought it. JEEZ.
Some cretin(s) broke into the Prius while we were on our roadtrip.
The thieves stole all the manuals to the car….and the backpack that I used as a tackle box. Even though I haven’t fished all that much recently, that was the probably the worst thing that happened to me in 2017. I had some “old faithful” lures in the backpack that had moved to Orygun with me when I left Missouri in 1976…never expecting to live in the ShowMe state again.
I didn’t make it to OR in 2017. Hopefully I can get back to where my heart is in 2018.
I didn’t have as many conversations with friends as I would’ve liked. Left quite a few voice-mails or sent texts that were never returned. Bummer.

Looking forward to 2018 being “SSDD”: friends & family, music, roadtrips, garden, hoops, “walk-and-talks.” NOTE: there will be a birthday party in mid-Sept as I wrap up my 70th trip around the sun. Whodda thought that I would ever live this long after all the stupid things I’ve done. More on that later….

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy New Year. All the best. Keep in touch. Hug the people you love. Be. Just Be.


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