Thursday, July 9, 2020

Walkin' By Myself AgAin...


DUKES FANS
Walking By Myself….
  As we move into our fifth month of response to the COVID pandemic, my morning walks have come to mean more and more to me. Yes, I also walk in the evening around dusk, but it is my morning rambles that I have come to rely on and relish. Like many of us my nights’ sleeps are inconsistent. I can have a truly restful night that helps me wake up feeling refreshed. And I can also have nights where my sleep is full of worry, anxiety, plans, fears, and more. My early morning walks are what helps me with that. Someone once said, “Move a muscle, change a thought,” and I heartily agree with that.

My walks of late have taken me on a variety of routes. I am   ADD, so changing routes works well for me, particularly when I wake up anxious or unsettled . I see new things and am taken out of my head and into what is around me. I have discovered some incredible gardens on side streets in West Mt. Airy and some wonderful artwork and totem poles on gardens in East Mt Airy and Chestnut Hill. It is a little louder in the morning these days, as the city has opened up a bit; I do wish folks did not feel that they had to roll their windows down so I get to hear whatever they are listening to at 6 AM in the morning. But it is still quiet enough when I am on side streets and away from traffic.  And I can begin to feel soothed.

And there are constants: I am out as the day is coming into being, and on most days the sky is unbelievably beautiful and powerful. Pink and red streaks, wispy, widespread clouds or various “puffs,” a variety of shades of blue stretching into the horizon: it can be truly “awesome” in the original meaning of the word: ”inspiring reverence.”

And as I walk up Mt Airy Ave at the end of my walk and see the moon still visible in the NW sky, I am somehow restored. I can enter the new day as my best self and ready to do all the things that I have to do. Even, and especially, at times like these we need to show up as our best selves, for there is much to do to help myself, this place, and this world try to heal. So “move a muscle?” YES!
(The song “Walking By Myself, has long been one of my favorite songs. Here is my favorite version of it with Jimmy Rogers and Little Walter:

IMPORTANT CITIZEN STUFF: please take note
CENSUS 2020 The census helps the Federal government decide on things such as voting districts, grants for Federal aid, transportation and highway funds, and a hell of a lot more. It is one of the ways our tax dollars get to come back to us in our own areas, and as COVID makes abundantly clear, we need our tax dollars to work for us. It is essential that as accurate a count as possible is taken, particularly when the the door to door census is on hold. Our online completions are even more important now than ever before. Please go to the website: https://2020census.gov/en.html
SOME WAYS TO HELP LOCAL AGENCIES DURING PANDEMIC
I know a lot of you are already supporting some of the groups working to meet some of the challenges associated with COVID-19. If you are looking for more or other ways to be involved locally, here are some suggestions:
Food
Links to local Food Banks:
Homelessness: Project Home   https://www.projecthome.org/covid-19-support
 To report domestic violence:  www.thehotline.org 
INFO ON COVID-19 TESTS COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing



THE DUKES ARE ON HIATUS!
  The recent upticks in local COVID infections means that the Dukes are going to lay low until December at the earliest. Hopefully treatments and/or a COVID vaccine can be developed, tested and distributed by then, but we are not doing any live gigs for now. It is simply too risky. We want to thank all of our fans and friends-playing for you is an absolute joy and the reason we do what we do. We are looking forward to a time when we can safely do it live again. Stay safe, be careful and be well.

Missing Dukes Sounds?



Change of Address: Hideaway Records, owned by my high school buddy Brian Reisman and one of my favorite record, CD and DVD stores, has moved down the Hill to 8230 Germantown Ave. Look for the top hat on the sign
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Monday, June 1, 2020

Co-Incidence 2

DUKES FANS
CO-INCIDENCES-2

   As we move into a new month, there is beauty all around us. Summer is on the horizon, and the last few days in the Philadelphia area have featured warm weather, bright blue skies, slight breezes, and amazing skies. Migration has brought back the sounds and sights of a ton of different birds and butterflies. Our gardens, window boxes, and yards are fully alive with a wonderful mix of flowers and blooms.

   Citizens are now in their third month of shelter in place. COVID numbers across the nation continue to climb. Millions are unemployed and food insecure. On top of those co-incidences has come the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and days of unrest, protest, violence and looting. These things do not cancel each other out -- life is not like that. They are “co-incidences” -- things that are going on simultaneously. But the cumulative effect of them on us is powerful, wide-ranging and undeniable. As a human, I have to respond to it all.
 
   I am not going to go into the details of any of these latter things; people have been counting the numbers of COVID deaths, seen and felt the ways in which our lives have been turned around, and have had to make huge adjustments in just about every aspect of our lives. Folks have at least seen the video of George Floyd’s last nine minutes of life under the knee of a Minneapolis policeman and heard about the outrageous and tragic circumstances of the deaths of Ahmaud and Breanna. What I have to focus on now is how I deal with all the hurt, rage, confusion, tiredness, and anger that this unfortunate combination of things is having on me. What I have to do is to feel and acknowledge each of these feelings, and then move to a space where I can respond in a way that does not make things worse, and hopefully can help make at least some things better. 

   In the 1960’s many of us used to say, ”If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.” In many ways I still agree with that. That means that if there are things I notice and declare as “wrong” or “unfair,” then it is up to me to take some action. I cannot wait for government or someone else to address it. I noticed it, so I have to respond.

   Attached to the newsletter are some links to groups, resources, organizations, and suggestions on how to look at, confront, and work on making needed changes in our society around racism and inequality. These are some things each of us can do, no matter what our color or background happens to be. If you are already involved in such work that is great, and a link in the attachment may lead you to something more you can do. If you do not know what to do or you have not thought about things to do, perhaps you can find something of interest. 

   I believe that we humans have a need to and a call to respond to all that is going on around us -- the good, the bad, and the indifferent -- as well as we can. That means I will continue to walk outside, birdwatch, and appreciate the late spring. I will continue to visit a slew of museums and nature cams online and to marvel at the sky. I will continue to make one new recipe a week. And I will try, in at least some small way, to continue to try to help this country and the world heal. To try and give support to some folks who are trying to do the same. And to take some steps, however small, toward creating greater peace, acceptance understanding, and inclusion for all. I am a human. I am built for this.

IMPORTANT CITIZEN STUFF: please take note
 
Tuesday, June 2  PA Primary Election; PLEASE VOTE! (Note, if you vote using an absentee or mail-in ballot in the 2020 GENERAL PRIMARY the deadline to return your ballot is 8:00 PM on 06/02/2020. Your county election commissioner’s website can help you find locations of drop boxes:
 
  CENSUS 2020 The census helps the Federal government decide on things such as voting districts, grants for Federal aid, transportation and highway funds, and a hell of a lot more. It is one of the ways our tax dollars get back to us in our own areas, so it is essential that as accurate a count as possible is taken. COVID means the door to door census is on hold, so our online completions are even more important now. Please go to:
 
SOME WAYS TO HELP LOCAL AGENCIES DURING PANDEMIC
I know a lot of you are already supporting some of the groups working to meet some of the challenges associated with COVID-19. If you are looking for more or other ways to be involved locally, here are some suggestions:

Food
Links to local Food Banks:
Homelessness: Project Home   https://www.projecthome.org/covid-19-support
 To report domestic violence:  www.thehotline.org 

INFO ON COVID-19 TESTS http://realconciergemedicine.com/

UPCOMING DUKES GIGS
June gigs for the Dukes have been postponed
Missing Dukes Sounds?



Friday, May 15, 2020

Deep Spring II


DUKES FANS
DEEP SPRING II

   “Crepuscule” is one of my favorite words in English. I first came across it in when I was a teenager. It was the title of a great song by jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, “Crepuscule with Nellie,” which he recorded with the great saxophonist John Coltrane. I absolutely loved that song and was playing it regularly when I realized I had no idea what “crepuscule” meant. So I looked it up: 
crepuscule: noun: time between evening and night; twilight; dusk.”

   I had not known there was a word for that time period, and in truth, I had not paid much attention at all to that time period. After all; I was a teenager. (smile) But as I aged and got into birdwatching and camping, I gradually came to appreciate that time and its specialness. In that space between evening and night, the sky becomes a magical space. The sun dims, some planets slowly become visible at various parts of the year, the darkness of night gradually moves in, and stars and the moon start to appear. It is wondrous. And that time is especially magical now, in the midst of “Deep Spring.” Things all around and above us are going through little changes at this time, and we can get to notice them. Some nocturnal insects start coming out and buzzing around. Bees start heading to their hives. Songbirds start moving to feeders for their last meal of the day and then home to their nests. Owls start waking up and moving about. In some parts of the city and burbs foxes, possums, and racoons, become visible. In my Mt. Airy neighborhood hundreds of chimney swifts take part each night in a massive group flight to nest in the chimneys of the Houston School on Allen Lane. There is a lot of nature going on at dusk, and we get to be able to observe and be aware of it. 

  We are in month 3 of Lockdown and Shelter-in-Place, and crepuscule is especially important to me right now. The pandemic and its effects are continuing alongside a glorious spring, and I need to remain aware of that so I do not get lost in fear, depression and anxiety. I like to go walking at least twice most days, and walking at dusk has become very important to me. I look up as I walk, watch the slow and subtle changes in the sky. And I am reminded that there is still plenty going on to be happy about in this world and to appreciate. I can watch as the constellations move into different positions over the course of the month and the moon goes through its phases. I can be aware of the sounds that I can notice now that there is so much less traffic. And I can breathe deeply and feel more connected to the universe. I can feel my humanness and know wonder and joy. 

    “Crepuscule;” what a wonderful and magical word. Thank you, Thelonious, both for the tune, and for opening me up to all that word can mean and allows.

(Crepuscule with Nellie)

IMPORTANT CITIZEN STUFF: please take note
We as citizens have some important opportunities to be heard and deadlines to meet if we wish to be heard:

VOTING
Deadline to Register to vote: Monday May, 18

Deadline to Apply for Mail-In Ballot: Tuesday, May 26 (Note, if you plan to vote using an absentee or mail-in ballot in the 2020 GENERAL PRIMARY held on 06/02/2020, your completed application must be received in the county office by 5:00 PM on 05/26/2020)

Deadline to Return Mail-In Ballot: Tuesday, June 2 (Note, if you vote using an absentee or mail-in ballot in the 2020 GENERAL PRIMARY held on 06/02/2020, the deadline to return your voted ballot is 8:00 PM on 06/02/2020


CENSUS 2020 The census helps the Federal government decide on things such as voting districts, grants for Federal aid, transportation and highway funds, and a hell of a lot more. It is one of the ways our tax dollars get back to us in our own areas, so it is essential that as accurate a count as possible is taken. COVID means the door to door census is on hold, so our online completions are even more important now. Please go to:

 
SOME WAYS TO HELP LOCAL AGENCIES DURING PANDEMIC
I know a lot of you are already supporting some of the groups working to meet some of the challenges associated with COVID-19. If you are looking for more or other ways to be involved locally, here are some suggestions:

Food

Links to local Food Banks:

Homelessness: Project Home   https://www.projecthome.org/covid-19-support

 To report domestic violence:  www.thehotline.org 

INFO ON COVID-19 TESTS http://realconciergemedicine.com/

UPCOMING DUKES GIGS
May and June gigs for the Dukes have been postponed

Missing Dukes Sounds?