Today’s the 9-year anniversary of that terrible attack on America. Most focus is given to the World Trade Center but let’s not forget the Pentagon and those brave souls who brought their own plane down in Pennsylvania when they realized what was happening. I don’t think anyone in America, or perhaps the world, who was at that time aware of what was happening that day, would fail now to describe in detail just where they were and what they were doing during those fateful hours. I was in Frankfurt Germany doing a little contract work. I can’t tell you how touched I was to see many Germans approach the gate at Rhein-Main Air Base to lay bouquets of flowers on the ground. I certainly will never forget.
I’m not sure why that preacher down in Florida changed his mind about burning the Holy Quran – but I’m glad he did. I don’t know why a clown with only a 40-person congregation got such attention. It’s such a strange paradox for folks from other parts of the world to understand: Our troops have fought to establish the democracy that protects the rights of everyone to worship as they choose (and WHERE I might add), and that includes Christians and Muslims as well as the rest of us. What saddens me is the way Holy religions have been warped into something unholy in so many corners of the world. And I wonder why it’s so easy for Christians to say “That Florida preacher isn’t really a Christian” while at the same time failing to acknowledge that the 9-11 terrorists weren’t really Muslims either. Originally, Islam taught tolerance and justice, but many factions have warped their own interpretations of it into something far less than religion. I guess I’d like to say “everyone should be able to worship how they choose – until it victimizes someone else”. The preacher down in Florida, whatever he was – a “Clownist” perhaps, practicing “Clownism”- can behave like a clown all he wishes until it threatens others. Unfortunately, those practicing “Terrorism” threaten everyone. They must be stopped. But let’s not confuse terrorist factions with the Muslim world. Else we would be obligated to condemn the Christian world (and other religions) for the terrorism performed in their name by idiots who had no right to do so. (remember McVey? Hitler?)
And as for a Mosque at “ground zero”, I’d like to know who determines how big “ground zero” gets to be. I think there SHOULD be a Mosque there alongside a Church and a Synagogue and a number of other temples of worship. And if we’re so concerned about “hallowed ground zero”, why are there porn shops within walking distance? Did you know that about a hundred years ago, that section of New York was called “Little Syria” and contained Muslims, Christians and Jews all living together as a community? Enough already.
It seems like the last 4 weeks has flown by. Just after returning from our Road Trip, Deb underwent knee surgery for some damaged cartilage (meniscus actually) that we think was also causing her hip pain. Three weeks later, the jury is still out on that part. And to top it off, we both came down with some kind of flu or something – serious congestion and coughing but no fever. We seem to be pulling out of it now.
The bigger news was that my dear friend and bassist, musician’s musician, Rick Heyman has suffered some heart trouble, been in and out of the hospital about 5 times in as many weeks and is now the proud owner of a stint. Rick, we’re prayin’ fer ya! I actually talked with him tonight and he’s sounding positive about his healing.
Lately, I have marveled at the potential for success I see in some of my young musician friends like Robert Gillies, and Devon Gundry, and of course Andy Grammer, Red Grammer’s singer/songwriter son who is really tearing it up these days. Such talent and such energy!
But I’m also impressed with the “hang in there crowd, like JB Eckl who just released a 6-song CD called “Sparks” that is really fine. I first met JB when he was about 16. We were having a music show for a Bahá’í function in Virginia where I lived at the time and I agreed to host one of the several traveling musicians. A car pulled into my driveway and out stepped a young curly haired kid named JB who was to stay at our house. Even then, he could play guitar better than most players I knew. Just a few years ago, JB won a Grammy for his work on Carlos Santana’s “Supernatural” CD. The professionalism in his latest production is apparent. No small thanks to a cadre of really fine back-up musicians and a great producer named Jon Rezin of Next Movement Records. Jon and his bride Auntieclaire are new parents. I’ve known Jon for a number of years having met through our annual Music Industry Weekend. Jon mixed JB’s CD and even went on the road with him as he performed a bunch of house concerts promoting this release.
If you have a moment give these friends a listen.