Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, R.I.P.

My father was a lawyer who enjoyed coffee, smoking, and watching televised debates while screaming at the T.V. He was a smart guy, and did things like calling the White House to comment on the President's recent speeches, and writing letters to many national figures who had recently appeared on a television program he was screaming at. My earliest memories include sitting next to him watching William F. Buckley's program "Firing Line," as he guzzled coffee and I stared at the guys on T.V., trying to figure out the big words they were using, especially the guy with the clipboard. The thing was, the guy with the clipboard, William F. Buckley, seemed to be having a good time arguing with people, seemed to be friendly with the people he disagreed with so strongly, and seemed to be incredibly confident that he was right. I remember a conversation with a radio talk show host between my Dad and a tired radio hack, when my Dad brought up a point, giving credit to Mr. Buckley for it, and the host called my Dad a snob and hung up on him without listening to the point. That's when I started reading Mr. Buckley's work, a staggering number of books, including wonderful books on sailing, published journals of his massive creative output, and my favorite, a book simply titled "Nearer, my God." I heard about his death today on ABC radio, and in memory of Mr. Buckley on the day of his death, they played the audio of a debate in which Gore Vidal called him a "crypto-nazi." Some things never change.

May he rest in peace...after my Dad talks to him for a while over coffee.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Guitar Hero

Michael John Poirier is a dear friend of mine, and travels the country in an R.V. with his wife and children, singing and playing the guitar at churches and schools everywhere you can possibly imagine. When he's in Los Angeles, he stops by for a brief visit, and this one was ridiculously short, as we took out our guitars, played them together for a brief moment, and waved goodbye as he bolted out the door, off to the next concert. If you ever get the chance to see him, don't pass it up. Knowing Michael, he might be singing for two truckers and a waitress at a gas station somewhere, with all of them crying and hugging each other, so keep your eyes peeled. One day, maybe we'll have more time to play together. I know three chords, so it probably won't take up that much time.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! Whenever I think of Valentine's Day, I always think of this episode of "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea," with Robert Duvall in it. Well, not every Valentine's Day, but this was on T.V. the other night, so I had to come up with a way to introduce it in the blog. I worked with Bobby Duvall in the cinematic masterpiece "Let's Get Harry," where he played a grizzled mercenary, helping some guys rescue Harry from drug smuggling terrorists. In "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" he played a robotic alien who takes over a fake submarine full of actors in the early sixties. His performance was tremendous as an inhuman, uncaring being from another planet, though that one must have been easier to play, being so much closer to Bobby in real life and all. Happy Valentine's Day!
Love from Wilson World,

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Benedictine Blizzard

Benedictine College is a beautiful school in Atchison, Kansas, and I just performed a concert there, staying at an abbey full of Benedictine monks and having a ball - in a driving snowstorm! The students came out and packed the place anyway, and it was a great time in the true Benedictine spiritual tradition of stand up comedy and goofing off. I had fish and chips with a dear friend for an Ash Wednesday lunch, and slipped down the frozen streets, trying to find a four wheel drive car to get me to the airport. What a great time with such a huge number of great people. As I told the students there, I tell people I went to Catholic school and they look at me slyly, raising an eyebrow and saying " know what that means! heh-heh" and I say "What, that I'm smarter than you?" Oddly enough, the students at this small Catholic liberal arts college really liked that one.
Oh, and another highlight of the trip? The new issue of "Kansas Monks" magazine. Yes! My subscription was renewed!
Love from Wilson World,