|July, 2009 - Can't believe I have gotten so far behind in this thing. But, I am not
apologizing, because (1) there is a good chance that no one reads this, (2) there has never
been a deadline in place, (3) the act of apologizing should be reserved for those times
when you really hurt someone, either intentionally or without intention. For all of the other
little goofs in your life, apologies are a waste of time - period.
On the fourth of July I played my trombone and marched with the Denton Institute of
Phrenology Band - a brainchild of Jeffrey Barnes. It was great fun, and my endurance for
the quarter-mile trek was okay. My friend Tracy Lindsay, a university colleague and former
music therapy intern at Denton State School, also played trombone in the band.
July was a big month for the Mister Joe Trio (me, Andy Cooper, & George Merritt). On July
9 we performed for the Rotary Club, and the response was very good. On July 10 & 11 we
were the featured attraction at the annual Music Theatre of Denton Fundraiser that was
called Far North of Ordinary - a name that developed after the directors heard my song
about our "very clever" (and stupid) city slogan. I was able to finish the long-awaited CD
entitled The Unsinkable Mister Joe and had copies for sale at this event.
On July 16, 17, & 18 I attended the annual handbell directors' seminar in Tucson, Arizona.
Saw a lot of old friends there. Arnold Sherman, an established handbell composer,
reviewed two of my compositions and was generally complimentary. Attended a class
taught by David Davidson, former president of the handbell guild and director of the Dallas
Symphony Chorus. I knew that he had been fighting cancer, but he was in very good spirits
and taught his classes with enthusiasm About a week after the event David lost his life to
the illness. He was a very talented man and will be missed greatly.
July, 1974 - Strangers who never spoke to me before come right out and say, "I like you
better without the beard". I'm not sure what all of this means, except that evidently I have
succeeded in getting some attention. Perhaps this is what motivated the Phantom
Streaker who was in the news recently. Having never been noticed before, he was hoping
that someone would say, "I like you better with your clothes on".
Uncle Sam's Navy was my home for three years, during which time I rose to the glorious
rate of Second-Class Musician (MU-2 in Navy lingo). The Navy and I never got along too
well, because my thoughts and actions didn't quite fit the mold. I have great respect for
those who serve in the military, and their music programs offer great opportunities to young
men and women; but my own discharge papers were a welcome gift from the superior
powers. I mention all of this to let you know that in TWU's production of Sound of Music this
weekend I have a small part (the smallest) as an Admiral. After you see me in this role, you
will understand why I didn't make it in the Navy; but the rest of the show is wonderful -
especially the children.
Postage rates are up again, but the increases are small compared to most other items and
services. My mother says she "never wrote a letter that was worth a dime", but I can assure
you that her letters have always been worth infinitely more to a son who knows that they are
expressions of love and understanding, without which the daily routine would be an awful
RHYME FOR OUR TIME:
If I were the President, rightly I'd try to be
Strong in the face of trouble, brave against adversity.
If I were R.M.N., receiving the Watergate curse,
Somehow I'd get on with business and hope for nothing worse.
If God Himself were threatening me, resolutely I would stand;
but the IRE of the I.R.S. is too much for any man.