Ten Years Later

On August 25, 2009 I was able to truly hear my music for the first time.

It was a life-changing moment, and ten years later the changes are still happening.

I can’t wait to hear what happens next.

Just This Banjo

Patrick in high school with his Dobro banjo.
Patrick as a teenager – right around the time many events in Just This Banjo take place.

My upcoming book, Just This Banjo, is almost finished. There are still a million things to finish, but the book itself is just about written.

Work has been impeded a bit by my health. The pain of peripheral neuropathy can be so overwhelming that it can send a potentially productive day down a dead end street. On some days the pain is so bad I just can’t think.

In spite of bad pain days, we are pages away from the final draft. Once that is finished we have to format the work and get it ready for release.

As a treat, here are the first couple of pages of the latest draft: Sneak Peek: Just This Banjo.

Next week I have some long days of medical tests and appointments in preparation for surgery to install a neurostimulation device on my spine to help manage my neuropathy pain. For the rest of this week into next week I will be putting The Daily Frail on hold so that I can finish up the last bits of writing and complete Just This Banjo.

Private lessons will continue as scheduled

If you have any questions about Just This Banjo, The Daily Frail, private instruction or electric banjos, call (410) 968-3873.

Six Gun Memories

When I was around seven years old, my parents drove to Florida to visit an old friend who happened to be a Seminole County Deputy Sheriff.

I could go on for ages about the trip and Deputy Jack. It was like visiting Buford T. Justice at home.

Deputy Jack took us to some of the tourist attractions, but there was one location he really wanted us to see: Six Gun Territory.

If you don’t know, Six Gun Territory was an old west theme park. They had stunt performers doing shootouts and amusement rides. It was good clean violent historically inaccurate American fun that would be shut down in ten seconds today.

When we arrived at Six Gun Territory, the place was closed.This is where I learned an important lesson: in Florida, things don’t close for deputy sheriffs. A few words with a flash of the badge from our friend Jack and the park opened up just for us. The stuntmen did a private show for us with a bank robbery and shootout. Then we got to go on any ride we wanted for as long as we wanted.

Imagine being seven years old and being told you can go on any ride you want – for as long as you want – with no waiting in line. It was awesome. We felt like royalty.

In a lot of ways, it was better than Disney World.

Today the Orlando Sentinel ran a story on Six Gun Territory. It made me smile to remember the fake gunfight and the smell of the blanks going off. The way Jack hitched his belt before flashing his badge and the way we had the whole park to ourselves.

Whatever happened to the staged gunfights and carnage at Six Gun Territory?

Daily Dojo

Cling to truth and it turns into falsehood. Understand falsehood and it turns into truth. Truth and falsehood are two sides of the same coin. Neither accept one nor reject the other.

Ryōkan 

It is only due to a lack of heart for the Way and a lack of skill in handling their daily conduct that people become vainly tied to fame and gain.

Dōgen