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Spring is here. However, in Michigan the weatherman is the last to hear. As I am writing this, secure and isolated inside my home, it is 30°outside . Yesterday it was  62°.

We are supposed to lock ourselves in our homes, and we probably haven’t noticed the sprouts of flowers peeking up out of hiding, completely unafraid of the virus.

I am thankful that I  have good health, food, music and toilet paper. My wife and I would like to thank all those around us who are committed to slowing down the spread of the coronavirus. It seems that the whole nation has been asked to disrupt their lives to make sure that the most vulnerable citizens will have a chance to survive an infection. I am definitely that vulnerable citizen, and I do appreciate the sacrifices that will be necessary to make it possible for me to emerge unscathed. No one knows for sure how long all our lives will be interrupted. This is what I know.

China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan have seen the virus fizzle out. China reported no new cases last Thursday. This might mean that the virus was unable to survive the drastic responses that were employed. We don’t know yet, but this is good news for them. We know very little about the virus. The Covid-19 strain will either die out or adapt to our actions. It might come back in these countries when the strict protocols are removed. Our success may depend on following their example as best we can.  So that is what we are doing. Thanks.

One year ago I posted this blog for the Dirty Dog.

The blog asked everyone to get out of their cozy homes and crowd into jazz clubs to get their juices going after a long winter. This won’t be possible this spring, and it is the wrong message, but it might remind us how good life can be.

It looks like Detroit will have temperatures in the thirties to the sixties this coming week, Your car and house windows may have an icy glaze that will scatter the sun’s rays,  if we ever get any sunlight in March.

There is some good news for our jazz community because Kimmie Horne will be coming  to warm things up in the the Dirty Dog Jazz Café. To get some relief from the heat she generates one can step outside the club into our Michigan spring, but only for a moment as it will still be cold outside. This dog took too long a break outside the Dirty Dog during last year’s Michigan springtime. Be careful.

Polar bear

Bears gather up some stuff and climb into holes for the winter.

Polar bear 2

Being holed up can make all of us grumpy.

We do have some better choices. We are an active people and being holed up usually doesn’t fit our nature.


We need to get out. We don’t like being grouchy and feeling hemmed in, but we need a pretty good reason to leave our warm homes and navigate the icy roads. We need to find a place that will get our juices flowing again. We need to get warm to our bones.


Just yards from where your car is left for the Dirty Dog Jazz Café’s complimentary valet parking  is one of the warmest places in town. The warmth comes from the heating system, the music, the food, the pub-like atmosphere and most of all it comes from a genuinely pleasant  staff.


Another spring I posted about our choices of either traveling or going out to a local jazz club.


New Orleans will come alive with music and parades and along with much of the world folks will go outdoors and into the streets to party.

They take March more seriously because they are asked to give up more than we do in Michigan. We can give up our winter overcoat, galoshes or hot breakfasts. They have more to lose so they make up for it by having a fun fest for several weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. I have noticed that they seldom give up their music for Lent , nor do we.

In Michigan our march into Spring can feel a little different.

Scene from Game of Thrones

Uncertain and severe weather can make us stronger. We develop character traits that come in handy when March rolls around. We tell ourselves that things can’t get any worse and learn to appreciate what we have.

After all in only six months we will have the return of cool nights and Labor Day weekend with Detroit’s Jazz Festival to shake us out of our summer doldrums. Meanwhile Detroit’s jazz artists will be informing us of all the things that they have learned while holed up all winter. Michigan will bloom again better than ever. Anyway this is what Willie Jones tells me.

In that year’s blog I offered the alternative to going away for some warmth was to visit your local jazz club.  Those were good days.


March is one crazy month. Named for Mars, the god of war. It was the time that armies could gear up and return to battle after a long pause for winter. It is the start of Lent when we are asked to give up something we like very much, This year it is almost everything.

We may be at just the beginning of being separated from friends, work, social gatherings and live music. Who knows? The hardest part of the coronavirus incubation is the unknown time frame. How long before we can shake a hand, give a hug and hear live jazz? No one can tell us because no one knows for sure. There don’t seem to be too many covidiots who may feel it is their right to mingle, who could extend the time that we will have to remain separated. and delay our chances of returning to normal. Instead what I see are empty streets and a responsible community. This gives me hope. Keep it up.


This year the Dirty Dog’s celebration of spring will be be postponed a few months.

Everyone at the Dirty Dog hopes that until we see you again you and your loved ones are safe.

John Osler

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