WORTH THE DRIVE
THREE GOOD REASONS TO GET IN YOUR CAR NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU HAVE TO DRIVE
AUGUST 14, 2016
I am writing this while sitting on the porch of a simple cabin in Canada. When I look up from my writing I see several islands sitting where they always are in this extremely unchanging place. The nearest island, Bradley Island, is 100 yards away and is in the U.S., so I won’t be getting homesick. I am however sick that I have to leave tomorrow. I won’t miss the amenities as there is no electricity, no running water nor indoor plumbing. When I get in the car for the long trip home I will miss the soft persistent sound of the wind through pine needles and the lapping of waves.
LAKE SAGANAGA, CANADA
The place that we have gone for half a century is now in a forgotten and little used Canadian park that is sandwiched between two popular wilderness parks, The Boundary Waters Park in the US and Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. The glaciers scraped all the rich soil off the very hard rock and delivered it to the farmlands in our middle west. What remained was some of the oldest ( billions of years) exposed rock in the world sticking up as islands in a big lake. Eventually these islands became home to determined trees, birds, critters and a few of us fortunate land owners. There have been no land sales since the 1950s and probably never will be. This magical place is a 16 hour drive, each way, from Detroit and worth every minute.
AUGUST 19, 2016
BILL OSLER ON DRUMS AT LARVAL REUNION
Our decision to leave Canada was to hear some music. After 18 years the Detroit band LARVAL was reuniting to play a one night gig. A couple of decades ago I shared a space in Royal Oak that a group of artist used to create personal art. It was a large wood framed commercial building with great acoustics. One of the artists, Bill Brovold, also wrote music. He had come from New York where he had spent time with a lot of experimental artists and musicians. He brought with him some of his craziest ideas that he had worked on with John Zorn. He broke all the rules. Often it worked. Some good musicians joined him in his vision and Larval was born in a corner of the old Packard Car Company Warehouse where I was painting and trying to find myself. I didn’t have a clue what they were about. I have been told that they are very good and that the music is very complex. Each piece they play starts out dark and confusing until by pure persistence, decibels and whole group energy an uplifting message of hope takes hold.
I always find myself smiling along with these artists and their wall of sound. To be at this reunion was worth every mile of the trip back.
AUGUST 20, 2016
DAVID McMURRAY AT THE DIRTY DOG
The second reason I drove 16 hours was to hear David McMurray at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café. David is usually playing to large crowds while in the hire of headliners who need to add some verve. David is special and the world knows it. Few will get an opportunity to witness his energy and smile in an intimate club like the Dirty Dog. The Dirty Dog has a habit of putting on events that are worth a long drive.
What a week I had and worth every mile that I had to drive.