Neil E Peart 1952 – 2020


Its been a few weeks since learning about Neil Peart. Still in shock to know that my drum hero is gone. Yet he wasn’t just a drum hero, he was also the person who inspired me to start traveling by motorcycle. I had always rode motorcycles but never actually traveled on one. Around 2008 I had purchased his book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road and was blown away by his story. I knew some things about him but never really that much of his personal life. Discovering that he lost his daughter Selena in a car accident on her way to college and then months later his wife. He would later lose the family dog and then his best friend Brutus was pretty much banned from coming into the States. He felt so alone and isolated but not as a rockstar; more as a human.

That book was just a book at one point. Then in May 2010 I lost a good friend and colleague. A friend that helped get me into the music industry. He was more like a brother than a friend. I felt in many ways the same as Neil did. “Consider me retired….” I had told my colleagues. I began drinking much more until I was plastered and would just fall asleep from being drunk. I would endlessly find myself feeling upset over shit. I had no where to turn. No one to really talk to. I felt as Neil described in Limelight….Isolated. I would lay in bed for hours after waking up. Never really getting out of bed. I’d get up and get myself a drink of water and sit out on the patio looking out to the Pacific Ocean. The silence was grand. Well except for the sound of the ocean which I loved to hear. I was able to bask in my thoughts for what seemed like forever. Still feeling sorry for myself. I had a motorcycle in my garage just yearning to be rode. That just sounds wrong doesn’t it? lol.

One evening I decided to pick up my copy of Ghost Rider and I read through about 140 pages before deciding to call it a night. I tend to read books a few times as I always end up picking up things I didn’t on the last read. The next day was basically the same. I got up and got a soda and went out to the deck with my book and finished the book. As I closed the book and put it down I started thinking……Now what! A phrase Neil mentioned in a past book. A reference to his daughter Selena who would all sleek as a seal jump out of the water and say now what? That began to make me think about things. Now what? What if I got on my bike and just rode off to wherever? So that next day I grabbed some clothes and other necessary items and started packing my bike. I quickly looked up some routes and decided to head to Lake Tahoe. It seemed like a nice little trip.

I remembered something I had read in the book. Neil talked about the Loneliest Road in America aka Hwy 50. I thought why not go that way? I headed towards Lake Tahoe and then onto Reno to Hwy 50. Went straight across that 287 mile stretch of desolation. Well there’s the occasional town and hotel/store. Eventually making it to Ely and Baker before heading farther east into Utah and up to Salt Lake City. Then off to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. It was worth the time I spent with my ass hurting forever on that seat. I’d do other trips like heading into Canada and the Yukon as Neil did. I could see why he felt so relaxed and healed on that trip. It really was relaxing and healing.

I guess I strayed off the point of this post but I did try to make the references to Neil as needed. I grew up listening to RUSH and discovering Neil. I was more into Neil than Alex or Geddy in the beginning and I ended up being a guitarist! As years went by I began learning their guitar and bass parts as well. Fully appreciating the music that was RUSH. I’d listen to them in an endless loop. Air drumming as probably every other fan had done. Thinking back to reading Ghost Rider after my own depression something amazing happened one day. While on my motorcycle heading east to Texas I decided to stop and grab a bite to eat. While inside I spied something I couldn’t believe. It was Neil Peart wearing a cap and drinking coffee while reading a book. Obviously I wasn’t going to approach him because he hated all that. So I wrote a little note on a napkin which simply said, “thanks for the soundtrack of my life and times….safe travels Shunpiker…” I asked the waitress to give it to him after awhile which she did. I never made eye contact or stared for a reaction. I just kept eating my meal and was thinking of how cool it was to see the man behind the music and lyrics I’ve adored for so long. The man who inspired me to start traveling by two wheels and of course I went out and bought a BMW motorcycle as well. How cliché huh? lol. I finished my meal and gathered my things as I headed outside to my bike. I had no idea I parked my bike next to THE bike of THE Professor of drums. I was very nervous and felt odd as fuck. Like what if he came out and said get the fuck away from my bike. Only I doubted that because I was sitting on my own. I was grabbing my gloves and just getting myself set up for the next leg of the trip. During this trip I was reading Ghost Rider again. I just thought why not? I had the book sitting on top of my tank bag as I was rearranging things and suddenly I heard that voice! “Thats a nice bicycle you got there!” It was Neil. The man! The legend! Right there in front of me talking to me about my bike! I tried not to look shocked but I couldn’t help it. After a quick moment all I could get out was “thank you sir.” He saw my book and said “hmmmm what you reading there? Ahhh I’ve heard of that guy. Let me see that.” So I handed him my book and he turned a few pages in and signed his name to it and also wrote safe travels shunpiker. He had truly seen my note. I won’t go into all of it but after a short conversation and some laughs we shook hands and wished each other well on our journeys. He was heading west back home. I’d later read that around that same time he was in Texas staying at a place near the lake he enjoyed so much with his family. As I was heading to Texas myself.

I like to think of myself as blessed for that moment. Its one thing to grow up admiring a music artist but to one day meet them was truly amazing. So when I learned that Neil passed away after his health issues I couldn’t help but just grab my bike keys and ride off  into the sunset. Losing my father in 2017 brought many changes to things I thought about. Places we’d go to, rides we would take in his car and of course the music my father sang that I get the ultimate pleasure of hearing on his records. Hearing his voice forever etched on vinyl and playing on the radio for the world to hear is epic. I thought about the day I met Neil and the music I loved listening to. Only now that music has new meaning and new feelings. I once could listen to a song and enjoy it. Now it brings me to tears. Watching the RUSH DVD Time Stand Still chronicles their last tour, the R40 tour. That last bit of the movie shows Neil putting his sticks down on his snare and walking past the “prime meridian” as he called it to take a final bow with the guys at work. The prime meridian was the imaginary line in front of his drums. He vowed he’d never walk in front of it after a show. He always struggled with his own demons when it came to fame. He didn’t understand the fascination with people and rockstars. So he strayed from it with respect to the fans and their adoration for him and the band. He always made sure fans knew he was thankful for them. Anyways, he walked past that line to Alex then to Geddy and they took a bow together in front of that Los Angeles crowd for one last time. Then he ran off the stage for good….At the end of the movie the song The Garden plays. The song fitting to an end of their tour and to their run. Only now that song The Garden holds a different vibe for fans. It made fans tear up because it was really the last time to ever see Neil Peart on a stage again even if they felt he would still come back….one day. Now that song brings tears to fans because Neil is gone.

He always told stories with his lyrics. Some called him the worst lyricist of all-time. Whatever. His lyrics and his books full of stories are truly his memoir that he chose to share with everyone willing to take the time to pay attention. The world lost a great one and this time this loss truly hurts. If you’re reading this and don’t know who Neil Peart is thats ok. Think of it this way. Whomever your favorite artist is, they probably were inspired at one point by Neil and RUSH. That drummer of your favorite band would probably say that one of their favorite drummers was Neil Peart.

Im thankful that I had the opportunity to tell Neil thank you personally for the music. I was able to tell Alex and Geddy as well. I know that for a years to come they will be thanked for everything they gave us and for their loss of a great friend and brother. For Carrie and Olivia, Neil’s wife and daughter, they’ll have a lifetime of amazing memories although cut short. Olivia once introducing her class to her dad the retired drummer lol. I’m sure at her age now she knows just how famous her father was. Carrie an amazing photographer caught many amazing photos of Neil in her book Rhythm and Light. Sometimes I wish I could have ran into Neil again on the road but ill always cherish that first meeting. Neil is gone but his memory will live on forever. So thanks again Neil for all the inspiration….for taking that moment to speak to me when you so dreaded talking to people. Thanks for the music and the memories…..

“Suddenly, you were gone from all the lives you left your mark upon…..” – Afterimage

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Its Been a Journey…..


ITS BEEN A JOURNEY…..

So its December and nearly the end of this year. Since 2017 I’ve had so many ups and downs. So many things have happened good and bad. I really don’t even know where to begin and what to even mention. Since my father passed in August 2017 my life has been one heck of a journey. I couldn’t say I have recovered because I haven’t. Does anyone really? 

I learned to cope with losing my father thanks to therapy, my travels and many friends. After he died I felt alone. About as alone as a person could feel. Except I wasn’t. I have lots of family and friends but I’ve always been the kind of person that leans towards friends more so than family. Family is always busy. Well, so are friends but sometimes I think friends understand a little more what I’ve been through. Perhaps it was just my ignorance. I sat back for so long feeling sorry for myself. Then in December 2017 I started doing something that I never imagined……I somehow became more social. 

For many years I’ve turned to travel as my escape from life. There’s just something about riding a motorcycle down desolate roads or hopping on a commercial airliner and crossing the ocean. If you know me well enough by now you know that some of my favorite destinations are Germany, France, Switzerland and Iceland. I love traveling all over the world. Japan is amazing. Russia is…..interesting. Greece is full of history as Italy. Of course I can’t forget South America. Brazil is wild and Argentina has some good wine but dangerous roads and areas. Chile was always a splendid place. Fiji, Mexico, Belize, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Canada…..need I go on?

I guess I feel blessed to have seen so many places in this world. For the longest time I never felt the urge to share my travels as much as I wanted to because there was always someone with the “oh he’s bragging line.” So many have said they lived vicariously through my travels and I always felt happy to share a photo here and there or a story. It’s been many years since I’ve gone on any long motorcycle trip. My travels have turned to the air. I love planes and airports. Im the guy who would book a flight with a connection to an airport I’ve never been to just to say, “hey I was there.” It’s always nice to let someone else do the flying even when you’re a pilot. Four score and many distant years ago, lol I got my pilots certificate. I flew smaller aircraft like Cessna’s and Cirrus SR22’s. I wanted more though. My friend has an Embraer Phenom 300 and he began training me to fly it. Then I took the course through the manufacturer and here I am now flying THE Embraer Phenom 300 as a single pilot. Small planes to jets. That’s quite a journey right there. 

Looking back to August 25th 2017 at one point would be very painful. It still is but I’ve grown stronger over the last few years. On the 24th I remember driving out the the hospital in downtown to spend the day with my father. He had already decided he didn’t want treatment to fix his heart problems. He was just ready to die. We had many conversations alone just father and son. He prepared me for the day. That dreaded day. I can’t say I was really prepared but at least he did what he could to mentally get me ready for the day that he would no longer be here. At this point my life was just as normal as anyone else’s. I didn’t do much. Just spent time with my father. I guess looking back I did what was right. I spent time with my father so that I could have many memories to look back on because in all the travels and fun we had we always forgot to take video and photos together. Probably one of my biggest regrets in life. I will not ever regret though spending all the time with him as I did in the hospital. In fact I wish I had spent more. That last day was like any other. Perhaps he knew his time was coming to an end but he didn’t say anything. To me it was just another day at the hospital with Pop. We had conversations that evening after everyone else left. We said things that needed to be said. Then within moments I witnessed the most intense event of my life. Buzzers and alarms went off and my father’s face was blank. His mouth wide open as he looked straight ahead at me. Only I don’t think he was looking at me. It’s as if he was looking straight through me at something or someone else. The nurses asked me if I wanted them to bring him back. The hardest decision of my life at that point was to say…..no. He didn’t want that. He wanted to go in peace and me having him brought back would only prolong feelings for him and for me. In fact he probably still wouldn’t have survived anyways. For a moment he looked to have come out of that out of body trance. He moved his head and then a quick jolt of his body. The buzzers and alarms again going off. Its all I could hear. The haunting sound of those alarms. It was 11:42pm. I looked at him and he appeared to be looking up in the corner of the room. There was a single tear coming from his right eye but he was gone. I felt it. The buzzers stopped and the heart rate monitors were all flat line. It was over…..

I felt so alone at that moment. It made me think how I felt so fucking worthless because I had no one special in my life to be there beside me to help me. Guide me and comfort me in that moment. The nurse gave me a hug and told me it would be ok. That he was no longer in pain. All I could do was break out in uncontrollable tears. I was mad at him for leaving me but then again I was glad he wasn’t suffering anymore. I knew I had to call my family. So I made the call to my aunt to call my mother. It usually hard to get ahold of her. Thats another story…Then I called my aunt and uncle, my dad’s brother. I’m sure they knew that me calling after midnight meant only one thing. The doctor on duty that night came in to evaluate my father and he checked his vitals. He told me, “yes he is gone.” He called the time of death at 12:07am August 25th. For me though I consider his death August 24th at 11:42pm. 

After that night I drove him listening to some peaceful music. I turned on the radio while I was at the light and this song from a choir called Libera came on. The song was Ave Maria. The song started right at the beginning and just 3.5 hours after everything happened I broke out in tears again at that light. It’s like I was meant to hear that song from the beginning. It sounded like a bunch of angels singing. I felt at peace after hearing it while driving home. I got home that night around 4:45am. I sat in my living room with the lights off and shocked. I went to my dad’s room and laid on his bed. Cold sheets and a total feeling of emptiness. I couldn’t say I felt his presence or anything but I just felt alone. I had posted to Facebook and Instagram of his death. There was many condolences to my page and his. As I read every comment I couldn’t help but cry. My best friend and father was now gone. The man who taught me to grow up and respect others and women. The man who sacrificed so much just for me. The man who would always buy me things even when I didn’t ask because as a child he didn’t have much. He grew up dirt poor. I managed to fall asleep and wake up the next morning from phone calls from many family and friends. Texts as well. My phone flooded with condolences only I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted someone to comfort me. An ex-girlfriend I’ve been friends with was there with me days before at the hospital. She always thought the world of my father and he the same of her. She’s married with kids but I was flattered that she took the time to come see him and be there for me. She was also there for me for a short time during the services. I mean she had to get home to her kids and husband. Still I was thankful for that. 

Since that time I’ve struggled with his loss. Only a week after we buried my father my grandmother passed. I felt like everyone I cared about was suddenly leaving. At this point all I could do was yell, “who’s next?” I thought why believe in a God when he’s taking all these people away from me….From us. Only its all part of a plan that we all set in our lives. I’m not religious but I do believe we are here for a purpose and for all of us that doesn’t always mean we live happy healthy lives. My father lived a happy life but he was depressed. My father suffered the same depression I fell to this day. He was alone. My father was a great man who would do anything for anyone. He risked his life for many years as a firefighter. He sang to many for entertainment to brighten their days. You would see him and think man he looks happy but he was all but. He was sad. He was broken down. Just like his son. My father was always told how handsome he was. Many women would mention how attracted they were to him. Like me, my father would attract the wrong women. He spent time with some that seemed to only use him for money or other reasons. He was never happy after his divorce from my mother but he found a way to move on. For many years he resented how things ended up for him because of that split. He found it in his heart though to forgive all those emotions he felt and to forgive my mother for their split. He tried to find happiness just as I had. He never found it. Besides spending time with me and family he was always depressed. That’s why he told me to take his decision to die like a man. He wanted me to deal with his loss and not cry over him. 

Months had gone by and I felt I needed to change. I started going to therapy in December 2017. That’s when I made the decision to find something new. This is where Texas Roadhouse comes in. I’ve said this before but my decision to go in there was probably one of the best things I could have done for myself. I broke out of my comfort zone and I met some amazing friends. It took me time to get to know many of them as it took them to know me. I first came across Matt, Katlyn and Mykala. The bartenders. They were so nice and welcoming I just felt so happy and excited to go back again. I always enjoyed the food and now I felt I could really enjoy the company there. I remember going in and ordering a Blue Moon. I ordered a steak and had a few drinks. I talked with Matt and the others. At Roadhouse its part of the atmosphere for the bartenders to ask for your name and to speak to you in such a personal way as to call you by your name rather than hey or sir/ma’am. I got to know them better and after a few visits they remembered my name. I felt comfortable going there and having a few drinks and a meal. I went on a Friday and I saw some of my dad’s friends there. I later would find out they go there often on Friday’s to have a few drinks and relax. Soon after I’d be having conversations with them. Everything was just feeling right. 

Over the past year I have been going in to hang out with my friends. I made even more friends as time went on. Amber, Gabe, Jodi, etc. I always felt comfortable going in there and I think I began to feel too comfortable. Here I was on this new journey in my life away from traveling and riding motorcycles. It felt great but over time I began to grow too dependent on these friends. I expected them to always be there for me and I felt my actions were becoming selfish. So I took time away from going in to distance myself from that. I had made many friends but I did things to ruin friendships. Last Christmas I remember many of my friends took me to eat for my birthday. It felt great to have people appreciate me because for so long in my life I never felt appreciated. I felt worthless and used. They took me to Cracker Barrel and we had a great breakfast that Sunday morning. Many of them had to go to work soon but they took time out of their morning for me. That’s just special. Now here we are a year later and some of those people who once took me there don’t talk to me anymore. Again because I became too dependent on them. I never figured I’d lose friends. I let my mouth talk about things I didn’t know much about and in the end I lost friends. It devastated me to the point that I felt I was right back where I was when my father died. 

Lots happened during that time that I won’t get into but I did take time away again from going in. I continued therapy more intensely and eventually I found my way back to going to this place I enjoy so much. I don’t go as often anymore so that I don’t feel like a pest and because friendships were lost and not mended. It’s just part of life and something I have to live with. This journey I’ve been on this year and over the last few has been full of regret but also happiness. I am so grateful for all of my Roadie family. The friends I’ve made and even those I’ve lost I still am grateful for and only wish them a life full of happiness. 

This journey in my life surely isn’t coming to an end. That won’t happen until I die. Im trying to find peace and happiness with my life currently. It’s still hard to go through life, holidays and everything else alone The same depression my father suffered from I am as well. I always asked the question, “if my father and I are such good, handsome men why are we forever alone?” Therapy of course made me realize that my hatred for myself, my body and my looks was the reason for me. Yet I can’t just settle for less. I have to try and improve myself. Be it my looks, health and my attitude. It’s the only way I will find confidence and happiness in myself and in life again. I’ve watched other men get the woman they desire and don’t even put forth any effort. In fact many of them treat their women like shit. Yet they got them. Here I was trying to be a Prince to every female I dated only to be thrown away. Years ago I realized that I didn’t think I wanted a relationship anymore. I figured I’d just make friends with as many people and women as  I could. If I couldn’t date them well I might as well be friends with them women. 

Im trying to put forth a new outlook on my life. Im trying to change the game for myself. Through faith, healing, fitness and friendships. I just want to become a better version of myself and that all starts with me. That starts with a new journey in this fucked up life im living. For the start of this new decade in 2020 I want to improve my well being. I want to change how I feel about myself. I want to mend my friendships with people if they’ll accept me, forgive me and give me another chance to be that good friend I once was. This isn’t a time to cry about the past its a time to give respect to the future ahead of me. My father wouldn’t want me to be sitting here crying and feeling sorry for myself. True some feelings will come and go and I’ll have bad days but I have to start loving myself and caring for myself before I can expect others to love and care for me. I’d like to say that one day someone special will come into my life that will bring me lots of joy and happiness. That person or persons doesn’t have to be a intimate partner. They can be just friends. I found many of them. I lost many of them but I hope to bring new happiness to my life. New friendships, new trips…Just new journeys. I’ll still keep traveling the world. I’ll still keep learning the German, French and Russian languages. My heart may be hurt and im still mending the sorrows I feel but one day….one day ill reach that happiness and I’ll then be able to look at myself and say, “you know im not a bad fucking guy after all!” 

If you want to change your outlook on life you have to recognize you have a problem. You have to be willing to lay it all on the line and accept change. You have to understand that not everything will go as we wish. We will gain new friends and we will lose some. People will like us and some will despise us. While I can’t change my face which I feel is horrendous I can change my attitude, health and soul. Only then will I begin to see change in myself, my body and my mind. 

This journey over the last few years has been rough. I’ve learned to never take for granted people. To never expect more of people than they’re willing to give you. I’ve learned to never turn on people. Never speak of things if you don’t know what’s truly going on. Help others and be kind to those you care about. The people in our lives we care so much for won’t always be there forever. Some are part of the chapters of our live who will come and go. Some are there forever. It’s up to us to be there for each other. Be there for your family and friends. Be the shoulder they need to cry on. Be the one who listens. Be the one who they will look up to when they feel their own lives are falling apart. You both will help each other heal. Spend the rest of your lifetime being happy and making others happy rather than feeling sad and depressed. It takes time but if you believe in yourself you will one day find that your journey will take you right where you want to be….happy and enjoying life. So for 2020 I hope you all have lives full of happiness and love and I hope to find peace and confidence in myself…..

Cheers to you all

G

Lesson Learned


We all make mistakes in life. Daily. Sometimes there’s just no way around it. Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure and/or disappointment. Well I did just that. I wanted to understand more why a friend didn’t want to talk to me anymore. I just wanted an explanation. I figured maybe I could salvage whatever was left of that friendship. Instead I fucked up. I had told someone else about all the feelings I had. I guess I misconstrued some things I was told and well I shouldn’t have even said anything to begin with. I betrayed that friends trust and I put her in a bad position. So now not only did I lose one friend but I lost two. I cost her friendships and possibly the comfort of going to her job because of my stupidity.

Lesson learned for me to just let it go while it’s there. Just let it go and accept that when someone doesn’t want to talk to you anymore it means just that. I guess my heart is too full to just let things go. I don’t want to lose people because I don’t have many friends as it is. Instead I should have just followed my instinct and let it go. One minute we were friends and the next a distant memory. I can’t believe I let myself do this. I just couldn’t accept the situation for what it was.

Don’t be a total fuck up like me. If you’re ever in a situation where you want to know why someone doesn’t want to talk to you or be friends with you anymore its probably best to just let it go. I should have but I didn’t. It cost me more than I thought. Now my heart hurts double. All I wish for my two former friends is a great life full of love, happiness and success. I know they won’t ever read this because they’ve written me off. I guess it makes me feel better just saying these things. Life has been good to me but I wasn’t good to myself. Betrayal is a bitch and I let all the negativity get right in my face and eat me alive. I let the evil in and it cost me my friends.

Don’t be like me…a fuck up….

Hearing My Father’s Music on the Radio!


So its nearly two years since my father passed away. August 25th to be exact. Saturday evening I was visiting some family and we happened to have a conversation about my father and my grandmother. They both died weeks apart. My father first then my grandmother on September 15, 2017. We. had been talking about how my grandmother would always want a cigarette or how she would change her food tastes at times. One day she loved fried chicken and the next she would say it tasted horrible. That was my grandmother.

Anyways, we went from talking about her to talking about my father. My uncle was telling me to make him a CD of my father’s music from the 70s. Of course I have plenty made to give away just in case someone asks. In fact, months after my father died I decided I wanted to do something nice for Christmas. I offered up CDs to all family and friends at no charge whatsoever! I’d even cover the postage. I purchased about 125 blanks and sent out about 110 CDs. I included a little letter thanking them for their interest in his music. After all my father loved sharing his music with people. He would always tell me, “son make me about 10 more CDs so I can pass them out.” So he would buy me the discs and I’d sit there and make them. I had upgraded to a Mac laptop which didn’t have a CD burner. He bought me an external burner just so I could make him CDs. lol.

So Saturday while I was visiting family and talking with them about my dad I figured I’d get on the Tune-In Radio app to turn on the radio. This local station 90.1 would play my dad’s music. He was friends with the DJ. Well Right as I loaded the app and tapped play, my dad’s music was already on!!!  I mean whoa!!! This made the 5th time I’ve caught his music on the air right at the same time I turned the app on. The radio station has a weak signal if you try to listen through a standard radio. So I was flattered that they played his music and that someone had requested it. The radio show is syndicated across quite a few states. Of course anyone with the app could hear. Its such an honor to hear my father’s band on the air.

At such a time when I can’t hear my father’s voice anymore physically, I still have the music. I have many of his physical 45 records stamped with the record label and all that other information. Its such an amazing feeling to have those records and to hear his voice now that he is gone. Its a true testament to his legacy. So many people tell me how great a singer he was. Always bragging about his voice and how the band perhaps played a dance for them or even their wedding. My dad’s band played for my best friends dad’s first wedding. Such amazing memories to have and to be able to hear. Makes me truly appreciate the talent my father had and how much he truly touched people with his music. One of their most prominent songs is a cover of the song Historia de Un Amor by Carlos Almaran. I’ve listened to many versions of this song on YouTube and iTunes and no one truly sang that song like my father. Perhaps Luis Miguel did but my father gave that song his own touch. So hopefully I can attach a clip of it from when I was shocked to hear it on the radio …..

Update…..

I need to upgrade my blog to add video files. lol oh well. It was still nice to hear! Well if you go to the KPFT 90.1 website and go to the archives and look up the radio show Bailando in Tejas. In the August 17, 2019 archive you can hear it. Skip forward to about 2 hours and 47 minutes and just listen. Its hard to fast forward so its best to skip to that area and let it play. You’ll hear Mr Gus Garza mention The Blue-Lites Band and how he misses my father….

 

Cheers,

Gill

Photo Aug 05, 2 01 41 AM

Always On My Mind Dad……


I’ve spent the day thinking of my father and how I took him for granted sometimes. Always thinking that no matter what he’d always be here. Now nearly two years later he’s gone and all I have are some photos and memories. Mostly the music. Its haunting to hear his voice. It calms me when I feel down. Like now. I truly believe no one could sing Historia de Un Amor the way he did. There was just something about it. The way he belted out the lyrics.

I regret never really taking photos and video with him. Now I have no kind of memories to look back on. Just things I can replay in my mind. Trying to recreate the sound of his voice. Then comes the music. It truly means the world to me to hear stories about him from those that knew him. I’ve found photos I’ve never seen. Little discoveries that mean so much in such a bad time for me.

I’ve missed my father so much since that day. I’ve tried to cope with it. I’ve done ok I think. I’ve made new friends and I’ve lost some sadly. Sometimes I wish I could go back and tell him im sorry for things I did just as ive done with friends. It was never easy for me to say im sorry. I was too late with him and in other situations the same. I’ve grown since his death. I’ve become a better person but I’ve also struggled to be a better person towards people sometimes. Sometimes I took people for granted and now they’re gone from my life. That’s a lot to take in. My father would just say “you gotta move on son and think positive.” He would tell me I’d never have to apologize to him.

I’ve always been a sentimental person. I still have many little things my father gave me. Post card from Cancun and a t-shirt. A little red Camaro like mine he found at the store as a gag gift. Gift cards he gave me when he couldn’t afford to get me much. I never expected him to anyways. I look at these little items now and think they must have meant that much to me to still have them. The birthday cards with his handwriting. His never-ending supply of Dallas Cowboys shirts( I was his supplier lol) and of course his fire department shirts. I cherish every piece of his history. Every story my uncle Pete told me about them as kids after my father was gone. Now my uncle is gone too. I have none of them left. I never thought I’d be in this situation ever. Living without them. I always said just let me go first so I wouldn’t have to endure that pain.

Im trying to get past the next few months. Its harder than I thought. So many things happening in my life and I just need to sit down and talk with him as we always did while watching Sanford and Son. Now I can’t. I try to think about what he would say but its always easier said than done to follow that advice. Ive made mistakes and hurt people recently and I feel horrible for that. All I can say is please bare with me….Im sorry. I know im not perfect but please understand that right now I need whatever support I can get to get past August 25.

Why does life have to hurt so bad? Why can’t I ever find happiness in life? I try to lead by example and do things like my father did but sometimes I fail. He always said he was so proud of me but sometimes I think why? I fucked up so much in life. I guess he could see the good in me which not too many people can. My father was a one of a kind man. He truly would have sacrificed anything to help others. Thats just why I am the same. I can just never live up to the man he was. It stresses me out but I know I can’t live my life the way he did. I have to be my own person….even if it means being alone…..I’ll always accept the challenge but will struggle with the fight!

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Historia de Un Amor


Back in my fathers early days with his band the Blue-Lites, no one could sing this song in the title the way he did. I’ve heard so many versions of it on YouTube and Apple Music. No one compares to the way he sang it. I didn’t always listen to my father’s music. Then August 25, 2017 he suddenly died with me by his side and I had so much more appreciation for his music.

Sometimes I listen to his music and this song particularly because it reminds me of him. Its haunting to hear his music and his voice now. I wish I could find a really nice Spanish style guitar arrangement for this song so I could play it for fun. I’ve found a few but just not sure which one I like the most. Perhaps I’ll make my own arrangement. 11822448_1478231639141652_8140459121345311907_n

Holiday Time Again…


Wow Can’t believe its been so long since I have posted on here. I can’t even explain all the crap I’ve gone through. Nothing bad just grew lazy and to the point of sticking to a strict routine. These days all I do is either stay home and chill, skydive/wingsuit BASE and go to the gym. I can’t even remember the last time I went on an actual motorcycle trip or one in my Prevost. I have been flying though. Logging some hours here and there. Flying in a Cirrus SR22 these days. So I’m sitting here watching TV and sipping on a Miller Lite beer. eehhhhh i don’t really drink but I had bought it about two weeks ago and figured might as well drink it now.

So its December and Thanksgiving, for us Americans, has already passed. I waited so long for that single holiday and to think all I had was one….1….yes one plate of food all day. No over eating. I went back to my chicken and veggies after that. Im actually about to go through some Go Pro footage I have and probably finally post a full length view of my jump(s). The thing is I have a D license and instructor rating with over 600 jumps so I am well over the 200 threshold for camera use but I still feel like my footage isn’t totally awesome. I guess maybe needs the right music.

Anyways its already December and my birthday is coming soon as well as Xmas. For the past years I always posted how sad I would normally be around the holidays. Looks like this year will be different. Last year with all the circumstances that came about my friends daughter came to stay with me and eventually adult adoption. He passed and well his wish was for me to look after her. So after all the legal crap that all happened. So last year I wasn’t alone and this year of course she’s still around besides college and now a girlfriend. So things are looking up.

I was watching the movie One Hour Photo recently and again last night and just made me think how sad Robin Williams seemed in the movie. It didn’t seem like acting but it was really his real emotions. We look at the fact that he turned to suicide for his own reasons and thats why this movie just made me think. Of course it made me think of my own isolation. Except I didn’t get psycho crazy as he did in the movie. Yet you find out at the end why he was different from others. That movie shocked me with every scene the first time I saw it. I guess looking at where my life is now and thinking about others who will feel alone on the holiday makes me look back on my own experiences. Makes me feel sad for that. I guess you see it constantly this time of year. You see it in commercials, movies and in real life.

I guess for some odd reason I put much of my life on hold. I think its the whole kid thing but for 2017 I do plan to do more again. Trips, trips and more trips. I plan to do some trips in the Prevost, some BASE in Switzerland and France and most definitely Iceland again. Call me crazy but I wanna stand on the bridge in two continents at once again. lol I also plan to stick with my workouts and hopefully in another year or two ill be where i want to be and then maybe ill look like an idiot in my own backyard and learn to surf. lol. Gotta love beach life.

I know no one reads this blog but I still thought i’d write something. I don’t even know if ill continue writing on here. Anyways, if you’re actually reading this thanks and enjoy your holidays……

Cheers….