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 …..
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….
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!
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.
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……
I actually forgot about my blog. Figures though. I really haven’t done much lately besides skydiving and wing suit. OOOOH well and adopting an 18yo. My god daughter. I guess it doesn’t really matter. its not like I had millions of readers here anyways. Just my usual bullshit random thoughts.
Such an exciting night here at the crib. The kid and I are watching basketball and being lazy. Pizza night complete with cookies and tea. Exciting ehhh? not…lol So earlier I was editing videos and I did an edit from a wing suit flight off my Go Pro and I shit you not I darkened the video and added the Theme track to the original Lost Boys. The video is pretty bad ass. I should post it. The rear view kinda makes it look like I’m a vampire flying.
Heading to Switzerland soon. Well later this fall. Cant wait for that. We have been trying to figure out where to go on vacation. Ive taken her to South America last year. We did Iceland. Bora Bora……She mentioned Greece and Italy the other day. Maybe…Havent been in a while. Last time in Athens I loved the views from Lycabetus Hill. Was awesome.
Ok well getting off of here for now.
Cmon Lebron win this shit foo……
So i’m one day into being 40. Fuck I’m old. lol. I was thinking earlier while STILL sitting here watching A Christmas Story over and over and….well….So yeah I was thinking about what it was like when i was around 7 or 8. Waking up early at first light to raid my parents room and wake them up so I could open presents. I mean as kids Christmas just wasn’t Christmas unless there was tons of torn paper, ribbons and bows all over the place. I was kind of odd. I always well most of the time kept the bigger present until last. Or maybe they made me wait til last. I forget that far back but I remember opening the first present to find socks. Whoa man new socks! Kinda funny how as kids we threw clothes off to the side awaiting some awesome ass toy. lol. Then the next present and whoa a toy. It was Capsela I think it was called. Basically sort of a newer version of the Erector set. It was these bubble looking pieces that you connected together and ran on batteries and you could make moving stuff. Came with wheels and all. Ill post pics at the end. I found it on Google lol. I remember that was one of the coolest damn toys. I’d hook up those things and make absolutely nothing but it looked cool! THEN……and then oooooh man i’d leave pieces on the floor and step on it. Firstly…..OUCH!!! Then……FUUUUUUCK I just broke an important piece. lol. Besides Capsela though I also loved getting Legos. Oh man i’d make all kinds of shit out of Legos. Buildings, planes, cars and some whack shit I don’t even remember. Even after all that there was still more presents. See back then we didn’t have smartphones, Nintendo, PS4s, Xbox, DVD players etc. So i’d open another present. That dreaded long lightweight box. You already knew picking up that box it was either a nice dress shirt or jeans lol. Tearing it open I see that Foleys logo and whoa…..its a shirt! Thanks and all but whats in that BIG box behind the tree??? Yep as a kid you want that big box. Ill get to that big box soon.
During all the present opening chaos my dad would turn on a record of Xmas music. Usually Chipmunks cause i loved that shit. My mom would go between making breakfast and watching me tear shit open like a rabid dog. Of course as we got older there was those times you tried to be all cool and shit and be slow opening presents. OOOOOH a present let me open this slowly so I don’t look too excited lol. Yeah cmon we all been there. Then there was that time I was like Ralphie and got a BB gun and wanted to go shoot it outside at every bird I saw. It looked like an M-16. BUT I’m sure you can all remember doing the pre-christmas present shake. No its not a fucking dance…unless you danced while checking your gifts. lol. I remember going over by the tree on xmas break from school and my parents would be at work and I was over in that corner by the tree shaking the shit out of everything….Clothes….clothes…..something noisy…..something liquidy….something heavy…thats it! i want the heavy one first lol. Or there was that time you tried to tear open an corner and hope your parents didn’t notice because we was impatient and didn’t like waiting until Xmas Eve. Santa to me was just some fat make believe fucker. I knew they got up and hid shit under the tree. lol.
Then as I got older I remember we started having Christmas parties at my aunt Trini’s house. Of course we did the usual Xmas at home but there would be a few presents I’d have to wait to open until we went to the party with the entire family. My aunt at the time lived off Mayweather St in Pecan Grove. Corner house. Big yard. My aunt Trini always goes all out. She loves decorating and doing crafty stuff. She made tons of stuff back then. So it was fitting we went to her house. They would have tons of food. Main course and snacks, drinks…etc. She had a huge tree in the corner by a window and at the time it was really just my cousin Jason and I and a few others that were older. Jason and I would be bugging asking when is it time to open. We would be outside running around being stupid then we could go inside and sit by the tree……impatiently waiting for that moment. Then the gift giving began. Like hawks we awaited our name to be called. JASON…oh man he would tear that present open and I was like…what you get? He was like….socks and jeans. Then I got mine. Same thing….lol. Usually the bigger gifts for us were done at home. But eventually we still got some kind of toy or whatever. Then afterwards packed all that shit up and went home. Fell asleep and that was it….Xmas was over.
So yeah I didn’t forget the big box. Lets go back to that age 7 or 8. We had this 3 panel window in the front of our house. Our dinner table was right in front of it and the kitchen was right to the left of the table. Our tree was there. I think we had it in different places but for this time it was by the window. Up against the wall by the window was that big ass box. Enough already give me the damn big ass box!! LOL. Finally that moment came and my dad would give me the big ass box. You know as kids we had box awareness. We could somehow look at a box and be like, “i know that the fuck that is.” I had a good clue what it was because I had asked for it after seeing it at Wal-Mart while munching on popcorn. Back then you could walk over to the front of the store and get a bag of popcorn while you shopped. Anyways, I grabbed at corner of the paper on the box and tore that mother fucker open……ALAS!!! Present revealed! It was one of those electronic train race sets. Just like the race car sets you played with by holding the yellow or red controller and squeezing the trigger. I had gotten quite a few of these. Loved them. Except this one was a train and it had glow in the dark stickers you could put on it. That bitch was bad ass man. I wore the shit out of that thing. See on those cars/trains they had metal contacts on the bottom and the more you ran them the faster they wore out. Yep I wore them out fast. lol. So that Christmas came to an end. That present my spoiled ass wanted finally in my hands. Somehow I remember my parents buying me a blue sweater that read, “I’m a Toys R Us Kid.” lol yep Remember those cheesy Toys R Us commercials on TV where they would sing that jingle and at the end they said, “toooooooys rrrrrrrr uuuuusssssssss.” Basically hypnotizing you to buy shit from them.
So thats about it. A look back into glimpses of my childhood Christmas. Do you remember yours? Are you even actually reading this post? lol. Oh well…..as kids we always had that selfish phase where we didn’t care. We just wanted to open up our presents and we wanted toys toys toys. Now as an adult times have changed and we have smartphones and gift cards. So while your giving someone their gift card your probably making some cheesy holiday video of it. Then post christmas you realize you have 500+ pictures and 100+ videos on your phone. Waaaay too much for me. I keep my photos around 50 or so. That was life as a kid though. For many of you I went to school with or socialize with you probably have your own kids now who do the same things you did as a kid. I’m sure its funny to see it all these years later. With that final thought I leave you all with a simple wish for a Merry Christmas. Party hard…..
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Another year and another holiday has come nearly to an end. It seems as though the year was long and horrendous yet the holidays were very short and not sweet. I haven’t posted much on here lately. Just so much going on with life and living it. No more touring but now being a father figure. Thats pretty much full time shit right there.
Its been quite hard getting into any kind of Xmas spirit this year. What the hell is up with this weather? Across the USA and even across the pond the weather is hotter than normal. I mean people going to sport events in shorts and flip flops when it is normally cold as fuck this time of year. Its quite odd. On the up side its been great skydiving weather. Finally made it over 100 jumps! Much more comfortable with the sport now. Thats about the only good thing about the weather.
Its been what I consider the usual Texas style holiday though since coming back here for the week. Most people complain about how they hate the snow and I tell them “come to Texas, theres no fucking snow here just hell weather.” Its also true that the weather here changes when I come back. When I’m gone it will get cold AF. When I come back its like that fucker God says “oh hey Gill’s back lets jack up the temperature here.” Never fails. Every time I return to TX it gets hot. When I leave and I mean literally the same day I hop on the plane the weather goes back to cold. WTF. lol
So anyways like I was saying, I can’t really get into the holiday spirit. Not depressed at all. Quite happy with all the life changes and such. Its just that here no one has any Xmas spirit anymore. It seems like people are so caught up in just spending money on themselves and their cell phones that they can’t find enough time in the day to decorate for the holiday. So i was looking at pics friends sent me from where they live in England and across Europe and their communities and cities have a plethora, yes i said plethora lol, of decorations. Even my Russian friends sent me tons of pics of their city. As I type this one of my friends and his girlfriend are probably preparing for Xmas as its around 2 or 3pm there. So almost Xmas morning. So the only holiday lights we saw was driving through an old neighborhood where my friends and I used to hang out. Those white folks are family people and many of them still have Xmas spirit. One of them is pretty much the Clark W Griswold of the area. lol.
It is Christmas Eve morning and also my birthday. Felt pretty good to get some early wishes. So many forget with the holiday rush upon. Sadly, my friends remember more than family. My online friends that is! lol. I don’t really know how I feel about it anymore. Some people say suck it up and quit bitching but think about it……If your birthday is on lets say June 6 you will likely get presents and/or wishes from your peers. Presents are not ever expected by me by the way. So when Christmas rolls around you got your awesome birthday and then a nice Xmas. For me its “here’s your birthday and Xmas all in one.” It kinda sucks but oh well. Like I said so many say suck it up and get over it but why is it ok for others to get 2 holiday wishes and me/others only one? That selfishness people are saying I have kinda goes back on them right? Why be so shitty about it.
Anyways, like I say it doesn’t bother me much anymore but does make me think sometimes. For me the only presents I get and find as the best ever is my family and friends being around me year round. Having the friendships I have where I can chat with friends online or over a beer. I have so many friends I’ve never even met but consider them of the best friends. Hopefully one day be able to meet some of them. The best gifts a person can receive are not even really given. Its being surrounded by good people who support you no matter what you are dealing with in life. Right now I am dealing with kidney issues. Earlier this year I dealt with another health issue and hopefully it doesn’t come back. It kills many people every year.
The greatest gift I think I got this year and in a long time was from my friend Foster. He passed on months ago. Sadly taking his own life. Its hard to say that something good could come from something so terrible but his death did bring some good in my life. His gift to me was changing my outlook on life when it came to kids. True that I still don’t want marriage but his death made me see having children is truly a great gift. About 17 years ago he asked me if I would be a god father to his child. At the time they didn’t know if a boy or girl. They had a girl. Ive been part of her life since she was born. All her life she’s known me as “Uncle Gill.” Now with the unfortunate circumstances and not having any family alive to care for her I’ve become “dad.” Before my friend passed he had asked me something very random…..”hey man on the real if anything ever happens to me make sure you look after my little girl….you promise right?” His exact words. Of course I said yes. How could I say no? I hate to see her deal with all this pain right now. Her father’s death is still so fresh and they were not on the best of terms at that time. So the greatest gift I’ve been given is him giving me his blessing to look after his teenage daughter. She’s a smart kid. Already graduated from high school a year early and starting college very soon on a full scholarship. I can’t ever replace “Dad” but i can be a father figure that will try and guide her through life and all the difficult decisions she will face ahead. I had no idea what to give her for Christmas so I bought her $1000 worth of gift cards to use but even more special……I made a DVD of video I found of her father and I just being idiots. Jamming in his garage and chugging beers to moments when she was a kid and can’t possibly remember. After all she needs good memories of her dad and these I gathered she’s never seen. When I took her on my final tour leg she saw just how awesome of a life it can be and also how stressful. So seeing those videos on that DVD I think she will understand. From the very poor crappy cell phone videos we shot to high quality HD. I hope Christmas Day or whenever she decides to view it she will see just how great a life he had and how our friendship was.
So This is Christmas…..the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by John Lennon. For years I’ve listened and played this song on my guitar followed by Imagine also by John Lennon. To think when I was in my 20s I hated anything by Lennon. Now I cherish the great music he wrote and that music has become a huge part of me. One day when all the people who make my Christmas happy are gone Ill be sad and that song will be one that forever reminds me of them and that time of my life. After all, one day ill be gone. I just hope that people have nice things to say about me once I leave. I had a dream of my own death and visualized it. It was quite interesting as I saw some things I didn’t expect. Some who were huge parts of my life not there to celebrate my final days. Others I didn’t recognize. Possibly people i’ll meet in my future. The only part that was interesting is that visualizing it all I had no family of my own. Just friends and what family was left and a god daughter who looked at me as dad.
So yes This is Christmas……Happy New Year…….
so yeah its just me. I’m alive and here is a recent with my Eddie Van Halen Frankenstrat.