Returning to the music

We’ve missed live music. Living in central Ohio we’ve enjoyed an embarrassment of riches, both venues and artists, a vibrant entertainment culture that goes back decades. Between the WuFlu nonsense and a nomadic life that never seemed to put us in the right place at the right time, however, it’s been a long time since we’ve been to a show.

That’ll change this week.

In a couple of days Deb and I will make a rare trip into downtown Columbus for Kentucky’s own Dillon Carmichael at The Bluestone. We saw him there several years ago, the up-and-coming country artist’s first-ever gig as a headliner, after catching his act a time or two at Squeek’s Bar & Grill.

The Bluestone, which occupies the historic First Baptist Church building on East Broad Street, has become our favorite concert venue. From ambience to acoustics it’s the perfect environment for live music. A friend of ours (and a longtime member of the Squeek’s Family) runs the joint, and he and his staff do create a special atmosphere for artists and patrons alike.

Next weekend we’ll be at Squeek’s Bar & Grill for one of our favorites — Ray Scott. We’ve seen this veteran indie artist at least a half-dozen times and he always puts on a great show.

What’s more, his kind of music is our kind of music. Real soundtrack stuff.

As for Squeek’s, there’s nothing quite like it — intimate and appreciative, warm and personal. It’s earned quite a reputation with artists over the years as a place that must be played. They’re drawn to it — and return often — for reasons that become obvious to the rest of us after seeing a show there.

Deb and I will have to get our fill of live music while we’re still here because — and this may surprise you — entertainment options are fewer and farther between near where we’ll be living.

It looks like Mountain Home (about 30 minutes away) offers a few possibilities. Otherwise, I think we’d be looking at Branson, Missouri (an hour) or Springfield, Missouri (two hours) to get our fix. Town festivals and block parties are common, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for those.

Incidentally, Deb’s cousin predicts that we’ll love our new life on The Mountain so much that we won’t feel a strong urge to leave for musical entertainment. He may well be right about that.


The current occupant of the Oval Office isn’t mentally fit for the job he holds. He’s infirmed, and everyone (with a functioning brain) knows it. If you haven’t figured that out by now, you probably shouldn’t operate power tools, drive or breed.

He’s always been rash and he’s always been slimy. (Ask anyone in Washington.) He’s notorious for his gaffes, a predisposition now compounded by senile dementia.

His destructive, anti-American policies aren’t a surprise, all part of the whole elections-have-consequences package. We’ve now reached a point, however, at which he can’t be relied on to avoid random blurts that are inarguably dangerous — like telling the world that America may use chemical agents, or jeopardizing national security, or revealing classified information, or advocating for “regime change.”

He’s done all of that just in the last few days. Even his handlers behind the curtain are unnerved by his fuckups — they got their “empty vessel,” sure, but despite medicating him heavily before every appearance they can’t control him. Time after time they have to prop him up, wind him up, program him with a corrective script and hope he doesn’t fuck up again.

Much is being made of the “cheat sheet” he unconsciously displayed at yesterday’s press briefing. Bringing notes to the podium isn’t a sin — presidents do that. Their press secretaries do that. Virtually all public speakers do it. In my professional life I provided talking points for my spokespersons and I’ve used notes myself.

The real problem is being clumsy, detached and unaware, waving the script around so that cameras can get a clear shot of it. It shows (or, in this case, magnifies) weakness, same as when he says things like, “I’m going to get in trouble with staff if I don’t do this the right way.”

There have been rumblings (some louder than others) about invoking the 25th Amendment, §4, removing the current occupant of the Oval Office. There’s ample justification for that now, and we’re presented with more cause every day.

If you believe that’s a good idea, though, ask yourself: If America shouldn’t suffer another 34 months of Daffy, do you really think we’d be better off with Chuckles in charge?

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon