Sunday, July 17, 2011

What a Week

This past week was one of ups and downs.  I feel a bit like I've been through the ringer, but it was full of blessings.

Monday I found out that my friend and colleague, Dr. Hardy George passed away.  I knew he had been sick but it just happened so fast and anyone that knows me knows that I have a hard time letting go of people. I'm working on it.  Hardy was such a great man. He was the Chief Curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and when I was working there, I experienced so much patience and encouragement from him...and a lot of laughs. Sometimes Hardy and I could just look at each other and giggle, knowing that the other was thinking the same thing.  I really respected him, not just because he was so smart and successful, but also because he was a gentle spirit who genuinely cared.  He deserved the utmost respect whether he got it or not, but never demanded it.  I wish there were more men like him in this world.

Monday night we had our rehearsal for the OKCMOA rooftop gig (which I'll write more about in a minute.)  It went really well, so it was actually therapy for the sadness I encountered earlier in the day.  There was more than Hardy's death that I was dealing with and I won't go into it here, but I'll just say that I really needed to sing and it was the perfect outlet.  When I left the rehearsal, I felt a million times better.

Tuesday, I went to visit my friend Casey Friedman of Acoustic Oklahoma.  We had a wonderful talk and he has graciously agreed to help with the music at the Paseo Arts Festival next year.  We'll be so lucky to have him on board! I really respect what he is doing with Acoustic Oklahoma and if you haven't checked out the Facebook page or what he's doing at VZD's on Tuesday and Thursday nights, you're missing out.  Casey has a studio and apartment and more above the Horn Trader Company where he is recording as many Oklahoma musicians playing or singing or both.  I fully believe in the value of this project and I'm so grateful that someone is doing it.  It's not only our musical community that is being presented, but its history as well! As a student who researched at the Oklahoma History Center this year, I was so grateful that people took the time to document our state's past and I know that what Casey is doing will have great relevance for many, many people in the years to come.  Besides that, it's just fun! While I was there, Casey had me sit for a picture where he has the other musicians play.  I wasn't quite ready for that...I would have fixed my hair if I'd known I was going to have my picture taken! Haha! So I made him take one too. :)

I chose a banjo as an instrument to hold in honor of a friend.
I don't really know how to play, but maybe someday! :)

On Wednesday, I had a great rehearsal with Sara and Jessie, the other singers in our band and then went to a new place for a cocktail with friends, Cohiba Lounge.  While we were there, some guys dressed in green and purple unitards came in.  I'd seen the green man dancing on the corner by The Mont before, but never the purple guy.  They were pretty funny.

Dancing without Music.  Love that performance art!

When did planking become so popular? It wasn't that fun at Boot Camp last summer. Haha!

Thursday was spent getting ready for the performance at Cocktails on the Skyline  (the gig on the rooftop at the Museum.)  I bought a pop-up tent because it was over 100 degrees (and has been for weeks now) and then we rehearsed before the show.  Man it was hot on that roof! And I'm not just talking about the temperature.  We really rocked it! :)  I was so happy with how everything went.  I have never worried about the instrumentalists.  They are regularly gigging musicians.  And the girls sounded so great on their harmonies, but I have normally worried about myself and the quality I was capable of.  But not this time! As I've written in the past, my confidence has grown with each experience and I'm grateful.  I wasn't perfect and I never will be, but I'm learning and I feel that when I'm confident, it shows. I could take risks vocally and I learned that you don't have to introduce every song. Haha! My brother Tom and the rest of the guys are helping me to learn so much.  Here's a pic from the night.

The Jones! Jon, Jessie, Me, Tom, Sara and part of Justin (on the right)
Missing from this picture: Steve, Daniel, the rest of Justin and the other Steve (haha!)
photo by Ross Becker

All in all it's been a great week. I'm grateful for all of the high points and even the low ones too. It's hard to let go of people that you care about, but I'm realizing that it's just a part of life.  Whether its death or people just needing to move on, you have to let people flow in and out of your life as they need to.  I'm just grateful for the ones that want to stick around for the long haul.  I think they help you to have the strength it takes to let the others go.  Rest in Peace Hardy.  You will always be loved and respected.