Happy Thanksgiving!

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Jim O'Bryan
Posts: 13434
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:12 pm
Location: Lakewood

Happy Thanksgiving!

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:46 pm


I am thankful for all the supporters, advertisers, writers, readers, photographers, illustrators, cartoonists, fortune tellers, music and food reviewers, and YOU!

Here is another great Lakewood Holiday Tradition...

Gather your family and loved ones together and watch,,,

Gary Rice reminds all of you to be safe, wear a mask, and be thankful!


Jim O'Bryan
Lakewood Resident

"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
Werner Heisenberg

"If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad.
If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Gary Rice
Posts: 1623
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:59 pm
Location: Lakewood

Re: Happy Thanksgiving!

Postby Gary Rice » Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:12 pm

Thanks Jim!

Good Friends in Lakewood Land:

One of the great advantages of growing up in a musical family was with learning how to play almost anything that was put in front of me with at least a modicum of musicality. Now, nothing against those musical families that played everything “by the book”, but coming out of the hills and hollers as my family did, not only did I learn music the right way, but also, the “Rice” way! I had relatives who played in live theaters, and for barn dances, and for hoedowns too. You never knew who would play what in such places, and those encounters provided endless fun and entertainment. We never knew a boring Friday night, but I digress here... :lol:

These days, too many people I know (and especially musicians) are walking around with long faces. Musicians particularly, need to be the ones who are rising up and inspiring people in spite of all this. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. :wink:

The first example that I can think of from history was during WWII, in Leningrad. The enemy had attacked the Soviet Union, and was at the city’s outskirts. There would be a 900 day siege of that city. During that time, the only access to the city would either be by air, or across an ice-covered lake during the winter months. Starvation was rampant, and the shelling and the air raids were virtually endless, as total war was waged against the population. Within the city lived a famous musical composer named Dmitri Shostakovich. Unable to join the Soviet Army due to an eyesight issue, the great composer had instead volunteered for the fire brigade. While literally under fire himself, he wrote his 7th Symphony. Eventually, with only a few Leningrad Symphony members still alive and starving, and with whomever volunteer musicians who could be scraped together, his inspiring symphony was performed to a packed house in that city. Eventually, the siege lifted, and the enemy was driven back and defeated. The “Leningrad” Symphony is still performed worldwide in memory of those who perished while defending their city.

I think too, of the string quartet on the deck of the doomed ocean liner “Titanic”. They played until the ship went down, knowing that every tune they selected might be their last.

I think of the heroic bagpiper on the beach at Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6th, 1944, piping the men ashore under fire.

I think of my dear late dad, Robert Rice, with the United States Army Band in the Second World War, doing everything in their power to improve troop and civilian morale. I think of Dad again, as a Lakewood school band and orchestra director from 1958-1983; guiding Lakewood students with all those holiday concerts at the Civic, and how much fun it was for those wide-eyed middle school students to perform in that huge venue. Seeing the pride in their parents’ eyes was always memorable.

On a more personal note, I think of my dear late mom, singing to me as a child, with my then-serious medical condition being at the forefront of her mind, but she was singing to me anyway!

Honestly, by what RIGHT do we musicians DARE to pout and frown during these times? Ours is a sacred responsibility to lift spirits. Even if we knew that the world was going to end tomorrow, that should not stop us from getting out there with a smile, (albeit masked, whenever possible) and playing our music! :D

Gee, I sure can get preachy sometimes, but again, I digress here. :D

(Disclaimer: This does not for one minute imply that we should downplay the seriousness of our present moment in time, nor would I want to downplay the many legitimate concerns of all who sincerely post here. This commentary is only meant to encourage and provide hope and music for those who appreciate it. We all have a place here, but again I digress.) :wink:

There are so many creative home-made musical instruments that you can try for yourself. Whether playing rib bones, spoons, a wax-paper comb, or any of dozens of musical sounds that you can create from home stuff (water-filled bottles or glasses, tool wrench xylophones, etc.) as long as you get creative and help people to forget their problems for a little while, you’re doing well!

Music can indeed help to soothe and subdue those proverbial savage beasts of hate, fear, and despair, and bring them to bay; whether during a 900 day siege, or a 9 month pandemic... :!:

...but again, I digress here.

Happy Musical Thanksgiving All! :D

Gary Rice

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