Monday, March 23, 2020

Never can be TOO crowded....

 As we "hunker down" and practice self-imposed personal aloneness, we really are doing what has been mandated. Scientific and logically.

This is a solid, positive way to not only stay healthy but to also help lessen the spread of the evil virus.

But we also have ALL we need be bored. I miss being with others!

A few years before the Gaillard Center actually re-opened, I had a picture taken of me in front of a huge drawing of how it WOULD look.

After it actually was completed, of course, I could stand, er sit,  in the actual spot with the same view and recently I DID sit upstairs on that level.

But, right after I posed in front of the drawing - years before the renovation was completed - I "faked" sitting amidst a crowd. Thank you, the magic of using Photoshop.

Plopped down in an empty seat next to who would have been my surprised fellow spectators.

Hmm, maybe as a way to break the boredom we all have right now, I should insert myself into other "crowd scenes" to at least FEEL like I was set free..out and about..enjoying Charleston's many charms. The PAC, the Pour House, Sunday Blues Bashes, etc.

As I ponder that - and start to select proper crowd scenes - I came across a delightful online link that lets me visit and, perhaps, RE-visit great museums around the world!

It can't replace the thrill of actually standing in the Louve, staring up at the Venus DeMilo or Winged Victory or smiling back at the Mona Lisa.

But nobody can actually do that right now so I will enjoy my personal memories of Paris and invite you to click and journey as your soul really wants to be doing right now.

Bon Voyage!

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Revising my "to Do" list...

Hunker down, read a good book and hope that the officials FINALLY take a serious look at the unwise College Spring Break activities going on in the midst of lockdowns and severe actions elsewhere!

I keep a calendar online and a paper one on my desk.

When I get confirmation of a ticket purchase, I print it out and stick it on the front of my refrigerator.

Just like everybody else.

Well, maybe not the tacky look of reminders on the 'fridge.

I did worry that a performance might pass and I had forgotten it so I had wasted not only money, but also  missed attending an event I wanted to go see.

Nowadays, I am monitoring more of a "Not To Do" list.
Or, oh crap, another show has been canceled or postponed.

Early on, as the United States began to face facts, listen to the scientists and alert us we had to take drastic steps - a postponement was almost an upbeat concept.

If the scheduled performance was merely delayed, it would be a future event to bring happiness. YAY!

But, now Canceled seems to be the keyword of the day.

So is Distancing. 

The latest and most challenging official mandate is LOCKDOWN and I understand that concept.

To do nothing in a pandemic disease situation would be foolish and irresponsible. The wisdom today is we need to buy time!

Allowing us to roam, around, eyes closed to the problem, would be insane.

Luckily, I am an avid reader, belong to Paperback Book Swap and this PBS $20 a year membership has been very, very good to me.

(Yes, there is a cartoon in the comics each day that I like called Pearls Before Swine. It is known among its followers as PBS.)

But, back to my heavily-filled bookshelf and stacks of very readable fodder.

I am assured of using my newly-restricted alone time to keep up with my favorite authors.

Despite the real, outside world,  I can travel - in my mind - freely -  in a disease-free universe.

Oh, another fringe benefit I enjoy, I have a cat.

Not a dog that requires outside walks, breaking curfew.

An INSIDE cat who, in her 8 years with me, has ventured out an open door only ONCE to the deck outside.

She took a few steps, looked around, saw no bowl of Kibble and marched back inside.

So far, my NOT TO DO list includes several monthly meetings (like my 1st Tuesday,  Lowcountry 21st Century Photo Group, and some scheduled monthly lunches.

CATS at the Performing Arts Center has been "delayed" but The Play That Went Wrong, a Britsh farce import scheduled for the Gaillard this month has been canceled.

A favorite small cabaret-style venue 34 WEST on Meeting Street, has shut down and hopefully will resume soon. I have written about this talented 6-year old venue and hope it resurfaces.

A major (to me) annual event down at Freshfields Village by Kiawah I hope will go on as announced is Gary Erwin's annual BLUES BY THE SEA next month.

I surprised Gary one year when we BOTH showed up wearing Guayaberas shirts! OLE!

Several TO DO items still on my calendar include scheduled visits to my doctor.

In these vicious virus days, that seems to be a good priority.

Finally, click on the link to The Hammer & Dance approaches for a well-thought out view of what is happening right now and a view of our future.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

You are as old as you feel...

 Well, now that we all have been told to hunker down and isolate in our homes, my back goes out more often than I do!

Old joke, but for this older citizen, I now am cooking more at home.

NOT wandering into restaurants, craft breweries and bars as I was wont to do.

It is the new CoronaVirus reality.

I am that guy people often like to describe as older, or people of a certain age!

Less than a month ago, this "old man" enjoyed the touring U.S. Navy band in concert at CSU.

This was when we could join a crowd for a musical evening.

I made sure, on the way out afterwards, to stop and shake the hand of the Conductor, Kenneth Collins, Captain, USN.

I leaned in and told him this old Marine enjoyed the show put on for us by the Navy, His smile faded a bit with this inter-service jibe.

Earlier this month I introduced my kid brother (he's only 77) and wife to Turkish cuisine across from Tanger Outlets in North Charleston.

I miss dining out now that we are under siege by a virus but I also have always been a big supporter of live music here and at touring concerts nearby.

A weekend of The Blues with Gary Erwin (Shrimp City Slim) was enjoyed up in Camden, now shut down as a serious site of the virus that has affected us all.

Was it only a month or so ago that we could assemble there for several days of music and friends,  mingling with fellow Blues fans?

With all the shutdowns and closures, I am NOT gallivanting all over the place.

Not enjoying music and new places and new adventures.

Almost makes me feel older. But, as they say,  get up, get out and stay busy and entertained.

Sad to see a small cabaret playhouse close its doors because of this disease shutdown.

34 West, on Meeting Street at Pinckney - across from the always crowded Hyman's Seafood restaurant - has given me many fine evenings of laughs and camaraderie.

Such places and restaurants are having problems adjusting to the NEW times of fear of infection in crowds.

AND, all of the tickets I had bought for shows at the PAC and the Gaillard, have been canceled or postponed to September. Fingers crossed!

Oh well, we adapt and move on.

This lack of outside draws and entertainment makes me enjoy my personal exercise area at home.

Health clubs and public gyms are closed and I am fortunate to have ready access to machines that will keep me fit and toned as we all see social changes.

I also can do my binge-watching of Netflix and, HULU and Amazon Prime as I pump away at staying fit and healthy.

Someone "my age" enjoys retirement and free time to the fullest. I have traveled to Atlanta and Raleigh to see The Rolling Stones (twice in 3 weeks).

Saw Robin Williams in concert the night before he went in for a heart valve transplant.

Enjoyed Paul Simon twice; Madison Square Garden sellout crowd for Billy Joel in NYC; a chilly night in Charlotte with John Fogerty and the recent "revival" of  Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, 'Keb 'Mo, Tab Benoit and Leon Russell a few times.

Heck, I covered the Beatles in the 1960s when I was a young photographer for the San Diego Union-Tribune newspapers!

Maybe I am one of those  Keen-agers?

(Thanks for stopping by, It gets lonely here at home. Click on the photos and links for more details and come back often.)

I love company.

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Saturday, March 14, 2020 abundance of caution.

Hey,  schools are shut down,  annual March and April special events are canceled or moved to September and we are being told to hunker down, avoid crowds and don't touch our face ...or anything.

 I have a concern about the upcoming scheduled March 27 meeting of my Newspaper Retirees Group.

Like ALL of our many day-to-day activities, we are having to adjust to being in the midst of a sudden, fast-spreading CaronaVirus from China that now is officially a COVID-19 pandemic.

When we retired newspaper guys last met right after Christmas at Patriot's Point, it was a light-hearted time of camaraderie - and motorcycles - by former newspaper employees of the Charleston Post and Courier.

Light-kidding banter as we went through what-ever-happened- to comments and re-telling stories of past events that took place at the paper.

Due to our collective ages, we are in a most worrisome category of potential respiratory distress and other unpleasant effects from this fast-moving and contagious affliction.
We are being told nationally to simply "cope and hope."

Not only is there no known cure... there also aren't even tests available here in the United States to confirm if we are indeed infected.

While I often play older workers and characters in tv shows being filmed here, and movies down in Savannah, I don't FEEL old, but the scary facts are that we all really need to be careful and do frequent soap & water handwashing,  avoiding close contact in crowds and extreme  "personal isolation" as infection protection.

I received notice this morning that production on Season 2 of HBO's THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES has been halted until further notice. 

The people involved in the shutdown used the now-familiar phrase "in an abundance of caution" to announce the temporary cancellation of shooting here.
 And, NOT just here.

We saw one night all of the late-night talk show hosts did their monologues to empty theaters and, the next night, all were in re-runs "for the time being."

So, instead of a busy season of doing extra and BackGround work on sets, I have promised my children that I will "shut down" for several weeks to do my part to calm the growth and spread of this dangerous virus.

I don't plan to attend the weekly Sunday Blues Bash at Smokey's Place on Remount Road, for a few weeks.

Attend no performances at the Gaillard or PAC (if any indeed open), no meetings in public spaces, only a minimum mingling with others, no dining out or stopping for a frosty craft beer, etc.

The economy will suffer as we all comply with the government strictures.

 Charleston is really a tourism-dependent city.

I feel really bad for all our local Food & Beverage people who receive less than $3 an hour.

Tips are supposed to raise their income to a good standard of living level.

Let's hope our government leaders will get us out of this crippling economic and health situation as quickly as possible.

Here is a daily update World Health Orgnization (WHO) map, tracking CoronaVirus activity in 135+ countries

(You know the way I do on the photos and links for more details.)

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be pretty free and available the next few weeks. Come by again.

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