Sunday, September 24, 2006

Today is my 59th birthday-- the official "autumn of my years" as Frank Sinatra sung about in the song "It Was A Very Good Year" The reason I am a bit chagrined by it all is that my dear father, Louis Ricciardi never made it to age 59. He died of a massive coronary occlusion on January 26, 1966-- forty years ago! Imagine losing your father (whom you were just beginning to really appreciate and relish) graduating from high school and losing your idol to death also-- that of course was Walt Disney on December 15, 1966. We also lost Ed Wynn and Verna Felton in the same year. I began college in 1966 as well learning things that I never imagined I would-- even a course in ballroom dancing. I remember an amazing history teacher in college that got me very devoted to American History. Her name was Dr. Eve Jones. What a informative, interesting and incredible teacher-- with an amazing sense of humor. I still tell the joke that she told on opening day of class forty years ago. "You know you're having a bad day when you're rushing to give a history exam about Little Big Horn and a cop stops you and says "Hey, lady, didn't you see the arrows? And you answer: "Arrows?-- hell, I didn't even see the Indians!" How many of us rush around on a daily baqsis and we are so wrapped up in our petty p-roblems that never see the "big picture"-- the arrows much less "the indians". It still gets a big laugh-- 40 years later. Lord knows, I don't see the arrows a lot these days! There is so much I wish to accomplish in my remaining days on this planet! I strive to be a successful songwriter. God knows the desire of my heart. The gift of music was given to me in a much hidden blessing-- by pure accident! Happy accidents are God's best work sometimes. Finding Tim Doran, discovering Tony Westbrook and of course my life partner, John Long. My John is my tower of strength. I think I would have turned to pure jello long ago without his keeping my feet on the ground. For a guy in his mid thirties, he is one of the smartest men on the planet. And his good heart? That, friends is purely amazing. For a guy who is not big on going to church, he has given more of himself to everyone around him (especially me) than any individual I can name-- other than my beloved parents. So today I go to my sisters and celebrate the great day. I thank the Good Lord for being alive-- now past my dad! I really need to be a lot more patient, however and need to be willing to wait for God's will to be manifested. Work is getting better and overall I am very happy! Of course, God knows what will make me the happiest man alive. In prayer, I have told him "Dear God, I don't seek to be a millionaire-- just one great mindblowing success will do-- "one for the angels". In a Twilight Zone episode, the late great Ed Wynn cheated death by claiming he had "unfinished business" until he had accomplished "one for the angels" He got what he wanted-- but not in the way he expected. So, okay, dear Lord-- surprise me-- grant me before I die "one for the angels".