Monday, November 30, 2009

“I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom”

It’s the Monday Morning Blues, & there is some happy/sad news affecting all of us at Robert Frost’s Banjo this week, & especially yours truly. My very good friend, Dani Leone is heading to Germany this Thursday in what looks a lot like a permanent move overseas. Dani will be joining her true love Angela & we sure do wish them all the happiness two people can enjoy!

But it’s sad, too, since Germany’s a long ways from Idaho, especially when at least one person has a truly spectacular fear of flying (that would be me). Hey, thank goodness for all those fun internet ways of keeping in touch!

I got to know Dani thru a mutual friend, Jonah Winter, with whom Dani played in the wonderful San Francisco band Ed’s Redeeming Qualities, & then I got to know her better when we both played on the Mission District baseball team in the Roberto Clemente league. We’ve gone to scads of restaurants together—Dani has been the Cheap Eats restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Bay Guardian for as long as I’ve known her—played baseball, played pitch (a card game—high, low, jack & game), got involved in the Java Supreme music & poetry series, played music together both informally & on a few stages, & had endless conflabs both over tea/coffee/food & over the phone. Dani drove me to Idaho when I came to live with Eberle, in her Toyota van packed with everything I owned, & she’s seen me thru some very rough patches in life, as well as some very happy ones. In short, she’s a true friend.

I wanted this week’s Monday Morning Blues to be something for her, but I just couldn’t think of the right song. I even considered quite a number of non-blues songs, like “Happy Trails” (just not the best song for me), or an Ed’s Redeeming Qualities song, maybe one of hers, but again, this didn’t seem a great match. I considered posting an epic steel drum (Dani) & tenor uke (me) jam that Eberle recorded a couple of years ago in California—the pic at the top of the post was taken during that. I thought long & hard about some Townes Van Zandt songs, because Dani & I have jammed on those a lot. But in the end, I decided to stick with what I do best: the blues.

This great Robert Johnson song seems appropriate in a couple of ways—it talks about the urge to move on, & it talks about looking for love in some distant land. For what it’s worth, this one is for Dani.

Oh yes, a couple of quick but important advertisements: you can purchase Dani's book Big Bend (written under her nom de plume, L.E. Leone) direct from Sparkle Street Books right here & you can purchase her self-produced cd (under her nom de musique, Sister Exister) at CDBaby.

& now, as Dani herself might say, Enjoy y’all!


  1. It's always a treat to hear you sing and play, John. Best of luck to Dani. (I hate flying, too, btw, but I force myself, white knuckling it all the way.)

    (enjoyed your dad's ski pics, too)

  2. Well it wouldn't be Monday morning without a blues song! "Big Bend" huh? Is Dani from the south (y'all) and are the stories from the Big Bend area of Texas (title & cactus on the cover)? Good luck to Dani.

    Also, great painting (of you & Eberle?) in the background.

  3. Hi Willow & Lizzy

    Willow: Thanks! Eberle says I'd be all right to fly if I could start taking Ativan when I made the reservation & keep taking it until I was on the ground after the final landing!

    Lizzy: Yes, the painting is of Eberle & me, & was done by our good friend Margot directly on the drywall. Yes, you're right about Big Bend, TX (just the title story), but Dani is from Youngstown, OH--still, she says Y'all about as naturally as any southerner I've met!

  4. I have an idea for the airlines. It would solve so many problems, including fear of flying. What they should do is set up the planes with bunks - say, 4 or 5 high, the whole length of the plane. When we board the plane, we could be given a mild tranquilizer to get us through the initial stage (panic). Then we would climb into our bunks and be administered a very powerful sleeping potion, so that we would drop instantly into deep sleep, to wake only on arrival at our destination. Think of the savings to the airlines, John. (1) no on-board meals (2) no drinks (3) No in-flight entertainment(4)Who needs flight attendants? (5) Just think how many people they could pack onto a plane!

    If I could book a flight like that, I might even consider a trip to New Zealand.

  5. p.s. I got carried away and forgot to tell you that I enjoyed your song. I'm sorry Dani is moving so far away - Do you and she know about Skype? It's a lifesaver.

  6. Hi Sandra: Ativan can pretty much put you "out," tho your idea has some cost-cutting benefits for the airlines! Yes, Skype is great!


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