Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Am Here

The spot on a transit map, for instance, waiting for the next bus: “You are here.”  Well, yes.  This is where I am—a new place, a new life.  Sometimes I walk the Portland streets & everything seems alien.  What am I doing here?  But here is where I am.

The news from here?  Had a wonderful time last weekend in Centralia, Washington with my good friend & ex-churchmouse bandmate Wendy who whisked me away up there for an old-time music jam.  Old-time playing is not my forte, but I had a great time, & no one threw me into the river for using fingerpicks on a guitar (as opposed to flatpick, which is typical of old-time guitar back-up playing), fingerpicking the banjo (as opposed to clawhammer) or even for playing my resonator tenor uke!  & I got to meet some cool folks, including some fellow Portlanders.  So the upshot is I may be playing more old-time music in the near future.  A good thing.

& speaking of playing music, it looks like I’ve landed my first Portland gig.  I was approached last night about providing music at one of the venues for “First Friday” next month; “First Friday” is a monthly event in downtown Portland that opens a number of venues up to art shows.  More details to follow!  I am excited & am currently working on set lists.  I think I may try to work up the Paris, Texas theme song as an instrumental (I also do "Spanish Flang Dang" as an instrumental.)  You can hear Ry Cooder’s great original version below.  Of course, my version won’t include the background synthesizer!  (& apologies to folks who already saw/heard this on my Facebook post.)  There was a time in the mid to late 80s when I was just obsessed with that film.  Not happy times, but they are in the past now.  Maybe more on that some other time.

On the housing front: I spent some quality time with Portland Craigslist the past few days.  So far, my main focus has been on subsidized housing, but I’ve also looked into several other options, none of which has panned out yet.  I’m very comfortable where I’m living, but as I’ve said before, I do feel the pull toward having a place of my own.  Fact is, tho, with a fixed income (& any income from guitar lessons is hypothetical at this point as I’m not set up to give them where I’m now living), my options are either subsidized housing or a room in a house—I simply couldn’t afford a stand-alone apartment at Portland market prices, even a studio.  Sometimes I wonder if I was foolhardy to move to a place where that’s a reality, but this does overall feel like the right place to be.

& where I am.  Happy Saturday, everybody, & thanks for all the friendship & support!

Pic shows a view of Portland taken from the tram that goes from the waterfront to Oregon Health & Sciences University, where I have a weekly appointment.  Downtown is to the left, with a few of Portland’s many bridges across the Willamette River also in the picture.  eastern Portland is to the right (we’re looking pretty much northeast.)  The city is divided by the Willamette River, while the Columbia divides it from Washington state.)


  1. That's a fine view, John. Good to know that the music's beginning to happen. That'll get your feet under the table quicker than anything!

  2. Hi Dick: Thanks! Yes, I am happy about that indeed!

  3. Cheering you on, John, and seconding Dick. I've moved broke way too many times and finding new music connections has been a real key to survival for me. Jobs, housing, friends, it can all flow from that.

    P.S. I would love to see Adams County Makes The News evolved into a new edition digging up some old Portland, OR lore...

  4. Hi Scotty: Thanks! I do think that getting more involved in the music scene will help a good bit. Interesting suggestion out the Portland, OR lore. Of course, Adams County News was almost entirely Eberle's thing--it will end in early November--but I'll definitely ponder this. Thanks for the support!

  5. *sigh* I so can relate to your questions about your "here." I have the same, but press on with confidence that I will find the right "home," as I know you will, too!

    Congratulations for your new gig! Seems you will have some fun, while you look and perhaps meet some people who may be able to help out?

  6. Hi Rach: I think it's always a shock to the system to move, & also, speaking just for myself, I moved away from what was ostensibly a settled life--marriage etc. to a completely new environment. It takes a while for all that change to register, especially to an old guy like me. I have to believe in what I'm doing & depend on the help of friends--that's all we can ever do, really.


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