Notes from the Road SSAMC Sunday, November 16, 2008 Brrrrr!!! This camper does a good job of holding the heat in, but since I didn’t have any heat (no power) it got a little chilly in here. I can feel a draft which probably means I left the outer tool hatch open which leads to the space under the bed – not smart. It was nice under the covers, but it took some self coaxing to get up and go make coffee. However, the gas stove under the coffee is providing some warmth so I guess it was a fair trade off. I’ve got two more sections of two hours each to teach today. They are back to back starting at 2 p.m. and running until 6 p.m. I had such good attendance yesterday I’m wondering how many will show up today. But, first things first – coffee, a couple of hard boiled eggs, some whole grain bread and some cheese, the most important meal of the day. I spent a while catching up on these Notes (as you could tell from my postings this morning) and then ventured outside. Crisp, cool, breezy and clear – a beautiful morning. Others with early classes were already hustling about gathering their instruments and heading to their class sites. I ambled over to the main clubhouse building and mingled with the group huddled around the much in demand coffee pot they had set up there. Since that’s the only place where electricity is available I took the opportunity to recharge my computer battery. I sat, drank coffee and chatted with Barry Brogan, Jim Davis, Jim Strickland, Lynn Wadley and various others who filtered in and out. I soon realized that with classes running from 2 to 6 I’d better get my camp broken down and the trailer hooked up to the truck before my classes so that I didn’t end up doing it in the dark. So I gathered my computer and headed off to take care of my chores. At two I went over to area two (how apropos) where my class was to meet. Still chilly and breezy, I moved the chairs into a sunny area for more comfort. For a while I didn’t think anyone was coming, but suddenly they began to appear and I ended up with another good sized class. About half were folks from the previous day again (gluttons for punishment those), but the other half were new comers. We looked at sources for generating song ideas (one of my favorites is to read books of quotes, sayings and expressions – lots of good stuff there), examples of the use of language to set a scene and entice your listener, the use of narrative perspective (first person, third person, etc.) to give a subject a fresh viewpoint, etc. It was a really good discussion with everyone engaged and participating. At four I headed over to area five (not as apropos) for my last class. Now, I’ll admit that I was expecting / hoping that no one would show up for that last class. The temperature was dropping with the sun and lots of folks were already clearing out – an early start home wouldn’t be so bad. But, a group met me as I was arriving in the class location comprised of the very talented and enthusiastic teens of the Amundsen (sp?) and Morris families. All weekend these kids have been coming to every one of my classes and it has been a special treat. We also had some “old veterans” joining us, Dennis Devine and Barry Brogan, along with a couple more first timers – another full class. For the benefit of the new comers I gave some nuts & bolts comments and oriented them to my hand out materials, but to make this section more entertaining I started having everyone play songs, either ones they had written or personal favorites by others. Wonderful music and great commentary on styles and influences from Dennis Devine. Just a great way to end the weekend – leaving early would have been a let down, whereas this capped the weekend perfectly. Thanks guys! Charlie Groth, Carl Wade, Barbara Shaeffer, Doug Purcel, Dan & Diana Ost and a few others were headed to the Western Sizzler for a bite to eat before hitting the road and asked me to join them. A good meal was a good idea and I accepted. After some great conversation and a few laughs it was time to get on the road again. Trailer in tow I pointed the rig northeast towards home. See you soon! Doug Doug Spears 36 Interlaken Road Orlando, Florida 32804 407-257-4242