Rockin

Road Trip to Soulfest, August 3-5, 2017, Gunfest Mountain Resort in Gilford, New Hampshire

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It seems the older I get the more I seem to be in need of an annual road trip. A time to just get away and reflect on the road my life has gone down. These soul-searching road trips occur during the summer or fall season and usually means a trip to a music festival or sometimes a literary conference.

In the past I have journeyed to the Pacific Northwest for The Kindlings Fest on Orcas Island or to the cornfields of the Midwest for the Cornerstone Festival.

Honestly, I need to get away to refresh my soul and feed my imagination. During these times I am surrounded by people who also, like myself, feel a need to be fed by the arts. Now that might take the form of music, literature, poetry, dance, film.

Over the years I have come in contact with many who have become friends and confidants due to their love of the arts and I thoroughly cherish these times. This year I will venture to the mountains of New Hampshire for an event called Soulfest. It is scheduled the first Thursday, Friday & Saturday of August at the Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, New Hampshire.

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Doxacon 2017: Geek Not Greek Orthodox Event for Sci-Fi Christians

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Right off the bat, let me explain Doxacon 2017. It’s an event where Christian closet geeks (and those who wear their geekiness right out in the open) get together and discuss their love for fantasy and science fiction. Doxacon 2017 is scheduled August 18-19 in Washington DC.

Now rewind 60 years when I was just a young boy growing up in Brooklyn NY. It was all those years ago I discovered my love for fantasy and science fiction literature. In fact, it probably stems from actually growing up in Brooklyn.  Every Saturday, I would go to the movies for the matinee showings.

This started when I was seven years old and continued for many, many years. For 25 cents you would get a chapter of two different serials, a number of cartoons and 2 full length movies.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with serials, they were basically 3-hour movies divided into 20 minute segments with a cliffhanger situation ending each segment putting the hero or heroine into unbelievable peril which would be resolved at the beginning of the following week’s segment. Think of Star Wars as being an elongated serial.

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Max McLean’s Acclaimed Portrayal of C.S. Lewis Onstage is Brilliant

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Last week my wife and I took a trip into New York City to see award-winning actor Max McLean‘s acclaimed portrayal of author C.S. Lewis. The play is called The Most Reluctant Convert and it is truly brilliant. Everything from the set decorations to the acting shouted out artistic perfection.

One aspect of Lewis’s life covered was his sense of longing for something almost intangible, something seemingly just over the horizon. A sense that somewhere there is something better than the life in which we all seem to be locked.

For C.S. Lewis this longing was fulfilled in Christianity.

The play chronicles C.S. Lewis’s journey from determined atheist to Christian. Max McLean is ever faithful to Lewis’s voice. He is witty, thoughtful and intellectually graceful. I absolutely recommend this play to anyone who can manage to see it. Here’s a brief look:

For many, becoming a Christian is a journey. And I’m no different, really. But how each of us sees the world around us after we choose Christianity is an amazing testament.

I am a total media geek and I have no problem confessing that fact.

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Discover Music, No Mattered When You Were Born and Grew Up

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You can like 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s music. You can like the entirety of the new millennium. But I’m telling you, no matter when you were born, and, especially if you like the older rock and roll, there is still great music being recorded today. You just have to search it out and discover music. And I’m gonna help you out.

I was born at the tail end of the 1940’s and began seriously listening to music around mid-1957. So, I have pretty much grown up in the “Age of Rock and Roll.”

In high school when everyone was listening to The Beatles, I was into the Rolling Stones, The Animals, and, mainly, The Yardbirds. Have you kids even heard of them? The Yardbirds are an English rock band formed in London in 1963 that had a string of hits during the mid-1960s, including “For Your Love,” “Heart Full of Soul,” “Shapes of Things” and “Over Under Sideways Down.”

Yet it went much further than this for me. I wanted to know who it was these guys [these bands] were listening to and by whom they were being influenced.

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My Career Started 49 Years Ago at a Turntable on a Nuclear Missile Cruiser in Vietnam

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I’m feeling very nostalgic this spring. After all, it was 49 years ago that I sat down in a radio station studio for the very first time. Believe it or not, I began my career as an armed services DJ in Vietnam.

My first show was done on the USS Long Beach, a nuclear guided missile cruiser which had its own radio station. It was the summer of ’68 and we were off the coast of Vietnam. I placed the record on the turntable and out came the sounds of “The Supernatural” by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers featuring Peter Green on lead guitar.

Although in Nam at the time, it was also a time of musical learning. One of the other disc jockeys was a marine who turned me on to such songs as “Song For My Father” by Horace Silver and “Forest Flower” by Charles Lloyd. I, in turn, played jazz pieces for him from the album Mann Made by Manfred Mann such as “The Abominable Snowman.”

KCGN radio, part of the armed forces network in Vietnam, fed my love of what was at the time called deep cuts.

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