Concert: (n) a musical performance given in public

At a very early age I convinced myself I could sing. Growing up in a small village, there was not much competition–and since I was willing to intone and offer my voice as a possibility, folks around my community had no reason to doubt my prowess.

So when I graduated from high school, rather than heading off to college and finding out if anyone outside of Delaware County thought I funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
could sing, I put together a music group, started writing some of my own songs and planned concerts.

I immediately learned the difficulty in concert promotion.

  1. Just because you think you can sing does not mean anybody wants to hear you.
  2. And if you can convince them to come to your concert, it may require that you offer some other stimulus, like refreshments. Or prizes.
  3. If anything else comes up before the concert, or even on concert day, which is more alluring, chances are that promise to attend, even by your friends, is quickly forsaken.
  4. People’s patience in hearing you sing is based upon how well you can take them to a happier (or sad) place and make them glad they went there.
  5. Just because you can sing doesn’t mean anybody wants to buy a recording of you doing it, so they can play it in their free time.

These were tough lessons.

So ferocious was my training during this period that I often found it difficult to supply food for my family and was only able to lodge as long as I could dodge coming face-to-face with the landlord.

It was actually many years before anyone, of their own volition, walked up to me and said, “Hey! When’s your next concert?”

I froze the moment in my mind… and replay it frequently.


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dictionary with letter A

Anti-type: (n) a person or thing which represents the opposite of someone or something else.

  • Everybody has sex, but not everybody’s allowed to be considered sexy.
  • Everybody should learn the politics of our generation, but not everybody is comfortable being political.
  • Everybody’s a human being, but not everybody is treated as human.

Everybody is loved by God, but not everybody is ushered into the ranks of the religious.

Perhaps the most unseemly part of our human race is our penchant for wanting to “box things up” and label them, only to end up stacking them on the shelves for storage.

So whenever I hear the words “can’t,” “shouldn’t” or even “won’t,” I have the tendency to want to challenge them. I am fearful of leaving my brothers or sisters out simply because they don’t fall within the boundaries of the prototype.

Yes, they are anti-type.

For instance, I am a big, fat guy who is bald and aging, who happens to like to sing. When I do this vocalizing, I am always astounded that it often takes me much longer to get an audience’s attention simply because I don’t fulfill the stereotype of the typical crooner.

It sucks. But that fact that it sucks does very little to stop the insanity of the prejudice. So I sing without permission, becoming the anti-type of the pop world.

For I’m not so sure that without anti-types we will be able to progress the Adam’s big family much further.

  • We need people with enough confidence to know they are sexy but who are not runway models or six-pack studs.
  • We need politicians who escape the garble of glib and instead, simply impart their message with a bit of candor.
  • And we are certainly desperately in need of people who love one another and God without ever sniffing of religion.

It takes courage.

It also takes a sense of humor.

And I do believe … it will take time. 

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dictionary with letter A

Anagram: (n) a word or name formed by rearranging the letters of another word, such as cinema, formed from iceman.

The reason I am reluctant to have anyone refer to me as “smart” is that it is so easy for me to come along and disprove their assertion.

It’s not that I want to be counted amongst the ignorant or ill-informed. I don’t wish to be perceived as a dolt, but by the same token, there is a great pending tragedy in allowing oneself to be considered hyper-intelligent.

There are things I do well. For instance:

  • I can write.
  • I can sing.
  • I can play piano.
  • I can compose.

But there are things that demand thinking, intellect and reasoning which for some reason, totally escape me and thrust me to the back of the pack–to the disappointed glances of those who were once my promoters.

So on those occasions when I’m watching television right before prime time, and Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune come on, back to back, I am always humbled by the fact that both of these shows make me feel like an alien to my own species.

Jeopardy!–because there are always questions they call “general knowledge,” which make me look like a major fool in a private arena for dunces.

Wheel of Fortune–because I get so nervous about solving the puzzles but never can beat the people on the show, and end up either making excuses or switching the channel to reruns of Law and Order.

Anagrams are that way with me. Some people can look at them and see words leaping out, forming themselves in mid-air. They have determined the hidden idea within the collection of letters–while I’m still waiting for a “vowel movement.”

I know it’s good to try to learn new things and increase one’s perspective and insight by collective experiences, but I think somewhere along the line you have to determine the aptitude of your own brain, the ability that exists in your gray matter and pursue those adventures with greater zeal–and allow the experts in other fields to surpass you, and hopefully teach and protect you.

It’s not shameful to be dumb sometimes.

The shame only comes when you insist that you really knew the answer … or “somebody cheated.”


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