Monday, September 16, 2019

Waiting For Autumn Jack Blanchard's Column September 16, 2019








WAITING
FOR
AUTUMN




Do you think seasons never change in Florida?
Maybe you’re not paying attention. Seasons change here in  Florida just as much as anywhere else. Maybe the change isn’t as dramatic as in other regions. Maybe we actually have more seasons, if one also counts the rainy season, the dry season, the fishing season (which is any time), wood stork breeding season, stone crab season and – ugh – hurricane season. We could go on and on but you get the point.
Anyone who has lived in these latitudes for any length of time will quickly tell you October and May are, far and away, the best months to enjoy the seasons in Florida. But the seasons are beautiful and wonderous all year long.


We're approaching the Autumnal Equinox so it must be Fall somewhere,
just not yet here in Florida.
I still celebrate my favorite season.

Autumn is my favorite time of year,
a season of moods.
The first chill after summer has worn out its welcome,
that's when I feel the holidays coming on.

Not that we do any big celebrating these days,
but it's the remembering of celebrations past,
and those who were with us during good times.
The empty places at our table.

I write more songs during the remnants of the year,
when emotions are nearer to the surface,
the past is just over our shoulder,
and old voices whisper in our ear.

One winter, when it was minus 35 degrees and windy in Minnesota,
Misty and I stayed in a cement floor cabin on a lake shore.
I heard what sounded like whale sounds.
It was the frozen lake groaning as it expanded.
We had recently gone through such bad times
that we were thankful to be there with friends at Christmas.
We didn't mind the cold.

We have had a life, so far, full of ultra-highs and ultra-lows...
from homelessness on the street
to the whirlwind of big time show business.
Now It's quiet.
And we have enough money to last us the rest of our life,
unless we buy something.

Home is wherever Misty is.

Jack Blanchard


Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists

© Jack Blanchard, 2019 






Thursday, September 12, 2019

Jack Blanchard's Column, September 11, 2001





AMERICA, SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001
 
(Written on that day)




We're all zombies here today


We somehow find our way to the grocery store or

post office like sleepwalkers.

We stare blankly at the television in disbelief.

People leaping from firey windows over a hundred floors up.

A couple jumping hand in hand to their death.


We've been getting messages of sympathy from friends

around the world.

Thank you.

We're glad you're there, and we're glad you care.


This is obviously a dark time for the American people.

Our thoughts are with the victims and the people who love them.


The airports are all closed.

Folks who ordinarily rant and rave if their flight is delayed,

seem to be taking it without protest,

quietly seeking another way to get home. Too quietly.

Like zombies.


We worry about friends up north.

We'll try to call tomorrow.

Today is not a good time to overload the phone lines.


In some different way, all of us are victims.


Jack Blanchard


Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists. 

© Jack Blanchard, 2019.  






Tuesday, August 27, 2019

NORM Jack Blanchard's Column


















NORM

When strangers enter our lives we always try to be nice,
even when they are rude to us.
We know they could either turn out to be our best friends,
or have a dark side that could show itself later.
We're two of the friendliest entertainers in the business,
but, as in the Kenny Rogers song,
You have to know when to fold 'em.

Once a man named Norm came into our nightclub
and overheard a conversation
in which we said we were planning to have a large speaker cabinet built.
He had the erect posture, jutting chin,
and clipped speech of a military man,
but he wasn't.

We already had a carpenter in mind,
but this man introduced himself,
and insisted that he be allowed to build it for us...free.

A week later Norm wheeled the cabinet into the club,
presented it to us,
and showed us his bloody hands,
to illustrate how hard he had worked.
He had bled for us.
We thanked him, offered to pay,
and expressed our sympathy for his injuries.

He began coming to the club every night,
and if we didn't neglect all our other customers,
and spend our time only with him,
he sulked and soon became angry and belligerent.

He began getting drunk
and butting into conversations we were having
with other friends and fans.
He would even threaten them,
and tell them to stay away from us....
that we were his brother and sister.
In his mind he was our bodyguard.

We tried to reason with him,
and he would apologize and promise to lighten up.

We finally had to bar him from the club,
which caused a big unpleasant scene.
Then he began driving past our house at all hours.
We had friends on the police force,
and with their urging he eventually went away.

I think he probably  latched on to somebody else.
Here's why:
He needed more than most people can give.
He often talked about his father,
who was a high ranking military officer,
and who considered Norm a disappointment for not enlisting.
In his father's eyes, he couldn't do anything right.
The lack parental of approval haunted him.

This type of episode with strangers has happened to us more than once,
and to most other people who lead public lives,
but we still give new relationships every chance to work out well.

When they end badly,
the person usually becomes depressed, and then angry.
You have to be careful, but you can't lock up your life.
There are too many good friends out there,waiting to be met.

 
Jack Blanchard




Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists


© Jack Blanchard, 2019







Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Jack Blanchard's Column August 20 2019





FUN ON THE ROAD

We've been stuck in a lot of dumps,

but we don't want to talk about those today.


Over morning coffee (noon), I asked Misty this:

"All in all, what do you think were the best places we've stayed or played,

like apartments, houses, motels, gigs, and so on?"

She said "That's easy" and named three.

1.

The Sea Palms at Saint Simon's Island provided the best accommodations,

and one of the weirdest jobs of our career, so far.

St. Simon's sits in the blue Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brunswick Georgia.

The booking came with a luxury apartment overlooking a small river.

Tropical flowers, trees and shrubs were trimmed neatly,

and the riverside grass was like a putting green.


Misty liked to sit in the grass and watch the ducks.

One particular duck liked to sit with her.

It moseyed up to her one afternoon,

quacked a few pleasantries, sat by her, tucked in its feet,

puffed up a little, and remained there as long as Misty would stay.


The job was for just us as a duet,

but we had all our keyboards and sounded like a big band.

Nobody knew who owned the place, and a rumor started that Misty and I did.

The lounge manager asked me if it was true,

and I said "Shhh. I can't talk about it."

Within an hour everybody thought we were the secret owners,

and we became royal hosts of a month-long party.

Everybody had fun and we got paid for it.

2.

Another place that is on the top of our list was Key Colony Beach.

The place was called a "boatel", like a motel for boats,

and was situated in the between Key Largo and Marathon, Florida.

The apartments were built on pilings, like a long pier.

Ours was the last apartment, way out in the ocean.


Porpoises played outside our big windows,

and when the tourist fishing boats would come in at sunset,

hoards of seagulls and pelicans would gather noisily,

for the leftover fish that was tossed overboard.


The Steinway grand piano in the dining room was still upside down,

the way Hurricane Donna had left it.

When a bunch of guys turned it right side up for Misty,

it played beautifully.


In the restaurant/lounge we had our five piece band.

At the entrance there was a huge decorative champagne glass

that bubbled as long as it was plugged in.

Nobody in our band drank, so when customers would buy us cocktails

we'd dump them in the fake champagne glass.

We thought it continually brought in new bubbly water, but it didn't.

Soon there were swirling orange peels, olives, and other garbage,

and the imitation champagne was taking on a peculiar color.

When we realized our mistake we tried to look innocent.

The owner was a nice guy and never brought it up.


Our drummer made friends with the chef,

and smuggled out a couple of live lobsters to take to his apartment.

They were tied up and handcuffed, or whatever they do to lobsters,

so, in a hurry, Roy stashed them on the bumper of his car,

which was parked in a dark place.

They either escaped or were stolen,

and Roy cursed the lousy crooks

who would stoop so low as to steal his stolen lobsters.

3.

One foggy summer night we got lost

and checked into a lodge on top of the mountain at Lake Arrowhead.

We got up the next morning,

pulled the cord on the drapes that covered a whole wall,

and they opened onto a huge picture window.

Outside, the mountain forest was covered in two feet of new snow,

without a sign of life, except for some rabbit tracks by our window.

The most beautiful real-life Christmas card we've ever seen…

in California…in June.


I may have told you all this before, but we wanted to hear it again.

Jack Blanchard


Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists. 

© Jack Blanchard, 2019