Washington's Welcoming Arms

I left my home in Missouri on Thanksgiving Day 2013 to venture to a new land, a place known for its beautiful mountains, outdoor recreation and grunge music, among other notables. (And let's not forget a more recent accolade:  2014 Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks!) The Puget Sound resonates with spectacular landscapes (the banner at the top of page will feature photos by yours truly), organic farms and -- to my great surprise -- ballroom dancing! The warm, friendly folks of the South Sound made it feel like home in no time flat.

I've never blogged before. The last hard-cover dictionary I purchased doesn't even contain the word "blog." But here we are, in the 21st century with so many new dictionary entries that Webster's must have trouble keeping current! What to write ...? I previously worked as writer and editor for The Kaleidoscope Weekly, a beloved tri-county publication in South-Central Missouri. It wasn't hard news, rather an aptly named caboodle of human-interest stories amid advertising, Dear Abby, News of the Weird and community calendars. I covered a town hall meeting in which then-presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke. Getting through their security process left me feeling like Sandra Bullock's character in "Miss Congeniality." But it was worth it, crawling around in front of the stage with Obama eight feet away, snapping photos with folks from Newsweek and Time Magazine.

I met some interesting folks while conducting my "man-on-the-street" interviews for "The Big K Wants to Know," a feature the owner asked me to develop. And I learned a great lesson while asking perfect strangers to give their opinion on topics ranging from their favorite American Idol contestant and gas prices to identity theft and New Year's resolutions: Most people are honest, trusting, hard-working and decent. We all struggle, but somehow rise above the challenges to face another day.

You might be wondering where I'm going with this, how it somehow relates to music. If you'll notice, every page on this site has a quote ("Music Makes Us All Feel Better"). It's my mantra. It's why I perform. It's what makes all the hard work worth it. Sharing my passion of music and music history with others (those honest, trusting, hard-working decent folks aforementioned) is both the work and the reward. Singing to a WWII vet, paralyzed in a wheelchair while a tear trickles down his face is something you'll never forget.

I'm thrilled to have already had the opportunity to perform here, at a fundraiser for FISH Food Banks of Pierce County and the City of University Place Sun Fest 2014 (check out the photos of the watermelon-eating contest!).

So, thank you, Washington, for welcoming me with open arms! I'm happy to call you "home."