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I was thinking about the president a lot about a month ago. You see, I was clearing a lot of brush from out the back of our house in preparation for Chazfest, and since that’s what W. does for kicks out at his ranch in Crawford TX, I felt that I was perhaps getting on a parallel vibe with The Decider. And what’s more, I had Spinal Tap’s “Heavy Duty Rock and Roll” going through my head almost all day every day. Probably because the tool I was using is a Milwaukee brand Heavy Duty Orbital Super Sawzall (there is no substitute), with the words HEAVY DUTY emblazoned across the chassis and the carrying case. So I was in a good frame of mind most of the time as I ripped through dead trees like a laser with this vicious piece of hardware, while imagining my old pal The Decider pedaling by on his mountain bike. “Heavy! HEAVY! Duty! DUTY!!! Heavy Duty a-ROCK AND ROLL!!!” I happily sang to myself while my fine machine chewed through dead tree-flesh. I’ve got to hand it to the President of the United States—he sure hit the main nerve when he came up with that wacky pastime. There is no more mindless and satisfying pursuit than clearing brush. There’s the noise of the machine and the sting in your muscles, easily measured progress and a clear path before you of what still needs to be done. The knowledge that the brush and the trees are going to keep growing and dying brings a little Zen flavor to the whole enterprise. Never is there a need for careful analysis or measured foresight. I say that when he inevitably retires, we can hook him up with, perhaps as a severance package, his own landscaping rig, with a big steel mesh trailer behind a doublie. He’d have dibs on the gig out at Arlington National Cemetery, of course. Or we can set him up as a greenskeeper at some obscure golf course where no one knows him. I think it would be a slam-dunk.

But we shall not lock our hearts in chests of silver, dear readers, nor shall we bind them with golden chains. This forum is really about show business, and if this space morphs into any kind of polemic I urge any and all to correct me. There is no use for vengeance in this world. Out of my window I see trees and the dappling sunlight that filters through. The only sounds are the birds and the ceiling fan, and Dave Van Ronk singing “Brian O’Lynne”. The kegs from Chazfest still linger in the yard, along with the empty wine bottles from last night’s wake. In a few minutes I’ll go to the house where I used to live to collect the last of my things. I’ll leave the dishes in the sink for now. The house I’ll leave unlocked since I’ve lost my keys. I will, however, change out of my pajamas, cheap clothes I’ve had since high school. They say that they found the robe over there that I got in the seventh grade. I tried to throw that thing out when I moved to New York, but I guess it never made it to the trash. Maybe that was a mistake. I think I’ll hang on to it for a while. Wear it while I’m burning trash and drinking bourbon. The world was made of sadness and stinks like old clothes.

Fast-forward  three and a half weeks. It rained today for the first time since Chazfest. That’s good news, as Jeff put down some grass seed yesterday. The lawn’s looking good, I must admit. Pirner came by to cut the grass the other day. He’s really got a feel for lawnmowing. I heard a great story in which Dave played one of Bill Clinton’s inaugurations. They were waiting in the oval office for Bill and he breezes in eventually. Dave looks out the window and points out to the president that the lawn needs cutting. Bill says that he’ll call someone about it, at which time Dave asks if Bill is going to play any saxophone with the band. Bill’s response was “you play the music and I’ll play the president”.

There is no music news that I can think of.. The Tin Men had a nice trip up to New York. If you made it out, thanks for coming. I have a feeling there’s going to be some recording soon, but I can’t say why. I have hardly any gigs coming up except another New York swing, this time with Kourtney. I’ll be in The City and Portland, ME. Also the Circle Bar on Wednesdays through the twelfth of July. I’ll be back the ninth of August. I wonder who they’ll get to do the Wednesdays.

I’ll close here, as there’s nothing I can think of that’s the least bit entertaining. Drop me a line with any questions or comments.