Upcoming Spark Events

Spark Creative Artspace has two canvas events on the near horizon. First is an evening of Coffee & Canvas for the area’s home for the holidays college students. It is scheduled for Friday, December 26th from 6-8 pm. The evening will be led by artist Jennifer Wenker and the masterpiece for the evening will be a painting by Georgia O’Keefe.

Georgia O'Keefe canvas
Click flower to register at Eventbrite.


The $35 price will include a 16×20″ stretched canvas, quality acrylic paints, and use of Sparks equipment. Non-alcoholic beverages and finger foods will also be provided. Participation is limited to twenty-five seats and registration and payment is with major credit cards through Eventbrite.

The second canvas event will take place on Sunday, January 18th from 2-4 pm. This will be a children’s Cookies & Canvas event and co-sponsored by Greenfield Y-Gradale. Eric Salyers will be the

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Mother’s Club Subs

The Greenfield Mother’s Club has been selling sub sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday for at least forty years. While I don’t know who all is taking orders I do have the phone number for one member, Kendra Barnes.

sub sandwichThis year’s offering will be a 6″ Italian Sub with Ham, Salami, Provolone Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and Italian Dressing on the side. You can also special order them. Pick up is from 11am-2pm on Sunday, February 1, 2015. Prices are $3 each with a small discount for orders exceeding three sandwiches.

To place your order give Kendra a call at 937-981-9807. You’ll be saving yourself having to cook that evening while helping a great Greenfield organization.

Just for the Joy

When in college I took a minor in ceramics and in today’s world I’ve become interested in homemade roots instruments. It’s these two interest that attracted me to the following video. It’s 10 minutes long, very interesting, and so joyful at the end. Grab your coffee cup and expose yourself to a bout of creativity and joy.

Bohemian Harp Guitar

Couple of Facebook folks were talking about an instrument called a harp guitar. I interjected that a cigar box guitar friend of mine had once made one out of an old washboard. One of the people expressed the desire to hear a harp guitar so I checked YouTube and came up with this. Bohemian Rhapsody to the nth degree. Enjoy!

And if that wasn’t enough wow, try this video.

Our Bald Eagles

US 50 Eagles
Resting pair of bald eagles near Bainbridge, OH.

My wife and I were near Bainbridge this past week and spotted a pair of bald eagles perched in the top of a tree along Paint Creek. We’ve seen a single eagle in that area on several occasions but this was the first for a pair.

Today I sat in a meeting with representatives of the Army Corp of Engineers and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The topic of our area’s eagle population came up and it was reported we have three nesting pairs and a fourth that “may” be trying to nest.

Specific locations weren’t revealed but one pair is near Bourneville, another near Bainbridge, and the third at Rocky Fork Lake.

A truck driving friend of mine reported being along the upper Mississippi River and spotting a grouping of around seventy-five golden and bald eagles. Wouldn’t that be a traffic stopper?

Redemption Highway

Kris Toney owns one of the purest baritone voices I’ve ever heard. Years ago when he was a high school student I asked him if he sang. I redemption highwaycan’t recall his answer but today I was talking with him and was prompted to ask him again. He replied that he did and that he produced a CD of original music.

He offered me a review copy and I’ve been sitting here listening to Kris’s CD titled Redemption Highway. It consists of fifteen songs Kris wrote and performed with friends. He pointed out that the cut Troubled was most meaningful to him and I took the liberty of uploading it to this blog.

I haven’t listened to every title yet and will have to listen several times before getting the full meaning of each. So far, however, my favorite is Mama Told Me. I had no trouble relating to it because like us all I too had a mama and she never failed to tell me. I just too often failed to listen.

Congratulations to Kris and I wish the best for him. Another example of just how rich our community is in talent. Our’s is a deep well.

By the way, Kris’s Redemption Highway may be purchased and downloaded at: Redemption Highway. Price is $7.

Troubled by Kris Toney

2.08 Minutes of Fame

LarryBob ClipIn 2011 the husband, J.W. Myers, of a former student approached me to audition for a role in a movie he was directing about America’s military veterans. It was to be called Doughboy, filmed in Wheeling, WV, and he wanted me to play the part of a WWII veteran. After further discussion it was decided I would be better cast as a Vietnam War veteran.

For the audition J.W. gave me a feel for what the character, Bob, needed and I proceeded to free wheel some dialogue. Apparently it was what he was looking for and I was asked to do the part.

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A Diddley Bow for Christmas!

Bacca-Bow, all-cedar cigar box, $40
Bacca-Bow, all-cedar cigar box, $40

I’m making a series of one-string roots music diddley bow instruments for Christmas presents. The profits go to Spark Creative Artspace to help meet expenses. Each will be unique, one of a kind, creations and will come with a metal slide which is required for playing. Prices range between $25 to $40 depending on time and materials required. Add $15 for an electric pickup allowing the instrument to be play through a guitar amplifier. As far as possible each will be made with “found” repurposed materials.

Diddley bows are an offshoot of the original stringed instrument, the hunting bow. In American music history they are the instrument that B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and countless others learned their first guitar licks on.

If you’d like me to reserve one for you just call me on Spark’s phone number, 937 763 ART1 (2781). If necessary leave a message with your name and phone number and I’ll get back to you.

If time permits I’ll also be building several 3-string fretless cigar box guitars. Price will be $99 with profits going to Spark.

Below are a few photos of what I’ve recently built.

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Thanksgiving Navy Style, 1953

I served on the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) in the early 1960s. On most occasions I chose to stay onboard during holidays so others, who lived closer to their homes, could get the day off. The Kennedy is today a museum ship and the organization that maintains it has a Facebook group on which I found this Thanksgiving Day Menu from 1953. The menu was very complete including complementary cigars and cigarettes.

Keeping the Blues Alive

Alan Lomax doing field recording.
Field recording by Alan Lomax.

Blues music was given rise by the horror of the African-American experience, both North and South. For decades it remained the unheard voice of that  experience  While most white Americans remained ignorant of the blues elsewhere it was gaining a huge audience. In fact, had it not been for attention of European whites the blues may have been killed off by a virus called rock ‘n roll.

Over the decades blues has more than just survived, it has arguably become the world’s music. Every time I’ve gone to the Delta I’m amazed at the number of foreign pilgrims seeking Mecca in Mississippi.

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slashUntil this morning I didn’t have a clue on earth who Slash was. But, while channel surfing I came across a PBS documentary about this guy named slash who grew up in Los Angeles and became a guitar player.

Later I did some Googling online and learned he was the lead guitarist for Guns and Roses and other groups and considered one of the world’s best guitarists.

I then turned to YouTube and found a video of him doing a blues jam and playing the theme from The Godfather.

I now know who Slash is and I agree that he is one hell of an axe man.

PFC 101 & 102

Playing for Change BannerWe’re going to double our pleasure today with the release of two new projects from Playing for Change. Project 101 features the world’s children telling us to Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Project 102 features four of the PFC band members taking a roadside break while on tour in Australia.

Homage to Blake’s

As most of you probably know, Blake’s Coffee Shop in Greenfield, blakescoffeeshopgooglehas been demolished. The local watering hole went out of business several years ago and in the interim the building rapidly deteriorated and became unsalvageable. Pat Hays purchased the property, which had become both an eyesore and safety hazard, and funded the demolition and conversion into a parking lot.

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