My website has recently been redesigned in order to “freshen” it up and make it compatible with the handheld devices that most people seem to be using for browsing these days. You sure couldn’t prove the importance of those nuisance gadgets by my use of the iphone 4 that sometimes frequents my front left pocket and sometimes hides under the seat cushion of my chesterfield or beneath the console of the tired 2010 Toyota Sienna that delivered me to more than ten shows in seven different cities in the last couple of months. I have yet to venture onto the internet with it, save the few times I have checked on what my kids are up to on instagram. I think my reticence in using the device stems from having to carry a pager for thirty odd years during my practice career and having it call the tune of my daily dance.
I have been asked again and again by folks when I am on the road, if I’m still in Creston and living in the log house that I wrote about building in Never Say Die, and When the Going Gets Tough. The answer to that question is yes, and I suspect that I will be taken feet first from the place on the day of my death. There is something about building a structure from the ground up that creates a bond between the creator and the created. There is no place in the world that I have been, that makes me feel more at ease than the plot of ground and the logs and stones that have become my home. That being said, there are a multitude of deficiencies and many things that have yet to be properly finished. After obligations to a wife and kids were added to the complexities of practice, it always seemed that things were good enough to get by with, and progress towards completion came to a screeching halt. A divorce and a car accident that left me with a broken neck and a right arm that has never quite been the same, didn’t contribute much to the situation.
When the back hoe was digging the cavernous hole for the basement of my dwelling, Ruth Veitch grabbed some of the blue clay from the depths of the excavation to make a pot that would become one of the first ornaments for my house. The inscription on the bottom of the finished product suggested that the clay was as difficult to work with as the owner. To my father, the idea of moving a log house that had been built in the 1880s was crazy enough…considering using stone for an addition, just because it blended well with the character of the logs, made no sense at all. When I told him that I had a notion to build more stone walls for a court yard, he just shook his head and wandered off muttering something about a damned fool being a glutton for punishment. I kept envisioning a quiet place of tranquility where there was a fountain with gurgling water and flowers growing everywhere. Father swore it was just going to be an out of the way place to store junk when I had nowhere else to throw it. I hope to live long enough to prove him wrong.
I know a lot of you have been asking about it so I recently posted some pictures of what the house looks like now. It went through a bit of a facelift this summer with the replacement of the roof and the refinishing of all the wood surfaces. I guess the shakes I originally cut did all right—they lasted from 1974 until 2015. Good thing I cut them nice and thick.