Spring in Maine / Snow’s finally gone / Photos & Music / The best Presidential story gets better! – Life in Maine with family & music – the Marcrescue blog
It’s been a very busy few months since I last wrote an update about life in Maine and the workings of a very independent music company.
If you read my last update – there was a story about how my family has a handshake connection with Abraham Lincoln.
At the end of this letter – I’ll reprint a reply to that story from a friend of mine that has a similar story about another great American president. Side by side – the two stories are astounding and remind us that our history is not as distant as we might imagine.
When I last wrote – Maine was covered in snow.
Which impacted our annual spring Maine Maple Sunday visits to our favorite maple sugar / syrup producers. They open their doors up one day a year for everyone to visit and celebrate the process.
We hit our three favorites again this year – first off stopping at Sparky’s – where they were busy loading wood onto the fire that boils down the syrup in a contraption that resembles nothing else.
The first thing you notice is that unlike most years there was still snow on the ground – a lot of it:
A reminder of that:
This year was going to be a complete mystery on how much syrup he was going to be able to produce.
Every season he has a chart of the previous year’s production and holds a guessing contest on what this year will produce.
Winner gets free syrup:
They don’t do it for the money – they do it because they love it.
This year we hit a another maple celebration in Vermont when we went to visit family.
Another state that takes it seriously:
Forget about Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme etc.
They got nuthin’ compared to these:
Spent a few days in Philadelphia at the annual Non-Comm Music gathering – where public radio stations and music folks get together for meetings and amazing musical performances.
I was so busy running from one great performance to another I didn’t have a moment to stop to take any photos this year.
Except for the one time I slowed down for the yearly trip to Jim’s Steaks:
How do people resist the temptation?
I have no idea.
Of course the food in Maine isn’t too shabby either.
Backing up a bit to the end of winter – a snowstorm on Valentine’s Day is no surprise – but that didn’t stop us – a great night out at the Fog Bar in Rockland. Movie’s projected on the wall, a great new duck and sweet potato Shepherd’s Pie and fresh oysters!
Our indie music company Mishara Music released some very cool albums this Spring.
First a new EP by Cass Dillon – an amazing songwriter and performer. Second – an album unlike any other – poetry, storytelling and some great guitar licks by Dave Morrison and then – containing a track from both – our 6th free song sampler on Amazon.com:
Listen to Dave on Soundcloud – storytelling like you’ve ever heard before:
We’ve found that encouraging people to sample free songs from the company builds our audience exponentially.
Here’s a sampling of some reviews on Amazon from our samplers – you’ll understand why we do this – we’ve been building a brand:
Here are the listening links.
So now here’s the link to Mishara Music on Amazon – where you’ll find those ten free songs and another 60+ additional free downloads:
How do all those free tracks do?
Charts on Amazon (and iTunes) change hourly – but checking randomly right now as I type this – here’s what Mishara Music has on the Top 100 Free All Format Chart on Amazon at this moment.
10 of the top 100:
Build your audience – build your brand.
More new music, artists and always additional free songs are coming this summer.
In the meantime – maybe we can sneak out a bit and enjoy this wonderful change in the weather.
The blooms on the apple trees this year were the most bountiful in years:
My favorite aroma flower is the lilac:
The sailing schooners in Camden harbor have been prepping for a busy summer season.
You can sail on the biggest of schooners for a week:
We try to make the most of it.
A road trip ends up with a great view of the sunset over a small beach:
You’d be amazed at how many people find their way there.
(Of course – you need a lot of reading material around here startin’ about November for about five months or so):
Or because they just happen to be built in the most scenic spots?
I suppose we could do a survey – but once you’re there – who cares:
For us camping is not so much about going to a different place physically – it’s more about the psychological change.
So we went all of about five miles down the road to Camden Hills State Park:
Saturday was the annual Summer Solstice street celebration in our neighboring town Rockland:
Big fun – restaurants giving out free samplers of their dishes, games for kids, demonstrations, booths and on every side street they had music playing – acoustic musicians on one corner, a dj on the next, then a rock band – here’s a local jazz orchestra:
What’s the old saying? “Youth is wasted on the young”
As you get older you learn to never underestimate anyone.
My suggestion – don’t ever walk up to the guy with the big white beard and say “Hey, you wanna have a blues guitar showdown?”
Come to think of it – if ZZ Top is ever looking for an additional guitar player – I got the guy:
I ran into a T-Rex at a showing of Jurassic World:
I gotta say – there’s nothing better than home cooking.
I got treated like royalty on Father’s Day.
First off Kim made a bbq hash for brunch – with smoked turkey from our favorite bbq joint – “4 Points BBQ” in Winterport, Maine. Smoked turkey, onions, garlic, peppers, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, some secret seasoning etc.
Alas no photo – but – here’s a photo of a similar hash from a camping trip last summer – that used some “4 Points” beef brisket instead of the smoked turkey – you’ll get the idea:
Dinner at Kim’s mom was a total surprise – homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert – using corn bread instead of a hard biscuit – so much better – but the big treat was my favorite dish of all time – Crayfish Etouffee – made by Kim’s mom – who learned to make it when they lived in Lafayette, Louisiana years ago – with fresh flown in Louisiana crawfish.
I ate more food in one day than I usually eat in a month.
Nothing like Father’s Day with the family:
In the last post I wrote – I described the story of my father and uncle meeting an army veteran that my grandfather brought home from the “Old Soldiers Home” for dinner in the 1930’s when they were young kids.
Mr Carpenter shook their hands saying “Shake the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln”.
Turns out President Lincoln came to meet with his generals in 1862 and Mr. Carpenter was a young soldier at the meeting location and was part of the line that Mr. Lincoln walked down – shaking each soldier’s hand.
Which means that my father and uncle were two handshakes away from Lincoln.
Which means that I and my son (who’s 9 and has shaken the hand of my now 91 year old uncle – (who’s got his own great stories – read about him in the last post) are only 3 handshakes away.
150 years after the end of the civil war.
But with this letter from my friend John Baker – who’s hand both my son and I have shaken – it gets better.
Here’s John’s story:
At my prep school in Groton, Mass, was a retired teacher, Mr. Richards, who had taught both my father and grandfather (class of 1909). Mr. Richards was revered. He died before I actually went to the school, but not before my older brother did.
On a “Parents’ Weekend” as it was called, in 1959 my father called on Mr. Richards (now THERE’s an old phrase) with me, my brother and my mother.
My father, after tea, became solemn, and asked Mr;. Richards to “tell my sons about the very elderly man you met and spoke of to my class back in 1934, my senior year, which was your annual story for the senior class.”
Mr. Richards nodded slowly, looked at us, and said “I haven’t told this story since I retired on 1951, but your father has asked.”
In 1888 when I was a student at this school, and home for Easter, my father introduced me to an aging member of our church in Boston. The man, it turned out, was over 100 years old. My father, who had seen and spoken to this gentleman many times, asked me to remember and revere that handshake, because, he said, “You have just shaken the hand of a man who, as a young boy, shook the hand of George Washington.”
Father then said that we two boys were to remember that we had just shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of the “Father of our country.”
Mr. Richards died a year later at the age of 90, and I must think that we may have been the last of his “boys” to hear that story.
So let’s recap.
History seems so long ago.
But in these instances – it’s close up and personal.
If we happen to run into each other and we shake hands….that means that you will be four handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln (I’m three) and five handshakes away from George Washington (I’m four).
My son is nine.
In 2076 – the 300th birthday of the United States he’ll be 70.
And astonishingly – only three handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln and four away from George Washington.
I love history.
But history doesn’t need to be about events hundreds of years ago.
I was lucky enough to celebrate history earlier this year.
For my son’s birthday in January we did a 3 day road trip to NYC.
We ride the rails:
I’ve been in the entertainment business for over 40 years and actually had been to the show before – escorting one of the guests appearing that night – lady named Cher. Now that was an experience.
But tickets to this show – for the audience – were never given out to anyone except regular people that wrote in for tickets.
They never cared about catering to any VIP’s or the record companies.
You want tickets – you write in like everyone else.
They even warned you – if you’re chosen to receive tickets – you have to answer a random trivia question about the show.
I knew the answer to the question when they called.
They only wanted real fans in the audience.
My wife and I were real genuine fans.
Watched every night.
And miss him so much.
But we got to spend one great afternoon in the theatre for a taping.
PS We’re all busy these days.
Everyone I know is busier than they’ve ever been.
But I guess there are still people out there that find the time to do the unexpected.
Have a bit of fun.
Something I have to do more of.
Don’t know who and don’t know why – but I sure did appreciate it:
Life in Maine w/ family & music – Photos of the year 2014 – the Marcrescue blog (Life in Maine with a nine year old)
(Note – If you’d like to be notified when these about monthly posts come out – you can sign up on WordPress on the right or sign up for my FB or Twitter feeds below. If you’d prefer to be left alone (I live in Maine where we all mostly prefer to be left alone – think it’s a New England thing) I understand.
As we all make “arghhh” type comments as we mistakenly write 2014 once more (and I will continue to do so until sometime mid April) here’s a collection of some of my favorite photos of the year.
Posted either because of the photo itself (most likely the artistic beautiful ones were taken by my wife Kim) or because of the memory of the moment.
I’ve also updated the latest events of the holiday season.
In no particular order.
Actually from the end of 2013 – we woke up to the aftermath of a rare ice storm on December 27th – where the particular mix of temperature and precipitation coated everything with ice.
Beautiful but dangerous:
Camden Harbor is always amazing.
Speaking of summer – I think my favorite photo of the year (taken by Kim of course) is Ethan in a swimming pool.
Swimming is a big part of summer in Maine.
Here he is checking one of the local swimming holes after a storm:
Now that we’re solidly into winter 2015 – it won’t be long until we see the ice fishing huts out on the same pond:
Once Spring arrives one of our favorite family days is Maine Maple Day – where all the sugar houses open their doors and you get to see the sugaring process which involves lots of evaporating and distilling of the maple sap. Each producer’s set up is different – some are using the same evaporators they’ve used for years and years and others are newer models of gorgeous stainless steel piping. The freshly made warm maple syrup is delicious no matter which way it’s produced. We always buy some from 3 or 4 different producers that day and it lasts us all year. (And it’s much less expensive than what you pay in stores).
The aroma in the shed is wonderful:
Spring also brings the annual iris blooming in our yard. My favorite flower – planted by someone long before we moved to Maine:
We try to do as many things as a family as we can and the opportunities in Maine are endless.
Summer camping by the ocean is a treat.
We go back to the same site at the Searsport Shores Campground every summer.
Kim loves to enjoy her morning camping coffee on the bench overlooking the ocean 20 yards from our campsite:
I look forward to the special breakfasts she makes.
Nothing like a beef brisket / sweet & white potato / onion hash made over the 1970’s era Coleman camping stove:
Is there anything more simple yet artistic than a shell on a beach – timeless (and taken by Kim of course):
Summer brings baseball and this year I managed to get one of the limited edition hats that the Red Sox official hat maker made after the 2013 marathon bombing.
It’s now my favorite hat and a reminder of how important and yet fragile life is and how important it is that we celebrate what we have every single day. If you’re a longtime reader of this blog you might remember that we were right across from the marathon finish line that day having just watched Kim’s cousin finish her first Boston Marathon and we saw both bombs go off. A day and tragic event we’ll never forget:
As most people are doing these days we are taking lots of selfies….as a family.
I had two favorites this year….this is the summer beach selfie:
Another favorite thing of mine this year was the Valentine’s Day card that Ethan made for me.
Better than anything for sale in a store:
After dinner nothing like a father son talk while walking in nearby downtown Rockland:
Ethan played his first game of adult Monopoly this year and it went perfectly as far as he was concerned….when dad went bust by landing on Ethan owned Boardwalk with four houses on it:
The other big game event that’s recorded in photo was our electronic candle lit game of Sorry – played during our 26 hour blackout that happened during the big snowstorm we had right after Halloween.
Dad got his revenge and won this time:
Thinking about old -fashioned things like board games takes me to Ethan’s new phone in his playroom.
During the blackout I took out an antique 1930’s era dial phone to see if the phone lines were working (all the new fangled electronic phones were useless of course) and Ethan loved it and insisted I hook it up in his playroom.
This is Ethan’s first phone – no mobile for him yet:
Summer in small town Maine brings out the community.
The library sponsors movie night in the amphitheater across from the harbor.
We all bring camp chairs and watch family films on an inflatable screen (don’t forget the bug spray):
Another summer vision – watching the ice spray waiting for your Sno-Kone:
Before you know it – it’s fall…..time for a cardboard sled on a grassy hill:
The end of summer also brings tomatoes from the garden in multi-colors:
Time to find a pumpkin:
Ethan planned the face for the carving this year and dad did a pretty good job of matching his design – Ethan was happy about that:
Every year the library has people bring their carved pumpkins to the town ampitheater for a get together – it’s always fun to see what everyone can do with their pumpkins:
My other favorite family selfie of the year – the “Halloween” edition:
As I mentioned – two days after Halloween we had a huge early snowstorm.
This is what we woke up to looking through the Halloween decorations on the windows.
I imagine that the tomato plants on the deck were not thrilled:
We all got to have fun outside.
Dad with a shovel:
Being so early in the year – Kim got to make the coolest snowman ever:
Ethan tested to see if the snow was any good for making snowballs to throw at dad:
My second favorite photo of the year – Kim’s “Moonrise”:
Time for holiday preparations.
In Maine – we head to the woods to find and cut our Christmas tree. Hard work when it’s 20 degrees but very rewarding:
Every year one of the simple pleasures Kim and I enjoy is finding a few new ornaments for the tree. This was this year’s haul – we loved the felt mistletoe, the Red Sox ornament was a birthday present from Kim to me and the star at the right was a school project that Ethan made:
We love the holiday parade in downtown Camden….we get creative with our floats…..where else do you see floats with a giant duck, a giant dog from the animal adoption center, a firetruck with a Christmas tree, the Rockport harbormaster’s boat, a giant lobster and of course our mainstay – a snowplow!
Afterwards we take to the streets and someone was out checking to see if the kids have been naughty or nice:
A few days later it’s time to head over to Rockport for their Christmas tree lighting and fireworks over the harbor.
Love the real lobster fishing buoys as decorations on the tree:
The wonderful thing about fireworks over the harbor is that you get to see the reflections in the ocean:
It’s very important every holiday season to make sure we’re thinking of other people – just not ourselves.
Ethan made donations to “Coats For Kids” and “Toys For Tots”:
With that done it’s time to make sure everything is set for Santa:
Ethan wanted to make it easier for Santa this year so he also prepared a checklist with an extra plate of cookies:
All the sudden it’s New Year’s Eve Day and time for us to set up the train set and get in some serious engineering:
Nothing like a another year in Maine.
A great place for a family.
It’s not a rich state – not a lot of money around – but we make up for it in creativity.
This gets my award for best Christmas decoration of the year.
I have no idea how it was done.
As far as I can tell it’s a real car.
It must be Santa’s for sure…..because based on the size of the trees and the rigging I can see…..there’s no way a regular person could set this up…..but then again it’s Maine…..and we make do with what we have:
Welcome to 2015 – my wish for everyone reading this and for all the people in the world is to have all the joy they hope for and to live in peace.
PS Mishara Music didn’t release many new albums in 2015 because all the recordings we were planning on – moved to 2015 – you can’t ask artists to write songs on a schedule. As we side more on the artistic side than the business side – that’s ok – we don’t force the issue at all….so we spent most of 2014 introducing our existing albums and artists to new fans.
But that means some wonderful new releases are coming – so while we prepare to delight and amaze in 2015 let me remind that we love to give away some of our favorite songs….because we can. We’re a small independent music company with no rules so if we want to gift great songs we just do it.
In no particular order here are 7 of our favorite free song pages – free downloads with no email or registration of any kind required – just click and enjoy.
From Ken Yates – “The One That Got Away”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/kenyates/
Takes you to this page:
From Barnaby Bright – “Made Up Of”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/barnabybright2/
Takes you to this page:
From Chris Ross – “Jack and Jill (Bottom Of My Grave)” – the hardest rocking song on the label
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/chrisross/
Takes you to this page:
From Connor Garvey – “Old House”
Takes you to this page:
From Clarensau – “Dance With Me”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/dancewithme/
Takes you to this page:
From Meggan Waltman – “Rain”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/rain/
Takes you to this page:
And one more song from Chris Ross – a new live studio recording of “Mostly Sober”
Takes you to this page:
And there’s more where these came from.
The link – http://misharamusic.com/site/?page_id=18
Takes you to the Mishara Music website Free Song page:
A World Apart – literally / Maine Maple Syrup / The best music you haven’t heard & a set list to long for! The Marcrescue blog – life in Maine with an 8 year old
A Song for St Patrick’s Day / Snowman wars – Winter love in Maine / Life in Maine with an eight year old – the Marcrescue blog
Maine winter snow & ice photos / life musings and a farm report you must read! Life In Maine With An Eight Year Old – The Marcrescue blog
No deliveries on the weekends.
The “Day After Thankgiving” what I’m thankful for post. Now that the meal is over – Life in Maine – the Marcrescue blog
Life in Maine with a 7 year old – don’t need much, a little music & a lot of imagination & family – the Marcrescue blog
Life & Summer in Maine in photos, Caitlin Canty – a great way to listen, Don’t Go In The Basement & Music Conventions – the Marcrescue blog
During the summer there are two radio / record business conventions that I attend every year
Then & Now pics – Summer / McCartney shows 47 years apart – Life in Maine with a 7 Year old – The Marcrescue blog
But I’m happy to report that overall the island looks great. There’s obviously been tremendous work done…and a lot of rebuilding to new standards – to protect houses from the same kind of damage if and when a storm comes again. Many, many houses are / have been raised on new foundations. Good to see.
“I’ve got a way of winning every time we fight
I can’t admit it but you’re almost always right”
It’s a love song for couples.
Here’s Barnaby Bright performing it live at 9am at WNRN during an Anne Williams interview:
2. Chris Ross “Your America”
Chris just recorded a new live b&w Stageit concert version of this song and uploaded it to YouTube and Facebook on July 4th.
Here are two of the first comments:
Here’s why they’re commenting about it:
“So you run off to the desert so sure of black and white
And you find out real fast it ain’t all stars and stripes
And the man that’s in the mirror, he’s braver than most
But he still gets scared of the holy ghost
So you see a few things you’ll never get rid of
You leave a few friends in the sand
And everyday there’s more taking than giving
And it just don’t feel
Like your America, man”
Here’s the video link:
3. Clarensau “I Would Trade”
Real life this!
“Another night in the waiting room
You’re 50 feet from me, but I still miss you
Your body sleeps in that scary room
Unaware of the doctor’s that are trying to save you
I would trade all of my days
to take the pain away”
Here’s a listening link:
4. Peter Bradley Adams “Between Us”
“there’s comfort, comfort in things we believe
but i live in danger, wanting the the things i can’t see
wherever you live now, wherever you walk
this distance between us, i’m willing to cross”
Some woman in Norway of all places made a YouTube video of “Between Us” – using just a photograph and the song…..she’s only posted 4 other videos…..and this clip of the song has over One Million Six Hundred Thousand views:
5. Caitlin Canty “Every Day”
Broken! Lawn 2 – Marc 0 / Unconventional music biz / Summer life in Maine with a 7 year old – the Marcrescue blog