Posts Tagged ‘#fire’

download

I was recently speaking with some friends and the topics floated around like they normally do.   We finally spun into accomplishments and major things each of us have done.  As each of us look back on our lives there are things we have achieved and successes we are proud of.

I would like to tell you something I did that may have been the most important and long lasting of any.  My family and group of friends love to camp.  We go to parks and national forests, friends get-a-ways and even in our back yard. In fact one of the local county parks uses our camp sight as the background picture for their web site.  One night we had just finished cooking for everyone over a controlled fire and had a feast.  The sun was down and we built up the campfire so it was going pretty good.  Many of the campers were stuffed and sitting in deep chairs and settling down for good company and conversations.  I was standing with my back to the fire talking with someone and enjoying the evening.  I sometimes refer to having eyes in the back of my head or getting the ‘spider-sense tingling’ that something is wrong.  What in memory seems like the same time, I heard alarm and excitement from the group of people sitting close to the fire.  It quickly rose to a definite panic.  Not really knowing what the concern was, I turned around facing the camp fire.  I saw that my youngest granddaughter – very young at the time – had been standing near the fire facing someone in the chairs and did not realize she had backed up too far and had tripped backwards into the center of the fire pit.   People watching were unable to get out of their seats and you could see the panic in their eyes.  I turned quickly and reached down.  I grabbed her shirt in a bunch with one fist and pulled her as hard and as fast as I could.  I slammed her into my chest and gave her a great big hug before she even realized what had happened.

The group relief was ear shattering and was more alarming to her than me plucking her out of the pit.  I think back and consider escape from the amount of pain and suffering for a life time to come.  I thought for a while that this is why I was put on this planet – my work here is done.  Of course it is not and there will be many more stories to tell, but maybe none that made the world a better place like that one quick knee-jerk response.

I would like to hear your most remembered action that made a huge difference to someone else. Let’s celebrate and share those accomplishments in this post.

5244810_1436540335.6046

With your help and a lot of other social groups and individuals, we have helped raise money to help my friend John try to recover from the house fire that happened while he was away.  He still has not been able to get home to see the damage and to make plans for the immediate future.  I really want to thank all of you for great comments, spreading the word and financial support.   My guess is a number of people that do not know him offered support in a number of different ways.  I am frankly proud and grateful of the way this blog community responded.  Thank you again!

As many of you know I have been a musician for many years and met John when he was hired to work at the same music store I worked in.  It is kind of funny as you get older you can talk of personal experiences in terms of DECADES!!   Just saying.

Back on track, I wanted to give you an idea of the damage from the fire and the amazing group of local friends that organized without instruction and worked extremely hard to recover as many personal belongings as we could – and the restoration work that continues; and frankly, is really just at the beginning of that phase.  I wanted to give you a picture.  But we all know that is impossible.  You cannot describe the lobbies in Las Vegas hotels or what it feels like in the middle of the ocean to someone that has never been there.   We try.   We get close.   They get the idea, but until you have similar experiences it can be hard to know what those and many other things in life are truly like.

I have been to his house but I still do not have the big picture.  The closest I can get is reliving the feeling I had when I came home from one of those rescue missions…..  I walked up to my front door and as I started to put the key in the lock I thought;  what if all of this is gone?  In the difference of a day…….  Memories gone.      Pictures gone.      Music gone.        Furniture gone.     Everything.   Gone.

With those thoughts in mind and my keys in my hand, I wrote this song.  I thank all of you for sharing, in so many ways.   And while I am at it, thank you for allowing us to share with you.

http://www.gofundme.com/johnvaneaton

https://midimike.com/2015/07/11/please-help-spread-the-word/ 

I wanted to give everyone an update on my musician friend John (whose house was damaged in a fire).  Lots of effort and a lot of good news, even in this sad event.  John will be in town soon and will be able to look over the damage and take inventory of the surviving furniture and gear.  Until then Alisa has organized the gofundme project http://www.gofundme.com/johnvaneaton which has raised $10,000 so far in less than a week.  I think that is going to make a big difference in the next few days and weeks.

There are a number of people still working on cleaning and restoring items that were rescued in the search and recovery phase. Once John gets to look at the various projects, he will have a better idea of how to get back on his feet.  We hope to have information from the team that is working on organizing a benefit soon.

https://midimike.com/2015/07/11/please-help-spread-the-word/  this is the original post about these events.

I’m also in the process of writing a song about the events using some guitar chords my wife was playing with recently and a little jam I was working on. Thank you all for getting the word out and helping as much as you can.  I have come home from those salvage missions and realize everything that I have could be gone in moments.  I am not rich, but the music and memorabilia would be irreplaceable.  I will need them when memory loss really kicks in!

This song is for John, everyone who donated money and time to help him and all of you really cool bloggers.  I’m going to post the lyrics first while I polish the song, but it will be up shortly.  

A Very Long Night”                                              © 7-13-2015  Lyrics MSK    Music MSK/ELK

Traveling for business

He is often out of town

From country to country

One city becomes the next

It wasn’t until he got the text

With pictures from the news

That he knew this was the beginning

Of a Very Long Night

He wasn’t home when the fire started

Everyone says it could have been worse

As we watched, broken hearted

Each tear became another verse

Unable to return any time soon

All my friend could do was watch

Phone calls and e-mail

The news from home was grim.

Some say it was best for him

Being out of town.

Some say it was best for him

He didn’t see it burn down.

Some say it was best for him

Not to see the damage from the flames

Some say it was best for him

As all that water did the same

It was a good thing he wasn’t home that night

It was a good thing he wasn’t home that night

It was a good thing he wasn’t home all right

It was just the beginning of a Very Long Night.

5244810_1436551652.1907_funddescription5244810_1436551640.5363_funddescription

I have shared a number of experiences that have been about loss. Unfortunately, when you get older, you have more experiences watching the achievements of a life’s work and loves dissolve.  There are many types of loss and a personal friend of mine has been going through a very difficult time.  I just needed to share my experience and thoughts. Over these posts I have often mentioned working at local music stores and the benefit of knowing some awesome people. One of the friends I worked with for years and formed a great partnership “co-owning” the music store with all those years ago has had a devastating loss. As social media is …. he found out from friend’s texts and e-mails that while he was traveling, his house burnt down. His job is demanding and a lot of people depend on him to be there. He could not get home and as we all need to do from time to time; he had to rely on his friends and family (many times they are the same thing).  He is still away and has not seen his home other than on the news and through social media.

I would like to let you know that we have successfully completed the ‘search and rescue’ mission.  We got anything we could out of the building during the days of rain with holes in the roof.  It was a scramble with trusted friends.  We hauled ass and a bunch of other things.  Some musical instruments are damaged beyond use or repair and some have hope of restoration or managed to remain untouched by the whole thing!   He is a musician and like me has an insatiable love for art, music, friendship and making the world better than it would be without us in it.  This has got to be devastating.  For me, carrying out each old and precious instrument or piece of gear,  had a deep impact.  Others worked on his art and personal belongings.  I have heard their stories and all have a deep sense of loss.  No one was hurt.  Many things can be replaced.  But as the fire and then the water took their toll, a lot of his life’s work did dissolve.

We are working now on cleaning and saving as much as we can.   As my daughter Alisa, who runs my blog, practically grew up in the music store and all my friends, she has known John Van Eaton almost her entire life.  She is creating a positive use of social media and spreading the word through this and other avenues.  We will have a number of benefits to raise money and support to help him work through this until he is able to come home and the resources he will need once he returns.  I will post more info as details come in and thank you – fellow bloggers – for letting me share this with you.  The sharing allows healing.

 For more details or to contribute to his fund, see below.  MIDIMike