Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Monday, April 30, 2007

For Frankie

The Funions played one of their best shows ever Sunday at the Frank Calkins benefit.

Let's face it - a benefit is a social event, and most people come to hang out, visit with friends, sneak a peak at the auction items and drink a soda. The band is usually just background noise, and we are used to that.

But something happened upstairs inside the Starlight Casino (which was smoke-free, thank you very much). People started listening. There was a presentation for Frank right before we played our last song, "Stay Strong," which we wrote for Frank, and the place was jumping.

It is an awesome feeling, playing music when people get it. All the credit goes to Frank.

What a great weekend! The comedy show Friday, the walk/run and golf event Saturday, and Sunday. All good. All GREAT. All because of Frank.

Now comes the hard part. We watch our friend suffer the ravishes of ALS and all we can do is pray a little harder. Truth is, Frank is in a fight for his life, and only his attitude will see him through.

Stay Strong, Frank. Stay Strong.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Frank Calkins got a dose of medicine no doctor can give, and the drug had only one side affect — laughter.

Last night at Backwaters, Paul Gilmartin had an overflow crowd howling as he mused about life, love, not love, more not love and life. In general.

I often tell people my job is interesting because "you can't make it up." That's what makes Paul's job as a comedian relevant, too. He can skewer and poke fun but the fact is, he's talking about life as we know it. And if you can't laugh at how absurd we are, then get your pulse checked.

Last Saturday somebody said God is in Gil Feld's fan club. Same holds true for Frank. After a dismal rainy week, Friday broke clear, cool and sunny. They have great weather today for the walk/run and golf tournament in Camp Point.

God is smiling down at you, Frank.

Mayor John Spring gave Frank the key to the city last night and proclaimed Sunday as Frank Calkins Day in Quincy. Frank can't stand on his own anymore, but we stood for him four different times in standing ovations.

Frank is good a putting smiles on people's faces. This weekend is our turn to return the favor, as Jon Barnard put it last night.

We'll see you tomorrow at the Casino!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Paul Gilmartin

Paul Gilmartin is performing Friday night at Backwaters to support the Frank Calkins benefit weekend. You've seen Paul on Dinner & A Movie on TBS, and he is wickedly funny. Tickets are just $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

We play Sunday at the Casino Starlight at about 3 p.m. for Frank's benefit. Should be a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Walking Into Sanity

It's been an unbelievably long couple of days.

This afternoon I restored some sanity by walking through Woodland Cemetery. This might be the most gorgeous spot in Quincy, were it not for the aluminum sided business marring the Gardner Expressway when you look across the bluff and toward the river.

The rolling terrain is how Quincy used to be before we flattened and planned everything out .... gotta have that social order, you know. The place is also a veritable outdoor museum, with a Civil War memorial, John Wood (founder of Quincy) grave and the resting places for many prominent Quincy citizens.

I like to sit on the Roy Brocksmith bench and think about life. My old friend Jo Ann Bier is buried near the west end in a beautiful spot, as well.

The old graves, the vaults, the dirt roads winding back, the view .... it's a beautiful place.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Now She Rests

Cousin Esther Hart passed away peacefully Monday night in Toronto after a grueling battle with cancer.

Peace and blessings to all the family, and safe travels.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Third Ward Race

Today is one of many reasons for loving Q-Town ... cool, breezy, sunny .... the perfect spring day.

I will probably wreck it somewhat by watching the Cardinals tonight, but I will keep my perfect streak of 15 years without watching an entire MLB game.

Interesting story in today's Whig about the Third Ward race between Paul Havermale and John Douglas. I don't live in the ward and have no party allegiances, but it's the only city race on the April ballot so there is a lot of interest.

I think Paul has done an excellent job as alderman. In today's story he came off as bright and interested in doing the best job he can. He didn't let losing his first bid for alderman discourage him from running again and he perservered, proof good things will happen if you stick to it.

John Douglas is another good guy who has the right ideas for running. I run into John a lot doing the crime and courts thing and he is always helpful and good for a quote, and he has a self-depreciating style that always makes me laugh.

This is not an endorsement for either candidate. I'm just glad both parties have good candidates.

The best thing about today's story is that neither candidate threw any mud and they stuck to the issues, refreshing to see.

Good luck to both guys!