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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prayers for Matt McElfresh family

Matt McElfresh of the Adams County Sheriff's Department died early this morning in an off-duty accident.

Click here for more.

I knew Matt and he was a great guy. He worked a lot of big dope cases when he was with the Task Force, and if it got to court and I needed to double check something or find out what was really going on, Matt was always the man.

He was aggressive and dogged and if you were a bad guy and Matt got on your trail .... forget it. You had no chance.

I hate writing about deaths and funerals, and I'm going to hate it more.

But that's a distant second to the huge issue at hand - Matt's family, and his extended family at the ACSD.

Peace, Matt. We are so much better off for knowing you for a short time.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


After the 6-1 senior graduated last night, she posed with some family, including my sister from Louisville (left), who looks like she just found the lost cap from her camera.

Always a big step, high school graduation. I vaguely remembered mine, it was more relief that anything. I hated high school, and it was mostly my fault.

I am proud of the 6-1 senior. She got a very good education at Quincy Public Schools. Jeff Mays gave a brief talk during the ceremony and he is right — the world is much different and much more complicated than when we graduated just a few, uh, years ago.

So there was a lot of jubilation when everything was said and done.

Lots of fun at the post-graduation party as well, a big thanks to the many parents who volunteered to make it a safe and fun time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Graduation Night

More busy times .... a house full of Harts here to celebrate the 6-1 senior's graduation tonight. God is blessing the event with beautiful sunny skies.

I went upstairs early this morning and there were bodies everywhere, on floors, on beds, on futons. They were all slumbering peacefully.

Also have four dogs co-existing quite nicely, thank you. The big backyard is HUGE.

Should we survive, we'll update Saturday or Sunday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Breaking In The House

For a most excellent account of our Memorial Day, click here.

I will never tire of sitting on this back porch, even with a big storm rolling in. Lucy The Border Collie of Doom used to hide in the bathtub at Sheryl's old house, now she just sort of pants and flops on the kitchen floor.

Sheryl is getting ready for another garage sale, a perfect time for me to find something else to do, like, oh, I don't know — have a daughter graduate from high school!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rain On The Roof

Finally, FINALLY, a few minutes to ponder life.

We are settling into the new Calftown house. Shey Fey has set up the wireless and I'm enjoying the sound of the rain on the metal roof while sitting on the back porch.

Gus Macker was great as usual, perfect weather Sunday. There were the usual knuckleheads and incidents, a few ambulance calls. The Quincy Notre Dame football team was amazing helping us tear down yesterday, wish other tournaments had it figured out like we do in Quincy.

And a big big big HUGE thank you to the Exchange Club.

Dream Court was dreamy as usual. The Special Olympics guys and gals played Saturday morning and it was a hoot.

Saturday night's Funions gig at the firing range was awesome. We have a guy filling in on drums in a couple of weeks for a private party, The Mighty One, and he set Saturday's event up to give us a sort of a "live practice" — I thought we played very well. What I really liked about it was our sound system, not too loud and everybody could hear.

Gus showed up with the Macker crew and they were totally in awe of Jack playing the sax. Who wouldn't be? Apparently there is some video shot on a Blackberry floating around out there ....

So today is finally a piddling day to get some stuff organized, set up the music room, etc. Shey Fey is running around with an electric screwdriver and is in total home improvement heaven. The chaos will continue this week when the 6-1 senior graduates from QHS, family coming in, etc.

At least we have place to put them!

A word on comments: I appreciate feedback and will post just about anything, but foul language isn't tolerated. If you don't like it, tough. It's my blog and I'll cry if want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to ....

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This is a form of therapy, but all I'm gonna say is THANK GOD IT'S OVER. Mostly over.

Thank you to Chief and sons, Devon White, Dr. Brei, John Frank, Tom Miller. You saved my life. Not my back, but my life.

We are officially in the new Calftown residence, with  about a month's worth of stuff to arrange. Part of the moving fun ...

Gus is this weekend, can't wait for Dream Court again, come see us at Fifth and Maine.

Setting up tonight for our big Firing Range show Saturday night.

So other than that, nothing is going on .... WAIT. Forgot to mention, huge June 19 show at Turner Hall with our friends The Cheeseburgers!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Last Monroe Post

Big move tomorrow a few blocks north ....

This is my last post from my Calftown refuge of the past four years. This place has been very good to me. I regained some sanity and lost just as much of it here. 

I love living in Calftown and I'm very excited about the move, the house is awesome.

Many thanks to Bob Pribble, a great guy to rent from. Thanks to Mike and Lynn and the neighbors.

I will miss this place. A lot. But another chapter begins and I cannot wait!

Might be offline for a few days ....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Farewell JT

Quincy lost a giant today with the passing of John Tripp.

His blog, published every Monday, was always well-written, funny, touching and positive. 

He was a gifted public speaker and one of the funniest men you will ever meet.

His greatest joy late in life was being a grandfather.

Prayers to family and friends.

Friday, May 15, 2009

All New Songs

Holy storms Batman ...

During Funions practice last night, we did nothing but work on new songs. LinkWell, new to us. Dave Dudley, Cheap Trick, Johnny Cash and more have all been Funionized.

Hate it when all these bands in town steal OUR songs .... pffffffttttt.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No Show Saturday

The benefit at River's Edge Saturday has been canceled.

Our apologies, and we are sorry we won't get to hear our friends Midnight Legend play.

If it's rescheduled, we'll let you know.

On the bright side ... big July 4 show at the Elks!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No Paradise Here

A few months ago we played a really fun show at The Paradise at 10th and Hampshire, and scheduled more shows for this month and this summer.

Unfortunately the bar has changed management, so we are no longer booked to play there.

We do have some other stuff lined up, including big July 4 plans!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Summer Music

Summer approaches and The Funions will stay active.

We have a show Saturday at River's Edge Mall, 1131 Bonansinga Drive, a fundraiser for the Jackson-Lincoln Pool. It starts at 7 with our friends Midnight Legend.

We are having some fun Memorial Day Weekend with a Saturday night show at the old firearms range off of South 12th. Adam Yates will be playing drums for us and this promises to be a really fun night.

Still working on one other June show, as well.

We played and practiced a lot the past few months. Many times The Funions have played and we've always had that teetering thing where we were not sure of the songs, etc. But the past year it's gotten a lot better, and it felt really good a week ago Sunday at Turner Hall during the Can Jam. Almost like we'd figured it out ....

However, we will never lose sight of the fact this is just a bunch of guys who like to get together and play music. Serious fun!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bridge fun

Had a blast Saturday at the Bridge The Gap To Health Race. Click here for coverage, here for the official race blog site.

So many people to thank ... Kurt Stuckman, race organizer; the hundreds of volunteers, Jamie Blaesing, Dana Bowman (click here if you want to read about a real American hero), Pat Cornwell for the sound system, the list goes on.

The cool thing about the race and walk is the setting. Right on the river in our best river park, with a German Heidelberg band playing on one side and Bartholomew playing over by The Pier. Watching the nearly 2,000 participants cross both bridges is amazing.

Anne Mays walked with four generations .... and we had to persuade her NOT to bunge jump on the Memorial Bridge. 

I confronted QND Principal Ray Heilmann about his steroid use. We all know Ray is HUGE and he was the one supplying Manny Ramirez. At least Ray fessed up. That's just Ray being Ray.

I saw a lot of city and county officials volunteering their time, including one city guy who took care of Dana and worked traffic details. I almost took picture of his car in the Pier parking lot and posted it on this blog .... well, I didn't bring my camera. But if anything develops, I'll report it here.

What a great event for Quincy!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Posting, Blues In District

Life itself is getting in the way, so the posts may not be coming as frequently in the next few weeks.

We'll be getting ready for the May 16 show to help Ben Bumbry's Jackson-Lincoln Pool fundraiser. Working on getting a show together with The Cheeseburgers at Turner Hall, as well.

Blues in the District also kicks off next month, here's the schedule ... all shows in Washington Park, Quincy, 5-9 p.m.

June 12 - Avery Brothers
June 26 — Smokin Joe Kubek
July 10 — The Blue Healers
July 24 — Moreland & Arbuckle
Aug. 7 — Lil Dave Thompson
Aug. 21 — Bill Lupkin
Sept. 11 — Mississippi Heat

Monday, May 04, 2009


What an amazing music weekend.

First off, great times on the Dogwood Parade float. Trinity even won a trophy of some kind. Thanks to TMO, Adam Yates, for powering us along with great drumming. The weather even cooperated. Adam - we will never play before that many people again, or until you play with us next year again.

Saturday night at South Side Boat Club was ... interesting. The crowd was into it and I think we sounded pretty good. Thanks to Ray Mabie for letting us hang out. We will have to do it again.

Sunday was Turner Hall's Can Jam, and holy crap was it fun. Turner Hall is my favorite place to play in Quincy, great stage, good vibe, etc. Chris played with us (we gave him Saturday night off since he was breaking, er, breaking in his new house) and I thought we played really well. Cheeseburgers and Raised On Radio also did a great job, even if they were stealing our songs — you didn't know I wrote "Play That Funky Music ..." ????

I need a two-week nap.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sore Fingers

HUGE music weekend. Let's hope the weather holds for Dogwood Parade tomorrow morning. Playing with the Trinity UCC band, we will be Mighty indeed with our drummer!

Have not had time to play guitar much lately. Yesterday afternoon I had guitar lessons, followed by a 90-minute Funions practice, followed by a 90-minute church practice. 

Sore fingers this morning, serves me right for not staying in shape.

Let's rock!