Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

23 May

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Are you doing anything fun?? Grilling out on the patio? Reading The Haunted Life? Reading Burning Furiously Beautiful? Hitting the beach? Spending time with the family? Taking a road trip??

Whatever you do, I hope it’s just what you want it to be!

Here’s my Memorial Day post from last year, in which I asked if the Beat Generation writers were anti-American, and here’s the one from the year before in which I explore Jack Kerouac’s time in the Merchant Marines.

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One Response to “Happy Memorial Day Weekend!”

  1. David Amram May 23, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    Yasoo Ms Stephanie

    You are doing some wonderful work and fortunately, with the magic of the Internet, it cant get remainerd by a publisher who never reads books or edited out of shape by a control freak who cant understand that if it ain’t broke ….DON’T Fix it!!!

    A big ephraistoh for your latest great posting.

    As that great ethnomusicologist and literary idol Clint Eastwood said so eloquently “You made mah DAY!!”

    Driving back and forth from Putnam Valley to Beacon New York, whenever I have the chance to load up my car, I am now once more a Greenwich Village moving man (the part time job of choice during the 50s to fulfill the needs of those who wanted their possessions moved and meet Bohemian type artists of the future,all of which we provided as their low priced movers.)

    We broke a lot of furniture and were slow, but at the very least entertaining (at least we thought so) and often formed friendships and even occasional romantic attachments with our customers after the moving jobs were completed.

    Now, at 83, I find that I am even a slower moving man than i was at 24, but since i have no customers to talk to, since i am employing myself, I am gradually saying adios to the farm I have loved so much for 31 years as I do what is called downsizing, and it is very liberating!!

    My new place is right by the railroad station, where I can hear the whistle blowing, and the building overlooks the Hudson River.

    There are no mice, rats , raccoons, deer, snakes, deer ticks, wasps , hornets, bats, canadian geese or stray dogs and cats, I dont have to mow acres or try to salvage stuff when the basement floods, pay incredible amounts for oil bills for heat or risk broken limbs when the ice forms over everything , including the driveway up the hill, where I have often had to crawl on all fours between December and the end of March after ice storms, and am able to take a hot shower and run the washer dryer and dishwasher without waiting for an hour in between, as there was never enough water pressure at the farm or a way to get enough hot water.

    So much as I have loved the farm life, since I was six years old in Feasterville Pennsylvania, where I grew up until we moved to Washington DC during world War ll, my kids had the blessing of having that same experience themselves growing up in Putnam Valley on Peekskill Hollow Farm, but now that they are confirmed city-billies and living in Brooklyn, much as they miss the old place, they prefer taking the train to Beacon to visit, and I will abe able to spend more time with my newly arrived grandson Oliver Wild Amram-Muller than ever before, when Adira and her husband Bram want to get out of the city.

    And Alana and Adam can also come up by train.

    So I am embarking on a new chapter in my book of life, and without all the time spent on extra curricular farming activities, i will be able to write more music than ever, finish my fourth book David Amram:The NEXT 80 Years, practice, go to my gigs which are not within driving range via the local airport only 20 minutes away, take a train to NYC instead of driving , since the station is only 3 minutes away, and even have the chance to go to a coffee shop or a concert, the theater, or a film, all of which are within walking distance.

    If I ever hit the Lotto, I would buy another farm in a minute, because I would be able hire people to do the 30-50 hours a week of work required to keep it up, but in the meantime, I am happy to become what the French so aptly describe as Le bourgeois gentilhomme. (and which Richard Strauss used as the title of his classic Opus 60.)

    I will still continue to roast corn at the annual Putnam county 4-H Fair every year and drive back to see old friends as well as look at the old place, but with my kids happy that I am moving, there is no time for nostalgia.

    And when I play Farm Aid with Willie Nelson every year, I’ll be able to see all the full time farmers i have known who all lost their farms years ago, but rather than moaning and groaning, devote time to helping however they can to enable farmers still on the land to keep theirs.

    I will always be grateful to have had the chance to be brought up on a farm and to have had a second chance in order to be able to give my dear kids the same experience, and this will always remain a precious memory.

    But I still have too much to do and as Charlie Parker said in his classic 1945 song “Now’s the time!”

    Amidst the chaos of moving everything I own to a new place after 31 years at the farm, I send cheers as I continue sorting out long-forgotten treasures amidst the the mountains of stuff I am giving away and have managed to set aside my instruments and a clean set of clothes, So I am ready to put some pedal to the metal for the next few months of upcoming gigs in Brooklyn, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Quebec, Denver, Kerrville Texas, Chatauqua NY, Okemah and Tulsa in Oklahoma, North Carolina,. the Putnam County 4-H Fair and a bunch of events in Manhattan.

    When not on that endless road, I’ll be hiding out in blessed anonymity in my new place, orchestrating my new saxophone concerto, called Greenwich Village Portraits, in a version for string orchestra, and working on my fourth book.David Amram: The Next 80 Years.

    It is always good to hear from you, and I send wishes for you to maintain your continued creative energy for everything you do.

    Stay healthy, strong and joyous, and I’ll try to do the same.

    A have a great holiday!!!

    David amramdavid@aol.com http://www.davidamram.com home 845.528.4305 mobile 914.299.3497 928 Peekskill Hollow Road, Putnam Valley NY 10579

    Best YouTube selections http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DE566F6F01A2403A

    http://www.twitter.com/David_Amram_

    URL for trailer of the film “David Amram: The First 80 Years” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5v6MeanQ28

    MANAGEMENT Douglas A. Yeager Productions, Ltd. 300 West 55th Street Suite # 15E New York, New York 10019 TEL: (212) 245-0240 FAX: (212) 245-6576 SKYPE: DouglasYeager E-MAIL: yeagerprod@aol.com

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