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I Learned In My Punk Rock Days That Action Is My Own Responsibility

Recently I came upon a collection of fliers promoting shows at the great Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky.

The Jockey Club, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, was the best punk rock club in all the midwest. It closed in 1988. There is a Jockey Club Facebook page you can join.

You can read a series of Jockey Club recollections in Stories for Shorty. I have an entry in this book that was published by Cincinnati’s Aurore Press.

One of the best things about our punk rock scene in Cincinnati is that we did stuff ourselves.

We made our own fliers, staged our own shows, formed our own bands, we printed fanzines that had interviews with touring bands and we had our own radio show on a local station. I was the co-host for three years of a weekly punk music show on Cincinnati’s WAIF-FM 88.3.  

This was—and still is—the way to go. Working by ourselves and working together, we made our own scene no matter how moronic and narrow the world around us might be.

Whether it is getting on the Mayflower to exercise your beliefs in a new place, Occupying something in the name of economic fair play and a more just society, finding the internal resources to fulfill a creative vision, or working with others who share your thoughts and hopes to make something of value—It is in the end your responsibility to do the work to accomplish what you hope to accomplish.

This does not mean that luck and circumstance do not matter. These things matter a great deal. It is possible that you will get sick or be hit by a truck.

Yet in the end, here is what I would say—

Make and print your own fliers, start a blog, form a band, occupy something, be part of your local and national scene, take responsibility for your own future, generate your own content so somebody else does not generate it for you, help out those on your own side of the aisle, and don’t just hang around when there is work to be done. The ways to get these things done may change over the years, but the underlying concept does not shift.

By |2012-02-24T21:26:13-04:00February 24th, 2012|Music, Other Political Thoughts|Comments Off on I Learned In My Punk Rock Days That Action Is My Own Responsibility

Everybody Has A Story

Here are excerpts from an obituary that recently appeared in The Cincinnati Enquirer for Frank Williams Sr.

“At the funeral service this afternoon for Frank Williams Sr., (Above) the eulogy will take mourners back to the 1940s and ’50s, when Mr. Williams was a Cincinnati boxer. “The minister’s going to say he fought the good fight,” said Williams’ daughter, Donna Wells of Bond Hill. “God had made my daddy a fighter and he fought it ’til the end.” He was one of heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles’ first professional opponents, in 1940, according to the book “Cincinnati Boxing.” He was also a longtime sparring partner of Charles. His last fight was against Alzheimer’s disease, one he ultimately didn’t win. Mr. Williams died June 11 at Indian Spring Health Center, Oakley. He was 81. Mr. Williams worked in construction for 36 years, first for Turner Construction, then Messer Construction….”

Here are facts about former world heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles.

The place where Mr. Williams died–the Indian Spring Center in Cincinnati–is where my father died in March. The obituary says that Mr. Williams died of Alzheimer’s disease. I have no idea how long Mr. Williams was at Indian Springs, but there were patients at the facility who did have Alzheimers. I can still visualize some of these folks.

None of these people remained able to fight a boxing match.

Here is a link to facts about Alzheimer’s disease.

It is good to see the story of someone who may have been one of the people I saw each day in the 3 1/2 weeks I spent visiting Indian Spring earlier this year.

Everybody has a story. Everybody has accomplishments. We’ve got to remember this fact even when people are at the end of life and are tired and not what they once were.

By |2011-06-23T13:45:48-04:00June 23rd, 2011|General, Sports|Comments Off on Everybody Has A Story

Diverging

I recently spent two weeks in my former home town of Cincinnati.

My father was dying of cancer. He died on March 12.  I was fortunate enough to be in town with him for the last ten days of his life.

I drove around Cincinnati while on my visit. While looking around, I took this picture of railroad tracks that you see above.

I felt the picture well-conveyed the fact that my father would soon be diverging off the main track of life.

And that is just what he did.

By |2011-04-07T13:28:30-04:00April 7th, 2011|General|Comments Off on Diverging
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