Friday, September 23, 2016
Today I am grateful for Dan May. He became a friend on Facebook a few years ago and his picture was in my local paper, The Reporter, today, touting his next gig and book. Wonderful! An article that surprises me in a positive, good way!
Dan was friends with a mutual friend of ours and that man enjoyed his writing and also enjoyed my writing. He said, “You have GOT to follow Dan May! He writes heartfelt nostalgia pieces laced with tons of humor, just like you do.”
Ever the skeptic, it wasn’t until my friends son, who plays bass in Dan’s band, insisted we would hit it off, that I sent a friend request. My guess is that Dan was getting pressure on his end, too, because he immediately accepted and we have been friends ever since.
Notice that I did not put friends in quotes? That’s because I consider Dan a friend, friend, not just a Facebook friend, although they are special, too. In a private message chat one day, we were both remarking about how connected we felt to each other, yet we’d never met.
Oh boy, I can feel you all bristling out there. . . “She’s not going to hook up with some strange man, is she? What about her husband? Is she crazy?” Well let’s just let that last one go and address the others. Of course, I’m going to meet a strange man. . .at a musical jamboree to which he invited me and MY husband, where we met HIS lovely wife, great son and daughter-in-law and their funky, free spirited son and Dan’s grandson.
See, here’s the deal. I like how Dan writes, but more than that, I like what he writes about. And most especially, top of the list, I love when he writes about how much he loves his wife, son and purple haired (last time I saw him, but who knows by now) grandson. He is not afraid to show who he is or where he comes from. He is a free spirit, who encourages other free spirits and he does it with the heart of a big old softy. His mom and dad and even his silly bulldog, Coop, are presented in ways that make me feel like they are my parents and silly dog, too. (Dan, don’t read this to Coop. I don’t want to get letters signed in paw prints or drool.)
If you look up the word “character” in the dictionary, Dan May’s picture is next to it. So much so, that when he posts something, then later re-reads it and notices he might have come off harsh or unkind to a group of people, he corrects himself and apologizes. Yes, really. You don’t find that every day. That’s called character!
Born in Sandusky, Ohio, he travels back frequently, never forgetting his roots in his songs or writing. But the following for his music. . .and now his book. . .is going to be much more far reaching than the Midwest and the East Coast. Yet that connection is just one more thing we have in common.
I’m glad that we’ve already seen a show where he read excerpts from his book and performs with his band and I have to tell you, it was great! His musicians play so many different instruments, with such skill, that it was like watching a bunch of Inspector Gadgets. . .playing in a band! But if you’re lucky. . .and he’s paying attention. . .he will give his wonderful band a break and do several numbers (not just one) with only him and the piano. That number was my favorite! Brilliant! Simple, honest. True lyrics, with each word telling a great story and no razzle-dazzle.
If people want to compare my writing to Dan May’s, go ahead. I’m honored! I hope he is, too. He will probably think this piece is a bit much. . .painting him a little bigger and brighter than he is comfortable with. . .than the way he sees himself. But he’d be wrong and I’ll be the first to tell him. So there!
Don’t miss Dan May’s show, “Heartland” (CD available @ http://www.danmaycd.com) on September 30th, at Kennett Flash. Oh, and bring a pie. I’m not kidding. He is slut for pie! Then treat yourself and buy his book, “Adventures in Grocery Shopping”. Now! Go! I hope someone smarter than me posts the links for both. Trust me. You won’t be sorry. I promise.