April 30, 2019

A capriciously disseminated newsletter written by a hemp-inspired quadriplegic jester who, like King Lear, impotently screams ineffective vitriol at the raging antediluvian squalls of societal indifference that violently smash the planet and callously destroy the things I love. I cry, defeated by a redoubtable sea of troubles as my siblings, whose pursuits of happiness do not coincide with the status quo, are mowed down by ignorant privilege while comfortably content indifference ignores the anguished cries of people's suffering simply because they don't look the same.
— SSTJazzVocalist

#Wheelchairistocracy #GroovicusMaximus @frangeladuo

Welcome to QuadTalk. I am Rusty Taylor, a complete, level C-4 spinal cord injury who, for thirty-three years (and counting), has been unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, and, as such, I am a victim of the nefarious for-profit healthcare system we, the citizens of the U.S.A., have callously ignored for too long. This will not be a media blitz of superfluity; I am a vitriolic antagonist against the status quo, so if you are naively looking for a feelgood story about a “poor li’l ol’ cripple boy” who done good against the odds, then I suggest you go find the Hallmark Channel and infuse your brain with enough endorphins to make you forget that separating children from their families is simply morally unconscionable or that a casual rapist majestically sits as Supreme Court judge. Otherwise, welcome...


This newsletter is inspired by my capricious Muse. Unfortunately, I alone am responsible for its content and dissemination. I have no proof-reader or editor nor do I have corporate sponsors to moderate my tone and style, so...

I alone am responsible for all the typos contained herein, and all I can do is promise to try not to make additional grievous errors. Please excuse an occasional rhetorical mistake. They are unintentional.

Hamlet's Dilemma
Happy anniversary! Thirty-three years ago today (April 18th… my personal day of infamy), I, a virile man of 22, began my journey in life as a quadriplegic unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living. For three decades plus three years, I have had to depend on somebody… anybody… to be alive. There are no other options, so if no one helps me…

This makes me grateful to be alive; however, I live fairly pain free; because of my spinal cord injury, I have no sensation below my shoulders; additionally, I am prescribed pain pills (to assuage the effects of pain, i.e., high blood pressure, excessive heart rate, etc); however, as I gain life experience, and the accompanying atrophy of my physicality, I understand how suicide can be the perfect panacea for interminable chronic pain. 

Prince Hamlet debates his terrestrial reality, whether he should ‘‘be or not… be,’’ this is the drama that provides a canvas for Shakespeare’s rhetorical art. Hamlet actually ponders suicide.

Let’s see: Prince Hamlet’s father has recently passed… he died peacefully in the garden. It’s tragic, but it happens. Prince Hamlet is in his early thirties, so transference of royal power is a no-brainer. Upon the death of his father and because of primogenitary protocol, the prince is now king, but wait…

Practically before rigor mortis initiates the process of ossifying the royal skeletal structure of the slain king, the prince’s uncle, Claudius, marries the widowed queen and, thereby, usurps the throne by simply thwarting the codified laws that regulate monarchal authority with the audacious mendacity of Donald Trump’s current usurpation of the presidency sans any intellect or wit… both are attempts at maintaining authoritarian (patriarchal) authority by manipulating facts, by an ignorant populace, and by exploitative religious institutions; both also attempt to exploit unilateral fealty using the same strategies of monarchism or Monarchianism.

By the way, I’m currently listing to my playlist, and Jethro Tull’s ‘‘Thick as a Brick’’ is playing… I am happy.

That’s cool… I guess. The throne-usurping King Claudius has no heir and has publicly declared that that Prince Hamlet is next in the line of succession, so the prince hasn’t really lost anything but time, but wait… there’s his mother, Gertrude… the queen.

It may be hard for some to imagine, but the British monarchy (and, more than likely, all European monarchies) is very much aligned with the Aryan philosophies of white supremacy, and when I think about it more fastidiously, I sense, quintessentially, that the two are exactly the same in that both monarchism and white supremacy are predicated on the irrefutable acceptance of the outrageous assumption that a corpulent pasty white man with power can satiate each and every one of his whims regardless of intensity (e.g. even slight urges are fulfilled, like receiving fellatio from an intern eager to please the man who is regarded as her superior , a man who should have treated her like a daughter but, instead, treated her as an object for pleasure, but I digress… [1] )

The point is (or is supposed to be) that Queen Gertrude (yeah, we’re getting back to Hamlet ) is the feminine counter to the king. Although supplicant to the king, the queen is the paragon of distaff perfection. She’s the hottest item on the sexual market. Prince Hamlet wants to bed his mother. Well… he’s at least thinking about it. He is, after all, the next in line to becoming the most powerful man in the kingdom, and power is, for the more base of our society—or the youthful (even when youth exists exclusively in the mind… again, Trumpty D jumps into mind)—an aphrodisiac, and both Gertrude and Hamlet are burdened with it, lustily sweating over the possibility that they can…

You may remind me that this is incest and is totally against social mores, and it is, but, like I.C.E.’s caging immigrant children, shit happens to vulnerable people by other people who are ignorant, apathetic, or both. A nurse friend of mine just north of Atlanta once told me of a middle-aged woman who was impregnated by her son because they didn’t want to mix their bloodline with inferior quality. Kind o’ reminds me of similar mindset that allegedly catalyzed Richard the III’s deformities, but I digress…

But wait, there’s more. King Hamlet, i.e. daddy , comes to the prince (who is supposed to be king) as a ghost and tells the man-prince that he, the former king, has been murdered, and… uncle/brother Claudius, the current king, is the murderer!

Is the ghost real or has Hamlet lost his mind? Claudius is the king and can’t be indicted while on the throne… allegedly… Now what does the prince do?

This is the story of Hamlet and why it is still popular despite its arcane rhetoric. This is why, in the beginning of the play, the prince, who is arguably in his prime, debates suicide, which is another reason why the story resonates so deeply within the souls of us literati; it addresses, very profoundly, the temporal nature of our respective terrestrial manifestations.

We are all going to die. Even Jesus died… or, at least, he lost his terrestrialness; he lost the ability to experience the sensorial nature that is exclusive to a terrene manifestation, which leads me back to the question of why I am even still alive… my personal “to be or not to be” moment; however, the outcome of my personal scenario is not left to me… someone (or something) else is necessary if I am to continue my terrestrial experiment.

Exactly thirty-three years ago, I broke my neck in a single-car accident that should have killed me. I am alive because a small team of people reassembled my body so that my mind could continue to operate; although, my mind could no longer be kept salient autonomously.


Before my accident, I was able to keep my mind salient through the physical processes of living, i.e. much of my time was spent dealing with my body’s ability to maintain the ineffable part of my humanity that we, collectively, call our souls (or metaphoric equivalent)… everything from eating, exercising, keeping clean, etc… you know, the stuff we do to stay alive.

Since the middle of Reagan’s second administration, I have not had to divide my time on earth with worrying about my physical nature, which has atrophied significantly. Besides, I seem to be doing what my Muse (or metaphoric equivalent) encourages me to do… Ah, there’s the rub! For what dreams may come, after we have shuffled off this mortal coil remains to be seen. [2]

Right now, Heart’s ‘‘Lighter Touch’’ is playing on my playlist… this is one of the songs that desperately tugs on the most quintessential elements of my personal emotional gravitas. It reminds me of my youth… back when I was in love with an angel. Its guitar solo moves me deeply.

There may be a few readers of this unintentional arcanum…

Arcanum. That’s funny. Throughout my life, I’ve been told to make my rhetoric more accessible for people of average and less-than-average mentalities. Y’all get it… I am not writing for anybody but myself. It’s the most significant reason that I average only 50 readers per issue posted. I get it. The superfluity that I publicly disseminate is meant to be ruminated, and the average person has been inundated via myriad social media to believe, with the obsequious sequacity of William Barr, that their lives are limited so they should try to do everything at once; they don’t have time… or, more appropriately, they feel as if they can’t afford the time… to cop a buzz and reflect on stuff… the universe… to actively listen to complex music… Charlie Parker, Freddie Hubbard, Joni Mitchell, Bela Fleck, Zeppelin, Heart, CSNY, Debussy… This is why I appreciate you who actually read my Muse’s musings… because all you readers inspire me. I am truly humbled that anybody reads what I write, but, dag nab it… every damn one of you has, very truly, inspired me to try to be a better human, and although I often fail to maintain any consistency in my deep-seated but easily distracted desire to be a better balanced urbane human, you have forgiven my slips into a more militant vernacular when my emotions overcome my more cerebral intentions. Thank you, and…

Sorry. Botanical influences overcame my original intentions. I have digressed…

There may be a few readers of this arcanum who may want to credit the deity of their choice as the catalyst of intervention into my personal terrene situation, that their god (or metaphorical equivalent) has given me life for its indefinable purpose, and that’s cool. It’s merely a matter of semantics.

There does seem to be something other than my volition that has kept me alive. And it may be a god or demigod, but whatever energy source catalyzed the preservation of my life, excluding any reasons for this decision, need teams of tellurian doctors to keep me alive… teams that is… plural. Doctors have kept me alive throughout my life; however, for whatever reason, the omniscient and omnipotent puissance (call it what you will… I call this ineffable power my Muse) has not interfered directly with my preservation. My Muse inspires many, if not all, of my terrene tasks, but she is either incapable or disinterested in directly influencing my life force. There’s no way for me to know the whats and whys, but the point is that she must not be the apex of universal hierarchy. She has other more pressing responsibilities than to directly interfere with my personal terrestrial manifestation.

Peace Through Music

[1] Although I emphasize the fact that the male physically enforces these various nefarious grievances of self-satisfaction, almost to the point that it appears to be an exclusively male trait, it is because, historically (within the confines of Time that flows, with space, within the current evolution our mammalian species of Homo sapiens), it has been the male who has assumed the power and, thereby, has been, nearly exclusively , the beneficiary of authoritarian (or patriarchal… or monochromatic supreme) superfluity. Whether or not women are capable of acquiescing to the more carnal nature of seeking pleasantly stimulating diversions of time (for, very often, that is all sex is) remains to be seen after matriarchal authority overwhelms the current patriarchal exploitation.

[2] It’s really a shame that I have to do this, but a MAGA-hat wearing Trump supporter may happen to read this essay, defensively, and will automatically assume that I am taking credit for plagiarizing the most quoted English author of all time, even though this entire essay freely samples an author so famous and ubiquitous he is known, very simply, as The Bard , and those of us who have read the Bard (thank you Dr. Stephen Bluestone for teaching me how to appreciate the genius of Willie the B) already know, but… I am paraphrasing one of the most famous soliloquies in all of English literature… literally. Thank you. Don’t forget to tip your waitress. And if you’ve been drinking tonight, remember that you need your keys… assuming you can find your car.
I wrote the following poem back in 2004. It was four years before I was fired… back when I was healthy and saw the doctor far less frequently. I wonder… had I stayed employed… if my pre-existing condition would have allowed my insurance company a way to opt out because it would hurt the for-profit health care business? If you think that the GOP is the health care party, I cordially invite you to kiss every hair on my ass. Your life is obviously not threatened, but I guarantee that when your time comes and you’re staring Death in the face so closely you can see where two stubbles of hair are protruding from a single pore, the fleeting thought of how you voted for a party, for whatever godly damned reason—a political party that facilitated the urgency of my terrestrial exit—will gently waft through your mind with a whisper followed by your anguished cries.


Unfinished Statue

Varying winds blow and water flows,
insidiously engraving sculpture-stone that is I.
Scattered shards of marble callously fly by
a lovelorn infernal hammer that daily shatters
my fragmented burdened relief.

Responsibility laves vacant cerebral caves.
Morality etches dermal indigo webbings—
emotional estuarial fibrillary rivulets
that empty into scar-shaping craterlets
formed by diurnal decisions and indecisions
made and unmade through each day.

Play carves but little,
yet its art is infinitely more beautiful.
Silence has contributed least of all,
but its work is immeasurable.

I follow an unfinished map to sunless waters
left undisclosed by crafty cartographers,
yet I could ornately detail
my diminished unfinished masterpiece
if I but consciously chart more… precisely.

July 2004

Peace and Love
A Day in the Lie
Yesterday was an interesting day. It was Saturday, Market Days on Broadway, and my folks and I had already planned on waking early to set up our little tented pavilion to sell my brother’s pen-and-ink prints and, to a lesser extent, my CD of jazz vocals Southern Standard Time (shameless promotion); although, Ted McVay and I can busk [intentional verbalization of the noun busker ] during the year long season… that is, when Ted and I can schedule the time. We play progressive folk music with jazzy improvisation, a folk/jazz fusion; however…

A few days prior, we noticed that I had blood in my urine. As you may or may not recall, last November, I had blood in my urine… and I nearly died. Remember?

Anyway, when dad put me to bed Friday evening, he informed me that my blood was turning darker, almost black, so if there weren’t any significant change by morning, he was considering a trip to the ER. He didn’t tell mom because she worries about everything, and although she’s saved our collective asses a zillion times, [1] this time his silence was a boon… she slept fairly decently… considering she’s a septuagenarian nursing two patients: a quinquagenarian quadriplegic and a septuagenarian cancer survivor who is also a veteran of open-heart bypass surgery. Keep in mind that even though there is blood in my urine, I have no other symptoms, which is odd to me because last time, back in November, I felt as if I were eaten by a wolf and defecated over a cliff into a pile of broken glass and rusted barbed wire. But I had waited too long then, and I really did not want to test my mortality as indifferently.

So we wake up on Saturday (yesterday); we head to the ER, and we get there just before 9 a.m., which is, interesting enough, when Market Days officially begins. Thankfully, our anxiety was assuaged, and I merely have a UTI, but the visit was fraught with glaring examples of why a for-profit health care system is, very simply, a rapacious cupidity that can be, and is, murderous.

First of all, we get to the ER, and after about five minutes, a woman calls out my name. I have no way of knowing from where the call originated, so I slowly make my way towards where I heard the voice. I come to a cracked-open door and see a woman busy at a computer. She does not look up, so I ask if I’m in the right place. She looks up, sees my parents in tow, and she tells them that only one can accompany me. It is obvious that she does not want to be there. There’s another man in the room, and he takes over the interview… as if he’s seen this woman’s petulance before, and the interview concludes without further incident. We later learned that he is a physician’s assistant, so the woman probably realizes that, in the hierarchy of the human condition, she is an amoeba when juxtaposed against brilliant people who are able to assuage human suffering when she can’t even muster a smile or feel empathy for people suffering from, at least, paralyzing anxiety or, on the other extreme, life-altering or life-threatening physiological perturbation… or maybe she was just having a bad day.

By the way, I didn’t get out of this initial interview room before an ebullient woman came in to ask for $138 dollars, which we pay because in a for-profit health care system, remuneration is expected upfront in case death prevents the patient from paying. Besides, we didn’t want to be accused of employing tactless dilatory behavior to negatively interfere with the cupidity of maximizing the portfolios of shareholders who don’t bother enough to mourn the deaths of strangers, right? What else could we do? Other than walk out… uh, I mean roll out defiantly in my wheelchair, i.e. chick magnet that doesn’t work . I’ll show them when/if I die.

Somewhere in a literary Elysium, Esmeralda softly cries for the death of a deformed bell ringer with a heart of gold.

Admittedly, the particular incident of the disgruntled soulless computer-manipulating data-entry employee was mild, but it did set a tone. A couple nurses tag-teamed me when I was sent to the examination area, and they were exceedingly nice. Ultimately, they prepared me for an abdominal CT scan, which is a challenge because I am an obese quadriplegic who is unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living. [2] Fortunately, a pod of burly EMTs were available, so the transfer to the gurney was fain as easy as eating apple pie a la mode on a glorious Fourth of July celebration.

So a nice woman wheels me to a heavily air-conditioned room where the CT scan resides, but the woman in charge of the machine tells me to remove my pants. I inform her that, as I’ve told everyone associated with the hospital (and a few perplexed passers by) that I am a quadriplegic unable…

The woman immediately sends me back to the triage area to put on a gown. The nurse in triage is visibly upset. This sort of petty insecurity seems to be common when it comes to the CT lady. I am even prepared to publicly decry that the CT woman did not want to be there ‘cause when I returned the second time, she had left and the rest of the staff openly mocked her.

It reminds me of the time I was arrested by Barney Fife, with my cousin from Indiana, for having an open beer in a public park. The officer passed at least a dozen other groups of people who were similarly imbibing on a beautiful sunny afternoon next to a creek that trickled over a rather large slab of stone. When we arrived at the police station, the arresting officer was openly mocked by his co-workers even to the point of suggesting that he couldn’t carry a loaded weapon. Like Barney Fife, the undistinguished arresting officer reputedly carried a single bullet in his shirt pocket, but I digress…

The physician’s assistant tells me that blood and urine tests are being done, but in the interim, I was supposed to have received saline (for hydration) and an IV of antibiotics, but…

The needle fell from my wrist, the one that was supposed to allow the medicine to flow directly through my veins. I look up, and the IV of saline is still full; the bag of liquefied antibiotics is half full… or half empty… which one is it? Regardless, Medicare will be paying outrageous prices for the palliative medicine that I didn’t use because of mistakes made by hospital staff .

Oh, but hospitals need to stay in business otherwise people will die. Well, the kind of deserving people will die… people with insurance and/or wealth and/or influence… even when they are as morally and intellectually lax as the current usurper of our presidency.

Incidentally, it bothers me that Trumpty D, the #DerangedDonny and #Loser, has the best health care despite his atrocious diet. If pills aren’t keeping alive that sorry excuse for carbon, I will eagerly sell my soul to Satan.

I was finally out of the hospital by 2 pm, but my day was just beginning. Keep in mind that my septuagenarian parents are already tired, but we have to go to our pharmacy to retrieve the antibiotics for my UTI, which isn’t as nearly as nefarious as the “mother of all UTIs” [3] that I had last November; additionally, I had a gig later that night; I sing at a fine dining restaurant in Pine Mountain, and I was scheduled to arrive there at 5.

We get home by 3:30, so my dad takes an hour nap, and then he and I are off to sing. The night is fun as far as singing; I love singing when Mark Young accompanies me on piano. We’ve played enough together to cover each others’ mistakes, and we are quite good at singing the cheesy kind of restaurant-type songs from the American Songbook, but the owner of the establishment is a quaint little man who is… well, there are many ameliorating words that are far less caustic, but this man is a cheapskate when it comes to providing entertainment for his dining guests.

This isn’t too bad in that it gives Mark and me a chance to hone our skills. We play vocal jazz that is impossible to master. Musicians like us will continue to revise and update our repertoires until we die. Point is that Mark and I make singing/playing vocal jazz look easy, but I’ve been at it since ‘92… Mark even longer, and I just found my voice a couple years ago.

Unfortunately, since we make it look easy and, more importantly, since we really enjoy it, people like the business owner of a high-end restaurant want this kind of music for free. I have a friend who is a comedian; she and her partner are killer funny, specializing in improv, which, like jazz, takes a lifetime to master. [4] She tells me, similarly, that because they are having fun, some people expect that merely giving them a stage will make them, as performers, happy. These entrepreneur types will charge a shit-load of money to do what they do that takes a lifetime to master, but they expect entertainers to earn their main source of remuneration by something other than entertaining and then to justify their underpaying by claiming that they are the businessmen who creates jobs in a system that exploits the minimum wage as a crutch thereby keeping the help effectively harnessed from going anywhere else. Such is Capitalism in its current form.

Of course, none of this would be happening if health care were equally distributed. Insurance is the primary reason that many folks subject themselves to the ennui of a less creative lifestyle. There are people who can live quite fulfilling lives of moderation if not for fear of an illness’s destroying their financial security. There would be less automatons doing mindless labor in a dismal attempt to make everyone else believe that they’re living the life a Reilly, but I digress…

As previously delineated, I am under Hospice care. It is my understanding that the nurse on call is supposed to come to the hospital to assess the situation and if I were to be admitted into any hospital. She has to sign papers to relieve me from Hospice care because I am DNR, so, if I need medical treatment for anything other than renal failure (that allows me and my family the benefits of Hospice care), I need to sign wavers. Anyway, it’s this kind of boring shit that I have to endure because our health care system is a for-profit enterprise that allows Sardanapalian wealth to a very few exploiters of the system, which is, I am almost certain, what Florence Nightingale had in mind when she bandaged wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.

OK. Before I continue, I have to acknowledge the fact that nearly all of the people who work for the Hospice company that takes care of me are trying their best to provide caring comfort to me. In fact, my main nurse loves me. My mother called her after contacting the on call nurse, and she cried. The CNAs who take care of me are also very caring and wonderful to me as are nearly all the people associated with this company. This is why I stay with them. These are the real nurses… the terrestrial angels sent to me—along with everyone else on this planet who has shared positive energy with my personal ontology—by puissance I am unable to define or understand, which must piss of my detractors… something very powerful is keeping me alive, but why?

[Note: I just hit my Pipe of Knowledge, so if you notice a change in my rhetorical tone, the refer-madness may be its catalyst… also, everything written ‘pre-toke’ was done sans my listening to music… don’t know why, but that may also influence any tonal flux. Incidentally, Bach’s Joy of Man’s Desiring is currently wafting in the background.]

Admittedly, I seem to have pissed off some of my kith and kin with my written rhetoric, and that saddens me. I also admit that I allow myself the privilege (white privilege, certainly… but not exclusively… although… definitely overtly) to crack a scathing wit with relative impunity, but it’s been done, mostly, for humor. If I were slightly darker, I’d be deported. You few people on the planet who actually read my drivel are, hopefully, positively influenced by my rhetorical tomfoolery and see the humor where others, for whatever reason, see contempt… maybe… I dunno… for whatever reason, there are people who think that I lash out in anger, when, instead, I am plangently screeching my shame.

Donald Trump is a racist. Way back in the 80s I deduced what a shameless racist prick he is when the Central Park Five shame usurped the national spotlight. The abhorrent scrotum of white supremacy was just as ignorant then as he is now. The mother-fucker (accurate and precise assessment) couldn’t grasp the understanding of DNA. Go back and listen. He’s dumber than dirt. That’s why I never followed him. I didn’t get caught up in his siren song that, for whatever reason, catalyzed him to fame as a cunning businessman when he’s so overtly an ignorant prick sans a guiding morality that may have prolonged his feigned perspicacity had he not been so aggressively militant with his ignorance. It baffles me almost as much as quantum physics how anybody assessed this buffoon as anything positive. The dude seems to have had it made, and then he became president or… well whatever he is now.

It’s amazing that it’s taken this long for some to understand just how stupid and amoral this dude is. And when the Mueller Report is finally disclosed, long after I am dead, it will irrevocably condemn W’s illegal war, Reagan’s illegal Contra-Iran Affair and the fact that the GOP has, since Nixon, used #SouthernStrategy to bait racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other bigotry. The supporters of the GOP will be viewed, historically, as I view the indifferent citizenry of Germany during Hitler’s reign of terror.

I am vastly ashamed that some folks I love (and still do) were taken in by the biggest charlatan since Hitler. And it’s finally coming out in the open; it’s finally starting to shine a light in the darkest caves, and the troglodytes don’t like that.

Peace Through Music

[1] My mother actually prolonged my father’s life after insisting that he see a doctor when he became overexerted after climbing a flight of stairs. He went to the doctor to perform a series of cardiac tests, but did not make it through the first test. In fact, the doctor scheduled his surgery the day after the following day… which was Thanksgiving Day. I reckon it’s hard to schedule a team of surgeons on a major holiday. This is only the most intense example of my mother’s worrying, but you get the idea.

[2] I have used this sentence so many times, its ubiquity in my writing embarrasses me, but it is as effectively terse as I can make it… and it’ll probably mark my grave: Here lies a quadriplegic unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living.

[3] A direct quote from the ER doctor.

[4] I don’t want to namedrop, which is a specialty of one of my kin, so I would like to, randomly , endorse the comedy duo of frangela, a portmanteau word combining their first names. Check out their podcast Idiot of the Week as well as their other comic enterprises, well… if you really like laughing; otherwise, I might suggest your reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved or William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice … by candlelight… with a raging storm tap tap tapping on your cellar door… this and nothing more.

It Ain't Jazz, But...

Opelika Songwriters Festival
May 24-26, 2019
It ain't jazz, but singer/songwriter Ted McVay and I (featured in the video above... my mother is sitting between us) will be singing for the upcoming Opelika Songwriters Festival. What is the Opelika Songwriters Festival, you ask? Well, according to the website of the Auburn/Opelika's board of tourism...

The Opelika Songwriters Festival, a new annual event based in Opelika, Alabama, will entertain music fans at its inaugural celebration over Memorial Day Weekend (May 24-26, 2019) at multiple venues in the town's historic downtown. Rob and Jen Slocumb, a.k.a. Martha's Trouble (a husband-and-wife folk/rock duo and owners of Opelika recording studio/event center The Sound Wall) are bringing the new festival to life. The Opelika Songwriters Festival is a co-production of The Sound Wall and The Arts Association of East Alabama. Confirmed sponsors include the City of Opelika, Auburn Opelika Tourism, and Sundilla Concert Series, and proceeds from the festival go to benefit The Arts Association of East Alabama. Attendees from across the Southeast and further afield are expected to gather for this very special event.

More than 30 singer-songwriters will make up the roster of performers, from local acts to internationally touring artists, including Grammy Award-winner Dan Navarro, Kate Campbell, Harpeth Rising, and many more. 

The festival will take place in Downtown Opelika at more than nine venues, including John Emerald Distillery, Sneak & Dawdle, Irish Bred Pub, Eighth & Rail, Ma Fia's Outdoor Patio, The Depot Outdoor Stage, Zazu Gastro Pub, and Studio 319 - Festival Merch Hub.

I ain't braggin' (yes I am), but Ted and I share a special, synergetic harmony that'll transcend music-genre stereotypes and touch the souls of listeners who are passionate about music . Additionally, Ted's lyrical wit and compassionate tone encourages the active listener to experience the gamut of emotions from heart-wrenching sorrow to riotous laughter and... yodeling. For more info, click here .
Dr. David Banks is the current president of the Columbus Jazz Society that has been extant since 1977. If you'd like to receive an email containing area jazz events, send him an email, and get added to his distribution list by clicking here .

Interesting Academic Articles

SUMMARY: The above link navigates to an essay written by Dallas Smith. It details how virtual reality can be an effective tool in the recovery of a patient undergoing health maladies.

The above link navigates to an essay written by Susan Mazer. It details the experiences of a patient within a healthcare environment together with all related associations.

Interesting Free Podcasts

Shameless Solicitation

It’s time. I need money to pay for someone to help me because I’m wearing out my family. I’m hoping to solicit enough money to overpay someone to help me throughout the day and night for a weekend... or longer; my septuagenarian parents need a break. Please read my story, and if you can, donate a few bucks. If a bunch of folks give just a little, I can stay home; otherwise, I will consider going into a nursing home. I am tired of being a burden on my family. If you are unable to donate, your support will be just as appreciated. Thank you very much.

Read my story...
...or you can buy my CD of jazz Vocals


To enhance the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities and the Under-served by Creating Music and Arts opportunities for Employment and Enjoyment!