bullying · First Lady · little stories · writing

(Not So) Super Lady

Melania was bent over in her gold-plated 70’s disco-themed White House bathroom, running her hair dryer over her upside down silky brown tresses. Flipping off the switch on the dryer, she swung her torso upright and the wave of hair flew up and over and settled into a perfect “chic governmental vixen” waterfall around her face.

“Eees perfect,” she said to her reflection.

Suddenly, with her Chanel-earringed ears, she heard ringing in the next room.

Melania snapped to attention when she realized it was her special phone– the one installed in her room specifically for First Lady crime fighting.

“Sheet,” she muttered, feeling a wave of Slovenian butterflies come to life in her tummy. “Dat’s my anti-cyber-bullying phone.
Somewhere in America cyber-bullying is happening right now. I must prepare to fight.”

And with that, she strode out of the commode with all the force of Tyra Banks, Linda Evangelista, and RuPaul at a Supermodel Mall of America Fashion Show.

Carefully picking up the Swarovski-encrusted receiver, Melania removed her earring and held the phone to her ear.

“Good morning, Mrs Trump. We have a report of some serious cyber-bullying. The American people need your help!”

Melania’s butterflies turned into an entire flock of seagulls. She was so nervous she thought she might throw up.

She spoke as she moved to a hot pink computer whose screen came to life, displaying Earth flying through space.

“Give me de coordinates,” she said quietly.

The informant called off the numbers as the First Lady typed them carefully on the keyboard. When she had the location, she paused before she hit “enter”.

“Good luck, Mrs. Trump. You can do it,” the voice on the line said.

Melania took a deep breath and recalled her promise to the American people. Being an asshole online was such a prevalent thing these days and so many suffered at the hands of bullies in real life and online. She knew if she told everyone she promised to try and help end bullying, people would eat that shit up. So she said she would do it.

The First Lady went ahead and pressed the button.

The Earth began to spin on the screen and when it landed over North America, the image closed in on Washington DC.

Melania made a face like she suddenly smelled something gross as she watched the image.

The cursor began blinking furiously right on top of

Her very own house.

Specifically–her husband’s office.

Melania’s heart sank.

But she was not surprised.

“Sheet,” she said quietly. She glanced around the room, her mind racing with turmoil over what to do next.

Slowly, she walked to her window and looked out over the landscape of the great city she now called home.

The flock of seagulls in her stomach felt like a heap of dead carcasses filling her gut. It made her sad, but she knew she was not going to be able to fight this time. There was no winning. There was also no need to change into her silver lamé superhero dress with matching shoes and lightning bolt headpiece.

“I guess when I said I would fight de bullying, I was probably just tinking I wish someone would do that for me,” she said wistfully.

She shut the lid on her computer and walked back to the bathroom.

And with that, all the ghosts of former First Ladies in the room shook their heads and Eleanor Roosevelt said a little too loudly, “What in the actual hell?”

Nancy Reagan nudged Jackie and said,

“She looks just like you.”

And then they all laughed out loud for a solid 10 minutes.

The End.

flowers · Happy Solstice · itchy · Summer · sunshine · sweat

Solstice Greetings

Today was one of those days where I was so busy that now that I have some down time, I am too tired to do any of the fun things I thought about doing all day. It was also one of those days where I was so busy outside that by dinner time I was so caked with sweat and sun that my skin itched so badly I couldn’t ignore it. Tonight’s shower and subsequent putting on of fresh jammies was particularly satisfying, I must say.

So anyway, all day long I wanted to come here and write something profound since it’s the first day of Summer and all, but nope. The day got away from me.

Which is what good Summer days are supposed to do, huh.

So how about I just say this:

Happy Solstice, whether it be Summer or Winter, everyone. ❤

I hope your day has been a lovely one as well.

Here’s a picture I snapped early this morning as I was watering flowers and I looked up at our house and thought–

God, the place looks good.

Full-bloom City. 🙂



Boz Skaggs · bratty kids · cliffhangers · down on your luck · heat wave · romance · Satan · suburban living · writing

Soap Opera Satan

Satan walked out of his garage and sidled up next to the car sitting in his driveway.

Running an evil red fingertip along the shiny red hood of his 1983 Pontiac Fiero, the horned lord of the underworld felt a tingle run down his spine, through his tail and shoot out the pointy arrow at his end.

“You gorgeous bitch,” he whispered to the car as he settled his hefty red ass in the leather seat. Pulling his tail in next to him and tucking it around himself, he cursed the entire auto industry for never creating proper tail accommodations for demons.

He started the engine and glanced back to pull out of his driveway.

Oh…here came his neighbors Glen and Judy Clarkson and their grandson Connecticut walking down the sidewalk. That Connecticut kid was a hoot. He frequently came to spend time with his grandparents and drove those poor people to the brinks of their sanity. Also, Satan thought it was hilarious the kid’s name was Connecticut. What kind of name was that anyway? Plus, he had no nickname. It was like the longest weirdest name ever, especially for a kid who lived in Illinois.

“Hey buddy,” Glen called out. “Time to get the old Devilmobile out and about, huh?”

Satan smiled and nodded and waved the trio along so he could get going.

It was then he saw that little kid stick his tongue out and flip him the bird.

“Kids got some cojones on him,” he muttered appreciatively before shifting into reverse and backing the scarlet vehicular Jezebel out of the driveway.

As he tore down his tree-lined street totally ignoring the “Drive Like Your Children Live Here” signs, he turned up the band KISS on his tape deck.

“Knights in Satan’s Service, my ass”, he thought to himself. Those guys had lost all their power when they took off the makeup in ’83. And that Simmons guy was a real douche-canoe, flying around attached to cables and spitting “blood” that came from Halloween store capsules.


Still, Animalize was a tuff album. There was no question about that.

Traveling full-speed with the tires burning rubber and the sound of leopard spandex rock-n-roll filling his head, Satan pointed a crooked calloused finger to the button on the dash of his hot rod. He pressed the “Hotter Than Hell” button in and a wave of bone-crushing heat suffocated a large portion of the lower 48.

“AH-hahahahaha!!!!” the demented one laughed maniacally, his evil deed fulfilled as he drove on with the knowledge that humans would be suffering even more than usual today.

Then he came to a stop at a red light. Suddenly, the air conditioner in his vintage sportster fizzled out. He pursed his lips and cocked an eyebrow and banged on the dashboard.



There was yet another expensive repair to take care of. You know, when he bought the Fiero he knew it might be high maintenance, but at the time the sleek hot chick magnetism of the car was all he cared about.

Did he have enough money in his checking account to call Leo at the repair shop?

Then he thought–Wait a minute. I’m Lucifer, ruler of the Lake of Fire and Eternal Damnation. What the hell do I care if my air doesn’t work?

Then he shifted his gaze to the right where he spied a beacon of delicious hope.

He guided the Fiero into the Dairy Queen parking lot like a Great White shifting quietly through the salt water of an ocean full of digestive possibilities.

“Diet be damned,” he told himself. “A twisty cone sure sounds yummy right about now.”

It was Monday, though. Not a “cheat” day. He pursed his lips again.

“Oh, what the hell,” he concluded as he parked the car, jumped out and ran into the ice cream store.

“I’d like a twisty cone, s’il vous plait,” he said to the kid behind the counter.

“The soft serve machine is down,” the kid said looking at the weird red man in front of him.

Satan sighed and figured it was a sign that he really shouldn’t cheat on his diet. Smirking at the kid, the Devil turned on his hoof and left the ice cream store.

As he went to get back in his toasty Fiero, he heard an uproar of laughter coming from a bar across the way. Twirling his keys around his fingers, Satan gave a moment’s consideration to his 6 years of sobriety. It hadn’t been easy, but after the intervention his minions held all those year back and by the grace of God and the help he got at the Betty Ford Clinic, he hadn’t touched the stuff in years and really hadn’t missed it until…well, just now.

As he walked up to the open doors of the place, he heard a tune playing on the jukebox that turned his blood ice cold.

What the hell kind of day was this, he thought to himself as he closed his eyes and took in the words to the beautiful love song “Look What You’ve Done to Me” by Boz Skaggs.

It had been “their song” all those years ago…

Satan walked in the place and all the patrons turned to see the return of their old friend.

And behind the bar, he couldn’t believe it, but there she was…




The love of his life. The one who had broken up with him, crushed his heart, and left him a broken incubus.

Their eyes met across the 4000-degree room.


<cue organ music>


Tune in next week when we find out the answers to these questions:


Will Satan’s car’s air conditioning get fixed?


Will he fall off the sobriety wagon?


Will the flames of lust between the Dark Prince and Anita rise once again?


Will Connecticut’s grandparents tell their kids they aren’t going to babysit him anymore?


Will the soft serve ice cream machine at the local Dairy Queen get fixed?


And finally, will the heatwave over the eastern half of the US ever come to an end??

Next week on



birthday party · music · Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band · The Beatles · turning 50

Happy Birthday, Sgt. Pepper

Every June 1st, I celebrate the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. You could say I treat it like a birthday. A celebration of my record-album-kinda-sorta twin. June 1, the record’s birthday. 2 months later, July 31, my birthday. 1967.

Which I realize doesn’t make us official twins, but close enough, I say.

And this year we’re calling it a cool half-century.

Everyone knows Sgt. Pepper is a fucking awesome album. A real piece of musical innovation, then and still today. I watched a little you tube clip this morning that featured “elders” listening to the record again. It was entertaining.

Want to see?

By the way, I’m totally like the chick in the purpley-blue top. Her love for the boys is apparent. You can see the young girl in her come alive again while she’s listening to that music. I love that.

You should know that Sgt. Pepper isn’t my favorite Beatles album, though. It’s not even close. I’m going to place it, off the top of my head, around #6. Which makes me think I should take the time out one of these days to rank the albums from my fave to my least fave. That seems like something I should have done a long time ago.

So even though it’s not my favorite, it’s still dear to me. And this is a milestone birthday, you know. 50 is a big deal. Lucky ass album. The cover still looks as cool today as it did back then. Album covers don’t wrinkle. They do fade or get moldy if not stored properly, I guess.


So I hope if anyone actually reads this post that you’ll be inspired to take a moment today and listen to any track you like from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Hell, go whole hog, light a few candles and listen from start to finish. It can only make your day better. Add in a piece of cake and a glass of wine and you’ll have a party that you’ll find yourself wanting to celebrate every year.

Happy Birthday to you, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Here…before we go, enjoy this little clip I filmed on the epic night I got to see Ringo inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by his friend Paul.

Good song, huh.

You bet your sweet ass it is. ❤

God · Goddess · sleepy time · sunny day · tiny story · writing

Flip of the Switch

The Goddess climbed the stairs and tucked her rolled-up yoga mat away in the corner of the hall next to the massive wooden door. Before she opened the portal, she took a moment to run her hand gently over the carving of the entire universe deep within the mahogany.
She hated to admit it, but at first she thought the design of this door sounded kinda egotistical when he suggested it. But because it turned out so beautifully, she now considered it one of her favorite things in their home.
That’s when she heard the big rumbling of snoring coming from inside the next room.
He was asleep.
Good. The man was a notorious workaholic. He was always in need of more rest.
She pushed the door open slowly and froze when it made its familiar creak. But she didn’t have to worry–the big guy kept on snoring.
Walking over to the enormous desk, she looked at the array of papers and puzzle books and empty mugs with tea bag tags hanging over their sides. The great monitor in front of him sparkled with all the goings-on of the blue and green planet below. Millions of blinking red buttons and a big keyboard sat at his fingertips.
Watching him sleep, she couldn’t help thinking how handsome he still was. When they first met back when they were young, he was so gorgeous. But then again, so was she.
The Goddess smiled when she caught sight of the latest Danielle Steele novel crumpled up between his weathered hands in his lap as he continued his snooze fest.
She decided she wouldn’t bother him and just let him be.
Turning her attention to the monitor and then all the blinking buttons, she took a second to bend over the board and flip the button for “Rain in Ohio” off and flick the “Unusually Pleasant and Sunny Fall-like Spring Day in Ohio” button on.
Then she glanced at Ohio on the screen and watched everyone who lived there smile at the same time.
The Goddess kissed her man gently on his head then turned and walked out of the room, closing the starry door behind her.
On her way back down the stairs, their two yappy Chihuahuas Starsky and Hutch came barreling towards her.
“Well, finally! Where have you guys been? Hey! Hey…shh, guys…shh shh shh! Daddy’s sleeping. Let’s go get a snack. Who wants to go get some treats?”
And the three of them took off together, skipping on down to the heavenly kitchen for a divine lunch of hummus salad sandwich, pink lemonade and a handful of mini Milk Bones.
domestic violence · Uncategorized

Every Day

Two days ago, my Facebook started lighting up bright and early with news that a murder happened in my neighborhood. I searched the local news sites and found a developing story about a woman found dead in her home and also a man found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot in a nearby park. A picture included in one of the stories showed a street not far from my home where a friend of mine lives.

I was scared for a bit. I waited to see the news at noon and saw it was a home close to hers. Not hers. Relief. But still freaked out.

I drove by the road a little later on my way to do errands. There were cop cars, yellow tape, and news trucks everywhere.

They reported that it was probably a domestic violence situation.

On my way back home, I drove by again. This time, I saw the dressed up and made up news anchors standing on a corner I’ve driven by a million times. I felt kinda agitated  looking at them, all dolled up and waiting to go live and tell the story of a poor girl…a mom…whose boyfriend shot her and then went and shot himself.

But then again, I guess I was one of the people waiting to hear them say what exactly went down, you know?

Last Friday the same thing happened in a small town near my hometown. The boyfriend killed his girlfriend, a co-worker, a policeman and then himself.

I’m not sure I know why I’m writing about this. I realize if I think about it, I hear about this kind of thing happening pretty much every day. This last event so close to my home was a real kick in the head.

So that young mom went to bed on Mother’s Day night and that was the end of it for her.

My brain thinks there has to be a way to make this kind of thing stop.

Aren’t we smarter than this?

I guess maybe we aren’t.

At least not yet.

being who you are · confidence · fearless · Mother's Day · tattoos · what other people think

Calm the Hell Down. It’s Going to be Great.

Today I should be totally excited, but I feel like I could barf a little bit.

I’m going this afternoon to get my Mother’s Day gift from Bill. Two new tattoos.

Any gift giving occasion, I pretty much always want tattoos. This is nothing new. But where I’m putting these tattoos is new. And for some reason, I’m kinda nervous about it.

A while back, I saw a picture of a girl wearing some really snappy looking black shoes…I was shopping for shoes for Xmas for myself. Sometimes I want something different from tattoos. Not often, mind you.

But anyway…she had on these cool shoes and right above her feet but below her rolled up pants, she had 2 black and grey tattoos on her legs, like on the fronts of her ankles. Nothing big. But pretty damn cool. And I’ve been a little obsessed ever since.

So now I have an appointment today at 4:00. After I get these babies done, Bill is taking me out to one of our favorite diners near the shop. That’s like one of my favorite life combos…tattoos followed by burgers, beers and tater tots.

Why am I so nervous. I actually have heartburn over it.

You know what? I guess I always get a little scared before. Not because of the pain or whatever. I don’t care about that. I guess part of me wonders, or worries, what people might think.

Stupid, right? I mean, I already have lots of tattoos. I love them all. I have zero regrets. Sometimes I wonder if people look at me and say–um, how old is she? What is she trying to prove? You know some people are like that. People who have nothing better to do but to judge others.

Then I get mad at myself because who gives a shit what other people think. That’s not how I roll. I mean, I used to, back in the old days when stuff like that mattered to me. Even then having to think about that pissed me off. To be honest, nowadays the only people I really worry about the opinions of are my husband and two kids. And they love me. They think I look good. I think.

Isn’t not caring what other people think of you anymore one of the perks of getting older? I think it’s supposed to be.

I just need to calm the fuck down and switch gears. Start being excited about it. They’re just a couple of little flowers on my legs, no big deal. Think how cute they’ll look with some bitchin’ shoes like that girl had on. And ooh, how about some painted toenails running barefoot?!

One time, a couple years ago, I went to see a therapist. Back when I was going through some shit. She was really nice. We talked for an hour and then I never went back because neither of us thought I really needed a therapist. I told her one of my biggest problems is being scared to put myself out there. You know, as in writing and just basically saying what I really want to say.

She told me–You look like someone who’s not afraid of anything.

That remains one of my favorite things that anyone has ever said to me.

So what’s two more tattoos? I’ll tell you what they are.

They’re me. They’re totally me.

I’m going to shut up now and go get cleaned up. I gotta do a number on my feet so they are extra inoffensive today. Can you imagine being a tattoo artist? I bet they see and smell some gnarly body parts sometimes. Gross.

Well, they ain’t going to be getting any of that from me.

Wish me luck. If anyone is reading this…hello, anyone?…I’ll post pics later.

So get ready.

Happy Thursday.

Detroit · Horses · Horses album 40th anniversary · Lenny Kaye · music · Patti Smith · Patti Smith Group · Royal Oak Music Theater · weekend getaway

Patti Smith and her Band–HORSES

Back in early March, Bill and I packed our bags and drove a couple hours north to Detroit.

Why did we go to Detroit, you ask?

Why, to see the amazing Patti Smith and her band perform the groundbreaking 1975 record album Horses, that’s why.

Okay, folks. I have to explain something before I get into all of this.

This particular adventure was one of my dreams come true. I love Patti Smith. She is one of my idols. Let me give you a little background on some of the reasons why.

Back when I was a girl growing up in the 1970s, I remember seeing Patti on the cover of an album called Easter. I remember people saying she looked awful because she had hair in her armpits. But besides the fact that I thought she looked beautiful with her black hair, white skin, and angelic skinny arm pose, the hair under the arm was fascinating to me. Even though I was just little, I knew that was different and that somehow this pretty woman was not behaving the way ladies should and that it made some people cranky.

It seemed to irritate my mother as well.

Because Patti was pretty, because she had hairy armpits and because she made people talk I remember thinking–I dig this person.

I didn’t own that record Easter even though everyone knew the song Because the Night. I was more of an Osmond Brothers, Tony DeFranco, and Bay City Rollers kind of kid.

I don’t think I would have been able to comprehend or appreciate the beauty of the music that the Patti Smith Group made back then.

As luck would have it though, years later when I was in my 40s, I would rediscover Patti through her writing and by then not only could I comprehend and appreciate her art, I was ready to submerge myself in it and use it as balm and inspiration on a daily basis to, as Prince once said, get through this thing called life.

I read her book Just Kids when it came out in 2010. Bill and I were poking around Barnes & Noble and I picked it up and said “I think I’d like this.” That turned out to be an understatement. I loved that book. Reading it lead me to pick up the documentary DVD Dream of Life. I loved that too. Dream of Life lead me to pick up the album Horses.

And that record rocked my world.

It also opened the door to all her other music for me.

When I rediscovered Patti, I was a mother of an 18 year old son and a 17 year old daughter I had dedicated my life to staying home to raise. My old job of “stay at home mom” was quietly coming to an end and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after the kids took off. I had always had an interest in making art. Back before I met Bill, I was a college student training to be a school teacher. While taking classes for that, I took an art class for elementary school teachers taught by one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. (interestingly named Dr Easter! ha. I just realized that.) I LOVED that class. I excelled in that class. The teacher asked me one day near the end of the quarter—why aren’t you doing this instead? By then, I had been in college for 3 years. Changing course would mean staying in school longer. I couldn’t bear it, so I dropped out. I never graduated. But I never forgot all the cool things Dr. Easter taught me and the boost of confidence she gave me when she told me I was an artist.

I’ve also always loved writing. When I was the same age I was when I saw Patti on the cover of Easter, I won a contest at school to have a story I wrote about Christmas printed in the local paper. That was one sappy-ass story. But I knew people would love it. I like doing that–making people feel emotions with words. When I was a little older, I discovered writing what we now know as “fan fiction”. My personal experience with writing fan fiction started when friends and I wrote stories featuring the Beatles.

God, I love the Beatles. I’ll tell you all about that some other time. Believe me, I have lots to say about the Fab Four.

But back to writing fan fiction. When I was 13, that was all I wanted to do. I wanted to get my stupid school work done so I could break out my special notebook and write the next installment of whatever I had John, Paul, George, Ringo and me and my girlfriends up to. It was GREAT. One of my favorite memories of all time was the day school was cancelled because of snow and I spent the entire day writing and listening to Beatles records. At one point, I took a break and sat in the window seat of my bedroom that night watching the snow fall in the light of the streetlights while listening to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song A Day in the Life always takes me back to my window seat that snowy night. Always.

I’m rambling, aren’t I.

So yeah. Writing. To this day I still enjoy reading or writing a good fan fiction. I have so many journals and notebooks and word documents all over my room full of stories or poems I’ve written over the years. I’d love to be published, but I admit I’m dealing with trying to get over my fear of putting my work out there for others to scrutinize.

I know what Patti would say about that. Or I think I know. I think she would tell me to quit being such a chicken. If I have something to say, say it. Screw what other people might think. She says she writes all of the time. And one thing I really love about Patti is that she left the music world in 1979 to go with her hubby Fred Sonic Smith and stay at home to be a mama to their 2 children. I love hearing her talk about how that was the hardest and most important work she ever did. It’s nice to hear someone like her say that. I feel validated by that. Also, I’ve heard her say that even through all the years she was a mama at home, she still had the need to write. She writes every day.

Me too.

So….incredibly long story (not really) short…Patti Smith-the musician, the writer, the poet, the artist, the mother, the wife, the person-inspires the hell out of me. I really would like to be more like her.

I believe that has been true since I first laid eyes on her nearly 40 years ago.

SO….anyway, let’s get back to our trip to Detroit!

Back in 2014, Patti announced that she would be touring and doing the Horses album in its entirety for the record’s 40th anniversary. I told my husband then–I’d give my left eyeball to see that show.

So, imagine my bummed outedness when for the longest time I only ever saw tour dates in exotic foreign locations. I can’t say I blamed her. If I was the Godmother of Punk, I’d like to go all over the world and see all kinds of cool people and places too. But it made me sad. I thought maybe Horses would never come anywhere near my hometown smack dab in the middle of the Midwest USA.

It wasn’t like I didn’t get to see Patti at all. Back in 2015, Bill and I traveled to Chicago to see her do a Spring Awakening show at the Old Town School of Folk Music and that was incredible. That was my first time seeing her live. The same year we traveled to Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and concert where we got to see, among many other amazing things, Patti induct Lou Reed.

But the Horses anniversary tour continued to elude me.

Until earlier this year.

Imagine my happiness when I finally found on Facebook a list of venues Horses was going to be performed right here in my neck of the woods. Finally, I thought. I saw the Detroit concert listed first and thought–Patti and Horses in the city where she and Fred met and raised their family.

It certainly couldn’t get any better than that.

Thank god my husband said yes when I asked if he’d like to make a weekend getaway out of it with me.

So back when I first heard about the Horses tour, when I was in the dreaming about it state,  I invented the idea that if I ever did get the opportunity to go, being in the front row would be the ultimate experience.

The day the tickets went on sale, I was poised at my lap top and on my Ticketmaster app and like a giant bird of prey, I swooped right in and nabbed row A on Lenny Kaye’s side.

Something you might find interesting about me–I am an excellent ticket buyer. It’s one of my gifts.

So, off Bill and I went, to the great Motor City that sunny late winter Saturday.

We stayed at a hotel in the city but the concert was in a really hip little town on the outskirts called Royal Oak. We checked in and started getting ready to go to the show.

I was a nervous wreck the entire time I was getting ready. I told my husband I was freaking out because I had waited so long for this experience and now it was upon me and soon it would be over. I fretted like a maniac in that bathroom. I was happy when we finally left to go to the show.

We thought maybe we’d have a little dinner before the concert in Royal Oak. First of all, it was freezing up there. Bill and I parked our car, put our arms around each other and took off for the main strip. Interestingly enough, people were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Royal Oak, so one of the first things we saw there was a couple emerging from a bar and the girl barfing her guts out all over the sidewalk while her boyfriend watched. That was pretty gross. We moved along, looking for any restaurant we could get into. I was distracted by the many cool shops. But we had to concentrate. We ducked into several places, all of them packed. We gave up and headed to the venue to wait for the doors to open. There was a restaurant next to the Royal Oak Music Theater. It was packed, of course.  But there was a small lobby right next to it and it was heated so we stood in there with another couple also there to see Patti. They weren’t very talkative, so it was kind of awkward being in that little space with them while we waited.

The venue opened the doors at 6:30 instead of 7:00 which was a welcome relief.

The Royal Oak Music Theater is a cool venue. Bill and I went straight to the merchandise table and I picked out and bought a Patti t-shirt and poster.



Then we bought a couple double Jack and Diet Cokes and went to find our seats. Front row, Lenny’s side, last seats in the row. That didn’t matter…there were only 5 seats to begin with and the usher pushed all the chairs more toward the middle so we were set up pretty darn good.

I was in heaven there in my seat with my drink waiting for Patti and her crew.

At 8:00 the lights went down and the crowd cheered. Lenny, Jay Dee, Tony and Jackson came out on the stage. I stood up. Everyone stood up. And then, there she was–Patti Smith, in the flesh, looking cool as fuck. The place went crazy. Patti stood in the front of the middle of the stage and took a look around the crowd. Her eyes made their way along the front row in front of her and then moved down our way. When our eyes met, Patti smiled.

My husband said to me–“She smiled right at you!”

And I said, “I know, right!?”

That was one of my favorite moments of the evening. Even though I’ll likely never get to say thank you to her in person, she knew all of us there that night love her and her music. The girl in the braids and cats eye glasses at the end of the row included.

Speaking of the music, when the first chords of “Gloria” started not long after I got the smile, I nearly died. Patti sang, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine”, and I lost it. We were off and running.

The whole album Horses unfurled in front of me with 3 of the original people who played on it way back when in 1975. There were stories laced throughout, there was lots of singing along, there was dancing. Toward the last half of the show, Patti’s daughter Jesse joined the band on stage at the piano.

As the night went on, the crowd began to push toward the stage. Bill and I were already up there, so I held tight my spot in front of Lenny as best I could. Patti told the security people to lighten up after a while and let people come on down. We all gathered together as a sweating adoring mass to hear the last songs of the night. Elegie. Dancing Barefoot. Frederick. Ghost Dance. Citizen Ship.

Because the Night.

People Have the Power.

By the end of the show, a couple of younger girls had made their ways down next to me in the thick of things at the front of the stage. Which was fine by me. I’m always happy when I see people from younger generations loving the music I love. That way I know the music will continue to live on, you know? I was feeling reflective by the end of it all, amazed that I was able to experience this night of music.

Patti and the guys finished up the encore with People Have the Power and I was dancing and singing along, turning every now and then to look at my husband to see if he was basking in this as much as this as I was. The show was coming to an end and people were standing and cheering and I was sad because it was all but over.

Lenny Kaye walked back by the drum kit and reached into a little container and came over to the side of the stage where I was standing by the young girls. He passed out plectrums to the 2 girls next to me and I remember thinking–Oh please please please give one to me.

and then he did. He put it right in the palm of my hand and walked off.

I was so happy. I held the blue pick up in between my hands and gave it a kiss.

That was my other favorite moment of the night.

The show was over and the band left the stage.

I’m a lucky girl, I know.

That show was a dream come true.

I got to see the 40th anniversary tour of the record album Horses.

And I shall never, ever forget it.

Bill and I walked out of the venue that night into the freezing cold. We were starved by then. Lucky for us, the hip little joint next door that had previously been super-crowded now had a table for 2 available for us.

We sat by a window with a big full moon shining down from outside on to our little table where my blue Lenny Kaye pick sat and we ate the only meal we had in Detroit that weekend.

I just went to ask Bill what he ate that night and he said he doesn’t remember.

I had enchiladas. One chicken, one bean and one chorizo.

They were damn good.

So was that concert.

I love Patti Smith.

I love the Patti Smith Group.

I love Horses.

I always will.



disciples · fireworks · God · Goddess · Jesus · thunderstorm · writing

Light Up the Sky Saturday Night

God steered the big old noisy beat up Ford pickup truck in a half circle and then backed it up in the clearing near where the fire pit and tents were set up.

Suddenly, 13 young boys wearing nothing but cut off jean shorts came running out of the woods like a pack of wild baboons.

“Dad!” yelled the one in front who was clearly the ringleader of the bunch. “Guys! He’s here, come on!!”

God smiled. Them young ones were a rowdy bunch, but his son and his best buddies were the forbidden apples of the old man’s eye.

They all congregated around the man climbing out of his truck.

“Did ya get ’em?!” his son asked.

God rumpled the kid’s long stringy hair.

All the other boys looked up at him eagerly, their faces filthy from playing in the forest.

“Of course I got ’em. I’m God, aren’t I?”

All the boys jumped up and down and cheered.

The crew walked to the back of the truck and God opened the tailgate.

Inside the truck was a mother lode of pyrotechnics that he had just purchased at the store next to the Kwik-Pak where he got his weekly case of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

“Wooooaaaahhhh,” all the boys said as the Creator of the Universe crawled up into the truck. He pulled his long grey hair into a ponytail then wrapped a threadbare bandana around his head. Then he began to unload the booty.

The boys crowded around buzzing with excitement. They watched the man set up all the explosives carefully. At one point, he looked up and smiled and said:

“This is gonna give them people on Earth quite the thunderboomer.”

“Yeh!!” the boys all agreed.

“Thanks, dad,” the ringleader boy said.

“Well, now…you’re welcome, Jesus,” the old man replied trying not to get misty. Then he advised all the younguns to get on out of the way.

And for the next several hours God set off all the fireworks much to his and the boys’ delight and to the dismay of thousands of children and dogs living in the Ohio Valley region.

When the big sound and light show slowed to an end, God passed out crackling Sparklers to the pack of wild hyena boys who ran like streaks of lightning through the field.

God opened a cold one and sat on the edge of the bed of his truck and watched with a gleam in his eye.

Suddenly the Goddess was by his side with a big picnic basket full of fixins to make S’mores. She put it down when God handed her a beer.

They watched the boys running and screaming with more energy than 10 super cell thunderstorms.

“Those boys are gonna crash and burn so damn hard,” she said.

Then she and God laughed before sucking down the rest of their brews on that Heavenly stormy night.