There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Cincinnati. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cincinnati. Show all posts

21 July 2015

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

"A white man opened fire in a historic black church, in Charleston, South Carolina the night of June 17, 2015, killing nine people, including a pastor, during a prayer meeting. "

As I heard this news, I stopped what I was doing and bowed my head in a moment of silence. It's hard to love a country that is so filled with racial hatred.

I found no coincidence in finding the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center later that week along the banks of Ohio river in downtown Cincinnati. Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to this place.

"We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated."

I come to a section that has artwork that represents "freedom" to the youth of our country today. One of my personal favorites is from Kayla Savage, 10th grader from Michigan :
 Here is her piece:
The diversity of baseball exhibit is yet another example of of how people can come together under the bond of sportsmanship and play through skin deep differences toward a greater goal.

"I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back."

16 July 2015


My first impressions of Cincinnati were of a proud sports town that was in the middle of a face lift. Downtown was the new skin, while across the river was the poor and run down, waiting for their chance to also look and feel new.

I see my childhood hero, Joe Morgan, immortalized in bronze outside the Red's baseball stadium. In my youth I was in foster care for a spell, and during this tumultuous time I latched onto the Cincinnati Red's and baseball Joe.

Sometimes reliving memories are akin to playing with fire. Burning and cleansing the past.

09 July 2015

The Punch Brothers

Five guys walk out onto the stage, nonchalantly with their instruments of choice, and start to play.
Once the strings started plucking, the banjo's began to wail, and the night of bluegrass music from the Punch Brothers commenced, I was captivated.

From seemingly humble roots these fellas played with a down home Southern enthusiasm my ears hadn't heard before. Then I learned they all are from Brooklyn, New York.

It just goes to show how deep the roots of bluegrass music are in this country, from the northern coast of Maine to the purple sunsets over Alabama, from the crag rocks of Oregon to the humid Cincinnati riverfront, bluegrass music speaks deeply to us all.
Let the Rye whiskey flow down your soul, and enjoy the mellow pickin's of The Punch Brothers.

08 July 2015

The Newport Aquarium

Why do I hate zoo's but love aquariums?

After seeing animals in the wild, I see nothing but pain and sadness in their eyes behind the fence lines of a zoo.

On the contrary, the creatures on the other side of the aquarium glass seem in their element.
Meet "Thunder"for example, an alligator snapping turtle that is believed to be over 100 years old. Saved from a Louisiana's butcher block due to his large size, he seems more than comfortable in his environment here at Newport.
You also get to witness Arapaima, Amazon basin air breathers that slowly swim above you as you walk underneath them.
Not to mention jellies, sharks, and all manner of other creatures that live in our vast ocean world.

It's hypocritical I suppose, but I do love aquariums yet refuse to go to zoo's.

03 July 2015

Abby & Fleck

A typical Sunday morning. I turn on the TV for company as I work on my first cup of coffee. The screen shows a a couple of bluegrass players, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.

I've never heard of them, but bluegrass music is something I've always been interested in. Their story is intriguing, and once they start playing, I'm hooked. Their love of bluegrass music led to a love for each other, and you can feel that love when they play together.
I found that they were playing a Saturday show in Cincinnati, a town I had yet to visit. With a couple clicks on the internet, I found myself sitting in the Taft theatre, ready to listen to my first live bluegrass concert.
I simply have no words to describe how perfect the night was. From Fleck's stories of traveling across Africa to trace the roots of bluegrass influence and introducing his music to African musicians, to Abby's infectious personality and stories of corporate greed, her grandma's roller skating rink in Illinois, and how she loves murder ballard's where the woman doesn't die, it was an opening act for the ages.
I've never seen an opening act get such high praise from an audience, let alone a standing ovation that lasted forever, which led to an encore performance full of dancing and revelry.
The banjo playing was incredible, and solidified my love for bluegrass americana music.