Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Weekend Challenge - Good News

The Morning Show is a blog companion to the podcast audio

  Good morning, and HAPPY FRIDAY!  Man oh man, this is going to be quite a weekend. Hitting the road for the final leg of the summer tour, heading to Richmond, VA, to DJ, host a radio show (tune in from 3-5 pm est on Saturday at, play street music, drive to Asheville, NC, play some more street music, and on Monday, drive to Clemson, SC, to watch the total solar eclipse.  WOO!

  And speaking of tour, have got a magnificent story from NYC that I haven't told you yet, and it brings us to the Weekend Challenge - make some good news.  Here's how some remarkable people brightened my world the other week.

   I was playing my broom near Times Square.  A weird guy drifted by.  "if I give you fifty cents, can I use your phone?"  "'s broken..uh, nah."  Not many people were on the side street.  I moved north, setting up on Broadway, right across from the Winter Garden theater, advertising the School of Rock musicial.  The parade of humanity kept trudging by, and there were a few fun broom jams here and there...a little girl with a magical smile, and her dad joined in with the Taylor Swift song.  Some teenagers...I was fading, and I needed lunch.  I gave myself fifteen more minutes before break.  Idly playing some blues on the broom, I look up to see a surfer dude and his girl run right up to me.  "Do you" they started.  This usually doesn't end well on the street when random people ask me things.  I'm a sober non-smoker and apparently, a disappointment to many people.  "Do you want to go see School of Rock?"  "Excuse me?"  "Yes!  We have an extra ticket to the show, and we're trying to give it away.  You seem like a cool guy, and we'd love to take you to see it."  "ALRIGHT THEN!"  I packed up my broom, my guitar, my backpack, my stomp fiddle..."Hang on, we've gotta tell our mates!" in a wonderful British accent. They bounded across Broadway, returning with even more exuberant friends.  "YAYY!  JOSH!"  There were hugs, and hurried introductions to Oskar and Megan and Joanne and Tom and Michael and Ekaterina, a charming crew of Brits, Swedes, and Russians, some now living in Mexico.  There was a brief line, security saying "unzip that guitar case, boss", and...entry!  The front of house lady said "Woah woah woah, are you going fishing?"  Had I been faster on my feet, I would have said "FOR ADVENTURE!", but I just mumbled about street music and the kindness of strangers.  She pointed me to the coat check, and then there I was, sitting in row L, about to see not on my first  Broadway show, but one based on a movie that I've based my career on.  It was stunning.  It was inspiring.  I was pumping my fist in the air by the end, yelling "STICK IT TO THE MAN!" as the music thundered through the room.  We enthused together during intermission and after the show.  Their graciousness, joy of kindness, and welcoming was incredible.  Did I mention they even gave me the best seat?  There were a block of decent seats, and then one really good one on it's own.  They wouldn't even switch halfway through.  WOW!

  And here was this thing of talent and beauty, given to me by kind strangers, who now of course are friends.  We met up later in Washington Square park, played broom guitar together, and even did a podcast interview.  Stay tuned for Tommy's park conversation.  Michael even tried to throw a twenty in my hat.  I got right up in his kind face, and pushed him away.  His generosity floored me.

  They eventually wandered off into the crackling dusk that is the closest thing that New York ever gets to a night, but thank goodness for Facebook so we can keep in touch.

  I thank them not only for the broadway show - that was incredibly cool - but even more for their kindness to a random stranger.  I can't say that random acts of kindness always find their mark, or always matter...but this one did.  Thank you for brightening the world, Michael and Oskar and Joanne and Megan and Tom and Ekaterina.

And that, folks, is your weekend challenge.  Go make some good news, too!  I know I've got a lot to pay forward myself.

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