Unintentional Benefits…..

During our recent visit to the Manatee Park in Ft. Meyers, Florida, I was reminded that sometimes humans help animals without planning to.  I’m not talking about rescues or programs, just plain old human activities that benefit animals without even trying. 

Granted, most of the time humans exploit animals, and it would be easy for me to list the many ways that humans impact animal life in a negative way…….but the story of the power plant and the Manatee Park in Ft. Meyers is the perfect example of animals using humans as a tool for survival.

I’ll explain:  The power plant in Ft. Meyers was developed for humans. The plant discharges heated water into the canal that leads to the open ocean.  Somewhere in time, Manatees discovered that the warm water in the canals helped them survive if the water in the ocean became too cold for them to thrive during the winter. 

Another example from my own experience, is from when Jim and I worked on cruise ships.  We noticed that birds were flying right outside our cabin window while we were out at sea.  Our rooms were very high at the top and at the bow (front) of the ship.  The birds would cruise along right beside us, looking down.  Then they would swoop down to the ocean and scoop up the flying fish that were skimming out of the ship’s way.  The birds were using the ship as a tool to catch fish.

That’s just two that come to mind.  Let me know if you have observed a way that animals have benefited from unintentional human activity…….

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How John Deutschendorf Became John Denver

Randy Sparks passed away this past February 11, 2024, at the age of 90.

Randy was a colorful and influential person in the Folk Music Industry.  He was also very personable and approachable, and he LOVED to tell stories. 

One of the stories he told us (and many others over the years) was the story in which he credits himself as the person who gave John Denver his stage name. 

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. was performing at Randy’s club Ledbetters, when Randy commented his name wouldn’t fit on a marquee.  Randy suggested that John take the last name of Denver (Randy had written and recorded a song called “Denver” and he said the sheet music was laying there so he suggested that).  John resisted.  He very adamantly wanted to keep his family name, but he finally and reluctantly went with Randy’s suggestion.

The John Denver connection with Randy Sparks continued with John Denver recording other songs of Randy’s, including “Today” and “Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio” on multi-platinum albums. 

Blogs are supposed to be short – so this is my own abbreviated version of a very long and detailed story that Randy told me and Jim.  Randy was a  wonderful storyteller, he greatly influenced Folk Music history and many aspiring singer/songwriters…learn more on Wikipedia and The New Christy Minstrel website.

Rest in Peace:   Lloyd Arrington Sparks (July 29, 1933 – February 11, 2024)

Thanks Chevrolet!

Just in case you haven’t already seen this commercial – I am featuring it in my blog this Holiday season.

Underneath the heartfelt, tear-jerking message, is the joy we felt hearing the music they used to bring their message home.

Thanks Chevrolet! We already knew that John Denver wrote the sound track of our lives…..it’s about time this is recognized by big media advertisers and the rest of the world.

Watch. Listen. Enjoy.

Happy Holidays!   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnZGEUA4oBk

Some Sketchy Hotels!

Picture 1

It’s time to begin our Christmas tour!  This year, we are driving from home base in California to shows in Michigan (Dec 2) Texas (Dec 16) back to California (Dec 20) and Arizona (Dec 23).  The show in California is technically not a Christmas show – the promoter wanted to celebrate John Denver’s 80th birthday (Dec 31, 2023).  So, a lot of driving (to avoid airline fees and car rental fees) and a lot of hotels are ahead of us this month.  It got me to thinking about the higher cost of EVERYTHING! 

Dealing with high costs requires a certain amount of flexibility.  You have to lower your expectations.  You might not want to afford to stay in the usual hotels you count on (we used to stay exclusively at Comfort Inn Hotels) you might take a chance on a hotel with a lower rate.  That leads to staying in some sketchy hotels.

Jim Connor (author of “Grandma’s Feather Bed) told a story about staying in a blackfoot hotel.  You see, the hotel was not owned by Native Americans, he called it blackfoot, because that’s what your foot looks like if you walk around without socks.

The first sketchy hotel we stayed at was in 2008…it was the worst ever!  We kept looking for a chalk outline in the parking lot, and our pleas for clean towels and sheets were answered with, “We don’t have any”.  Lesson learned: no more Knight’s Inn (never, ever).

Take a good look at the picture #1.  Yes, that is the bathroom sink on the floor.  Just last year this lovely room was offered to us at a premium price.  We had to go back to the front desk twice to get a room that was not in complete disrepair.  Jim (a fixer) is constantly baffled by the incredibly bad handiwork he sees, even in good hotels!  Bad tile work, bad plumbing, bad carpentry (a ragged notch cut in a bathroom door because the toilet was in the way of the door opening – see picture #2).  Often, Jim repairs things in the room himself before he can relax.

Picture #2

Do you have a sketchy hotel experience?  Share it here! Remember the captcha code is case sensitive and there are NO Spaces in between characters. 

A Town Called Kill Devil Hills

From sea to shining sea, life is a beach….at least it is on the edges!

Although we live on the Pacific side – seems we’ve been spending a lot of time closer to the Atlantic.  We recently visited beaches in Norfolk, Virginia and in Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Outer banks is the area where Orville and Wilbur Wright famously flew the first powered aircraft in Kitty Hawk, NC. 

Our concert was in Kill Devil Hills, NC – a very memorable show because of the enthusiastic audience (thank you, Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts!!)  – but what really got our curiosity going was the name of the city: Kill Devil Hills.

Once the concert was over, we spent some time with one of our hosts, David, who was more than happy (and probably asked often) to explain why the city had such a name.  In colonial times, ships full of molasses would frequently pass by on their way to ports further north.  The area had a treacherous coastline and shipwrecks were frequent.  Wrecked ships were quickly plundered, and barrels of molasses would be brought into the hills to make rum. Another name for rum was “Kill Devil” as it is told that the drink was strong enough to kill the devil himself.  Thus, the name Kill Devil Hills.

The beaches were lovely and the people welcoming….we hope to return soon!

No…..we didn’t try the rum!

This is the Blog

Hello my friends,

Lately, a couple of people have asked me the difference between my blog and the newsletter.  Sorry, I haven’t really thought about what the difference is, but they ARE very different!!  Both are published about the same time every month BUT………

The Blog: 

  1. Posted on our website and available all year for anybody online to look at.
  2. Announced on Facebook when it is posted online.
  3. Anne’s personal point of view
  4. Includes 1 photo
  5. Your comments on the blog are published with the blog online.

The Newsletter

  1. Sent directly to your email address and is not available anybody online.
  2. NOT announced on Facebook
  3. Still written by Anne, but is more of a band journal than personal thoughts
  4. Includes many photos of our travels and concerts
  5. Your comments (if you click ‘reply’) go directly to Anne and are not shared online.

So now you know!  If you want to sign up for the newsletter just go to our website home page

www.jimcurrymusic.com  scroll down and enter your email. Voila!  You will now get the newsletter!!

We are almost up to 2500 in our newsletter family and we would LOVE for YOU to join us!