Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thank you, Superintendent!

QUINCY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Superintendent Roy Webb came to Second String Music yesterday, and we had a great talk. Sheryl called him earlier in the day because we wanted him to get accurate information about our business. We are local, we are proud to support Quincy Public Schools and all of our area schools, and we care about our community.

Some think otherwise. They are wrong.

We are not endorsed by any local school system. We offer affordable band instruments, sales and services. You have choices, whether it's at the retail level or online. We compete and we strive to be the best we can be. Pretty basic.

My daughter was a Blue Devil and is now a professor of music at Western Illinois, and her experience with the Quincy music program was awesome. It helped mold her into what she is today.

Roy didn't have to come down during his busy day and talk to us in person, but he did and he listened. Sheryl and I are beyond impressed and grateful.

The superintendent of schools is a difficult job. I had sympathy for Roy's predecessors, the ones who had to deal with interesting school board members and thorny issues. I have great respect for anybody who serves on a school board, a thankless but crucial job. Remember all the controversy a few years back? A effective school board is one that stays out of the headlines and gets the job done, and that's been happening during a time of new school buildings and never-ending funding challenges.

Roy also had a tremendous letter to the editor the other day about the Fab 5 visit. It's good to see somebody taking responsibility and setting standards for being all-inclusive.

By the way ... my Monday post has now exceeded 24,000 page views. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Thank you, Mr. Webb, for your service and dedication to your job as superintendent.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Store closed Saturday, but we're still rocking

SECOND STRING MUSIC will be closed this Saturday, Oct. 20. The Tin Dusters are downtown and take over the streets, so there's no way to get close to our store. We've found they don't really spend money in a business like ours, but they do support other retailers and we understand the event is good for Quincy, so we are fine with it.

So, we'll take a well-deserved break. That doesn't mean we won't rock and roll!

The Cheeseburgers are playing a really fun show Saturday starting at about 1 p.m. in the Quincy University Stadium parking lot. Our friends at Wine On Broadway are putting this on and will have all kinds of great craft beer, and the Butcher Block will be cooking up a storm. QU takes on Missouri S&T at 5 p.m. and we'll be rocking the tailgate party in the north lot. We did this a few years ago in the pouring rain and still had a blast, and it's supposed to be 60 and sunny Saturday, so no excuses - come out and get Cheesey before the Hawks play!

Saturday night, Cori Lyssy and I are playing at the Red Light Bar & Grill just across from Second String Music in the old Granite Bank building. We start at 8 and we can't wait to get in there and play in a beautiful acoustic setting. The restaurant owners are awesome people and have done a ton of work revamping the space - if you've been in there, please pay them a visit. I had the $1 tacos yesterday for lunch and they were really good.

Whatever you do this weekend, take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and be safe out there. October is a great time to rock and roll!

Enjoy this photo of Angus making sure Bobbe at State Street Bank knows where the treats are hidden. He is shameless.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fleetwood Mac tickets for sale

A FRIEND BOUGHT tickets to see Fleetwood Mac in St. Louis this Saturday, but now he's decided to not go. They are for sale, two of them, in section 106 of the Enterprise Center. They are awesome seats, and he paid a lot of money for them.

Face value, the tickets are worth $340 for the pair. That's $170 each. Would you pay that much to see a revamped Fleetwood Mac? He is asking for a lot less, and you can track me down at the store (217- 223-8008) if you are interested.

Who doesn't love Fleetwood Mac? Who didn't own Rumours? Dude, you didn't live in the suburbs unless you owned and wore out your Rumours records. Actually, the first FM album with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham is my favorite, one great song after another.

Buckingham was "sacked" earlier this year and has sued, saying he's lost $14 million because he isn't touring with them. It wouldn't be Fleetwood Mac if there wasn't drama. Is it FM without Buckingham? They won't be doing Big Love, that's for sure.

He's been replaced by Mike Campbell, the incredible guitar player for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Crowded House veteran Neil Finn. Reviews are mixed, but the die-hards still love them and I give them credit for still going - they aren't spring chickens anymore.

Neither am I, and I'm still playing. Granted, it's not for thousands in a big hockey rink, but The Cheeseburgers are still going and still love what we do.

It's still Fleetwood Mac, as the set list from their recent show in Des Moines indicates.  If you wanna go, let me know.

The Chain 
Little Lies 
Second Hand News 
Say You Love Me 
Black Magic Woman 
I Got You (Split Enz) 
Tell Me All The Things You Do 
World Turning 
Oh Well 
Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House) 
Isn't It Midnight 
Monday Morning 
You Make Loving Fun 
Gold Dust Woman 
Go Your Own Way 

Footnote: Yesterdays blog about @JVN and the Queer Eye crew in Quincy has officially become my most read with more than 23,222 page views in the past 48 hours. Let's keep progress moving forward!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Ignorant Christianity and the Fab 5

SHERYL AND I were excited about guys from the Netflix show "Queer Eye" being in town last week. Second String Music had a small part in helping with the visit. Queer Eye is a show about five men who transform the way people look, feel and act. It's hysterically funny and touching. One of the five guys is from Quincy, and they were in town to "redo" one of our local school music teachers.

Then we read a letter to the editor from a bigoted homophobic person that calls himself a pastor, and it just turns our stomach.

You can read it here if you want. It's from an alleged pastor of an alleged church in Quincy, complaining about how we are leading our school children astray with people who practice immoral behaviors. The Queer Eye guys are gay. They were in our schools last week doing workshops. The pastor isn't happy about Quincy rolling out the welcome mat for such people. (Sheryl's response to this was a strangely coherent string of cuss words that I can't quote in this blog. Use your imagination.)

There might not be anything more dangerous than a person leading other persons and cloaking themselves in ignorance while beating their Biblical chests.

I'm a Christian, or, more accurately, a failed Christian. Aren't we all? I grew up the son of a pastor in a very conservation Christian Reformed environment, Christian schools, the works. I was heavily involved with a Quincy church for  many years, and I'm back playing guitar on Sunday mornings at another church in town.

But I've developed much more of a world view in recent years. I'm tired of people using Christianity as a line in the sand, a way to divide instead of unite.

I am glad the Queer Eye guys were in town. Sheryl and I eagerly await the episode, which should air next year.

Before it rained yesterday, I mowed the lawn. I stepped in dog poop. So I scrapped it off my shoe and kept mowing.

You know something, alleged pastor? I'm scrapping your narrow-minded and ignorant letter off my mind like I scrape dog shit off my shoe. Only your shit smells worse and doesn't go away.

While the rest of Quincy grows and changes, we will hopefully counteract this backward hatred spewed in this small town. We need progress, not backsliding.

Peace, love, joy and I'm proud to be from Quincy, home of one of the Queer Eye guys!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Kash comes a-calling

WE GOT A visit from a candidate for Illinois governor yesterday. Kash Jackson, a Libertarian, was walking around downtown Quincy after doing an interview at WGEM. He came into Second String Music and ended up spending about an hour here, talking about his policies and just life in general. He had a beverage and asked about other places to visit in Quincy, and I thought he was very interesting.

Showing the candidate (middle) EFB!
Tonight in Quincy, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrat J.B. Pritzker have a debate. Jackson wasn't invited, being a so-called "third-party" candidate. But he made sure to be in Quincy anyway, even if he isn't allowed to talk with the big boys.

To be honest, I didn't even know he was on the ballot. There's another guy running too, and apparently he's just a Republican with a different party name, but I'll do more digging about him later.

We talked about Jackson's stance on issues like health care and taxes. But mostly it was about life. Kash Jackson is a veteran and he's got some issues, but he didn't steer away from them. Sheryl told him bluntly (I know, Sheryl being blunt. Really?) that she didn't like the fact he changed his name not long ago. Jackson said he'd wanted to change his name (Winterweedle) and his grandparents were big fans of Johnny Cash. Click here for more. He didn't dance around it, anyway.

I'm not big into politics and I'm really disappointed with our current political climate. It's all about money and power, not about getting our state out of desperate financial straits. Illinois is in real trouble and I doubt anybody can save us in one election.

That being said, I like it when candidates try to make themselves available.

So here's my challenge to Gov. Rauner and J.B. Pritzker - you guys wanna stop in at Fifth and Maine before your big debate tonight? Sheryl has already voted but I'm still making up my mind. I have a lot of lessons this afternoon but not until 4 p.m., so come on in and we can shoot the breeze. Even though you are both gazillionaires, I'll even buy you a cup of coffee at Electric Fountain Brewing next door. If Angus likes you, that might help sway my vote.

Or, come back some Friday afternoon during Happy Hour(s). Now that could get interesting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Missing chicken alert

THERE IS A missing chicken in the Calftown Hood. It's name is Fraggie. It lives near 9th and Jefferson. Let's hope it doesn't try to cross the road, just because it can.

We have a fair share of chickens in our Hood. Just down the alley, Tony and Mary Dickerman have a coop. Their chickens don't venture out much, and never at night. They get a little mad when Mary and Tony leave, but you rarely hear them and they also make delicious eggs.

There are a lot of predators out there, and I'm not just talking about our new neighbors who blast horrendous music late on Saturday nights in their garage. If computer-generated techno beats won't kill chickens, nothing will. There are cats, dogs, hawks and assorted wildlife who would like nothing better than a late night snack.

I'd volunteer our dogs to go look for Fraggie, but it wouldn't be a good idea, especially for our English Shepherd, Genie. She is the sweetest and most docile thing until it comes to squirrels, moles and chickens. We sent her to a Missouri farm for a while and the owners trained her well but said Genie kept killing their chickens. The guy even tied a dead chicken around her neck as punishment, and Genie came back a lot better behaved.

But she'd still kill a chicken if she had a chance.

Fraggie's owner says Fraggie has a twin who is "lost without her." What? Twin chickens? Twin separation anxiety? Maybe Fraggie's twin can telepathically communicate and they can find Fraggie. Maybe.

I don't mean to make light of this. Pets are pets and a missing chicken is not a good thing, and the longer it's gone the less likely it is to return. I'll keep my eyes peeled and hopefully we find it soon.