Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Larry Norman, The Grammy's & Me Part 6

If you've been following these posts I've written about Larry Norman, you know I have left the story unfinished.

I will attempt to tell the rest. Two more installments to come.

I saw Larry in Denver in 1989, at the concert that was filmed at the House of Joy. Within that year I would leave my position as a youth pastor, in a church I had spent my entire life attending. They were some hard days, more than I can express in this post.

I ended up working in the Christian music industry, first as a promoter, then later in Christian radio. The industry in the early 90's was seeing an upsurge. There were a few years that decade when I felt good about the music being recorded. Not across the board, to be sure, but there were some bright lights. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the "industry" Larry Norman continued releasing albums, a few new, mostly new mixes of old songs......but to a Larry Norman fan, it made no difference.

By '96 I had been working in radio for a few years, and had a chance to go the Gospel Music Association's music week in Nashville. I was looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. All my meetings with Christian artists to this point had been on my turf...........I felt like I was going into territory where the Christian music industry would have the "upper hand". My greatest fear? That I would end up in a conversation with an artist whose music I found dreadful.

The Christian music industry or specifically, Forefront Records (Eddie Degarmo's label) released One Way. It was a tribute to the music of Larry.

I loved some of the covers, hated others. At least it was heartening that a potentially new generation was being introduced to his music.

Off I flew to Nashville, radio friends at the side, to get my first taste of Nashville, and GMA. We landed in the afternoon, and C & D drove me around to see Music Row and the other Nashville sights........

Then I met up with another couple who took me to the Ryman auditorium to hear the opening night concert for the GMA convention. Now for the uninitiated, the Ryman Auditorium (in downtown Nashville) is the Grand Ole Opry. That is, until they moved the Grand Ole Opry to the suburbs in a big hotel. But it really is THE Opry. It's beautiful, historic and we were showing up a little late for the concert. My friends were in front of me, walking through the lobby when they suddenly froze in their tracks, and I actually bumped into them from behind.

As I followed their stunned gaze, there in the lobby.............was Larry Norman.

Hard to express in mere words how UNBELIEVABLY stunned I was. I too, froze and I'm sure my mouth was hanging open. Of all the people, in all the world, the last person I expected to see in Nashville, Tennessee was my Larry Norman. Equally stunned and anxious to see my response were my radio friends, who were frozen to the spot.

Memories are a little blurry, but I walked up and took his hand. Larry was a very changed man since I had last seen him. He looked pale and frail, he was pulling an oxygen tank with him. But as every other time I had shared some space with him, his eyes were dancing.

"Larry, its so good to see you. I'm...."

"I know who you are, you're from Denver".

"Yes I am, how are you?"

His voice was soft and strained. I was shocked that he knew me, or at least knew my face. We spoke briefly. He hugged me. And I cried.

It was clear his health was as bad as his newsletters had reported. Shocked by the encounter, I stumbled into the concert and couldn't tell you a thing about it. The thought occurred to me I should just get on a plane and go home. How would I top that?

That reaction may seem mystifying, or an over reaction to you reading this. But you may not realize how tough the Christian music industry was on Larry. Deserved or not, few had good things to say, and I was regularly tormented for the fact that I listened and promoted the music of Larry Norman.

Larry was "splattered" around the convention, appearing with DC Talk and others. At the radio liner cattle call..........he was there. (Radio liners are when artists record things like "I'm Christian Crooner,and you're listening to ABCD radio." DJ's line up and walk around from table to table with their recorders and scripts) It's a very strange ordeal.

I couldn't believe Larry had agreed to be at the event. He was struggling physically. But yes, I got my liners, "Hi, I'm Larry Norman and you're listening to my friend Chick Voice on ABCD". I said goodbye and God Bless, and went to the hallway and cried.

It would be the last time I saw him on this planet.

I hope I'll see him in heaven. Which brings to mind, my favorite (if forced to pick one) Larry Norman song.


When you first begin your journey, you're not sure just who you are
And the lessons that you're learning, they don't take you very far.
And you just can't keep from stumbling, though you try so hard to stand,
And the truth can be so humbling when it's just beyond your hand.

As though youth were my invention, as though love lay undefined,
To stay free was my intention, to stay young and unconfined.
And so I held my pride above you, oh, yes, what a fool was I,
Holding back those words "I love you," and letting out that word goodbye.

I was wrong to let you go
I was a child and I did not know
About the love that we both could have given
And now you've gone so far away,
I hope I'll see you again someday
But if I don't, I hope I'll see you in heaven.

I was foolish in my younger days to think they'd never end
Life confused me with its changing ways, and I could not comprehend
All the meaning in those moments now lost like footprints in the sand
And I'm standing here remembering, but it's so hard to understand.

I was wrong to let you go
I was a child and I did not know
About the love that we both could have given
And now you've gone so far away,
I hope I'll see you again someday
But if I don't, I hope I'll see you in heaven.

Now I'm sitting in this garden in the middle of my days
And my memories drift and harden as the years they slip away,
And I've been looking in this mirror at the age around my eyes
Time is such an earnest laborer, precision is his neighbor.
Lay my body in the ground, but let my spirit touch the sky.

I was wrong to let you go
I was a child and I did not know
About the love that we both could have given
And now you've gone so far away,
I hope I'll see you again someday
But if I don't, I hope I'll see you in heaven.

Take a listen here


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Morning in Ouray

As mentioned before, I peek in on Ouray Colorado just about everyday. The webcam on blowout mountain gives a view into the little valley.

Early morning clouds today.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Delayed Reaction Dancing With the Stars 2009

Guess we're (The Husband and I) still a little stunned, (and disappointed) at the final outcome of Dancing With the Stars.

Cute and sweet as Shawn Johnson is, and as obviously talented and athletic as she is, Gilles is still a better dancer.

A much better dancer.

Clearly if it were up to the judges.........he would have won............

If it were up to me, the judges scores would count for more all the time. I mean really, how long did we have to watch SteveO?????

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Columbines At Last

It was a dry, warm winter At Altitude this year......but March and April made up the difference. But with the warm, then cold, then warm, followed by snow........

Suffice it to say, the perennials (or volunteers as my grandmother calls them) had no idea what they should do.........

Finally though, my columbines of which I have 5 varieties, are all in bloom or ready to bloom.

The Yellows..........which are very happy under the aspen.

My favorite, the tiny blues............

And the reds not quite open..........

It was an overcast morning, I'll get some better shots with the sun out........

If you want to see some great nature shots........go look at Gradual Dazzle's shots with her way cool camera. Anywhere But Here. She's got that jump on me with Texas growing season.........she takes some amazing photos.

Monday, May 18, 2009


It was an incredible day in Colorado today. I think the high was around 90....very hot for this early in the year...but there was a slight breeze, so it still felt cool. It was a convertible top down day for sure.

Yesterday was a little hazy, but today it was crystal clear and the Rockies looked like a painting.

Over the weekend, The Husband and I got the last of the big landscaping projects complete. Pulling out we could add more grass in our Tiny Garden. We filled our pots with annuals, filled a large one with herbs, so fresh summer tasting recipes are sure to follow.

The Husband spent his day off in our backyard oasis, reading a book and proving that small places can make for a wonderful garden.

Dinner on the patio, pinon wood fire and a glass of wine. The beginning of that amazing spring/summer/fall season, when we spend as much time as possible in the outdoor room.

I was amused today to read that my all time favorite blogger, James Lileks, spent his weekend doing the same thing.........getting his outside space ready. You can see his blow by blow description here. He clearly does things on a grander scale, but I suspect the effect is the same.....

I am drawn to the the birds, the flowers, the crackle of the fire, and the peaceful feeling that floods over me. I will never understand those who choose to live their lives behind walls, in that neutral environment.....not soaking in the wonder of THE Wonders, that amazing world all around us. If you are new to my blog, and understand my sentiments, you may enjoy my posts on the Seven Wonders of My World. Click on the link on the right panel called The Wonders.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dancing With the Stars Happy Trails Elimination

Held our breath, afraid the public would do something stupid.

But our fine Cowboy Dude was the dancer eliminated tonight.

It was clearly the right choice. Ty was a great competitor, and amazingly improved over the season.

At our house we are rooting for Gilles, the Hot French Dude.

We'll see what next week brings........

Quick Trip Over Red Mountain Pass

AKA Million Dollar Highway, the Navajo Trail, etc.

I get misty and sad when it's been too long since I've been to the most amazing place on earth. Ouray, Colorado.

If it weren't such a long drive from our house, we'd be there all the time. But then again, so would thousands of other people, and then that would ruin the whole thing!!

At least once every day, I pop on the Ouray Web Cam (listed in my pretty places link on the right) and see what the weather is doing.........

I also use Ouray as my personal "happy place". When I'm having trouble sleeping, I try to picture the whole place in my head......looking to the left and the right as I drive south on Main Street. The view from the bench outside the post office, watching Ouray TV as the husband calls it.

So Sunday night as we wound down from Mother's Day Festivities at our place I got homesick for our home away from home............and MUCH TO MY SURPRISE...I got to sit in my comfy chair and actually drive down Main Street, Ouray, Colorado.

You can do it too.........

Just go to google, click on maps, and enter Ouray, Colorado in the search box. When the pop up photo comes up in the satellite view, click on the street level link.

And in the magical world of the internet and google maps, your are sitting on Main Street, at the north end of town. Now for a proper tour, you will need to get oriented the other way, so use the directional arrows at the top left of the photo, and you can spin around so you're heading south.

Now for me this is cool enough as it is........but wait there's more.

If you keep heading south.........



You have to keep changing your orientation, because the switch backs are tight, and strangely, it takes about an hour and a half, which is about how long it really takes to get to Silverton..............

THEN as if by magic, when you get just outside turns to snow.

Yes, I am a geek that I spent more than an hour taking a virtual drive over Red Mountain pass.

Ain't technology grand?

Friday, May 08, 2009

My Job Flew Away on Air Force One


White House type people........

Have you heard about this cool software they have called PhotoShop?

Just sayin..........

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Laws of the Universe (Walmart Edition)

If you go to Walmart and purchase three items, and therefore decide to go through the "speedy" lane........

Without a doubt, you will realize that Walmart has a special program for the checkers in their "speedy" lane.

His name was Jim.

He moved at the speed of cold molasses.

He was clearly a graduate of the program.

Yay, Walmart.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Laws of the Universe

Don't wear a white t-shirt to work on a Monday.

I'm just sayin............

your coffee cup will suddenly spring a leak..................

Laws of the Universe


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