PO Box 6603

Huntsville, AL 35813, USA



I Still Believe in America

As always, I’m left musing to myself as to how everyone has an interesting story to tell — all you have to do is ask.

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Sometimes when I’m in a contemplative mood while flying over a large city, I look at the myriad apartment complexes and sub-divisions and houses below and wonder about all of the people who are busily doing their own thing and getting on with their lives. The point is that everyone I ever met has had their own gifts and abilities, and each of us has our own unique story to tell. When I started my first job, for example, I discovered that one of the engineers a few years older than me, Joe, built violins for a hobby. In my previous position, I was surprised to learn that my boss, Greg, was an accomplished line dancer who delighted in “strutting his stuff” at a bar called the Nutty Irishman. Looking at the bar’s website, I see they have a bull riding machine. I find it strange that Greg never mentioned this little factoid. Now I want to see pictures. But we digress… The reason I’m waffling on here is that I recently moved my office into a new building. This is in a smallish edifice comprising only around 30 or so offices. When I arrived on my first day in my new quarters, I observed a guy sitting in his work truck in the parking lot strumming a guitar. A few days later, whilst ambling past my office, this happy chappy stuck his head through the door (he really should have opened it first) and introduced himself as Clabe McQuire, locksmith extraordinaire. Just to mix things up, it turns out that Clabe’s passion is music and he’s typically on the road with his band whenever he’s not opening doors, cracking safes, or extracting boy scouts from horse’s hoofs. “Country, Bluegrass, Gospel… music from the heart,” as his business card says. A couple of weeks ago, Clabe was quite excited because he’d been invited to Nashville, Tennessee to record one of his songs: “I Still Believe in America.” Check out this video to see what you think.  
Clabe tells me that he was accompanied by some highly respected musicians — the bass player worked with Johnny Cash, the lead guitar played with Rod Stewart, the keyboard player worked with Bruce Springsteen, and — this probably goes without saying — the banjo player was a favorite with Dolly Parton. As always, I’m left musing to myself as to how everyone has an interesting story to tell — all you have to do is ask (or, in my case, fail to run away fast enough before I start talking).

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Alvin Brown

You didn’t mention your skill on the unicycle?

Tom Burke

Flame spouting bagpipes, yes?

Tom Burke

Not if you have any self respect. FYI, yesterday was Bagpipe Appreciation Day. (as is every other day in my opinion). And yes, before you ask (you know you were going to), I did play my pipes yesterday (minus flames and unicycle and Darth Vader costume (so yes, I lack self respect)).

Tom Burke

ummmmm about that…it was about 100 degrees here yesterday so the kilt thing just wasn’t happening. Kilt Appreciation Day is some other day…

Tom Burke

Even the lowly 100F doesn’t mix well with heavy wool. Blowing up a car tire with lung power alone (i.e. playing pipes) results in buckets of sweat being generated. When said buckets get soaked up by the wool, you end up smelling like a sweaty sheep. In a word: ewww. (or maybe ewwwe since we’re talking sheep here.)

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