Saturday, May 26, 2007

BobbyG is back

I've been gone a week to Florida again, this time to get my Dad and transfer him to a nursing home here in Las Vegas. Thanks mucho to my bro' Dave Siefkes for blogging last Monday's gig, which I hated to miss. I'll be back at it Monday night. Meanwhile, a couple of quick catch-ups. First, Phil Wigfall's new band Urban Renewal will be appearing tonight at the Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza at 6 p.m., and then next Friday (June 1st) at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheatre (7 p.m.).

Also, don't forget our Brother Ronnie Foster:

Also, I got an email from sax man TonyQ apprising folks of his new CD release Jammin' Out West. Tony's a very nice cat. Fine player with great tone and feel.

An email I got from Santa Fe's Dave Richardson:

I've been meaning to give you a heads up about this for a while, but I always space it. Every now and then I do a contemporary jazz gig with the Jim Spoto band at Envy the Steakhouse in the Renaissance Hotel, which is on Paradise, just south of Desert Inn. Anyway, we're playing on Sunday from 11am to 3pm, and the band is comprised of Jim Spoto on saxes, Adrian Garcia on bass, Don Meoli on drums, and myself. One of the finest rhythm sections I've ever been a part of. So if you're back in town and have a free minute, stop on down -- it's a lot of fun.

Thanks, Dave

I'm almost done with that mess down there. Mom is next after I get through with this adventure.

When I got to Dad's nursing home last Saturday, I gave him this hat I'd picked up at McCarran:

Despite his dementia, he did happily remember every day that I'd told him we were going to Vegas. Below, Mom and Dad in their painful twilight.

I shot that latter picture the other day. He's been in that nursing home since October, 2001. He'll be 91 next month. Below, my parents' wedding day some 62 years ago:

Complicating matters on this trip was that my Mother is now once again in the hospital, and having a difficult time. The other day we thought she was dying. They transferred her back from rehab to acute care where the doctors finally got a handle on her condition, and it looks like she's gonna be OK this time. My sister and I ran ourselves ragged all week tending to both of them.

We got him to the airport yesterday at 5:30 a.m. Florida time, and I brought him to Vegas on Delta. We had to go through Atlanta, changing planes. He's wheelchair-bound, having lost his right leg in WWII. He's the last surviving brother of five who fought (only he and my now-deceased Uncle Warren survived the war years). I'd be writing all day to fill y'all in on this trip, but I don't have time. Gotta get back over to his new digs.

It was amazing, and went better than I'd expected. Below, the Happy de-Camper sitting in First Class on our way up to ATL.

He just babbled his usual repetitive no-memory questions at me the entire way. As we were disembarking in ATL, this woman who'd been sitting in the row behind us whispered in amazement at me "you are SO patient!"

What can I say? He's my Pop. He deserves nothing less.

More later. Gotta run.


Went and hung with my Dad for a few hours. Looks like his adjustment will be easier than I'd feared. He was happy to see me. Started right in the on the endless "get me out of here" complaint he always repeated down in Florida. Some relatives of another resident assured me that "they all say that." Staff said he'd had a good start, no problems. What a relief.

Above: Pop is fascinated with that scanned collage I made of some of his old WWII clippings. He sat and looked at that thing over and over and over today during and after lunch. His new Roomie is an elderly gentleman from Cuba, Luis. Very nice man. I Google'd some images of Cuba this morning and printed them out on my photo printer and took them to him. He was so delighted. Cool.



Cheryl and I went to see Phil Wigfall's brand new group Urban Renewal last night at the Sammy Davis Jr. Plaza, got a few shots (below, Phil, Etsuko Mader on keys, Joe Malone on tubs, and bassist Eric Runquist):

They'll be performing again next Friday at the Clark County Government Center amphitheatre. Come check 'em out if you can. Fine, fine players, all.


This afternoon, between nursing home trips, we went and caught a couple of sets by Jim Spoto and his group (Adrian Garcia, bass, Dave Richardson, Keys, and Don Meoli on drums) at Envy the Steakhouse at the Renaissance Hotel on Paradise.

Beautiful venue, but no stage lighting, so these shots are the best I could manage. I'd seen Don before, gigging with Ronnie Foster, but we'd not met till today. Very nice cat, great player. I'd never met or heard Jim Spoto before, delighted to do so today. Another fine player and gentleman. Check out his website, buy his CD. BTW, guys, Chick Corea's "Spain" was smokin'. Adrian's bass lines were just beautiful (I love that cat).

We're gonna go see Ronnie Foster tonight. Steve Tuminello called me to say that Blaise and the rest of the Family Stone Experience cats were comin', as well as some of Gino Vanelli's players. Oughta be a great hang.

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