1. I'm trying to pull myself out of the miasma of grief about David Olney's death. I know David would not want me miserable so I'm trying to channel it to savoring the memories people are sharing. I've combed through all my pictures and read my blog posts over and over.
2. Thanks to my friend Peggy for letting me know that the Grammys In Memorium segment included David.
3. After the first house concert in 2011. Look at what a baby Owen is. He is horrified by the picture and says he looks like a 50 year old woman, and God help me if I don't agree a bit.
4. During our 10 anniversary of our house concerts a couple of years ago, Sue gathered messages from many of the artists who had played here. She read them and I, of course, cried through the whole thing.
Then Sue asked if people could guess who the last one was from, and half the room yelled, "DAVID OLNEY!" I am inordinately proud that my love for him is so well known.
from David Olney:
Cynthia and Erie are what the Americana scene is all about. Music fans who take control. The experience is one of audience and performer working together. When I'm playing at their house and look out on the audience, it hits me like a Rembrandt painting. Warm and loving. They are the best.
5. And then there's this.
6. This is one of my favorites. From my blog in 2011:
Now please listen to this recent clip of David Olney and Sergio Webb. Owen has become somewhat obsessed with the Legend of Zelda video games. There's this one thing in there called the claw shot where you aim at something and you get hooked to it and ZOOM you're smack up against it all of a sudden. That's exactly how I felt watching this video. It starts out quietly and then suddenly…. CLAW SHOT!
7. Another great one in that same vein of rising tension….written with John Hadley and my beloved Kieran Kane. Here at Kenny Pipes' house in 2014.
9. Another bit from a 2011 blog post. Owen would have been barely nine. Breaks my heart to read it now.
The other day when Owen and I went out to breakfast, in the middle of a bite of pancakes, he said, "I wonder how David is?" I puzzled for a moment and said, "you mean our neighbor Dave?" And he replied, "NO, David OLNEY." Actually I think he said David ONLY but I figured it out. When I looked a bit confused he went on to say, "remember? about his heart attack? I wonder how he is. I think he's got a strong heart though Mom and that he'll be o.k. Oh, and remember when he thanked us for the party on the computer? I think he likes us, Mom." I told him that indeed David Olney was a very kind man and that I thought his heart would be fine. Then he changed the subject and told me secrets I can't reveal about who has a crush on whom at school. Conversations with Owen….very, very interesting.
10. I have a soft spot for sweet potatoes anyway, so this, of course, makes me happy. When I posted it I wrote:
You REALLY must watch this David Olney video of Sweet Potato…and as Kristi Rose said today, "David Olney is so good, I can barely look at him."
11. From another old blog post:
I trotted over to Ustream to see the David Olney video and found they'd had technical difficulties and what was there was a glorious 22-second video of Mary Sack muttering at either Ustream or some piece of equipment, finally quietly growling "piece of shit" before it suddenly ended. And Lord let me tell you, I was instantly cheered….it was indeed a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, they quickly deleted that so I couldn't watch it over and over but instead, I got to watch the video of David Olney singing a new song called A Thing of Beauty.
After the song, he talks a bit about what was behind writing it. He talks about Dave Hickey's The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty, his thoughts on finding unexpected moments of pleasure in a day and rails against the fact that poetry seems to have become the purview of eggheads. It turned my day around. Thanks, David.
12. After our first house concert with David.
Watched my beloved David Olney last night on his Tuesday evening Ustream show was touched to hear him say nice things about our house concert. He also mentioned—-as he did during the concert—that in the midst of the show our house started to look like a Bruegel painting. And you know…..I think I know exactly what he means…. We've got all that dark woodwork and the walls are gold…..
13. A baby Owen watching Sergio
14. After the second time David played at St. Matt's
Sunday morning we went to the 10:45 Palm Sunday service. I said it last year and I say it again….utterly moving and powerful experience. The stark power of the words of the readings followed directly by David's songs gives extraordinary light to both. I can't say I'm a believer. I'm a questioner who deeply respects the believers. It was a very special morning.
Afterward we headed home for a bit, then gathered Owen up and went back for the 3:00 concert. Best version I think I've ever heard of Little Mustang segueing into Deeper Well complete with Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas. Good Lord. I could not love David Olney more.
Oh, and high marks for the jacket David. Very nice. Speaking of which….best comment on facebook from Mary King: "Jonathan just commented on how much he liked David Olney's burgundy jacket today, since it was "very Third Doctor." Then it hit me: David Olney is a Time Lord. It's the only logical conclusion."
16. I've been thinking of the two women in David's life so much this past week. His wife Gine of course, and also his devoted, tireless, creative, and loving manager, Mary Sack. I keep trying to think of some way to describe Mary's work with David and I can't quite do it. I smiled when I listened to the WXNA tribute that talked about his work with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and his poetry; somebody said that when he came for the DJ training Mary came with him. I just loved that. She was a protector, a promoter, and an instigator. I kind of want to say she was his service animal but I really shouldn't compare her to a dog. David would have been just as brilliant without Mary but we would not have experienced nearly as much of that brilliance. And for that, I send my love and thanks to you, Mary, as everyone who loved David should as well. You did good, Mary. You did really good.
19. A blurry photo from the first time we saw him live, in Indianapolis. The blurriness is appropriate because that's how we felt after experiencing his live performance for the first time.