Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There's love in your attic

That's the little caption I came up with for a drawing I did for Trees for Life. Don't know about Trees for Life? It's a wonderful organization founded and based right here in little ol' Wichita that has a global perspective and, in fact, a proven track record around the world. Here's a link to their web site.

I did a bunch of little drawings for their book drive for the children of Liberia and they took the drawings and turned them into a whole campaign, much to my surprise. Once a week I spend a few hours working with them. They have a number of very dedicated and talented folks on their staff. They even turned it into a tv ad which I'll put up here if I can ever figure out how to do it...

Friday, January 23, 2009

The way to play it

Tony Rice, son!

Jim Flora

I can look at one of Flora's illustrations all day and never get bored. Do your sense of whimsy a favor and look at this website devoted to his amazing vision. Explore it to see some true wonders of the visual art world. Nobody since has been able to touch him. Here's the site.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If'n you ain't got nuthin' better to do...

Why, then, come on out to the Murdock Theatre on Thursday night and support a good cause: The Kansas Acoustic Arts Association. For only $10 you get to hear singer/songwriter Raleigh Hinman, Karen, Phil Burris and moi (The Crowsons) and this jamgrass conglomeration called Pop and the Boys, in which I get to play electric banjo. And which includes the aforementioned Phil, Ted Farha on mandolin, Dennis Hardin on guitar and the always-cuddly Bob Hamrick on accordion. It'll be the most fun anyone on North Broadway will have all night long, and that's saying something.

Extra credit: Where does the name Pop and the Boys come from???

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We've come a ways

Anyone else surprised at the depth of emotion you're feeling right now about this inauguration? As I watched the televised images of the crowds on the National Mall early this morning, saw the joy on their faces and the waving of the small American flags in their hands, tears came. I didn't expect that. I've never cried about such sights before. I wondered where that feeling came from.

Then I remembered. It came from a scene in my Memphis front yard in 1956. It's one of my earliest memories and I am not proud of it. My 4-year-old self stood behind a tree with a neighbor playmate and watched an African American lady walk down the sidewalk. As she passed us we yelled out, "Nigger!"

My parents were prejudiced but they would not have condoned such behavior. They weren't confrontational about their biases. Had they been within earshot of my act they would certainly have shushed me quickly. As it was, it took living through the sixties, education and a modicum of maturity to eventually hush the ugly hate that had been planted in my impressionable psyche almost from birth.

So, no, I'm not proud of what I did to that lady walking down the block of blue-collar white households on that day fifty-some-odd years ago. But I am proud of the fact that I can now feel the joy of this most meaningful moment in my country's recent history. I am proud of the hope I feel for our future. And I'm proud of America. To have seen this country move from a time when an African American couldn't walk down a street without a 4-year-old white child swearing hatefully at them to a day when an African American is sworn in as our nation's president, that is what brings tears.