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Vance’sMondayAcousticPajamaParty #153 - MISPLACED DREAMS AND LULLABIES

When: Monday nite 4/3, 7:30pm ET


Who gets 10%: Making Music Matters committed to ensuring equity of access to quality Arts Education, specifically instrumental music instruction, to students in the Boston Public Schools. or or
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Arlington, MA 02476 for this web-groovery.
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Look here, I don’t post this stuff by others to braggadocio on my goodness. I post them to illuminate how the tiniest good thing from anyone can be the whole world to someone else:

So hi!

You don't know me, but I have a silly melodramatic story for you, if you wouldn't mind humoring me.

I was 14 or 15, and had gotten myself in a whole heap of trouble with a substantial helping of trauma, which landed me in a lockdown residential treatment facility in St. George, Utah. I had been there for almost a couple of years by the point this story takes place.

The rules there were very restrictive. We weren't allowed to watch the news, read newspapers, or talk about the outside world outside of therapy sessions. We weren't allowed to listen to music.
They had their reasons for doing it, but the downside was that after a bit, you really started to forget the reasons you were there trying to get better. Without literature or art or music, what's the point, you know?
Once you worked your way up to a high enough level, your group could go on a pre-approved outing once a week under the supervision of staff. This was usually something like a trip to get ice cream, or to a park.
Well, our staff member lied to his supervisors about where we were going, and took us all to see you do a show. You were playing at a church.

I don't think I'd ever felt so many emotions in the couple hour time span you played. I cried like a wee baby- but not because of the broken places in my soul. I laughed - like really laughed, which wasn't a thing that you did much in that place. I wondered about things, I was amazed and confused and swept away by the depth of watching a master bard at work.
That night, you made us all remember what it meant to be human.

After the show, you were talking to folks, and I came up and said something about really enjoying the whole thing, and how I always wanted to learn to play guitar, but I couldn't because I'd been told my hands were too small. You asked to see them. You looked at them one way, and flipped them over, like you were actually looking at them. Now then, I don't know what hands you were seeing, but I had, and still have tiny little midget hands with tiny little short fingers. But you told me if I wanted to play guitar, that I had the hands of a guitar player, and I should always go after my dreams.
And then you turned off to talk to the next person.
The van ride back to the facility was absolutely silent. We were all in some new place, where possibilities were, maybe, actually possible.

The next day, that staff member didn't come on shift, or the day after that. We never saw him again. They fired him for what he'd done. I think he knew it would happen, but he understood how important it was for us to go see your show.
Now then, I wish that the ending of the story was that I got out of that hellhole, sold my soul to a better sort of devil and learned to play the guitar real good, but that's not how it went. I tried. I really did, but I really do have tiny hands. By the time somebody thought to try teaching me on a kid's scale guitar, I'd moved onto other passions.
But that's ok. You planted a seed that day. Curiosity. Hope. A way forward.

It's been something like 25 years now. I've done a little bit of everything. I got out of that place, went home and got my GED. Went to college. Art major. Dropped out, switched gears. English major. Got bored, learned to turn metal into functional and beautiful things. Learned to help mamas bring their babies earthside and how to help the elderly leave this place when it was their time to get on out of here. Grew plants, grew my own babies. Travelled, read, danced, slept under the stars, never ever gave up. Always with your music as part of the soundtrack.
Still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but I know, thanks to you taking two minutes out of your day in a church in St. George, that absolutely anything is possible, because this world is a beautiful magical place.


Like I said. Maybe kinda melodramatic. Maybe kinda silly.

But I wanted you to know that you, at least once (I'm sure far more than that) made a difference. You saved a life.

Thank you.