Spring 2014 Update
My Dear Friends,
It’s been over three months since my last news update; it was just before Christmas. The Christmas / New Year’s season has always been an emotionally challenging time for me since I was a young lad. Normally I get through the doldrums by the first or second week of January, but this year has been unusually difficult for me. After almost three years, it’s still very hard to come to grips with my situation. To have my performing career abruptly ended because of my injury is one thing, but to also lose the ability to play my guitar was terribly hard to accept. In addition, the damage to my vocal cords has left my voice with unpredictable inconsistencies. The doctors are still deliberating about if and when I should have surgery on my right vocal cord. In the meantime, I am unable to sing. It’s not just the paralysis from the neck down that is so troublesome, but rather the countless other issues – some extremely painful – that befall me on a daily basis.
I, unfortunately experience no control over my bladder or my bowel. I am presently taking the maximum level of medication for ongoing nerve spasms which feel like an ever-tightening belt around my diaphragm restricting by ability to take a deep breath. My body thermostat often causes me to be chilled to the bone for hours on end even when it’s actually 74 degrees in the room. These problems represent the short list of issues I have to live with; however, through professional intervention and with the indispensable love and support of my fans and friends and, of course, my anchor, my truly marvelous wife, Linda, I am in a much better place today. I am working on a couple of major projects – my memoirs being one of them. Whether or not my book ever reaches publication, it is excellent therapy for me to look back on my life to fully appreciate all the good fortune I have experienced. Of course, in every life, a little rain must fall. It’s important for me to understand and memorialize those moments as well.
As you can imagine, being unable to work – after my injury – has left me with a rather large inventory of merchandise. I’ve lowered the cost of CDs from $15 to $10 (for the single CDs) and have run specials from time to time. I want to thank those who have purchased my product over the years and, specifically, the last three years. The income from those sales, along with many generous donations, has helped to offset the high cost of caregiving and therapy. The generosity of those of you who have donated to my rehabilitation has resulted in my being able to independently drive my power chair, feed myself certain foods, use a writing utensil, make phone calls and work on my IPad.
I am grateful for all the greeting cards, calls and well-wishes that I continue to receive every week. I must give special thanks to Sheila Armstrong, Janet Pickens (Cleta and FM) and Lucy McPherson for sending me a greeting card each week without fail since July of 2011. I would also like to thank my dear friend, Ron Eisenberg, who calls me every week and is the best of therapy.
I must not forget to mention a memorable visit by my good friend, Seamus Kennedy, at the end of January. He flew in from Baltimore and came to the house bearing gifts. We had a wonderful Italian dinner together, he entertained Linda and me by playing a few songs and then he flew out early the next day… GREAT TIME-GREAT VISIT!
All my email correspondence and website updates/hosting are due to the talent of my good friend, Merv Forney who designed the site a year ago. If you or any friends are of need of Merv’s talents, he may be contacted at http://businessinterchangegroup.com/ Merv and his wife Pam were also kind enough to hire a masseur to come to my home for a 1 hour massage. Loved it and love you, Pam and Merv!
I have a lot to be grateful for in this life; a man could never find such a devoted, caring, loving woman as my wife Linda. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders. I wish I could help her more, but knowing – from all your greeting cards – she has so many people praying for her makes us both feel better. For those of you who have expressed a desire to visit, if I’ve been unable to see you, please know that I truly appreciate the thought so much and hope that we can try again in the future.
Although I promised to provide a list of Games I plan to attend this year, the list is not quite finalized. Here is a list of Games I HOPE to attend this year:
- ScotsFest, Costa Mesa, CA – http://www.scottishfest.com May 24th-25th
- Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Linville, NC – http://www.gmhg.org/ July 10th-13th
- St. Louis Scottish Games, St. Louis, MO – http://www.stlouis-scottishgames.com/ September 27th-28th
- Stone Mountain Highland Games, Atlanta, GA — http://www.smhg.org/ October 17th–19th
In 2015, I hope to attend the Games in:
- Batesville, Arkansas
- Arlington, Texas
- The Plains, Virginia
- McPherson, Kansas
- Ventura, California
I will work to finalize my plans within the next two weeks and will post a notice on my website.
I know that many of you already have some of my recordings; however, you might consider purchasing one or two for friends, or forwarding my website information to anyone who may be interested. If you are one of the unlucky people who has not yet purchased my “Live In Concert” CD, then give yourself a gift and order one today! It will, without fail, put a smile on your face!
There are beautiful tracks with Alasdair Fraser on fiddle and Eric Rigler on Highland and Uilleann pipes. The concert concludes with a special arrangement of “Scotland The Brave”. I highly recommend this DOUBLE CD of almost two hours of music and banter for your collection. BUY NOW