Spent a couple of hours this afternoon visiting my father, who is ailing. I find that I pray for him all the time now, in the twilight of his long life. He told me that every night, as he falls asleep, he “talks to the Lord a lot.”

“It’s just like having a normal conversation,” he said, and I thought I saw a flash pass across his eyes.

Julie and Nora made him a chocolate cake, and brought it over. Lucas brought his bass guitar, and played a little Rolling Stones for him. Remember this post from a couple of summers ago, when the Avett Brothers played St. Francisville? Here’s an excerpt:

An interesting thing happened. My son Lucas, who is nine, is the only one of my children who is musically inclined. He’s just like his uncle, Jud, who is a natural musician. I hear Lucas in the living room noodling around on the piano, and boy, does he ever have the gift. So we were standing in the darkness under the moon and the pine trees tonight, with the band about half an hour into their set, and Lucas was in front of me, and then he turns and plants his head into my chest, sobbing, saying, “I didn’t think I would love it like this.”

The power of music. I had tears too, thinking about how those chords, those harmonies, that power on the stage moved a little boy to tears. He couldn’t talk about it. All throughout the show, he was so moved he couldn’t speak, or even look at me. We’ve been home for an hour, and he still can’t talk about it. He’s going to be a musician one day, I know it. I liked music a lot when I was a kid, but what the music did to that little boy tonight was something that was beyond me at that age. It’s a beautiful thing to see. I bought him an Avett Brothers concert t-shirt, and gave it to him on the walk back to the car. You’d have thought it was a golden fleece.

Well, I took this shot on my mom and dad’s porch this afternoon. The t-shirt is a lot more worn today, and Lucas is all about music now:


We came home and watched the Rolling Stones concert movie Shine A Light, and talked about Mick and Keith. “Did you know that those guys are the same age as Mam?” I said, referring to his grandmother. He found this hard to believe.

We’re sitting at the kitchen table now, and Nora’s making a list of the Ten People, Living Or Dead, We Would Each Like To Have At A Fantasy Birthday Party. Julie’s not home yet. I had to run it through a filter several times because she used light green ink. It’s pretty indicative of our personalities. You may not be able to read Lucas’s list, but it includes Flea, the Rolling Stones, Trombone Shorty, and his two jazz camp teachers John “J. Greasy” Gray, and Wess Anderson.:


Finally, this shot of my dad from this afternoon. If you have ever wondered from where I get my cowlicks, here’s your answer: