What Inspired Me

So today I saw someone ask this on twitter — “what inspires you?” And it actually gave me PAUSE. I mean, that could be all over the place. You may think of a particular person, a particular event. So as I ruminated, it came to me.

REV. Swezi Banzi Is DeadThese are two actors performing the first play I ever saw in New York. It’s called “Swezi Banzi Is Dead” and it’s by a South African Playwright. Set during Apartheid, it knocked my socks off. I couldn’t believe that just these two actors could produce something so dramatic and powerful. It set my little Playwriting apetite on fire! I knew that plays didn’t have to be these big productions. I saw how far “intimacy” travelled with an audience, and that the task of taking an audience on this journey wasn’t impossible. “Swezi Banzi” has been made into a movie (it’s by no means a “major motion picture) and produced many, many times. Here’s some Wiki info to peruse.

Feel free to share what inspired you…..

Upcoming: Center Stage Production of “Telling: Baltimore”

So me and the “Telling” cast are back at it. We’ve got upcoming performances at Center Stage on December 5th, 6th and 7th. This is a step up from Hopkins, to be sure. I think they’re all aware of that. I’ve been contacted by the marketing department to coordinate an appearance or two at several Baltimore City Schools. This is WAY easier than organizing things (alone!) at Hopkins.

(Blurb and Picture from Center Stage) 


Center Stage

The cast has had much time to reflect on our last performance. A few of us went our for drinks about 3 weeks ago. They talked about how they felt. They’re over the initial jitters of being onstage and I think at Center Stage they’ll “hit it” even more. Also, for me I saw a couple different situations that I’ll change. Actions that will make the flow of things more seamless. I think people think the show was just “there” and I just mounted it. But this production involved editing, revision and DEFINITELY directing.

(More from Center Stage)

“The most direct path to understanding veterans’ experience is person-to-person contact. With the dramatic decline in              the numbers serving in the military—less than one percent of the population over the last eleven years of war—this                contact will not happen through day-to-day life. It must be created and supported. Through performance, The Telling              Project puts veterans and military family members in front of their communities to share their stories. We give                        veterans and military family members the opportunity to speak, and their communities the opportunity to listen.”

Three Performances in the Head Theater:

Fri, Dec 5: 8 pm  BUY NOW
Sat, Dec 6: 8 pm  BUY NOW
Sun, Dec 7: 2 pm  BUY NOW


That’s Aisha (above) who’s gotten two degrees that the military has paid for. And she’s on her way to a third. One of the reactions that audience reaction provided is that — they were pretty surprised at how upbeat the cast was. And they pretty much are. We have one anti-war mother who’s son died, and we have another wife of someone else in the cast who’s survived some pretty horrific circumstances. But as a married couple they couldn’t be any more “precious” if they tried.

I’ve loved my time with them. You can say ANYTHING and they’re accepting and open. Not like the regular world, unfortunately.



My Bike Friday


Friday like MineMy buddy Michael INSPIRED me to write about my main ride. Trust me, I’ve heard it all (“clown bike,” etc) and it’s pret-tee funny. So I thought I’de elaborate on why I love this bike. While it’s a folding bike, I didn’t buy it because it folded. I just saw myself riding something unique. I loved the look of it. Anybody knows me, knows I’m familiar with “unique”. You can really ONLY order them online (though there are shops that sell them, Mt. Airy Bike Shop being one). But it was a real leap of faith thinking that a bike would arrive from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon to be exact) that I’d never ridden before — and this would become my main (top of the line) bike. I have a Kona and a Gary Fisher, both excellent bikes. Have ridden them over many a hill and dale. But the Friday has taken me places the others haven’t.

Seems as though there’s always been a bit of curiousity about my lil Bike Friday. The one ABOVE is like mine. It’s not mine, but it’s LIKE mine. Black, with Schwalbe tires, they’ll go forever and NEVER get flat. 27 gears. Comfy. Sleek. Hot. How do I know it’s hot? Because everytime I pass some “young-stas” — they ALWAYS holla and say how much they “LIKE THAT BIKE!” I’ve never heard any young kids say anything bad about this bike. A drug guy walked by me one day and offered me (cause he had it in his pocket) a WAD of cash for it. “Say your price,” but I was unimpressed.

RacerThe one with the pretty lady—that’s a RACER, and she’s got her colors all matched up. Drop handlebars are the biggest difference. These bikes takes hills great and people are ALWAYS surprised. It’s a conversation starter because after about 40–50 miles people start to realize “ohhhhh snap, he’s riding the whole 100!”







imgresThis red one is another drop handlebar Friday. But I’m no racer. Folks think these bikes JUST CAN’T be that tough. I’ve had mine since 2005 and my first Odometer stopped (broke down) at around 15,000 miles. The one I have now has 11,000-plus. I would probably have more but, I’ve got two other bikes that get jealous when they can’t go out with Daddy.






This is what it looks like folded. I don’t have to get it this folded to get it into our Subaru. But it folds down pretty quick and it’s a breeze if you’ve got a bike friday bag (or the BF hard suitcase).


They’re not cheap, but they’re meant to last. If I could I’d buy another. Aside from organized rides, I’ve ridden this bike on the Western Maryland Rail Trail, the B&O Trail, the WO&D Trail (45 miles one way) and the C&O Trail (rode from Harpers Ferry to Cumberland). So it’s tough enough for trails and city. So that’s my story. There’s probably only 3 or 4 that I’ve seen in Baltimore, ran into a couple (hubby and wife) about two weeks ago. When we saw each other you’d have thought we wuz kissin cousins — we were all in shock. I’ve never seen any BF’s on any organized rides. But hey, that’s fine too. I figure that leaves me in elite company.

100 Miles in Onancock — Upcoming Projects — And Good Health!

Yes, I’ve done it again! Completed my 8th 100 mile Century Ride in Onancock, Virginia. This was the 1st time I’ve ever done an organized ride (over 60) with anyone else. I think they call those people “friends,” but don’t quote me on that. I rode with Anne and Dwight Colgan. My buds here in Baltimore. Dwight cramped up really, really bad and only got to about mile 62. Anne was able to finish the ride. I was such a sunny, golden day. After much deliberation, I took my Bike Friday and got nothing but PRAISE all day long. Folks were, of course surprised. Very surprised. But I kept up and made sure to drink my electrolytes. Here’s a couple pics.

Dwight & Anne @ Registration

That’s Dwight and Anne in line for registration. We planned to do this ride since I did it last year. The homeaway.com house we stayed in was the same one as last year and it was sooooooooo big and comfy. Almost right next to the water. It was so wonderful last year that Nicole and I decided to invite D/A this go-round. The house has the BEST bathrooms and fantastic rooms to stretch out in. Nicole and I walked round Onancock looking at houses for sale, We were having fantasy moments trying to decide if we could live in such a small town. We could, but our income would sure have to be non-dependent on anything in Onancock. Yes, “independently wealthy” terrain.

Feeling Good

Me at the finish. Is there a better feeling in the world?! I think not. Always the best experience is right at the end. You realize you’re not exhausted, and even if you are, you don’t feel it now. Ahhhh, a hot shower and a nice dinner are calling my name. Nobody thinks that little bike can roll. Funniest comment: “Oh no! I’m getting passed by the little bike!”

It happens, my friend. Me Arriving

Yeah, I’m pulling right into the lot. My Friday is a champ. This is the 3rd Century ride I’ve done on this bike and never had a problem. It holds up and carries me through.















On the artistic horizon, “Telling: Baltimore” will play at Center Stage here in B’Mo on Dec. 5th, 6th and 7th. We’re going to kickstart the rehearsal process (my Telling folks have probably forgotten ALL their lines — from what they’ve told me….over a few beers). Also, it looks as though I could be Writing/Directing a few (“African American Women Who Changed History) profiles to be performed at the Waxter Center downtown. The project is sponsored by the Department of Housing, but I’ll have more on that in a couple weeks. One of my former actors, Tyrone Requer brought me into it. We’ll see how it plays out

Since mid-summer I had what turned out to be a “medical episode”. It was a cancer scare and the cancer was multiple mylenoma, a bone cancer. Well, as events worked themselves out, I didn’t have it. At all. More like a degenerative disc in my lower back. But numerous tests were done (MRI, biopsy, numerous blood and e-rays), and more than anything — the emotional “trauma” was much greater than everything. I thought that Directing the Telling Project might be the last thing I’d ever do artistically. It was like that. I know that’s what cancer does. Wrecks havoc with everything it touches. Being with my mother and going down that path wasn’t a pretty picture. And the journey has certainly had a long-lasting effect.

But sitting here now I can only see my scare through my rear-view window. I got off the pain medication for my back, got out of the FOG from the pain medication and now I’ve hit the ground running. This bike ride was the culmination of months of worry and stress. And as I talked to myself throughout the ride, I spoke about how many gifts in my life. Nicole my wife is a gift. Being able to ride my bike is a gift. Being able to do things I’ve done all my life are gifts. And being able to lay my head down at night in peace is certainly one, too. This isn’t a new refrain, unless you’re somebody who had to take a look at the alternatives. I didn’t find religion or anything that spiritual, but I found a more “inner-outspokenness.”

Riding along in the breeze and the countryside of Onancock and beyond, I felt triumphant as hell.