A Night of Healing

A college friend now employed by the Berklee College of Music, Adam Olenn, writes to say he is coordinating Berklee’s involvement in a charity concert, called A Night of Healing, for the victims and survivors of the Rhode Island nightclub fire that claimed the lives of 100 Great White concertgoers:


On February 20th a fire consumed The Station nightclub in Rhode Island at a Great White concert. There were almost 300 people in attendance, and 3 minutes after the pyrotechnics were deployed, 100 were dead and over 150 were badly burned. 

To put this in perspective, the population of Rhode Island is around 300,000. Which means that something like 1% of the population was involved in that fire.

West Warwick, RI is a working-class community in which people don’t tend to have a lot of cash lying around. This becomes a problem when they are suddenly hit with a minimum funeral cost of $5,000 or medical bills of $350,000.

Again, some perspective – the minimum cost to bury the dead from this tragedy is half a million dollars. That doesn’t begin to get into medical bills, or the costs of losing a family provider.

Under the auspices of Berklee College of Music, I have teamed up with Century Productions to produce A Night of Healing.

A Night of Healing is a benefit concert to aid the victims and survivors of The Station nightclub fire, and will be held on April 22 at the Providence Performing Arts Center from 7pm to midnight. Tickets are $35, $45, and $50, and can be purchased through the PPAC box office (401-421-2997) or through Ticketmaster. If you can possibly attend, I ask that you do so.

On Saturday April 26, A Night of Healing will be broadcast on NBC, ABC, and CBS in the Southern New England region and nationally on the Comcast Network from 7-10pm. During the broadcast, we will display an 800 number to solicit donations for The Station Fire Nightclub Fund which has been set up by the governor. If you cannot attend, please watch the telethon and call in your donation.

The performers at A Night of Healing include: Pheobe Snow, Billy Gilman, Blue Oyster Cult, Gary Angelin & the CCCM Gospel Choir, Black Hawk, Andrew Douglass of Berklee, John Anthony, Servants & Saints, Rick Derringer of Zebra, Vanilla Fudge, James Montgomery, Lennon Murphy, Chris & Meredith Thompson, Shortino from Quiet Riot, Larry Hoppen of Orleans, and Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad

If you can come to the concert, please do that. If you cannot, please tune in on Saturday evening and make a donation. If you have questions about the fund, visit http://www2.sec.state.ri.us/feb_event/. If you have questions about the event, please email me.

If you or your company can provide sponsorship to help us cover the costs of producing A Night of Healing, please contact me at your earliest convenience.

I thank you all for your time and attention, and for your generosity as we help the people of Rhode Island heal from this tragedy.

Official site here; press release (on VH1.com) here.

Continuous improvement

Well, the Great Bricklaying Experiment continues. Yesterday’s work was mostly rained out. We completed most of the other projects, including bricking out a new bed under the cherry tree where the grass has stopped growing and getting landscaping ties in the front of the bed by the street. We did run into a few snags, though. There’s about a two foot gap at the end of the last tie that we’d like to fill with part of another tie, and a six-foot length along the bottom of the driveway that would happily accept the remnants of an eight-foot landscape tie with two feet cut off. The catch is that I don’t have a saw that’s powerful or long enough to cut landscape ties. Maybe my neighbor’s table saw?

Anyway, I think I’ll have to continue to lay bricks between now and kingdom come. Pictures as there is something photo-worthy.

Early delivery

A slightly sleepless night later (note to self: hamburger perhaps not the best thing to eat on a slightly acid stomach, even if homemade) and we awaken to the phone ringing downstairs. Lisa says, “I’d better turn on the upstairs ringer; we don’t want to miss the delivery call.” Then I hear a rumble from outside the window. I peek out and there’s a flatbed trailer parked across the street, with a pallet of bricks and landscaping ties atop it. I scramble into clothes and across the street and guide the forklift until he manages to push the pallet into the left stall of our garage (Lisa having volunteered to put her car outside until we can get the stuff all in place).

Yes, it’s a holiday here at Jarrett House North. The plan was to take off a day to get everything in place for our new bricked walks and garden beds. And of course it’s raining. Ah well.

Now I know…

…why Ignatz Mouse always stole his bricks, or bought them on credit, from Kolin Kelly the brickmaker in Krazy Kat. The damned things are pricey. They would have been pricier, except we found that “patio bricks” (in the building materials section, not the garden section) were more than ten cents a brick cheaper.

The bricks, as well as some landscape ties (why do they come in eight-foot lengths? That’s two feet longer than can fit in my car even with the back seat down), will be delivered tomorrow. So that left us with a light day, right? Heh. After four hours digging up the front beds, weeding, planting new plants, trimming the sidewalk, putting weedblocking cloth down, and digging the outline of a new bed in the side yard, I think that’s all the “light day” I can take.

(Incidentally, I almost wrote “Colin Creevey” in the first paragraph. Which leads to the amusing mental picture of Ignatz Mouse beaning Harry Potter with a brick, while Colin madly takes pictures of a confused Krazy Kat. Crossovers are so scary.)

Everything is Broken

Bob Dylan
Oh Mercy
Sony/Columbia, 1989

Broken lines, broken strings,
Broken threads, broken springs,
Broken idols, broken heads,
People sleeping in broken beds.
Ain’t no use jiving
Ain’t no use joking
Everything is broken.

Broken bottles, broken plates,
Broken switches, broken gates,
Broken dishes, broken parts,
Streets are filled with broken hearts.
Broken words never meant to be spoken,
Everything is broken.

Seem like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground

Broken cutters, broken saws,
Broken buckles, broken laws,
Broken bodies, broken bones,
Broken voices on broken phones.
Take a deep breath, feel like you’re chokin’,
Everything is broken.

Every time you leave and go off someplace
Things fall to pieces in my face

Broken hands on broken ploughs,
Broken treaties, broken vows,
Broken pipes, broken tools,
People bending broken rules.
Hound dog howling, bull frog croaking,
Everything is broken.

Lincoln returns to Richmond

New York Times: In Richmond, Lincoln Statue is Greeted by Protests. I love and hate this about Virginia, my home state: the places where history happened have a tendency to become trapped in pivotal moments and hold onto them for identity long after all the original participants have crumbled to dust. A prime example: Bragdon Bowling, Virginia “division commander” of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans:

“They have no concept of history and how it might be the wrong place to put the statue,” said Mr. Bowling, whose great-grandfather John Stephen Cannon fought for the Confederacy. “As a Southerner, I’m offended. You wouldn’t put a statue of Winston Churchill in downtown Berlin, would you? What’s next, a statue of Sherman in Atlanta?”

I think Mr. Bowling is perhaps not the right person to criticize someone else’s grasp of history.

Looking to the weekend

Bright and sunny here this morning. I know it won’t last but I’m enjoying it now. Tomorrow we’ll start our first major outdoor projects, replacing some of the old bare muddy bark paths in the garden with brick and laying a new bed under the cherry tree, where all the grass is being replaced by weeds. Today, though, I have a monster of a cold. Vitamin C and eight hours in front of a computer should help.

I didn’t know you could do that with a floppy…

In the Stupid Geek Tricks department, USB Floppy Disk Striped RAID Under Mac OS X. His five floppies RAIDed together have a combined size of 4.22 MB (!) and seem to work faster together than a single floppy would separately: “I was able to transfer ‘DEVO Uncontrolable Urge.mp3’ which is 3.6 MB in 32 seconds. Which is pretty good I think.”

(Now I’ve done it. I’m going to get a lot of traffic from Google of people looking for mp3, devo mp3 (maybe not), and Wil Wheaton naked mp3 (shudder).)

Anyway, this guy has also RAIDed five Sony Memory Sticks together… I think he needs help.

Dave: Everyone’s a newbie in Boston now

Dave points out that the northbound lane of the I-93 tunnel and the Leonard Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge have opened in downtown Boston. Wow: the prospect of half the noise near the north end being moved underground is just incredible. (I’d normally get this sort of update from George, but he’s still in California. Oops. I almost said “out in California,” as though it were so far away from me now.)