Monday, May 17, 2010

Friday Night at the Zoo Bar

On Friday night, driving home from work I decided to call my friend Paddy and see if he wanted to go out and have a few beers. I liked this blog a lot more when Paddy actually contributed to it but he has become rather existential of late, and longs to leave this modern madness for the wilds of Alaska. As much as Paddy talks about 2 foot trout and salmon he still enjoys an imperial pint of Guiness, so we treked off to the Zoo Bar across from the Connecticut Street Zoo in Washington, DC. The Zoo Bar has some of the best blues music that I have ever heard. It harkens back to my college days when I frequented the Bueno Vista Cafe on Hertle Avenue in Buffalo, New York.

The Zoo Bar is a throwback, of that there is no question. It is full of older folks like me who are gray at more than the temples. Those folks however are real characters with genuine life experiences. I tip my hat to Cliff and his lady friend who I met at the bar and engaged in real conversation with.

The second Friday of the Month the Sookey Blues Band fills the Zoo Bar with extraordinary delta blues and coastal rock and roll. I try to get to the Zoo every time they play. I was driving home this Friday but somehow I made it to my stool at the long wooden bar across from the zoo. It was so worth it. Though they seldom play country, SBB banged out a wonderful rendition of Orange Blossom Special which is still ringing in my ears.

Though the sound is not the best (I was too close to the band) here is that song. Friday night I was in "the zone" at the Zoo Bar. Make it out there whenever you can.

Monday, May 03, 2010

History Matters

On another web site (Teachpaperless) I am involved in a discussion that centers around the idea of the internet as our repository of facts and memorization. The discussion centers around whether or not prior knowledge is internal or external. A commenter brought up William Jennings Bryan's 1896 Cross of Gold speech to the Democratic convention. He referred to its bibical allusions and remarked that you could not look those up on the internet unless you knew the bible.

That reminded me of an Declaimatory oratory contest that I was in at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York where I declaimed Jennings Bryan's speech. Though this recording of the speech by Bryan himself existed in 1968 I never listened to it because I did not know about it or found it in my research on the speech. I found it in 30 seconds with an internet search. That is power. That is why history matters!! Read the speech and listen to the recording. It connects you in ways that memorization cannot.