Denny, the Singing Baritone

A few years back, I sang as a baritone with the Barbershop Chorus and when I rejoined them this last year I moved to Bass.  They had a great set of Baritones and didn't need me to go back to that section. While they have added a new singer, they lost two others.  I asked the director if he thought they needed a little help and he agreed that I would be a good addition to them.  Last night for the first time in a long time the director had to ask the baritones to back off a little as I sing a little loud.  I am learning the new part and just can't help it if I haven't learned the nuance yet.  Things will continue to get better.  I hope.  We practice on Monday's and decided to take Memorial Day off. 

This morning I woke up feeling about as well as I have been since February.  I can feel the strength coming back and now all I need to do is watch my weight.  I have stopped the loss and I am holding in the low 240's.  That is pretty good for me and perhaps when I get in better shape I can even take it a little lower. 

The other day, I went out to the PT's Coffee roasting facility just south of Topeka and found that they don't have any coffee to taste there.  The sent me downtown to the PT's coffee house and they only had one kind of coffee brewed there.  I went to Dillon's and smelled the coffee beans to see if I could find one that was full bodied and not over roasted.  They had a brand Cow Girl that smelled right but has a little lemon residual taste.  I bought some other coffee and I will give you a report on it when I brew the new brand.   The other day I had a great cuppa coffee at a restaurant and asked what they used.  Unfortunately they get their coffee from a wholesale house and unless I go into the business I can't buy it.  All I want is a simple full bodied cuppa joe that doesn't leave a burned taste in my mouth.  Every cup of Starbucks coffee I have ever tasted left that burned bitter taste in my mouth. If you put enough sugar and cream you can cover that taste but I like a simple black cup of coffee.

What does Memorial Day mean to your household?   I can remember as kids going to Eldorado, KS and putting flowers on the graves of my Grandfathers.   There is a little cemetery near one of the gates to the Refinery and from the grave of one, you can see the grave of the other.  Now days, many people feel that memorial day is a chance to spend the first days of summer doing fun things.  I will go over to the cemetery here in Topeka and put some flowers on Mom and dad's grave.  When they moved here to Topeka, they looked at the options and found that one cemetery had an option of putting two coffins in one grave.  Mom put dib's on the top bunk and it worked out that way.  There is an additional cost of reopening the grave to put the last person buried there but it all worked out.  There was the small matter that mom remarried Wilbur Schawo and we had to add a little brass plate to show that but it really was no big deal.   They make them to show the dates of death all the time.

What are your goals for the summer?   I am not sure that I will take any long car trips this year but you never know.  I do have a new guide that each hour I spend behind the wheel I will spent at least 10 minutes out walking.  Be just my luck I'll get hit by a speeding car...  Perhaps the doctor will let me start riding my bike after my visit tomorrow.  Perhaps not.



  1. I used to go to the cemetery with my grandmother for a sunrise military service. Her brother who died at age 17 in WWI is buried there. We always like collecting the brass after the 21 gun salute. We would then go to the other cemeteries where other family members were buried. Grandma seemed to be the "keeper of the graves" and was in charge of making sure flowers are put out. My mother (her daughter) is now "the keeper". I don't know who will take over when the time comes as I don't live in the area anymore, maybe my sister or niece. We did keep the reason for the holiday as it was meant to be celebrated.

  2. It has morphed into a day to have BBQ and drink beer in a lot of places. For the children of the Baby Boomers, it is becoming an extra day off to play computer games. Not sure where it is going. I think if my generation doesn't want to be buried, how can we expect our kids to want to go put flowers on the garden or prairie where we were sprinkled?