artist - musician - craftsman
and furniture maker
[August 22, 2021]
simply revland: epilogue (2021)
Well, here we are. Present day. August 22, 2021.
Chapter 28 of “simply revland," the final biographical chapter, is in the books.
It is a somewhat bittersweet moment for me, for as arduous as this has been, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed commemorating 68 years' worth of adventure. Escapades filled with discovery, joy and sorrow, and more importantly, recovery. I’m not precisely certain that I’d be alive today without committing to sobriety more than 30 years ago. A somber narrative of a complex, troubled child to a somewhat problematic uneducated man, attempting to weave a meandering path for himself and anyone who chose to believe in him.
You all probably know more about me than you perhaps wish you did, but it’s too late now. That cow left the barn.
Probably the most difficult chore for me, through 28 chapters, has been penmanship, and crafting thoughts and memories into actual words and sentences, as I don’t ever recall an English class that befriended, welcomed, or embraced me. Any authentic grammar lesson that I ever received was from reading the newspaper or listening to others speak. Ironically, two of my closest friends today are my English teachers from more than 50 years ago, both, I must add, showing incredible generosity at the time, knowing full well I rarely handed in an assignment. To all my friends, particularly English professors and bona fide journalists, I never met a comma I didn’t like, so thank you for your refrain, and lack of admonishment.
Today on this hot, muggy, but calm, Sunday morning, I patiently sit in my lovely courtyard, pen in hand, wondering how to write an epilogue to this story. I find it much more difficult to pen, as I’m not situationally formulated in a “mode of recollection.” I am living in the moment, and anything futuristic would be fictional, so I’m a bit out of sorts.
No crystal ball. No Carnac the Magnificent.
The late, great Johnny Carson aka Carnac the Magnificent.
Photo credit: Wikipedia.
However, after giving it some thought, it genuinely feels good, as it’s a miracle that I’m even sitting here, quite frankly, and would give my left nut for another 30 years of memories to write about.
Going forward however, on no given timetable, I will blog about what’s currently up my sleeve, the great community I live in, and how many rounds of golf I played. Woodworking tidbits will be on the agenda, tables and chairs I’m tooling up in my studio, as well as any cultural information I may be privy to.
In other words, everyday knowledge that may or may not be of interest to you. You decide. No politics. No religion. Just good, old-fashioned, Revland-enhanced bullsh!t.
Now, as I speak and write in present-day language, I have a confession to make. Over the last 28 weeks, if my blog postings appeared to have a slick, polished look to them, there is a reasonable explanation behind all of this. Each blog post was hand-crafted by my marketing expert and dear cousin, Glory Hougham [huffum], all the way from Iowa. Yes, I wrote every word and provided 95% of the images, but she produced the blog. And those who truly know me, appreciate that I couldn’t have done this without the help of a professional.
Glory Gilbertson, as I knew her growing up, was the only daughter of my father's sister, Vivian. We both had a love of music, and as you can see in this (top) photo of us in 1968, we were rehearsing for another performance on WDAY’s Party Line, as the group “The Curbstone Variety.” Her classmate at North High School, Ruth Mohr, rounded out this trio (bottom photo), specializing in songs by Peter, Paul, and Mary; Simon and Garfunkel; Chicago; and the Association. Perfect three-part harmony was our calling card so we milked that 'til the cows came home. [I must have a cow fetish.]
Two summers ago, on a trip home for a high school class reunion with her husband, we decided that we weren’t done harmonizing. A half-century had passed between us, and I was in the market for a rebranding. I soon had Glory build me a fresh new website. This one. [Pro bono, I might add. As she stated, “This is what close relatives do for each other.” Wow!]
When the subject of a blog came up, she said, “Let’s do it!” assuredly oblivious to how much work it would be for her. She is truly a marketing guru. It's what she does for a living. I would highly recommend her for any of your digital marketing needs and will forever be grateful. My love for her overflows with plenty.
In closing, a heartfelt thank-you to the thousands of people reading this biographical blog. It has been a very cleansing and cathartic experience for me, and has brought me appreciably closer to my biological son, as he now, like most of you, probably wishes he knew less about his old man.
All of this dirty laundry has now found its way through the spin cycle, and will soon be neatly folded and archived on a shelf next to the rest of my memorabilia. If this has helped anyone at all, even one person, it has been worth the effort. As we move toward book publication, I don’t see this as a book about recovery, although it could be. I see it more as a testament that honors achievement and success, all through hard work and never giving up on yourself. We only get one shot at this. Make the most of it.
One last, parting thought:
Peace and love to you all.