After spending the entire month of February in South Carolina I left on Saturday, March 1st and headed to Florida. On the 28th I had called the Gainesville, Florida chapter contact and asked if they might have someone that could put me up for the night. I received a call from a gentlemen and he told me that I would be welcome to stay with him. I arrived in Gainesville late afternoon and drove by his house. He wasn’t home yet so I drove into the downtown area to look around. I enjoyed checking out the music store, the theater,
the restaurants with outdoor seating and just watching the people as they were enjoying their Saturday. I eat some tasty pizza at Big Lou’s. I made it to my hosts home around 6:30 p.m. He was very gracious and we talked about barbershop for several hours. He showed me YouTube videos of the chorus that he sings with when he travels to New York. I showed him the YouTube video of my first quartet, Timeless. He shared with me that he checked me out to make sure that I was being honest about who I am? He checked out my Facebook page and also found out that I had been in business under the name “One Man and a Van”. That was smart of him. I would encourage anyone who is considering hosting me to check me out.
I have been experiencing a boost in my serotonin level as I have been driving away from my hosts homes. As I drive away I have such a keen sense of appreciation and feel so grateful for having been the recipient of such kindness. I have just expressed my gratitude to my host before leaving but I get the urge to call them just to say thank you one more time. I want the folks who have hosted me so far this year to know how grateful I am for their hospitality, kindness and generosity! Since leaving Indy on February 1st I have stayed in six different homes and have visited five different barbershop chapters.
I arrived in Ft. Myers, Florida on Sunday, March 2nd. I visited the Cape Coral chapter on Monday night and the Mariners of Stuart on Tuesday night. I am planning to visit at least two more chapters next week. The Spirit of the Gulf chorus (SAI) rehearses on Tuesdays and their director is Mike Slamka. I’m looking forward to their rehearsal.
Earlier this week I had an interesting conversation with Paul Ellinger of the Mid Atlantic district. Paul is a sought after vocal coach and has been traveling the country presenting his seminar “Supercharging Your Chapter”. He is introducing a teaching method called “Wave Box Singing” and talking with chapters about recruiting new members. I believe this is something that the Society desperately needs. I shared with him that I have been studying and considering presenting Chuck Greene’s workshop. He talked with me about a conversation that he had with Chuck before his passing in 2012. Both workshops have the same goal to increase membership and help directors teach proper vocal technique. I am hopeful that I can somehow become involved in doing what Chuck and Paul have both been so passionate about.
Meanwhile, I will visit and talk with Barbershoppers everywhere and figure out where I fit in and what I can contribute. Stay tuned!