So…….After a great time in California, I’m home — here in the Buckeye State of Ohio. I landed late at night in Columbus and a good friend was there to pick me up….even though it isn’t snowing …..the remnants remain of what must have been a lot of snow while I was gone……bummer that I missed out on that. I head into work on Wednesday morning and when I & I opened the door to cabin #4…..my office…..well I almost had a heart attack. Clutching my chest …..just like Fred G. Sanford…..my eyes look around the room and it dawns on me that my office has had a complete makeover……and they must have got a Rastaman to do it. Whoooooaaaa, boy…….and what an IRIE job he done.
Ras Hurl takin' it all in
While I was out in California, the boss lady…..Vanessa, had made arrangements with our great friend……and Rasta brother……Kevin Morgan to surprise me with a complete renovation of my office……with REGGAE in mind. I was so knocked out that I almost could not speak and just had to look and look……it was totally amazing. I’ve got a new wood-like laminate floor……and a very earthy green new coat of paint on the walls……and a desktop stained in the Ites colors of red, gold and green…..and red, green and gold shelves too…….another WHOOOOAAA BOY…….and a new oil painting of Bob as a centerpiece on the main wall. When I find out that Kevin did the work, I just had to ring him up. As I’m telling him how much I LOVE what he had done……I ask……”Where the Bob painting come from?….I never seen that around your house” ….and he replies….”That’s a gift I painted for the I”.
Ras Hurl enjoying his renovated digs
Well as you can see from this picture…..it is a very impressive painting. I would go as far to say……It is the best painting of Bob I’ve ever seen. Bob in about 1975….just starting to dreadout…. about the same time I seen him live for the first time. Well……you see why I was so knocked out. Anyhey, BIG UP and BIG THANKS to Ras Morgan and his expert helper…..Davo….also known as Dave Shaulis !!! It’s funny when I talked to Kevin, he was concerned about how he had put my things back in place……..and I had to say….no worries, mon…. I & I could not have placed them any better. A BIG, BIG thanks to Vanessa and Jorma too…..always doing nice things for the I…….Yes…..the blessings continue……give thanks!
Our Couples’ Weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch has been a very special weekend ever since its inception 11 years ago. It was during the second Couples’ Weekend that I came up with this killer plan ……for a killer band ….to play with me during the student performance…….and thus was born Hurls Girls.
Hurls Girls are…..me, the Hurl….along with all the ladies who attend Couples Weekend. Now for the very first one, two of the ladies…..Tina from Finland and another lady from Detroit, who was a bad bass player and I’m sorry to say I have forgotten her name…..accompanied me on guitar while all the other ladies provided soulful background vocals. During our early years, some of the ladies were too shy to take the stage, but that doesn’t happen anymore……we won’t allow it…..we need full participation to get the sound I’m looking for. So…we’ve been building this up over the years and we may have reached our highest heights this past August during our part of the performance. A little bit more background information…..several years ago I bent the rules and we added to this ALL female band another male member….Collin Rocker…..and he did a killer job playing some fine bass in the band. Collin has been on the stage with me and the gals for the last few years and he has really added some nice bass grooves. Now for Couples Weekend 2010 the Rockers were not able to make the trip to the Ranch, thus breaking their attendance streak…..and we really missed Jon and Lori ….. along with my bass player…..their son….Collin. So…..I had to think quick…..and find a bass player of the highest order. Fortunately, for us all, such a bass player was ranchside and he agreed to join the group for our Sunday performance. Yes, the one and only Byron House was here teaching bass for the weekend and he joyfully jumped in to play bass with me and the girls. This year we selected two beautiful songs to perform….The Dino Valenticlassic “Get Together” made famous by the Youngbloods and the Bob Marley anthem….”One Love”.
We have a great time putting our song arrangements together and practicing the songs before the Sunday show. We met up on Friday night to work on our two songs and the practice went great. We nailed “Get Together” almost immediately…..these gals are good. “One Love” took a little bit more work and its funny how a song you know so well can be so hard to work out. The song has some very nice call and response vocals that make it a bit tricky and the timing and delivery is important for the song to come off properly. So….we rehearsed Friday night and then again on Saturday and its getting there……still I’m feeling a tad nervous about pulling it off. Come Sunday early afternoon …..we do one last practice session …..with Byron and 19 wonderful…and I do mean…..absolutely great…..female background singers……and it during this practice that we positively run through the “One Love”… and feel the One Love that has us all as happy as a Rasta in Zion!!! So ….we’re ready.
For this Sunday’s student performance we decide to do it in the Workshop building, which has a small stage and was our concert hall before the Fur Peace Station was built. This is going to be a completely unplugged student performance (another first) and we are ready. These student performances are some of the best times we have in the course of a weekend and this one was no different. Massive respect to all the students that took the stage and played the songs……it was a heaven of a time. As we got toward the end of the afternoon performances Hurls Girls took the stage. This video clip from YouTube captures the great feel and great sound that was Hurls Girls on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon in August.
We were all blazin with how well everything went down….for we did Bob proud and played our finest version of “One Love” that afternoon. Sometimes you can come away from a performance with the feeling that you wished you had done it as well LIVE as you had in practice. But for us…..Hurls Girls…..we saved the best performance for the people and for that Sunday performance….Let JAH be praised!!!!
I would like to thank the faboulous singers, that make up Hurls Girls…..ladies, your singing is very IRIE and I am so happy that we could make music together. For the ladies who have been a part of Hurls Girls in the past, but have been unable to get back to the Ranch…..remember….once a Hurls Girls…..well you know. I’ve got to tell ya, Bob always felt so good having the I-Threes singing background with him…..for me, having 19 background singers pushes feeling good to the highest of heights! Whoaaaaaaa, bwoi…….A BIG UP to Ras Byron as well for dubbing it up and laying down some crucial bass…..a BIG UP to ALL!!!! Bless and Bless again!
Before we broke camp at Fur Peace in Ohio we had a big session and it is amazing how many folks noticed our camp mascot …..Miss Kitty…..was missing. She is a fixture around the Ranch and she has been with us now for many years. Miss Kitty showed up at FPR one day all ragged and hungry…..she didn’t trust people and was not approachable. We would put out food for her and she’d eat it up and slowly we gained her trust. Vanessa and I were the first ones she would allow to pet her….anyone else she would run from.
But over time she became very friendly and accepting of everyone. She’s an outside cat and when she would hear our cars pull up she would come out of the woods or from under one of the porches to greet us. She’s become one of our I-ficial greeters and she is very loving and she makes the rounds among the students when camp is in session, spreading the love around.
Well last month we came in one day to find her with an abscess sticking out of her side that was about the size of a pear. I noticed it when I petted her and called it to Vanessa’s attention we both agreed it had not been there the day before. So……. I called up the Doctor…..this being Dr. Eric Eisenberg, a.k.a. “Grateful”, of Stoneyridge Vet Clinic
Hawaiian shirts are the official unifroms of Stoneyridge Veterinary
Grateful is an old friend of mine from college days and we’ve been friends for 30 years. He told me to bring her on over and he’d check it out. Bringing her over means a drive to Dayton, about 2 and a half hours from the FPR. I left right from work and got there just about the time he would be closing the clinic for the day. When he saw her condition he decided to go right into the operating room. A couple of his fine staff members stayed on to help. We were all in the operating room to watch the Doc in action and I’ve got to tell you I can’t believe what came out…..I won’t go into details, but he told me I did the right thing by bringing her right up. The operation was a success and she stayed at the clinic for about two weeks while they brought her back to health. While she was out for the operation they gave her a haircut…..she had to be shaved on one side for the operation anyhey, so it made sense to give her a proper haircut while they were at it. She’s back at the Ranch once again making her rounds and she’s doing well. In fact….never better…..and she’s also sporting a real nice look. Thanks Grateful…… We are grateful for all your good
deeds……YES – I…….