I turned 35 a few days ago and was feeling both old and young at once. The younger me saw opportunity and the older flinched for a second at the fading memories.
While I drifted through the endless possibilities of what I could have done differently in the past to have MORE now and have achieved MORE, and on and on… I paused and instead decided to think of all the moments I am grateful for in my life. Experiences that possibly defined, but certainly remained permanently forged in my memory banks. I decided to wait until now to recall some of them so they would be freshly renewed.
In no particular order, I am grateful for and remember:
• My parents letting me build a half-pipe skateboard ramp with my friends in the backyard even though they were both attorneys. That’s cool.
• Going WAY too fast on my skateboard down that Georgia hill, getting the wobbles, sliding across the gravel and landing in a ditch of thorns. All while my entire family watched.
• Dropping in on my first wave at “Roca Loca” in Costa Rica. Missing the “Roca” and feeling the exhilaration of an 8’ Pacific swell and its power for the first time.
• Swimming with whales in Pacific many years later. Wow.
• Watching the reef pass under my surfboard in Puerto Rico.
• Not getting pulled over by that Puerto Rican Policeman after we left the bar.
• Swimming at midnight in the
• Sailing for weeks to the Bahamas, sleeping very little, drinking only Kalik, working throughout the day, diving and fishing for dinner, and feeling alive.
• Seeing my first eel underwater. WAY scarier looking underwater than a shark.
• Hearing “Take the money and Run” by the Steve Miller Band and deciding that I wanted to learn how to play it on the drums.
• Playing timbales on a Ringo Starr album.
• Paying a local fisherman in Costa Rica to take us to “Ollies Point” and “Witch’s Rock”. Two famous and hard to reach surf spots in Costa Rica.
• Asking Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew about the break at Rocky Point. Being VERY humbled by the power from the ocean on the North Shore of Oahu.
• Led by some Dominican teens, we snuck into the burned and abandoned mansion of former tyrannical ‘Dictator’ Trujillo. Although he died 30 years earlier, it was very spooky place.
• Walking a great distance in Paris to find the restaurant Chez Pierre. A hole in the wall that had the best lamb I’ve ever tasted.
• Seeing Patrick Stewart in London. Seriously, it could not have been a more fitting sighting for tng trekkie with only 5 hours in London.
• Playing in a Jazz quintet as a museum exhibit in the Boston. I don’t play Jazz.
• Playing on stage at a festival in Gainesville with my band. Hearing the sound of my snare ricochet off the back of the empty venue.
• Walking on stage barefoot at the Gainesville Center for Performing Arts and playing brazilian drums for a sold out show.
• Seeing my future wife for the first time. Awkwardly extending my hand instead of going for the hug. (Blind date jitters!)
• Laying on the smooth rock beach in Positano, Italy.
• Walking through the mazelike streets of Venice, Italy.
• Learning and playing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on piano. Forgetting it.
• Going to a strip club with David Lee Roth.
• Nearly drowning in a Costa Rican river. Feeling very fortunate and grateful.
• Hiking the Grand Tetons with my father
• Watching Tiger Woods hit a golf shot up close.
• Listening to my mother play “Spinning Song” on the Piano
• Watching my beautiful wife walk down the aisle and hearing the bagpipes.
• Hearing my band on the radio for the first time.
• Having the opportunity to ask some artists in person about albums they made that I listened to endlessly.
• Surfing way out on the 3rd sandbar by myself during a storm and seeing a shark coming towards me. That was 15 years ago and I remember EXACTLY what that dorsal fin looked like.
• Spending 24 hours in solitude at the Great Sand Dunes.
• Ending that with time with amazing friends.
• Watching my father cry at my sister’s wedding.
• Watching my grandfather tune our piano.
and on and on and on…
Looking back on this list makes me feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to have had all these experiences and opportunities, grateful for the people I shared them with, and grateful for memories that I was left with. I’m ready for at least 35 years of new ones now.
My friend and artist Stuart Davis has just inked a deal with HDNet to air his wild and wonderful TV show (see press release below).
I’ve had the privilege of making 3 albums with Stuart Davis and they’ve all been a blast to make. Stuart is truly a unique artist and one I support fully as a producer, artist, fan, and human. I hope the world gets a glimpse of the humor and talent in whatever way it might reach them.
“We are excited to welcome Stuart Davis and Sex, God, Rock ‘n Roll to HDNet. Stuart is one of a kind, and we are thrilled he is on HDNet.”
Davis has studied his heroes (Ricky Gervais, Amy Sedaris, Jon Stewert), but is finding a unique voice with his ‘spiritual’ brand of comedy. SGR&R is a delirious dive into life’s Mysteries through the mind of a Cosmo-centric comedian. It’s no wonder Davis has become known as the Twisted Mystic.
While Davis is a happily hyphenated artist (writer-director-actor-comedian-songwriter), he’s first known for his music. The sound track to Season One of SGR&R (‘Songs From The TV Series’) is being released simultaneously with the debut of the tv show. The first single, Twisted Mystery, hits radio in April and is also featured on Showtime in the series I Can’t Believe I’m Still Single. Davis will be touring nationally through the summer to promote the TV series and the new collection of pop songs.
Filmed in HD in front of a live audience in Boulder, Colorado (take that, Mork & Mindy!), SGRR will also have a web-based home at
Sex, God, Rock ‘n Roll airs Sundays on HDNet beginning April 26.
My grandfather was born Millet “Codge” MacIrons in Macon, Georgia in 1923. He was the son of Finnean MacIrons and Antigone Napier. Their story is for another post, but suffice to say they wound up in Macon and had little Millet in the Winter of ’23. He picked up the nickname “Codge” later in Navy, but once it was anoited, it was like it was always there.
Codge’s first experience with golf was with his father on a return visit to the Scottish homeland in 1927. It was appropriate that the great Bobby Jones was playing in the British Open that year, and Codge and his father were right there on the first tee to catch more than a glimpse of the great Mr. Jones.
In 1941, Codge MacIrons enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent to San Diego for basic training. After several stops to Hawaii and back, Codge eventually entered officer training and was then stationed aboard the USS Indianapolis with the rank of Ensign. While Codge found it comforting that he was under the command of a brotherly Scot in Captain McVay, he would not find it comforting to know what lay ahead.
In 1943, after delivering top secret materials and weapons (probably the bomb) near Japan, the USS Indianapolis head for Guam. Unfortunately, Commander Hashimoto of the Japanese forces saw otherwise and fired upon, eventually sinking the USS Indianapolis. As most people know the story of the Indianapolis, they would understand that Ensign MacIrons was among the surviving crew that braved the sea and sharks for the following 4 days and 4 nights.
After being awarded the Medal of Honor and Silver Star, Ensign MacIrons eventually made it to Guam, where he was stationed for two years (picking up gout and scurvy as well). Needless to say, these few years hardened Codge to no end.
Note: Later Captain McVay was court martialed for failing to “zig zag” properly and abandon ship earlier. The prosecution called upon Commander Hashimoto as their star witness. Codge was enfuriated and it was the first and only time he cursed his own country. McVay committed suicide in ’68 and was exonerated in ’01 (“Thanks a lot” Codge said.)
By 1950, Codge was a Lieutenant Commander aboard the USS Juneau ported in Washington. When the Korean War broke out, the Juneau was sent immediately to patrol the 38th parallel. The final wartime combat Codge would see would be at Bokuku Ko (“Kokos”) and Chumonchin, where the Juneau destroyed several installations and sank three enemy torpedo boats. Once again, Codge was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery and service.
After “wasting the next 10 years” (Codge’s words), but still managing to stay in the Navy, Captian Millet “Codge” MacIrons was stationed in Guantanamo Bay (“Gitmo”). During a routine weapons training, but under the stresses of the Cuban Missile Crises, a couple of “island enlists” accidently detonated a frag grenade near Codge. The blast took off most of Codge’s left leg and surgery did the rest. If “Codge” hadn’t earned his nickname yet, it was forever set in stone.
Codge could never decide which would ultimately cause him the most anguish- that he lost a leg during “non-combat” or that he would forever be unable to “get to his left side” at the conclusion of a golf swing. “How did I make it 30+ years of service without a scratch and end up loosing a leg because of some careless Carribbean nips?!” Codge was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal and was discharged. Later, he “discharged that dis-honorable scrap of met(d)al down the jon.”
From 1966 to 1988, Codge taught high school history in Galax, Virginia. Codge was married to Sun Rhee in 1954 and they had Daniel (my father) in 1958, but she left him in 1983 for an African American ballet dancer in New York. Codge never remarried. He has always loved and the respected the game of golf and continues to watch every tournament that is on tv.