30 January 2010

Okay, I am lovingly eating my words! Looks like sugar so pass the strawberries and let's make a Margariata!

Corner of where I live

My car and wind chimes.

D.C.: Mom must be brushing her hair again!

Our road.We have finally found a way to get the people to drive to drive slower!

Misty: In my infinite wisdom I have a feeling us cats are going to end up in snow drifts once they get deeper.... the dogs have already been out and they enjoyed it, stupid things!

20 January 2010

Joe Maniscalco

IN EVERY beachfront city, there is a guy in a Hawaiian shirt who knows every song by James Taylor, by Neil Young, by Van Morrison and, of course, by Jimmy Buffett.

If he’s a run-of-the-mill performer, he’ll just carry an acoustic guitar. But if he’s an above-average player, maybe he’ll have bongos or a trumpet. The best can take requests, anything from “Sweet Caroline” to “The Girl From Ipanema,” and are proficient at steel drums and harmonica and saxophone.

Along Hampton Roads waterways and watering holes, Joe Maniscalco has been that guy for more than 30 years. He is the omnipresent, everbooked crooner who worked as a pipefitter but is best known for his pipes.

Ask him when he first performed, and he is always the showman: He came out screaming at birth.

And if it weren’t for the twinkle in his eye and the rasp of his voice, you’d pass it off as a witty canned answer. But his story has such a Forrest Gump-like quality to it, so many twists with fame and unlikely chances, that after a long conversation, I’m ready to believe it’s true.

And if I had to guess, I’d say he was probably the hardest-working baby in the room.

Maniscalco picked up the violin at age 4, then took up the bongos, the trumpet and later the guitar.

He could have been a dancer. He once landed a scholarship but hurt his leg and fractured his skull in a footrace settling a bet. By the time he healed, he was 22 and already considered too old. So he performed in a madrigal group, in choruses, in community theater. He played at weddings, then wedding receptions, then cruise ships and, before he knew it, in bars up and down the East Coast.

If his life were a movie, there would be a montage scene where he walks past the long lines of nightclubs and gets escorted right in. He plays guitars. He travels to the islands. He attends international wine tastings. He goes through an “Urban Cowboy” phase. He plays jazz. He plays Bon Jovi. He is loved. End montage.

In Hampton Roads, he’s been the go-to guy for entertainment. Some years he was invited to play charity events seven days a week – so many he had to turn them down because he needed to gig for money. He was a hit in the groundbreaking-ceremony circuit because he provided a speaker and microphone.

He played the first Bay Days, the first Neptune Festival, the first Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. In the early ’80s, he was getting as many three gigs a day, sometimes earning $600 apiece.

He opened for Hall & Oates and Chicago. He sang “Brown Eyed Girl,” sometimes multiple times a day. He played in 11 countries and 39 states.

He was the workingman’s musician.

He claims to play Buffett more than Buffett.

But sometimes by that second set, the smoke in the room would get in his eyes. His throat would swell up.

When you sing like Joe, when you play two trumpets at the same time like Joe, when you make “Unforgettable” unforgettable like Joe, you go through a lot of air.

And he was sucking it all in – the hints of perfume, the particles of the drinks, the microscopic granulates of the food – and, of course, the smoke.

If performing wasn’t his full-time job, if it was merely something he did a couple of weekends a month, his lungs would have never been a problem.

And if he’d hit the big time, he probably would have played a couple hundred dates one year, then taken the next year or two off. Again, his lungs never would have been a problem.

But because he was the hardest-working showman in Hampton Roads, he was cursed: Joe got burned. So did his lungs.

In October 2008, doctors said they should remove his lung. It was already scarred by secondhand smoke even though Joe had never smoked a day in his life. They told him he could play private parties, but not the places that allowed smoking. His immune system was already too vulnerable to pneumonia.

This was the exact reason he had been begging for a public smoking ban in Virginia’s bars and restaurants. He’s played for eight senators, four congressmen and a dozen delegates. He had pleaded for a smoking ban. But while they bickered in Richmond, Joe’s lungs were getting worse.

When the law finally passed, he danced for joy. He could always dance. It was a way to meet girls.

But he says it’s too late for him and his voice .

Sure, he has health insurance, but because he’s been self-employed it is the lousy kind of health insurance. He guesses his medical bills range from a quarter of a million to a half-million dollars.

So on Jan. 31, his friends are throwing a nine-hour benefit at Knuckleheads Roadhouse in Virginia Beach. Eighteen bands, almost all of whom Joe has played with, will be there to raise money to help pay his medical bills. Joe goes on last.

In a best-case scenario, that final set will be a mini-Woodstock, full of 25-minute jams and appreciative hugs.

And when it’s over, when his health comes back a little more, Joe will be back playing again, back in a Hawaiian shirt and blazer again, back in Margaritaville, with an acoustic guitar and friends onstage, inhaling the cleanest air he’s played in in years.

It might not be too late after all.

Mike Gruss, (757) 446-2277, mike.gruss@pilotonline.com

A nine-hour benefit Jan. 31 will help pay the medical bills of Joe Maniscalco, a local man who could out-Buffett Buffett.

by mike gruss

15 January 2010

Let's help Joe Maniscalco!

Joe is a friend of mine from way back and he is having some health issues right now and he needs our help! Joe is a well know muscian in our area (Tidewater, Virginia and around the world) so please if you can't be there, give generously!

'Benefit for Joe Maniscalco - Let's Keep the Music Playing'
Posted to: Local Events Music

Friends of Joe’ will hold a fundraising event entitled, 'Benefit for Joe Maniscalco - Let's Keep the Music Playing' on January 31, 2010. It will take place at Knuckleheads Roadhouse on 401 North Witchduck Road in Virginia Beach from 1:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A talented musician onstage, Maniscalco has been sidelined during the past four months by health issues caused, in part, by second hand smoke enhaled during his 30+ years performing in public venues. (Maniscalco never smoked himself.). The outcome this year for Maniscalco has been a week in ICU (pneumonia) and a torn retina (four times). The torn retina, most likely, was caused by the high fever and/or high dose of steroids administered to fight the pneumonia. Out of work since late September, he is now dealing with mounting medical bills. Actually, the health situation began about one and ahalf years ago and last winter he was sidelined for about four months with the same problem.

The fundraiser promises a memorable afternoon of music, dancing and games to help pay for some of the expenses associated with Maniscalco's illness. The event will celebrate the friends, the bands, the music and his successful journey in the entertainment business for 30 years. There will be a silent auction as well as other events.

The ‘Benefit for Joe Maniscalco - Let's Keep the Music Playing' will showcase key Hampton Roads entertainers. Over twenty-five bands and musicians are scheduled to perform. The final band/entertainer list will be pulished shortly. For more up-to-date information, there is a "Friends of Joe Maniscalco" fan page as well as “Lets Keep the Music Playing page on Facebook.

Sponsors for the event include: AcoustEvents, EventRealizations, Inc., Jack J. Maniscalco & Son Insurance and www.vbnightlife.com.

Knuckleheads Roadhouse
401 North Witchduck Road, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462-1912
Map data ©2009 Google - Terms of Use
» full size map & directions

Event Info

Admission: A donation at the door is requested.

Event Dates:
Jan 31, 2010
1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Event location:
Knuckleheads Roadhouse
401 North Witchduck Road
Virginia Beach VA, 23462-1912
757) 644-6200

More contact info:
Fran Harding
Phone: 757-353-0711
URL: Friends of Joe Maniscalco

12 January 2010

Stanley's Story

If people would only share their love forward with all God's creatures imagine what the world would be like!


The link would work so cut and paste please!

02 January 2010

Riley, Josh, Candace, and me


We have a neighbor who has this disease and he is always escaping from his house and taking off. We have been known to be out searching for him at 10pm. This morning he came to our house around 7:45 and banged on our front door. We were in bed still and by the time my husband got his shoes Mr Dolly was gone so Burton took off looking for him. (It is in the 20's this AM) Burton saw that Dolly had headed back towards his house so he followed him and made sure he got home safely. Dolly's wife told me the other day when I escourted him home that they were going to have to put him in a facility after the first of the year.

Just looked out the window and Mr Dolly is heading down the street again. I hope they do something ASAP because I know this is very hard on his wife because she is too old to keep up with him.

01 January 2010

Been awhile....

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted here, have had a few things going on plus pet sitting jobs. Here are a few new pictures to enjoy:

JRS (C) Dec 2009

I have this fixation for moving lights. This was a blue christmas tree in the middle of a gazebo at night, obviously.

JRS (C) Dec 2009

Every morning there was a display of light on the wall which to me looked like a seahorse... with a sword.

JRS (C) Dec 2009

This is Trip, our new kitten. He likes to run in zig zag formation in front of you as you are walking. I foresee a broken hip in the future if he keeps it up! LOL

JRS (C) Dec 2009

This is DC playing with Ginger, our foster dog from K-9 New Life No Kill Dog Rescue.

JRS (C) Dec 2009

This pretty girl is Lady. I just finished sitting with her over Christmas. She and I use to dance together.
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