Singing and Dancing in the Heart of the City

I’ve been using my writing to explore my musical side lately. I’m looking forward to checking out the incredible bands I researched for my recent WhatcomTalk.com article about the Downtown Bellingham Parnership‘s urban outdoor Wednesday evening concerts, Downtown Sounds, throughout the month of July.

IMG_3708There’s nothing better than dancing in the street to live local and Pacific Northwest bands as the sun sets over my favorite town in America.

The smell of the food trucks and children dancing with abandon remind me of every August of my school days, dancing barefoot and singing along on the warm pavement of W. Nepessing Street in my home town for Lapeer Days.

My father was the City Parks and Recreation Director and he helped plan and execute the festival for decades. And for a time, my sister worked for the Chamber of Commerce and helped organize the event well after my father retired. I snapped this photo of the bike I decorated and rode in the parade in my early teens. My dad’s work truck in the background was well-recognized in our town. Its possibly the only photo I have connected to that downtown street festival.

That history calls me to the free public events like Downtown Sounds that draw our communities together and mark our summers with steadfast memories. I’ll look forward to it right here at home for decades to come.

Music is Living

When its been a hard day or things aren’t going my way, music is the one thing that always lifts me up. It was my favorite subject in elementary school, singing Yellow Bird and Ben with Mrs. Blanchard once a week. As I grew up, life got busy with sports, homework, and then hard work and family. But through it all, there has been a constant sound track. Falling Up Stairs at Shakedown by Aaron Brick ArtographyMusic, like time or space, is another dimension in my life and I wouldn’t know how to define myself without it.

I wrote this article for WhatcomTalk.com as a thank you to the places in my town that share the art of music every day. What’s your favorite song? Favorite band? Favorite place to hear it? I’m listening.

Murder Jazz band, Falling Up Stairs, at the Shakedown. Photo by Aaron Brick Artography.

My First Job

Other than a paper route, my first job was at Max’s Bakery in Lapeer, Michigan. I poured coffee for the regulars, sold doughnuts by the dozen, obsessively mopped the floor, and learned how really yummy doughnuts were made.

This week I wrote an article for WhatcomTalk.com about my favorite doughnut shop, Rocket Donuts, in my second home town, Bellingham, Washington.

Rocket Donuts Bacon Maple BarsI remember when I worked the afternoon shift, when only a few customers would come by. It was a quiet, catch up time, and I would occasionally get creative and make my own doughnut creations. My favorite was a raised doughnut pumped with two shots of raspberry filling and peanut butter frosting, dipped in chopped peanuts. I also made a Bavarian cream-filled, of course with two shots, with maple frosting and peanuts.

Now of course, I don’t burn enough calories to eat a doughnut every week, so when I do eat one, it has to be great. That alone has made me a bit of a doughnut snob but I have yet to regret the calories spent at Rocket Donuts.

Rediscovering an Old Friend

I recently got to write about an old friend, Mark Turner, and his business, Turner Photographics. We’d been living in the same city, but out of touch for at least ten years. Sitting with him for the interview, I rediscovered all the things that make him an amazing human being. Head over the to The Crossing Guide to check out my article, Mark Turner of Turner Photographics.

Its Not Leprechaun Beer

I recently wrote an article about Bellingham Green Drinks??????????????????????????????? for WhatcomTalk.com. Its not about little Irish men and their gold coins, but instead about a monthly gathering whose only goal is to provide a platform for people to talk about the environment. Check out the article and find a Green Drinks near you!

Future Tinkers

I recently got to spend a little time with a high school robotics team as they frantically finished building a robot that will compete in the FIRST Robotics Championships.Young Einstein

While watching them, I couldn’t help but see in them the potential future of my own sons, now age 11 and obsessed with making lego stop motion animation films, Minecraft, and 3-D printing.

Writing this article for WhatcomTalk.com just made me excited for all the opportunities that lay ahead for them.

The creativity and ingenuity of my little men inspire me every day.

Acting Insane

Some might think my friend and fellow actor, Glen Nelson Bristow, is a little nuts to have a full-time day job, be in stage plays almost year round, while also filmingGlen Nelson Bristow Rocky Horror Picture Show a web series, appearing in multiple short films, and doing stand up comedy sets at up to five venues a week. But he does it, and does it well. Check out my article about this dynamo at WhatcomTalk.com.