I was born in October. I don't remember it at all. I lived in the country with my folks, sister, 6 dogs & 2 ghosts. The ghosts blew out all the light-bulbs in the house but they saved my sister when she fell down the stairs. We shared a farm with our neighbors. Milk went from the cow to the bucket to the fridge. We travelled on weekends to craft-shows to sell my mother's horseshoe nail jewelry. All over NY, PA, OH, WV, VA, down to MD and TN. Her display looked like a horse wagon. The wagon wheels were made by an Amish man down the road (my father paid him in hubcaps) and the rest was barn board covered in black velvet. All packed into a Chevy van dragging a crank-open camper. The 70's baby. All I remember is wandering around vast arenas and city streets filled with artists, their stuff, with tens of thousands of people walking around all day. I was 4. My sister was watching me. She was 6. They always had live bands. One gave me a signed record. I still have it. But it's bent like a Pringle cuz I left it on the back seat of the car, half on half off the seat and it was 100º F that day. Record melted. We moved to Fredonia, NY, which, incidentally, has the prettiest girls in the world. Someone stole my matchbox car collection my first day at the playground. Major bummer. We had 11 vinyl records in the house. Beatles, Dylan, Righteous Brothers, Beach Boys, Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, The Coasters, and some others. My mother taught exercise classes and always had the new 45's when a song came out so she could make mix tapes to dance to. My father listened to only Motown in the car. I didn't know it was Motown at the time. It was just music. If I tried to change it he'd slap my hand and say "When you drive, you can change the station." He let me drive when I was 6. From the passenger side. One hand on the wheel. He was steering with his legs but I didn't know it. I never changed the station. I got taller. I ate pizza, drank grape juice, and played in the woods. I thought I was a ninja. My folks sent me to take piano lessons. When I was 10 my friend stole a cassette from his sister and gave it to me. It was "Hallowed Ground" by Violent Femmes. I liked the song "Never Tell." The tape deck broke with the tape in it and it got thrown out. At some point I got a guitar. At the same point the girl I liked dumped me. I been a mess since then. I'm older now than I was. I lived in NC, Boston, NH, and now I live in Nashville. I don't sleep much.

Photo: Jason Stoltzfus