No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Front Porch Trained

February 28, 2019

Front Porch Trained


Kristen and Megan

Fresh off a month spent vacationing and relaxing in Key West, my friends Breezy and Reverend Peyton, of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band were headed back off on their lives of near constant touring. For the first time in at least a few years, they did not play a gig of any kind in Key West so while I was able to spend time hanging out with them, I did not have the pleasure of seeing them perform live.

Fortunately for me, their tour kicked off with six dates in the state of Florida, so if I could swing it, I would have an opportunity to catch a show. The bad news was that the closest show they were having to Key West was in Boca Raton at the Funky Biscuit blues club. I pretty much decided at the last moment to make the drive up and surprise them by showing up for their gig.

The drive was easy, but when I pulled into the complex where the show was to be held, I thought that I had to be in the wrong place. To say that it was upscale would be a gross understatement. The parking lot was full of exotic cars and I felt decidedly out of place. Thankfully the club was a nice refuge in the middle of the high class surroundings and while very nice, it still felt like the type of place where the band (and I ) would be comfortable.

I texted Rev as soon as I was in the door and he had the sound man get me into the green room to hang out prior to the show. Breezy and Rev seemed really happy to see me, they had some other friends, a couple with an adorable baby, who were there as well and we all hung out along with their drummer Max backstage until it was time for the show to start.

It was really cool to get a behind the scenes look at what their life on the road is like and even better to just get to spend some good time just catching up again. Rev is one of the best story-tellers that I have ever met and anytime you hang with him, he shares exploits from their lives on the road. They generally play close to 250 shows each year, traveling everywhere in the US and often to Europe and beyond to play shows and there is usually a good story at every stop along the way.


Of course the show itself was the reason we were all there and they took the stage in front of a packed house of really great fans and played a blisteringly good set, mostly from their most recent release, “Poor Until Payday” which was releases last fall. I had not seen the entire band play a set in a few years and they were truly amazing. Reverend Peyton is flat out one of the best, if not the best slide guitar player in the country. I could spend the entire show just watching his amazing finger work on the guitar.

Of course that is not to discount Breezy and Max and what they contribute to the band. Breezy’s washboard playing is a unique, yet vital part of their sound and she is fun to watch on her own as she truly seems to have a real joy to playing live. Max provides the backbeat that propels the band, which if you just listen to, could not hardly believe is only three people creating their sound. The show was absolutely fantastic and I am saying that not just because they are my friends, but it is truly a masterful performance.


In fact, I always have trouble explaining to my friends, who at times upon listening to recordings of the band tell me that it is not their “kind” of music. Personally I feel that is ridiculous on the face of it, because good music is good no matter the style or genre, but putting that aside, I tell them to go see the band live and let me know what you think afterwards. Every, single, person who has done that has come back to me literally singing a different to. This is one band that you truly have to see live to appreciate. They are currently on tour and if you get the chance, get out and see them.


When I returned to Key West, we had more friends here visiting. This time it was Kathy’s friend Kristen and her daughters Megan and Emily, who took a few days to stop in Key West to visit. It is always fun to have friends here visiting as it offers us the chance to play tourist and spend even more time than we usually do, going out to dinner, hanging around downtown, going to the beach or pool and other fun touristy stuff.

Kristen and Megan 


One of the cooler things we did was go parasailing with Fury Watersports. Parasailing is awesome and I am not sure why we don’t take advantage of it more often as we live here and it is a fun and truly beautiful experience. Floating along high above the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico is just an amazing feeling and it was fun that Kathy and I got to go in tandem as did Kristen and her daughter Megan. Emily wasn’t so sure about the experience and opted to remain on shore.


We had a blast hanging out with these guys, it had been years since they all were here visiting, probably around 2006, when Emily and Megan were just kids. Now they are wonderful young women and along with their mother are a pretty cool bunch to spend some time with. 


Tuesday, March 05, 2019

“We'll be friends forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet. Even longer,' Pooh answered.”

February 17, 2019




John, Elizabeth and Kathy

“We'll be friends forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”

I have been so fortunate in my life to have a number of incredible friends. My wife says that I am a hoarder and that I never let anything go, I guess a point could be made that this is true, but as much as I value some of the things that I have held on to throughout my life, the one thing that I have no regrets about hanging on to is friendship. I am happy to report that I am still pretty close friends with the same people that were my close childhood friends, I have another amazing bunch of friends that I still value from my high school and college days and even more friends that I met when I first arrived in Key West back in 1991.


Two of these amazing people who I have known basically since my arrival here, yet have moved away from the island in the course of time were back this month at the same time. The sad part is that they were both here to attend the memorial service for our mutual friend Danny, but in spite of the tragic circumstances that brought them back at this time, it was as it always is, amazingly wonderful to see each of them.

I met Shanda I think in 1992, she was doing an internship at the Dolphin Research Center and had a friend who was volunteering for Reef Relief, as I was at the time. Though it was a short visit at that time, she was soon back in Key West and spent many years here, we even were roommates for a time and have been very close friends ever since. Our life paths have criss-crosssed, intersected, run parallel at times and for stretches we have barely spoken. 

T and Shanda

Through it all, we have remained wonderfully close, seeing each other through both tough and amazing times and someone maintaining a rare closeness that I really can’t say that I share with all the many people…except perhaps for my friend Kerry. Kerry and I met around the same time period, we worked together for a time at the old Waterfront Market.


Kerry may be the closest friend I have outside of my wife Kathy. There are some people who just get you, with who you have some deep connection that cannot really be explained, at least I hope you have someone in your life like that because it is a priceless gift. I feel so fortunate to have two such amazing friends and to have the three of us back together again was truly a special experience, even if what brought us together was a truly unfortunate event.

Michael and Carla

Andy, Shanda, Kerry and Brenda 

Of course it wasn’t just those two friends who were here, as Kerry’s sister T and her boyfriend Matt were also on hand for a wonderful gathering of truly special friends that Kathy and I were so pleased to be a part of.  We had some great experiences while they were here that included many great shared meals and a magical day spent at the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor. 



We were able to bring our dog Jack and Shanda brought her two dogs as well and the group of us spent a truly wonderful day at the beach, relaxing, sharing stories and just hanging out. The weather could not have been more perfect. Warm and sunny with the water offering cool refreshment. 


Of course the reason for the gathering was Danny’s memorial and it was another nice gathering of his family, friends and well-wishers. Memorials are always somewhat tough for me and for some reason this one was especially difficult to reconcile.  There was a great turnout at Higg’s Beach and it was a nice way to remember and respect our lost friend, but I felt something of an unexplainable hollowness about the entire thing. Thankfully we had a wonderful group of amazing friends to lean on.

We had some other good friends in town recently as well as my friend and colleague at RPM Nautical, Howard and his family were here for a brief visit from their home in Miramar. I joined them for lunch at the Hogfish and later we all ventured to Dairy Queen for a fun visit as well. Also this month found Kathy’s longtime friends John and Elizabeth Howard here. Elizabeth just completed a new book and she had a books signing at Books and Books at the Studios and they also had us over for cocktails prior to their heading North again.