While the last three years will go down as some of the most challenging on record, it has not been completely devoid of some playfulness.
Trips have been primarily business motivated and growing in number and frequency. Still, it’s hard not to love a life that keeps you moving around and in touch with more than just colleagues but friends as well. Like the Johnny Cash song, I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been everywhere; NYC, Boston, D.C., Cleveland, Pittsburgh and of course all parts of the State of Appalachia. Along the way I’ve seen some of the most scenic parts of the eastern, midwestern and mountainous parts of our country. Some highlights include judging the WVU state-wide business case competition and hosting OU Sales Centre Alumni socials in Boston, New York and Cleveland to inventing winter SUV sledding in previously referenced Morgantown, WV and boating on a sunny day out on the Ohio River.
The travel and destinations have also allowed me to see some of the best people and friends that one could imagine. Most recently traveling back to NYC for business has turned into a stage for a variety of celebrations and friendly visits. Not a trip passes that I’m not staying at the La Quinta in midtown and catching up with city friends like the Silver Fox, Robert Ebert, and international man of mystery, Vince Cordo. Now more than ever the charms of the city, eating out at a nice restaurant, taking a subway downtown and strolling through tourist spots are something to behold and enjoy. And the move back has put me within a three hour drive of home boys and hillbillies like banjo picking Chris Nye in Cincy, Rock Band playing Mlods in Dayton and rockstar hippies like Kyle Williams in Cleveland.
Speaking of good, good, good, good vibrations. I’ve continued to dabble in music and performance in general. What began with playing the harmonica on the back of the stern wheeler has turned into a full scale variety show at our home. Hanging on either side of the TV is a guitar and a banjo (cue the WV Deliverance jokes). Right below sits one of two karaoke machines. The second is in the basement with all the microphone boom, harmonicas, bongos, tambourine and obligatory washboard. I officially gave voice to the artist inside creating the Hip Hop Harpist (Triple H) alter ego to bring a new genre of music to life, Hill Billy Hip Hop Fusion. And there’s nothing like a little crossfire to generate genuine trouble making, so together with my buddy Mlod’s Thin Biscuit character, we performed our first show at a backyard BBQ in Kettering, OH last summer.
Being back in the hills and the valleys has provided infinite sources of exploration. Together with my resident partners in Parkersburg crime, Donnie Deutsch (aka Don Stauffer) and Brent Griffith, I’ve been touring the best dive bars and music joints that the Mid Ohio Valley has to offer. Whether it’s golfing at the prestine Parkersburg Country Club in a down pour with brother-in-law Joe Kister and aforementioned Donny or engaging in a little Court St. swagger with Kenny Kerr and recently relocated friends Jessica and Jason Kopelwitz, the possibilities are endless and just full of excuses for you to come on back to see us all ya hear!