Over the last few years I have been writing blogs about our Blue Sky Riders’ shows because… well, frankly… because I was threatened. Not physically threatened, mind you. I am pretty sure I can take both Kenny AND Georgia after my seven years of judo lessons in junior high school.

I was “professionally threatened” because if I didn’t write them then our fans would not love us and our fame would slowly spiral to the earth, not unlike a WW2 bomber after being hit over Berlin.

I sympathized that Kenny and Georgia did not exactly “take to” the blog writing art. My problem with show blogs is that, while every show is different in it’s audience reaction and our performance… you can only write so many “Tonight was fantastic” blogs before you start wishing that a light would fall from the ceiling and narrowly miss our drummer. Now THAT would be an anecdote worth writing about!

Here’s my point. We are not on the road now, and I am finding that sitting down to write a blog does not feel like the overcoat of obligation that it once did when I was typing in Doubletree hotel rooms. So here goes:

I was probably suppose to be Jewish. I am married to a member of the Jewish faith and all my life I’ve known a lot of Yiddish words. The Yiddish words probably come from hanging out so long in “Show Business.” You cannot be in show business without using time-honored expressions from the Catskills.

“More clean towels, Mr. Burr?”
“The producer would like a word with you…”
“That schlemiel? He’s a putz!”

See? I got a million of ‘em.

I was raised a Lutheran. It’s more a social club than an actual religion. Lutheran in Connecticut is about as waspy as you can get. They never really kept track of whether you showed up on any given Sunday or not. You could miss three months in a row and STILL keep your plot in the cemetery behind the church.

Another reason I think my Jewish roots are showing?

My first memory was when I was five and it involves a jar of Kosher Dill Pickles. Hello!!??!

My Mom was putting groceries away and I wanted to be a big boy and help. (My overwhelming desire to be a “big boy” is probably at the root of most of my social anxiety.) I reached into the A&P bag and, in an effort to impress, lifted out the largest, heaviest thing I could get my tiny, chocolate covered hands on… a jar of Kosher Pickles. Somewhere between the bag and the shelf it slipped out of my hands and crashed to the floor. Pickles went sliding all over the kitchen floor like tiny otters making a break for the sea. At the age of five I think we all have very small capacities for shame and/or embarrassment… but I must have felt more than my share to have it remain such a vivid memory to this very day.

Did my Mother get angry? Was I punished? You bet I was! Six hours in the “Closet of Shame”… a week of wearing the “I Did A Bad Thing” apron while I was forced to serve the rest of the family at dinner… and, much like the aversion therapy used to quit smoking, I was forced to eat every pickle I picked up off the floor, cat hair and all.

I kid, I kid. My Mom was a sweetie. She gently lifted me out of harms way (broken glass is NOT a toy, with apologies to Dan Aykroyd), told me how much help I was (but SHE would take it from here) and cleaned up pickles, brine and cat hair before you could say “Sky King’s Niece Penny.”

She never made me feel guilty about it. I always thought this was a missed opportunity on HER part. This may be another reason I feel such an affinity to Jewish people. Guilt is a good motivator.

I guilted myself into writing all those blogs about all those shows (so many f#@*&ing shows!!) so I KNOW it works.