Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Music to warm the heart, whether in church or at a bar

By
From page B7 | April 28, 2014 |

For the record, I don’t make it a habit to hang out in bars alone. Not that there’s anything wrong in that. I’m old enough to do as I please, thank you.

But I’d probably just spend the whole time watching the door, expecting any minute to see my mother rise from her grave and come haul me out by my ear.

That is not a sight I ever want to see. But I’m taking a chance on it tonight, going alone to a bar. The things we do for love.

The Backstop Sports Pub in Boulder City, Nev., has a long and colorful history. Originally built as a recreation hall by the Hoover Dam workers in 1931, it’s been the Backstop since 1993, a gathering place and watering hole for locals and tourists and other folks who drive over from Las Vegas looking for what’s described in the theme song from “Cheers” as “a place where everybody knows your name.”

They don’t know my name, but that’s all right. I’m just here for the music. I think my mother would understand that. She loved music. She and her sisters sang four-part harmony in a group they called The Cheerful Chimers. They sang in church, of course, not in bars.

But church, for me, is where I find it: In a stained-glass cathedral or the eyes of people I love; a sunset in my backyard or a walk along Monterey Bay; a leaky tent in the rain or a misty lake in Carolina or a smoky bar in Boulder City, where tonight my favorite band is playing.

They call themselves The West Coast Travelers. I like these guys a lot. I especially like the bass player. And not just because he’s my husband.

By day, he’s an editor and he’s good at it. I say that because he was my editor once and seldom changed a word I wrote except to save me from myself.

He doesn’t play music to earn a living. Few musicians ever do. Mostly he plays to stay sane.

Early morning, late at night, he takes his guitar out on the patio to play for the birds and give them something to sing about. He plays for our children and grandchildren when they visit or call, and sometimes he plays just for me.

He loves all sorts of music, but what he loves best is making music with his friends.

They are grown men, old enough to have better sense (than to strain their backs and blister their fingers and lose half a night’s sleep) but young enough at heart not to care.

They’ll feel lousy tomorrow, and look worse than they feel. But tonight as they’re playing “Hotel California,” they look like little boys.

I wish you could see them.

Maybe you have. Not my husband and his band buddies, but other musicians like them.

You can find them anywhere, small towns or big cities, in bars or churches or grange halls or just pickin’ and grinnin’ on somebody’s porch. They play any place, any chance they get.

Tonight as I sat listening, I looked around the room and watched their music work its magic on the crowd. The guys shooting pool in the back. The couple leaning close in the booth. The woman dancing alone, without a partner. The intermingling sounds of bass and guitar, keyboard and drums, voices and laughter and human interaction.

Music is a spiritual connector. It flows from the mind of the Creator through the fingers of the musician and into the soul of the listener. Like all art, it invites us to stop and consider some piece of life – a moment or feeling or image or sound.

Then it slips inside our most closely guarded places to remind us that we are human and we are not alone. We might not know each other’s names, but we know that we belong.

Making music can be an act of worship. Hearing it can be holy. Enjoying it is a gift.

My mother never showed up tonight. But I’d almost swear I heard her and the Cheerful Chimers singing along.

Sharon Randall can be reached at P.O. Box 777394, Henderson NV 89077, or on her website: www.sharonrandall.com.

Sharon Randall

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Police make 2nd arrest in deadly Thanksgiving Day shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Everything you need to know about Super Bowl

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
$340,688 brick replacement for Texas Street complete

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4

 
Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Not so ‘Good to Go’ when man gets $18,000 toll bridge bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Balloon pilots make history with trans-Pacific flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Whitney Houston’s daughter found unresponsive in tub

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Vatican investigates 2 cases of child porn possession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Good old days weren’t as good as we remember

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics