Vacation In Venezuela

We provide transportation to four-year-old kindergarten for one of the grand-deGloves. The letter of the week was V and one of the teachers said today’s subject would be Vacation In Venezuela.  In fact, they liked Vacation In Venezuela so much that they extended it to two days.

Of course, our immediate thought was why are you glorifying that hell-hole? Yet we refrained from comment despite the facts.  On the Heritage ranking of economic freedom it is 179 of 180.  Six countries are not ranked.  To put it kindly, it is a violent place without a reliable government.  About a year ago the LA Times said:

Venezuela’s violent crime epidemic appears to be escalating into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. The precise dimensions are hard to know, however, because along with the collapse of the economy and widespread hunger has come a near blackout of reliable government crime statistics.

Nothing we have seen suggests the situation has improved since then.  We are convinced that it was appropriate to leave this as a politics free zone.  There are not many countries that start with V: Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Venezuela.  The kids are just four.  The discussion is not about governments but geography and letters.  We are happy with our choice.  The question is when should we speak up?


Buddy Guy

We accompanied the Lady de Gloves to see blues legend Buddy Guy for the first time at the Capitol Theater at the Overture Center in Madison, WI.  Quinn Sullivan was the opening act.  He is 18.  Check out this YouTube of Buddy and Quinn from ten years ago.  He can play and sing.  It was a good start.  Buddy is already in his 80s so it was time to see him.

Buddy came on in a polka-dot shirt and The Lady said, “Isn’t he adorable.”  She has always had great taste in men.  He was interesting, entertaining, and musical.  His stories, his playing, and his singing were right on.  From the big deep blues voice to the falsetto, he was in command of his voice.  He had a four-piece band (guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard) backing him.  They were ready to solo or back him while he told stories, played the guitar with a towel, or wandered through the audience.  He has a great stage presence if you don’t mind a little profanity.  He ended up right behind our seats!  One telling moment was when he brought Quinn and his son to join him toward the end of the concert.  We were watching Buddy while the two youngsters played solo and he really enjoyed watching both of them.

He gave us two great life lessons.  The first was “it” is not in the book.  This was mostly backed up by the amazing sounds he got out of his guitar in all manner of ways.  He’d smile and say it is not in the book.  One of the things that he mentioned not being in the book is that Buddy and BB and the rest were really discovered by the British and it led to the British invasion.  Buddy could have been upset by that but he was not.  He is a positive guy.

The second was keeping out of politics in performance.  He had lots of comments on Houston and other events but they were always in a positive manner.  He was pure Martin Luther King: “No matter how much you hate me I’m gonna love you.”  His comments showed it.  We might have missed it or not been open enough to micro-aggressions but we did not detect anything partisan during the performance and Buddy likes to talk.  He was a nice change from the partisan comments that showed up in the Graham Nash performance.

Here is his tour.  He plays at his club in Chicago during January.  You owe it to yourself to see him while he is still great.  He is older so there will be some sing-alongs and opportunity for the band members to solo but it is worth your time and money to see this treasure.