3/5/2020-MUSIC-Recap from Hammerfest 2020 (2/29/2020)

-Back in July 2019, I performed at a tribute show for the late Jerry Yerman (as well as other members of the Mark I version of the band Four Large Men (Rick Richmond and Kevin Meacham) at the Oneida American Legion. I was in the Mark II version of the band from 1993-1999 along with Jerry, Roy Coston and Mike Merrifield. We did some songs at that event (along with singer Mary Meacham and a guest appearance by Scott Rif Miller) and it went over well. A few months ago I was contacted in regards to a similar tribute show which may become a yearly event to be called HAMMERFEST at the end of February 2020. This would have three other bands involved (Visigoth, Red Hush and The Stan Premo Band) and me, Mike and Roy would perform under Four Large Men with Guest vocalists Lynn White (Before August), Chuck Heath (LoveBone) and Mike Santalucia (The Bomb). I would also be singing on a song-which would be “Parasite” by KISS-a song that FLM used to perform back in the day. Mike would be singing “Snortin’ Whisky” (Pat Travers” and “Heaven & Hell” (Black Sabbath), Lynn Would sing on “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” (Ten Years After) and Chuck would be singing on FLM’s own “Sweet Jezebel.”

-Rehearsals took place during January and February, although I was only able to be at one of them, but I was ready for it. I did get to watch Visigoth play which was fun. The show was to take place at Nothin’ Fancy in Vernon, NY. I hadn’t played there since doing a Tribute to KISS set with CAROLINE BLUE for a benefit show for Roy back in 2005. There were a lot of changes-specifically the stage was out of the corner and a whole upstairs deck had been added. Very nice stage to play on. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who were here that I knew-it was like I’d never stopped playing to go into acting. I was looking forward to performing onstage (as well as debuting my KISS / Baby Yoda shirt) 🙂

-Less than 24 hours I was told we weren’t doing “Heaven & Hell” so me, Roy and Mike were brainstorming online for awhile. One of the songs that Roy threw out was an instrumental version of “Stranglehold” (Ted Nugent). I didn’t really hear back whether we were actually doing it or not so I didn’t work on it. So imagine my surprise when Roy comes up to me at the show saying it’s on the list 🙂 “Just ride the A string.” Um..it’s a little more than that-there’s actually a quick bass solo in it. Regardless, I went to my vehicle and listened to it a few times and got the basic gist of it sans solo. It IS mostly in A but there’s a few other things and I got them quick. It’s not my first time being in a situation like this 🙂 Of course, now I have to learn it so it can be in my repertoire for possible future use….

-As I mentioned previously, there were a lot of people I knew here-many who I haven’t seen in years. It’s always great to catch up with people and see how they’re doing. Andy “Doc” Gore (ex-CAROLINE BLUE bassist) was also here so that was also a nice surprise. It would be fun to bring CAROLINE BLUE here. You never know…

-All the bands did great this night. Our set was short and was over before I knew it. For myself, in many ways, it was like old home week per se. One new thing that came up was the “Sarco (Sarcoidosis) Factor”-which I didn’t anticipate. By the end of the second song, I was sucking wind really bad. Yes-I’m older and currently out of shape-but this is a factor that has been cropping up the last few months so I knew that it was due to this. I have to be careful cause not only am I no longer a spring chicken but I definitely have to make adjustments for this new, and unfortunately permanent, factor that is now part of my life. Saying all that, “Parasite” was to be the third song but Roy wanted “Stranglehold” to be next and I readily agreed. I mean, if you have no wind, how do you sing right? Getting older sucks, but getting older with Sarco…adapt and keep moving forward…

-Roy had a large audience participation thing going on during “Strangelhold.” It’s always fun to see the front man he’s become-cause he used to be so quiet back in the day. Monster Mike even came out to sing the last verse on this one-video coming soon on this and all the other songs performed. The one that I didn’t get video for (because I didn’t know it was happening) was during Visigoth’s performance of “Cold Gin” (KISS)-they had me, Chuck and Kyle Giglio (Remedy) come up to alternate on verses. There is a pic of it but other than that, as far as I know, nothing else.

-One other thing to note…In front of the stage Jerry’s brother Freddie had brought Jerry’s guitar, mic stand and hat and put them in front of the stage. before I sang on “Parasite” I pointed this out just in case people didn’t know what it was and saying that at least he was here with us in spirit-although we all wished he was still here in person…

-Overall, it was a fun night and a good turn out. As I said before, I think Hammerfest will be a yearly event and, if so, I’ll see everyone at the next one. Thanks to all who came out and / or showed support for this.

-Pics can be seen on my Musicians page on Facebook via the following link

WWJ MUSICIAN PAGE on FACEBOOK

WRITE-UP IN THE UTICA OBSERVER-DISPATCH by MARK SISTI

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12/31/2019-UPDATES-2019 Year in Review


(Pic of WWJ the night of 12/31/2019)

-It’s that time of year where all five of you (if I’m that lucky) get to check out my year in review series. This time we hit 2019 and, to be honest, I’ve been dreading this. I thought last year was bad…This has been the worst year of my life to date and it’s all because of one event-the death of my Dad. Even though this year was basically a “slow” year for me on all fronts (save music), everything pales to that one event. I did manage to get some stuff done with acting and, surprise, in music besides CAROLINE BLUE-which is taking too damn long in my opinion (and I’m sure in the opinion of many others (HA!)). Let’s go down the year, shall we?

-Of course, the first thing I must mention is the passing of my Dad-which was such a tremendous loss of unreal proportions for both myself and my Mom. While he did do his best to prepare me for that fatal day, it was thought of to be further down the road than when it did happen. Hence, while there are several things organized, there are a huge number of things that aren’t and, even without my own things to deal with, it’s a mess. Add my stuff to the equation and now we have a task of herculean proportions to overcome. While my life is being bombarded with overwhelm, all I can do is one thing at a time-one day at a time, so I will do my best to follow that. Most of what I would say about Dad’s passing was already said in my “tribute” to him last month-which can be read by clicking HERE. Butch Walker’s song lyric still floats in my mind (I created this quote pic btw)…

-One wonderful thing that did happen late 2019 was that we rescued another cat-an older kitty this time. He’s about ten and only has one fang (like Get Fuzzy) but is otherwise fine (no pain and checks out fine). His name is “Five-Paw” (he has five toes per paw) and is very laid back-except when near my baby boy Scruffy -who will be turning eight at the end of March. Gotta add a pic of Da Scruff for here too 🙂

-Maybe 2020 will see them become buds? I hope so. Five-Paw is basically now my Mom’s cat and Scruffy is basically mine-which is nice. If Dad was still here, I’m sure Five-Paw would’ve taken right to him as well…

-The third biggest thing to hit me in 2019 involves my own health. In 2018, while filming on “Johnny Z” I started developing this persistent cough every day-as well as daily bouts with being lethargic-sometimes to an extreme. On one of my trips back I was coughing so much that, on the phone, Dad said it sounded like I had walking pneumonia. I was unemployed at this time so, much like when I got injured on the set of “Battle Dogs” in 2012, I just had to deal with it and do the best I could with home care. 2019-the coughing wasn’t so bad anymore but I was still experiencing lethargy, shortness of breath, brain fog…Maybe the cause was aging? Depression? Those were certainly factors, but by mid-2019 I was employed again and now had health insurance, so I got checked up. It was discovered that I had multiple enlarged lymph nodes. Not good. The worst-case scenario was that I had Lymphoma- a slow-moving type of cancer. I had a biopsy done-my first time ever with any type of surgery-the same night I went to see KISS at The Amp in Syracuse, NY – how’s that for being a hardcore KISS fan? 😊 Here’s a little preview of what I saw…

-I didn’t have cancer, but I wasn’t in the clear. It was eventually determined that I had what’s known as Sarcoidosis-an autoimmune disease. There’s no known cause for it and, basically, I got it and my immune system goes to wipe it out, but it can’t-but they never get the memo that they can’t so they keep trying-hence why I get so tired and worn out easier. There’s no known cure and if it gets to a chronic stage it can kill you depending on where it hits. It can also do major damage to several body areas if left unchecked (via steroids-just what I needed right?). There’s not much I can do about this but be more careful and, especially, take better care of myself. Due to events-either physical, mental and/or emotional (or a combo of all three)-I have been in a state of regression in several areas for the last few (or more) years. Basically, I’ve kind of let myself go more and more, but with this, I must take steps to start reversing everything-if I’m not too late. Time will tell, but it goes back to my new mantra – “one step at a time, one day at a time.”

-I didn’t really do anything to further my writing aspirations in 2019. There is a short story I’m writing that I’ve been proof-reading albeit at a snail’s pace that should be done by next year. It’s part of a writing course that I took a few years ago where I have, I believe, three other completed ones. Maybe I’ll post them here one day… Some of you may recall thru out the years of me joking about writing a memoir called “WAYNE-THE BOOK.” I have to say that, with the events that have happened this year, not only have the seeds for that been planted but watered…Will they bloom or be stillborn? Things may change, but at some point, I will commit to doing that. Not right out of the gate, however. It’s on the drawing board though so time will tell…Like I don’t already have enough to do right? 😊

-With Acting, 2019 is probably the slowest year for that since I started (officially) in 2011. However, more often than not, I made up the lack of quantity with quality. I got the male lead role in an 80s horror film called “Babysitter Massacre: Heavy Metal.” Produced by Henrique Couto and written by Dan Wilder. I believe this will be the most screen time I’ve ever had to date (now watch, during editing, a lot of my stuff gets cut-HA!). Not only that, I was able to modify not only a good chunk of my own dialogue (women, in general, are going to HATE this role-HA!) but even add some stuff to the script-which nabbed me an “additional material” credit for this on IMDb. While working with high-level talent like actress Jennifer Lefsyk (pictured with me above) was a major plus, I have to admit to some concern because this was the fastest shooting I’ve ever been involved in. If memory serves, I think everything was shot in a week-maybe two if that? I feel good about it, but time will tell…In addition, I know that songs by CAROLINE BLUE will also be featured in this so there you go \m/

-Filming also started on “TALES OF DRACULA: Dracula Meets the Wolfman” (WOLFBAIN PRODUCTIONS) after several false starts in the past. Of course, I reprised my role as “Dracula” in this and we have maybe 40-60% done as of this day. My look (costuming) has changed as well as my acting (a tad) but overall it was great to be back in this role. The first Tales of Dracula was actually released, in full, on YouTube this year and can be seen below (you can also see the full version of “Transformation” (HEWITT FILMS) right below that…) 😊

TALES OF DRACULA

TRANSFORMATION

-Hopefully, filming will be all finished for this in the first half of 2020. I’m not 100% sure how Tales 2 will be released but I guess you’ll have to ask the production team about that one…

-I also reprised my role as “Johnny Red” for Pirates Weekend at Turning Stone this year. My third time in a row-and it’s always a trip each time cause it’s virtually all improv and based on how people react to you. Considering how I act in this role, let’s just say the response to it casts a rather wide net 😊 This might be something to look into in regard to expanding in other areas as well. Not to mention it’s always a blast to work with THE PIRATE QUEEN QUIGLY.

-I also did some background work with BLIND COP 2 as well as Season 2 on HBO’s SUCCESSION -although with the later all the stuff I was in was left on the cutting room floor. It happens and is part of the business. I was paid and fed well though so that’s a plus 😊 Click HERE if you want to see pics /recap from that. Warning-“rant” approaching…There were several other parts (of various types) that I was initially in the running for-at least there were talks about it. Yet, more often than not, when it came time to go to the next step, I got no reply-only to see an announcement online of either someone else getting the role and/or production has started and no word to me and time marches on. I understand, to a degree, why this is done per se- but that doesn’t make it any less annoying and I’m already starting to take steps to hopefully limit this type of treatment cause, to be blunt, it gets old real fast. Like I said, I basically understand why it’s done cause if you contact someone to tell them they don’t get the role, that can lead to some major stress with the actor trying to change their mind. I might do that one time with a single reply-but if no change then fine. I DO know there are tons of roles out there and if you don’t get one, there’s more to go after. To add to this, some of the people I dealt with on this-they should know me better. Guess not. Now when it comes to questions/suggestions about a role-yeah, I tend to go a little overboard at times 😊 Maybe more than a little (HA!) 😊 In addition-some short films/anthology episodes I’ve done in the past were released this year-two being “Hex” (AKA ‘She Dances With Matches”) and “Drive” which can be seen below…BTW-from last year’s entry, when I mentioned I’d auditioned for an iconic role and even got a standing ovation for it? That was an indie short film that was based on The Joker. I also auditioned for Batman as well. 😊 To my knowledge, it’s not happening so…” Zillafoot” (SRS CINEMA LLC) was also released and the trailer for it can also be seen below.

HEX

DRIVE- click HERE to see it-I’m in episode “Race.”

ZILLAFOOT Teaser

ZillaFoot from SRS Cinema on Vimeo.

-I also went back to Virginia to do some more re-shoots for JOHNNY Z (Hurricane Bridge Entertainment). Hopefully this will be released sometime in 2020. I’d made a joke sometime last year that I hopefully wouldn’t be called back for re-shoots cause I’d lost like 20 pounds by mid- 2019 (and unfortunately gained some of it back by year’s end) and wouldn’t you know it-I got called back 😊 For 2020-unless I’m forgetting something-it seems like I just have to finish up on Tales 2. I’m sure projects will be popping up throughout the year like they usually do, but at this time the only other thing I can see on the horizon is the sequel to NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE-which might not even happen till at least 2021…

-in addition to doing less filming this year, I also did fewer interviews. Some would say me doing less talking is an improvement (HA!). I still got some in though. The first is with the SACRIFICIAL TERROR PODCAST with Sam Mason, Zombie Barbie, and Lance Wagner. Joining me was director Ron Bonk and the main topic was one of his films HOUSE SHARK. This was a fun time and a lot of laughs. Lance, in particular, is a hardcore fan of my role in the film “Darth Squanto.” Ron could make a fortune by just cranking out new Darth Squanto merc for Lance to buy every year (HA!) 😊 On a side note, I got a nice shout out for the role by the crew at BLOODBATH & BEYOND as seen via the clip below…

-The second interview was for CHILLIN WITH THE RICK– a local CNY Music Podcast where I currently hold the record for the longest episode (surprised?) 😊 There’s a lot of good info in this one and I had a great time doing it. There’s talk of a follow up episode sometime in 2020 but contrary to what Rick has said, there won’t be an acting skit in it (your show is a MUSIC show Rick-not acting 😊 ) Speaking of music…

-I’m ending 2019 with being in-basically-three bands (!). Nice huh? The first is one that I became involved in was thru a benefit show for Jerry Yerman for a former band we were in called Four Large Men. Jerry passed away this past February, and a benefit show was done for him on July 5th. I only played on three songs but I guess I made an impression cause months later I was being recruited for BETWEEN WORLDS (MY FISH RECORDS) featuring Ronny Monroe (Metal Church / TSO) along with Roy Coston, Scott “Rif” Miller, Justin Zych and B.J. Zappa based, in part, from my performance at that show. We’re amid recording a covers CD with Mike Merrifield on drums so ¾ of Four Large Men are recording and playing together again. Who would’ve thought that would happen again right? Below are video clips from that tribute show for your dining and dancing pleasure 😊

-In addition to that, last year I joined a dance/rock/funk band (well-not only was I not allowed to say “no” for an answer but they are extremely accommodating when it comes to how hectic my schedule is-which is deeply appreciated) as lead guitarist. No band name as of yet and it’s been slow-in part due to my schedule and in part because members come and go. Hopefully, this will get some shows going in 2020. I did come up with a name for the band but time will tell if it’s applied. Above is a possible song we might be covering 😊

On top of that, this could very well be the year that CAROLINE BLUE finally makes a “comeback” per se. I’ll be aiming for it…The band has been only me and assorted musicians (when I need to hire them) since 2011 so, in a traditional sense, it’s not around-yet every year something has happened with this band and I’m working one step at a time, one day at a time (where have I heard that before?) 😊 to repair all the holes in the good ship CAROLINE BLUE. A new song has been recently finished (finally) called “My Fingers” ( a different mix of this was slated for the indie film “Romeo 3000” but since that has now become such an epic clusterfuck…even back then though there was always a version for that film and a “CAROLINE BLUE” version). I’m aiming to have the website finally up and running as well as a new CD out-and hey, maybe even a show or two or more…- and maybe even a surprise or two…by year’s end. 😊 Nothing with CB should conflict with the other two bands though. Kind of the freedom a band set up like CB currently has right? \m/

-So for 2020, I hope this is a better year overall-at least better than 2019 (in the above video pretend I’m my cat Scruffy and Dancing Stark is 2019-HA!) It would be nice…For those of you saying “it can’t get any worse”-I’ve learned to never tempt the Gods by saying that because it can ALWAYS get worse. The fact that I have future losses to deal with, at some point, as well as possibly my own weighs heavily on me …While mortality has been ever-growing as a subject in my mind for a number of past years (just read past Year in Reviews plus my depressions don’t help with this), this is the year I’ve become oversaturated in it-and it’s not just because of the passing of my Dad. I’m not sure what it is but 2019 seems to be the year that A LOT of people that I know and/or associate with (to whatever degree) either lost a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, pet, close friend and/or co-worker. I guess you could say my awareness of it has expanded exponentially… There seem to be even more celebrity deaths than usual this year (among them being Tim Conway, Grumpy Cat, and Lil Bub). That’s part of getting older. The longer you live, the more you see people on the path of life getting off it, whether they want to or not. Whether they’re ready to or not. I was fortunate to be by my Dad’s side when he passed but the events that happened in the days and weeks before that (as well as that night) …haunt me still… I do plan on completing several projects in various areas of my life this year but also “patching up” and resolving several “open wounds” that are currently unresolved from past years… Perhaps I should expand my writing aspirations to writing on this site about various things…But again, “One step at a time one day at a time”-especially now that I basically have three “kids” to take care of… The first thing is to stop the hemorrhaging and get back on an upward swing while working on bettering things-like somehow being able to adapt to my work place’s horrendous new work schedule which, for the last few months, I can’t seem to adapt to sleep-wise and it’s just augmenting all my issues…Maybe I can even get some headway going with WWJ PRODUCTIONS-what a concept right? 🙂 Time will tell…

-I don’t really want to end this on a morbid note so to end on a lighter tone, here’s a song that was just released about a week or so ago and it’s already my favorite song of 2019. I absolutely love it and so do millions of others-judging by the YouTube plays alone. Warning-it’s catchy and Baby Yoda makes a cameo 😊 If you go out New Year’s Eve don’t drink & drive. Your pets won’t know why you never came back…Be careful and wishing you all a Happy New Year and a great 2020!

BONUS- Bonus? Isn’t this damn entry long enough? (C’mon-I know you’re thinking that-HA!) 🙂 Below are links to the previous Year In Reviews. If I can ever find/recover the ones pre-2014 I’ll list them here and in future YIRs. Now, if you’d like, you can see how I’m progressing thru life (or is that regressing-HA!). For example, back in 2014, I mentioned the 2-3 people who would be reading these. This year that number has increased to 5-I’m moving on up! (like at the end of the following clip-HA!)



YEAR IN REVIEW – 2018

YEAR IN REVIEW – 2017

YEAR IN REVIEW – 2016

YEAR IN REVIEW – 2015

YEAR IN REVIEW – 2014

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12/07/2019-ACTING-“Drive” Now Online

-Here’s a project I did back in 2016. Normal acting-no monsters or over the top villains here. I’m in the episode called “Race” which is one of the two thumbnails below the movie thumbnail. Be sure to check out the director’s notes on the page for some insights from director Shadow C. LaValley in regard to this and the other episodes.

Click HERE to watch “Drive”

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12/2/2019-MUSIC-Day 1 (for WWJ)-Recording Tracks for Between Worlds Cover CD

-Last Saturday (11/30) I entered SILVER CITY STUDIOS to start recording on four tracks for a new covers CD by the band BETWEEN WORLDS. I officially became their bassist last month. I can’t name the tracks as of yet, but we did get the drums, scratch rhythm guitars and bass down for three of the four tracks. All of the tracks on this CD are rock/hard rock/metal songs with some deeper cuts thrown in. This is being produced by studio owner Robert Capezzano and Between Worlds manager Blaine Wiggins (CEO of MY FISH RECORDS-of whom Between Worlds is signed to). By the way-for those who are wondering-I’ll put down how I joined the band in a later entry…

-Save for the time I was in Emmett Van Slyke’s home studio in November 2017 to lay down the tracks for the CAROLINE BLUE song “My Fingers,” I haven’t been in a recording studio since 2012 (I think…). Both Robert and Blaine were very easy to work with and a great set of ears to guide us towards the desired outcome. I got a great sound out of just my bass alone (and no Rob-I’m not selling it-HA!). I’ve heard that a few times now and it might be time to have that five-string Yamaha bass be used for recording only. I also have to say this was my first time recording under pinkish lights 🙂 – and it wasn’t just me that had that (I knew what you guys were thinking 🙂 ).

-Joining me in the studio were guitarist Roy Coston and drummer Mike Merrifield-all of us being in the band Four Large Men back in the 1990s. The last time we recorded together was probably around 1995-6 but things just fell into place like 20 plus years hadn’t gone by. Rob even said Mike and I, at one point (and while doing separate takes on a track), made a mistake at the exact same place. As Mike told Rob, we’ve done a few gigs together 🙂 Not to say that there were a lot of mistakes mind you… If anything, I’m the rusty one in the ring, per se, since venturing into the acting world. Having said that, this was a great environment and great people to work with so no pressure \m/

-I’ll be heading out there again in the coming weeks (and as schedules permit) to crank out the remaining bass tracks with Mike. It would be great to also be around when Roy, guitarist Scott “Rif” Miller, and guitarist/synth/keyboardist Justin Zych lay down stuff (yes-this band has THREE guitar players). Of course, if possible, I want to be there when vocalist Ronny Munroe (Metal Church/Trans-Siberian Orchestra) lays down stuff-and hopefully I’ll be able to partake in doing some backing vocals as well…

-Things are off to a great start as I continue to plug away at knocking the rust off and getting my shite together 🙂

Pics can be seen on my Musician Page via the link below

WWJ MUSICIAN PAGE on FACEBOOK

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11/18/2019-PETS- New Member of the Family-“Five-Paw!”

-It’s been a long time coming but there’s a new member of our family. Meet “Five-Paw!” 😊😼 I just got back from the vet. He’s had his shots and is currently in a warm separate room so that Scruffy can get used to him…hopefully…🤞 The vet says he’s around 10 years old and has only one tooth remaining-but his mouth is doing fine and he never seemed to have a problem with the food we gave him outside so…He tested negative for everything so far. Wish us continued good luck so he can stay!

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11/10/2019-R.I.P. – My Dad (Robert W. Johnson)

-For years I absolutely dreaded this day, as well as two more (at least) like it to go. Of course, I know that, at some point, both my Mom and Dad-as well as my baby boy cat Scruffy-will pass but that always seemed to be off in the distance, that there would be enough time to do so many things…That is now but one of many beliefs that have been strained, if not shattered, with the passing of my Dad…

-I’m not going to mention much of his background here. Dad was pretty private and didn’t even want an obituary but I made that decision because it was for me. I didn’t want him to just fade away without something out there. The same is with my Mom (even more so) but I will also do the same when that time comes. I guess this means that “WAYNE-THE BOOK” (probably not the name) might actually happen… It would probably be a memoir-unless I somehow become famous enough and/or have a large enough audience willing to buy a WWJ biography…or maybe it will all just end up here on my personal site. I don’t know but I digress…

-As seen in his obituary, my Dad was a member of The United States Navy in the 1950s and served when the Korean War was happening. He was on several ships and was on a tour in the Far East when he met, and eventually married, my Mom-who is from Taiwan. It may seem alien today, but back then a marriage between a Caucasian and an Asian wasn’t looked upon too favorably by many. They loved each other so much though, and while my parents had it hard, they got through it all and eventually had me-although there were times when I almost didn’t make it. Several times…

-My Dad was an engineer after the Navy with General Electric. Sometime before he retired the branch here (Syracuse, NY) was taken over by Lockheed Martin. His job had him traveling to many places including The Marshall Islands, where we lived for a number of years. While I have some memories of times before Kwaj (the main island was called Kwajalein-basically a 3 by 5-mile island), my strongest earliest memories were from my time here. The Marshall Islands are 2,100 miles southeast of the Hawaiian Islands. One of my favorite childhood memories was getting hooked on Star Wars at this time. In order to go to The United States (as well as back to Kwaj), you had to stop at Hawaii (usually Oahu) and sometimes we’d stay for a week or two. There was a theater there that played Star Wars for years and every time we were on that island I’d beg my Dad to see it and he would do so every time-so I got to see the original Star Wars movie multiple times on the big screen.

-Eventually, we settled in Central New York. My Dad was a proud member of the NRA Golden Eagles and The American Legion-as well as several other organizations. He loved his country and was very patriotic but even more so, he loved me and Mom. His main priority-right to the end-was to protect us and make sure we were taken care of. Growing up, he never forced me to do things-letting me make my own choices (mostly 🙂 ) and helping me to correct course (and sometimes totally overhaul things) when needed. He was always so supportive of me in what I wanted to do-even when, perhaps, at times when he shouldn’t have been…

-He was also a man of few words, for the most part. Anyone who knows me knows how driven I can be and how, at times, I can’t see the forest for the trees so to speak. Just ask my exes 🙂 But I did begin to finally recognize this a couple of years ago and we talked more and more as time went on. In addition, we also watch movies together, whether at home or in the theater. The last movie we watched together was “Avengers Endgame.” I’m so glad for all of that-although, of course, I wish there was so much more…

-I won’t be saying so much here at this time but I will recall a few great memories. Dad loved to read and he has a book collection that makes mine look sparse. I was so glad I got him into reading books by David Baldacci. Great stuff and highly recommended. Another one was that my Dad was a big fan of Johnny Carson and many years ago I bought him, for Christmas, a multi DVD set of Johnny Carson shows. He would play that over and over. One that I specifically remember was an interview with a musician who sang his favorite song “I Remember You” by Slim Whitman. I actually brought a small boom box to his room and a CD of Slim’s that he’d just ordered. Ironically, it wasn’t until the last week when I realized the song before “I Remember You”, which was the second song, was a song called “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine” which hit me really hard. I searched YouTube for it, but they have an older version up that isn’t the same. Perhaps I’ll upload it myself one day and share it here in the future… You can check out the lyrics HERE. Below is that clip from the Johnny Carson Show, complete with Slim singing “I Remember You.”

-Dad was from the generation where you don’t go to the doctor unless you really have to-and maybe not even then. Even as far back as around June/July when he was starting to have issues (at least that I started noticing-maybe a little earlier than that), he still insisted that he be the one who drives me to the airport so I could get the rental car for filming on JOHNNY Z– even though it was obvious something was off. Dad is very strong so whatever was happening, he’d just grin and bear it; saying he’d be fine-and I’d believe him. Even when things got worse, he would say not to worry. I’ll never know if he knew how serious things were and didn’t want me and Mom to worry-especially my Mother. By the time I basically forced him to go to the emergency room via an ambulance (he chose St. Joesph’s), he looked a little defeated. Maybe he knew what was to come…

-Dad was at St. Joesph’s for a little over a month, with one overnight stay at a nursing home which was a disaster… Lots of ups and downs throughout all of this. I missed one day (I can’t even remember why) but otherwise I was there to visit him all the other days-many times twice per day. The majority of the people I encountered there were wonderful, caring people. Having said that, there were some people/events/situations that still don’t sit well with me. There were even times when I felt like I was in a bad drama movie… I was able to talk to Dad a lot and consider each day that I could a blessing. I was able to say goodbye, that I loved him, say what he meant to me and more-all numerous times. All of which (as stated before) I consider a blessing cause some don’t get to do that… There was still so, so much more though… One of my core beliefs is “where there’s life, there’s hope.” With all that has happened during this time, this is now one of those beliefs that I mentioned earlier that is strained if not shattered. Everything has now changed. Everything…

-One of the reasons I wanted to be there so much and would’ve been there all day every day if I could was that if the worst happened, I’d be there and he wouldn’t pass alone. I didn’t believe it would happen (I still had faith-no matter what anyone said), but Dad always taught me to do my best in being prepared for the worst-and it came… On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 8:15 PM, my Dad passed away and I was there at his side, holding his hand and feeling totally crushed. The anguish inside…

-There’s a lyric line from the Butch Walker song “Father’s Day” that’s been running in my head for weeks…

“You don’t become a man, until you lose your Dad…”

-I guess it’s time for me to (finally) grow up now…You’ve done so much for me and Mom… Goodbye, my Silver-Haired Daddy…You are forever with us in our hearts and I now hope there is an afterlife so that we can all meet once again. I love you & miss you so much Dad. So very, very much…

RWJ OBITUARY-KRUEGER FUNERAL HOME

RWJ OBITUARY-THE GRAND HAVEN TRIBUNE

RWJ OBITUARY-THE POST STANDARD

As per his obituaries, if you’d like, in lieu of flowers please make a donation in his name to The US Navy Memorial…

THE UNITED STATES NAVY MEMORIAL

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10/31/2019-ACTING-“Tales of Dracula” on What’s Goin’ On Binghamton 2019 Halloween Special

Tonight on WHAT’S GOIN ON BINGHAMTON-via THE HORROR OF IT ALL– for their 2019 Halloween Special, will be the full showing of the film TALES OF DRACULA by WOLFBAIN PRODUCTIONS. Afterward will be BTS interviews with director Joe DeMuro, actor Tom Delillo (The Wolf Man), Makeup Artist Ron Chamberlain and Actor Wayne W. Johnson (Dracula).

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