Tag Archive: veterans


[Re-posted from DSA blog]
Bobby Montgomery at DSA BoothThe second special event of October was the DSA booth at the Arlington Guitar Show on Saturday, October 17, and Sunday, the 18th. Bobby Montgomery set up the table on Saturday – and worked all day both days, God bless him! I joined him shortly thereafter – after waiting in line to park. I helped with the booth until about 12:30.

I was watching the booth when Bobby stepped out for a bit. I looked at my phone and saw a notification from Facebook. It was one of those “what you were doing last year” posts that Facebook does, with a picture from a year ago. It was the picture I took of Bobby behind the booth last year at the guitar show. It looked similar to the picture above, but I think the table looked better this year.

After a couple of hours I had to leave in order to host the DSA Showcase at the Farmers Branch Manske Library. I don’t know if any volunteers showed up to help Bobby after I left. I didn’t have a chance to browse the booths before I left. I did do one thing, but that is a different post.

On Sunday, Bobby and I opened the booth again with a little help from my son, Cameron. Then I had the chance to wander around and drool at the guitars, amps, and accessories. Among the wandering and drooling, I stopped at the Guitars for Vets booth. I met George Jordan, head of the Dallas Chapter.

George told me how the program worked. They give each vet ten guitar lessons. If the vet completes all ten lessons and shows interest, they give him a guitar. When I told him I was with the Dallas Songwriters, he got excited. They were trying to come up with something, after giving the vet the guitar, to keep the interest and effectiveness going.

I told him the DSA would be happy to support them in any way we could. We have worked with many veterans over the years. If music and playing guitar can help them maintain, then surely songwriting would help. Without a doubt, they have stories to tell. For several years, Dallas Songwriters distributed a cd entitled Songs from the Soul of Service: A Collection of Songs written by U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Surely telling those stories through song – or even spoken word over guitar – would be comforting in nature. I will be contacting George soon. Stay tuned for future development.

Dickey Johnson and Michael Brandenberger arrived at the booth before I left in time to get Cameron back home to go to work. We talked to quite a few people at the booth over the two days. We have two pages of names and emails to enter into the mailing list and into a drawing for a chance to win a free year’s membership. If you are on that list, you should receive an email from me before too long.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Dan at Santa Monica Pier signThe morning after the show at Pig ‘n’ Whistle, Cameron and I rode the Hop-On, Hop-Off double decker bus to Santa Monica. After walking around the pier, we ate at Pier Burger. There is a sign on the pier that says “Santa Monica 66 End of the road.” It signals, of course, the end of Route 66.

People were going nuts, taking each other’s picture by the sign. Which I told Cameron I thought was pretty silly. If you had traveled from quite a distance actually following Route 66, then it would make sense. But just to take your picture in front of the end of line sign means nothing – it just proves you were on the pier.

Dan at Santa Monica with Namba Bag

Had my Namba Gear bag with me, of course.

That and you saw the Forest Gump movie. Then again, I saw a lot of people take pictures of some strange things that week. Like big bushes, weird trees, odd people, buildings that have no significance, and other various oddities.

Then I looked up from my burger, and another group was gathering to have their picture taken in front of the sign. I turned to Cameron and nodded at the crowd.

“Now that’s a group that has a legitimate reason for taking their picture under the sign!”

It was a group of older veterans, each carrying a large flag. The flagpoles were wrapped for a comfortable hand hold and they had braces of sorts on their shoulders. If I read what there was to read correctly, they had actually traveled the length of Route 66.

Cameron at Santa Monica Pier SignObviously, chances are they had not walked all the way, but that is an insignificant fact. Just the fact that they had traveled the distance, supporting fellow veterans and their country, earned them the right to take a picture under the sign signaling, literally, the end of the road. I said a quiet prayer for them as they congratulated each other and took pictures in celebration.

Some of the most memorable moments on a trip happen when you’re not really looking.

Peace be with you.

%d bloggers like this: