Sunday, December 4, 2016
I started this blog with the sole purpose of introducing the idea of a science-fiction vampyre who was truly similiar to the traditional vampires of lore. Nathan tries to avoid sunlight (although he can step out on cloudy and rainy days, and can actually walk in the light but only if he's loaded up on blood in advance since sunlight can dry him out to the point of becoming dust). He sleeps in the ground (because certain nutrients his body needs can only be absorbed from there). And he can shape-shift becoming a horde of rats, bats, dogs, mist, grow wings... but is restricted to how big he can do these things. He cannot make more than what there is of his physical being (law of mass). And of course, he is extremely long-lived.
The blog has been chronicling short stories about his long life and some of the people he has met over the last 150 years such as Mae West
the Marx Brothers,
Silent film stars like Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
Ballroom dancer turned heart-throb Rudolph Valentino
And many others he worked with in Vaudeville before they became movie stars, along with others whose lives he's touched such as victims of the Nazi Holocaust and simple everyday people. There are also entries from the supporting cast who allow you to see Nathan through their eyes. Their stories show many sides to him and why he has come to be a guardian angel who has watched over not only them but in some cases their parents, grandparents.
To date there are over 41 short and somewhat longer stories on the blog, with many more to come. I plan on bundling some of the stories next Christmas as an anthology, since there are so many entries on the blog for people to wade through these days.
In the meantime, please share the blog link with everyone you know and then help them to check out Nathan's first full-length novel story "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" where he comes back to his hometown Pointer, West Virginia. He has come back many times but this time its to stay to save the manor he called home from the wrecking ball, as well as the 1000 acres of pristine land which would fall prey to ruthless lumber companies and coal mining corporations.
Its a lonely homecoming, as far as he knows, but someone has been waiting for him to come back. Someone who saw him leave to fight in the Civil War back in 1862 and a year later died in his arms shortly after his transformation which occurred in a Para-Earth where he encountered two strange lifeforms. One which kept him alive, while the other wanted him destroyed... and still does. In fact, the latter has found its way into this reality and is now closing in on Pointer to finish him off once and for all for he's the only force that can keep it from absorbing all the dead in this world, even if it has to make more people dead to complete the job.
You can find the novel both in e-book and trade paperback form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble:
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For Apple and Kobo readers use Smashwords:
Thanks again and stay tuned for more short stories to be posted soon, including some new holiday tales involving Nathan and his extended family. Until then, keep reading and writing my friends.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
The kiss had taken me by surprise, but I didn't fight it. Instead I returned it with all the gusto and feeling I've always felt for her. I think it took her by surprise, because when we finally parted she had to take a moment to catch her breath.
"You never did hold back," she managed to whisper after a few seconds, but there was a smile on her face. Then it slowly faded as she looked away saying, "Paul's the same way. The two of you are so alike."
"Except he's built like Mr. America whereas I'm still on the slender side," I pointed out. Paul Novak had been on of her muscle-man back-up dancers from her Las Vegas revue. The two of them had been together for sixteen years, and as far as I knew all had been well. But the kiss that Mae had just given me, was worrisome. "Is everything okay between you two kids?" I asked.
She turned and gave me one of her trademark 'looks'. "Honey, if you think I'm a kid, you need glasses or to cut down on the drinking," she smirked, but I could see in her eyes she was troubled by something.
Ignoring the opening she'd left me for a good comeback, I went over to her and asked, "What's wrong, Baby?"
"Paul," she answered with a sigh.
"He's not stepping out on you, is he?" I asked in surprise. From what I'd seen of the big man in the past, his devotion to Mae rivaled and even possibly surpassed my own. Surely he wouldn't be cheating on her after sixteen years.
Mae quickly shook her head. "He's as devoted to me as ever, it's just..." Looking up and around at our surroundings she said, "This place is like me. Older, falling down in some areas... while he's still pretty vibrant and young by comparison..."
"And can't keep his hands off of you, right?" I finished for her with a smile.
That made her laugh and some of the old confidence came back. "You'd better believe it, Honey," she replied in her Diamond Lil persona. "Not that I'm complaining, you understand?"
Nodding I smiled and leaned up against the doorway and asked gently, "So why did you kiss me?"
"Sometimes, I just wonder why he's still so crazy about me," she confided. "I knew from the beginning there was a thirty-year difference in our ages, and that I wouldn't look the way I did at fifty forever. I see the changes, yet he's still as in love with me as ever, possibly more. Can he really be that happy with me or am I living in a dream?"
I'd seen her vulnerable side before, but it had been a long time ago. Everyone believed the tough, wise-cracking, sassy-blonde act from her movies was the real her, but I and a few others knew better. I also knew what she was really asking. Was she still beautiful enough to fire men's passion, especially with someone who had shared many intimate moments with her so long ago.
Before I could say anything she continued. "You told me about your first wife, Madeleine and how she'd been twenty years older than you when you married her."
I nodded, "She'd been married to my commanding officer and best friend, Brian Weston. I was the one who brought the news to her about his falling at Gettysburg in 1863. She and I married a couple of years later."
"And you stayed with her until she died in her early seventies," Mae continued.
"That's right," I told her. And then I added without pause, "And I ravished her almost every night up until that day."
"Even though she didn't look the same as when you married her? Didn't the lines or other changes bother you?"
I'm proud to say I shook my head with complete confidence and honesty. "She was still my Madeleine and I was as crazy about her as I was the first time I laid eyes on her when I was ten. And had she lived another twenty years I would've held, kissed and caressed her every moment I could."
"Is that what would be happening to me right now? If I had said 'yes' all those years ago, you and I..."
"Wouldn't be standing here simply talking, trust me," I assured her and stepped closer.
She held up a hand, "Easy there, Tiger. I'm spoken for..."
"I know," I replied and took her hand and stared out towards the glass doors near the concession stand. "And he's waiting for you."
A look of amazement crossed her face. "Paul's here?" she gasped, "I didn't tell him where I was going. Did he follow me?" she asked getting a little cross.
"No, he was just passing and I stopped him with a small dose of my mist," I explained. "I noticed him while I was still standing by the concession stand and you called out to me. A part of me assumed something was up, so I let a piece of myself slip outside and got him to hang around while we talked."
She studied me for a moment. "Can you tell if he's upset?"
"More like worried about you."
"I've been a little moody lately, thinking about what you and I have been discussing," she admitted.
"He loves you as much as ever," I told her. "Never doubt it. And I know you love him the same way. With love like that, age will never be an issue."
She looked at me and smiled. "I wish I could've believed you back in Roaring Twenties when you said those same words to me. But I just couldn't see you really staying with me as I got older and you stayed young."
"That's not true," I pointed out. "I do age, just at a much slower rate than most people. The truth is I physically age 1 year for every ten that passes. Remember, I was only sixteen when I joined the Union Army."
"And now you look like you're in your mid-twenties," she replied with a sigh. Then a sly grin crossed her face, "But you're still on the scrawny side. I like my men with a lot of muscle."
"I've got plenty of muscle," I protested. "Remember that night when those five guys..."
She cut me off saying, "I meant muscles that show, Honey. No offense."
"None taken," I assured her with a smile. Then I took another look around us and asked, "So were you serious about restoring this place? Or was it just an excuse to bring me here?"
"I've been thinking about it for a while actually," she admitted.
"Then let's do it," I replied and then caught the smirk on her face. Immediately I realized my faux pas and quickly added, "Restoring the theater, I mean." I could tell my face was turning red even before I spoke.
Not that it mattered, she was grinning from ear to ear saying, "Even after all these years, I can make you blush like schoolgirl. I must still have IT."
"You do, Mae," I assured her, "Now why don't you go and join Paul outside. Tell him about your plans and then call me. The three of us can get together and discuss how to get the restoration going."
"Why don't you come outside with me and talk to him now?" she asked.
"He's been on edge for a while," I told her. "Finding out you met me in an old abandoned theater, may not look right, if you know what I mean."
She nodded. "You always were a gentleman."
"Except for when you brought out the beast in me," I smiled and waggled my eyebrows.
"I certainly did," she grinned back and headed out through the lobby.
I stayed in the theater until she and Paul were gone, then I slipped out in my mist form to make sure they were doing okay. I caught up with them as they were walking through a park, where I took a little liberty and spread myself out like a host of fireflies and illuminated their way. I could tell Mae suspected it was me, but Paul remained blissfully ignorant. He simply pulled her closer and enjoyed being with the woman he loved.
I did hear from them a few days later and the three of us bought the theater and started the restoration process. We stayed close for the rest of Mae's life. After she passed, I kept in touch with Paul and watched over him, just as I knew Mae would want, until he joined her. By then I was watching over her goddaughter who was now tugging at my sleeve saying, "Uncle Nate?"
I blink and find myself back in the present. "Sorry, I was wool-gathering," I told her.
"More like you were thinking about my godmother again, weren't you?" Olivia teased.
"She was amazing," I smile wistfully and look back at the playbill. "Let's go for it. I think a few nights of burlesque and some vaudeville will be a lot of fun?"
Olivia smiles and turns to Gina, "See? I told you he'd go for it."
The Latina beauty nods and folds her arms saying, "Yeah, but what about the 'other' show you want to put on for next Halloween?"
"Whatever it is, I'm in," I tell them, without pause and quickly regret it. The two of them eye each other wickedly and pull out another poster and unfold it for me to see. Immediately I regret my hasty words. "And what part do you have in mind for me exactly?" I ask with a sinking feeling.
"The mad doctor of course," Olivia smiles.
"NO! No way! Not happening!" I protest, but it's already a lost cause. Each of them has one of my arms and are dragging me off the stage towards the dressing room for a trial make-over. I argue all the way to the dressing room, but it's too late. It turns out that Olivia can be just as persuasive as her godmother, and somewhere back in the theater I can hear Mae laughing herself silly.
Friday, October 23, 2015
I stared sadly at the rows of dilapidated chairs and torn hangings. Plaster had fallen from the once ornate ceiling, as well as the walls. There was dust everywhere and a feeling emptiness that seemed to reach inside me.
"I've heard people say they can still hear the laughter and applause when they come here," Mae told me in a wistful voice.
"I'm not one of them," I replied with a candor and bluntness that took me by surprise. "This place is as empty as a tomb... and yet not quite."
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Mae smile. "You didn't use to be so direct," she remarked.
"Only with you," I reply and turned to face her. "And do you know why? Because you told me that the was the way you preferred me to be. Direct and honest."
Her smile widened and for a moment I could see the girl I met in this very place all those years ago.
Taking my hand she led me out of the balcony area and back towards the stairs. As we walk, I notice the top of one of the pillars. Being so high up, it seems to have avoided accumulating too much dust and can see the gold painted scroll work. It glistens in the what little light there is coming through the down the stairs.
The sight makes me smile. To see hints of the old grandeur of the place still in tact, in spite of all the decay that surrounds us, brings a warmth to my heart. It also raises suspicion that has been growing in the back of my mind since I got Mae's phone call.
But I say nothing. I just wish to enjoy being with her again. As we both said, it had long time since we'd last spent time together. We make our way down the stairs carefully. A fall wouldn't do me much harm, but Mae would be another matter. Besides, it gave me an excuse to keep her close. Even after all this time, the smell of her was intoxicating to me. There were so many things I wanted to say and do right then, but I kept myself in check. She had brought me here for a reason and I was curious to learn what it was.
Once we reached the bottom of the steps she led me down a corridor that was as familiar to me as my own name. I'd carried her down this way one night after she'd slipped and twisted her ankle just outside the theater. It had been snowing and the sidewalks had been slippery. She was trying to get back on her feet when I arrived on the scene and scooped her up as if she weighed nothing. The gesture had impressed her. Until then she thought of me as a real sweet guy who could use a little beefing up. She started looking at me in a different light after that.
And now, over sixty years later, we were passing this way again. Surprisingly, the corridor was in better shape than I expected. There were sections of wallpaper missing and the ceiling needed some work, but there was an elegance that was still visible. As we explored, we talked about our days here and of old friends. Some of them were still among the living, while others had left this world. Yet, all of the ones who had been here, had left something of themselves.
I know this sounds contrary to what I said earlier about the place being empty, but there was something in the air.
Now we had reached the stage and were carefully making our way among the fallen curtains and forgotten ropes an pulleys, which I had worked so many times in my first few years at this theater. I still remembered how to operate each and every one of them, and what they did. I also knew how to fix them and could get them up and working again within a short time.
At that point the suspicion that had been in the back of my mind grew, but I said nothing as we continued our exploration. Soon we found ourselves in the area of the dressing rooms. Vandals had left their marks on the doors, but had done little else.
Another wave of nostalgia swept over me as we peaked into each room. One of them left the two of us breathless. It had been converted to be a prop room and there were still some items inside. Of course time and neglect, along with some hooliganism, had left their marks here. But what really moved me was the fact that one or two pieces of furniture I recognized. "That table and wardrobe, they..." I began, only to have Mae cut in.
"There were in my dressing room," she breathed in awe. "I can't believe they're still here."
"Would you like to take them home?" I asked, even though I already knew her response.
"No, they belong here. Or rather in my old dressing room," she said with her usual confidence. But then she sighed and added more quietly, "Not that anyone will ever see them."
"Not unless we buy the place and restore it to its former glory," I replied. "That is why you asked me to come here, isn't it?"
Mae didn't answer right away. She merely smiled and slipped her arms around my neck and whispered, "The thought had occurred to me. But there was another reason why I asked you to come." Then she kissed me, good and hard.
TO BE CONCLUDED NEXT TIME...
Monday, October 12, 2015
A hand touches my arm at that moment and I'm brought back to the present.
"Are you okay, Uncle Nate?" asks Olivia, studying me closely with those big blue eyes of hers.
I nod and sigh, "Yeah, just took a little trip down memory lane. I met some of my best friends in this place."
"Including, my Aunt Mae," she smiles. "You were thinking of her, weren't you?"
I give her an inscrutable look and ask, "Now what makes you think that?"
"You had a little smile on your face," she replies with a grin. "It's the same one you always get whenever you tell me stories about my godmother. God, how I miss her. She passed away when I was only seven, but I still remember how full of life and sass she always was."
"I know what you mean," I tell her and look out at the empty theater. "She's the reason this place is still standing."
"I thought you had a hand in keeping this place alive," remarks Gina who has joined us. "Don't you own the building?"
"I do, but it was your girlfriend's famous godmother who made that happen," I explain and once again my mind slips back across the years. This time it only goes back to 1970, when a phone call brought me back to this building for the first time in thirty years.
The entryway was dark and there had been a bunch of red posts plastered on the doors. The frames on the walls which usually held posters about the coming performances were empty and dark. The sight had saddened me. Overall, things didn't look too bad from out here. But when I slipped inside, that was when the truth really of how bad things had gotten really hit home.
The old concession stand was still standing, just at the bottom of a grand staircase. Both had seen better days. The shelves were empty, except for dust and cobwebs where an industrious spider had been hard at work sometime in the past. But there was no sign of the arachnid now. I stared forlornly at my surroundings, and remembered how it looked in the past. This area was always teeming with people waiting in line to purchase some goodies to enjoy once they'd reached their seats in theater. Some would make their way up the staircase, passing through the ornate archways at the top, while others would head for the doors here on the ground floor, which led to the main seating area.
In my mind I could still hear the hustle and bustle of the crowds who were eager to see my cohorts on stage, performing and delighting the audience to no end. But there were no sounds now. Just the echoes of my footsteps across the tiled floor. Yet I wasn't alone. I could sense a familiar presence nearby, watching me from above.
Turning and looking up I see a vision of beauty from my past staring down at me. Even at 77 she still made my heart skip a few beats.
A warm smile crosses her lips as she puts one hand on her hip and leans up against the railing and says, "Well, are you gonna stand down there all night or are you finally gonna come up and see me?"
Needless to say I practically fly up the stairs to. I could've actually flown, but sometimes my abilities made her a little uncomfortable. Although on this occasion she gave me a look and shook her head. "What kept ya? I half expected you to just leap up here and into my arms."
"I still might, Baby Mae," I smiled.
That made her laugh. "There's a name I haven't heard in decades," she said with a dismissive wave of her hand.
But I could tell she was delighted, deep down.
"I've missed you," I tell her.
"The feeling's mutual," she replies, and I can tell she means it. For one thing, she's dropped the sassy act.
Then she takes my arm and we start walking. "I'm sure you're wondering why I asked you to come here. tonight," she says after a moment or two.
"The thought has crossed my mind," I admit, but I'm mostly enjoying being with her again. It had been too long.
"I wanted to show you something," she explains, and then gives me a look. "And I don't mean anything naughty."
Naturally I protested my innocence to no avail.
"Don't give me that old routine. I'm the one the one who taught it to you, remember?" she laughs.
"Like it was yesterday," I reply.
Here she became more quiet and said, "A yesterday that had a lot of months and years in front of it. And here's the proof."
She opened the doors to the upper balcony seating and carefully stepped through...
TO BE CONTINUED...
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Another night and I stand once more in my artist's studio located on the top floor of the building that houses my club "The Crypt". No one's allowed up here unless I say so, and tonight I wish to be alone with my thoughts. For two days now I've been wrestling with the idea of trying my hand at writing novels.
In some ways the idea seems ridiculous. Me? An author?
Then another question comes to mind in the form of one word, why?
That's the sticking point for me. Why would I take up writing? Because I'm bored and want to try something new that I've never done before? It wouldn't be the first time. When I joined vaudeville, it was simply to keep myself busy and working behind the scenes as a stagehand at night seemed ideal. But then I started to get to know the performers like Julius, Arthur, Herbert and Leonard... better known as the Marx Brothers. Their range of talents fascinated me. The number of instruments they could play, or the snappy patter they should spout on a moments notice never ceased to amaze me. Plus, they seemed to sense the feeling of being 'lost' and 'adrift' in me, which made them reach out so I could be a part of their comeraderie. But it didn't stop there. Others in the troupe welcomed me as well, like "Fatty" (Roscoe Arbuckle), the Keatons, Harry and Bess Houdini, the lovely and sweet Mae West and so many others...
Before I knew what was happening they'd be teaching me all kinds of skills and even dragging me out on stage to help out in their acts. I could write endless stories about those days and the ones that came before.
My days on the battlefield while serving in the Union Army. So many stories were lost there that only I know about. The hopes and fears of my brothers in blue, as well as some of those who wore the rebel gray. In 167 years of walking this world, I've not forgotten a single person who I've met, good or bad, I remember them. I also remember the stories they shared, the sweethearts they pursued and the outcomes.
So many stories to choose from, but where would I begin?
I brought up the idea of my taking up writing to Brian and his family last night at dinner. Much to my surprise no one laughed. Instead they eagerly supported the venture. Brian in particular urged me to take a couple of creative writing courses at the college where he teaches history. "We've got some really good instructors there and they could really help you hone your skills?" Brian pointed out. "I've taken a couple of them and they were really helpful. Of course, you'll need to decide on a genre to write in. Agents and publishers like to represent someone who has a specific kind of novel."
"You should write romance," his daughter Lisa suggested with a twinkle in her eye as she looked at me. Even though she's only a child I have a feeling she's developing a crush on me. I've seen that look before in girls her age and even younger, over the decades. But only one ever managed to land me, but she was extremely persistent.
Even now I can feel her eyes on me after seven decades. Looking up I find myself staring into a pair of dark eyes, forever captured in oil. Dark hair frames those eyes along with the lovely face and strong chin. "Magda," I whisper and smile.
Our time together was not nearly as long as either of us had hoped, but it was magical. Our first meeting and her prolonged pursuit for my love could fill several volumes. Her persistence paid off and after three years she became my wife at the young age of sixteen.
As I stand there lost in thought, the sounds of music reaches my ears from several floors below. The Crypt is now open and is already filling up with the usual crowd. Even from here I can sense the whirl of emotions and life down there. Laughter, sorrow, broken hearts, lust, hopes for love...
A flash of light through the window catches my eye. After several nights of gathering clouds it looks as rain is finally drawing near. I make my way up the stairs and onto the roof of the building to watch the approaching storm.
I see lightning in the distance over my hometown, it's going to be a good one. But instead of retreating back inside, I stay where I am and feel the breeze on my face and close my eyes. I can feel the storm's energy on the wind and without thinking, several lines of words describing the feeling come to mind. Some of the words are trite, but they still help paint a picture within my head.
Suddenly my eyes shoot open as realization sinks in. Painting a picture, but with words instead of oils or acrylics! No pencils, no paintbrushes, just words that form an image or a scene within the readers mind. That's what an author does. But they don't just paint one picture, they paint a whole series of images, coupled with emotions and thoughts. Yet, I can still use my skills as a painter as well. Illustrations and book covers... yes.
And I have so much material to draw upon. My own experiences as well as those of people who's memories lives I keep alive within me. I've shared their stories countless times with descendants so they are never forgotten.
But what kind of stories to write?
From down in the alley I hear the sound of raised voices. Looking over the edge I see a young couple having a heated argument. The boy is obviously breaking up with the girl and leaves her in the alley alone. But she does not remain that way for long. Three others, friends of hers arrive and comfort her. One of them is a young man who obviously has feelings of his own for her. But instead of being foolish and declaring his affections, he merely gives her the support and comfort of the friend she needs right now.
But I can sense a change in her. It's not big, but her gratitude to him and the two girls with him is obvious. I hear her say she wishes more guys were like him as they step inside. Perhaps something will come of it eventually.
However the thing that gets me most is the image that forms in my mind. Just like the other night down in the club, I could see other figures, superimposed over the trio. Their outfits changed several times within the span of a few seconds. I saw flappers, soldiers, suits, gowns, hippies, but their actions were all the same and leading towards one thing... romance.
"Love Across Time..." I murmur as the first drops of rain start hitting my head.
Why not? I've seen and experienced it so many times in the last fifteen decades. Oh, the settings and ways one behaved have changed over time, but the feelings never do.
Feeling elated at the idea, I spread my arms wide and let the rain and story ideas pour over me.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
I'm beginning to think I may have made a mistake in getting Uncle Nathan to transcribe all those letters and journals. He hasn't been himself since he started. I'm guessing that even after a hundred and fifty years some wounds just don't heal enough. Though he already told me he's determined to finish the task. He really laments all the journals, pictures, and personal mementos that were lost to him over the last century and a half. At least in cyberspace they can never be lost. Plus he really wants those of us who know him to really be able to understand all he's seen and done throughout his long life.
I still find it hard to believe that he's been around for almost a century and a half. I don't mean just the fact that he's existed all that time, but what he's seen and done over the decades. He didn't just sit around brooding and despairing about outliving all the friends and family he knew. The man keeps looking ahead, eager to see new things will come.
I mean think about it. Here is a man who has witnessed the birth of movies, television, computers, and so many other inventions that have changed the world. Plus, he's witnessed or even been part of historic events, both good and bad. But that's just the start.
He's attended night classes at a number college and universities. I know for a fact that he has at least two doctorates, three masters and I don't know how many A. A. and B. A. Degrees. He's learned to play several musical instruments and is a master of ballroom and modern dance styles.
There are photos and posters from the stage and theater. The man was actually part of Vaudeville, for crying out loud. He knew some of Hollywood's biggest names before the movie industry ever even existed. God knows he's made so many of us laugh performing some of his old skits, recreating some performances by other legendary figures like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harry Houdini, Rudolph Valentino (before the movies when he was mostly known for ballroom dance) The Marx Brothers and Mae West to name a few.
The Marx Brothers had a huge influence on him. He learned to play the piano from Chico and later the harp from Harpo. Right now, we're in 'The Crypt' and Uncle Nate's tearing up the piano in Chico's style.
*Author's Note: click here to see Chico in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfIVnzpj1vM
While his teacher was well known for polka and classical, Uncle Nate likes to let loose with a mixture of Jazz, Hip-Hop, and others while still using the same finger movements and comedy. Even the youngest of the Hip-Hop crowd love to watch him in action. Especially when he uses some of those comedic skills up at the turntables when he sits in for the club's DJ.
He never has to worry about the owner of the place being bothered by his antics, he is the owner. He acquired the building back during the Great Depression. "The Crypt" is in the basement and is always open most of the night. Alcohol is never served. That came to an end back in Prohibition and he never lifted the ban. He just wanted a place for everyday people to enjoy themselves.
Right now he's up there getting his and everyone else's groove going. I could go on and on about him, but I think it's better when these things come from him. Which I'm going to try and encourage. Transcribing the letters and journals are still important, but so is existing in the present. This is something he's taught me and so many others over the years. I guess that's why we love him so much and help keep his secret. At least half of the club's visitors know and keep quiet. They also donate regularly so there's always a supply for him in the refrigerators. He only takes from people directly on rare occasions. But that's an entry for another day. Right now, he's stepping over to the piano and cutting loose there, and my feet are itching to get on the dance floor with my wife and children. Even at forty we know how bust moves with the best of them. Uncle Nate taught us the importance of always moving with the times and living our lives to the fullest.