<![CDATA[Art Wheeler Music - Blog]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 19:30:13 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Feel of the Wall!]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/feel-of-the-wall
​When my wife wakes me up in the middle of the night, it’s rarely for a good reason. One night she woke me up shouting “Feel of the wall!!”  I was sound asleep and wasn’t sure what she had said so when I asked she shouted again, “Feel of the wall!!” I assumed that she had been awake for a while and had a good reason for me to feel of the wall. So I reached through the headboard and placed my hand next to her hand, which was against the wall.  I didn’t feel anything unusual about the wall. Before I could comment or ask why we had our hands on the wall she said, “It’s sticky! And it stinks!”   That’s when I realized that she was asleep.
<![CDATA[2018 Birthday Gifts]]>Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:16:12 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/2018-birthday-gifts
​This March, my wife helped me celebrate my birthday every day during the month.  My birthday is on the 23rd but she gave me a gift every day.  For several years, I have declared that I was celebrating my birthday all month but this year and the previous 2 years, she has given me a gift every day.  This is my opportunity to say thanks to her and document this year’s gifts.
1 - T shirts
2 – Elvis gnome
3 – “Where there’s smoke, there’s flavor” sign
4 - Grill brush
5 - Jim Gaffigan book
6 – Box of Little Debbie Star Crunch
7 - 3 Stooges Curly sign
8 - 78/52 Hitchcock’s Shower Scene Blu-Ray
9 - Dart board
10 - Willett Pot Still Reserve bourbon
11 – “Grill Master” sign
12 – W. C. Fields bookends
13 - BBQ sauce mop
14 - 3 Stooges Larry sign
15 - Whoppers and twisty balloons
16 - Coconut rum
17 - Pineapple juice
18 – 2 shaving bowls
19 - Trivia Box “We Love Movies” game
20 - BBQ sauce bottles
21 - 3 stooges Moe sign
22 – Cream soda sampler case
23 - Groucho statue
24 - Parker safety razor, brush and stand
25 - Groucho magnet
2 6- Razor blades and Chick-o-Stick
27 - Long handle BBQ basting brush
28 – Colonel Conk’s Shaving soap
29 – Razor blade disposal case
30 -  A Case of Sioux City Sarsaparilla
31 - Pig BBQ sign
<![CDATA[Picture on the Wall]]>Sat, 24 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/picture-on-the-wall
​My wife has a reputation for doing and saying things in her sleep. This story took place in our first house. It was before our children were born. My wife has some nice cross-stitched pieces that she had done that were based on Norman Rockwell works. We had several of these hanging in our bedroom.  She had placed one on the wall on each side of our bed. She had another on the wall next to a window in our bedroom.  One night I woke up and I could see her standing next to this picture reaching up like she was taking it off the wall. I asked her what she was doing.  She said, “The man’s coming to get it!” I could tell from her response that she was asleep, so I got up and grabbed the picture to make sure she didn’t break it. I woke her up in the process. When I talked to her about this, she said she was having a dream. She was taking a certificate from a wall to give it to someone in the dream. It was a good think that I woke up when I did.
<![CDATA[Nightgown]]>Fri, 16 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/nightgown
​My wife doing something interesting while she was asleep has never been an every-night experience. But this story also takes place in our first apartment which we lived in for about a year. This particular night, we went to sleep as usual. She didn’t do or say anything special before I fell asleep. She didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night. The alarm clock went of the next morning and we were still laying in the bed. She sat up and asked me “What did you do with my gown?” She always slept in a gown and when I rolled over to look at her, I could see that she wasn’t wearing one. And she wasn’t wearing a smile either. I told I didn’t do anything with it, but she was convinced that I had undressed her in the middle of the night. She was mad at me until she found it folded up underneath her pillow.
<![CDATA[Earrings]]>Fri, 09 Mar 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/earrings
​My wife and I were still in that first apartment when I had my next encounter with her doing things in her sleep. She had a very nice pair of diamond earrings that someone in her family had given to her as a Christmas gift. She was very careful not to sleep in these earrings. One night, we had been in the bed for a short time. I was drifting off to sleep when she nudged me and handed me her earrings to put on our only nightstand which was on my side of the bed. The next morning when we were getting up, she reached up to her ears and said, “Where are my earrings?”  I told her that she had given them to me the night before I and showed them to her on the nightstand. She had no memory of giving them to me.
<![CDATA[The Blinds]]>Sat, 03 Mar 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/the-blinds
​My wife and I had not been married that long until I found out that she would occasionally walk or talk in her sleep.  The very first time I remember her doing anything like this was when we were in our first apartment. She fell asleep before I did but we hadn’t been in bed that long. All of a sudden she shouted, “Dammit Arthur, Close the Blinds!” I like to sleep in a dark room.  I wouldn’t have gotten in bed unless I thought the blinds were closed enough to make the room as dark as possible. But as a newlywed that wanted to make everything right for my bride, I dutifully got up and tried to close them a little more. It was when I got back in the bed that realized she was asleep and had been when she shouted at me.
<![CDATA[Falling Slats]]>Sat, 24 Feb 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/falling-slats
​When I was growing up, I slept in a twin bed. This is the same bed I talked about in a previous post where I talk about not being a sleepwalker. This bed had 4 slats under the boxed springs. One of these slats didn’t fit that well and would occasionally fall out when I was moving in the bed.  The boxed springs didn’t shift. The provided no real purpose other than to make a very loud noise when it hit the tile floor in my room.
​One night, I had a hard time falling asleep.  It was a school night and I would never stay at home unless I was really sick. I didn’t feel that bad other than the fact that I knew I needed to go to sleep and I was tired.  As I laid in the bed, I convinced myself that I had a bit of a headache and that taking something for it would help me fall asleep.  My bedroom was at one end of the hall and the kitchen where we kept the aspirin was at the other end of the hall.  I would have to pass by my sister’s room on the left and my parents’ room on the right before I reached the kitchen. When I sat up on the edge of the bed, the slat fell out and hit the floor. When it hit, it scared me. When it scared me, I jumped up.  When I jumped up, I screamed. And when I screamed, I started running down the hall.
From this point on, my memory plays this event in slow motion. As I ran past the door of my sister’s room, I could hear her rolling over in the bed.  As I approached my parents’ room, I heard my mother begin screaming. Next, I heard what I correctly assumed to be my father scrambling to get out of the bed. The way their bed was positioned in their room, my mother’s side of the bed was closest to the door to the hall. My father leapt over my mother and ran into the hall.  I ran into him and immediately said, “The slat fell out from my bed!” He grabbed me and shoved me into my mother who was right behind him still in the bedroom. When I bumped into her she was hysterically shouting “What happened?”
I don’t remember if I got any aspirin but I did finally fall asleep after my heart stopped racing.
<![CDATA[I Am Not A Sleepwalker]]>Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:10:26 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/i-am-not-a-sleepwalker
I am not a sleepwalker.  I have never been one to get up in the middle of the night while I was not awake.  The closest I ever came to sleepwalking was one evening when I was still in elementary school.  I woke up and found myself sitting up in the bed.  I wasn’t dreaming about getting up or sitting up. I don’t remember that I was dreaming about anything at all.  I briefly considered what was going on and decided to aggressively fall back onto my pillow.  
​What I didn’t realize was that I was not sitting up in my bed with the head of the bed and my pillow behind me.  I was in a twin bed sitting with my feet hanging off the side. Since the head of the bed was against the wall with room on either side of the bed, I flipped out of the bed headfirst instead of flopping back into the mattress. My parents heard me, and my father called out asking me what was going on.  I responded, “I fell out of the bed. Landed on my head.” He replied, “Don’t hurt yourself.”
<![CDATA[Everything I Know About Polka]]>Sun, 11 Feb 2018 19:14:21 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/everything-i-know-about-polka
Growing up in rural West Tennessee, I wasn’t exposed to very much polka music.  For years my only real exposure to polka was the occasional Myron Floren song on the Lawrence Welk Show.  My next exposure to polka that had any impact on me was when a Camelot Music store opened at our local mall. This store had a wider variety of albums than the JC Penny and Sears stores in the mall.  They even had an international section that included a few polka albums. I never listened to them, but I could tell from their album artwork, the accordion figured into polka music. “Weird Al” Yankovic was probably my next exposure with his occasional polka versions of rock songs but I don’t think that should really count.  The Shmenge Brothers skits on the SCTV television show was probably the most authentic exposure to real polka although I didn’t really appreciate it.  It wasn’t until I saw the Big Joe Polka Show that I got a real idea of what polka was about.
In the early 2000’s, I discovered the RFD channel on our satellite system. I watched this channel because they showed reruns of Hee Haw. One night after one of those episodes, The Big Joe Polka Show came on and I started watching.  I was amazed at the whole polka culture that was shown on these programs.  Old people and young kids dancing in circles.  Some of the couples wore matching outfits.  Some had special vests with lettering on the back identifying where they were from or indicating they were in a polka club or group. I really enjoyed watching these people dance. It didn’t matter if they were good or not. It was also interesting to see people sitting at tables next to the dance floor knocking back a few beers at this multi-generational gathering.  Not something I would normally see in my rural community.
The host of the show was a big likeable guy named Joe Siedlik who promised “Happy music for happy people.” His wore a vest and a ruffled shirt. One side of the vest next to the opening in front looked like an accordion keyboard and the other side looked like the bass buttons.  The ruffles on his shirt looked like the bellows of an accordion.
I discovered that the polka band was about more than just an accordion.  Just like the Shmenge’s, most of these bands featured a clarinet.  The instrumentation varied from group to group. Some had trumpets and tubas, some had keyboards.  Some had an upright bass and some had an electric bass.  One had a young girl named Molly B. who played a keyboard and a trumpet at the same time. Almost all had an accordion.
While watching, I noticed a pattern to the show.  They would show a series of bands performing but each band would only play three songs.  During the live shows they probably played more but to have variety for the television show, they limited what they showed to three.  Typically the first and last songs were polkas and the middle song was a waltz.  The type of music didn’t affect the dancers very much.  They seemed to go at about the same pace and the songs usually have about the same tempo.  One night I was watching a band that had a woman playing the bass guitar. A man was playing a keyboard and singing.  I don’t remember what other instruments were in the band. I wasn’t playing close attention that night. But as the band started playing their second song, the tune of this waltz sounded familiar. I recognized it was the tune to the gospel song “One Day At A Time.” I noticed it because I don’t know any of these songs and they all sound the same.  It’s hard for me to tell the difference between the polkas and the waltzes.  As the song continued, it soon became obvious that it was “One Day At A Time.” Growing up in a community where many of the churches frowned on dancing, I could see the people I grew up with having a real problem with dancing to a waltzing to a religious song next to a beer garden.
If you are not familiar with the song “One Day At A Time” the lyrics to the first verse start with,
I’m only human
I’m just a woman
Normally when it is sung by a man, the second line is replaced with,
I’m just a man
When the man playing the keyboard sang these lines he said,
I’m only human
She’s just a woman
When he said the second line, he nodded his head toward the woman playing the bass. I thought this was an odd choice that completely changed the meaning of the line. Instead of being an acknowledgement of an individual’s lowly state, it became an exercise in gender identification. 
I would watch Big Joe off and on over the years.  He died in 2015 and I’ve never seen any reruns of his show on RFD.  But they did give Molly B her own show.

<![CDATA[I Buckle My Belt]]>Sun, 04 Feb 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://artwheelermusic.net/blog/i-buckle-my-belt
I drove a Chevy S-10 pickup truck for years.  This truck had a standard transmission.  When my kids were young, it was a rare occasion that any of them would ride in the truck with me, especially by the time we had more than one kid. The problem was fitting more than one car seat in the small cab of this truck.  On the rare occasion when I would put two car seats in the truck, there was barely enough room for me to sit. And when I did get in the truck, it was difficult to reach the stick to shift gears. It was just easier to use my wife’s vehicle when I needed to go anywhere with the kids.
There were a few occasions while we lived in middle Tennessee when I would take one of the kids in my truck.  This was usually a treat for them whenever I did this. My oldest daughter was probably about 4 one time when I took her somewhere in my truck.  I had an audiotape of songs from the Barney Children’s show in my truck that I would play for her that made it even more special.  She would occasionally sing along.
One day we were coming out of our neighborhood and the song Buckle Up My Seatbelt was playing.  This features lyrics like “Driving to my school, I buckle my belt.” It is sung to the tune of Skip To My Lou. Another verse has the lyrics “Driving to my house, I buckle my belt”. As we were rounding a corner, my daughter’s car seat leaned over a little more that normal.  It wasn’t strapped in quite as good as it should have been. I my hurry to get wherever we were going, I did a sloppy job. I panicked slightly and reached to try to steady the seat. At the same time, I screeched to a halt a whipping the steering wheel around jerking the car slightly.  We were never in danger, but it wasn’t very graceful. My continued singing along with Barney changing the lyrics to “Having a wreck, I buckle my belt!”