LaGuardia Side Bar

Posted in Miscellaneous on September 28th 2013 by Randy Reichardt

I want to tell you this story, not because I was the Good Samaritan here, but because it’s an example of how we must treat someone we meet who is in distress. I think I’m writing it more for me so I can remember exactly what happened.

I arrived at LaGuardia on a flight from Edmonton via Minneapolis around 17:00 this afternoon. While waiting for my luggage, I hit the restroom for a moment, and when I returned, I noticed a fellow passenger fussing about with her luggage, which was a large hiker’s-type backpack and a couple of other smaller bags, likely made of linen and string, to hold clothing. As I got closer, I noticed that her backpack was in really bad shape, parts of it torn badly, and she was unfolding what appeared to be (and was) a sleeping bag that was damaged beyond repair. Other clothing and a towel were on the ground, soaking wet.

I started to talk to her, and she showed me all the damage done to her belongings – a section of her backpack had been shredded, severing a pocket and losing its contents, and busting the buckles that connect it together. Her bath towel was soaked and filthy, her sleeping bag destroyed, and the backpack in really rough shape, probably damaged beyond repair as well. The cuffs of a nice sweater had also been shredded. She started crying as she explained that this was basically her entire belongings – she was coming to NYC to work on a tall ship for six weeks before returning to the west coast, and everything here was what she needed to live on the boat for the duration. She told me her name was Alea, and that she didn’t know what to do now.

I asked her where she was headed, and she said Yonkers by way of Grand Central Station. She wasn’t sure how she’d get to GCS – I told her I’d help with that. Then I said I’d check with Delta Baggage to ask for assistance. I found the desk, but they were busy, so I went back and motioned her over. When she started talking with the Delta customer rep, she broke down crying again. The Delta rep listened closely, treated her with respect and dignity, and was brilliant and caring – she took all her information, asked her for estimates of the worth of the damaged goods, and her contact information. The Delta rep confirmed that she would be fully reimbursed for her losses.

I told Alea that I would take care of getting her to Grand Central Station. I had booked a car to take me to my destination on E91 Street when I arrived, so I called Carmel Car Service and told them that I had another passenger who needed to be driven to GCS, and that I would pay for her ride. (It was a pittance of an additional amount.)

After she settled with Delta, the rep came around the desk and gave her a big hug! We went out to the centre island and while waiting for the car, chatted quite a bit. She told me about how excited she was to come here to work on this tall ship, where she would be teaching children about environmental stewardship, sailing, and many other things. Finally the car arrived, we continued sharing stories, and eventually dropped me off at my destination. We hugged each other and I told her everything would be ok. She couldn’t stop thanking me, and I told her I was obligated by Canadian law to help people in situations like hers.

Pay it forward, my friends. It feels SO good when do can help someone else through a miserable moment in their lives, even if you don’t know them.

Monsoon Season In Edmonton.

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 15th 2013 by Randy Reichardt

http://picasion.com/i/1VqAm/
http://picasion.com/i/1VqAm/

60

Posted in Miscellaneous on June 28th 2013 by Randy Reichardt

.: And there it is. 60. And…end scene.

Gypsy by Antje Duvekot

Posted in Antje Duvekot, Miscellaneous on April 4th 2013 by Randy Reichardt

.: Antje Duvekot is one of my favorite musicians. I love her writing, her voice, her songs. Here’s a new song on which she is currently working, called Gypsy, which Antje describes as a rough draft. Listen and love it.

Vegetarian Chili – from Nutritionist in the Kitch

Posted in Miscellaneous on March 11th 2013 by Randy Reichardt

.: I’ve been working with Christal Szebel, Holistic Nutritionist Extraordinaire, since last fall. She has been an inspiration, guiding me along as she creates a new eating plan for me, in an effort to lose weight, get healthier and manage high blood sugar and high blood pressure.  She maintains a great recipe blog, Nutritionist in the Kitch.

One of her delicious meatless recipes is vegetarian chili. I’ve made it a few times and it’s delicious.  Check out the recipe here and give it a try!

chili

 

The Kids Are Alright

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 27th 2012 by Randy Reichardt

I had a very moving experience involving children on Wednesday, 19 December 2012. At 12:30 hrs, I went to Sarah’s school to help her with her Christmas concert the next day. Sarah is an elementary school teacher, and is also the music teacher in her school, which covers K-6. Some weeks ago she asked if I would learn a Coco Love Alcorn song, “Joyful“, teach her how to play it, and then she would teach the kids how to sing it. For the concert, I would play guitar on that song. I arrived at the school, and immediately realized I’d left my guitar at home. Well, duh. Sarah met me and told me she had her’s there, so I could use it. At least I had my amp and cables.

We went to the gym and I set up my gear, Sarah and I ran through Joyful, as well as a couple of her originals, because she had said we might play 1-3 of her original tunes for the children as well. Everything was ready and at about 13:00 the kids started filling up the gym with their various teachers. I found myself very conscious of their presence, not in the least of which was because of the recent Sandy Hook tragedy. I felt so privileged to be there amongst them. While they were getting seated, I started to play Jingle Bells quietly, and the K kids, sitting close to me, started smiling and singing along. By the time everyone was seated, the entire school was singing Jingle Bells. A little girl in the K class smiled and made me the heart symbol with her hands so I did it back to her, and she and the other kids sitting with her were beaming!

Sarah explained that the kids were there so that they could see a preview of the concert and see what the other grades would be doing during the concert, since when the concert was being held (twice that day), they wouldn’t be able to watch. We sat through each Grade doing their songs and dances and routines, all of them wonderful, silly, and yes, joyful. When it was time for me to join in, she introduced me (they all know that she and I play music together), and the kids all yelled, “HI RANDY!” I couldn’t stop smiling.

To organize them for the song, Sarah and their teachers lined them all up in a row against the left, right and back walls, with the smallest ones up front, below the stage. (This is how they would sing the song during the concert, with the parents sitting in the chairs watching). I started playing, while also basically helping Sarah, as she had to conduct them facing four directions at once, and the kids at the front had an extra line to sing at the end of the song. I played, the kids sang, and it was great fun, with me singing standing near the centre of the gym (at Sarah’s request), playing while also singing along so the kids could see me doing so and follow along more easily.

When this was finished, we were going to play a song or two of Sarah’s. The kids were excited, and Sarah told them they could all get up and dance. The K kids were smiling at me and I said, “Hey, are you guys ready to dance?”, and they said, “Yah”, so I said in a louder voice, “I SAID, ARE YOU READY TO DANCE?”, and they screamed, “YEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!”

I started the song, but Sarah had no mic, so they couldn’t hear her, just me playing. So there I was, pounding out Sarah’s great song, “Gone for Good”, and an entire elementary school dancing up a storm on the gymnasium floor and having a blast. It was so much fun.

No one needs to be reminded of how special and important children are. But seldom do we get to go into a school and experience what teachers do for them, and what an absolute gift each child is in our lives, and how amazing each teacher is. The concerts held the following day were a great success, and I loved helpng Sarah and her kids with both of them. But I also wanted to share with you what an amazing, special experience today was for me. Thanks, Sarah, for asking me to help! 🙂