Wednesday, January 24, 2007


For those old Kingsmen fans out there, Liberty recently did a concert with former Kingsmen tenor, Garry Sheppard (far right). He is currently doing stand-up comedy and a little singing. I never would have pictured him as the comedic type, but he is very, very funny. I thought Royce and Dan were going to fall out of their seats on some of the material. He did sing one of my favorite tenor solo songs "He's All I Need". We had a great time.

I did get the low-down from Garry on how he got the nickname Squeaky from Jim Hammill. Before he joined the group, Garry was a lead miner who would occasionally sing in church. Shortly after he joined, the Kingsmen headed into the studio and recorded an album. Immediately after the recording session, they left on a 31-day trip (with a concert on every day). Garry's voice wasn't even remotely up to the challenge and by the last night he was dragging big-time. He got up to sing that last night and he said he felt like there were razor blades in his throat. He could only squeak out the notes. There was nothing musical about it. Jim coined the phrase and voila, the rest is history.

Also pictured are John Harness and Daymon Qualls of the California Melody Boys.

Singing is for wimps

Occasionally, we'll stop by retirement homes for a concert. This was the case in California. I enjoyed it immensely. Nobody laughed at Royce's jokes, since they couldn't hear them. We had one dear soul who sang along (loudly) on all of our hymns including our a cappella arrangement of Holy, Holy, Holy. She was about 4 steps off. Dan was trying to figure out who he should follow, Royce or her. She was louder, so he went with the stronger voice. Fortunately, I never lose control of my emotions during humorous moments (cough, cough). The song ended with my laughter-induced trembling voice holding on for dear life to a note that wasn't anywhere near to what the rest of the guys were singing. Of course, they were all in their own individual key as well. During the song I heard another resident complain loudly, "I WISH SHE WOULD SHUT UP!" Don't you love ministry? Royce and Dan looked into room rates after the concert.

I kind of look like a muppet in this picture.

Bassically Blind

Our very own Fanny Crosby.

The New Tri-Tip Diet

Dan has been invoking the name of his wife Donna when sharing about his diet plans from the stage. He says that Donna eats only celery, carrots, and pea pods while encouraging him to eat likewise. Our good friends the DeJongs called him on it when we went over to their house for a delicious meal of tri-tip steaks.

To his credit, Dan ate it.

Back in the old days...

Dan was on his way to a Liberty practice when a little throat tickle caused a cough which threw his back out. He has been limping around ever since. Doran and I have finally come to the realization that we're traveling with old guys. The smell of Ben-gay in the air, the grunting and groaning heard as they pull on their socks, and the talking in a loud voice all point to the fact that we're operating a geriatric center on wheels.

Dan cons Mark DeJoong, a physical therapist in Ripon, CA, into working on his back alignment.

Doran attempts to teach Dan some flxibility exercises that he declared would cure him of his troubles. We had to carry Dan out to the bus following this picture.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Christmas is come and past...

Just a few pics from our Christmas celebrations back east. This was our first Christmas with our families since we moved out to Idaho. I took pictures of almost everything except the Waggoner Christmas party in Frankfort, IN. I forgot to bring my camera. Enjoy!

We kicked off the season in style by attending my first of many-to-come school programs. Trey is the one inside the green circle (you have to break this stuff down).

Trey was very impressed with his ninja costume that we bought him for Christmas. He took it back east with him. The shards of glass and broken pieces of wood that often litter the floor are evidence of his misplaced passion. I now know what my parents went through when they bought me a drumset.

Speaking of passion, no, I'll use the word obsession, Trey received booster packs for his GI Joe trading card game. He's an addict. He has memorized all of the facts, powers, and boost numbers printed on the back of the card. I'm never going to introduce him to baseball cards.

I showed off my impressive keyboard skills at Grandma Kirkman's house. Martha Miller and Robin Clemens (my college piano instructors) would have been so proud. I hit demo, hit the chord, and voila...

I got to my Grandma's house with plenty of time left before the party. I hardly ever get to see Grandma, so it was a thrill to be with her. It was the first time that she had seen Kassady and the 3rd time she was able to be with Trey. My Grandma Kirkman is a saint! She's the only person I know that laughs and cries simultaneously while testifying in church. That used to amaze me when I was a kid.

For those of you who have vicariously entered Frank and Marie's kitchen while watching "Everybody Loves Raymond' I present the fork and spoon.

Tony could often be found around the food table at the Kirkman Christmas party.

So could Ray.

The McCrary family will come at this time to minister in song. Lord bless them as they come (turn away from pulpit and exit platform). Actually, I've never included Abby in a blog photo and just had to do it.

One of the highlights of the Kirkman Christmas party is our holiday sing-along. We sing every carol and song we can think of. Trey loved this! This year, for the first time, we got all of the words right to the 12 Days of Christmas. We are notorious for having "8 chickens drumming" and the like. We sang Silver Bells, Joy to the World, Silent Night, Here Comes Santa Claus, Pretty Paper (to which I absolutely do not know the words; I hummed and occasionally insertd the word "love"), Frosty the Snowman, Away in a Manger, and several other classics.

I do believe Grandma would rather sing than eat. She sat in her chair alternating singing with crying. She loved it! Mom cranked it out on the accordion while Abby played the keyboard.

I believe I can speak for everyone when I say that the high point of the evening was a wondrous trio featuring Ray, Tony, and myself (all tenors). We sang a song that I didn't know the words to. I also should mention the fact that I sang baritone. Everyone had a good laugh at our expense while my deaf relatives told me how good we sounded.

We headed back to Cincinnati following a fun weekend in Frankfort, IN (my hometown). Kassady looked in wonder as she opened up her Dora doll present.

Kassady had too much fun and excitement and fell asleep on my shoe.

There is no caption available that adequately explains this picture.
Trey plays his GI Joe trading card game with Anthony and Christy.

Dave keeps a stiff upper lip (nice legs, by the way) while waiting for his soap on the rope.

We left for Peoria on the Thursday following Christmas. For the last several years we have opened presents around New Years Day. We got to Mom and Dad's house where Sharilyn was frantically demanding that we open the presents RIGHT AWAY! Well, Bobby said that he couldn't be there until Saturday night which sent Sharilyn on a downward depressed spiral. However, Bob ended up getting off work early and made it to Mom and Dads on Friday. We opened presents that night.

Trey and Dylan loved helping Dad out by passing out the gifts. I did notice that they slowed down once they got a few gifts themselves.

Sharilyn anxiously awaiting her gift

Trey with another new GI Joe. Obsessed, I'm telling you...

Dylan hands out a gift to "Marmee"

My parents observe a strict no-soda policy in their house.

Jillian cheeses for the camera. She wouldn't let me hold her until the day we left for the airport. She takes after Bob.

It's coming, it's coming, the ark is coming up the road...

Prepare for the photo deluge!

Words of appreciation

Thank you to each who expressed their heart-felt condolences at my reported passing. It was touching. So much so, that I decided to return.

Open Up the archives

After being absent for so long, I decided the most appropriate display of shame and humiliation would be the posting of an old picture from the Waggoner photo album. This shot was taken in Cincinnati in May of 1999. Believe it or not, I won some academic honors during my senior year at GBS and as a result had to give an address during our junior/senior banquet.

Notice the small tie knot. I was king of the small knot. The hair style was courtesy of Gerald Wolfe. At this point in my life, I was 22 and weighed, oh, about 155.

I distinctly remember getting lost during my speech (I turned over an extra page) and making up the last half. This also happened to me at my high school graduation. The only speech that included both Moses and Gorbachev.