A few nights ago Sandy and I were having dinner, talking about Dromedary and the blog and such.  “I didn’t know you were still blogging,” she said.  “I went to the blog and soaked up all the entries you’ve made since January.  You need to blog more.”

I guess there are people who have been reading the story, and it sorta stopped cold.  Except the story really hasn’t stopped; if anything, it’s been chugging along with more activity than there’s been in years.

Differentiating between the sort of stuff that should really go on the “News” section of the Dromedary website, and the sort of personal stuff that should go here on the blog has become difficult.  We really have gotten quite a bit of notice in the blogosphere lately, for Footstone and for Make the Load Lighter. I’ve been making a point of posting each news item on our Facebook page, where we have people who have become accustomed to reading what we’re up to.

But meanwhile, I’ve been putting nothing whatsoever on this blog.

Strange, to write almost every day for a year and then just stop like that.

Anyway, going forward I’ll be telling the story again, right here.  Sorry about that.

At the same time, it is kinda funky, in a way.  For instance, in the next couple of weeks I’m going to be announcing that we’ve signed up another band.  It’s a pretty meaningful announcement, for fans of that band, for fans of Dromedary, and for fans of this blog.  But I can’t tell you about it here, because if I do, it’s suddenly on the internet, and I’ve let the cat out of the bag.  This is no longer a 15-year-old story that doesn’t even matter anymore, it’s real stuff that’s happening right now.

So, I can’t tell you everything anymore.  🙂

This past week I’ve had to completely ignore Dromedary for the first time since I made the decision to re-start it, back in the fall of 2009.  It was a little weird to have it sitting there, but my career job is still the priority, and this week is my absolute busiest time of year.  On top of that, we got hit with a monster project from out of the blue, and since it was a deadline-sensitive type of monster, I needed to focus entirely on that.

Of course while I was working on the dayjob, I was remembering how I’d been neglecting our Twitter account, our MySpace account, our LastFM account.  I remembered I hadn’t added Cuppa Joe or Friends, Romans to our ReverbNation account.  I remembered that I needed to pull together the artwork for our upcoming CD that we’ll be releasing by the aforementioned secret band.  And I missed it.

It feels good to miss it.  There were times that level of work stress would cause me to resent Dromedary, to panic about it.  But since I’m not setting out to be Jonathan Poneman anymore, I’m just having a lot of fun with it.

And here’s what’s more interesting, still.

A few days ago, Jim Santo posted the following on my Facebook wall:

August 5, 1996 2:15 am EDT. From: DromDary. Subject: Please read this ASAP.

Of course I immediately recognized the date and the subject.  This was the email that I sent to Footstone and Jenifer Convertible, letting them know I was shutting down Dromedary.  In a cleaning frenzy, Jim discovered a printout of the email – from all those years ago.  And he mailed it to me.

It came to my house this week.  My intention was to transcribe it here on the blog, but in reading it all these years later, I drew a few conclusions:

1) The email was clearly written by someone who was going through some serious emotional trauma.

2) It was written in a way that made it obvious that I was petrified of any sort of confrontation over my decision – A), I was dropping bands by email, and B) I told them in the email that if they were going to yell at me about it, not to even call, as I’d just hang up immediately.

I also realized something else.

I’m a big fan of vintage baseball.  I collect a lot of vintage baseball memorabilia, and a few years ago I managed to latch on to a huge pile of correspondence from the estate of Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel.  These were letters and telegrams that were saved by Casey – letters people wrote to him, that he thought were meaningful enough that he wanted to save them.  And he saved them for his entire life.

When I got them, I put them all into chronological order, and then put them inside plastic sheets in a giant, 5″ binder.  The first letters are from the early 1900s, and the last ones are letters of condolence that were written to his wife when he passed away in 1975.

Reading it, it’s a fascinating look at Stengel’s life, a biography of the things that he thought were important.  Not just big victories, speaking engagements, and letters from famous people, but simple things – letters from his wife while he was on the road.  Letters from his boss, or from his family members.  It’s fascinating.

It’s also a little bit creepy.

Casey Stengel’s wife wrote him a letter once about the fact that the upstairs toilet was clogged, and she needed to call a plumber to come and fix it.

I am pretty sure that when she wrote it, she didn’t expect that I would be reading it in 2008, and blogging about it in 2010.

I own that letter now.  And as fascinating as it is, it’s also a little weird.

When I read the email that Jim saved, I had a similar feeling.  It talks about personal stuff I was going through in 1996.  And when I wrote about it, I didn’t think that 2010 Al would be reading it, or blogging about it.

It’s kind of creepy.

So I’m not going to post it.  I’m sure you understand.

In reading it, though, I’m absolutely amazed that Jim built my website, came to the Footstone reunion, and would even entertain the idea of having Jenifer Convertible music come out on a revived Dromedary.  He’s a better man than me, not to hold a 15-year grudge.

I have held 15-year grudges.

Guess I have some work to do.

~ by Al on March 20, 2010.

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