July’s opening event was a bridal shower for the second daughter of our good friends, Kristy and Ron. Just a year ago, we attended the lovely wedding of their eldest, in Hilton Head, SC, and were happy to welcome another cause for celebration! A delightful brunch was served before games and gift opening. The beautiful bride-to-be glowed throughout and we all had so much fun!
We commemorated the 4th of July at the charming home of our son’s future in-laws, Joe and Joann. My sister joined us for the 45-minute drive there. The party included Zach’s fiancée, Julie, her two brothers and their aunt, Janice. The grilled chicken, shrimp, brats, corn on the cob and potatoes were yummy and my coleslaw made for a nice salad. Janice’s chocolate cake was delicious, but Joann’s red, white and blue angel food cake parfait with strawberries and blueberries added the perfect patriotic touch! A relaxing and fun day was enjoyed by all! On our way back, we stopped at my mom’s, laden with goodies from our feast. And once home, were entertained by a fantastic fireworks display in the sky above our own backyard!
Forever fans of our Indians, Ed and I caught a couple of home games this month. The first was a win against the Yankees with seats right behind home plate, followed by amazing fireworks (hey, when you win, you win!) and a stop at Mitchell’s, for a coconut ice cream cone.
We attended a second game, versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the guests of friends, Jon and Susan. The parents of four little ones under the age of 6, let’s say they have their hands full. We hadn’t seen them since the new baby’s arrival only three months ago, and it was nice to catch up and see them out and about again. The weather was ideal for dinner on East 4th, and an easy walk to the game. Sadly, we didn’t bring luck to the Tribe that night, but the four of us had a really fun time together.
Later in the month, Jim Brickman launched his eponymous “Boot Camp for Songwriters”. I was part of the kickoff show with Jim, Luke McMaster and John Trones. We were missing Tracy Silverman, but he will be joining us on Jim’s Holiday tour beginning in November. The event was live-streamed from Creative House Studios, in Cleveland: kind of a Christmas in July concert!
That same weekend Ed had several high school reunion activities scheduled. I accompanied him to two of the three events—two picnics! I met some wonderful people whom we will definitely see again.
Next up, my old friend and brilliant saxophonist, Dave Koz, came to town. Cleveland’s Cain Park (remember my show there with Abe last summer?) was the leafy setting for this stop on his Summer Horns 2 tour. My sister and two high school buddies joined me for the show, and what a show!! Dave was great, as always, and his fellow sax men, Richard Elliott and Gerald Albright, trumpeter Rick Braun and trombonist/vocalist Aubrey Logan were fabulous! They were backed by four great musicians on drums, bass, guitar and keyboards. The energy was off the charts and their performances blew us all away! After the show we went backstage to see Dave--it had been two years since our last meeting, when he was on tour with Barry Manilow. He is such sweetheart. How I wish we could cross paths more often. He made a long-past holiday tour one of my favorites!
On the last Saturday of the month, Ed and I drove to Lexington, OH to see our friend’s son, Ryan Norman, race in the Mid-Ohio Indy Car Lights. He started in 7th but climbed to 3rd place! It’s been so interesting to watch him progress in the past year! Yay, Ryan!
And on the 31st, we saw Broadway’s hit musical “Hamilton” at The State Theatre in Cleveland. It is like nothing I have ever seen! The lyrics, music, choreography and talent were simply phenomenal.
Just so you don’t think July was all play, apart from my participation at Jim’s boot camp, I was also working on a new Christmas song with my friend and frequent musical partner, Abe LaMarca. We are currently adding the final touches to the recording and I’m looking forward to sharing this romantic holiday tune! I think you’re going to like it.
But before getting into Christmas, let’s enjoy this golden summer!