Will Ya Still Need Me -When I’m 64

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The puzzle pieces of my life are coming together. I find life to be amazing. I don’t think I fully appreciated my life before now. Life slaps us right and left and often knocks us down. It’s up to us to pick ourselves up or complain about how difficult it is and give up. Especially when we’re older. We think it’s too late to begin again and settle for watching other people’s lives on TV. (I threw mine away 25 years ago)

 

Music band "Edison
1968 with Top 40 band “Edison” in Denver, Co.

It has taken a lot of work, time and patience. Earlier in my music career there was no “online”. If you weren’t signed, you couldn’t get your music out to the public except through live gigs. I became sick with an undiagnosed disease called Hep C. Eventually It put me down. I developed liver cancer, end stage liver disease, severe osteoporosis which caused bones to break and a few other illnesses.

I came very close to dying. I got a liver transplant and had a few body parts removed in the nick of time. After 2 years bedridden and an even longer climb to as much normalcy as possible I began writing the blog My Name is Jamie for a prison inmate who is also the father of one grandson. I beganto write music again and put it on blog posts. I then began writing a book, “Inside the Forbidden Outside” ( In second draft ) I knew if I wanted to help him when he gets out it would be through this book and music – promoted as a soundtrack to read by. I also started the newsletter ITFO NEWS also can’t survive on a disability check for the rest of my life. Working a regular job would be difficult because of pain from what osteoporis did to my vertibrea.

Music was always my love. For many years I played piano bars, worked in bands and taught piano. Now no one can afford to pay me for lessons in the small Pa town I live in that was close to the transplant hospital. So I made the decision to resurrect my music career and play again. I’ve been recording and working hard to create an online presence. My music is now on several websites

SkunkRadioLive

ReverbNation

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick – artist facebook page

Online stats will make or break a musician today. Becoming a “fan”, leaving comments and sharing will make a big difference on my finding a booking agent. Other people listen to music they see others have liked. Next week I have a photo shoot lined up. I’m not the young woman in the picture anymore. I’m 63. I no longer sing. Too many years of 5 nighters in smokey bars took care of that. But I also no longer do cover material. My ability to create piano improv pictures in your mind surpasses my piano playing of  It comes from a deep emotional place. It is who I became instead of playing someone else’s creation.

Today I classify my music as “Stories Without Words” which is the title of an album I am coming out with shortly. When the book is ready, another album will be released with the same cover and promoted together. If I do a good job and if it is promoted right, when Jamie gets out of prison I will have a business put together that will also include lecturing on the negative issues of prison that need to be changed. What he has been through opened my eyes to something I had never given a thought to. He can use his story to help others.

Those who have read my blogs have seen the progress. On many early posts you will many piano pieces – and  poetry. ln Over 3 years this went from being just a dream and a desire to help a man who deserves a second chance. We’ve been writing since 2006, helping each other through tough times. As a black man he was put through some awful things no person should have gone through. It is why mass incarceration and the destruction of black lives is so much in the media. It needs to change. We can’t just look the other way and wait for someone else to fix it.

I want my life to count for something. I want to help make this country – and the world – a better place. I don’t want to go out with a whimper. So I push myself – past my doubt and fears. I push myself beyond my physical limitations. I wake up excited every day and start spinning my seven plates in the air to keep them moving forward. I don’t ask myself if I can do it – I just do it.

My music is haunting, peaceful with beautiful melodies. At the end of a stressful day, put on head phones, close your eyes and let it be the soundtrack of your dreams, too. Never give up. Do what makes you happy. Do something different. We all have had dreams of something we wanted to do but perhaps life pulled us in a different direction. We don’t have to settle for that. No matter how old you are or how young you are, life is for living and no one else can live it for you.

Jamie Life in Prison Facebook page with parts focusing on injustice everywhere and blog posts

Twitter page

Sharp Turns To The Left

SHARP TURNS TO THE LEFT

How many sharp turns can you make 

until you run into yourself again? 

When I look back on my crazy life 

is there any part I could not defend?

Always running, chasing, grabbing 

hold of this and that

Living here and living there

in a different habitat.

Procrastinating, changing direction 

Sometimes I’d change upon reflection

So many dreams inside my head

But my children never went unfed

I was their mother and I was father

To mention him is not worth the bother

I tried so hard. I worked so hard. 

I never thought of failure   

I never once thought, not one time

I wouldn’t find an answer.    

I did everything intensely

with my addictive personality              

I had no idea what I was doing       

in a constant state of always moving

I dearly miss my children

now that they are grown

far away, too far away 

with children of their own 

All I have are memories 

and pictures of our lives   

Never knowing at the time 

just how fast time flies      

What would I do different 

if I had the chance

A different turn to the left

a change of circumstance?

I wouldn’t waste a moment 

tears flow at that thought.

Where would I be? Where would they? 

A different crisis fought?

By that time, by their birth

it was too late for me

Cut into stone, carved in deep

I couldn’t run from destiny

or the virus called Hepatitis C

Why is hindsight always perfect 

and seen so very clear

The older I get each breath I take 

is so extremely dear 

The more I see it clearly 

my life was far from boring

Years don’t run together

flying, crashing, soaring.

Never staying quite the same

I can say exactly where I was

and each year I can name.

Every step of every goal 

I reached for every dream.       

Every sharp turn to the left 

no fear of those unseen.

Friends made, friends lost

never seen again.  

A phonecall here, a letter there 

but never knowing when

One big reget was loss of love 

from people bound by blood

They never knew what made me tick

and kicked me ‘neath the rug

I was easier to avoid 

than reaching out with love.

 

“It’s not my fault!  I did nothing wrong

by ignoring you were sick

I didn’t even ask you how you were 

I don’t know you sister, Sonni Quick.”

You crossed your arms and pursed your lips. 

“I’ll never apologize.

I will never admit I might be wrong,” 

because I judged you by my life.

You couldn’t, wouldn’t understand. 

It’s easier not to care

What if you need me in your life 

and can’t find me anywhere?

Oh well, I’m tired of trying

you can’t make people want

to be around you when it’s easier 

to be so nonchalant

But I still have sharp left turns 

and my plate is full of dreams

Inside my heart my passion burns 

with endless strength it seems

It doesn’t matter that my life 

burns on the other side

I have less than more, life to live 

but I’ll be damned if I let it slide.

One thing I taught my kids 

I hope that they teach theirs

There are consequences for everything

for hopes, for dreams, for dares.

I finally made the sharp turn 

that brought me face to face

with myself inside a mirror 

seeing lines I can’t erase

There is wisdom in those eyes

I know weren’t there before

I have no regrets

my sharp left turns gave me so much more

than if I had stood very still 

afraid of something new

I grabbed life and held on tight 

to dreams I will still pursue.

So you don’t have to like me 

or approve of me today

Those of you who made that choice 

it doesn’t matter anyway.

At least I tried, held out my hand

you slapped it to the side

You believed the lies, because someone else

lives with too much pride

I love myself, I love my life

I love the lessons learned

I never have to wonder what . . .

would have happened – if I tried.

Curve

If you’d like to leave a comment about the music, on the bottom section of the wave form you can click anywhere on that section and it will take you to the comment section and then it will appear here.  As with all social media, clicks, shares, hearts etc help a lot because it shows people in the future that it has been listened to.  Stats are everything when it comes to music, blogs and other things people are trying to send out into the universe, especially because the of the book I will be publishing hopefully at the end of the year.  You can read more about that at my other blog My Name is Jamie

My Radio Interview on The David Snape Show

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I did an internet radio show on the David Shape Show about the US prison system, Jamie Cummings and how he deals with epilepsy in a system that doesn’t care about medical care for the inmates.  When you go to the show it is quite long, a little over two hours. If you move the bar ahead one hour and twenty minutes it should be shortly before the interview starts.

We also talked about the youth in juvenile detention and how children are treated in schools using cops for discipline instead of detention, and putting handcuffs on them and seating them in the rear seat of a patrol car.

We talked about the book I’m writing about Jamie’s life, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”. You can find chapters on the blog. It’s more than half done and the editing process has begun.

We also discussed the piano music I’m writing for the book which will be included inside the back cover. At the end of the show one of my more recent pieces will be played.

This is the first of hopefully more media I will be doing over time to advertise the book that I hope will lead to being able to lecture on the prison industry. When Jamie is finally released he will be able to join me. He wants to work with the youth using his life as an example, in hopes of being able to turn their lives around before they, too, end up in the system. One in three black males end up in prison. Contrary to racist belief it is not because crime is in their genes. It is because of government pushing the War of Drugs on to black men’s shoulders making you believe through the media that they are dangerous.

Kids don’t understand the ramification of their choices until it’s too late. When someone has been incarcerated for a long time, and Jamie has been locked up for 14 years counting time in juvenile detention. Unfortunately, the four years in juvy was not because he committed a crime. It was because he defended his mother from a cop who illegally entered their home. He injured his mother and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He hit the cop with a broom. It cost him the rest of his high school years and four years of his life.

This story needs to be shared. Unfortunately, it happens far to often to too many black youth. I am asking for you to please share this on your own social media. The success of the book will be determined by how well this info gets pushed through sites on the web. It bring so much encouragement to Jamie as he sit in his cell 23 hours a day, working his way again, up through the levels. He has received letters from some of you. Knowing someone cares enough to write matters more than you know.

Thank you for tuning in to the show. Let me know what you think.

http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world
Sonni’s Pinterest boards

Inside The Forbidden Outside “Everyday Dreams”

…….This is an edited first chapter, but not the final edit. I have enough written to begin working with a content editor. All of the chapters so far can be found at: My Name is Jamie Also as the chapters progress the links for them is at the end. Please add your name and email for for the yet to be published first news letter I’m attempting to get off the ground. Your support would be wonderfully appreciated. That info is at the bottom of the post. All of you who have read what I’m writing and have given me your feedback along with editing suggestions has been great. If you have ever attempted to write a book you know how challenging it is.

My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison

EVERYDAY DREAMS

My life is pure agony.

     I really screwed things up for myself. I was sent to prison in 2006. This is not where I want to be, although I didn’t have any concrete plans for my life. I was happy that I wasn’t in juvenile detention anymore but I didn’t have a chance to make any plans and was living day to day. I didn’t know how to make plans. I was just a kid when they locked me up. In a way I was still a kid when they let me out when I was twenty one. When I met Morgan my only thought was to spend my life with her. For the first time I could remember, I was happy.

     The day I was in was as far ahead as I thought. Nobody ever taught me anything about planning for a future. Black kids…

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Is it Winter or Is it Spring?

tomato-seeds-sprouting-opened

MY TOMATO PLANTS

 

Should I wear a sweater or is just a blouse okay?

Should I take a coat or will the sun warm up today?

I look at all my flowers knowing they might freeze

It might snow tomorrow, this Spring is such a tease

Last year’s herbs are growing in my garden, and that is very strange

Three weeks ago, three feet of snow, did the seasons rearrange?

One day is hot, the next is cold, I found a bee in my garage

Did the bag of colored Christmas balls look like a tasty flower corsage?

This winter wasn’t very cold, that’s quite okay by me

I much prefer the tropic sun with dripping humidity.

I hate the cold, I hate the pain with dry and flaky skin

I love when winter is over and the songs of birds begin

I cut a tomato from the grocery store. I was shocked at what I found

The seeds inside had begun to sprout without being in the ground!

I put them in a nice big pot on a sunny window sill

Hoping they would make it through the days of freezing chill

I have thirty two tomato plants, each three inches high so far

Watching all these plants grow in the winter, so bizarre

It’s been strange not knowing what to do, or what to wear each day

I’ll wait to plant my tomatoes outside until Spring is here to stay

by Sonni Quick. 2016

Sonni’s Pinterest Boards

Only The Ghosts of The Past Waved Back

How does it feel to go back to the home where you spent your entire childhood, to find that the people living there now had let it slide into a trash pit? Pretty darn bad. The only memories of my childhood were of living in that house. Looking at pictures in my old photo albums, from the time I was an infant, when I was named Deborah Fritz until I graduated from high school, leaves me with a longing to go back and spend a little time in a piece of my life from years ago. They were happy years. My life before I transformed into Sonni Quick

dad and kids
Yours truly on the left

Memories often have a way of filtering out the bad times, leaving only the highlights of the times you want to remember.  I think I was fortunate because I remember a childhood that was filled with good times and had parents who spent time creating a family that did family things together. We celebrated all major holidays and birthdays and went camping, took drives for ice cream, had picnics and went to the shore and rode bikes on the boardwalk and jumped in the waves. I have so many pictures that chronicle our life. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s. I didn’t learn to appreciate it until I was all grown up and far, far away. Then there was no going back. It was over, almost in a blink of an eye.

Many years later, after my own children were grown, with children of their own, I stood in front of our house again. Even after all these years the house still wore the same paint and the street numbers I painted on the front door was still there, although one of the numbers tilted to the side. The paint was dingy, there was trash on the porch and beat up curtains hung at the windows. 

Cheryl Morgan (2)
Taken in front of my house of two neighborhood children, looking down the street half-a- double homes in the very early 60’s, in Pottstown, Pa.  Cheryl, the girl on the left, and I were the same age.  We talked recently. She hasn’t seen this picture yet, but she will as soon as this posts to facebook!

 

 

The house looks like an Archie Bunker style house, on a numbered street in a neighborhood of street after street of half-a-doubles; two homes connected by a center wall, each set of homes separated by two walkways that led to a back yard. When I stood in the yard I could look left and right through the yards of every home on the block. My Great Nana Ferden grew flowers, but growing up I wasn’t aware of the love she put into them. 

Nana Ferden
Great Nana Ferden in our yard

The sound of children playing could be heard everywhere. We didn’t want to be inside. That was punishment. We played kickball in the alley or walked a half block to Manatawny Park to play in the splash pool or play box hockey with the big kids. We bounced balls against the wall of the original Dolly Madison Ice Cream Factory across the street. We knew to be home when the street lights came on. Dinner was always the same time and we always at dinner together as a family, something so few children know today. 

Today the flowers are gone. The sidewalks down the side of the house are so overgrown you can’t see them. I walked down the alley and looked into the backyard so overgrown and filled with trash. I didn’t want to imagine what the inside of the house looked like. My father had kept everything looking nice. The difference is, when we lived there it was a home with love. Now it was just a house. Probably rented by people who felt no need or desire to keep it looking nice.

If I squinted and looked through my eyelashes I could pretend it was the same place and I had come home.  I knocked on the door of the house it connected to. The woman who lived there was the same woman who lived there from the time I was baby until I left for college, 40-some years ago. She peeked through the door, looked me up and down and said, “Who the fuck are you?” 

When I walked down the porch steps and went to my car, I turned around for one last look and waved goodbye. Only the ghosts of the past waved back.

How Important Is It To You To Stay Alive?

I’ve been fighting heavy health issues for many years trying to stay alive, so I have researched inside out and upside down how to eat right – and why. Naturally, as I get older, the battle gets harder. The pollutants in our water, the earth and air has intensified these diseases to the point that we expect them and now consider them “old age” diseases. We get sicker faster. Unfortunately many people don’t do anything about it, or they gave up trying. You only need to go to a grocery store and look at the crap people buy to feed not only themselves, but their kids. It’s sad. I force myself to keep my mouth shut – because thy know. They just don’t care enough to change their habits.

I have only 5 weeks to go taking medication to finally get rid of Hepatitis C. So far so good. If it is STILL gone in August I can say I’m cured. It won’t fix what was already damaged but it won’t damage anything anything else. Now I have to get healthier. So I continue to read and learn about my body. In addition to my problems, my sister had quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2015, and both sisters, my mother and daughter and every other female in my extended family has diabetes and none of them takes it serious enough to stop eating the food that’s killing them. I have no idea about the men. I can’t see why things would be different for them but quite often men have a harder time agreeing to see a doctor and from the men I have known it’s easier for them not to admit they have a problem. I just don’t understand why. It doesn’t make things go away.  Also, Diabetes medicine does not stop diabetes damage.

healthy heart2 weeks ago a 43 year old niece from my first marriage, my children’s first cousin, unexpected died one day at work. She was fine when she left for work. She never came home. She had diabetes. She had a heart attack. My daughter also had blood tests a couple weeks ago.  Her cholesterol is so high they can see it backed up in her blood without any further tests.  I have doubts she has the strength to change. She wants to change, but she accepts that she can’t.  What am I supposed to do with that?

One of my sisters has 2 adult children who have scary high cholesterol – through the roof.  Both parents have heart problems.  Why is heart disease the #1 killer? Hep C gave me a condition that if I don’t get a point of blood taken out will cause a stroke. Hemachromatosis. I’m very lucky the condition was caught. I love it when a Dr says, “I have good news and I have bad news news”. I’ve heard it often enough. Getting rid of Hep C now is too late to change that, so I can’t ignore what I have to do to stay healthy. Why do people ignore diabetes? Is it because SO many people have? It’s so common that people have a ho hum attitude about it ? I know this isn’t everyone. Some people do care, but it isn’t a high percentage.

People often try to fix medical problems by taking a pill and not changing what they eat. How do I know? All these people are overweight. If they were eating right they wouldn’t be. Don’t they care about dying?  Everyone was so very sad when my niece died. Her brother said, “God, give her back!” He was grieving.  She had been very heavy all her life. Did anyone say, “I don’t want to lose you. I love you. Please take better care of yourself”. Now it’s too late.  You need to be pro-active with your life while you have the chance. If it is important that you live, that is.

I have heard about CoQ10 for a long time but never really looked into what it is until a month ago. I AM NOT ADVOCATING THIS BRAND. I chose to purchase VitaPulse – because of type of gel cap that doesn’t get destroyed before it gets to the small intestines where it’s absorbed. It also has N-Acetylcysteine – also good for your heart and lungs. I think this is worth taking so I will continue to research. Start with this article. See what you think. I’d like your opinion

http://www.smart-publications.com/articles/give-your-heart-the-healthy-herbs-and-nutrient-fuel-it-needs

http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world