2002-2003 "Blink Of An Eye"
In the blink of an eye, time has caught up with me. This year, Friends and Fans, I am celebrating my 25th Anniversary in the Music Business. Thanks to Jim Endlís foresight, I played my first gig 25 years ago this May at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds for the Gemuetlichkeit May Ball. The musicians who so graciously put their proverbial buttís on the line for me that night were, Rick Hartmann on drums, Roger Pulver on banjo, Bill Hagemann on saxophone, and Al Christian on bass guitar. I am forever in debt to these brave musicians for their encouragement and to all of you for your support. These musicians, and many others, have been inspirational to me over the years and by playing that first gig 25 years ago they have helped create who I am today. I am hoping that many of these musicians will make special appearances throughout the year, as I will be celebrating this occasion till the years end. I have been very fortunate to be raised in and surrounded by a musical family with so much natural talent and Iím proud to be a product of their support and love for music.
In order to get the year started with a BANG we will celebrate, back-to-back, with a 2-day celebration March 29th & 30th, (see flyer for details). I am fortunate to have many close friends and one of them, Eric Noltkamper from Cleveland, OH, will be featured along with some surprise guest appearances and yours truly. You wonít want to miss this once in a career event!
Like the Stock Market, 2002 has been a year of highs & lowís, but anguish and turmoil never prevail for long. The emotional roller coaster always returns to level ground eventually. Last year I found that I looked forward to being at home more with my family.
My Princess, Whitney 17, has been successfully driving all year. She has proven to Barb & I, despite taking corners too fast, that she is a safe and responsible driver. She has been a huge help running errands and carting her Brother & Sister around. She continues to do well in school and is considering college plans. Last year her soccer career was cut short by a knee injury. She hung in there as long as she could until we decided not to take a chance with permanent injury and asked the coach to let her go. I think she would like to try again this year. Whitney still dabbles in music. She started guitar lessons this year and aspires to have an all girl band, or so she said last month. Her forte is creative writing and Iím hoping that she will combine her natural talent with words to her musical talent when she gets comfortable enough.
Lindsey is truly an Angel. She is 15 and a very socially active girlfriend, who manages to do excellent in school as long as she can keep her conversation to a minimum, (hard to do in some classes). At home, Lindsey is the first one to offer to help with chores and is always baking something. She & Barb made all of the Christmas cookies and desserts last Christmas, (an extreme weakness of mine). She is very colorful and witty, and very seldom has a frown on her face. She has been developing design skills and is quite artsy and crafty. Where will this take her, "Show Business"? I donít know, but sheís having fun with it. Last year Lindsey joined the tennis team and completed confirmation at our church. My little Angel will be eligible for her temporary driverís license this year and is already picking out her favorite car for Dad to buy. Eke!
Austin, my Pal, is working hard in school this year. He is keeping his grades up with lots of homework and after school tutors. He started playing saxophone, one handed down from sister Whitney, in the school band and last years Christmas concert was one of the best Iíve ever heard for 1st year musicians. If they hang in there they will make promising musicians. Austin is quite natural at it and I hope he continues to stay interested. Like most 10-year-old boys he spends much of his time playing video games and is highly active in sports. During the first semester of the year he and his soccer team ended the first half of the season in first place. Second semester tournaments begin soon and Iím confident that Austin and his teammates will go all the way. My Pal & I spent a few days fishing on the Mississippi last fall and his true sportsman skill amazes me. I hired a guide for us and while I followed the guideís instruction catching small and unwanted fish, Austin ignored the guideís instructions and caught an 18 inch small mouth bass! Both the guide and I followed Austinís lead the rest of the day and all caught keepers.
All three of our children have grown so much mentally & physically, and fortunately are very close. Barb & I are very proud and blessed. Barb has done extremely well juggling work, family & home despite my still heavy travel schedule. She & the Kids spent every weekend at the summer cottage last year while I managed only one weekend in the spring and a few days here and there. Itís a relief to have a get-a-way even for a day.
I worked on a short film called "The Pick Up Polka" with Chris Collins, which was released last year. A story about a Czech basketball team that uses an accordion player, (Me), for play cueís and ultimately becomes the winning team because of the music. I had a blast and look forward to seeing more from Chris! And, on July 4th the ABC network program "In Search of America" hosted by Peter Jennings came to Whitewater, WI and taped the traditional "Meisner 4th of July Celebration". It was aired that same evening and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this program that featured Americaís music from the East coast to the West coast. Lastly, at the end of last year I released "A Meisner Mini Concert" in itís entirety on a double CD which is now for sale (see the enclosed order form). The complete Meisner library is available for on line purchase at "www.stevemeisner.com" or "www.polkas.com/stevemeisner".
I could consider these opportunities, and the many past, to be monumental but prefer to consider them as baby steps. If I hang in there long enough and take enough baby steps I will affect the future of the music we all enjoy and love. And hopefully continue to make a positive difference in the way America perceives polka music. To all of you I can only say, "Thank You" for all of your support.
Take baby steps and enjoy your health, happiness, and freedom.