Yesterday . . . and Today

It was a good day yesterday. And it was a fantastic night at Yesterday and Today. The Babe and I have seen this interactive Beatles experience every year since I think 2014. No two shows have ever been the same, since the requests submitted by the audience drive the set list. What a very creative and clever idea. And every year, it seems as if the McGuigan brothers cannot top what they’ve just done. You even get a lovely parting gift with this show.

That challenge is always accepted by Billy, Ryan, and Matthew. Their talent and performance pays tribute to their departed Dad, who died when they were pretty young. In fact, he was pretty young; 42. They learned Beatles songs as toddlers and now make a living performing those songs. Not impersonation, but real guys singing music their Dad loved. It’s a tender tribute that now follows into the next generation. Billy’s son Ciaran is an already accomplished guitarist while not even in high school yet. Watch out, Omaha! There’s some upcoming talent here. Think Clapton. Seriously.

Other band changes include adding horns and strings; most recordings from that fantastic era included these instruments. Why not on stage with the guys who do the Beatles justice, each and every time they pick up their instruments and sing? These guys are the Kings of “Why Not?”

Last year, Ryan made quite the theatrical entrance while performing, “I Am the Walrus,” complete with a gas mask. This year, he has a cool hooded crocheted sweater he wore over his John Lennon style “New York City” t-shirt. Ryan, did someone make it for you? It was pretty cool. Only you could carry it off, too. You can tell he’s an actor at heart. He’s a blast to watch and wonder what he’ll do next. It’s a gift.

Billy’s gift, in my opinion, is the adaptability to get through anything that challenges him, and I believe that true onstage and off. His humor is off the wall and off the cuff. Or is it? It sure appears that way. I think he’s a pretty funny guy. Speaking of funny guys, Max Meyer plays a mean cowbell. He get the crowd revved for sure. I do believe he’s pretty proud of that. You’ll find out why. Go see the show. He has another surprise for you, too. Go see the show. Dying to tell you what it is, but won’t join this special surprise.

Matthew is such a professional, always steady and just enjoying the musical moments. I believe he is a very talented arranger, and can arrange things in such a manner you wonder why the original song didn’t go that way in the first place. The knowledge he has must be unparalleled. It’s his gift. There is always a seemingly “quiet one” of the groups. The Beatles had George, and The McGuigan’s have Matthew. And that’s a very good thing.

Your Christmas gift to any music lover should be going to this show. Even if you’re not a Beatles fan, you will be a McGuigan Brothers fan. Go see the show. You’ll love it. The first Christmas, the Baby Jesus had three wise men, bearing gifts. This Christmas, Omaha has three wise men named McGuigan, bearing their gifts. The Celestial Star they follow is their Dad, who shines upon them. Go see the show. The Slowdown is an awesome venue for them to call home.

Saturday Sensibility

The world has been rocked by many things, one being the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I admire much of what she has done, and think she is a good role model for girls and boys. Boys can learn to accept a girl that is smart, educated, savvy, intelligent, confident, and realize they add much more to life than someone who is simply physically appealing. I simply think if they learn to appreciate a girl like that when they are young, they will come to appreciate her even more when they are older. And wiser. Bless RBG and her family.

It was my honor to be invited to the Ribbon Cutting at Victory Apartments yesterday in Omaha. The program was informative, and the speakers were good. I cannot wait to do more work with gathering donations for them, thank you Margie Smith, for letting our groups at the VFW Post 2503 assist!

My high school graduating class experienced a big loss this week. One well-liked, wonderful gal passed away. I do not know what the cause of death was, I just know from the outpouring on Facebook, she leaves quite an empty space in the earth. She had a family, a husband of 40 years, and a nursing career that cared for many people during her life. She was a lot of fun in high school, although I didn’t hang out with her people. We should all strive to make the world a better place, just like she did. RIP, Barb. Hugs and prayers for your family.

These times are different, difficult at best. I’m dismayed by folks who are sure the sky is falling. I am not one who looks through rose colored glasses in a make-believe world. I was raised to think and anticipate cause and effect. Yes, things can go badly at any time, I’m enough of a realist to know that. I do believe, deep down, if we were to be obliviated for being sinful, it would have happened long before this.

I feel bad for the people who are suffering from so much anxiety over the state of things. I have concerns. At this time, I’m pretty busy living and trying to make the world better to wile away with anxiety that is crippling. That’s not a judgment, it’s just saying I found a way to quit worrying and impacting the quality of my life. The more I worried (as I was taught growing up), the less I could do. Once I learned to give it to God, things changed dramatically. I think there is a point where choices must be made on how you will spend your energy. Will the worry and anxiety help anything? No, it won’t. Will participating in the world help? Yes, as long as you stay willing to accept an outcome that may be other than what you have in mind. Participating in life doesn’t guarantee an end result that matches your idea of what should go on.

We, as mere humans, don’t know enough to know what is the best outcome. God only knows that. Want to make him laugh? Tell him your plans. Seriously. He has the time. He’ll love you anyway. Sometimes a challenge presents itself to me, and I say, “Oh God, what is it you think I need to learn NOW?” I’m grateful He’s communicating with me. You’re never too old to learn to listen. Never.

Go out and share your own unique light with the dark world. Protect your light, so you shine it where it will grow not diminish. When you share in the right place, it will energize you, not deplete you. I learned that the hard way, too. I’m glad I finally know. Go out and be a Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Be a Barb. Be a man or woman who cares deeply. Be someone who shares their gift and makes the world a better, more hopeful place. Let’s meet again tomorrow, ok? I’m so glad you were here. You make my dreams more attainable.