When I left the family home to attend college, I brought my guitar with me, and when I made the 40 mile trip home from school, sometimes hitchhiking, sometimes by bus or train, the guitar would be with me. The attic and basement would still be there, waiting for me to return and fill them with music. While at school I would play guitar in my dorm room, or outside on a wall overlooking the university, or later in a small rented room in Boston, where I lived during my last year at the school. After 3 years I left the university, and, guitar in hand, commenced to hitchhike across the United States. I had many adventures along the way, living in a tree house in the mountains in northern Colorado for a short time, living in a dome made from old cars in a commune in southern Colorado for a year, continuing west, stopping at some hot springs at an abandoned resort in Arizona for a week with a group of people who had picked me up in a Volkswagen van. All the time I was playing my guitar, writing music and songs, sharing my music with the people I met along the way, and occasionally returning to Rhode Island to visit.
Life continued. I worked with autistic children for a year in Philadelphia, (incorporating music into the work, and later writing a song about it). I lived in New Mexico for 4 years, where I worked a variety of jobs and performed at restaurants and coffee houses. I lived 18 years in Eugene, Oregon, with my 2 sons. I made a vinyl album with my first band, the Tree People, in 1979, distributing the album locally. I met my wife Kate, and we moved to Portland, where we still live with our dog Beeber. I performed regionally and nationally, recorded several albums and also did community projects and artist residencies.
The vinyl album that I made in 1979 was later discovered worldwide by record collectors, leading to the reissue of the album by record companies in Japan and Spain in 2006 and 2008, two more Tree People albums released by Guerssen Records of Spain in 2009 and 2010, and a trip to Spain to play at the Musiques Disperses Festival in 2011. My musical adventures continue, with an album, "by hand", in 2012 by my duo the Walking Willows. My newest project to be an album of original music on cigar box guitar in 2014.
Over the years there have been many visits to the Rhode Island house by me and Kate, and by my sons, my brother, my sister and their families. My sons both attended graduate schools in Massachusetts, visiting my father (my mother had died a few years earlier) often. A few years ago my father died, and after "sitting shiva" with so many wonderful relatives and friends of the family, we put the house up for sale. Sadly, no more visits to the old house. But I can still, in my mind, see the attic and basement in perfect detail.