Friday, July 25, 2008


The name Anthony Burger may mean nothing to you or maybe you’ve vaguely heard of him. To me, he’s a Christian pianist who fought all odds to reach the pinnacle of fame he attained while alive. Let me tell you how I found out about this wonderful man.
My mother has Alzheimer’s and is in a total care facility. She had been a professional musician in her earlier years, but when she became a Christian, she dedicated all her music to God. Many of you probably have a relative with Alzheimer’s, so you know that as this dreadful disease progresses, a person’s memory slowly goes. There are some days Mom knows who I am and other days when she thinks I’m the hired help. But there is one person she does NOT forget, and that’s God. When I speak to her of Heaven or quote favorite scriptures, her face lights up and I can fully engage her. Since her genre of music had been Country before her conversion, it changed only slightly to County Gospel, when she became a believer. Here is a picture of Mom and her siblings who were The Pell Mell Trio; they sang on Saturday Night Barn Dance from a radio station in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 30’s, and also did some touring. Mother is the one on the left with her brother, Bud and sister, Colleen. They all played guitars and Mom sometimes played a mandolin.
It was always hard to leave Mom after a visit, but then my daughter and a brother brought some Gaither Vocal Band VHS tapes to her room. I started playing those for Mom during my visits, and usually left while she was enjoying them so she wouldn’t notice I was leaving. Within seconds, she’d always forget I’d even been there. One day during a visit, I sat and watched an entire video with her. Not being a real Gaither aficionado, (they do what they do well, just not my cup of tea), I noticed their accompanying musicians. Being an amateur pianist myself, it wasn’t long before my eyes and ears found Anthony Burger. I was fixated. He became my reason for watching the videos with Mom whenever I visited. The man ruled the piano, but that wasn’t all; I could tell he felt every note he played. Soon, I found music of Anthony Burger’s that didn’t include the Gaiter Vocal Band and I was hooked. It was impossible for me to watch or hear this man play without tears running down my cheeks. I am not a person who is easily moved, but this man moved me! He was the music and the music him. It was as if a Higher Power was playing through him. There is no way on God’s green earth that a person could play like that without knowledge of the Divine. Even though I knew he was touched by God, I didn’t yet know what a miracle he was. My next post will be about his life; where he came from and his life’s struggles. Hopefully, you will be as mesmerized as I was.
I have removed the lovely farm scene from my header to allow the music to download faster. Be sure to click on some of his music; some is slower, some faster, but it’s all uplifting, at least it is to me. Of course this is only a sampling of his repertoire, but my space on here is limited. Wish you could see him in action! Be back soon with………, the rest of the story!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Regardless of the storms we've been having, our RAGBRAI riders just keep rolling along. Here is a portion of them starting off from Missouri Valley Sunday morning.

A feast at Beebetown.

Outside Neola, Mr. Pork Chop and his son are getting the grill set up to feed some hungry bikers. They start with frozen chops.

The riders enjoy a well-deserved rest and a delicious Iowa Pork Chop.

Here is one of the more interesting contraptions in the ride this year; a banana bike. I remember the old banana bike seats, but had never seen a banana bike before. Do you suppose he'll get some Chiquita dollars for the advertising?

Another family bike.

A few decorated bike helmets.

A roadside attraction.

Yesterday they were welcomed into Ames by ISU's Cyclone mascot.

This morning they were welcomed into Nevada by a Fat Lady and a Wicked Witch.

But since the Fat Lady didn't sing, the ride isn't over yet! Today's 78 mile trek will take them to Tama and Toledo.