My dad, Jim Walsh, died suddenly on September 26, 1997. Three days prior I spent my last night with him at a Tiger game.
A couple days after his October 1st funeral, I wrote the following, wanting to record as much significant memories for what was, at the time, not too significant a day. But I can still feel his final embrace and the laughter and mutual support we offered each other that evening.
Jim Walsh (1940-1997)
Tuesday September 23, 1997
Dad called me from his car phone with his standard, “Hi Kev!” amidst the static of the … Read More… →
Most people don’t really consider themselves to be experts in much–for example. My kids once accurately defined our specialized fields: “Dad’s kinda funny sometimes and mom finds stuff.”
But when it comes to hammering out that brief description of yourself in LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram it can be surprisingly difficult to find much to really brag about–let alone translate it to a full-blown resume.
It’s a lot easier to look at your reflection and see that one tiny zit rather than combed-hair, clean teeth or at maybe even someone who remembers to clean the mirror once in a while.
Twenty-five years ago, I was playing tennis the morning of my marriage. I don’t normally whack myself in the forehead with my tennis racquet but that was what happened. Look carefully at my wedding pictures and you’ll see the little knot. My blushing bride Patrice couldn’t stop laughing and said, “Well that was a dumb thing to do!”
Twenty five years ago–and it just happened–that tennis game, wedding, birth of two kids, two houses, eight cats, four barbecue grills and 4,000 students just happened,
Somehow our marriage keeps moving along at light speed–after just a quick two week period of dating and six month engagement. We’d eaten lunch together for the first two months of the school year in the teacher’s lounge but it started … Read More… →
Like most kids growing up in Suburban Detroit, I was first introduced to Prince by The Electrifying Mojo, the legendary underground DJ on WGPR. I was a card carrying member of the Midnight Funk Association.
Mojo had been going on for hours about this 19year-old kid from Minneapolis who was going to take over the world. Then shortly after Midnight, and after I raised my hand and “Pledged Allegiance to The Funk”, Mojo played “Soft and Wet” – I was hooked.
From that day on, I have bought all of Prince’s 47 albums the day they were released. … Read More… →
This is a series I’ve created to share the work of interesting and creative writers, musicians, actors, directors, producers, and much more. If you’re creating it I’ll share it. These interviews will be taking shape as I develop them and may be published as podcasts and/or videos.
Francis and I met in a musical theater class a couple of years ago … Read More… →
What if, under an old desk in James Madison’s study, the following were found scribbled on the back-side of the Second Amendment–the words in bold written into blank spots like a Mad Libs page…
Amendment 2.5: A well-regulated Transportation System, being necessary to the mobility of a free State, the right of the people to keep and conduct Transportation Devices, shall not be infringed.
After all, the right to transport yourself is a pretty inalienable right, too, isn’t it?
Eisenhower saw the immediate benefit of the German autobahn–allowing quick movement of Hitler’s troops across WWII. But in addition to Cold War defense, Eisenhower also saw the expressways as a vital route for emergency evacuation–all under strict central government oversight. After all, you wouldn’t want … Read More… →
Playwright Frank Anthony Polito shares his journey from blue collar Hazel Park Michigan to New York’s theater scene, then back again, nearly 20 years later with a drama about his teenage years with his best friend–both discovering they are gay in the late 1980s.
For two more weekends–through October 4th, audiences can share this remarkable show in Hazel Park at the the Slipstream Theatre Initiative’s production of “B.F.s!” (link to website).
My mom actually had a dress decorated for my three year-old daughter with her all-inclusive expression painted above a daisy.
Abby came into my life five weeks before my father left it. She was kind enough to arrive ten days early, at the respectable time of mid-afternoon for Patrice, who doesn’t mind a good night’s sleep. Abby’s is a good old soul and today she’s done with high school.
“On summer nights, before anyone had air-conditioning,” recollects my friend Tony Shaieb, “you could walk down the street and listen to Ernie Harwell call the entire ball game through the open windows.”
Tony’s memories are quite a bit more romantic than the eerie bluish-glow from my neighborhood’s 60″ plasmas tuned to Fox Sports Detroit
My wife and I were taking the dog for a walk last night and I had a similar flashback to the legendary Tigers broadcaster. A few of my more enthusiastic neighbors who foolishly believe in fertilizer found themselves already mowing the young grass—and what better time to run the Toro than 8:30 pm? (When our kids were toddlers, our considerate neighbor Thad would wait another 90 minutes before he’d begin.)
I walked into the local restaurant to order a grinder recently and saw a stack of business cards next to the register. After I ordered my food, I mindlessly flipped through them and saw the names of local businesses: electricians, accountants, cleaners.
I looked up at the owner and she said “don’t you have a card Steve?”
“No,” I lied. I paused. Then I changed my answer.
“Yes, but no one will call me if I leave it.”
The waitress eating her food on break didn’t even look up and responded, “No one will call you if you don’t leave it”.
She was right. So simple and so profound.
I’ve been starting my own consulting business and I have been running into brick … Read More… →
At the end of the 98-hour day that my father died, it surprised me that the hardest part wasn’t hearing “He didn’t survive surgery,” but instead having to tell others–the slow pressing of numbers of the phone, knowing that someone’s life is going to be changed right after, “Hi Kev. What’s up?”
In a strange twist of fate that afternoon, my three sisters, Katie, Colleen and Maureen were all en route to Detroit Metro within an hour of one another. When they had left Chicago and New York, after our call from the hospital, they knew only what we were told—“Dad’s been in a bad accident—he’s in surgery.” By the time they were air-born, my mom and I were told of his passing and taken upstairs to see his body. … Read More… →
This past summer the kids and I took our annual trip to the beach in North Carolina from Connecticut. We decided to play the old license plate game along the way. Of course, the kids added a new media twist to it using an app. As we ventured down the east coast and tracked our states we started to question why there were so many states. Why was Rhode Island an actual state? No offense the Dakotas, you are awfully small.
3 teenagers and a preteen quickly reeducated me in the history of the United States, the colonies and how we came to be. The capitalist and cost optimizer in me then challenged them with new thinking. What if you had to start over today … Read More… →
It was 2008. We decided to take a family vacation to New York at the end of July. By we, I mean: my mother and my father wanted to take a trip to New York and my brother—Chicago’s newest citizen and most eligible bachelor—and I—readying my venture of four years in East Lansing—agreed to go on one more family trip before I officially became a co-ed. Part of the lure, though, was the opportunity to see one of America’s most treasured landmarks: Yankee Stadium; which was especially important, since Yankee Stadium was about to see its final turnstiles turned that fall. The Davidoffs have, are, and will always be a baseball family at heart (much like Detroit is a baseball city at heart). There’s been … Read More… →
Veteran film and TV sound expert Ric Viers, author of The Sound Effects Bible and The Location Sound Bible, joins Kevin Walsh following a workshop Ric gave to Michigan high school students on his 10 Location Sound Commandments, which offer important life-skills as well.
Soft Skills and Reputation-how the most skilled person on the set may not be the one who stays on the set.
How Does One Begin as a Sound Guy?
Fatherhood and the osmosis of sound-awareness
Gathering sound-effects (and where to leave your keys)
As I was reading a magazine today I turned the page to an article about Congress’s First Black Female Republican and I sat there stunned for a few moments. How could this be? I was honestly struck dumb with the realization that this was a milestone that was just NOW happening in the year 2014? Hadn’t it happened sooner? I had assumed that we had all sorts of women of every color and race populating the corridors in Washington DC. I was truly stunned that this was an event to celebrate in the year 2014. Where have the last 30 years gone?
I was raised with the idea that I as a woman could do anything. I sat down in front of the TV back … Read More… →
I was too calm at work. Something had to be wrong. Then I realized that I had left my phone at home—on the kitchen counter–probably under the bread wrapper. It was the same unnerving peace I felt on a vacation last summer–when we left the dog with friends.
Smudge is a hybrid, a schnorkie-poo, who, in the thankful absence of rats, is obsessed with one thing—the perfect blend of dye, felt and rubber toxins that is the tennis ball. He is so completely focused on bringing you that ball for you to obediently throw it across the yard/basement/bathroom that he’ll forgo food, rest and common sense—crashing into fences, couches and unsuspecting two year-olds. If you don’t follow his escalating sequence of hints (sitting patiently, rolling the ball closer, grumbling, grumbling louder), he’ll finally … Read More… →
Take a minute and flip through your phone’s pictures taken this Thanksgiving weekend–now zoom-in to something in the background. Do you notice anything interesting–or something that <em>might </em>be interesting in a few decades?
The new Stephen Hawking bio-pic, The Theory of Everything, can drive you a little crazy if you are one of those people who needs to straighten a picture frame in a friend’s house. Hawking’s glasses are always crooked and always needing cleaning.
The color-correction folks in film know what they’re doing when they choose their palettes. It’s hard not to get nostalgic with a shot like above–and if you add in string instruments and piano you’re already … Read More… →
It’s often not so much what happens in our lives—as what we figure ought to happen. If no one likes this post, did it fail?
I started noticing camera-angles and how they manipulated the audience far too early in my life–especially for the poor bystanders who were stuck in a living room, basement or movie theater with me.
The Cosby Show, for all of its garish sweaters and too-good-to-be-true charm of a doctor/lawyer upper-middle class family, was a breakthrough on many levels—it revitalized the sit-com and finally placed a TV African-American family out of the ghetto—if you bypass George Jefferson moving on up.
But what I noticed immediately, from my hero of a dozen scratched LP comedy albums, was the cutaway to Clair—Cliff Huxtable’s long-suffering wife who managed … Read More… →