Wednesday, January 20: arrived late @ LAX and Diana meets/greets me in her Golden Chariot. We stay up to the wee hours gabbing away, catching up with one another and I retell my tale of excitedly presenting Hossam Ramzy with the Systrum @ a concert in the Lehigh Valley less than a week prior….
Thursday, January 21: slept till 2 pm and slowly get ourselves organized to depart only to find ourselves in rush hour Santa Monica et al so it was a slow go down to Anaheim. We checked into our hotel, ate dinner nearby and then luckily since there was a Target across the street we shopped for some “supplies” for the weekend ~ breakfast yogurt, fruit, granola, etc. o, and the real essentials, dark chocolate and red wine *wink*
|Ready, set, NAMM 2016 here we go!|
Friday, January 22: still a bit jet-lagged, it was another slow start enjoying a leisurely breakfast in our room and then walking to the Convention Center to get our badges et al.
Upon arrival inside the Hall I hightailed it to catch Bakithi Kumalo at the NS Design Booth while Diana bee-lined it to the Remo booth. After seeing Bakithi I stopped to say hi to my friends at Breezy Ridge strings.
|Breezy Ridge Strings NAMM 2016 booth|
|Bret Hutchinson, Idiopan designer|
After our meeting I offered to introduce Greg to Bakithi so we proceeded upstairs where Bakithi warmly welcomed us. I excused myself and met Diana on the upper level of the Hall where Latin Percussion was set up for the weekend. We said hi to Jerry Zacharias (formerly at Remo), greeted Ms. Sheila E., took loads of photos and then bopped back downstairs to start to make our way to the Remo drum circle, but first had fun doing a little ‘photo shoot’ at Zildjan’s impressive wall!
|Thank you Abe for capturing me sitting alongside Arthur Hull|
and I am soooo grateful to see many friends and familiar faces and re-connect with them in this way. Such a beautiful heartfelt exchange. Met Gino Gamboa for the first time and was impressed with his fierce castanets prowess and was honored he liked my finger cymbal playing too! Diana caught a wee bit of our little impromptu jam following the drum circle ~ one of those sweet little NAMM moments!
Diana and I considered hanging with the Remo crew post drum circle but it was a bit chilly and neither one of us felt we were attired warmly enough to hang around outside so I checked in with the Mid-East gang who invited us to join them for lite fare and drinks at their hotel, which as it turns out was only two doors down from our hotel, so walked there and enjoyed relaxing and chatting with Greg, Bret, and Max et al.
|Max & me|
|Bernard Fowler on L, Doug Wimbish on R|
with Diana and I in the middle YUM!
*BTW, here's a link to a nice lil' sampling of DW's musicality: www.facebook.com/dougwimbish/videos
Hey, Bernard: Shake it!
|Diana, REMO Belli himself and yours truly|
Then I headed back to the Mid-East booth. Bret and I decided to meander thru a bit of the other halls before the Center closed for the day.
Meanwhile, before rendezvousing with Diana back at the Mid-East booth, she found herself in conversation with Ms. America, ‘Darling’ Julie E Harman. Their conversation was about synchronicity. Julie was sharing with Diana that she had recently attended a women's shaman gathering and during the course of the evneing she pulled an Angel card for a reading and the card she pulled was the Egyptian Goddess Hathor! Julie was telling Diana this tale and just as she was uttering the name of the Hahtor, I approached the two of them with the Systrum in hand. I shimmered the cymbals and Julie was awestruck by the synchronicity. We all were!
So, right then and there we gifted her with the Systrum and invited her to use it as her new scepter. T’was a magical moment and only the just the beginning of this connection with Ms. America.
|Diana & Ms. America|
Following the opening ritual of blessing/cleansing each of service’s attendees with a frankincense smudge, Ava invited Amina, Priestess of Divination, to honor the four directions. Ava then offered a beautiful homily reflecting on the phases of the moon, honoring the body and welcoming/acknowledging the elements of air, earth, fire and water within and without.
I was then invited to present the systrum and my (abbreviated) slide show all of which was well received. Blessed, blessed, blessed be! There was much enthusiasm surrounding purchases, Thank Goddess/God/Goodness....
|One more spin around still decked in goddess gear|
and "running into" SEAN LEE!
Upon returning to Santa Monica, we floated into a supermarket still decked out in our priestess garb, never having taken the time to change since the Goddess Temple program. A handsome young man crossed our path in the produce aisle and said, “Where was that party and why didn’t I get an invitation.” Haha… we all exchanged smiles, struck up a conversation and then exchanged numbers et al, the magic of NAMM and the Goddess Temple still a swirl around and through us!