Greetings Manic Fans. Les here to talk about what I’m thankful for. I mean, sure, everyone writes blogs like this for Thanksgiving. This year, however, I have a new perspective on what it means to me, so I’d like to list the top 12 things I’m thankful for. And, since they’re all important to me, they’re not ranked.


Well for a starter, I’m thankful I didn’t wake up with a chalk outline around me.


At my age, everyday is a gift, and everyday I wake up without a chalk outline around me…I’m having a damned good day LOL!


I’m thankful I grew up in the 1970’s/1980’s.


As I get older, I really appreciate more and more just how amazing music was in those two decades. The movies weren’t too bad, either(STAR WARS, SUPERMAN, JAWS, ET, BACK TO THE FUTURE, THE STING, ALIEN, GHOSTBUSTERS, ROCKY, DIE HARD, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, BLADE RUNNER, HIGHLANDER, THE TERMINATOR, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, THE BLUES BROTHERS, GREASE….but I digress…)


I’m thankful I had both my parents and both sets of grandparents growing up. I didn’t lose a grandparent until I was 28. My children have lost their Mother when they were 2,3, and 5 and both Grandpas when they were 12, 13 and 15….and it breaks my heart to see how sad it made them.


While we’re on the subject.


I’m damned grateful for my children.

Family shot

I’ve got 3 beautiful young ladies who call me “Daddy.” I don’t care who you are….that’s indescribably amazing. I’ll never comprehend how I ended up so blessed to be their Father. All I know is, I love them so much, they make me so proud and I want to be a better man for them.


I’m grateful that God gave me perfect pitch and a good brain for remembering music.


Without those gifts, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make my passion for music into a career as a piano player/singer. It took 40 years of hard work, but I really love doing what I do. It gives me the ability to make others happy, and I got to see a lot of the world traveling for it too.


I’m grateful for Walt Disney, George Lucas, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Stan Lee, Jerry Siegel/Joe Schuster(Superman), Bob Kane(Batman), Ian Flemming(James Bond), John Williams, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Mel Brooks, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Gene Roddenberry, Doctor Who, Frank Sinatra, George Carlin, Rogers & Hammerstein, JK Rowling, Douglas Adams, Looney Tunes, Elton John, Billy Joel, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, Monty Python, Charles Schultz(Peanuts), Vince Guaraldi, John Hughes, Ishiro Honda(Godzilla), Ray Harryhausen, Hayao Miyazaki and Saturday Night Live for their contributions to pop culture and my general entertainment.


I’m grateful whenever total strangers wish me a “good morning.” It’s actually quite common in North Carolina. It sounds silly, but people are really friendly here and it gives me hope for humanity that simple kindness isn’t dead and gone. Plus…I LOVE the southern accents. I can’t wait to get one too LOL!


I’m grateful for my best friend, Elle, who’s always been there for me and my family.


Nobody ever cared for us any better than her. I really wish I helped her as well as she helps us. She’s that awesome.


I’m grateful for our veterans who defended our liberties and defeated those who would’ve taken them away.


Special thanks to the veterans of WW-II. I’m really thankful that Hitler didn’t successfully conquer the entire world.


I’m grateful to President Teddy Roosevelt for starting the precedent of saving our natural beauty by declaring Devil’s Tower, Wyoming as a national monument.


How many wonders of nature have been protected from the march of “progress” by this simple act? Can you imagine an urbanized Yellowstone?


I’m grateful to Bartolomeo Cristofori, the 18th Century Italian who invented the piano.


While hammered string instruments existed prior to it(dulcimers), and keyboard instruments existed prior to it(harpsichords), the piano was the first instrument in the world that had precise expression of a hammered string instrument with action that allowed volume control and the ability to rapidly strike the same note one after another. The addition of a sustain pedal also gave a wonderful way to create after touch effects and hold notes after they were played.


And, finally…


I’m grateful to have friends on the ‘net’ like you.


Friends who accept me for the nerd that I am, and care about how I’m feeling and listen to what I’m thinking. Manic Expression would be nothing without you, so thanks for being here, my friends. Peace.

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