From 2013 and beyond, I discuss bikes, bedlam, beer and beautiful adventures- plus the occasional rant.
I'm the New Belgium Brewing Company's 2011 Tour de Fat "Car for Bike" trader in San Diego, CA.
My attorney Milt Olin Jr. was killed riding his bicycle, struck by a Sheriff’s vehicle Sunday in Los Angeles. According to witnesses he was in the bike lane when the car drove into him. I started working with Milt about 4 years ago, he was different than any attorney I’d ever worked with. Every conversation we had would always begin with him asking me about my family, health and how things were going in the studio or on tour. He loved music and always wanted to hear new songs I was working on before they were finished. It usually took us about ten minutes to get into discussing whatever business we had and sometimes I’d joke with him that he just did it to overcharge me (which couldn’t have been further from the truth) and he would always get a chuckle out of it because we both knew he sincerely cared.
Some days I’d call him and we would start talking about politics,sports, travel or world events and by the time we finished checking in I’d ask him if he had looked into some pressing matter and he’d say,”oh, I’ve already taken care of it” and that was the end of the conversation.
In negotiations Milt was most concerned about nurturing relationships. He believed that making sure contracts were negotiated fairly for all parties would lead to longevity and fruits that lasted for decades were always more beneficial than beating someone up for short term gain. I never worried that he would represent me in any way but with the highest integrity. He always did.
There are few people in music, especially on the legal side of the biz who loved music as much as Milt did, he wasn’t a name dropper although he worked with the best, he was just always enthusiastic and you felt his passion. He was funny, he loved to laugh and he gave his all for the artists he worked for. I am devastated and in tears over his death which came far too quickly and ironically occurred as he was taking care of his health cycling. Thank you for all you did to get my music out to the world Milt. I love you and miss you.
Michael Franti and Spearhead
I’m sure there will be a big investigation as to the cause of his being struck, but for today, please drive a little slower and stop if you need to take your eyes off the road for any reason.
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via oliviacirce)
When I lose hope in the world, I remember this poem.(via bookoisseur)
I can’t agree more: when I read this, it gives me hope. Not all is lost. ☺️