Sunday, August 26, 2007


Last night was the final performance of The CDI and Other Plays at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. If you saw it, I hope that you enjoyed the show.

After it was over, my fellow cast members and I adjourned to the Bristol on Bardstown Road for a final cast party. However, it turns out that we may not be quite finished. Our new acting troupe, The YES Theatre Group, established such a rapport, and felt that we had such success in entertaining the audience, that we are discussing the possibility of staying together to engage in other performances.

I'd like to thank the many friends, family members and other loved ones who attended the show this weekend. You know who you are! It means a great deal to me that you were there. The more that I perform on stage, the more I realize that my own life experiences form the platform from which I am am able to adopt any role. As the great Uta Hagen observed, an actor must strive to make everything internally real to himself. Your presence in my life helps me to do just that.

I love the theater, and I cannot wait to be on stage again. Stay tuned. I'll let you know when that will be taking place.

Friday, August 17, 2007


A recent incident has been haunting me. As I have previously reported, I spent last weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy visiting my son, Brendan. It was the first time that I had gotten to see him in some seven weeks and I was, to say the least, anxious to see him. I couldn't wait to get my first glimpse of him in his Navy whites, marching, following orders, etc. I was, to say the least, focused and intent upon seeing him.

My first chance to see him in uniform came last Friday. A noon formation was planned, in which all 1,200 freshmen midshipmen were to be lined up in formation. After the formation, they would be free to come away from the academy with their parents for several hours.

The noon formation took place in Tecumseh Court. There was precious little seating available. Metal bleachers were available to accommodate approximately 250 people. The vast majority of the crowd would be forced to stand.

Knowing the situation, and having been tipped off as to the general area where Brendan would be, I arrived about an hour early. I quickly secured a great spot in the bleachers where I was sure to get a good view of my son. The bleachers quickly filled up. The temperature was approaching 100 degrees at the time.

As I sat there, I struck up a conversation with another dad who was sitting in front of me. His name was Rich. He was from New York City, and his son was also a freshman (a "plebe") at the academy. Rich seemed like a really cool guy--someone with whom I could imagine sitting down with to share an ale on future visits to Annapolis. In fact, we agreed to do so should we have an opportunity over the next four years. He told me that he had graduated from high school in 1977, making him about three years older than I am.

As the noon hour approached, the bleachers were literally packed with people. We were crammed in like proverbial sardines. There was a great air of anticipation as those of us in attendance waited to catch sight of our special plebes; the heat and close quarters were accepted as a price to be paid for the reward of having a good seat for the occasion.

I barely took notice as a woman in her seventies approached the bleachers. She walked right up to where we were sitting, and inquired as to whether there were any empty seats available. Clearly, there were not. I was so eager to see my son that I hardly noticed the woman. I barely glanced at her. My new friend Rich, however, quickly insisted that room could be made for the woman on his row. He got everyone there to scoot in to somehow create a seat for the woman. She was very thankful as she sat down.

A moment later, the woman's companion appeared. He was about 75 years old--just about the age of my own dad. As I watched the older man approach, I thought, "That's too bad; there's really no place for him to sit."

To my astonishment, Rich stood and insisted that the older man sit in his place. "It's OK," he said. "I've been sitting too much anyway." The older man tried to decline, but Rich insisted that he take the seat. Rich then sat on the floor of the bleachers--an uncomfortable spot that clearly would not have afforded him a very good view of his son in formation.

At that point, I realized that, no matter how crammed in we were, we simply had to make room for Rich on our row of seats. "Come on, sit here," I told him. He also tried to decline, but I insisted, and we were able to squeeze together so that everyone could fit in. Rich and I continued to talk, and had a great time pointing out our sons to one another once they appeared in the formation.

Since that day, I have been reflecting upon Rich's actions and my own inaction. Why didn't I immediately offer my seat to the older couple? Until Rich provided me with a profound demonstration of selflessness, I was blissfully unaware of their plight. How could I have been so wrapped up in my own concerns? How could I have been so thoughtless? I am embarrassed to tell you how self-centered I was on that day. Unlike Rich, I had only my own agenda in mind.

I paid the older couple little notice at first. After Rich gave up his seat to them, I realized how similar they were in age to my own parents. Had they been my parents, I wouldn't have thought twice about giving them my seat. Rich didn't know this couple, and yet he immediately showed concern and compassion for them.

When Rich took the seat next to me, I told him that he had done a really nice thing by giving up his seat for the older couple. He just shrugged and said, "Ah, I just didn't want to see them standing in this heat." It was as simple as that.

And so I learned a valuable lesson from my new friend from New York.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


As I have previously reported, I will be performing in The C.D.I. & Other Plays next week in the MEX Theatre at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. The show is being advertised as a series of six one-act plays about "Love, Life and Lust." The three L's? Perfect. The show will open next Thursday, August 23rd, and will also be performed on Friday, the 24th and Saturday, the 25th. All performances will begin at 8:00 p.m. There is supposed to be an article about it in the LEO next week.

There will be five short one-act plays performed before intermission. After the intermission, a longer one-act play will be performed: Two Beers and a Hook Shot, by Kent R. Brown. I will be performing in the last play. I play the role of Dexter Jackson, a frustrated man who is desperately trying to connect with his nineteen-year-old son. My character is described by the playwright as "a man in his middle forties, a bit out of shape but able to hold his own." I'll try to pull off the "a bit out of shape" part.

But seriously, folks, we have been working very hard on this production. It is the premiere production of the Y.E.S. Theatre Group. Our director, Samer Yahyawi, is proving to be a talented and insightful maestro of the theater. I have enjoyed working with him, and I think that this will be a worthwhile and entertaining production. My partner in the production--the one who plays my son--is Gregory Brucchieri. Greg is a very talented actor, and we are working hard to perfect our on-stage relationship.

For ticket information, please contact the Kentucky Center box office at 584-7777 or online at

Monday, August 13, 2007


I'm just back from Parents' Weekend at the United States Naval Academy. I got to experience a great few days with Brendan. Although he wasn't allowed to leave the campus (or "the yard," as they call it) overnight, he was able to come and hang out with us during the day and early evenings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tristan and Collin were able to come also, and this was a huge bonus for Brendan. It was great to be with him. He seems happy and very healthy. Those 6:00 a.m. workouts appear to have agreed with him. Plebe summer has been a big challenge, as it is supposed to be, but he seems to have made his way through it very well.

My dad and his wife, Linda, were also able to come to the academy from their home in Virginia on Saturday. Brendan was able to give us all a tour of the yard. It is such an impressive place that I cannot begin to describe its grandeur in the limited time that I have to complete this post. It is awe-inspiring to walk onto the yard and to behold the academy's beauty and historical trappings. The buildings there are massive and ornate. I have truly never seen anything like it. As my dad observed, the Naval Academy is a city unto itself.

Once again, it was very tough for me to say goodbye and to leave Brendan in Maryland. He begins the academic year next week, and will not be able to come home until Thanksgiving at the earliest. I will miss him. I know that he will be successful, and that he is capable of caring for himself. Still, it is hard to let go. That said, I am as proud a papa as one could possibly be.

Friday, August 03, 2007


This summer has been, to say the least, a very hectic and exciting time in the Jones manse. My crew and I have definitely had some significant developments taking place. A brief recounting of the major events of this summer may help to illustrate why I haven't had a whole lot of time for blogging of late:

On May 5th, Tristan received her B.A. degree from the University of Indianapolis. She was honored as a Magna Cum Laude graduate. I am so proud!

On May 10th, I had my annual Belated Opening Day outing at the Cincinnati Reds with my old-time buds. Those celebrants with me this year were Larry Ragland, Jeff Grube, Jeff Schlageter and Bret Smith. I'll try to post some photos soon.

On May 25th, Brendan graduated from Providence High School. On Senior Awards Day that week, he was presented his commission to attend the United States Naval Academy by my friend and colleague, Captain Tim Naville.

On May 27th, we had a big shindig to honor both Tristan and Brendan. It was a true stone-gas!

On June 14th, Brendan, Collin and I had an outing to watch the Reds play the Angels at Great American Ball Park. This was, without question, one of the most special days of my life. I had a great day with my two sons.

On June 16th, Caitlin was wed to Rocky Donald Byerley. They were married at Silver Street United Methodist Church, with our old friend the Reverend Jerry Rairdon presiding. I can't begin to describe for you the emotions that I experienced on this day. To walk my sweet daughter down the aisle--Unbelievable!

On June 23rd, I went to the open auditions for the Theatre Alliance of Louisville. As a result, I was offered several roles in upcoming local plays, and ultimately accepted one. More info on that later.

On June 27th, Brendan had to report to the Naval Academy in Annapolis to begin the rigors of Plebe Summer. He will not be allowed to return home until Thanksgiving, at the earliest. One week from now, we will be able to go to Annapolis to visit him for Parents' Weekend. I have written to Brendan approximately three times per week since he left--leaving little time for blogging. I'm sure that you'll understand.

On July 19-22, Collin performed in the Providence Players' summer production of Noises Off. He spent much of the summer preparing for this fabulous production.

As mentioned previously, I have accepted a role in an upcoming theater production. I will be in The C.D.I. and Other Plays, to be performed in the MEX Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts on August 23, 24 & 25, 2007. I will, I promise, have more info about this upcoming production in the coming days.

So, that's pretty much what's been going on in the personal life of Old Jones these days--in case you were interested. I'll keep you posted.

And so, for now, I leave you with this sage advice: Be excellent to each other....and party on, dudes!