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Joined: May 2001
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I see that Frank is going to get rid of the Coffee Room soon.

While a part of me is going to be genuinely sorry to see it go, I think Frank is making the right decision. This is, after all, a place about pianos, and the Coffee Room is anything but that. And while it's been a place of great conversation, it's also been a breeding ground for bitterness, anger, and no small amount of aggravation – mostly to Frank himself. The truth is, if I were Frank, I'd probably have ditched the CR long before now.

It's been a long time since I posted much in the piano-related forums. This is because a while back, I realized that my piano playing skills were, to put it mildly, very limited. I gave up lessons due to both financial pressures as well as a dose of realism. And while it might be nice, there would be no reasonable justification to ever buy even a “cheap,” lowest-tier piano to replace the old landfill piano that still occupies our front room, and that the girls and I still occasionally plunk out a tune on. Those same financial pressures, which remain to this day, would make that a moot point in any case, but even if we had the available cash, my own sense of priorities has changed over time and I just couldn't see spending that amount of money on an extravagance. So the technical threads of which piano is best in a given price point, or whose hammers are best, or whether “seasoned for destination” is a bunch of nonsense, just haven't been relevant to me for quite some time.

So it seems that when the CR goes, I likely will too. Frank's right, this place is for the piano, not all the extraneous stuff that has come to be what I generally am here for anymore. It's certainly not Frank's fault – it's not anyone's “fault” at all, for that matter – that piano is just not one of my passions in life these days. Put bluntly, this place isn't for folks like me, or at least it shouldn't be. If my passions lie somewhere else, then I should find appropriate forums to chat about them, and not take up time and space here.

Thank you, Frank, for providing people with a wonderful place to learn about and talk pianos, and for quite some time, talk about non-piano topics. In my opinion, your website is the finest piano related site online, and when I found it I had sampled many of them. It was a wealth of useful piano information to me when I was looking for it, and a fun place to be when I wasn't.

I also want to thank the many people that I've become friends with over the years here. I won't list names because I'd forget someone and then they'd feel slighted, but some of the names on my list might be obvious; others might surprise you. There have been lots of folks whose posts I may have read for years and never chatted directly with, but whose insights and opinions I've learned a great deal from and appreciated greatly.

This place has been one of several things that have converged in my own life to send me in somewhat of a different direction than the one I had been heading. I don't consider those events to have been chance. I'm sure that many would laugh at my description, but I honestly believe that these multiple events were being orchestrated by God to direct me to redirect my attention to a long-ignored sense of call to the ministry, in my case lay pastorship while still pursuing a “day job,” to serve small congregations, either startups or declining, struggling ones, that are too small to financially support a full-time pastor. It was in the CR that someone first told me that I should do this. When he said it, he didn't know that it tied into other events in my past, or that at that precise point in time, my own church was establishing a program to do exactly that. So I'll always consider the Coffee Room to have been, in at least a small way, an instrument used by God to nudge me.

I hope that it's been used by God on other occasions, too, and I literally pray that I've been part of those times. I've said to people here sometimes that I don't reply to every thread, or even every comment or reply made directly to me, because I sense that the reply would be meaningless or just not the right thing to do at the moment. I've also said that often, when I do reply to something, it's partly for the person I'm chatting with, but at least as much as for the unknown person who's reading what I've written, and that it might be of use and benefit to them – maybe even more to the person I'll never know than the person I'm ostensibly answering. Despite the fact that it's best for CR to go now, I know that it's had a huge impact on me, and I hope that it's had similarly meaningful benefit in the lives of others.

Thank all of you for being engaged, enjoyable people to chat with, both those I've agreed with and those I've sparred with. This place has certainly had trolls, but to a remarkable extent considering most online communities, they've been pretty minimal in their damage here. Thank you for being good ears and shoulders for me to lean on when I went through one or another personal difficulty, and I hope that I've been at least as good a set of ears and shoulders to you all in return as you went through things and shared them here.

Thanks also for being a great soundboard for the various stories about events in my life that I've posted here. Long ago, people said I should publish them. Despite my appreciation for all of you, I took the comments largely with a grain of salt. Still, I forwarded some of them to a man, an English professor who had grown up in my home town, and who had actually gone to school with some of the family members mentioned in some of the stories. He had written one book, and is in the process of writing another. This one is to be about having grown up in our shared home town. After sending them to him a while back, looking for some general comments, I never heard back from him. I took this to mean that the stories really weren't of any merit, and his silence was just polite way of saying so. A couple weeks ago, other events happened that made me think about him again. I called him on the phone, and his first words were “So have you written any more?” Apparently, he had read the stories and had emailed me back, offering a few suggestions for development/improvement, but I had never gotten the email. He said that he would go back and find the email and re-send it, but that the short answer in the email was that the stories were very intriguing, good, and that “you've gotta get "em published.” So, after a long delay, I'm working on the book again. It's probably about 30% written, and a big chunk of it is stories that I originally wrote for all of you here. Thanks for that.

I certainly don't want to lose touch with many of you, and since my profile will still be around you'll still be able to reach me via email. Plus, I've always taken pride in posting under my actual name and taking responsibility for my opinions here. I hope that my friends here would simply look me up some time; you'll find my “screen name” simply enough in the Columbus White Pages.

There's been a lot of lively debate here. Most of it has been healthy. Some of it has caused complaints of “foul,” from both the “brain dead left” as well as the “silly wingers.” A lot of the complaints have been unfounded, or at least were signs of a combination of oversensitivity toward our own sacred cows, and blindness at our own gorings of others' cattle. Some of the arguments genuinely went over the line, and again, both sides stepped over the line from time to time.

Me too. Despite really trying not to, especially in more recent times, I know I still offended some and stepped over the line myself. The fact that others did so, or did more frequently, or more boldly, doesn't make any difference. There were times that my words were part of the problem, not the solution. For those times, I apologize to any of you who were hurt or offended, and I ask for your forgiveness. In truth, I can't think of anyone here – even those with whom I've debated with most sharply - that I would ever want to genuinely hurt. So for when my words have done exactly that, I'm sorry.

There's always debate about when a person is going to leave an online forum, whether they should write a goodbye post, or just leave quietly; whether their long-winded goodbye is well-intentioned or just a plea for someone to beg them to stay. I wrestled with that question myself, when I left one time in the past. This time, it's less of a wrestle. I'm not writing to settle any final scores, or looking for someone to tell me I shouldn't go (especially in this case, since the CR is soon to disappear itself). I'm not writing all this to get any pats on the back, or to open myself up to any final pot-shots, either. I just didn't want the CR to close its doors without saying some of these things, and to tell you all that your effect on my life - “pixel people-ish” though it may have been – has been real, and profound. I didn't want the CR to disappear without letting you all know that.

Thanks again, everyone.

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Thank you Dwain...You gave me a great deal - and what you gave was much appreciated. I look forward to reading your book.

Ken

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now I am going to cry
you just can't say goodbye frown


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
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I'll miss you, Dwain. You are indeed a gentleman. IMHO.

Peggy

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I'm sure that you will have an enormous impact on the people you pastor. You've had a great impact on my life. If you can do that in cyberspace, I can only imagine what you are capable of in real life.

May God always be with you.

Derick


Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
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Dwain,
You know you and I share a "bond" at some level.

I consider you a man of integrity.

There's not much more than that I can say, and not much more worth saying.

Every man lives his life in the hopes that he is living it correctly, and you my friend are doing a darn good job of it based on what I know of you.

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You know, just because a bar closes down, doesn't mean the regulars have to stop talking to each other.

They just find another place to go.

This place will still be here for pianos, find (or set up!) somewhere else to continue this.

You can run forums for free, you know, just like this one .

EDIT: Ha! I've been beaten to it!! laugh


Jim (amateur musician and composer..and piano tinkerer).

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Dwain

To me you have always been Atticus.


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Dwain you have always posted with thoughtfulness, integrity and respect.

I wish you well.

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Dwain, very well put, as usual. Let's keep in touch, occasionally, through emails.
Best of luck!


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.
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Dwain,
I don't think I've ever thanked you. I've learned so much by reading your posts. I have much respect for you. I'll miss reading your posts.

A sad day today ...

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Dwain,

You've been one of my favorites. I wish you well and hope our paths will cross one day.

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Dwain, I certainly have appreciated your well thought out comments over the years, and missed you during your absence a while back. It seems that many times, when a "voice of compassionate reasoning" is needed people look for a post from you. And the essays about weddings or other events in your life ARE small gems, and deserve to be gathered into one place.

The pictures of your efforts in Honduras inspired me ... and so did the newspaper story and picture of your efforts in that little piano-bar there in Columbus. smile
Same for the photos of the factory tours ... not inspirational, per se, but coherent and thorough and useful.

I think you'll do fine as the "temporary" or "interim" guy in the churches. My Grandfather had a lot of assignments in this capacity ... "riding the circuit" ... and I think he enjoyed that part of his career quite a bit. I hope this works out well for you.
Be warned, however, that even though Grandpa never used this exact phrase, he did run across the occasional "pew-troll". :rolleyes:

I don't take your post as a swan-song, and I'm sure you'll pop back in, but I wanted to respond to it and thank you for telling us what's happening in your life.


Bob

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Dwain, I want you to know that I too have found your Honduras accounts inspirational and heartwarming. THey've been part of a catalyst of a growing seed of desire to do something along those lines. I'm not sure yet where or what - maybe Africa, and probably not until 10 is off to college, but I'm quite sure I'll do it (and JF too, if I can drag him along). Thanks.

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Don't put it off that long, kathy - the fact that you're doing it will be very instructive to Ten now.

I'd actually considered trying to put together a Coffee Room trip to MdL. I think that would have really been neat, but that would have been one time when talking politics and other hot topics would DEFINITELY have been verboten. smile

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Quote
Originally posted by Dwain Lee:
Don't put it off that long, kathy - the fact that you're doing it will be very instructive to Ten now.

I'd actually considered trying to put together a Coffee Room trip to MdL. I think that would have really been neat, but that would have been one time when talking politics and other hot topics would DEFINITELY have been verboten. smile
Dwain, we need to see her into college. You see, we are going and we are not coming back....

jf


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Quote
Originally posted by kenny:
Dwain you have always posted with thoughtfulness, integrity and respect.

I wish you well.
You called him hateful, a bigot, and homophobe. Is that the same as thoughtful, respectful, and having integrity?


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Once again, nobody writes like Lee.

Well done.


TNCR. Over 20 years. Over 2,000,000 posts. And a new site...

https://nodebb.the-new-coffee-room.club

Where pianists and others talk about everything. And nothing.
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I don't have to tell you that life can throw lots of curves, and even grandchildren, that could alter those kinds of plans. I guess what I'm saying is that lots of times, "later on" never arrives for whatever reason.

You know the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000? It was a story that was very important to the writers of the Gospels; so important that it's one of the events that is recounted in all four gospels. If you recall, at the beginning of the story, Jesus had the apostles look around to see what food they had to potentially feed the crowd. All they came up with was this one little kid, who had (IIRC) five little barley loaves and two fish - essentially, his own lunch. The boy gave it to the apostles to help. It didn't make an impression on the apostles; such a tiny amount of food to feed such a huge number (and the 5,000 didn't even include the women & children present)might as well have been nothing. Still, Jesus took wht the little boy offered, blessed it, and instructed the apostles to distribute it through the crowd. And all ate till they were filled.

The traditional interpretation of this story is that Jesus created a miracle on this day, constantly regenerating the small bit of food offered up by the little boy to be enough food for all. Personally, I share this interpretation.

Some modern theologians who discount the idea of miracles say that the food wasn't recreated, but the crowd actually had more food with them - they just hadn't offered it up originally; and that after witnessing the selfless act of the little boy, they brought out their food, shared it with those around them, and all ate in abundance.

I don't share that interpretation; I think that if that were what happened, it would have been an equally meaningful event, and the gospel recorders would have documented the story in that manner (I also believe the version I do because of other scriptural references, but this isn't relevant to my point). But whether one believes in the more, or less, miraculous version, something amazing did happen. Further, there is a truly important message in the story completely independent of the miracle or lack thereof: the act of the little boy.

He didn't have much to offer. In fact, considering the actual need, any logical person would look at the offer and tell him, "don't waste your time, kid; it's not enough to make any difference." But he did offer it. And Christ did use it to achieve his intentions.

Sometimes, I think we look at a situation - some big problem - and think that to make any real difference we would have to make a big contribution, in money or time; and that until we can do that, anything that we could offer would be so small as to be meaningless.

I couldn't disagree more. I think that even if what we can offer now is small - in this case, a short service/mission trip - that's okay. God will use it, whatever it is, to achieve his goals. If we can do something bigger, later, that's wonderful. But we shouldn't put off everything until later, because frankly, none of us knows how many "tomorrows" we have.

Just a friendly thought.

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Quote
Originally posted by gryphon:
Quote
Originally posted by kenny:
[b] Dwain you have always posted with thoughtfulness, integrity and respect.

I wish you well.
You called him hateful, a bigot, and homophobe. Is that the same as thoughtful, respectful, and having integrity? [/b]
kenny disagrees with some, maybe all, of my positions on homosexuality, but he has never called me hateful, a bigot, or a homophobe. I'd like to think, at least, that he understands that someone can hold a different opinion without the cause for that opinion being hate, prejudice, or fear.

He has criticized the Christian faith for its positions regarding homosexuality and the discrimination against gays perpetrated by some true, and many nominal, Christians. And that criticism comes with much justification. While they can still "hate the sin," not nearly enough Christians throughout history have truly lived the other half of that cliche, "love the sinner." If more Christians had, it wouldn't eliminate all the disagreements between kenny, and other gays, and the Christian church, but at least the remaining disagreements would be a bit more respectful, and the two sides would both be standing not on the same ground, but at least on closer ground.

Despite our obvious disagreements, I've never disrespected kenny, and I've never felt disrespected in return.

Just two more cents.

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