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September 19, 2017

Hi Friends,

I'm sorry it's been such a long time. I don’t know where the summer went…

Things have been even more hectic than usual. Of course, I’ve been up to my normal shenanigans… more on these below.

When I haven’t been working during the humid, mosquito filled hours of the last couple months, I’ve been scraping, caulking, re-shingling, and painting my house. (Interesting side note here -- en entire summer spent at the top of a ladder does wonders for your discomfort with heights!)

In my spare time, I’ve also managed to train for this coming November’s Philly Marathon. This isn’t really news to those who know me, as I run this race virtually every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. But this year I’m aiming at what I’m hoping will be a Boston-qualifying race time. It’s been awhile since I’ve accomplished this goal, but there’s got to be SOME advantage to turning SIXTY, and I figure it’s having one of the younger bodies in the 60-65 year old age group!


My work inside the prisons and with returning citizens has been progressing on many fronts. This week I filed the certificate to establish New Beginnings-Next Step, Inc as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit. Up until now we have been sponsored by our friends at Pacem in Terris of Delaware. And while I will always remain grateful for their support during these early years, the specific needs of our program seem to dictate that we take this next vital step in our evolution.

We have also been invited to bring the program inside Delaware's only women's prison, the Baylor Correction Institution. This will undoubtedly provide new challenges as well as greatly enrich the work we’ve set out to do. Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, recently gave New Beginning-Next Step a shout out during his keynote address at Wilmington’s Stop the Violence Conference. During his talk, Father Greg recounted the answer he has most frequently given when asked what he actually accomplishes in his work with L.A.’s gang members; he said, “We don’t go to the margins to change people, we go to the margins to be changed.” I can attest.

I share many of our victories with you in theses notes as well as during my shows. But there are heartbreaking losses and setbacks as well. It’s just part of the deal I guess, but it takes it’s toll. As one of my guys is fond of saying, some people worry about whether the glass is half full or half empty… I'm just thankful to have a glass! Please keep us in your prayers.

With all of this activity, I don't want you think I have abandoned my first love and truest calling. The times we live in have provided more than their share of songwriting inspiration, and I continue to compose at a clip I haven’t known for many years. Below is a link to an early mix of my most recent song: Take It Down. There’s a new album in the works, and I’ll keep you filled in as we progress. And with all the new material I’m grateful to have some upcoming gigs:

This weekend I'll be returning to the Delmarva Folk Festival in Hartley, Delaware. (http://www.delfolk.org/page1/index.html)

Then next week, I fly to the west coast for a few shows; including one in South Pasadena, (www.wineandsong.com) and one in Oak Park, California
(http://www.houseconcerts.us/calendar.html).


I will be returning to Delaware for two shows in Wilmington during the first weekend in October. One is listed on the flyer above. It is a very special concert that I do each year to raise money for the transitional assistance that New Beginnings-Next Step provides to its returning citizens. I’ve seen the weekly bus passes and grocery store food cards that we distribute be the difference between someone hanging in there and struggling to build a new life in freedom and hope, or going back to old haunts and habits—and ultimately to prison. Please come out and support us if you can!

The second local show that weekend will be the Lower Brandywine Community Festival. It will take place on Saturday afternoon October 7, out on Old Kennett Road, just across from Wintertur. (www.lowerbrandywine.org) I can’t imagine a nicer place to spend an autumn afternoon!

You can read about these or other upcoming shows on my web site at www.johnflynn.net .

Before I go, some thanks are in order.

Thanks to John “no job’s too small, and some are too big!” Harvey (In the Morning), and Rotten Dan “the man” Rottenberk for always being there to answer my handyman bat signal! (You guys will have to fight it out as to which of you is Robin!) I could have never made it through the last couple months without you! (Harvey is my producer and Dan runs my web page so they are never very long off the hook!)

Thanks to Wilmington’s “heart of gold attorney” John Weaver for the incredible patience and assistance with the filing of our NB-NS corporate charter, and to Wilmington University’s adjunct tax professor Rob Fox for being willing to guide us forward with our new bookkeeping responsibilities (as well as personally steer me through the 39 pages of instructions that the IRS provides with its charming 1023 form!)

Thanks also to Cruce Stark and ALL the volunteers from New Beginnings-Next Step for having my back and covering for me in prison when the road beckons!

Thanks to Lee Bowers for my sold out return to her Musical Lairs House Concerts Series last weekend, as well as all of the folks who continue to reach out to me with so many wonderful opportunities to allow me to continue sharing my songs in the world. Too many for a list here, but if there was one then Andy Braunfeld’s name would be at the top.

AND, as always, thank YOU all for your continued interest in and support of my music and work!

I hope to see you soon.
 

Peace,

John

Click here to stream “Take It Down”:
(https://soundcloud.com/john-flynn-39/take-it-down)



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Most of this stuff was typed by a songer-singwriter, so please excuse typos and double check all info!

 

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