Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cool, Phoolish Fifty

Dearest friends and family,

We are back from Mexico - an amazing, wonder-filled trip - and are settling back in to the cold rain and snow. I can now officially join AARP, but have no intention of acting any less child like than before I turned phifty.

I read, devoured, digested your blog posts with unbridled joy, as well as a few tears (both happy and sad). You helped me experience anew many a fond memory. And the stories and sentiments you each shared with all of us affirm what I celebrate each and every moment of each and every day of my life: that my life is a blessing... truly a blessing, because I get to live it with you!

If a man is defined by the friends and family he has, then I can see my reflection in the laughs, cries, raves, cuddles, creativity, invention, meals, music, nature, order, chaos, heartbreak and ecstacy we have shared.

Your acceptance has supported me, your smiles have delighted me and you love has sustained me.

I love you more than words can tell,


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

He will never grow up!

T’was the year of 1978,
The meeting that happened was just fate.
A clueless Persian man, new to his college
Had hoped to gain so much knowledge.
But he happened upon
Another man on the lawn
Who introduced him to a world oh so great.

That man, he wore a beard on his face
And his hair was as curly as fine lace.
When I looked in his eyes
I knew there were no lies
And, well his huge smile
Said all for a while,
So I sat down and entered his space.

Now astronaut is not what I was
And was not what I intended to be.
But curly haired one
Who was so very good at fun
Knew most of the Galaxy.
We took off together
To somewhere called Never
With our minds in a jamboree.

In the mean time the Earth
Had suffered a dearth
Of Bongo fun it seems.
All hugged us and cheered
When we soon reappeared,
And told to all our incredible dreams.

But time travel was not all
That we did in that fall,
School work was calling us too.
But Bongo was our leader
And not much of a reader
And so we followed him like flies on good pooh.

Where he took us next
Was somewhat complex
You see it was music that he called Dead.
But dead it was not,
I mean man it was hot
And Persian man soon became a Dead Head.

So music at college
Consisted of Bongo’s knowledge
Of one band only it seems.
The coursework was tough
As our teacher never could get enough,
And of each song’s version there were reams.

“Sugar Magnolia blossoms blooming
heads all empty and I don’t care”
Seemed to sum up our educational grooming.
Concert hall names, instead of capital cities,
And dates and play lists were academic activities,
And cassettes and not books were there for consuming.

But then there was Dark Star,
Our great musical candy bar
That was truly the most studied of all.
Scientific and mathematical explanations
Were often applied to the Dead’s greatest creations,
But always we learned most when in concert hall.

Soon school work unraveled
When with the music we travelled
To ladies’ colleges afar.
Bongo’s huge home stereo speakers
Were installed with amplifiers
In Persian man’s small little car.

Road trips these were called
And between the speakers installed
We often sat hitchhikers for fun.
By the time they were dropped off,
Truly dizzy from liftoff,
They were forever warmed by Bongo’s sun.

When college road trips were done
That was not the end of the fun,
And on nature trips we often would go.
Lounging naked on rivers,
In water to give shivers
Like Henry David Thoreau.

On some of these trips
We came to grips
With some of nature’s great secrets.
Our energy caused a flower to bloom
And we saw in clouds their structure, we assume,
And in rocks, movement just like droplets.

Well college soon ended
But the fun just extended,
And to New York nature’s cheerleaders did go.
We shared an apartment
The size of a train compartment
And trouble with our neighbors would soon follow.

As our college music abounded
The coop neighbors said it pounded,
And then called a Board meeting to try us.
While we sat waiting with feigned dread,
We recorded everything they said
And laughed to no end about the fuss.

We soon parted our ways
Thinking that’s the end of the craze,
Of music, nature and space.
Except for one river trip in Spain
Which was fun all over again,
For years the Atlantic separated our embrace.

But the story does not end
It has new twists and many a bend,
And the ’04 Vibes was our very next date.
On arriving I happened upon
The same man on the lawn
Who reintroduced me to a world oh so great.

So I say, to my oldest and dearest friend of all,
With whom I have always had a great ball,
To be back in your life is such a dream.
You have taught me so much about love,
And the Universe on Earth and above,
That my love for you is truly supreme.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Sorry. Got confused. That's here, the ice that is. You are there, and there isn't any. Ice that is. And you are 50. And there isn't any ice there, at 50, either. At any rate, Joe S. was just here, thawing out with a weee dram, after three days without power, and wanted to send along his bestest. But got distracted. And is asleep it seems.

But we are still sitting around saying, hey, Bongo's 50. Quite cool. And then some. And you are wonderful.

Yo Gab! Yer wonderful, too.

w. (porgy)


I am still getting trans-temporal echoes and pheedback from the Halloween Soundgardens.
Snowed in without electricity at the Bongorosa... melting snow on the wood stove for toilet water while Bongo 'summered' in Chile was a 20thC treat that harkened back to the 19thC.
I wish I had a copy of the picture at the physics dept with Bongo dressed in academic regalia and curious apparatus.

Toast it up! Phifty big ones for Congo Bongo I!

Geez Louise?!!! Bongo is Phifty!!
Just a short post for now, with ideas formulating for longer contributions later...
But happy Birthday my great friend. What a wonderful gift this is...
It's hard to summarize what shared experiences, all piled on top of each other, all dripping with meaning, phun and insights -- mean to people who connect in ways that change their lives.
With you, the word that comes to mind first is - catalyst. That can be taken on so many levels by all the people that know and love you best....we all understand this in different ways -- but it is a noble and holy role.
I have some dang silly and deep memories to pull out later and perhaps share on this blog, about events that occurred on this day specifically -- but I think I'll think more before I splat it here just yet....Nixon Halloween masks come to mind. Yowzer!!
Lots of love from the Gulf Coast of central Florida, to you - Gabrielli and the extended village/family...and beyond (you know who you are). : ) Warmest wishes.


These are the good old days!!

Commemorating the day by returning to life 50 yrs. ago. No power in Shutesbury for three days so far due to huge ice storm. But thinking of Bongo in sunny tropical paradise, remembering and looking forward. Remembering sitting by the lake at Wendell SF after a good mtn bike slog and pondering the mysteries of women and life; remembering jamming hard to Toots before venturing into the rain; remembering the "kids", remembering " sheik yerpoohty" And looking towards the phun that is sure to phollow this phabulous philhtieth! We love you - HahhahHarry, MamaMara, and LahlahLephi

The Big Day

H A P P Y    B I R T H D A Y !!

from Ana Cohen Bickford

House cleaning, brown SAAB, the best smoothies, tainted brownies, wet curly hair, awesome breakfasts at Daisy's, Buck's tub overflowing, Bob Marley full blast, and so much more. Happy birthday, Bongo! Ana

18,263 days, I think

I'm not very good at math, but I think it's something above 18,000 days, right? I'm am honored to have been able to share quite a few of those days (and some bleary-eyed, giggly nights) with you.

When we see each other, it's as if no time has passed. I remember a New Year's Eve...was it eight years ago?... when you showed up In Portland, as if you'd always been there. Still present since the early days...Johnny's cute roommate...who's that guy? Bbbbbbongo...Parties with Johnny and Alexis. Soundtracks and tanks...Wavy Gravy in town at the radio station and at your house! Weirdness. Life in the 1980's.

The Northampton Center for the Arts...Phurst Church of music...more Johnny Dwork craziness and phun...the jello brain...the December gatherings...load-in/load-out...late nights...

Time passes into our 30's...weddings and funerals, kids, homes...We become cleverly disguised as responsible adults. We don't really grow up, we just try and act like it. It gets confusing...

A wise man once sang, "When you get confused, just listen to the music play."

More time passes. Jobs/work/, death, relationships... fast-forward to New Year's Eve 2001. What a kind soul you are. I was so happy to see you again.

Hanging backstage with Tommy. Just like old times, except now, we've perfected the art of throwing a great party. We finally become teenagers with experience.

So glad to see you grow into the Bongo-man that you are. So glad to be a part of the journey. Thanks for sharing not only the phun, but the bumpy parts of the road, too. Thanks for being my guardian angel when I needed you most. I'm proud to call you my friend.

50-years-old. Fifty years of Bongo and more to come! Wow. If that's what fifty looks like, then I'm not afraid. Of course, I have years to go before my 50th!

I love you, kind man.
Sending smiles and blessings and giggles till tears come,
and some hugs and kisses, too.
Auntie Flea

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Hey Bongo!

I Hope you're enjoying the whole Mexico thang...what a great birthday!

I'm so glad that our paths have been crossing more and more lately - what a long strange...

G. D. it anyway!

Can't believe niphty phiphty is nearing for me 9 months - to the, when you were born, I was...

Peace, Love and Unbroken.


50 years... Or 1,576,800,000,000 milli seconds

Happy fifty pop
You´re halfway to one hundred
And having some fun

Lang zal zij leven, lang zal zij leven,
lang zal zij leven in de gloria, in de gloria,
in de gloria.
Hieper de piep hoera, hieper de piep
hoera, hieper de piep hoera!



Happy birthday!

Wow! You´re 50, half way to 100! See I would write like the others but I wont. Others will say a lot of things about you being 50, I wont. But I will say happy birthday, you´re 50. And well, nothing more.... I can´t really think of anything.



Wow my friend – so many, many years ago – 31.3333

Newbie freshman Computer lab with TA’s -– Luther and Bongo
Lasers at Trinity library tower – Hallucinations 101: What was that?
Jorge the exotic peruvian marching dancer
Drink fire water -fungus flav- Topple over - Maine
Kayaking to far away places to commune with seals
Columbia U – “Hey Joe, I think this one is a 243, nah it is a 247”
To sunny FL in a shiny “Cherarie” with room size speakers to transport us there
Boca Grande - Fort Lauderdale
Spirits of the world lapping at our feet on a park bench on the edge of eternity
7,000 weekends in the valley – mountain biking, pond swimming, x-country skiing
Softball sized horse flies for Outside magazine
Dark star et all
First Church of Phun, Sound & Light - half man-half deer sprinting under the groves
Jump it’s not that far – followed by 7,892 phone calls

Wow – what a wonderful trip its been….

And so on this your 50th man, an old Eastern blessing to you my friend -

May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

Enjoy Mejico and la familia –

Happy trails my friend,

Mr. Bongo

Mr. Bongo

I think he is one of the funniest people on the planet and wish him a thrilling birthday! Till we meet again!

Tomo Grovo

Tavi loves you

Hi Bongo,
Happy Birthday to you
sing the happy birthday song!
Happy birthday bongo buddy
Bongo my friend mama, bongo my friend!
Happy Birthday
(as dictated by Tavi to his mom)

Hatty Burpday

Hey Bongoishous
half a century as we mark this day.
With love and light and laughter
I send you best and better wishes for the next!
Keep on with your mission, your purpose enlivens many
enriches all! To Phun, chum, and to all good thillyness.

love Penny

super hosty!

Hello there my Bongo, friend super hosty!
I am honored to send this posty, and promise it won't be too roasty...............
I love moving through time with you just being coasty......mostly toasty!

Okay now seriously (no josty!)
I wish for you joy and bliss for years (isn't that what I'm spos-ty?)

I love getting closer to you as we get older and sharing our lives and families, spending time playing and creating................and being silly together, mosty!

You're pretty spectacular, I hope you know it..........come on, on your birthday it's okay to be boasty!

Can't wait to celebrate with you in person, and give you some birthday hugs and kisses! No no, nothing nosty............just nicey nicey!

love you,



Ob Ongo Ob Rother of mindAncer

Me this

Question Authority priority seating

Other Side Of House

Party of….? One!

I’ll have 2-13-70

Both ways Similtaneously

Thank Youf

Or Being You!

Teach me

Thank You for Being

Teach me So Much



EvoL hcuM oS em hcaeT

gnieB rof uoY knahT

em hcaet !uoY

gnieB rof

uoY knahT

And Ooh So Much more …

To Be!!!M!!!u!!!!!L!!!!v!!!!!e!!!!!!Y!!!!!!!Bioinigio

Friday, December 12, 2008


hooray! so happy to know you, a great day to celebrate indeed!! Happy happy birthday bongo, we're all warmer here knowing you guys are there; bring home some sunshine, por favor! looking forward to celebrating the month of bongo with and/or w/o you himself! cheers!!! love, sarakarl

Bongoleum Brand Hippy Phun

From Enchanted Masquerade Costume Ball

Although I've known you for just 5 years, it feels like a lifetime... My how time slows down at festivals, parties, and other "special events!"

Seriously, though, I'm honored to be included in your amazing circle of phriends, and I can't wait to party with you in January and beyond!

Behold! Bongo Burgeons Into New Decade Territory

…and one you will embrace with love, laughter and levity like a good Badillion and Cosmic Casbah Civilian.

How blessed we all are to have you in our orb—with your warm disposition, dead pan humor and wise intuition—You Grok!

Our friendship started at the Bongorosa in '94, and from there, we have been 'One with the Phun' and visited some inter-galactic channels only the 'track titles' could delineate.

When I think about a quintessential Michael Grabscheid moment, it was when Dan Healy was saying his "thank yous" at the Unbroken Chain symposium, and you turned to me and said "Dan Healy just called me Bongo; my two world's have just collided."

May the next 50 continue to be filled with the sweet nectar of love & happiness.
You are truly such a treasure. Lucky us that we have you; making this world, ours a little brighter.

The light in you, is the light in me ~ Wendini

What a long strange trip it's been!

Such a joy to know you and your phamily, Bongo. Many blessings for a wonder filled transition into your next decade of life. May the next fifty be as wild and full as the first.

Big Birthday Love,


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy 50th, Michael!

To me, Christmas tradition was always skiing with my cousin Bongo and relaxing in the hot tub in your mountain retreat.

Happy Birthday, Michael!

From the keeper of Grandma's photos ;-)
Phabulous, phantastic, phunny, phifty, phar out, Bongo. May the Mayan Gods and Goddesses shine their light on you as you celebrate your half century mark in the land of the Yucatan. They tell me you're on the very best path.

You're such an amazing connector for all of us. Thanks for bringing us together in celebration of life, love, play, experimentation, creativity, and so much more.

Blessings for all the wonderful years ahead. And thanks for paving the way into our next half century for me--I'll following close behind.

Lots of love,

Everyone Deserves Music w/Bongo

Bongo, you have been the "sweet music" that has brought together so many wonderful people in the time we've been friends. You are the rhythm section for this P-Phunk Life Tour. Much love and joy on your birthday. Scott

Happy 50 Bongo!

Welcome to the club!

¡Cincuenta cumpleaños feliz, Bongó!
Have a Bongo-licious birthday!

Are you really 50 or just 18 with 32 years experience?

50 years old . . . you, the peace sign and The Cat in the Hat.

Lots of memories banked and so many more to come.

You've touched many lives with your love, vision and sense of community;

your "sharing and caring".

Here's to you and the memories, past, present and future.
Dave G

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stay On The Bus, Bongo!

A Birthday of Greatness

A Birthday of Greatness
Mr. Bongo !!! You are a man of greatness - blazing greatness. I so appreciate the great peace, love and harmony that you bring to my life just by the great way you stand in your greatness. Thanks for the great love and for bringing great love to my friend Gabi.
Hope your Mexico celebration with the gang is amazing !!!
Howie !!!

happy bday

HAPPY BDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

uR tUrNiNg FiFtY :)

From Selah


Keep Going...................

Ur Sorta Close

Keep Going

Seems Like You Will Never Get There


Keep on Going

Keep Going

Keep Going

Keep Going

Almost There

UR A TOWEL!!!!!!!


Well, that's what "Bongo" looks like in Sanskrit/devanagiri, baby!

I'm still digging through old hard drives for photos of Bongo in compromised positions to share here, but I need no digging to dig my good friend and brother Bongo on this occasion marking the 50th time the sun has whirled about the globe since his birth lo, these many moons ago. Phifty! Pas mal, mes amis, pas mal. May we all shine so at the halfway mark, may we all retain our youthful optimism, ability to balance worldly needs with more lofty concerns, and keep the twinkle in our eyes as Bongolicious has shown us it can be done!

I reflect upon the Bongo-shaped hole which would gape at me wide-eyed in the absence of such a man in my life, and quickly give thanks that such a hole exists only in the imagination. Tragedy narrowly averted!

Bongo, endless days on a sandy beach with babe and boys sounds just about right for this moment. Enjoy it all, take it in, celebrate your own rich nature and all the blessings which rain down upon you. Your tribe's lives are brighter because you walk among us. Walk tall, my friend, walk in the beauty way, and walk in peace for all your days.


Hoi M’Noi Bongo!

We have been phriends now phor more than 25 years. Wow...and Yikes!

While I deeply value your kind heart, strong work ethic, intelligence, gentility, deep appreciation of nature, great taste in music/art/women and, of course, your dedication as a loving father and partner, there is something beyond all of these glowing attributes that I cherish most of all:

It is those "Plinky Taunkauh moment" tears. The ones you and I have cried time and time again when laughing so hard that all we can do is gasp for more air so we can cry even more tears of laughter. And let us also pay proper tribute to the related, oh-so deliciously mysterious phorce that, upon looking at one another laughing so hard, instantly triggers yet more tear-inducing laughter. Surely there is no greater soul medicine available to us University of Mars alumni. Praise Ha!

May you keep on searchin’ phor that sound, laugh till you cry, love deeply, not work too hard and get to enjoy your children’s successes phor another phifty years.

Plinky Taunkauh Phorever!
JohnnyD aka Phun G Badillion, The Very Left Rabbi Go Go Boots of the Phurst Church of Phun

(Art work by JohnnyD and Lieve)
Blessed Bongo . . . .

YES, living in today's complex world of the future IS like having BEES live in your head. But, there they are!

May the stars, the planet, the pyramids, and every single vibe line up on Sunday for a truly spectacular day . . . Go kiss a shaman.

And yes . . . I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.


Phabulous at Phifty

Deepest Gratitude for the call of the sacred earth-bearing tortoise shell that introduced me to you!!

Joyous birthday to you my sweet friend.

i celebrate
your ancient soul,
that mischievious twinkle in your eye,
your depth of devotion as parent, partner, and steward of the earth,
you as grand meastro of wild and wonderous community ritual and celebration,
your superb taste in music and friends,
your ability to love without limits and live by your own design.

HERE'S TO ANOTHER FIFTY...keep on truckin!!!

MUCH love and adoration,

Happy Birthday Bongo!

Wishing You many more years of Love And Prosperity... And Bliss Balls, Cool Fools, Unbroken Chains, Laser Harps, Great Vibes, Cosmic Casbahs, Phun & Laughter.

Have a Loco time in Mexico!

We Love you,
Nancy, Geoffrey & Zach

Happy Birthday from Mom G

Many birthday wishes to you, Michael. Love, Kathy Gabrielli


25 years ago, from Hampshire on.
Met in his apartment in amherst, and then beyond.
Light shows, mind shows, and the Bongorosa.
The first Phurst Church, and we all communed,
like vegetarians returning from the hunt, we feasted on delights.
All our senses, both internal and external, and fellow Bongo helping find what's next - 
 . . . .  the other side of house.
And on and on always exploring.
Yes, that's him to me, a native traveller.

Here's some cheers to sharing many more paths.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Bong!

As I read all the postings, I can see your first 50 years has been filled with Love, Great Family, Close Friends, An Intelligent Mind, Creative Juices and many other things. My wish for you is to have many more years of the same. Plus double the Hugs, Kisses and Love.

Best. Landlord. Ever.

Bongo! Happy birthday wishes from Switzerland! I'm over here doing some research, so I'm going to miss out on the festivities. I hope you have a wonderful time in Mexico with Gabrielli and the dudes. All the best for the next 50!


It seems surreal...

Dear Bongo

Have a fabulous 50th birthday. It seems surreal, at least temporarily, and then you readily get into the full swing of things. May your next fifty years prove rewarding, satisfying, and good in all the ways you desire.

happy trails,

Chris Kilham

Cosmic Memoirs xqG

Dancing & eating good food with friends, music sweet music under the stars at night, hikes up the mountains of Western MA, dancing some more, swaying a bit, late nights with the Casbah, Bliss Ball, games with the kids, magic cards & computers, Hornings & again, the Vibes multiplied, skiing & sledding, walks around the reservoir, music, countless blissful moments of love sweet love, Grandma's 100th, websites, purifying tears & tissues that never end, drop alive laughter, swimming whenever we can, naked boys at Lori's, San Fransisco & Rex, being held, that funny snore you get right when you fall asleep, timeless, now 50 in Mexico... I'm grateful for so much that we share. I'm grateful for all of what you continuously bring; in family, in love, in work & willingess.. I'm grateful for your compassionate heart and deep love of life. I'm grateful for your deep commitment to fathering and for your sweet boys - Jibben and Cerek whom you adore beyond measure. I'm grateful for your techno-weenie brain & all of the gifts it brings to us. I'm grateful that we found each other on this crazy journey of life. I'm grateful for the unplugged laughter deep into the nights. I'm grateful that you can stand tall and proud even in the face of adversity as you have so much integrity. I'm honored to share love with you, and to share my beautiful boy, Selah, with you as well. I'm grateful for your family& community and all of the wonderful ways I am in love with them as well. Here's to another 50 amazing years of life! In love & light, xoGabrielli

Monday, December 8, 2008

phifty is nifty, bongo live longo!

How's that for a track title??
love, Lauren

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ode' To Bongo My Brother

There's a man named Bongo who has two boys,
Hangin' with them is one of his many joys.
He's a father, son, uncle and to me he's a brother,
He's truly loved by all, especially Gabrielli, his significant other.
When I was little he helped take care of me,
Putting up with whining and wiping my tushee.
During his college days when I was an 8th grade geek,
He used to have me for the weekend and we partied at Deke
Those days in the past are so very clear,
I will always remember them and hold them dear.
So on your 50th birthday to the brother I adore,
Let's raise our glass and celebrate, I can't wait for fifty more.

With Love,

Your Brother David

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fifty Never Looked so Good


What could be sweeter than to be in Playa Del Carmen on your 50th birthday embraced by your yummy lover, three delectable boys and a blog dedicated to you.  You are living life, brother!
Deborah, David & Sadie wish you a birthday that reflects your dreams back at you by the ocean's edge with a star filled sky. May the light of day on Dec 14 shine deep in your heart expanding you into the next half of your life.

Warm wishes for the happiest of birthdays.

The Magers

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday!!!

I was calculating last night that I have known you about 20% of your life!  And in that time have certain created lots of fun memories from mountain biking in the cold, to cannon balls into the lake, to going to your house on a couple of  Thanksgivings.  It was so perfect that the vegetarians were cooking a turkey and ended up with the oven on fire!!  One of my favorite memories was a different Thanksgiving when you, Steven, Bonnie, Dan and I stayed up just talking late one night. 

Looking forward to another 50 years of memories!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Are you really 50?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So they say, 50 is the new 40!!

Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday since you were wearing that ski hat to bed to keep your hair from curling... It seems like yesterday that you were eating frozen yankee doodles... It seems like yesterday that we were tobogganing down the front yard... It seems like yesterday that we were groovin' together in the basement listening to Jerry... Here's to celebrating 50 years of your presence in the world. I know no life without you.