It is my hope that this post finds each of you having had a wonderful summer. At our house, it has been a great summer, but it has also been a busy one as well. I have spent the vast majority of the past three months taking care of my son and preparing him to go to school for the very first time. It has sort of been like pre-school, Father and Son daycare and maybe just the greatest experience of my life— getting to spend a great deal of time with my family over the course of this summer. I am extremely fortunate to be able to have this time and to be able to spend so much of it with my family. We also took a wonderful summer family vacation, as well, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado. Quentin, our son, celebrated his sixth birthday just about a month ago at this time. Just days after turning six years old, Quentin was able to go on a series of high-altitude hikes with us and experience the mountains up close for the very first time. We also enjoyed a trip to a place called Tiny Town which is near Morrison, Colorado. Quentin loves trains and Tiny Town offers a train ride through a miniature mining town, has a great playground where he had the opportunity to play with other kids his age who were mostly from Colorado and a snack bar area where we had the chance to have ice cream together as a family. It was a great trip— plus, we had the opportunity to spend some time this summer with Quentin’s grandparents in Hopkins County, Texas. However, it has not always been easy. Over the course of the past decade, I have to deal with a condition that has made it difficult for me to swallow. This condition has necessitated a number of surgical procedures during the past few years. I had one surgical procedure in July and will have to have another one in September and hopefully this will correct some of the swallowing issues that I have been experiencing. So far, I feel very good and I am looking forward to having it resolved. Most of the time, during the day, Quentin and I will go to a nearby park where he loves to watch the trains go through Alvin on their way to Houston, Galveston or Freeport and to ride his scooter in the skate park. On the weekends, we either try to go to Brazos Bend State Park or to the beach near Surfside Beach, Texas. This past weekend, we enjoyed taking a trip together to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum in Rosenberg, Texas. We had a tremendous amount of fun together as a family. By the way, I have to thank my wife, Stephanie, for so much of this, as she has really put a tremendous amount of time and work into preparing us for our time together this summer and helping Quentin get ready to go to school, as well.
As far as the educational website project is concerned, I have been writing a few articles throughout the course of this summer. Of these articles, five are currently ready for publication on the website, three are in the process of approval and two have just been completed and are in the process of being proofread and edited at this moment in time. I am in the process of beginning to add more content to the website, including new blog posts and podcast episodes in the near future. Also, you will notice that there has been some work that has been done to make the homepage a little more user-friendly. Over the course of this weekend, I plan on beginning the process to market the new articles which are actually already available on the site for you to be able to read. What are the new articles about? Glad you asked— these articles are about one of the greatest recording studio engineers to ever sit behind a console and a great guy who I was so blessed to have the opportunity to work with during my stint in the music business as an assistant engineer. He has had a tremendous impact upon my life and career and the music that he has engineered has entertained millions of music lovers around the world. As a legendary recording studio engineer, his career began in 1978 at The Record Plant in New York City where he had the opportunity to work on formative projects such as the soundtrack for the feature film, The Blues Brothers, and with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. As an assistant engineer, he would also have the opportunity to work on the J. Geils Band album, Freeze-Frame, and on album projects with both Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson and Scandal. He would have the chance to work with and to be mentored by such legendary engineers and producers as David Thoener, William (Bill) Wittman, and Jay Messina. In 1987, he made his first foray as a recording studio engineer working in country music on a project with Roseann Cash and Rodney Crowell on the album, Kings Record Shop. From that point forward, he began an association of working in country music and in 1992, took the plunge to move to Music City, USA. He has engineered some of the greatest hits in the history of popular music and his work, along with that of other great engineers who came to Nashville in the late 1980s and early 1990s, set the stage for a renaissance in country music and the immense boom that it would enjoy in popularity that continues to this very day. From 1988 to the present, he has worked on major hit albums for such artists and performers as (in chronological order) Rodney Crowell, Alabama, Restless Heart, George Strait, Faith Hill, David Lee Murphy, Deana Carter, Reba McEntire, Brooks and Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Glen Campbell— and for so many other great artists and performers as well. In 2016, he won a Grammy-Award for his engineering work on the legendary Glen Campbell’s final album, I’ll Be Me. He is not just a legendary recording studio engineer, he is also a great friend to everyone who has the opportunity to meet him or to work with him. He treats everyone like they are a member of the family. He is my friend— Steve Marcantonio.
It is my hope that you will take the time to visit the website and to read the new stories that have just been published, as well as those that are soon to come. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing them and it is my sincere hope that you will enjoy reading them, too. And too, as this summer begins to come to a close, I want to wish each of you— whether your work is in music or education, or a combination, thereof— a happy, safe and wonderful school year that is filled with joy, laughter, learning and also, the development of great friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. I wish each of you and your students the very best of success. For each of you who are in the music business, I want to take a moment to wish you the best of success on each of the projects that you are undertaking and to thank you in advance for giving us the opportunity to enjoy the very best of your work. To each of you, it is my hope that this message will find you having a wonderful day and on the way to having a fantastic weekend, too—
Quentin, Stephanie and I enjoy a moment while on the way back to the Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park, Colorado, after visiting Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake and beautiful Lake Haiyaha.