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Breaking Up The Band, or, We Fought The Economy And The Economy Won

I may regret all this openness later, but for now a little missive here on the blog seems like the easiest way to answer all the questions that are coming up now and will be sure to come up soon. It’s getting more difficult to come up with plausible stories about what’s happening, so let’s try the truth.

Tomorrow, Jen and Bernie and John (my wife and sons) are moving to State College, PA, to live with Jen’s mom. In a couple weeks, I’m moving into a one-bedroom basement apartment in Albany – even more downtown than I live now. We’re not sure how long the new arrangement will last.

Why is this happening? Primarily because we can’t afford to live together anymore. Jen’s been out of work for 18 months and counting, and I don’t make enough to pay the bills. In fact, my most recent job change was probably the straw that sent to camel to the poor house. I’m thrilled to have my current gig and to work in the world of bicycle advocacy, but it pays what non-profits often pay. We gambled that one of Jen’s many high-scoring civil-service tests would pull our fat out of the fire, but New York State has no budget and isn’t doing much hiring these days, so that gamble didn’t pay off. We lived on fumes (and with the help of our families) for a long time, but the tank is now empty.

This is a very dark time for the rebellion, and there’s no way to sugarcoat that. Our hope, though, is that something will turn up and allow us to get Jen and the boys back in time for school in the fall.

So now you know the rest of the story. Wish us luck, and keep us in your thoughts, along with the thousands and thousands of American families who are going through exactly the same thing.

Published in Family


  1. Our thoughts are with you. In the midst of a political landscape where candidates only talk about putting people back to work but do nothing to encourage new start-ups or to help small businesses already in existence, your words are a stark reminder of the reality all around us. Many people only see the surface, hear the joy in your voice as you conduct your interviews but few, if any, know or even believe it’s a labor of love.

    Good luck to you and the family!

  2. I’m very sorry to read this, Jason. Difficult times indeed. You and your family are in my thoughts, and you have my best wishes for a quick onslaught of good luck.

  3. Pat Ryan Pat Ryan

    Alright…let’s get crackin on some solutions!
    I have friends in radio in State College – let’s see if there is a connection for help in some form there.
    I’ve got weekend part-time hours producing a sports talk show – opening in the next 30 days. I’ve got a seat on the deck for beer, wine or tea and the best macaroni salad in the world.. when you coming over. This is already on the way to being over… call me

  4. Cheryl A. Rice Cheryl A. Rice

    You know, I just half-joked to my boyfriend, after hearing all about all the BS taxes the state is proposing in lieu of real solutions, like trimming fatcat staffs and such, that we should send a mass e-mail out to our friends and decide where we ALL want to move to together, en masse. I am very sorry things are so tough, and you are a strong man (and couple) to take such definitive action, and I wish you and all the Cranes all the best… and my invitation to dinner on 7/10 still stands. I will cover you, since I’m still on the dole…xo

  5. Jason, do not ever hesitate to ask if there’s anything it might even seem like I can do for you. In this particular situation I reckon my skills and connections are fairly useless, but nonetheless…

    I’m so sorry that times are tough, but I’m glad you’ve got a loving family ready to help out. You deserve as much and so much more.

  6. Kate Kate

    Dear Jason

    Thank you for sharing your current situation with us. You have done more than almost anyone i know to promote and support some of the things I value most in this world. Jason – should there be a Save The Jazz Sessions Bake Sale or something like this – a musical benefit or some kind? It might help raise money and also awareness of your situation. Also I would imagine the work you do with the jazz session would qualify for some hefty arts grants – no? We need to draw on the collective resources of this community you have been serving. Think about what you need and put it out there – is it steady work as a writer? Information about grant writing? Donations to the site? A job for your wife – what kind of work does she do? I am not sure what the answers are here. I would point you in the direction of the lyric of the old spiritual “I Ain’t No Ways Tired” for some spiritual gas in the tank – the last line is – “I can’t believe her brought me this far to leave me.” this is true – you’ve got a destiny somewhere in here and if you and your wife can stay open and very active in the face of all the ‘No” you are going to find a “Yes” somewhere good. Love from N.C. and Kate

  7. Sylvia Barnard Sylvia Barnard

    My daughter was out of work for almost a year, got census work, and now has another teaching contract for fall, so maybe yr wife’s ship will come in. The state can’t go on forever without hiring anybody or the whole infrastructure will collapse, sewage running down the gutters, corpses in the streets, unschooled bands of guerilla teens, etc. See you soon at the SJC. Sylvia

  8. Fay Victor Fay Victor

    I just read this and it’s heartbreaking…so sorry to hear all of this that you and your family are going through. I wish you the best and keep the faith, it will turn around. It will.

  9. Dude, I want to help. I will call you. I have some stuff you can do for me. It’s small but it can only help.

  10. Brian Kehoe Brian Kehoe

    Jason, that’s some deep shit. Good luck holding your family together. I hope NYBC can hold onto you. I wonder if NYS will be able to hold onto anyone without jobs. I am trying like hell to keep my family in my house right now, so I get your problem 100%. Feel free to keep in touch with me. I will be happy to provide you with all the fresh veggies from my garden that you want, and if you are looking for a place to hang out sometime for a change of scene, come on down to Catskill. I will feed you and endeavor to lift your spirits. Mi casa es tu casa. Brian

  11. […] I’m back in Brooklyn. As you may have read in earlier posts (1) (2), my life has changed a lot in recent years. As have I, thanks to a combination of maturity and […]

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