For those who REALLY want to know some history …
Thirty years ago, I just entered the second grade, my first year in a population 7,500 town in rural northwest Ohio after having been through first grade in Ferndale, Michigan. We moved to the country 1) because they were going to start bussing kids to the inner city schools of Detroit, 2) my parents wanted to get out of the city in general, 3) my dad’s father (my grandfather) was getting sicker (emphysema) and my grandmother needed help with her farm (about 40 minutes away from ours), 4) my mom’s father (also my grandfather) was retiring from the police force after 25 years as Greenhills, OH police chief and also was not doing well health-wise, and 5) my sister was just born. Later that year, both grandpas would die, and I would write my first song.
Twenty years ago, I graduated from high school (West Torrance, California), with no plans, few friends, and two weeks to kill before my dad put me to work at his company. Of course, it was for me only a temporary gig, until I was discovered as a rock and roll star. I’m still working in technology, 20 years later … LOL.
Ten years ago, my father died, exactly one summer (three months) after he retired at age 65. It may be of interest to note that “it was the third of September / a day I’ll always remember, yes I will / ’cause that was the day / my daddy died” (“Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” the Temptations). It might be also interesting to note that I heard the news from my younger brother (who was obviously dealing with the situation on a somewhat out-of-it basis), who called to let me know (exact words) “I’m calling to let you know that my father has died.” This occurred about twenty three minutes after I had just taken two hits of acid in Memphis in the same room with someone who was a Klan member who had in his past committed manslaughter against a minority race individual in a dispute over crack, and also someone who was wanted in three states for a former occupation (cooking meth for the Hell’s Angels in Texas). Needless to say, I spent the remainder of the evening engrossed in Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now” – or I probably wouldn’t be here now.
Five years ago, I was ending a four-year marriage to someone who, to put it bluntly, was absolutely incompatible with me, and I had moved back to rural Ohio to the family farm after living in Seattle. Can someone say I have a prediliction for culture shock? I also attended my would-be (if I had stayed in Ohio) high school’s fifteen year reunion, and ended up in the emergency room being rehydrated and my stomach pumped after having passed out and having to be ambulanced from said reunion.
One year ago, I was again avoiding Jazzfest here in New Orleans, enjoying the pre-summer weather with Starlight Dances.
One month ago, I was filling out my tax returns, contemplating home improvements, and inexplicably enjoying a Slim Fast shake.
One week ago, I was spending my tax refund on a plethora of home improvement items – new shutters, shower curtain, new mattress and boxspring (our old one was 15 years old), sheets, blankets … oh, yeah 🙂 … new books, a new transverse bamboo flute, statue of Kali (om kring kalikaye namah om) …
Yesterday, I worked. And then helped with dinner for the Troll Queen and a friend. And then trucked them across the river so they could see the premiere of X2. And purchased new mini-blinds for the front windows. And loved Starlight Dances without question or pause, as usual.
Today, I responded to this meme, put up the mini-blinds, did the dishes, listened to the Beatles, counted my japa beads (om namah shivaya), and contemplated the wonder that has been my life.