49

It’s always around my birthday that I get somewhat nostalgic and wax philosophic about my younger years. I’m not old by any stretch of the imagination but at a soon-to-be 49, I’m no longer a little boy either.

I have to smile thinking about several lines from an old James Taylor song called,
I was a fool to care” – (if you know the album title right now, you’re my age)

I wish I was an old man

And love was through with me

I wish I was a baby on my mama’s knee

I wish I was a freight train

Moving down the line

Just a’ keeping track of time

Without all these memories . . .

I have so many sweet memories from long ago: the phone call from my mother asking me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday (she made many), the apple pie my father would bring home from Ware Pratt (a men’s clothing store, long gone) where he signed me up in their Birthday Club entitling me to a pie every January 10th until I turned 13.

(and yeah, I’d give my twin sister m~ a slice)

So, so damn sweet.

Sometimes I have to wonder if I wasn’t a fool to care about such things; caring turns into sentimentality turns into heartache and ends with something sad and bittersweet.

Looking back, I realize I did care about those things. Dearly.

These are just words connecting my thoughts tonight, folks, and nothing real deep.

Whenever there’s a pause in my writing routine, I get back to square one by house cleaning and moving furniture; it’s my own personal literary feng shui if you will.
The warmest of wishes I send out to my twin sister, my own flesh and blood.
The rivers we’ve traveled run deep.
Happy Birthday, Moe.
I pray our 49th year finds us healthy, full of happiness and covered with more love than we both know what to do with.
I guess this post has turned out to be something of a prayer.
And I welcome that . . .

~m

ps. my sister now signs her emails m~ . . . 😆

pps. thanks to my dear friends, Laho & Liho for the cholesterol-inducing breakfast.
It was awesome.

ppps. Happy Birthday, Guinness!!!!!

Oscar

Oscar Peterson was a jazz monster and had hands the size of a gorilla.
I’ve tried somewhat unsuccessfully to play some of his stuff over the years.
Yeah, right. Maybe in another life.
Sleep well, OP.
You will be greatly missed . . .
Check out the video below with fellow jazz legend Joe Pass.
And yes, I found the best sounding video possible.
You’ve come to expect that, haven’t you? :mrgreen:

~m

Leader of the Band

Dan Fogelberg ~ (1951 – 2007)

In my early years of playing music, Fogelberg was a definite musical influence on me.
I saw him perform in 1976 at the Orpheum in Boston (the first night I ever smoked a joint, now you have some serious dirt on me).
I wooed my wife way back when performing many of his tunes.
Whether you liked the guy or not, he was a peaceful man and a very talented songwriter.
I saw this news clip on Yahoo this afternoon.
God, I have another reason to hate Mondays.
I am very sad tonight.
I’ll stop there.
Should you ever get a chance, listen to “Souvenirs”.
Click on the photo above for Fogelberg’s website.

And here is a sunrise
To set on your sill.
The ghosts of the dawn
Moving near.
They pass through your sorrow
And leave you quite still…
Sitting among souvenirs . . . 

Sleep in heavenly peace, Dan . . .

~m

Nine Eleven

I remember the day vividly; there were crystal blue skies, warm and ample sunshine, comfortable temperatures, a picture perfect fall day in New England.

The date was September 11, 2001 and I was just getting into work (selling pianos at the time) when the phone rang.
It was my friend Colin, a piano technician from the store where I worked calling to tell me he’d heard on the radio that a plane had just flew into the World Trade Center in NYC.
It must have been a terrible accident we both agreed, a freakish malfunction of an old turbine perhaps, a minor incident but nevertheless a tragic loss of life of strangers neither of us would probably ever know.
At the time, it seemed safer thinking of it that way.
It was a small plane, Colin said and that made me feel better.
Fewer people meant fewer casualties in a city the size of New York.

 

After I hung up the phone, it occurred to me that something didn’t seem quite right about the conversation. Couldn’t put my finger on it but something was wrong.
I knew it and Colin knew it, we just didn’t want to say it.

I mean, planes just don’t fly into buildings, do they?

My question was promptly answered when the phone rang 15 minutes later.
It was Colin again sounding a bit nervous.

Another plane? Jesus Christ, what the hell is going on? I asked.

He went on to tell me that both of the towers were hit and that it looked like we were at war.

War? I thought, With who?

I went outside and looked up into the sky for a sign that the world was still alright and all I saw was the endless crystal blue of the atmosphere but I noticed something else; there was an eerie stillness and silence hanging in the balance.

Word got around quickly that the US had been attacked as we began adding words to our daily lexicon: WTC, 9-11, Atta, Al Qaida, Al-Jazeera . . .

The dark truths would begin to bleed through the seemingly impenetrable fabric of our lives virtually changing all of us, forever.

The phones started ringing at the store . . . but not from customers.
The calls were from wives to husbands, sons to mothers, sisters to brothers – with one simple question; are you okay?
By noontime the phones stopped ringing and business ceased as the United States was brought to its very knees.

I can’t help but think of the same three words I thought on that horrible day: God Help Us

 

I still pray for all that we lost that day; the brilliant lives, our {unjustifiable} innocence and our shattered sense of {false} security.
We were too blind for far too long.

My words describing that day are still woefully inadequate but my thoughts and feelings of incomprehensibility are still so incredibly tender and raw.

I want badly to forgive but I still can’t.

God Bless all those we lost.

As Annie said, turn those headlights on . . .

~m

Maybe

I’m a real strange guy sometimes (other people may have a difference of opinion) but who do you know that listens to a song on an Ipod and thinks, “Man, that would be a great song for my funeral!”

I said that exact thing to my wife tonight and she looked at me with that ‘you are gone’ kind of look.

Now I’m not obsessed with “getting my halo” but isn’t it at least human to think about it now and then?
Maybe it’s even normal . . .

Or maybe I’m just in love with all the wonderfully and mortally-challenged euphemisms associated with “sleeping with the quiches”. (so much for the overuse of adverbs, right?)

I’ll admit that thinking about caskets and what to wear for that “eternal suit” is out a bit there (Wake me in my favorite “Jazz” shirt with Ornette Coleman on it, please) and may actually signal a need for serious professional help but I’m thinking about this from an entertainment angle.

Alright, many “earth baths” are dreadfully sad.
With all the nasty diseases that plague this planet there are arguably more “sad” deaths than “happy” ones, if you know what I mean.

Maybe I feel the way I do because of the way my mother died; which unfortunately is the same way my father will die.
That really sucks and there’s nothing remotely funny there.
But some of the memories are funny; and we need desperately to remember some of those. We have to.

I want people to walk out of the church after my service and say, “Man, what an awesome funeral! Great tunes and I never laughed so much in my life!”

I sell Lenny Clarke cigars; maybe he’d do my eulogy for a box of Arturo Fuente Chateau’s.
I can only hope.

Death is just way too serious a thing for me, I guess.

I honestly think that when you “mail in your final warranty card” you also put an end to all of the never-ending bullshit you could never deal with when you were actually breathing.

Obviously, breathing was something you immensely enjoyed doing but hey, that’s all over now, buddy.

Maybe you get gills in the afterlife.

It’s all just a big maybe because no one really knows (except for maybe Smith, a closet theologian at heart)

I don’t mean to make light of taking part in singing with the angels but it is part of the overall human experience.

All I ask is that my family sees me off with a few laughs, as long as I go somewhat naturally.

Is that so wrong?

Once again, another big maybe . . .

If you’re curious about what song inspired this post
(and you like a cappella religious/gospel music ala Take Six) check out Eventide.

There are a few copies selling for pretty cheap and I have to say the singing/arranging is quite impressive.
Amazing actually . . .
Check out “For All the Saints”, a song you’ve heard many times before but never like this.
I thank my buddy Eliud for the CD.
Made my ride home easy tonight . . .

(Talk about scraping the bottom of the blogging barrel
for a post, huh?)

~m