A Trip Down Memory Lane

I thought I was going to spend today writing on my latest book, Healing Hayley. I mean I even dreamed last night about the next couple of chapters I want to write. But no, I didn’t write a single word on it today. I didn’t even read today, and I usually read 4-5 books per week.

Instead I took a trip down memory lane. Musically. I spent time listening to some of my favorite music that is stored on my iPod. It’s an older model that I received when I worked for Sprint. It still works fine and meets my needs. I have just under a thousand songs on there. It’s a pretty eclectic mix that spans the gamut from big band swing music to Pachelbel’s Canon in D. And everything in between.

Today’s journey was triggered by a Facebook post from a good friend of mine named George Forgues who included a link to a recording of MacArthur Park. That particular song is high on my list of favorites. After the song ended I logged off of Facebook, located my iPod and hooked it up to a little Bluetooth speaker I have. It’s absolutely amazing to me the incredible sound that comes out of such a little box.

Today’s music started with the Bee Gees greatest hits. I can’t keep from getting up and moving when I hear Jive Talkin’, You Should Be Dancing, Stayin’ Alive and Night Fever. From there I took a step backwards in time and listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival. The whole Chronicle album! Loved it and it put me in the mood for more.

Country Joe & The Fish, Canned Heat, Blood Sweat & Tears, Sly & The Family Stone, and The Doors followed. Took me right back to the end of my days in the US Air Force and the whole Vietnam era.

I ended my musical escapade by switching to Crosby Stills & Nash, Earth Wind & Fire, The Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Eagles.

Quite a journey, wouldn’t you agree?

My feelings ran the gamut during the trip. Sometimes high. Sometimes low. Then back up and down again. Over and over.

I’m always amazed at how music can trigger memories. If you asked me to recite the words to Light My Fire right now, I doubt if I’d be able to do it. Yet as soon as the music starts the words just pop up in my mind. Every last one of them. I find myself singing them along with the song.

What’s also fascinating to me is how listening to a song can take me right back to what was happening at the point in time in my life when the song was popular. I don’t know the scientific explanation for how that association works. I just know it does. Some kind of tune-triggered time travel I guess.

I ended today’s musical sojourn with Hotel California by The Eagles. What a great song. There’s a bass guitar riff at the end of it that I just love. I crank the volume up when it comes on. I always wanted to play the bass guitar. Those guys always seemed to get the really cool women. Alas, I have no aptitude for music. Despite that I’ve managed to master my iPod. And the air guitar. I play a mean air guitar.

Lots of water under the bridge since many of the times I visited courtesy of today’s music. Lots of memories. Some good. Some bad. Mostly good, though. I’m a very lucky person. I have a lot of happy times to remember to offset the not so happy ones. I’m particularly fortunate to have found the love of my life in Susan. Or maybe I should say she found me since she had to come look me up after a 16-year-long hiatus. We’re working on 32 years of marriage. That’s pretty amazing. Imagine someone willing to put up with me for that long.

My wife had to close the door to her office so she could have a semblance of peace and quiet. She was in the kitchen preparing a marinade for a leg of lamb we’re having tomorrow when I started out playing the Bee Gees. But I saw her. She was moving with the grooving when some of the really good songs played. Then she retreated upstairs and I was left alone with my music.

I’ll get her back though. We’re going on a cruise in December. We’re taking the Crown Princess on a 17-day voyage from Los Angeles down to Santiago, Chile. I plan to drag her out on the dance floor as often as I can lure her into wherever music is playing.

I love to dance. I particularly love to dance to a song that makes my feet move of their own volition. Something like Proud Mary or I Heard It Through The Grapevine by CCR. Or Dance To The Music by Sly & The Family Stone.

Susan claims I dance to my own drum. It’s true. Even though I went to cotillion as a youngster and they taught me lots of dances, I don’t remember how to put the steps together except for a couple of slow ones like your basic fox trot or waltz. I think most of those prescribed dances are pretty boring actually, although I do like slow dances with Susan because I can hold her close. I’d be a terrible line dancer unless I could have my own line. 

But when the beat gets going with fast music I can’t help myself. I just have to move with it. I never execute any particular sequence of steps. I just do whatever the spirit moves me to do. I actually have no idea what I’m going to do next. I’m sure it’s frustrating for my wife. She just kind of smiles and grits her teeth and does her own thing, trying her best to appear like she’s actually dancing with me. Fortunately, in this day and age it’s okay to be dancing by yourself even if you’re out on the floor with a partner.

At this stage of my life I’ve learned not to voluntarily get up and go out onto the dance floor at the beginning of one of those 15-minute marathon songs. You know the kind. Occasionally we’re already out on the floor when one starts and I have to gut it out. By the time it concludes I’m gasping for breath and my clothes need to be wrung out. I collapse into my chair, search desperately for my beverage of choice, and gulp it down.

After we have exited the dance floor it isn’t uncommon to have someone come up to me and remark on what a good time I seem to have dancing. They never say anything about how smooth and gracefully I dance, just that it looks like I’m having fun. It’s true. I do have fun. I know what they really wanted to say is ‘what exactly was it you were doing out there?’ I just smile and thank them.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to my writing again. At least that’s my plan of the moment. Then again, I never got to Santana, Steely Dan or Supertramp today. By the same token I never got to Barbra Streisand, Tony Tennile, Willie Nelson, Kitaro or Yanni either. Or Pachelbel. I guess I’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow.

I hope you are able to take a memorable journey of your own sometime soon.

As always, thanks for your support.


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