29 November 2009

Diamond's and Rust

This week's Take This Tune is Diamond's and Rust which is said to be Joan Baez singing to her former lover Bob Dylan and fondly reminiscing about their 1960s affair.  While this is specific to her, it could very well be any relationship that has come to an end and for whatever reason turns up on your doorstep years later with a memory and a question.
Well, I'll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall
Do you take the risk of meeting?  Will it be just a mildly uncomfortable get together with a stranger, or will the old sparks fly?  Do you feel something or nothing.  The number of songs written about lost loves is almost endless. 

Funny How Time Slips Away

Well how's your new love, how's your new love
Well I hope he's doin fine.
I heard you told him, I heard you said "you'd love him til the end of time"
Now that's the same thing you told me it seems like just the other day
Ain't it funny how time slips away.

Even Now

Even now when I never hear your name
and the world has changed so much since you been gone
even now I still remember and the feeling's still the same
and this pain inside of me goes on and on
even now

What's New

What's new?
How did that romance come through?
We haven't met since then
Gee, but it's nice to see you again

So what songs stir you to think of the one who got away or the one you left but still find wandering around your memory.  Do you have a story of one who turned up unexpectedly?  Is there one song that immediately takes you back to another place and time?  To this day, one song does that for me:

27 November 2009

We Went To Paradise

The Mountain was all fogged in but the area at Paradise was just beautiful.  Enjoy the webcams supplied by the Forest Service of Mount Ranier.

A Late Take This Tune

The new Take This Tune prompt for next week is now up.  Click on link for video and lyrics.

25 November 2009

I'm In Love With A Wonderful Thing

My son loves his mommy.  He knows I'm slightly off kilter and loves me anyway.  He knows when it comes to music of all kinds (literally everything from Blue Grass to Grand Opera) and I register somewhere around squealing insanity and total irrationality ... throw in Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, and Tony Bennett and you might as well call for the gentlemen in white carrying a comfy jacket.

...... bewitched, bothered, and bewildered ....

So what does he get me for Christmas (Do you want it now or do you want to wait?)  Gimmee, gimmeee, hand it over NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!  In case you haven't noticed, I'm not well known for my patience when it comes to goodies that I really, really want.  Even the kids came two weeks early.  Whadoyamean nine months?.....

..... Somewhere beyond the sea ...............

At the moment after loading in the first shelf of CDs, I'm sitting with these little white buds in my ears.  The typing is taking a little time as the drummer and I are keeping very close company and one hand is taking time out for snapping fingers.  Did you know you can dance sitting down?

.......... I'm gonna love you, like nobody's loved you .....

Right now we are on the shuffle setting of the "Easy Listening Mix".  If it gets boring, I simply go click, click, click and it is Jazz, Pop, Country, Folk, Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Classical, or Soundtracks.

..........No, It's just on the street where you live ........

While all of the above is going on, I'm starting to load in shelf number two into a sweet shiny, colbalt blue, anodized thing that is less than three inches high and only about 1-1/2 inches wide and less than a 1/4 inch deep.  ...........Oooh swoon, Leonard Cohen being seductive ........yum. "I'm your man".  Sorry, wandered off there for a moment and forgot what I was doing ... sigh.

Now Tony is picking up the pieces after Lenny broke my heart ...  It's okay Peter Allen is leaving while he's still in love....

In go the Eagles, Ella, Fleetwood Mac, and the Four Seasons Soundtrack for Jersey Boys and I still have nine gigabytes left.  At 16 gigs of room, it's going to be close getting all the 200 + CDs into my pocket, but once I edit out the songs that I never liked, this will leave plenty of room for photos, podcasts, videos and other neat stuff that I haven't learned to play with yet.   Of course, they do have the slightly larger one with the big screen, and I'm up to 1046 songs and 2.6 days of music.  Why I could almost drive across country with the little white ""no I'm not deaf, I'm just punch drunk officer" buds in the ears.  G through Z aren't even in yet.

Now go find someone who loves you.  Grab them by the shirt front and say very loudly and forcefully ... I WANT A NANO!

.............When I fall in love, it will be forever .................

23 November 2009

Spoiled Rotten

Got this in an email, and anything this funny is worth spreading around.


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... barefoot... BOTH ways Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of stuff like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!  But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.  You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!
I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen!
Then you had to wal k all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take, like, a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact , the parents of all my friends also had permission to slap us around! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3' s or Napsters! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished and the tape would come undone. Cause - that's how we rolled, dig?

We didn't have fancy make life easy stuff like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!  And we didn't have Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'.. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... forever!  And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off the couch and walk over to the TV to change the channel! NO REMOTES!!!  There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little weaklings!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

22 November 2009

We Gather Together

Vermeer 1658

This week's "Take This Tune" is the old Dutch hymn "We Gather Together" usually sung for Thanksgiving Day worship.  The original composer is unknown.  It was written at the end of the 1500s after The Netherlands had started to throw off Spanish domination and establish a post-reformation, Protestant culture.  In 1648, the Spanish endeavors to control Holland were finally destroyed beyond recovery.  The hymn is both thankful for blessing and militant in its view of God as a defender of the faithful, and is considered the best of these defiant musical pieces. 

William the Silent, one of the leaders of the fight against Spain, was eventually murdered by a Catholic assassin. His son, Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, assumed the leadership for more than a quarter century. His rule was called the great golden age of prosperity where rich post-reformation culture developed throughout Holland.  In 1641 he married Mary Stuart, Princess Royal of England and their son William III married his first cousin, Mary Stuart who came to rule  England as "William and Mary". 

"We Gather Together" was first published in 1626 in Haarleem.  In 1877, it was discovered by Edward Kremser, a Viennese musician who published it in his collection of hymns. The English translation was done by Theodore Baker.

This period in the 1600s also ushered in what is considered by many to be the greatest period of dutch painters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer where the virtues of a well ordered, comfortable society with the family at its center are often depicted.

Rembrandt 1635

20 November 2009

19 November 2009

At Gettysburg Assembled - 146 Years Ago

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The speech was made on November 19, 1863.  On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a "monumental act." He said Lincoln was mistaken that "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here." Rather, the Bostonian remarked, "The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech."

17 November 2009

Queen's Meme #14 - Do You Believe In Magic

Queen Mimi of Blogginham has ordained a confessional of sorts in the matters of how we commune with the supernatural.  In her own sweetly interested (incredibly nosey) way, she has inquired solicitously (Commanded with threats of dank dungeons) the response to the following questions (interrogation).

1. Tell us about your superstitions. Do you have any? Do you "x out" black cats on the windshield of your car, avoid cracks in the sidewalk or practice other rituals that make you feel safer?

Don't have any? Come on now! Make up some....

Mine are more reverse superstitions.  I must always have a black cat in residence and don't mind if they cross my path.  I walk under ladders and always expect a nice surprise of some sort on Friday 13.

2. Has anything paranormal ever happened to you that you can write about?  How many hours do you have and should I submit a list for review?  For the most part they have involved the deaths of close relatives or friends.  One happy one was meeting a stranger at a party and blurting, "When are you expecting?".  Since she had only found out that day and didn't look pregnant, this somewhat shocked both of us.

3. Have you ever had a near-death experience?  Care to share?

Driving on a dark road during a power outage and the railroad crossing bar hadn't come down.  Oncoming train coming out of a turn scared the beejeesus out of me with a very bright light shining into the car that made it across in the nick of time.

4. Pheromones...aka "love fireworks" (I think I remember those)...are a force to be reckoned with. Do you believe that two people can have an uncontrollable chemical reaction to each other? How do you know this to be true?

Turn around take one look and feel your head explode?  That one?  Yep.  Remember it fondly.  These usually don't turn out well or as Porter would say, "Too hot not to cool down", but sometimes the raging fire banks down to a nice, long warm glow. Sigh

5. Do you believe that modern day witches can put spells on people?
If so, who would you like to hoodoo and why?

I think thoughts have power, but negative usually backfires on the person projecting it.  Still if I were picking victims:  Anyone who thinks they are entitled to wealth at the injury of others.  Latest targets:  Insurance Company Executives.

6. ESP! What do those letters stand for in your life? Extra Special People such as your majesty (grovel grovel)

7. Do you ever hear strange noises in your house? If so, what do they sound like?

Haven't had any paranormal noises in this house so it is usually the nightly Feline Races up an down two stories.

8. Tell us about a time you "knew" something was going to happened before it did. Are you one of those intuitive types or do you know someone who is ? Do tell.

Well we are back to deaths.  The air "felt" grey.  I told my father I had to get out of the house.  Went to a movie and as I'm walking in I heard, "Go Home!".  My reply, "Not Yet".  Darn voice kept it up for the whole movie.  Got home and my dad said, "You picked a fine day not to be home" to which I responded, "When do I have to be in Fresno".  My aunt had died of a massive stroke with no warning. 

Now this is a family trait.  One of her sisters was in a car on the way to Tahoe and reached over to tell her husband, "Turn the car around, we have to go home".  Having been a member of the family for 20 years, he did as he was told.

9. I'm a tad gifted in the dream department. Really. Sometimes my dreams are prophetic and come true. It can be a blessing and a curse. Has this ever happened to you? If not, would you like to have this gift? (Be careful what you wish for. It can be freaky at times.)
Been there done that sometimes about the oddest events.  Some are disturbing others just sort of a "head's up" innocuous.  One when a teenager was hearing music and seeing a wood floor with flashing rainbow lights that made absolutely no sense until two schools later in the year at a noon sock hop in the gym where they left the lights out except for floor level spots that changed colors as the filters passed in front of the lens.  Never could quite understand what that was about.
The Queen's Meme is a regular feature of Mimi Writes if you would like to participate.

You Can't Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd

But You Can Ride A Tram If You Really Want To

One of the major attractions in this neck of the woods is literally the woods.  It is Northwest Trek, a 700+ acre wildlife park filled with the animals of the Northwest.  Lani and Chris took the tram to get lots of pictures and the bison were being particularly cooperative.  One was such a ham that he blocked the road and the tram driver had to "encourage" him to move.  You can see more in this photo album, but here are some samples.


Big Horn Sheep


Irresistable Force Meets Immovable Object


Mountain Lion


And You Can Be Happy If You've A Mind To

15 November 2009

Sweet Baby James

James Taylor is a genius with geography. Sweet Baby James first hooked me decades ago with the lines:

Now the first of December was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
Lord, the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go

The song "Sweet Baby James" was written by James Taylor in 1969 for the son of his older brother Alex, who had named his baby James Richmond after his brother and the town where he was born. It is deliberately a cross between a cowboy song and a lullaby, and was first thought up by Taylor as he was driving to meet his infant nephew for the first time.

Taylor spent considerable effort on the lyrics, whose verses he later said used the most intricate rhyming pattern of his career.  The song is composed as a waltz, in 3/4 time. The chorus echoes the lullaby sentiment, with a reference to "Rock-a-bye Baby".

Now for the past 40 years he has been singing to me of scenes that form pictures in my mind that I want my eyes to see. He is a poet of places.  I may never visit Morgan Creek in the Copperline part of Chapel Hill, NC, but James Taylor took me there.

Copper head, copper beech
Copper kettles sitting side by each
Copper coil, cup o'georgia peach
Down on copperline
Half a mile down to morgan creek
Leaning heavy on the end of the week

Of course being a gypsy by nature, the song that touches the truest place will always be

My Traveling Star.

Watch my back and light my way
My traveling star, my traveling star
Watch over all of those born st. christopher's day
Old road dog, young runaway
They hunger for home but they cannot stay
They wait by the door
They stand and they stare
They're already out of there

Perhaps it is because of his own journeys and trials, but the nicest thing about James Taylor is that after all the travels, he always takes you home even if you don't know where that happens to be. 

The best news recently is that James Taylor and Carole King will be touring together next year.  Nine dates have been announced with more promised.

For more participants, visit Take This Tune

Lani & Chris In Seattle

Lanisa flies back to Sacramento today, so yesterday her brother took her to Seattle and Pike Place Market.  He told her she could find any spice she wanted and smarty pants asked for "powdered horseradish".  She's going home with the horseradish.

12 November 2009

Me & My Baby

Lani arrived safely and we are busy hanging out, but she came with pictures.


Grandaughter Theresa in the middle flanked by her father George and his son Dane by former marriage.

Lani on left and Cece (exhusband's really nice 4th wife) on right.

Theresa with her Grandfather Cliff
I swear he used to be skinny and have hair 40 years ago. :-)

And the party I'm sorry I missed. :-)

11 November 2009

What You Can Do For Veterans' Day

In Germany in April of 1945, Edward Paul Cowley, Thomas Manthey and a company of soldiers of the 94th Infantry Division came upon a camp filled with suffering and dying prisoners, they stayed for a few hours and then were told to move on as medical help was arriving shortly. They came home from the war and rebuilt their lives as citizens. They silently suffered, each in their own way, with the memories of the horrors they had witnessed. They never looked for recognition as liberators.

These humble soldiers seemed unaware that it was their toil and progress that had freed the victims from their captures. During the war my father wrote home to his family as often as possible.These humble soldiers seemed unaware that it was their toil and progress that had freed the victims from their captures. During the war my father wrote home to his family as often as possible. My grandmother, Catherine Cowley cherished every letter, carefully cataloged them and held them in safekeeping. In one letter dated April 29th, 1945, my father wrote that he had witnessed the atrocities.

This letter started our pursuit of Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry Division. The National Holocaust Museum and the Center of Military History have recognized 35 U.S. Army divisions for their heroism, gallantry, and help in liberating prisoners from brutal Nazi rule. Each year, the names and flags of these units are presented in a moving tribute at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for the Days of Remembrance ceremony. The Division flag of each Unit is also displayed in rotation at The National Holocaust Museum. Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Edward Kennedy and his fine staff we were able to collect the required documents and submitted a formal request for Liberator Status in Nov. 2007. Sadly the application was erroneously denied, as the camp liberated wasn't an "extermination camp".

Since then Senators Kennedy and Kerry continued to seek Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry Division.  Craig Crawford and Don Imus assisted in bringing national attention to this cause. Senator Kennedy was working on this until the week of his death. Sec. of the Army, Pete Geren was assisting the Senators. Unfortunately since Sen. Kennedy's death a new Sec. of the Army has been appointed and the request has fallen through the cracks. Time is precious for the Veterans of WWII- Over 1000 Vets die each day. President Obama could easily put history to rights by signing an Executive Order to grant the 94th Liberator Status.

Please honor these brave soldiers who sacrificed for our Country and the untold victims and their families of the Holocaust by signing the petition to President Obama to issue an Executive Order.  Then tell your friends to sign as well.

10 November 2009

Gitche Gumee

In the Ojibwe language, the lake is called Gitchigumi, meaning "big water". It is also written "Gitche Gumee" as recorded by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The Song of Hiawatha and in Gordon Lightfoot's song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

On November 10, 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men on Lake Superior.  Several expeditions have been mounted to the wreck and have been the subject of some controversy. On July 4th, 1995 the ship's bell and stanchion were recovered from where they lay beneath 550 feet of Lake Superior.

A replica of the bell, graven with the names of the crew, was left in its place. The bell was presented to the relatives of the crew and rung thirty times -- once for each member of the crew and a final time in honor of all those who have lost their lives at sea. The bell was given to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point to serve as a memorial to the ship and crew. 

The link takes you to the full story and the memorial to the men lost in the storm.

08 November 2009

Take This Tune - As If We Never Said Goodbye

I know that so far I have been choosing most of the songs.  Side note:  Some helpful suggestions would be appreciated here folks.  This particular song was actually giving me problems.  There are simply way too many ways to go.  Should I tell one of the "old LA" stories about lala town or one of the childhood happenings and what it means to see those palm trees.  Do I do Sunset Boulevard itself with all the lives from the sleaze of upper Sunset past the great mansions through the billboard valley and on to the Sea?  How about a cute story about the maid served "coffee break" delivered on a sterling silver tray?  Then there are the lyrics that could be either personal or a comic view of studio life.  Those stories will have to wait because one of the entertainment gossip sites gave me a place to go for this week's Take This Tune.

There is a rumor going around that shortly (And they really mean it this time honest they do), filming will start on the musical, Sunset Boulevard in 2010.  To say that the musical based on the movie has had a rocky road on its way to becoming a classic is more than a little bit of an understatement.  Read all about it in the Wikipedia entry.  Given all the potential writers, directors, librettists, composers, lawsuits and dueling divas, it's a wonder it ever saw the stage at all.  Now keep your fingers crossed, it may actually find its way to film and (shhhh whisper quietly, I don't want a jinx), but my choice for the Norma Desmond sweepstakes, Glenn Close (who won the Tony after all fergudnessakes!!!)  may be cast for the film.  Now if they give me Hugh Jackman as Joe Gillis ..... Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Dreams are not enough to win a war
Out here they're always keeping score
Beneath the tan the battle rages
Smile a rented smile, fill someone's glass
Kiss someone's wife, kiss someone's ass
We do whatever pays the wages

or second thought from the London cast (Damn Captain Jack aka John Barrowman is talented).

One of the attractions of Sunset Boulevard is that it is one in a long line of stories about the great world of acting on stage and screen.  Shakespeare often used the "play within a play" as a device and many plays, motion pictures and musicals have done the same including the ones that stole from the Bard himself such as "Kiss Me Kate" with its tribute to going on the road: "We Open In Venice".  Twilight Zone semi stole Sunset Boulevard for an episode, but their aging diva ended up inside the films she watched over and over.  In "The Purple Rose of Cairo", the movie characters came down off the screen.   The movie considered the greatest of all the film musicals, "Singing In The Rain" is set in the transition between silents and talkies which just happens to be the time period when Norma loses her fame and begins the slide into madness.

Then there is "Jumbo" where a paper moon sails over a cardboard sky.  Jumbo is set in a circus and as coincidence would have it, a circus was featured in a major way when I first saw Glenn Close on stage and where she was nominated for her first Tony Award as Charity Barnum in the musical "Barnum".  She didn't win that time, but her co-star Jim Dale did for his performance in the title role. 

Barnum was so important to me for other reasons, that I had to have a permanent momento.  Above is the window card from that 1980 show that hangs on my wall.  Unfortunately, You Tube has failed me and none of the songs from the show are by the original performers which is a shame because Close was wonderful singing "One Brick At A Time" and even better with Charity's lyrics to "The Colors of My Life" when she is coping with way too much SHOW BUSINESS in the middle of real life and let's pretend has become very disturbing no matter how much you may love the showman. 


Are softer than a breeze.
The silver gray of eiderdown,
The dappled green of trees.
The amber of a wheat field,
The hazel of a seed,
The crystal of a raindrop,
Are all I'll ever need.
Your reds are much too bold,
In gold I find no worth.
I'll fill my days with sage and brown
The colors of the earth,
And if from by my side
My love should roam,
The colors of my life
Will shine a quiet light
To lead him home.

So if they actually do get around to filming Sunset Boulevard, I hope it will be Glenn Close as Norma Desmond for whom the thin line between real and reel has completely worn away.

05 November 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem

May The Moment Stretch For Years

Please visit other participants in the Blog Blast For Peace central

The Gregorians & Sarah Brightman

Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah
Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah

Come now, come by our side
A place where you can hide
We are the sunshine
Rest your Soul here
And you'll find
We are the energy
We give the world to thee
Hold up your heart now
We will ease pain from your brow

When the world is in tatters
And destruction is near
You can come with us here
When the people are strangers
You'll rest here with me
In a moment of peace

Light up the dark below,
See through the stars,
Reach to the earth's flow
Drift in the joy of our hearts,
Unleash the energy,
Taste of the wine
Drink as a Soul
That knows now, power divine
in a moment of peace

01 November 2009

Take This Tune - When October Goes

This week's Take This Tune is Barry Manilow's "When October Goes". As I stated on the prompt page, this is simply one of my favorite "forever" songs. One of those songs that have so many memories connected to it that they all come alive with the sound of the first few chords.

The dearest friend I have ever had in my life passed away in September of 1984. As this story goes, you will find it is important to know that he played piano.  As is often true of such events, it didn't truly register at first.  It was simply too soon as he was only 50.  there was grief and tears, but courtesy of that protective numbness that often sets in, the full impact of the loss didn't hit for more than a month. They tell you not to make important decisions at such a time with the rule of thumb being to wait one month for every year you have known someone that close.  This advice exists for one simple reason.  You don't know it, but you are insane. 

By that standard, I should barely have moved until the following June. Instead, I quit one job, left a state that had been my home for 40 years, got on a plane for a destination 3000 miles away with less than a $1,000 in my bank account, knowing only one person who would let me crash for a couple of weeks, with absolutely no prospects.  I found a new job and place to live and by the end of November established a whole new life.  Was I running away?  I couldn't have been running any faster if there had been a rocket in my tail.

By coincidence in that November, Barry Manilow released his jazz album:  2:00 AM Paradise Cafe.  After years of "power ballads" and international mania, he went back to his roots ... a piano, surrounded by friends who made and loved music.  The first song off the album that I heard was a fun duet with Mel Torme, "Big City Blues"

Much of my life has been
spiced with romance
Too many bedrooms I've
slept in by chance
Drownin' out my sorrow
Longin' for tomorrow
Caught up in the big city blues

That song definitely got my attention.  The following songs were backed by some of the best jazz musicians of the era:  Shelly Manne, Gerry Mulligan, and Mundell Lowe.  The NPR announcer kept talking about Barry's decision to do this album and doing selections while merrily chatting about how Manilow was personally entrusted by Johnny Mercer's widow with lyrics never used at the time of his death.  Then for the first time I heard the gorgeous "When October Goes".  If you love music and lyrics truly hit your core with recognition of personal events, you will know what I mean when I say the song destroyed me. 

And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
Down came the shielding walls; down came the protective coating; down came the arms' distance separating me and really feeling loss.  You can't get past grief until you confront it, and that song heard for the first time literally made me scream.  Then it put me back together again. 
It is amazing how just accepting a loss can start to heal the wound.  You have to admit it in order to get past it.  It is now 25 years later.  To this day, if I happen to be in a piano bar with a player who knows his business, I will request what has now become a jazz standard.  If it happens to be in the fall, there is a special poignancy and a tender smile for beautiful memories as I lift a toast to a special person and the first month of October when he was no longer there.

I should be over it now I know
It doesn't matter much
How old I grow
I hate to see October go