I like to wait til there’s something worth writing about so it’s been a few days since my last blog. But I woke up today with something on my mind so here we go again.
For whatever reason it is that things pop into one’s head, I was thinking about this girl I knew in school for basically all 12 years of it prior to college. Her name was Cassandra. Our lives intersected in many ways, she was a friend though I’d sort of say not a close friend, though we’d been thru a lot together over the years. For one thing I was part of a fairly religious family and Cass was the one peer my age that I sat with every Sunday in Sunday school which I attended pretty much without fail thru age 14 or so. On top of that her Mom was the church piano player and I was in all the musical stuff at this church. Cass and I also travelled together for the various high school musicals which turned out to be the pinnacle of my high school social life, met more girls thru that than anything else (along with the Farmer’s Fair in Dillsburg PA). My mom would drive us to practice or Cass’ mom would drive us, this went on many years. Everybody knew Cass, everybody knew me. One particularly warm memory was practicing a song with Cass for the church Christmas program, when we sang Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree together, we were amazed at how good we sounded singing harmony together. I also played a drum solo (my first instrument) and Cass played the piano for me to accompany me to Onward Christian Soldiers.
Cass and I went to different colleges but word of her making a name for herself got back to me, she also had an illness related to something spinal and apparently struggled a lot. I thought she died when she was young but found out on facebook that it actually only happened a few years ago, seeing her picture brought a lot of memories back to me. I loved Cass in my own adolescent confused way. I wished I had kept in touch with her. One of my later memories with her she was asking me to the senior prom, presumably because she didn’t have a date. She and I had never gone down that road though she was fairly good looking. A year or so before that, one time on one of our rides home I suppose I was feeling randy cause I asked her if she wanted to go parking, out of the blue. She of course refused me as she was supposed to. I did get the feeling though when she asked me to the prom that she was ready to drop those barriers just in the asking. I had a date already lined up to go to a movie with a girl I really liked at the time though, so I refused Cass but quickly lined her up with the younger brother of one of my close friends so she had a date and all turned out well enough at the prom I heard.
So anyway, thinking about Cass and all the drives we took down the road my childhood house was on, and past the church and back the road to Cass’s house got me thinking which I don’t often do about what an idyllic childhood I had. I basically lived in the middle of nowhere, there was one town 5 miles in one direction, and the town my high school was in 10 miles in the other direction. York PA was the city I hung out in on Fridays when my mother went to town to stock our country store with groceries and magazines. York is where I bought my earliest records, I’d do the whole circuit on that downtown every Friday. These were the days when downtown was the ultimate place in the universe, a few years before the malls came around to wipeout that whole thing. I’d look at albums at Bon Ton on the 2nd floor, it was a pretty big department store. I’d go to Woolworths where they had a cut-out bin, bought a lot of Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper 45s there. A few stores down was McCrory’s which had newer 45s, then I’d go to the center square where Murphy Mart had great record deals. Sometimes I’d even walk further down to the amazing Crider’s Toy Store where I at one point completed a year of a collection of Matchbox cars. My Aunt Ruth bought the best sugar cookies ever at Bears’ Dept Store. But back to the road my house was on, it was country, I’m a country boy really. You’d often see deer coming out in front of your car, one time a deer ran into this Oldsmobile I was driving but it wasn’t hurt. I played football in the various yards I’d pass. Still have a tiny scar above my left eye from Mike Walton breaking my glasses in a tackle football game. My friend Dave Brown lived on that road, subject of my song The Carefree Kid, I heard when I was in college Dave shot himself in the head one morning and died, this was a shock to everyone cause Dave more than anyone I knew always had a smile on his face. Dave introduced me to the Creedence 45 Have You Ever Seen The Rain, a song I love to this day. He liked the flipside Hey Tonight better himself though. 🙂
I was picturing an aerial view of my road, sort of what you see if you look on Google Earth but closer. There was nothing going on, a State Park where I took dates for walks and I guess I grew up a little bit at that park. When I was really young I remember listening to songs on my sister’s transistor radio like Winchester Cathedral cause we went swimming every day of summer we could. There was of course all the wiffleball games in my back yard, we didn’t care how hot it was, we’d play all day til the sun went down and betwen games we’d sit on that big ol’ swing and drink iced tea! Anyway I wish my parents were alive so I could credit them, I never really did when they were alive, but my childhood was perfect. You know what turned that country road into something special though? All the people I knew in my world as a young lad. The friends in my car with me, playing sports with me, being in musicals, choir, debate club (I was president of course). It makes me sad to say this because I really haven’t thought about this nearly enough in my life.. how perfect my childhood was. No I didn’t get all the girls I wished for but I had just enough success to .. you know, make it perfect. I ran into my first ever real girlfriend on facebook not long ago. I recall her hating me but she sent a friend request. We didn’t discuss then. A month or so later she unfriended me when I was taking one of my facebook hiatuses, I think it may have had to do with a post I made saying to all m friends if you don’t accept me as an artist, we don’t have much. But that’s neither here nor there. My memories of my youth are intact and they are great memories. I wouldn’t have it any other way than I did except a few mistakes I made with girls I liked that still leave a lingering yearning, that’s for another blog. 🙂
Fast forward to right now. I can’t handle what’s happening to our country. Every day I read the news and get horrified more. I watch what I call my national security briefing, the Rachel Maddow show, on my DVR and well, I decided about a week ago that I really want to move out of the US. The obvious choice is Canada but my wife isn’t having it, in fact it’s turned into an ongoing fight with her regularly pointing out things that are not so great about Canada. I obviously can’t move away from my family. So I’m stuck here. In a home environment where politics immediately becomes fighting, my daughter is with me but my wife and son are not, I’ve basically lost free speech in my own home. I’m of course as you know CEO of the big indie site and I know it’s not professional (I never claimed to be professional) but I’ve let my political leanings out rampantly there which I know I shouldn’t be doing so this is the cause of some discomfort for me as well. Okay there are rare triumphant days like the day of the women’s march but I sort of feel like the ambiance of life right now is this huge shithole the US has become. There is no place for me on this earth right now excepting some kind words and the occasional agreement of friends and of course music which has always been my escape. So aside from that, what’s on my mind?
Our site is having server issues that will hopefully be resolved today. We don’t have resources like the corporate sites so we struggle thru this stuff. I feel the entire weight of the world on me til the site is back online. That means things really suck right now for me on top of the US falling apart. Another thing that happened is possibly the final nail in this other music community which I discussed 2 blogs ago and a little bit in the last blog. They showed some appreciation for my contributions which surprised me, told me to report whoever trolled my threads and I was happy again as you probably recall. Well when I did report the trolls all that resulted was my own threads getting moderated and now I’m banned totally due to supposedly starting a thread to bash Yoko Ono. Not true, it was a thread about Lennon’s song God and I only mentioned as an aside that the song was partially ruined for me at the end when John sang he believes in “Yoko and me, that’s reality.” Anyway I already knew and had told them I couldn’t fit in there. Here’s part of what I wrote to my mod friend after the banning.
“Like I said before, I don’t fit in, it’s like you guys are hardcore chemists and I keep using elements that aren’t on the periodic table.”
Anyway more and more I feel like Uranium 646 in life. On the plus side, it is a little warmer outside.