do you remember the first time you ever did something? or the last time?
or heard something, tasted something, met someone, simply had the most amazing THING happen to you? what jogs your memory?
for me it’s music. i work a lot of hours right here on my lovely mac pro book and, when it works, I love to listen to my music and let the waves of memory wash over me… i prefer to simply put it on shuffle and see what memory gets served up next.
just now with james taylor “don’t let me be lonely tonight” i can remember I had an old boyfriend turn me onto JT, I had a mix-cassette (!) to play. I’d driven up california to spend time with my sister and her husband who helped me break down, clean and rebuild the engine on my 63 vw bug. Driving home after a summer away, at all of 17 or 18 (by home I mean about 600 miles one way) i felt so independent, confident and ready for life. “sweet baby james” was on the same tape, along with other classics like “fire & rain” and “country road.” James Taylor is a consummate musician and singer/songwriter.
i listen and I’m instantly transported back in time to being a teenager on the verge of a new life. this leaves me smiling.
next up, Michael Jackson (who doesn’t have memories around this amazing artist?). going dancing at disneyland and knott’s berry farm in high school with my girlfriends. watching all the best impressions of John Travolta… wearing white pants and hoping I’d be asked to dance.
mmmm…. hawaiian slack key guitar with keola beamer, what could be keener? one year I went to hawaii eight times to get out of the rain of humboldt county. slack key guitar takes me straight to roy and our marriage of 16 years with much beauty and sweetness. roy was a professional musician, now promoter, and still up in humboldt. this time in my life took me from 22 to 40 years of age, golly! the love of music, each other, and hours and hours in green rooms, on stage and driving home after wrapping miles of beer-soaked cord from gig after gig led in turn to my many clients in the music industry with too many to pay tribute to here!
string cheese incident live, and I’ve landed in telluride. bluegrass. film fest. mountain village fireworks. living in a tiny little town of 1500 in colorado. attending festivals, helping to create the first gay pride festival there. my dad and I penned “Show your pride in Telluride” together one memorable evening in palm springs at the hot tub on a clear and gorgeous evening. i created more than 100k club cards, had ‘em printed, and dad went to all the gay bars in palm springs to do my distribution (no, he’s not gay, but the guys all loved him!). so many smiles around this memory… (the first festival was a success and continues to this day, and I have lifelong friends to boot!)
what’s next? ah, here comes dave mason. lake powell. is there anything more majestic than pure nature? i was so lucky to spend a week on a little boat jetting around the coves with Scott, Sky and me. even the tops of my toes were tan at the end of a week! be-ing and basking in the wilderness of nature and lake life is a soul soother for me.
neil diamond. well, he’s one of those artists that kinda threads through it all. like elvis. or johnny cash. I can hear him there in my childhood, and he pops up again on road trips with bob and the kiddos. colorado, montana, yosemite, the great sand dunes, river rafting, campfires, s’mores and starry starry nights.
this tourney wouldn’t be complete if a christmas song didn’t come in for rotation. celebrating the holidays is a long-standing love in my family. digging into the stack and starting to play christmas music in about may or june turned into a competition of who started listening earlier. from Bing Crosby to Johnny Mathis and Gene Autry to Tex Johnson and his Six Shooters, I can’t go wrong with music that reminds me to have faith and carry a glad heart. now I play christmas music year round, ‘cause that’s just how I roll. “walkin’ in a winter wonderland” is something I can envision any time, anywhere. who wants to catch some snowflakes with me?