Thursday, February 12, 2009

So Far Away

I have an iphone. It has this feature on my itunes called "genius," which figures out which songs go together. I think they copied Pandora. So I start out with a little Van Morrison and, before I know it, Carole King is singing So Far Away. Now this takes me back to 1971 when I graduated from high school, I was 17 years old. I wore low riding bell bottoms, puckered tops and a particular midriff top that made my mother and father cringe - and, yes, hot pants. All my friends were 18 and were legal to go to the bars in Okoboji and Arnold's Park that summer. I was left out. I hadn't yet figured out the system of fake IDs. But I could go to the Roof Garden in Arnold's Park and dance. The most perfect way to spend a Saturday night. A friend of ours, Bobby, got so drunk one night while we were all there dancing to the Buckinghams, that when he took a break to go ride the roller coaster, he stood up at the peak of one of the hills, celebrating youth and immortality and was thrown out. He died. We were there. We were too young to die. Life had just been laid on our doorsteps.

Tapestry was THE album that summer. It was still THE album when I went to Iowa State that fall. Now, my 19-year old daughter likes it. What did we tap that spans two generations? My parents generation didn't do that. I was not listening to Frank Sinatra.

Now, it just takes me back. And still seems so relevant.

So far away. "One more song about movin' along the highway. Can't say much of anything that's new. If I could only work this life out my way, I'd rather spend it close to you. Doesn't help to know that you're so far away."

Reminds me of my marriage. Makes me miss Lee.

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