The “Heads I Win/Heads I Win” South Dakota Coin Toss

Blog Subtitle: Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

 

Musical interlude time! First, give this catchy li’l tune a listen… then we’ll chat…

 

Say you and a buddy need a quick way to decide something… it matters not what. So… what options are at your disposal? In no particular order, here are several recommendations…

  1. High Playing Card Draw
  2. Rock – Paper – Scissors
  3. Eenie-Meenie-Miny-Moe
  4. U.S. Supreme Court (STRIKE THAT… DISABLE THAT LINK… BAD IDEA1)
  5. Coin Toss

If you’re opting for #5, do exercise a reasonable amount of caution. Be you an American or a stateside tourist (unaffected by the unamerican [sic] travel ban), when fishing out your pocket change, make sure you closely examine your 25¢ pieces!

In the spirit of fair play, if your quarter is part of the America the Beautiful commemorative coin series, avoid the one featuring South Dakota! Why?

Well, unless you call the toss, “heads”… most assuredly…

YOU WILL LOSE!

You see, to the best of this numismatist-blogger’s knowledge, ever since it was minted in 2013, that particular, peculiar coin became…

America’s, first ever, heads on both sides, legal tender quarter!

On the obverse, per usual (ever since 1932), appears President George Washington… BUT… on the reverse… well… that’s where we discover a zoomed-in, partial image of Mt. Rushmore where not only does gentleman George reappear but so does President Thomas Jefferson!

I do hope this heads-up (not meant to be taken totally serious) blog has helped everyone make heads or tails out of the chancy, “Heads I Win/Heads I Win” South Dakota Coin Toss”. The fate of the entire, decision-making free world just might, someday, hang in the balance??? 😉 (JK)

 

 

Footnote:

1 Considering how five of those nine SCOTUS judges (the Floundering, UnFounding Fathers / muthas) are legislating from the bench… i.e. are hell bent on green-lighting all signed into law, U.S. Constitution gutting legislation… especially (f)laws, which deny average Jane and Joe citizens our freedoms… they would be far too busy to ever help us settle any garden-variety issues. Oh, btw… if you opt to watch this footnote’s linked video, you can save a bit of time by fast forwarding to the juicy details starting at 5:26.

 

 

 

 

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BlogCast: A.M. Music For All Our Tomorrows

 

If deep within you beats the heart and resides the soul of a poet…

If you harbor a mind which freely embraces trippy imagery…

If your eyes are drawn to worldly and otherworldly scenes…

If your ears are attuned to orchestral/progressive rock fusion at it very finest…

 

Oh… have the Moody Blues, YouTube videographer Nick Mort and I ever got a musical treat for you!

 

While this rather lengthy gem tracks out at just under ten minutes, for those who truly get into entrancing, mesmerizing soundscapes, you’ll soon be wishing our shared experience had lasted much longer.

Of course, such an expansion… by a multiple of four… would be totally within the realm of possibility. All one need do is what I’ve done quite regularly over the course of the past half century… in fact just this past a.m….

Give a listen to the entire Moody Blues CD, LP… or in the case of the linked vid the cassette copy of Days of Future Passed… the band’s debut 1967 album.

True, such a playback will be minus the images, but… I’m certain most of us have experienced many of of Mother Nature’s “OH WOW” moments. So, all we need do is project our fave, personal recollections onto the big screen within the theatre of our minds.

And with that in mind,

The Day Begins / Dawn is a Feeling / Another Morning

By the Moody Blues… accompanied by The London Festival Orchestra

If you LIKE what you heard, click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast scheduled for Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

 

BlogCast Special: A 9/11 Soundtrack

 

This time around, our musical get-together doesn’t require much of a set up at all. In fact, my above headline says it all.

Simply scroll down, click away and, while listening, be sure to remember all the good people we lost or who got wounded on this day, sixteen years ago… all their surviving families and dear friends… all the victims who live on, forever physically scarred, challenged and disabled.

Remember, too, all who’ve met similar fates while fighting on the side of good during the subsequent wars on terror… as well as all the innocent bystanders residing in the vicinity of those battlefields.

And never forget that the ongoing, more recent terrorist attacks, still spread like raging cancers all over our world and are no less damaging and deadly.

 

Tom Paxton ~ The Bravest

Mary-Chapin Carpenter ~ Grand Central Station

Be sure to also check out MCC’s interview.

Sheryl Crow ~ God Bless This Mess

Eagles ~ Hole In the World Tonight

If you LIKE what you heard, click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast scheduled for Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

September BlogCast ~ A Heartfelt Plea for Harmony

 

My greetings to all of my WordPress blogging colleagues, followers and visitors! If you’re just here to hear the music, scroll down and start clicking away… these four selections will amply communicate my intended sentiments, which I’ll now further expand on… i.e., should you choose to read onward…

Initially, I found it tough to set the proper mood for this installment of our monthly musical get-together. I had to scuttle my original “hot fun in the summertime” theme… deeming it insensitive and inappropriate in the wake of all the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey… considering how life may never fully return to normal for the millions of flooded out, uprooted survivors in Texas. My heartfelt condolences to folks who lost loved ones and hopes that you, who have survived, can restore your lives as much as possible and can find happiness again.

I’d have to ditto my mood barometer reading regarding all who were recently maimed and slaughtered during the eerily similar, vehicular ISIS terrorist attacks against Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain AND Nazis / Klansmen terrorist assaults against Charlottesville, Virginia. My wholehearted condolences to the all the good people who lost their loved ones and best wishes that the surviving victims recover speedily and as completely as possible. Hopefully, someday soon, happiness will be yours once more.

As if those meteorological and ideological storms weren’t bad enough, already, we, of good conscience, have also been deeply in mourning over the loss of the American presidency. And by saying “presidency” I’m referring to the monumental, leadership vacuum that’s been sucking the air out of the Oval Office… sucking the life force out of my homeland and our global community… all perpetrated by an ethically barren, morally bankrupt, avaricious and vicious, Orwellian, stick-figure figurehead.

In times of trouble, a nation’s citizenry should be able to count on their leader for a comforting pep talk… an FDR-esque, folksy fireside chat as it were… but… alas… long sigh…

Folks, it’s downright depressing and disgusting to observe the cannibalistic, parasitical, so-called prez…

  1. Feeding off the post-hurricane apocalypse’s human suffering… just to sate his voracious narcissistic hungers… just to erect a smokescreen to enshroud his nefarious, fascist political agenda.
  2. Feasting off the ISIS terrorist attacks in Spain just because that’ll wrongfully validate his flat-out hatred of all Muslims1. It is stunning how… practically in the same breath… he lavishes praise upon un-american [sic] Nazis and Klansmen… sucking up to them just so they’ll help reelect him in 2020.

Net effect, the so-called prez, has wildly emboldened these domestic terrorists. Left unchecked, these co-conspirators… the pathetic “prez” and his deplorable pals… will violently subvert all that the real America stands for. We’re likely witnessing the rebirth of Nazi Germany.

So what the hell does that make the so-called prez? An Adolf Hitler / David Duke hybrid? Did some nefarious, eager beaver recombinant DNA scientist mutate him? Did a psychotic psychosurgeon lobotomize / reprogram him? Or was he “merely” born and/or reared that way? Whatever the cause of his mental illness/illnesses, we can only wish him a speedy, complete and permanent recovery. In this modern medical era, no one should be condemned to live out one’s life bouncing off the rubberized walls… be they real or hallucinated.

The real America’s survival… indeed the survival of the whole world… depends on a sane presidency and sound minded leaders elsewhere, too. How else could we ever hope to see our global population live in harmony?

That plea for harmony is from where I now take my musical cue… set the tone for this month’s BlogCast.

Folks, I find the negativity of what I just blogged… to say the least… disturbing. What else can I conclude than negative leaders bring out the worst in me, indeed, in every like-minded, warmhearted, ethical patriot who truly gives a damn? And that has got to change… starting with the legal, orderly and peaceable ouster of such negative entities.

But, until the day that becomes reality… I believe the following music will provide an ear and eye opening… a mind expanding and mood elevating experience.

Accompanying only my sparse, supplemental commentary, I’ll now let the songwriters’ and singers’ sentiments speak for themselves.

Ray Stevens ~ Everything Is Beautiful

Admittedly, I would’ve preferred this track’s religious undercurrents to have been more inclusive of faiths other than Christianity… but… when we consider the less globalized era in which this song was first composed and recorded, would not genuine believers of all religious stripes be forgiving? Additionally, I sincerely believe one can also be agnostic and still be fully capable of concurring with the overall message of unity. Oh, btw, you can also give a listen to an alternate track featuring a duet performed by Ray Stevens and another of this month’s BlogCast featured artists, Glen Campbell.

The New Seekers ~ I’d Love To Teach The World To Sing

Many decades ago a slightly, lyrically modified, abridged version of this song became the soundtrack to a Coca Cola™ commercial, which you can view here.

Glen Campbell ~ Try A Little Kindness

I joyfully rediscovered this track just one week ago upon purchasing the late Mr. Campbell’s greatest hits CD… after finding it while grocery shopping at my local supermarket superstore. I first heard Campbell perform on the late Sixties era, “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” TV show… a program with a distinctly, politically progressive POV… from where I derived own liberal attitude. Campbell died just a few short weeks ago on August 8, 2017. You can access a video tribute.

Peter, Paul & Mary ~ Weave Me The Sunshine

Peter Yarrow will now introduce this BlogCast finale… thusly…

“‘Weave Me The Sunshine’  became a very big hit in South Africa and in Brazil and ultimately of course it’s a song that has found it’s way into many churches and synagogues.”

About all I could possibly add, here, (as is true with nearly all folk music) it’s nearly impossible not to sing along with this upbeat and uplifting tune. And I recommend that we all add our voices… sing it loudly… sing it proudly… trump all of those negative vibes. Let us all spread outward its unifying, harmonizing message (indeed, the messages from all four of these songs) to all four corners of our world.

Thank you for listening on this day. If you LIKE what you heard, click back here

for my next BlogCast on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

 

 

1 We, who still can and do think clearly, fully realize that ISIS has mutilated and muddied true Islam and now exploits it just to justify their deadly, bloody attacks.

 

 

 

August BlogCast ~ Forever Young x Three

 

My warm welcome to all WordPress bloggers, followers and visitors!

This time around, our monthly musical get-together features 3 different compositions with 3 similar sentiments and only 1 song title… Forever Young.

Oh… to be immortal… (long sigh)… or to at least remain forever young in one’s head and heart throughout our walk upon life’s path…

Suffice to say, I’m not the only human to have ever mulled over such notions… be that while traipsing through the real world or upon the world wide web… in my dream world or during my wide awake hours.

 

Oh… To Be Immortal

To timelessly dwell as a citizen of our universe

To freely pursue and fulfill one’s righteous passions

To seek, meet up with and warmly embrace one’s soul mate

To, hand in hand, walk the Earth through eternity

To set forth on an ambitious, grand goodwill tour

To rein in war, famine, affliction, discrimination and all suffering

To let reign our love, friendship and peaceful coexistence

 

That said… this amateur poet / mere opening act now yields the world stage to the professional Top Billers.

A few NoteWorthy items prior to tracking these tunes…

  1. I’ve supplied Wikipedia links to provide the backstory to each song.
  2. Fast Fun Fact: keenly aware that his “Forever Young” closely… perhaps too closely… resembled Bob Dylans’, Rod Stewart actually asked him if he’d have any problem with this. Ultimately, Dylan and Stewart agreed to share the song credit and royalties.
  3. Since it was tough to choose whether to feature Bob Dylan’s original or the Pretenders’ cover, I’ll leave it fully up to you… play either or both.
  4. Considering the frequent vanishing acts of YouTube vids, you’ll find complete lyrics to each song by blog’s end.
  5. I’d be remiss not to laud the fine YouTube videographers for so stunningly enhancing the music… and my BlogCasts.
  6. My apologies, in advance, if YouTube advertisements ruin these segues. I suppose this can best be summed up thusly… if one dances to the music one must pay the piper.

Let’s now let the music speak for itself… after a few words from our sponsors? ENJOY!

 

Bob Dylan ~ Forever Young

Wikipedia Backstory

Pretenders & Chrissie Hynde ~ Forever Young

Wikipedia Backstory

Rod Stewart ~ Forever Young

Wikipedia Backstory

Alphaville ~ Forever Young

Wikipedia Backstory

If you like what you’ve heard today, click back here on

Friday, September 1, 2017.

If you’d like to check out past BlogCasts, they’re all neatly filed away under both my BlogCast and Music categories.

 

 

Bob Dylan ~ Forever Young

(Bob Dylan) (01/1974)

 

May God bless and keep you always

May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others

And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

 

May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous

Stand upright and be strong

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

 

May your hands always be busy

May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful

And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

 

Rod Stewart ~ Forever Young

(Jim Cregan/Kevin Savigar/Bob Dylan/Rod Stewart) (07/1988)

 

May the good Lord be with you down every road you roam.

And may sunshine and happiness surround you when you’re far from home.

And my you grow to be proud, dignified and true.

And do unto others as you’d have done to you.

Be courageous and be brave.

And in my heart you’ll always stay

 

Forever young. (Forever young)

Forever young. (Forever young)

Forever young. Forever young

 

May good fortune be with you, may your guiding light be strong,

Build a stairway to heaven with a prince or a vagabond.

And may you never love in vain.

And in my heart you will remain

 

Forever young. (Forever young)

Forever young. (Forever young)

Forever young. Forever young

 

And when you fin’lly fly away, I’ll be hoping that I served you well.

For all the wisdom of a lifetime, no one can ever tell.

But whatever road you choose, I’m right behind you win or lose,

 

Forever young. (Forever young)

Forever young. (Forever young)

Forever young. Forever young

For forever young

 

Alphaville ~ Forever Young

(Bernhard Lloyd/Marian Gold/Frank Mertens) (09/1984)

 

Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for a while

Heaven can wait, we’re only watching the skies

Hoping for the best but expecting the worst

Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?

 

Let us die young or let us live forever

We don’t have the power but we never say never

Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip

The music’s for the sad men

 

Can you imagine when this race is won

Turn our golden faces into the sun

Praising our leaders, we’re getting in tune

The music’s played by the, the mad men

 

Forever young, I want to be forever young

Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?

Forever young, I want to be forever young

Do you really want to live forever? Forever young

 

Some are like water, some are like the heat

Some are a melody and some are the beat

Sooner or later, they all will be gone

Why don’t they stay young?

 

It’s so hard to get old without a cause

I don’t want to perish like a fading horse

Youth’s like diamonds in the sun

And diamonds are forever

 

So many adventures couldn’t happen today

So many songs we forgot to play

So many dreams swinging out of the blue

We let them come true

 

Forever young, I want to be forever young

Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?

Forever young, I want to be forever young

Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?

 

Forever young, I want to be forever young

Do you really want to live forever?

 

 

“They Come… They Come… To Build A Wall Between Us”

 

A little over three decades ago, Neil Finn, founder/frontman of the Australian band Crowded House and composer of their debut album’s track, Don’t Dream It’s Over, musically mesmerized his fans, worldwide, when he hooked us with his haunting, sadness tinged storyline, emotionally driven vocals and stripped down to the bare essentials instrumentation.

While creative sequencing of treble and bass clef notes, time and key signatures and instrumentation do play a significant role, a peerless singer/songwriter/musician, such as Finn, fully knows that a song’s even greater appeal stems from crafting cleverly worded, timely, timeless sentiments, which tap into universal human experiences.

Let’s let the music now speak for itself…

Originally I had planned to include my own interpretation of Finn’s lyrics1 but quickly nixed that notion. My rationale…

  1. You can read such essays elsewhere.
  2. Upon re-listening to this song with our present-day ears… WITHIN politically perilous and tempestuous times spanning our entire spinning out of control world… WITHOUT the benefit of functional, sane leadership to face down and correct these serious problems… a whole new meaning arises from this song, in particular, the chorus…

“They come, they come… To build a wall between us…”

I cannot speak for everyone, but each time these particular ten words play out, I can foresee “the end of the road”… the road, which humanity has been travelling upon for multiple millions of years. I cannot help but wonder, will our road, someday (soon) be blocked by WW-III’s billions of burnt beyond recognition, irradiated corpses and mega-tonnage of rubble?

I’ll now graciously yield my blogger’s podium to Pope Francis who I wish, with all my heart, would speak for everyone on this issue…

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be – and not building bridges – is not Christian.”

To build upon the pontiff’s strong foundation…

  1. Are not ill-mannered, ill-informed, ill-advised, soulless world leaders, who so pointlessly, persistently dehumanize benevolent folks based solely on ethnicity, infirmity, religious beliefs and sexual orientation needlessly building a wall between us?
  2. Is it not the intent of the world’s malevolent entities… those who mindlessly terrorize, maim and slaughter (on behalf of their alleged god)… to divide and conquer us… i.e., by also building a wall between us?

The problem with walls is how they actually fail to insulate us from harm and, indeed, do harm when they isolate us. When everyone gets trapped on each side of the architecture, each side of the argument is doomed to remain unresolved… preserved thru perpetuity.

When viewed in this manner, just how would we then interpret Don’t Dream It’s Over?

I suppose that’s where the power of punctuation enters the picture. In this case, it all boils down to whether or not we opt to bisect Finn’s four worded song title (and recurring lyric) with a comma.

An optimist would eschew such punctuation… in effect saying…

”Please don’t ever dream that our dream for a civil, wall-free world is over.”

A pessimist would commit to that comma… in effect drastically changing the meaning to…

“Don’t dream, IT’S ALL OVER! Who needs stinkin’ bridges when we can get nasty and piss away billions of bucks to build that utterly useless, sky-high wall!”

Getting back on the musical track, conventional wisdom suggests that songsmith Neil Finn’s masterpiece should remain inviolate… YET… I cannot help but wonder… had he written Don’t Dream It’s Over, today… six months after the grotesque regime change within Washington DC… what verses would he have built around his chorus…

“They come, they come… To build a wall between us…”?

And would he even be realistic were he to reach the same conclusion he did back in 1986… when he had so resolutely proclaimed…

“We know that they won’t win!”

 

Latanya Lockett & Pablo West ~ Don’t Dream It’s Over (acoustic cover)

 

1Complete Lyrics:

 

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Composed by Neil Finn

 

 

There is freedom within

There is freedom without

Try to catch a deluge in a paper cup

There’s a battle ahead

Many battles are lost

But you’ll never see the end of the road

While you’re traveling with me

 

[CHORUS] Hey now, hey now

Don’t dream it’s over

Hey now, hey now

When the world comes in

They come, they come

To build a wall between us

We know that they won’t win

 

Now I’m towing my car

There’s a hole in the roof

My possessions are causing me suspicion

but there’s no proof

In the paper today

Tales of war and of waste

But you turn right over to the T.V. page

 

[CHORUS]

 

Now I’m walking again

To the beat of a drum

And I’m counting the steps

To the door of your heart

Only shadows ahead

Barely clearing the roof

Get to know the feeling of

Liberation and release

 

[CHORUS] Hey now, hey now

Don’t dream it’s over

Hey now, hey now

When the world comes in

They come, they come

To build a wall between us

We know that they won’t win

 

My Once Upon A Time Storybook Life

 

An old haunt of mine still exists in the heart of my lifelong hometown… the house where I had played out the first seven years of my life.

This was “The Place” where I had “busted out” from my barred, “prison” crib… to first crawl… to next stand upright and take my hesitant, initial baby steps… to eventually venture forth from my four walled interior to explore my verdant home turf and environs beyond.

Within this magical sphere was where fun cycled with the four seasons… building wintertime’s snowmen, flying springtime’s kites, igniting summertime’s July 4th sparklers… taking the plunge into autumn’s piles of raked leaves.

My yard had been my happy hunting ground for Four Leaf Clovers… where plucked Dandelions and Queen Anne’s Lace became presentable bouquets… where healthy, natural snacks got picked right off of bountiful cherry trees and prolific wild raspberry canes. This was where Robins, Blue Jays, Lady Bugs, Dragonflies, Monarch and Yellow Swallowtail butterflies all shared the same airspace.

In the waning days of this past June, a touch of homesickness had set in… fueled, in part, by how 1961’s and 2017’s days/dates line up perfectly.

On that yesteryear’s Tuesday, June 27th, it had been my family’s Moving Day… the pivotal moment when I had waved good-bye to the epicenter of my young universe to close out a truly glorious chapter of my carefree, once upon a time, storybook life.

On this year’s Tuesday, June 27th, I certainly would’ve welcomed some Sci-Fi type time travel BUT since that’s, purportedly, an impossibility, about the best I could possibly hope for was to play out the past in the theater of my mind… while paying a visit to the present-day version of my childhood stomping grounds.

Knowing that no drive-by could ever suffice, I opted to travel the road home on foot. No sooner did my childhood hood appear in the distance than the rhythmic, muffled sounds of my athletic shoes hitting the concrete began fading out… and my distant memories came flooding in.

Suddenly, I was back in my crib… feeling an open windows’ refreshing breeze… smelling the rainwater and ozone’s fragrance… seeing the lightning flashed walls… hearing a downpour on the rooftop and the sporadic rumbles of thunder mixing in with my Dad’s steady snoring. Perhaps this is a universal experience? It’s sounds just like the celebrated in story and song nursery rhyme, “It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is snoring.”

I next recalled the countless daybreaks where I’d gleefully scamper down the stairs to switch on our Zenith™ B&W TV (first image in link is the identical model)… to zone out on op-art-esque test patterns and high pitched tones while patiently waiting for the stations to wake up and roll out their weekday children’s programs.

Amongst the affable, laughable personalities setting up shop on these kiddie corners were Johnny Ginger (who presided over the onslaught of Three Stooges shorts) and Soupy Sales (renowned for his pie in the face slapstick, choreographed “Soupy Shuffle” and interactions with puppet pet doggies White Fang and Black Tooth). To chill out, kids could always depend on the far more cerebral, dignified Captain Kangaroo (a.k.a. Bob Keeshan). Courtesy of the Walt Disney and Hanna-Barbera animation studios, Saturday morns featured a constant stream of cartoons.

Primetime fare included Ed Sullivan, Lassie, Dennis the Menace and (mythical Mayfield’s) Leave It To Beaver.

TV Afternoons were where the “faster than a speeding bullet… more powerful than a locomotive… able to leap tall buildings in a single bound” Superman flew through the airwaves… where the wisecracking Johnny Carson presided over the quiz show, Who Do You Trust… where music maven Dick Clark emceed the rock ‘n’ roll teen dance show, American Bandstand.

Taking my cue from Mr. Clark, this is where I brought my make-believe, bedroom “radio station” to life… where courtesy of my Zenith™ record player, I began spinning vinyl to blast out an eclectic mix of orchestral waltzes, jazz, rock, pop, ballads and Christmas tunes1.

My musical selections crossfaded, effortlessly, to memories of Christmases past… how, courtesy of Santa Claus’ delivery of Golden Books™, flashcards, View Masters™, teddy bears, toy blocks and train sets, Christmas mornings had lasted all day. Further sweetening our holidays were my stay-at-home Mom’s made from scratch, still warm from the oven, mouthwatering baked goods… e.g., gingerbread men, German Spritzgebäck (spritz) cookies, Slovenian apple potica and sugar / cinnamon doughnuts.

Although childhood illnesses and my tonsillectomy’s post op recovery could hardly be called a fond memory, Mom cheering me up was. She loved to tell me her highly imaginative, original, extemporaneous bedside stories as well as read other authors’ published works aloud (e.g., Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit).

And once nursed back to good health, I was back in action. Like on the day the training wheels first came off my 20” bike. As my skill and confidence grew, I’d find myself furiously pedaling up a rather long, steeply sloped sidewalk and then, on my journey’s downward leg, I’d experienced feelings of liberation and exhilaration while coasting back home at breakneck speed… waiting for the very last possible moment before slamming on the brakes.

Here was where, one wintery dusk, in a childish huff, I had “run away” from home over some trifling matter… but never did make it past the lower driveway. And once the falling snow had cooled me off, my mom convinced me to return to her warm, welcome home embrace.

Here was where the setting summer sun cast my long shadow before me… granting me the illusion that I was as tall as a grown-up… where I first observed and grew to appreciate nighttime’s four lunar phases and timeless starlit skies.

And, on a more serious note, here is where I had first heard the figurative school bell ring… where, after Mom had first taken several snapshots of me, we took a pre noontime stroll from our home to my nearby kindergarten classroom.

But my fondest memory of all was how our home had acted as a playmate magnet. With frequent visits from Johnny, Bonnie, Jimmy, Davy, Kathy and my best friend Danny, my sister and I had plenty of company.

While our playground included swings hanging from elm tree limbs, a slide, sandbox, kiddie car, trikes and bikes… such playthings were sometimes unnecessary… e.g. the day we wound up gleefully laughing our asses off while taking turns rolling down a hillside inside an oversized cardboard box. All anyone needed to let the good times roll was allowing our sky is the limit, fertile imaginations to run wild.

But, alas, eventually, all good things did come to an end. As the days began winding down within this special locale, there was sufficient time for one last blast… I hosted a party… my invited guests helping me celebrate my seventh birthday. There had been plenty of fun, games and pigging out on our banquet of hotdogs, potato chips, Faygo™ rock and rye soda pop, birthday cake and ice cream.

No kid would ever need TV land’s idyllic “Mayfield”… not when each of us could so easily replicate transcend it.

But, alas, eventually, Tuesday afternoon’s time tripping, too, began winding down. But not before I recalled the very last time I’d ever see the inside of our old home. Dad and I had returned just to ensure the hired movers hadn’t forgotten anything. It was well past nightfall and my usual bedtime… but since school was out for the summer, it hadn’t really mattered.

Dad unlocked the back door and, for the next five minutes, we proceeded from one empty echo chambered room to another. How surreal it had felt when we switched off all the lights for the last time and stepped back out into the cool night air. With the sounds of two slamming car doors and an engine roaring back to life, Dad shifted his 1953 Ford Mainline into first gear and down the graveled driveway we rolled.

It was about this time when the rhythmic, muffled sounds of my athletic shoes hitting the concrete “returned” me to 2017… well ALMOST…

I sensed two distinct, June twenty-sevenths, separated by two score and sixteen years… my past as the passenger… my present as the pedestrian were now converging. Both my younger self and I were wending our way up the very same street and were about to leave the old neighborhood.

Mom had so matter-of-factly summed up our moving day in her 1961 journal…

“The move took from 7:15 – 10:30 p.m. 3 hrs. 15 minutes. $30.00. The kids are delighted. Everyone is relieved.”

While I’d agree that, initially, I had been delighted, this giddy state of mind had prevented me from fully appreciating the whole truth. Although there was no way to actually have seen it during Dad’s and my final inspection tour… I really had left something truly irreplaceable behind…

The very best years of my entire life.

 

1Tom’s Top Ten Hit Parade

  1. Johann Strauss ~ Blue Danube Waltz
  2. Billie Anthony ~ This Ole House
  3. Elvis Presley ~ All Shook Up
  4. Bill Haley and His Comets ~ Shake, Rattle and Roll
  5. The Platters ~ Twilight Time
  6. Jimmy Rodgers ~ Secretly
  7. Sheb Wooley ~ Purple People Eater
  8. David Seville ~ Witch Doctor
  9. The Chipmunks ~ The Chipmunk Song
  10. Jesse Crawford ~ Jingle Bells