Imprint 2

After moving out of Mom’s house when I was fourteen and moving in with Dad, I missed my old home and Mom’s cooking.

Dad, a bachelor, was in the military. He’d just returned from an assignment in Germany. Besides his military day job, he had a second job running the small base’s all-ranks club, so I rarely saw him. That lasted three months. Then he retired and we moved to southern WV.

I’d mentioned missing Mom’s cooking to her on one of our phone conversations. Mom bought me Betty Crocker Cook Book as a present so I could make the stuff she had.

It was a humbling lesson. Mom usually used a recipe in her head. I had to plod their detailed instructions. Whereas her measuring skills were fast and effortlessly, I labored through cups, tsp, tbs, and their incremental differences.

But I weathered it, making myself stuffed green peppers, meat loaf, pot roast, spaghetti and meatballs, along with side dishes, and eventually baked cakes, cookies, pies, and other desserts. I never made fried chicken, odd in retrospect. I preferred roasting or grilling my chicken. In fact, my favorite meal became over-roasted thighs with buttered red potatoes and broccoli.

Don’t know why I never made the fried chicken. Maybe I was lazy, or maybe, subconsciously, I knew that some things couldn’t be duplicated.


Saturday’s Theme Music

You get a twofer today.

This photo on Facebook reminded a friend and I of a conversation we once had about the songs, “Our House”. One version is by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Madness did the other. We just chatted about how different these songs were as we went about something else.

I haven’t seen him since around 2003 but I remember him fondly. FB connects us, so sometimes FB works as designed.

Friday’s Theme Music

I was in bed, in the overlap between being awake and asleep. Still hazy with fever, I felt a cat land on the bed. Quick, light steps followed.

If it’d been Tucker coming, the steps would have been slower and plodding. Boo’s bed approach is light but slow. No, this had to be Papi.

Feeling the steps stop by my head, I opened my eyes and looked left. The sweet ginger boy was studying my face. I put a hand out toward him. He began purring and rubbing his head against my fingertips.

In response, I sang in a soft whisper, “Consider yourself at home. Consider yourself one of the family.”

Yes, it was “Consider Yourself” from Oliver!, the film, because I’ve never seen the live stage production, from 1968.

I don’t know why my stream pulled it up yesterday. Like a few other people — the movie took best picture and other awards — several scenes and songs remain memorable to me, like “Pick A Pocket or Two” and “Food, Glorious Food”,which sometimes is sung as, “Floof, glorious floof. Long tails and whiskers.”

So, consider yourself to have a theme music suggestion.

Monday’s Theme Music

Sunshine lit the valley from the west, splashing through lazy swatches of stretched grey clouds outside our windows. Could’ve been early summer by its deceptive appearance, but it was March 3.

Ill with a sore throat and dribbling nose, I alternated between reading (Fear: Trump in the White House, Woodward) and napping whereupon a song found the stream and played in my brain.

You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
And I took off to find the sky

I couldn’t fathom why Harry Chapin’s “Taxi” (1972) was streaming in these circumstances. I often don’t understand how my mind words but I decided that “Taxi”, about the dreams that age into nostalgic memories, would be today’s theme music.


Sunday’s Theme Music

Nathaniel Taylor, an actor who I knew from his role as Rollo on “Sanford and Son”, passed away a few days ago. He was eighty.

Many actors, politicians, writers, and sports and rock stars have passed away throughout my lifetime, along with cats, friends, family members, and people that I didn’t know. Some of them were killed in ways that we don’t like to think about.

Nathaniel Taylor’s death was another death. We all understand that death is gonna get us. Now, what happens beyond the door that death opens, well, we don’t know. We have a lot of theories, and we think that we have intangible proof that once we die, that’s it, game over. Then again, many ancient people believed that the sun revolved around the Earth, until we learned how to prove otherwise.

The death of someone who acted on a show when I was young triggered a stream of thought about how time seems to pass and prompted me to think, wow, 1969 was fifty years ago. Ain’t that somethin’?

Not really, right? It’s as arbitrary as weather in March, 2019, predictable but still surprising. Thinking ’bout all that nonsense kindled reflections on the music from then. Pop goes the song and out came the Rolling Stones with “Honky Tonk Women”.

Seems ’bout right.

Saturday’s Theme Music

We went to see Beehive at the Oregon Cabaret Theater last night. The link is to a newspaper review of the show. Music interspersed with some narrative to set or change the tone, along with clothing, hairstyles, and dancing that evoke the 1960s, is what it was all about.

It was called Beehive for the hairstyle that dominated the era for a long period. That prompted me to wonder what they’d call a musical named after our current error. Fake News? Smart Phone? Fragmented?

The show started in 1960. Most of the early years featured girl group or all female ensembles. Intermission came at the end of 1963.

With ’64 came the Brit pop-invasion, but what really changed the music was America’s evolving politics. If you were present in the mid to late 1960s, you know about the protests, the Vietnam war body counts, the civil rights movement, rioting, discontent, assassinations, and the growing power and influence of television and entertainment.

The subject matter for songs changed from simple, almost naive and innocent about meeting the right boy and falling in love to They did a fantastic job in last night’s show of portraying those changes through dance and music, highlighting singers like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Janis Joplin, and their diverse styles and mind-blowing performances.

Performances of “Where the Boys Are”, “You Don’t Own Me”, “To Sir with Love”, “Me and Bobby McKee”, and “Chain of Fools” stood out for me. But for today’s theme music, I went with a group of four young women from New Jersey who were there at the beginning.

Wherever these singers, musicians, and songwriters came from, thanks for the ride.


Monday’s Theme Music

I don’t know what dislodged in my stream last night that led this song to stream in as I sipped my coffee this morning.

“Guitar Man” was by Jerry Reed (1967). In this version, he’s playing with Glen Campbell. Both of these players have passed away, but a large sense of Jerry Reed’s personality shines through in this song. We’d call him a good ol’ boy.

I remember watching this. I would have been ’bout eleven. Guess I was an impressionable kid.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music is a surprising turn for me. I blame my dreams.

I had a cluster of dreams last night that shared the theme of saving. I saved some people and animals in a few dreams, but I was also saved, most memorably once by a Jack Russell terrior. The dog led me out of what appeared to be a benign situation. After I thanked him, he left.

Keeping with the weirdness of all that, I awoke thinking, “And it said so in my dreams.” I immediately knew that line from “Candida”, a hit song by Tony Orlando and Dawn back in July 1970. I never had one of their albums, but they were immensely popular in the early seventies. That popularity translated to a lot of AM and FM radio play and appearances on television shows — or did the radio play and appearances on television shows lead to immense popularity? Either way, I heard them often. Pop culture tends to be like that.

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