Saturday’s Theme Music

Today, we remember the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. While it happened around 5 PM in the SF Bay area, I was over in Japan. Stationed over in Germany just outside of Frankfurt, we were waiting for the World Series to start. That year’s series featured the Oakland A’s and its neighbors across the bay, the SF Giants. That led to nicknames like the Bay Series, the Bridge Series, etc. We were pretty excited in Germany because we were going to be able to watch it live via satellite. That sort of thing was just becoming more common for us in the military. Now, it’s pretty much taken for granted.

The film and report from that earthquake were another mind-blowing reminder of nature’s strength and human fragility. We build these things thinking they’ll be ‘forever’. Nature comes along and knocks them over with a hefty shrug. Watching on television, we saw the baseball stadium shake and said almost as one, “Holy shit.” It’s a military expression commonly used back then.

I ended up stationed in the SF Bay area, arriving in Feb, 1991. We visited Santa Cruz the next year. Its streets and businesses were still recovering from the earthquake. A drizzly day, seeing all the destruction which still remained stilled our spirits. Businesses and people were coping and regrouping.

As I remember that earthquake and those times, I remember songs, too. One of them is “Stand” by R.E.M., a catchy song with silly lyrics. “Stand in the place where you work, think about directions, wonder why you haven’t before.”

It was like, whaaat?

Thursday’s Theme Music

America on Coffee posted a piece about Sister Sledge and “We Are Family.”  Their post triggered a memory landslide.

The song came out in 1979. The Pittsburgh Pirates adopted it as their theme song. Led by Willie Stargell, they chased down a World Series championship.

Personally, I ended one life chapter and resumed another. I’d left the military to buy a restaurant and attend college in October, 1978. It didn’t work out well, so I headed back to the military. Preparing to leave for my assignment at Randolph-Brooks AFB in Texas, my car, a signal orange Porsche 914, burned up in the driveway. Terrific. I flew out alone to live in the barracks and save some money. My wife would fly out to join me in a few weeks.

I’d arrived at R-B AFB and was in transient quarters when Pittsburgh took on Baltimore in game seven of the World Series. It was a beautiful fall day in Texas. I listened on the room’s AM/FM clock radio as Pittsburgh won the game and the championship. The following Monday, I resumed my military career and kept going until I retired in 1995.



But ~

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature

But I still woke up

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series

But the sky is still blue

Donald Trump is the President-Elect of the United States

But I’m still drinking quad shot mochas and writing like crazy

And the trees remained beautifully cloaked in scarlet and gold, yellow and brown, and green and orange, a lovely tableau against a blue morning sky…

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