Saturday, September 30, 2006

"You say goodbye...and I say hello"

I turned on my heat for the first time last night. Never a good sign. Between the heat and the rain the summer seemed like a washout. No big highlights this year. I got down the shore once. Heading down to Sea Isle City ...not far from Cape celebrate a anniversary with some old friends today...after a gig at a company picnic. As usual, a gig is causing me to be the late arrival again. I remember driving down to their wedding lo' those many years ago. I'd played at The Capri in Somerville that Friday night in 1976 with my old band Freewheelin,' (That's an old band shot of me and the boys from around then....every mother's nightmare) and my buddy and I hopped in my VW and headed down at two o' clock in the morning. Hit Cape May before we realized we'd missed the exit. I thank God every day for getting my pals and I through those days fairly unscathed. Looking forward to seeing some old friends.
And said goodbye to an old friend last week. My Aunt Catherine, aka Katrine, passed away Sept 20th. (She's scattered thoughout my blogging) I was tapped to do the eulogy and I think....hope...I captured her. The funeral was at St Mary's in Plainfield, NJ. Katrine was baptized, married and laid to rest there. I tried something a little unorthodox and everyone seemed to get it. Katrine was always trying to get me to sing as a kid, even though she couldn't sing a lick. "Take me out to the ballgame" was her tune of choice. I was pretty shy about it. Sometimes I'd go in the other room and belt it out. Most of the time ....not. So I ended my eulogy with a solo, accapella version of "Take me out"....from the pulpit of St Mary's church. Oh, the memories as I looked around that place. I made it through...lump in the throat and all...and held the last note long enough so Katrine could hear it. Rest well, old friend.
And said goodbye, I guess, to the summer this week. Y'know...turning the heat on and all. But I'm a big fan of that indian summer thing and I still see some sand and surf in my future.....don't I? Hit the batting cages in Raritan yesterday. They looked so lonely. That's always a pretty good guage of how old I'm getting. I still refuse to go into the slow cage. I start in medium for two tokens worth and on to the fast cage, baby!! The fast cage was throwing a nasty slider that came in on me. The perils of being a lefty. But I adjusted and managed to impress a couple little kids. It's not that tough when the ball's ALWAYS in the same place. Caught a funky little carom right where guys hate to be hit. But I'll be danged if I'm gonna start carrying around my old cup. Ow.....Ow....! So a nice blister, a sore shoulder, hands a little wobbly and all in all a not too bad batting cage experience.
I'm gonna change the strings on my old Martin today. Make 'er look and sound good for the shore jam tonight. Always a good day when I get to play bass and guitar in the same day. Hopefully, thirty years later, I can find this place on the first shot. Saying goodbe...saying hello. Old friends. Is there anything better?
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