Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Joyful Noise on Memory Lane

I do not readily embrace technology. I more often than not adopt more of a Heisman pose with regard to it. Occasionally though it does something that reminds me that Albert, Prince of the Tennessee Valley is not wholly devoid of value above and beyond that found in him as a satirical figure.

Thursday afternoon I got a great surprise in the middle of my work day as Rob telephoned me from the middle of his. I must confess that although neither of my children is indeed a child any more I have the same reaction now to receiving phone calls from either in the middle of the day that I did when they were children, which is, "What's wrong?" Thus the nice surprise part of the phone call from Rob began only after he assured me that the answer to my unspoken but nevertheless readily apparent question was, "Nothing."

As it turns out Rob was driving in his car and had turned on his radio. While it is true that irrespective of the number of channels accessible through your television there is still time every day when there is not a damn thing worth watching on any of them, when one has satellite radio that scenario's ugly head never shifts its visage from profile to full-face. Rob is a child of Sirius and while I do not now and have never shared his affinity for Howard Stern, I appreciate the ability to channel Springsteen 24/7 via E Street Radio as much as he does. I do not have Sirius in my car (Skate sans a single power accoutrement yet sporting a satellite radio set-up is almost too funny to write let alone consider) but I do have it linked through my computer at work and through my laptop so I can listen to it on-line, which I usually remember to do without fail exactly one time every 128 days or so.

One of the selling features of E Street Radio is that it plays a number of Springsteen concerts in their entirety. I believe in fact that at least two or three times a day they drop the metaphorical needle and play a show from the boundless live performance archive. Over the years I have accumulated a substantial number of (let us call them), "Audience Created Recordings", which fill several shelves on a bookcase in my home. They too are great to have access to since I can listen to live Springsteen whenever I want to......and which without fail I usually remember to do exactly one time every 128 days or so.

The past couple of days though I have been listening to "The Last Dance", which is the moniker Springsteen affixed to the final concert of The Rising Tour, which started in the summer of Aught-Two and wrapped in early October of Aught-Three. The final show of that tour (the final three in fact) took place at Shea Stadium (a/k/a the gnarly, nasty old dump of a ballpark where the Mets historically played some fairly atrocious baseball for more than forty years - not to be confused with Citi Field, which is the gorgeous, brand spanking new joint in which they have played atrocious baseball for just one year to date) in Flushing, Queens. On that first Saturday of October, Rob, Margaret and I were part of a contingent spearheaded by our friend Lynne that took in the final performance of that tour.

For Rob and me it wrapped a particularly great weekend of music as we had traveled to Shea the night before to see the penultimate show of the tour and we had arrived via ferry. So had Springsteen apparently, which we realized as we stood on the ferry dock waiting for our ride back across the river to the Jersey side at night's end and Bruce and the Missus walked right past us to get on their boat home. Once they got on their boat, Bruce gave all of us awaiting the arrival of our boat a shout out for coming to the show. Not a bad way to end the night.

Anyway, Rob's call on Thursday to tell me that he was listening to The Last Dance prompted me to take my copy of that show off the shelf and to listen to it again - for the first time in I do not know how long. Not only did I remember immediately that the set list that night had included a number of songs not played too often live but I remembered with a smile what a fun night that was for all of us to be hanging together, doing something that all of us who were there together enjoy doing very much and getting to do it in the company of a number of folks about whom we care a great deal.

A lot of water has been run under and around the hull of my ferry since then. And while life is undoubtedly meant to be lived forward, occasionally it is nice to take a moment to peer backwards through the glass at a moment that meant something to you then and to discover that it still means quite a lot to you presently.

Something that neither time nor memory can fade away.


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