The GirlsIt’s been an interesting week here in my head, and I’m going to write this fast so the emotions get on the page without too much editing.

My wife had a dear high-school friend and her husband in from New York for a visit. They’re both friends of mine, too, of course, but the week long visit of dinners and museums and brunches was highlighted by the “girl” get-togethers with another high school chum, Carolyn. I sat in on one of these late night sessions of laughter and recollection, tears and music on a living room couch as the night turned to midnight and then into early morning.

These three ladies were hippie chicks who came to my crash pad when they were just 17 years old. The one on the left in this photo, Wendy, was with my wife on the beach when she met my roommate, Paul, who introduced Nettie to me, 44 years ago. A lot of memories flame up from the seemingly endless nights we spent huddled around a record player listening to Joni Mitchell, the Stones, Beatles, Dylan, Simon, Cohen, Hendrix and countless others in the glow of youth on Hamlin Street in North Hollywood, circa 1969.

ElliottAlso this week, a long time friend of mine announced his retirement on Facebook. I met him in grad school and have now seen him retire. We’ve shared the whole life spectrum of hopes and dreams and career, the college intensity of our shared love of literature has played out over a forty-year span. And now a new path begins for him as he embraces an old love, bluegrass fiddle. I called him the other day and he said he’s playing a gig next weekend with some friends…like going back in time…floating on the curve…of the future.

A couple days ago, a woman at my golf club, whom I don’t know well, told me she had just retired after 35 years at AT&T. It was an interesting look at another life passage from someone not really connected to me, but indicative of my generation. It’s occurring so frequently across the country, across the globe. The Boomers are heading out to greener pastures, but pastures nevertheless. It’s a Movement of its own, and I’m not ready to put name on this one.

CupcakesNettie and I capped off the week with a visit to friends in Santa Barbara Saturday, which included a celebration of their daughter’s eighth birthday. I saw the little kids, old enough now to be cognizant of their own journey, but too young to notice the years speeding up. Not that I’d want them to. Better to be oblivious and in the moment. Better to be that always. Yes, Forever Young.

St. ThomasSunday, this afternoon as I write this post, we’re having dinner with a great friend of ours from St. Thomas, who’s flown in for a few days from Seattle. With friends like her we spent a near decade-long journey of incomparable experiences for me and Nettie. St. Thomas was a kind of life add-on, as if we got to live someone else’s life for awhile and then came back to our own. Sometimes I wonder if time passed while we were away. Some days I’m sure it has. Other days, I’m sure it hasn’t.

I try to juggle all this in my head this morning and then I realize…

The Beatles…the Beatles are on Ed Sullivan tonight.

Playing again. After 50 years. In my mind. And on TV.

The Beatles are coming to America. I’m 13 years-old, it’s February 9th, 1964. I’m already a big fan. I just bought the I Want to Hold Your Hand 45 from my local record store for 99 cents. I’ve already held a girl’s hand. I’ve already kissed a girl. I’ve got a girlfriend. I’m in love with Paula Plumly and the Beatles are playing this song for us alone.

Can I bear to watch the show tonight? There’s so much back there. So much to recall and thereby relive emotionally. How deep dare I go into the pool of reverie?

After such an emotional week, I think it’s best for me to simply toss a stone across the glittering surface of memory and leave the depths undisturbed.

This is a spacer line.


UPDATE: And then what happened? Well, I turned the water back on…and the clamp held! Not a single drop of water dripped. The pipe is still dry one week later. Of course, it won’t hold forever…copper re-piping is definitely in our future.


One Response to Reunions. Retirements. Retrospectives.

  1. Great post Frank,
    I remember the Beatles playing in Hamburg , we as Jazz musician had our own heros.
    John Coltrane and Miles Davis come to mind.
    This was a time of great emotions– the sixties. November 1963.
    Love Walter& Jane

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