It is past my bedtime…a week ago…or maybe not. Ever since the US officially tried to change the time of day, and especially this year, i remain confused about Daylight Savings Time.
i don’t mind it, mind you. There is something that fills me with calmness walking down a pier on the bay before first light, but otherwise, i am much like our house-bound cats: i am ready to eat when it’s time to eat regardless of some mandate trying to move time.
i am up later than usual, trying to get my clock oriented to yet another government dictate, this time it’s time. i should be doing a myriad of tasks: setting up programs to track taxes, budgets, meeting personal obligations, putting some order in this nonsensical mess of an office so i can find something when i want it, cleaning up this computer’s files, cataloguing photographs…damn, i’m tired just thinking about it. And i had one hell of a time today accomplishing a ten-minute task in just under three hours. Yes, it was dealing with a government bureaucracy gone haywire. And i was doubly tired, especially of working.
So tired, i collapsed under the weight and after dinner, went back about thirty years or so to get my bearings. Back then, my residence was a two-bedroom, two story apartment on 8th and E in Coronado. I was a rip-roaring single U.S. Navy commander with my occasional apartment mate and shipmate, “Go Ugly Early” JD Waits (it was before he met Mary Lou the second time). The stereo system was almost constantly playing in that apartment.
So i took out a couple of my favorite LP’s from that era — yes, i am an antique and still play my records occasionally — sat in my office, read a bit but mostly listened, escaping to not necessarily better times, but certainly more carefree times of my past.
i had intended to listen to only one cut from Buffalo Springfield’s “Best of…” album, “For What It’s worth.” But it got me in the mood, and i listened to the whole damn thing, marveling at just how good that music was.
Sometime during that apartment stay, before JD moved out and then the two of us moved to bachelor heaven, a upstairs condo in the Coronado Cays with our patio looking down on our boat slip and JD’s new 25-foot Cal sailboat, Maureen, whom i had started dating, loaned me her Keith Jarrett album, “The Kðln Concert,” an incredible virtuoso solo performance through four LP sides. Jarrett’s spread of musical allure still captivates me.
Finally, i went for the gusto, and put on the three-record album of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which crossed all sorts of musical boundaries.
i had become enamored of the group when i bought their album “Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddi” without having a clue who they were or what they sang. But it was 1970, and i was sailing between Sasebo, Japan (where i bought the record in the Navy Exchange), Pusan, Korea, and Vietnam, where we debarked new ROK troops or embarked them to take them home. But i liked the album cover of the old man and his dog. It turned out i loved their music, especially their version of “Mister Bojangles.”
So when they convinced all of the great country music stars of two generations to join them in an album released in 1972, i lined up to be an early purchaser of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
As i listened to the band play with Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clement, Mama Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Roy Acuff, and on and on and on, i could not believe how such good music it was again.
Tonight, i will sleep well.
Goodnight, Doc, Earl, Maybelle, Nitty Gritty’s, and you too Keith Jarrett, Steve Stills, Neil Young, and all of you other folks who made the music of my past.