Monday, March 18, 2013

Back When We Were Beautiful

Since we last met, I've changed jobs and become a part of the corporate grind. Stressed beyond belief at the beginning, it's taken me almost nine months to accept and get used to the grind. One of the things my doctor said I can do for stress is write.

While I was gone, blogger moved my cheese so now I'll have to get used to this again. Let's see if I can post a picture...


Well, all right. Back in the saddle. So, it shall be written, that I will start to write again.
I spend a shit ton of time on the road now.
I will invest in drag and dictation which will hopefully transcribe my words onto a platform which will allow me to email it to myself, copy and paste and there we are.
It's good for me.
For You? You decide.

BTW, the picture is the last one I scanned over the weekend.
That is me, age 18, buffed and pissed at the world. Some how, this picture, taken at random by a guy trying to sell me a camera at Kmart or someplace, has made it through almost 40 years in my possession.

In the cruel justice that is life, I still can't find the pictures of me at Abbey Road studios with Alan Parsons. There is a picture of me somewhere sitting at the piano where Paul composed Let It Be.
It's somewhere. But, this seemingly random shot of me and my first wife Brenda (she looks happy to be there, huh?) survives to this day.
Look at that guy. Where did he go? That was the body of a guy who worked in the shop all day. Big arms, chest and shoulders from grinding, lifting and performing manual labor for 48 hours a week.
That's what my dad did. I wasn't long after that, I decided I didn't want to end up like my dad.
I have always wondered what happened to Brenda. We got married way too young under THE worst circumstances. I was 18, she was 17.
We were done three years later.

prom 74 in my GTO nice hair cut for prom, dude

I got zen lost while running about 7 years ago and ended up in her old neighborhood. Of course, I ran up and down her street about three times before going to the door of the house where she used to live. Leo (her dad)opened the door. He was always smaller than she was and ALWAYS smoked a cigar. Her house always stunk.. He looked at me for a long while and then said "Holy Mother of God where have YOU been?" and greeted me with a big hug. Pat (her mom) was on the phone obviously with one of Brenda's daughters. "I have to let you go", she said. "No, it's your mom's ex, not your dad, it's Randy." She gave me a hug and we filled in the blanks for a bit. I always loved her parents.
Apparently, Brenda's health was never good. She gained a great deal of weight and it was killing her. Her eyesight was bad, she had diabetes and a number of maladies. I had just ran 5 miles after all... and we all stopped to wonder...what if? I always admired Pat and Leo. Leo worked for the railroad and would be gone most of the week. He then had a part time job on the weekends and loved to work. He always told me..."work keeps you young". The thing I remember about Pat was her cat naps. She would set the stove timer to go off in 45 minutes and she would hit the couch, snoring soon after laying down.
The timer would go off, she'd get up, grab a smoke and be off...
Brenda sat in front of me in high school Latin. Don't ask why I took Latin, I just heard at was easy.
Crap. It wasn't
She was a 4'9" and sat down every day in front of me until I found out she was struggling in the class.

I asked her if I helped on a test, could I get a date? She was so cute.
I did, she did and we were off to experience a number of firsts name it, we tried it.
We got married in June of 74. I'm guessing the top picture is from not long after. Looks like summertime.
We worked too hard at it. I was small town restless and bored. I wanted something else out of life and gambled the certainty of making a living in the manufacturing world against the "pipe dream" (as my father called) it of a radio career.
Brenda didn't want to go the radio route. She was certain the thing was going to fall in like a house of cards. She was concerned I'd have to move and just didn't want to take the gamble with me. She did not want to follow the road less travelled. She then did the one thing any woman could do to drive a stake of betrayal into the heart of a man. It was over.
I remember trying to contact her after I got the news I was KC bound. I ended up telling her parents.
I have yet to see her since we spilt.

This all happened back when we were beautiful...which leads me to the video I have posted.

I saw Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell last night at he Peabody Opera House in St. Louis.
There are certain songs  that when heard, spawn incredible emotion.

Emmylou and Rodney performed "Back When We Were Beautiful" last night and it just hit me. It took my breath away and left me bawling like a baby. (I love music).What a perfect song at this point in my life. And it got me thinking of Brenda.

Prom night 73
"I guess you had to be there, she said, you had to be
She handed me a yellowed photograph
And then said, See
This was my greatest love, my one and only love
And this is me
Back when we were beautiful, see

I don't feel very different, she said, I know it's strange
I guess I've gotten used to these little aches and pains
But I still love to dance, you know we used to dance
The night away
Back when we were beautiful, beautiful, yes

I hate it when they say
I'm aging gracefully
I fight it every day
I guess they never see
I don't like this at all
What's happening to me
To me

But I really love my grandkids, she said, they're sweet to hold
They would have loved their grandpa
Those awful jokes he told
You know sometimes for a laugh, the two of us would act
Like we were old
Back when we were beautiful, beautiful, yes

But I guess you had to be there..."

Godspeed Brenda, wherever you are.
"...through the too many miles and the too little smiles... I still remember you...."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been there too....back in the day.

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