Wednesday September 1, 1999 - 10:43:37 PM
One of my favorite things to do is to recall in a daydreaming sort of way the happy times of my past. I can never tell what small thing seen, heard, smelled, or noticed- what synaesthetic conjunction of objects, events, and situations will launch my mind off on a trip into the past.
This evening it was a song. As I was checking my email and the websites I monitor daily (woe unto the sad, bereaved followers of The Comic Strip Cornucopia but on a lighter note, Yo T-7, my new partner in co-branded media domination), one of my favorite internet programs Spinner was playing music to me in the background. On a whim I had selected the channel called "Psychedelic". I was not impressed with what was playing and was about to change the channel when Spinner alerted me that the next artist to be played would be Jefferson Airplane. JA, is one of my favorite musical groups- in fact it is my nominal favorite group. This unexpected dose of audio gold (one of my favorite songs too: "Turn My Life Down") set my mind meandering down a path in the sunny forest of memory...
<Background>Like everyone else who listens to classic rock radio, I had heard the songs "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" and dug them, but I hadn't had any deeper exposure to JA until the late 80s when I met someone who would prove to be one of my best lifelong pals (but not the one to whom the email in the previous issue was addressed, sorry, Neil) Neil Short.
When I graduated from high school, I went to a small Christian college in Henderson, TN. My Mom had gone there, my uncle had three children there at the time I attended and the son of the man who was preacher for the church we go to also was going there at the time I did. In fact, Neil was his roommate. That is how Neil and I met. Dexel, the pk (pk- slang term for "preacher's kid" frequently used in a semi-derogatory manner, but not by me- Hi, Dexel!) introduced me to his roommate in my first days on campus. At first I thought, Neil was a little odd, but when I soon realized he actually is a little odd, we hit it off and became (and remain) good friends.
I remember many lazy Saturday afternoons ("Saturday Afternoon" is a JA song) spent loafing around listening to JA and reading "Lord Jim" by Joseph Conrad. Conrad is my favorite author and I must pay credit and admit my cultural indebtedness- Neil also introduced me to Conrad. He had a ragged beat up old copy of "Lord Jim" laying around that I imagine he probably had been dragging around since it had been assigned reading in high school. He had never finished it, though. I don't think he has to this day, but I happened to pick it up and was hooked. From "Lord Jim" I jumped to "The Heart of Darkness" and then to "The Secret Sharer" and on and on.
I remember spending sunny afternoons listening to JA and reading Conrad and then later in the evening inviting Neil to buy me (I was a shameless and penniless mooch for most of my college carreer) a pizza sub at Perrigo's, the pizza joint down the street from the school. Y'know, if he had any money himself, he usually did, too.
Hey, Neil, I love you, Man- Crank up "2400 Fulton" for me!
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