Monday, January 13, 2020

Old Friends

Actually, we stumbled over that and settled on laughing as I said "We've been friend for a long time."

We fell into one another's arms the way you do with a woman you used to see several times a week, in and around town, at meetings and doing good deeds with our daughters, at parties and on girls' nights out in the city.

We all left Marin when our kids finished school there; since then we've kept in touch on the interwebs. But she was traveling with her husband and their son, for business, and they'd be in Tucson on Thursday.  A plan was made.

I saw her sitting at the table in the lobby where wares are hawked.  I noticed and disregarded the customers. I pushed aside a folding chair, and listened to her describing us as old????? friends....ugh. as we hugged, and looked at one another, and hugged and smiled and got teary all at the same time.

Our girls are mothers themselves, now.  We, of course, haven't changed a bit.  We were so very glad to see one another.  We spent a lot of time grinning and being glad.

It was a connection to a huge part of my life wth which I'm gradually losing touch.  We could only think of a few families who still lived in town.  I know more about my children's peers than I do my own. Sitting and chatting with a friend from a certain era was a quick trip back in time and place and cadence and shorthand and a relaxation .... like putting on your comfy slippers.

Then Miss Vickie and I found our seats and watched her husband and her son.
Booker T. Jones has the same silky voice, the same mega-watt smile (the first thing Miss Vickie noted when he came out on stage), the same delightful combination of diffidence and pride that I remembered from our time as neighbors.

The matter of fact way he tells about just walking into Stax because it was right there, in the neighborhood, is no different than his stories of recording with Sam Cook, or Otis Redding, or of writing Green Onions, the #13 song in America before he went off, at 17, for his freshman year at Indiana University.

He drove back to Memphis every weekend.

The man is capable of being many things at once.

I knew him as a father, and so did Little Cuter.  "I go to school with his daughter," she whispered in Cleveland, staring at her friend's father immortalized forever in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Her face - a smiling mixture of surprise and awe and NO f'ing WAY! -  is one of my favorite memories of all time.

And so I sat in the audience at the Rialto Theatre, next to a friend I haven't seen in much too long, basking in the glow of another down the way.  Watching the father and son .... the son I remember as all legs in soccer shorts.... the son now making music on stage, touring with his dad....... I'm trying, denizens, but I'm at a loss for words.


  1. Absolute perfection. That connection with times gone by is so very special.


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