The Commander

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This morning, I received an email from my friend Tom.  Tom is a former fellow band member from back home.  T and I have stayed in touch (somewhat) with Tom and his wife.  He was emailing to tell me that our former bass player, Bob, had recently died.  While that was sad, it wasn’t surprising news.  Bob was well into his eighties, and I had known that his health had been failing.  What surprised me most was that Tom asked me to call him as soon as I had a chance to talk.  I replied that I would give him a call when I headed out for lunch.

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Sylvia’s Mother

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I’ve been a little obsessed with the song, Sylvia’s Mother performed by Dr. Hook for the past few days.  I have a long history with Sylvia and her mother.  The song was a track on one of the first albums I ever owned.  Yes, I had it on vinyl.  It was on my first album, K-tel’s Believe in Music – 22 Original Hits.  I had a little portable record player, and I listened to that album over and over.  Sylvia’s Mother was one of my favorite songs on the album.  I could practically feel the singer’s pain as he begged Sylvia’s mom to allow him to speak to her daughter.  I wished with all my heart that Mrs. Avery would put Sylvia on the phone.  I could imagine the caller plugging dimes into the payphone, which I was sure had to be located in a rainy, bustling place while he implored her for the chance to say goodbye.  He just wanted to say goodbye, but Mrs. Avery and the nagging operator didn’t care.  As a little girl, I felt so bad for him.  Gosh, he must have really loved Sylvia.  I wondered if I would ever break a man’s heart by marrying a fella down Galveston way.  I hoped so! Continue Reading »

What Does Aging Really Mean?

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I turned 50 a few months ago.  There.  I said it.  (Or wrote it.)  I’ve refused to acknowledge the fact that I’m past the half century mark.  Most likely, my life is more than half over.  What do I have to look forward to besides wrinkles, sags, and memory loss?  I’m struggling to find anything good about aging.  I’ve tried on a few platitudes for size.  “I’m grateful for all the good things in my life.”  “Life has been an amazing journey.”  Blah, blah, blah…  My children are wonderful, happy, and healthy.  I have a successful career.  I don’t have the financial worries that plagued my life in younger days.  Yeah, great.  I also don’t have my youth.  That was worth something, wasn’t it?   Continue Reading »