Last week I received a call from my old friend Dave. I am always happy when I hear from Dave because he is one of my oldest and most cherished friends. We were buddies in grade school and became close throughout high school and beyond. We shared a lot of mistakes, experiences and memories and I assumed that we would always be around for each other. Eventually time and distance separated our bond and we didn’t speak for over ten years. This lost connection was not the result of a disagreement or falling out, Life just had other plans for us that demanded our attention.
Growing up everyone enjoyed Dave’s company because he was unlike many in our gang. He was kind, generous and humble. He was respectful to our girlfriends and was a gentleman to the girls that he dated. As adults these are attributes that we expect from one another but for the 16 year old boy’s psyche, these qualities were truly unique. Dave’s calm, rational approach would often be the voice of reason when we would allow our youth and inexperience to place us in harm’s way. Unfortunately for us, we were much better at persuading Dave to join in our blunders than he was at coaxing us back to reason.
Last year I was visiting some family members near where I knew that Dave lived and I tracked him down. He visited my family for a while and, although not surprised, I was relieved to find out that he is the same happy go lucky guy who helped me drink my parent’s beer on days that we skipped school. We reminisced and caught up on the major events that we each missed during our prolonged mutual silence. I realized that my appreciation and respect for my old pal had not subsided after all this time.
One characteristic that we shared was that we both have always enjoyed music that is older than we are. This shared appreciation was the content of Dave’s call to me. He let me know about a Gordon Lightfoot concert early next year. It is at a venue approximately equi-distant from our homes and it took only a matter of minutes for us to agree that it would be a great show to see. Plans were made post haste and we will buy tickets as soon as they become available.
Gordon Lightfoot is a great analogy for this old friendship. Gordon named his tour the “80 Years Strong Tour” because he will be 81 years old at the time of this concert. His calm, melancholy, soothing music is filled with raw emotion and evokes in me a deep nostalgia for times and relationships of bygone days. Gordon’s journey at 80+ years old is exemplification that friendship bonds, just like good music, can stay relevant through the achievements and tribulations of a lifetime.
I look forward to this concert by this old musician with my old companion. We will tell old jokes and relive old memories. What’s old will be new again. I can’t wait.
If you are unfamiliar with Gordon Lightfoot’s music I have included a few of the more popular (and my favorite) songs. I encourage you to take a listen and I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.
Rainy Day People (1975)
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitgerald (1976)
Do you have any music that reminds you of a different time? What are you listening to this Saturday evening? When you have finished sampling Gordon Lightfoot, post a YouTube song that you enjoy and let us know how you are connected to it.