I’m pretty sure this can’t last forever, but for now I LOVE everything. Seriously. Bear brings in lilac branches I don’t think, “You stupid dog. Now I have to clean up after you.” I think, “Oh, lilac branches.” I’ve been rejuvenated by my hip replacement.
One of my small pleasures (sometimes not so small) is listening to a radio station from San Diego every Sunday morning. The program? “Legends of Alternative.” I’ve written about it before. It’s really and truly one of the absolutely LEAST important things happening the world today (or any day). The DJ, a Brit named Steve West, was the DJ of my favorite radio station (91X) back in the 80s/90s. I listened to him every day on my drive home from school — he had the afternoon slot. I can’t hear his voice without imagining the loop from College onto the I-8 West and the trip home. For a time, home was in Hillcrest, a block from Balboa Park. Later home was in City Heights, a sketchy neighborhood where some of my friends and/or colleagues wouldn’t park their cars.
A lot’s happened in the thirty years and it’s not like I can’t listen to the same music via any number of free or paid streaming platforms through my phone. Huh? In 1985 such a thought was — well, there was no such thought. I just sat in front of my Amiga trying to write stories and ending up writing letters to people I could’ve called on the phone or met for coffee (I wanted a Mac like the one belonging to a neighbor; he’d let me borrow it for a month) but the ex, (a programmer for Convair) was more impressed by the Amiga which just shows you shouldn’t always listen to experts.
He’s no longer on 91X but has moved over to their competitor, 94.9.
From time to time, via the medium of Facebook, I request a song. Steve West invariably plays it and mentions “Martha in the little town of Monte Vista, Colorado” and like a 7th grader I’m thrilled. The song is usually what Tracy from “Reflections of an Untidy Mind” has very accurately identified as my “Anthem.” It’s not like I don’t have various recordings of this song (CD, cassette tape [yes, really]) but I like hearing it on the radio. I also like the fact that the first time I heard the song it was spun on a turntable by this self-same Steve West back in 1986. And, he loves the song. What could be better? He’s even played various mixes for me. Yeah, 7th grader…
It’s a silly Sunday ritual but a sweet one. One old song after the other comes out of my speakers and I savor the nostalgia or wince at the horror, depending. He has a slight predilection for the more cheerful songs of the era, Morrissey excepted. He seems to think that Ministry was a better band before they went all “dark and industrial” (I disagree) but from time to time he’ll play a legit punk song, usually something familiar to people, like “God Save the Queen.” That’s OK. I know the truth. I heard his interviews with Johnny Rotten and Jello Biafra.
Meanwhile, back to the slowly reduced number of chores on the “escalator of life” out here in the “wild, wild west.”