Wednesday, November 24, 2010
it was the summer before my mother's freshman year in college when she got pregnant with me. when she realized it just a couple months into her freshman year she withdrew and my parents were married. my father was also a new college student and i was born in the small new hampshire town where he was going to school. the same town i live in now.
the short story is that my parents divorced when i was 4. i has a little sister by that time. my mother stayed in new hampshire and my father moved back to long island, new york.
the early 1970s, as you well know, was all bell-bottoms and long hair. i grew up surrounded by young adults who were hippies. and even though the personal story of my childhood has it's share of bumps. sometimes big ones. it's true that the general feeling in the air was mellow. as a kid the politics of the time was a non-issue. i recall a sense of general relaxation. of just sit back and enjoy the moment. pot and peace signs and all that.
in first grade all the kids in my class were matched up with students from the small college in my town, the same one my dad attended. funnily enough, all the matches were girl to girl and boy to boy except me and mine. i was matched up with richie.
the first day richie came over i was on my front lawn doing cartwheels. he was a young jewish guy with a huge grin and even bigger frizzy hair. it was kind of like a giant triangular shaped afro.
my most vivid memory of richie invoved the song "the weight" by the band. he played it on the old piano in my house. i learned all the words. i sat on the piano bench next to him or danced on the old green carpet nearby. i loved the song. i loved the fact that it sounded like they were saying "take a load off fannie" instead of annie. i loved all the crazy characters and nonsense of it. i really loved that richie knew how to play it on the piano.
i still love the song now. as an adult with a lot to look back on. with beautiful moments but also with many more burdens and hard times than i ever imagined as a 6 year old, i recognize the message of mercy and of having someone willing to help ease some of the burden. i also like that there is some absurdity in the song. some silliness. because a sense of humor is priceless when things are tough. was just thinking about it so i figured i share it with you.
have a great thanksgiving if you are are in the states.