Wednesday, November 24, 2010

looking back

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.

much love,


evencleveland said...

Happy Thanksgiving, lady.

Carlene said...

I love your view of that time. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

nicole said...

What a lovely post. Happy thanksgiving to you.

I also used to think the lyrics where "take a load off fanny", and got a big kick out of it. I love The Band. "The Night They Drove old Dixie Down" is the one that makes me super nostalgic. I remember thinking as a little kid how sad the story was. This was way before I knew anything about the Civil War.

Michelle said...

love it...we must ne somewhat close in age...we had that same green carpet...shag at that. Have a blessed Thanksgiving...

Anonymous said...

I get goose bumps at the start of this song every time. Thanks for sharing your story - It's nice thinking about that little town that I also grew up in, but in a different time. I remember as a 13 year old hanging out at the college and not understanding why some of the students would get annoyed. Haha - I totally got it when I finally got to college! Happy Thanksgiving Liane!

Kickcan and Conkers said...

Happy Thanksgiving Liane to you and all your family.

tara said...

this post is wonderful, liane.
thinking of you.
(the band was my summer soundtrack this year)
and take a load off of that fanny, okay?

Alicia said...

Happy Thanksgiving

ethan said...

awwwwww, happy thanksgiving momma. i miss you guys already