Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Yesterday, December 7, 2020 was Vanessa’s and my thirty second wedding anniversary. One has to wonder sometimes if there is any reason for why things evolve the way they do or of Brownian motion is the sum of all things. In the last analysis I’m not sure that it matters one way or the other although it would be nice if life’s moments were to fit neatly into a box.
Since they don’t it’s probably at the very least a minor miracle that couples not only stay together but that they do so out of not only love but unforeseen commitment. At the end of each day the roll call of events is a testament to almost divine synchronicity. With this in mind I am so grateful that my family is intact. The fourteen year addition of our daughter Izze is another one of those amazing blessings that surround our lives with light. How good does it have to get?
There was another milestone for me when I woke this morning. Chuck Yeager passed yesterday at 97. When I was a kid I thought I wanted to be a lot of things. I looked up to my grandfather Ben who was a research bacteriologist. ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I might be asked. ‘I want to be a scientist like my grandfather,’ was the reply. My grandfather had all kinds of cool looking stuff he would show me in his lab. Microscopes, exotic glass things, tubing, stainless steel items… I guess I figured when I got older all that stuff would somehow come to me and then I’d be a scientist. Reality wakes you from your dreams like it or not and still at that young age it became apparent that to be a scientist was more than possessing gadgets. There was math involved and more.
It was not for me.
One of the other careers that was not for me was to be a famous pilot. Growing up in the 40’s what kid my age didn’t want to be a pilot. To soar above the earth at unimaginable speeds doing unimaginable things… well, a lofty set of goals indeed.
Back in the 40’s I was growing up in the D.C. area where my dad was still working at the Department of Labor. The District Of Columbia, city of museums, had much to offer for a kid like me. The crown jewel was the Smithsonian air museum. Now it is the National Air and Space Museum. Back then it was less than that and in a way more. I took the bus and the trolley from Chevy Chase circle down to 600 Independence Ave. by myself which in itself was an exciting feat for a kid who wasn’t even ten years old yet.
The Bell X-1 was there hanging from the ceiling. Chuck Yeager had just broken the sound barrier for first time and even though it was kept secret at the time ultimately Chuck was publicly honored and the Bell X-1 was hung for all to see. For some reason my house of memories has a room in which I actually saw Chuck Yeager at the Museum, but I probably just imagined it for so long that I came to believe it. In any case, in an era when I would write to aircraft companies and request photos of their cool planes to hang on the wall, my photo of the X-1 in my bedroom was as exciting as imagining a trip to the International Space Station.
I remember picking up my friend Michael Falzarano once at the Yeager International Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. Yeager’s memory alive and well in Charleston was a fine thing to behold.
So, December 7, 2020… Pearl Harbor, Chuck Yeager’s passing and Vanessa’s and my 32nd wedding anniversary. In the last analysis today, obviously the latter is foremost in my mind, but they are all in the mix in the heart of this old guitar player.
Happy anniversary Vanessa. You are not only an angel, you are my angel. And Chuck, rest in peace. You were a part of my life and in a way you still are!
PS On another note, does anyone know which Quarantine Concert Jack and I played Things That Might Have Been. I know we did it, but I screwed up the set list… I think. Help appreciated and thanks in advance. ( That would be in the most recent shows Jack and I did.)