Here it is, February already. In a couple of months, I’ll be celebrating my 73rd trip around old Sol. Yeah, I’m just as surprised at that as many folks who knew me back when, well, those that are still with us anyway!! And, oh yeah, No! I am not going gently into that good night!
“Hey, Siri, directions to becoming a rock star.”
As I’ve aged, I’ve figured out there is much to be considered when remembering Frost’s words, “…and miles to go before I sleep.” I still get awakened from my already screwed-up sleep pattern, with lyrics and ideas in my mind. Sometimes I write them down; more often, I hope I can remember them and roll over and try to sleep… again. And eventually, the pen hits the paper, the guitar hits the words, and the song is born. Now, to find a venue and in it an ear to which to sing it. That’s the path that the GPS of life directs me. Sounds simple. It is, but it ain’t easy! Well, not in my seventies, it isn’t. I’ve always liked Mickey Mantle’s comment, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!” Yeah, well, now my wife can say, “Too late!”
I’m an artist, a singer/songwriter, and an entertainer; at least, that’s what I try to be. The fact that there are some people who seem to like what I do and continue to come to listen and hang out with me for a while kind of attests to that! Of all the careers I could have had, this was the one that chose me! And I am ever so thankful that it did. I have met some amazing people; rock stars, blues stars, and tons of just regular people that share my love of music and helped fashion the man I’ve become.
I made it through the excess-fueled ‘60s and the turbulent ‘70s. I made it through needles, trips, and booze. I made it past the hardships of a self-imposed rambling lifestyle, sleeping in boxes behind supermarkets (waxed ones are best, the rain just rolls off them.) I’ve been welcomed in hobo jungles along the Chattahoochee River and listened to goodbyes coming from inside boxcars as the travelers headed to the next town. I learned how to make friends with some pretty vicious dogs in my life, some even on four legs. It’s all in the eyes. Mine are old and have seen much. You have to read the signs!
Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening,” describes an artist’s life perfectly when he says,
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
This is a crazy business, and if I let it, will make me a cranky old man. What? Did I hear my wife say, “Too late!”