Thursday, November 19, 2009

Still Crazy After All These Years

Unless you've been under a rock all week, you should be aware that Sarah Palin, Wasilla Barbie herself, is doing a huge tour this week for her new book, Going Rogue: An American Life.

And if you're from my hometown of North Plainfield, NJ, you're probably also aware that she apparently spends a good deal of the book pointing her moose hunting rifle at John McCain's former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt. One of Steve Schmidt's less mentioned points from his lengthy political resume is that he graduated a year behind me in high school.

His mom, who stumbled upon my blog last year and became a regular reader, is probably breaking out in a sweat right now. It's OK, Mrs. Schmidt. I promise. :)

She has good reason to be nervous. Someone in this room (and it's not my dog) went a little crazy last fall during the election and skewered her son often by posting unflattering news and blog stories about him, of which there were quite a few. Something about the liberal media or somesuch... ;)

BUT what I want to share with you guys today is this...

I was listening to our local radio station's "9-at-9" show this morning, in which a year is featured at 9:00 am and nine songs from that year are played. I get a little giddy when the year falls in the 70s because they were happy musical times for me. Today's year was 1976 and one of the songs was Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years -- and I was immediately transported to a charter bus in France in 1985, sharing a dual set of headphones and a single Walkman with none other than Steve Schmidt.

Steve and I both liked Simon & Garfunkel and I had brought along the cassette tape of their 1981 concert in Central Park on the trip. If I remember correctly, we spent about 80% of our tour of the Loire Valley on that bus. And Steve and I listened to that tape over and over and over and over again. We listened to it and laughed about different parts. Something about our English teacher Ms. Gannon being irritated by the line, "...all the crap I learned in high school; it's a wonder I can think at all..." We both got a little homesick every time we heard America and its mention of the New Jersey Turnpike. And I distinctly remember one or both of us falling asleep to the tape many times, resting our heads together or on each other's shoulders.

And so I'm glad a year has gone by and everything has settled down. I'm glad Steve's mom sent me an email and I had a chance to apologize. I'm glad Steve to this day doesn't know about my blog and has never read the posts from last fall. And I'm glad that enough time has passed that when I hear an old Paul Simon song, I can think back on my time in France with an old friend and just smile.

Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you

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