Monday, October 3, 2011

Gone Again


He sat at the word processor, fingers resting gently on the polished black plastic keys. So much had happened in the past few days. It would be difficult to put into words, but somehow he mst try. He swirled the ice cubes in his drink and looked out across the ancient gray lake, timeless in the early morning sun. From this height on the balcony, people and their affairs seemed small indeed. But how to begin? It came to him: as always, begin at the beginning…

"Gone Again" is the title of a folkie Tom Rush song that he wrote, I think about 1968 or so, about his ramblin’ ways.  We saw Tom with Tom Paxton and I think it was Mary Chapin Carpenter a few years ago at Wolf Trap. Tom looks grayer (don’t all of us guys of a certain age?) but still sounds as good as he did in the late sixties when we used to go to Boston from college in Connecticut to catch his show at the Club 47 in Boston.  I suppose he achieved a kind of regional fame.  For me, one his best renditions was a cover of Eric von Schmidt’s “Joshua Gone Barbados” which was about a brutally suppressed strike by cane workers in Jamaica.

Anyhow, I think Becky and I could sing “Gone Again” since we’re on another trip, this time to a wedding of a young man we have known since he was Amy’s best male friend at William and Mary, Class of ’99. Scott is a fine young fellow who has a brilliant IT career and travels all over.  This is our first destination wedding, to Stowe, Vermont. As I write this, we’re on a United turboprop operated by Colgan Airways. I haven’t flown a turboprop since about 1968 and the turbulence we are experiencing now is a reminder of why I don’t miss them. I thought this was a pure jet powered flight so I didn’t bother to check, but I think all flights from D.C. to Burlington VT are turboprops. Although Burlington calls itself an international airport I think that means there are small aircraft coming in from Canada.  We’ll see.

We have been gone more this summer than any other since we were married, with the Harmony International Choral tour to Germany and France (described for you in Biscuit City) and our annual trip to Lynchburg to teach at the Baptist State Music Camp at the Eagle Eyrie Baptist Assembly in the mountains to the west of the city (also described in Biscuit City. including an account of dancing Baptists).  The time away has been unique and good. We sang some fine anthems in Germany and France and taught the next generation of church musicians. Now we’re on our way to another unique experience.  I’ll report on our time in Vermont, where I have not been since I was a freshman in college, visiting my best friend at Middlebury College for a week during spring break, eating and trying (unsuccessfully) to meet women. So much has changed in 45 years.  We’ll see how things strike me now. Thanks for reading.

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