Friday, February 22, 2008

Carb Loading

I was just on watching clip after clip of David Gates. Now I feel all, I dunno, nostalgic, sad, sweet, cozy.

If they were playing music in the labor room when I was born, it really must have been Bread. I don't think there's another sound that conjures my very earliest memories so strongly.

I didn't even know it until recently. I bummed some music from my brother-in-law's collection, as is my wont. I remember thinking, hmm, seems to me I like Bread (toast is maybe one of my favorite foods, but that's a different post all together). So I'm on the red-eye a couple of months later and I can't sleep because beforehand I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to sleep, and well, there you have it. I thought, iPod, let's give that the old college try. So I curled up in an impossible ball against the window, dialed through my song selections, saw The Best of Bread, and selected it. Sigh. It was dark, the plane was quiet except that it was incredibly loud. And suddenly amorphous memories of my first years came swirling into my brain as David Gates sang "Make it with You." I could have cried. And then "Everything I Own," which an old boyfriend of mine used to sing super plaintively and I always loved it, but without that David Gates voice, I didn't truly recognize it.

On the airplane I swam in and out of consciousness and memories and comfort. In fact, I suspect that's where the roots of this blog, um, took, uh, root. I've talked to you about nostalgia. Sorta. I'm not always crazy lost in thoughts of my youth, I swear. And again, I say, I'm not enamored of youth; it's overrated. But it is a nice place to visit. And I've especially been enjoying visiting pre-youth, before I have any solid memories, just flashes. Driving down leafy winding roads to Elizabeth Lake where we swam every day in the summer. The car radio, I believe, planted these song seeds deep in my brain. Many of the memories Bread brings back are from driving. CKLW, the soundtrack of my life, summer early 70s, Detroit suburbs. Driving to my mom's salon where she got her weekly bouffant. Driving to my grandparents' house. Interestingly, summer memories, never winter. Winter, fall, and spring seem to have their very own memory triggers.

You wanna know what started all this? I was watching "The Goodbye Girl." Remember the song? As soon as the credits rolled and that insanely distinctive voice filled the room, I was back with my sister Megan mooning over Richard Dreyfuss.

Well then, what do I want you to take away from all this? I guess I want you to have flashes of memory yourself. Not so much memories of people or events, but of ambiance, of feel, of warm wind through the car window, feeling snug with your big siblings around you, soft lake water washing up around your toes.

Oh yeah, and apparently Quinn Cummings has a blog. And she lives in my old neighborhood. Thought that was kind of cool.


joanna said...

Okay, yet another of your antectodes that confirm we led parallel childhoods. You captured with near precision the essence of my early Bread experience.

There was a window of time when I was four-ish, when my older brother and sister were in grade school, my mom hadn't yet gone back to work, and I was in pre-school - leaving me with extra alone/quality -time with her (my mom). Whenever I pop Anthology of Bread into my cd player, I am instantly riding shotgun next to my mom (yes, on a sunny day, for sure). We're in our baby blue Grand Torino station wagon, running errands around Eugene, OR. The songs that makes ME especially weepy: Baby I'm a Want You and Aubrey. So Far Away by Carole King can also start the waterworks quite easily.

Such innnocence. Such tenderness.

I just Googled David Gates and check this shit out: he and I were born on the same day - precisely 30 years apart...1940 and 1970, respectively. Heretofore, the ONLY celebrities that I was aware shared my birthday were Rita Moreno and Fiorello LaGuardia. The warm fuzzies have now increased, tenfold.

Thanks for the bittersweetness, my friend.

Peppermint Patty said...

I love, love, love David gates and Bread. I am sincerely PMSing, and your description of listening to them.. and your childhood memories.. has me about to burst into tears over my applesauce. Patty