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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, February 8, 2013

Song for Friday...for an old friend...

I've had one of those weeks when I've felt like there's a greater power out there,
something much bigger than me. When somehow, all the right things align.
I was up on Denman Island where I lived about 32 years ago, strolling down memory
lane with friends I've had for just about as many years.
The 3 hour drive up triggered flashbacks to places and people who
are only in the past now. Some who've passed on and some who
faded out of my life as people do.
When I got back to Sooke, I was early for work so I did the usual peruse
through the thrift stores. While I was in the Sally Ann, I ran into
a workmate who shares my love for a lot of things, mainly music.
We were standing by the cd's chatting and there happened to be an old Bonnie Raitt
record (the actual vinyl) propped up against the shelf.
I said "I use to have that album, it's a really good one."
Claire said "you should buy it, it's only .75 cents."
I picked it up and took it out of it's sleeve and indeed it was still in good shape.
Then I told her a story about the record I had once owned.
When my daughter was in grade 1 (25 years ago) I met another mom waiting for her son
outside the classroom. We got to know each other a bit and would chat most
days waiting for the kids to come out.
One day she mentioned that she was a budding singer and I asked her
if she knew of Bonnie Raitt...Bonnie wasn't famous like she is now and I had
about 5 of her older albums which I offered to lend to this woman
so she could check her out.
Anyway, life went on and summer holidays came and went and  I never
saw the woman or my Bonnie Raitt albums again.
I don't even remember her name but I think her son's name was Luke.
I'm sure she didn't intend to keep them but sometimes these things just
happen and you keep thinking, oh I'll get them back someday.
I bought the Bonnie Raitt album, brought it home and the next
morning I decided to give it a spin on the old turntable (yes we still have one!).
As I picked it up and turned it over to look at the year it came out...
there were my initials!! No lie!
K.O... in faded permanent marker.
I always initialled my records just in case.
So here was MY ALBUM!
Who knows how or why but it came back to me...25 years later in a different town
than where I lived when I lent this woman my records!
When I put the record on I found myself quite weepy.
I actually got emotional about it and remembered an old friend in particular
who died of a brain tumor 10 years ago. Jay Poulsen. 
Her and I would listen to this album all the time (that and Joni Mitchell)
drinking white wine, in various houses where each of us lived throughout the years.
When I played the record a few days ago, it was as if an old friend had come back
and indeed she did, her and several other faces from the past.
It felt good to connect again, even if it was only in spirit.
A similar story happened to my friend Norene who bought this pair of boots
in a thrift store...
Turns out, one night her sister-in-law was over for dinner and after close inspection
announced that these were the boots she wore while travelling around Europe in the '70s!
She knew because she had them resoled in a particular way and
gave them to the thrift store after not wearing them anymore.
So there you go.
Call it serendipity.
It's just good to know that life can be Oh so sweet sometimes!
So this song is for my old friend Jay, who's long gone now
and my new friends Claire (for talking me into buying the record)
 and Norene (for her fun boots story.)
Roll on girls! 

Have a great weekend all!!


Stone Angel said...

Astounding and wonderful!!

Willow said...

Well the stroll through blogland this week has been lovely with the highlights of Joni M and Bonnie R. . How cool are these girls !
I know two lovely songbirds that I am going to get together with and listen to on this very stormy New England weekend. The governor announced, stay off the roads and batten the hatches we are in for a big one!

Suz said...

oh my goodness
I got goosebumps!

gz said...

just a cosmic chuckle from Fate!!

Anonymous said...

oh, the way life stirs the layers for us! i've been recently listening to pandora when i am on my walks and time and again, certain songs play that can just about send me to my knees. in particular, a few lightfoot songs. what a lovely post.

Dan V said...

Great story, Farmlass!

I came here looking for Fable Cottage...

I heard that when Frank Morgan was cast for his role as the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, he went to the wardrobe to search for an appropriate jacket. He found the perfect fitting coat, and when he looked at the label, the coat had formerly belonged to Frank L. Baum, the story's author.


"The story behind the jacket selected for this second shot (and ultimately used in the film itself) is one of the most curious of all Oz anecdotes: A tattered coat selected from a local second-hand shop by MGM's wardrobe department turned out to be a garment originally owned by Oz author L. Frank Baum himself. Once gainsaid as "an example of the lies press agents are willing to tell in order to get a story in print," the story of the jacket's origins was retold and affirmed by Aljean Harmetz in her book The Making of The Wizard of Oz:
What definitely did occur on The Wizard of Oz — perhaps the most astonishing thing that did occur — was dismissed as a publicity stunt. Yet it is vouched for by [cinematographer] Hal Rosson and his niece Helene Bowman and by Mary Mayer, who served briefly as the unit publicist on the picture. "For Professor Marvel's coat," says Mary Mayer, "they wanted grandeur gone to seed. A nice-looking coat but very tattered. So the wardrobe department went down to an old second-hand store on Main Street and bought a whole rack of coats. And Frank Morgan and the wardrobe man and [director] Victor Fleming got together and chose one. It was kind of a Prince Albert coat. It was black broadcloth and it had a velvet collar, but the nap was all worn off the velvet." Helene Bowman recalls the coat as "ratty with age, a Prince Albert jacket with a green look."

The coat fitted Morgan and had the right look of shabby gentility, and one hot afternoon Frank Morgan turned out the pocket. Inside was the name "L. Frank Baum."

"We wired the tailor in Chicago," says Mary Mayer, "and sent pictures. And the tailor sent back a notarized letter saying that the coat had been made for Frank Baum. Baum's widow identified the coat, too, and after the picture was finished we presented it to her. But I could never get anyone to believe the story."
That an old coat of Baum's might have turned up in a local second-hand clothes shop was certainly plausible, as the author resided in Hollywood for the latter part of his life. However, as the only documentation presented to back up the veracity of this story in Harmetz's book was the decades-old recollections of a studio publicist, we're still skeptical about how much of the tale might be true and what portion of it might be legend."

But these kind of coincidences happen ALL THE TIME!

-Dan Vie
Courtenay BC