Monday, July 01, 2002

Tick, Tock, Tick...

Late last night, I was driving to my mother's house in Smithfield, Rhode Island, from my sister Ann's house in Wrentham, Massachusetts. I was on Route 114, a two-lane secondary road that is near the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border. This road is typical of many in Southern New England, largely tree-lined, with houses here and there, and a few stores and gas stations along the way. This road looks almost exactly the same as it did when I was a child.

As I drove along the road, no other cars in sight, the live version of the Steve Miller Band's song "Fly Like an Eagle" came on the radio. The significance of the live version is that it's not one of those tracks (like the studio version) that's been played into the ground and robbed of most of its ability to evoke any memories at all. I thought about when that song was out for the first time.

The funky extended intro of the song is getting going, Steve's guitar is dancing around the core melody. Suddenly its 1976, and I'm nine years old, riding on a backroad with one of my older siblings. These days, I journal my travels, I take photos and digital video, and those things all help me recall the past. But for that brief moment last night, it was no record of the past, it was an experience of the past, through the sounds, sights, and even the sweet, thick, early-summer New England air that all transported me back to my childhood for a few minutes.


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