So instead of spending my two days off from work tearing into a shed that needs to be sorted and emptied and into the kitchen that needs emptying and pitching the clutter that has multiplied in the living room and finishing sorting so that I can call a local non-profit to have them come pick up the remnants, I go through the terrabyte of music on my hard drive looking for tracks to add to the audio stream at americansunriseradio.us, voicetracking some, others just copying.
I don't remember which track it was, but it took me back to 1969. Emporia, Kansas. Maybe it was something posted on Facebook a few weeks ago that started sweeping the cobwebs of my old home town. My father, an over the road truck driver for the late Santa Fe Trail Transportation, found himself needing to move the family as all the routes out of Emporia were being abolished, and at twelve, I found myself leaving the only home I had ever known and moving to the big city.
Many of my friends promised to stay in touch. But twelve year olds have a lot more on their mind at that age than writing old friends. But two of them did. More than writing, the recorded a cassette tape. Now, mind you, when we think of recording a tape, it's usually some sort of letter or mixtape or songs recorded off the radio.
These two recorded music. Original music. Music they had written. For 12, it was amazing. Maybe I was just young, or lonely, or missing them badly, or just 12 year old hormones, but it was very professional and heartfelt and made me feel special. It stuck with me all these years.
I got back into Emporia one time after I got my drivers licence and had the chance to look up my old friends. Marty Jones was married with a baby, and Kelley Wade was performing a gig somewhere on my way back to Kansas City. Cool, I thought. Unfortunately I never found where the gig was -- Lebo, Williamsburg, somewhere along the way. Yes, I was badly scattered back then. I'm worse now. Age hasn't been kind.
So I contact my one friend from those days on Facebook, Nancy, and ask her if she's heard either of them.
Imagine my surprise to find out that the lovely pre-teen I knew as Kelley Wade was now the grown-up and still very lovely Kelley Hunt!
I. was. floored.
I spent hours -- hours -- HOURS -- listening, reliving, remembering, and making new memories with the music that can only be classified as Americana. Blues, Rock, Soul, and sweet sweet ballads, two of which I added to the Audio Stream from her 2011 album Gravity Loves You . (Hear samples at the link.)
Once I saw this picture above and heard that powerful voice I was transported back forty years -- FORTY YEARS -- to the last time I saw her and the last time I heard her music and realized that one of my best friends from years ago was living her dream.
What floored me even more was her response to my Facebook message.
Honored doesn't even begin to express how I feel this morning. Now to get some sleep.
I've always wondered how you were and what was happening in your world....wow! I do remember making a tape for you and I also remember just how talented, creative, and fun you were (and are!)
Or maybe I should break out the production tools. Maybe I need to create some fun things again.