Well, once again here we go with my Reports from the Road! It has been a hectic week in preparation for my road trip back to New England, i.e., finishing work, securing the domain, making sure someone's going to make sure the cats aren't gonna go all "Risky Business" (is that the movie I'm thinking of?) on the house while I'm gone, and all that.
"Escape" by Journey is playing on my iTunes. My Walkman does not play well with iTunes or a Mac, so the music selection is very different. Not as many songs, and also a number of "borrowed" discs from The River studio (hee-hee)...hell, I BOUGHT a bunch of these damn records back in the day, yes, records!
So two shows to deal with on the eve of my leaving; hosted "Fresh Air/All Things Considered" on WITF, and then it's zoom over to where I was staying, then to Clear Channel to do the Senators game.
Not much sleep, and at 5 am I was off and running...eight hours or so in the vehicle, propelled by my Walkman, the BBC, NPR, and occasional local radio. Scott Fybush would be all over my not giving you every dial position of every New York Public Radio station, and there are a lot of them.
A slightly different road trip for me, through parts of NY State and VT...the latter state I've not been to since my mother's funeral in 2005. Far too long; that scenic if somewhat slow ride up through SW VT on varied roads into Burlington reminded me quite a bit of what the whole Green Mountain State used to look like. Yes, used. I shudder to think what my hometown of Cambridge is gonna look like when I go there tomorrow.
My reason for the trip to VT is to watch my nephew Aubrey walk that aisle with his soon to be new bride, Erica. This should be interesting...very interesting, indeed.
I need to see what the home I grew up in looks like now, though I will not ask to see the inside. A/E did a great remodeling job, to the point I did not recognize some of the rooms I lived in the first 17 years of my life. Change is good; it is inevitable and I'm glad some of the family will carry it on.
Need to see the farm, see the rest of the gang...most relatives will not be there (and I don't mind telling you I am thankful for THAT). This is gonna mostly be Aubrey and Erica's crowd, most of whom will be young enough to be my and other sibling's kids.
I need to see what the place looks like, and the area. Recalling my earlier life there, it became the template for "Out Among the Stars," one of my "adult" novels (meaning for adults, not X-rated, come on, now!). Wonder if it'll stand up to the test of what I recall and how I envision it now.
Speaking of siblings...I do wonder where my sister and brother in law are? Susan and Robert are supposed to be staying in the same hotel I am...they've no-showed. That is not like them.
I am betting they either got sidetracked somewhere, or they ended up in the other hotel of the same general name in this neighborhood. What do you wanna bet?
Ah well...I had the chance to look about and see the changes. Essex, what I saw of it looked rather built up, but still the same...the Fairgrounds was redone, but the barns were the same. Interesting.
My hotel is on the border of Colchester and Winooski, so I dropped down through the latter, to find lots of food spots...and a PHO PASTEUR! Yes! To die for!
Susan and Rob owe me a dinner...heh heh heh...see what I can do to influence their decision...
I also drove into Burlington...it's a city that has so many memories and thoughts for me of my youth...and what I didn't have. I was born in Burlington, and it was "the big city" for kids like me. Going there for any reason was a special thing.
My radio career (the paying one) started there, too; in the old WDOT studios on College Street in 1984. I can't remember the last time I was in Burlington and actually looked around, but I got the chance to do it this afternoon.
Damn. I want to live here again.
It's so new again...cool places, stores, restaurants, the music, all of it. The old Oasis Diner building is there, but now is a deli of sorts. Looks like they're keeping the motif in some way.
Nector's, the place where a funky little band called Phish got their start is there...right next door is Esox, where I used to drink after my shifts on 'DOT...and right across the street from where the late Peter Freyne and I smoked a joint, in full view of the world on a hot summer night in 1985.
Memories. "Zombie" by Fela Kuti has been rocking for one hell of a long time, but it's cool.
The music shop is gone, but Pure Pop Records is still there...went in and looked around. My old friend/radio colleague Ira Melnick used to work there...wonder what happened to him, great guy.
The store was a little pricey, but I can see why. Snagged the new Boxer Rebellion CD The Cold Still and Johnny Clegg's Human, his first CD in 17 years.
"Real as an Animal," Alejandro Escovedo is playing now. Yeah...
Irregardless of what I see and experience tomorrow in Cambridge, I have to tell you: I NEED TO BE BACK IN NEW ENGLAND. IF NOT BOSTON, VERMONT, or somewhere in between.
This is where I'm from...the diversity, the culture clashes (the peaceful ones), the whole fucking world is so different here. It's not changed that much, not at all; despite the influx of Flatlanders (not the band, a not-always nice term for "Outtastaters"), there's still a unique character to Vermont.
My youth came back to me in a college city...oh! Passed the ballpark where the Lake Monsters play...$3 FOR PARKING.
3 FUCKING DOLLARS...TAKE THAT, FEDEX FIELD!!!
Now, I have felt rather focused on doing something. Before going out to do my shopping URRRR!!!! market research I got back to work on music. Two more songs that begged for months to get music put to them have music now. Just bare bones stuff, but I like it so far.
The rough mix of "Aki's Song," by my old band, Ahltyrra is playing...Dan and I did get together this week, but I wonder where it's all going.
Where am I going? I have no job prospects in VT or in Boston...I have to stay where I am, because of my commitments to WITF and to CC. I have nothing else anyway that I want or need to do in radio.
The book...getting the Sweet Dreams Series published, that may well do it. I have to hope so.
"Hot Burrito #2," Flying Burrito Brothers is up.
I am again at a new crossroads in my life...I wonder what the next change will be. Part of me wants out of PA, part of me feels my work is not done there yet.
Part of me is pulling me hard to come home to New England, doesn't matter where in it, but to be there.
I want to see how things go tomorrow...that will help me consider a bit more...then Boston once more.
I miss this area; some of my old friends are still here, and I'd love to see them again. I admit my ties to my family aren't much; my sister and brothers and I are cool with each other, as are the kids I think. The rest...I will not say anything...let's just leave it at that.
Life has gone on, and it always will. I now need to see what is going to come up next in these coming days. Whatever the case, I aim to enjoy myself a little and I will try to relax, but I also have to work out somewhere...other than minimal stuff here in this place, I'll have to wait til I get to Boston.
Either way, it's pretty good. 20 days without a smoke, feeling more like myself already, feeling more awake. We shall see...