Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Let the Sun Shine In

So I got an email from a guy I ran with back in the days when were were all gonna move to the acreage in Arkansas and live on the land in peace and harmony, far out, dude.

It was toward the end of the sixties. (Actually the Sixties ran from JFK's assassination until Nixon resigned, way I count 'em, so there was some overlap into the seventies. Especially in Louisiana, where things got there later than they did in, say, California. Or anywhere, save Mississippi ...)

Take the WayBack Machine: Nixon was gone, the war was lost and winding down. The hippies, without that focus, were growing up, looking for jobs, raising kids, and being at least partially-absorbed back into the mainstream. Our wild oats were sown, and it was time to make sure the kids had shoes and a reliable roof.

We met when we were living on the farm next to the Mississippi levee, in Brusly, Louisiana. We were next door neighbors: one set of hippies, a second set of hippies, extended families, then there was the dairy farm past us ....

My buddy and his wife, who eventually came to live with us for a few months after we got kicked out of the River Road house, had split. He moved off to New Orleans. His ex- eventually headed out west somewhere, and we lost touch, since we also took off for Oregon.

Been thirty years since I heard from him. I googled his name a couple times, and his ex-wife's, too, but couldn't find them.

A lot of folks I'm still curious about what happened to them, but sometimes, I worry that the past is better left in fond memory. I'd hate to find out that the woman who first showed us yoga and once lived in a cave for a year grew up to be a Republican ...

Then, out of the blue, a note: Ole Jim was coming to town for a conference, and would I be interested in getting together?

Oh, you bet. I know what thirty years has done to my face. I'm really interested to see what is has done to his.

Like that old Dave Mason song:

Been away/ Haven't seen you in a while/ How've you been?/ Have you changed your style?/And do you think/ That we've grown up differently ... ?


Jason said...

Coming up on my 20 year high school reunion and I am heading toward the same head space you seem to be in regarding the people of my past.

I didn't go to my 10 year, because I really just didn't care. No other reason, I really just wasn't interested.

Now I am kinda curious what the 20 years has done to everyone else. As you say, I know what it has done to me. Not fiscally, or even relationship wise. Mostly I am just interested in how Old Man Time's footprints look on everyone else.

Steve Perry said...

Due to a large coincidence, my wife and I -- who graduated from the same high school at the same time -- just happened to be in Baton Rouge the weekend of our 25th class reunion.

The high school was gone, so they had it at a Roadway Inn or somesuch, and we decided, what-the-heck, so we went.

It was like a four-hour episode of The Twilight Zone ...

Jason said...

That is kinda what I imagined it would be like. It would probably have been even more surreal if the school had still been there.

If nothing else, I figure it will probably be in interesting study in how time changes people.