July 18th, 2004


Sometimes, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

The Sunday night after John Denver died, I was in an Irish pub in Berkeley, California called the Starry Plough. Sunday night is their open jam session. 20-30 musicians, mostly traditional instruments, taking turns singing solos between open jamming.

Someone stood and started Country Roads a cappella. At the chorus we all joined in.

You may think you know the song, but if you haven’t heard it sang as a dirge by dozens of drunken Irish folk singers, you haven’t heard it.

This is also where I heard a 90 year old man sing Danny Boy. Not a dry eye in the house.
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    Take Me Home Country Roads>John Denver

WARNING: fiction in progress

After Tommy died, Michael had moved his stuff into the fallout shelter. Said he couldn't sleep in the house anymore.

Aunt Mary never climbed the stairs again. The kitchen, living room and bedroom were her world. The music room on the second floor was silent.

The twins, April and May, took over the rest of the house, pretending that the third floor bedrooms were their private hotel. They changed rooms weekly.

Uncle Jerry spent most afternoons in the garage, chewing a cigar and arguing with the radio.

Tommy's room was just as he left it, telescope aimed at the skylight, electric train still plugged in. I always begged to sleep up there when we visited.

And they always let me.

It wasn't a shrine, they just didn't need that room since Tommy was gone.

Originally uploaded by mckenzee.