Saturday, October 14, 2006

October 14th, a post in two parts

It will always be hard to forget that October 14th (1946) is the birthday of Justin Hayward, blond lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the Moody Blues. I rather flipped out over this band back in the 90s after I watched that PBS concert, A Night at Red Rocks, and realized that this old treasure-trove from the 60s was not only still around but making the same music and actively touring! I had just gotten through some really tough times - my mother's long terminal illness was over and I had gotten my bachelor's degree finally after years of doing night classes while working full time (and overtime) (nothing like a getting your degree at 40!) - I had extra cash and was entering full-fledged middle-age crazy so I hooked up with other Moody Maniacs and hit the road a bit. I couldn't quite afford overseas travel but I did visit many exotic places like Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, Cape Cod, Milwaukee, Nashville, Greenville (SC), Moline, Chicago, Chattanooga, Louisville, Merrillville (IN), and Kalamazoo. There is nothing like Kalamazoo Michigan in February, let me tell you! And what they say about Chicago in winter is absolutely true. I have never been that cold in the blasting wind.

The new millenium brought some big changes to my life, I moved to Austin, have no more travelling money, got over the Moodymania and Justin, and am enjoying the rich diversity of music that I can experience here, played live, as well as the opportunity to get involved in supporting it. The Moodies still get an occasional spin in the player, but I knew I had moved on last year when we were visiting Houston for the Lord of the Rings Museum Exhibition, the band was playing in town that night, I didn't know about it in advance, and didn't really care to stay over for it.

October 14th also marks the anniversary of Chuck Yeager's legendary flight that first broke the "sound barrier" in 1947. When I was a kid, a was a real nut about the Mercury space program, the astronauts -- absolutely enamored with anything to do with going into space. I didn't really know much about Chuck Yeager until much later when I read the book "The Right Stuff" (as good as the movie is, I still like the book better). Yeager just may have been the best test pilot who ever lived. Hope you can pardon the ramblings of this Air Force kid who grew up with the sonic boom being a regular and common event. Yeager is still out there -- an accomplishment in itself for all that he went through not only testing airplanes but WWII, being shot down, and escaping on foot, nearly getting his face burned off ejecting from a Lockheed Starfighter -- a real larger-than-life guy. It's not about America, or war, or politics or world-domination. It's just about pure balls of steel.

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3 comments:

glenda said...

I saw the Moody Blues when they played in Austin in the early 70s. They had a great psychedelic light show.

Blueberry said...

I wish I had seen them back then. Wish I had been in Austin back then too.

MichaelBains said...

Thanks for the "milestones" of 10-14, both those on here and the ones you left on my post.

When I was a kid, the only moon mission I really remember seeing was Appollo 14's, but it totally thrilled me into wanting to become an astronaut; until I started HATING math. I know I'm not supposed (for MY OWN WELL-BEING, not anyone's opinion) to have regrets, but gaining that particular phobia is among the worst of those regrets I've yet to shrug off. So much I would've done differently, dontchyaknow...