It's "Guess the artist who wrote the song that shares its title with today's post" time. The answer is The Beatles, of course, "Yer Blues" being a John Lennon-penned track from the seminal White Album. Any who deign to argue that the Beatles are not the most influential and important rock band of all time are, frankly, nuts. Arguing that The Beatles are no more than a footnote in world history is a little like dismissing the Sun as a minor star: that may be true, but if it didn't exist, than neither would you, so keep quiet about it. I do not suggest that had those four lads not shaken the world, the entire planet would have collapsed on itself, in some fallen souffle-like horror of cold and darkness. What I mean is that the whole of what we call contemporary culture -- music, fashion, design, thought, all of it, for good and ill -- has its genesis in the seven year Big Bang of creativity that was the Beatles, 1964 - 1970. We would be here, but we would not be us. We would be some different people.
Maybe I overstate a bit. But I doubt it.
I am, after yesterday, at what I am calling the official halfway point of my sojourn on Planet Excitement. I plan on living until the age of 94. The remainder breaks down like this: twenty more years of work, including seeing all of our children through graduate school; twenty years of travel, gardening, and enjoying our grandkids; five years spent on some bizarre hobby that I inexplicably acquire in retirement, like collecting license plates, or obsessively watching The Weather Channel; two years of Dreamland, where past and present are all mixed together and I think that my retirement home is actually a rather disappointing cruise ship. Then it's "thanks for playing!" At my funeral, I want an all-trombone honor ensemble to play "Born To Run" as my coffin is lowered into the south Texas clay.
Well, that's kind of depressing. I had a nice birthday, except for a truly awful, stomach churning white light sear of a migraine. I haven't had one in months, and this one was a neck snapper. It's made me a little muted today. (I am better, though, something I attribute to the remarkable Blushing Peach Pie my wife made for my birthday).
There is a reason for the title, beyond my feeling a little melancholy at turning FORTY-SEVEN. Blue is a color associated with a remarkable band of brothers, men who defended their homeland from the invasion of a bloodthirsty army, in the face of open hostility from the rest of the world. And one of our ancestors was one of those defenders.
Later this week, Walter Siedlecki's military adventure.