Opening Day part one was back a few weeks ago when the 2015 baseball season began. We’re about a week away from the Fourth and a few weeks out from the All Star game and the mid-point of the season. That’s baseball but there is another Opening Day around here that’s just as important.
Training for the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon begins tomorrow or today depending on the time zone you’re in and when you read this post or if you read it a week from now or you never read it in which case it the dates won’t really matter now will they?
My ” Foolproof ” training plan (their words, not mine) actually suggest starting on July 1st but June 29th is close enough for me. Besides, it’s a plan I have used since 2013 and if I begin training in earnest tomorrow I end up with a tidy 20 week program that ends one week before Philadelphia which is on Sunday, November 22nd this year.
It’s a marathon of a plan and my training is far from an exact science but experience has taught me to allow for injuries, lack of motivation, lousy weather and, oh yeah, having to work.
There will be a third Opening Day sometime in late September, again depending on your time zone, when Marathon season begins. Be sure to check local listings for 26.2 miles in your area. I’ll be sure to note that Opening Day too.
That’s the beginning of our (we runners), Championship season. It’s our playoffs, our Stanley Cup, our NBA Finals, ourWorld Serious (no misspelling there), our Olympics and our Super Bowl.
It’s when thousands and thousands of us aim to finish what we humbly started with a modest three mile run on a Monday at the end of June and end with an easy 12 mile week. It’s when thousands of runners shut down dozens of roads in many major American cities for the better part of a Sunday morning and into the afternoon.
By next Sunday, Week one will be in the books. There’s no turning back especially since hotel reservations have been made, entry fees have been paid and there are Foolproof plans to made and Foolproof plans to follow.
This is gonna be great.
Heard this in a song last week and I’ve been trying to use it as inspiration for a post. The line has rattled around in my head all hours of the day and night and I felt like I was chasing a ghost in an effort to make sense of those eight words. Finally got it during a run, which incidentally, is where and when I do my best thinking.
The line dates to a song I first heard somewhere during the mid 1970’s which was during the North Mulberry Street days, a coming of age demarcation if there ever was one when I stumbled into a happy accident and started working in the entertainment industry which continues to this day. Lucky me forty years later.
Don’t scratch your head trying to think of the source of the lyric, I’ll fill you in before I finish the post. However, the words are attributed to a Mr. J. Browne of Somewhere, Southern California.
As ten years became twenty and then thirty and now passing forty I am finding it helpful and reassuring to look back and to be glad with the choices I made or didn’t make so many years ago. I guess it’s an age thing especially when the days when you don’t HAVE to work anymore are coming into view albeit not anytime soon but those days are a lot closer than than they were in 1976.
We all had those brave and crazy wings even if we didn’t know it at the time and even if we didn’t know what to do with them. I suppose that’s a blessing of youth we took for granted. Honest, I started doing gigs because I was trying to make a living and pay my rent. I was good at it, I liked it and I got paid.
Bingo – Career Choice Trifecta !
I think maybe now is the time to resurrect those wings as I’m still trying to make a living even though I’m no longer 25 years old and no longer in residence in the third floor apartment.
As I get older those third floor days get closer and happier in my brain. Maybe it’s a symptom of getting on where one remembers the distant past better than yesterday.
Whatever the reason I reiterate Lucky Me for sure. North Mulberry Street is only about three miles and forty years from where I now write this and yet it seems like next door and only last week.
Who knew we had wings? I knew were crazy. Brave? Maybe.
In any case, dust off your brave, your crazy and your wings.
The youth, well, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Goodbye…
I think I’m just getting started again.
” Late For The Sky – 1974 – Before the Deluge.”
It was a conversation over coffee at a shop near campus. School was out for the summer so the place had been reclaimed by adults who tried to avoid it during the school year since it was almost always jammed by college students wearing shirts plastered with either the school’s logo or their greek organizations. They tended to hog tables and spend hours sucking up the free wi fi.
Summer was definitely the best time of year on that side of town. Once again there was plenty of on street parking available. That was a big plus in itself. Still it was nice to have the neighborhood populated by a younger crowd even if every third kid had their face buried in a phone.
He started by making a general observation about something he had noticed. It was a subtle thing to be sure but a for some reason it seemed to stick in his mind and demanded more attention.
He said, ” I inherited some house plants about ten years ago and while I have managed to keep them alive and thriving a few are starting to fade and I think are getting to the end of their life cycles.”
“In the past I’ve had plants kick the bucket because I either overwatered them, under watered them, put them in the wrong window sunlight wise or went away for a couple of weeks and the person I left in charge of them just dropped the ball and the plants died from neglect.”
“I began thinking about how maybe nothing lasts forever, how everything and everyone has a shelf life. I know that my career such as it was and now is has twists and turns but eventually the road ends. Someone once told me to plan a graceful exit before they ask you to leave but that’s another story.
She nodded, thought about getting another cup of coffee but he was on a roll and she didn’t want to interrupt his train of thought.
Continuing he said, ” Do you think that love has a shelf life?”
She wasn’t quite ready for something this intense but they were friends who had shared much in the past. There wasn’t much they didn’t know about each other.
” Shelf life – You mean like a bottle of ketchup or a jar of mayonnaise?”
” No really, I mean it. Does love have a shelf life?”
” I think” she said pausing to take a sip of less than hot coffee, ” That it does and it doesn’t.” I’ll explain.
” Love itself does not. It is real, powerful and a magical thing that I really don’t understand. Clearly, looking at my life I don’t understand it. Love between two people, now that does I think. It changes, gets stronger, gets weaker or maybe goes away. But love as a stand alone item does not. “
The coffee shop was emptying out and they were left alone at a corner table in bright sunlight.
“You know” he said, that’s kind of what I was thinking too. You got all kinds of love – your spouse, your kids, the cat, your dog, your job, yourself and it’s always changing hopefully for the better and that’s good but sometimes… ” He trailed off.
” One day you wake up and it’s gone. It just left during the night. In the morning you look for it everywhere but it’s gone. No goodbye note and you did nothing, I don’t think to get it to leave. You could ask the cats if they saw love leave but they were probably sleeping.”
“So you think that you only misplaced it and you turn the house upside down only to eventually realize that it’s no longer around.”
” I know that one” she said remembering that first loveless morning several years ago waking up alone even though there was another person living in the same house. ” So where does it go, why did it go? How do you get it back to stay?”
He said, ” Here’s story about one of my favorite songs that I think is true and even if it’s not I want to believe it.”
You know the song ” Love is Here to Stay and he sang the first few words of the verse It’s very clear, our love is here to stay.”
” It’s a Gershwin tune, music by George and lyrics by his brother Ira. Supposedly it was the last piece of music left on George’s piano when he passed away. It was unfinished but to what extent I can’t tell you.”
” Ira was devastated by George’s passing. He eventually finished the song with the help of a friend. I always thought that the song was about two lovers but in the context of George’s death and Ira’s pain it takes on a new meaning. It opens like this:
” The more I read the papers, the less I comprehend
The world and all it’s capers and how it all will end
Nothing seems to be lasting but that isn’t our affair
We’ve got something permanent, I mean in the way we care…”
It’s all about the impermanence of things, if impermanence is a word and also the very permanence of love. Then it goes into the …It’s very clear part, with the Rockies will crumble, Gibraltar may tumble they’re only made of clay but our love is here to stay.
” I like that, Our love is here to stay.”
No, the title is ” Love is Here to stay, not our love, just love.”
“That’s even better – only you could find a relationship between love, houseplants, and a song written in 1937.”
He began to hum the melody as they left and headed out into the warm summer afternoon.
Brilliant and painful.
The correct answer to where the line ” Higher than a Kite can Fly” comes from is the song ” Scotch and Soda” which was written and performed by The Kingston Trio.
And if you ever ride the “T” in Boston your “Charlie ” card is a direct descendant of The Kingston Trio too.
Bonus points if you can name the tune that contains that line…but first…
A good three and a half miles the other day. The kind of run that when one is already feeling good makes you feel during the rest of the day that you really are higher than a kite can fly. I was the beneficiary of such a run and such a day.
Knocked off the three and a half and when I got back home I forgot that I had just run. It was that easy. The kind of run that doesn’t tax you or wear you down. The kind of run that puts miles in your tank and miles in your bank. Philadelphia is 5 months away and every little bit helps.
Jump in the car headed north for coffee and the land of ridiculously cheap parking. All I got is a quarter, I slap it into the slot and the words” Five Hours” appear on the little screen. Five cents for an hour of undisturbed parking. I think the last time you could get an hour’s worth of parking for a nickel was before cars were invented.
But here’s where the benefits of my run kicked in – On the drive it seemed like my windshield was so clean and so big I could see from horizon to horizon, maybe like they do in Montana or a place like that. Surely not in South Central Pennsylvania.
While I’m marveling at the view, all the while keeping my hands on the wheel and listening to The Allman Brothers Live at the Filmore East and in particular ” In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” it hits me like a ton of bricks – I just ran three miles plus, I’m not sore, I’m not tired, I’m not anything but feeling better now than before I ran. Is that great or what?
If you can name the tune that the post title come from I will personally treat you to a week of parking in a town a little north of here and a little south of there.
And a cup of coffee to boot. Coffee there is substantially more expensive than parking but what the hey? We could get a cup to go, sit in the car listen to Duane and Dickey and enjoy our status as smart frugal consumers and genius parkers.
Maybe we need to knock off a couple of miles before we go.
Regular visitors to the space may recognize the title as a sometime subject. But before we get too far…
Yesterday’s edition of the local paper provided the obituary of a man who by all accounts lived a full life, had a large and happy family and did quite well in the success department.
His family chose to highlight his sense of humor with a quote from the deceased. I’m guessing he said it before he was deceased as, well, anyway…
He said, and I misquote…
” I’ve done well in life thanks to hard work. Fortunately, none of it was my own.”
Not many obits make you laugh. Maybe they should.