Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dad's First Rock Concert

The band rocked and rolled and a tear ran down my father's cheek.

Dad's first cousin lived on the west side after she married. Daddy grew up in Ohio and had never visited her in her California home. She had been a playmate, a friend in his growing up years on the farm. Much as we had, I'm sure they played in the barn and ran wild through the fields. But children grow up and sometimes move away. Relationships become distant and communication is by mail or not at all.

I guess I'm writing about this today because I had a dream about my cousin Al last night. Another cousin was trying to contact me last Christmas, and I have lost the info. So I need Al to get the address once more. My dream was probably telling me to just do it.

I first met Al in the 80's. The Beach Boys were in Portland for a concert. I had briefly met him once before at the airport, but now he had invited us to the green room before the show to meet the band and hang with them. My children were absolutely speechless. I had a chance to know my cousin a little bit better.

His grandfather, my great uncle, had taught me to embrace music. And, as a child, I knew nothing of his family, since they were all grown. His other daughter would come from Toledo to visit the farm, but Al's parents never came back from California. So I took up the gauntlet erasing the miles between California and Oregon, the miles between cousins.

There are few things we can give our aging parents that can knock the socks right off of them. Well, we had the opportunity to do so. Al and his band including his two grown sons was going to play a concert in Lima, his father's home town.....we just happened to be visiting the farm. We were taking Dad to his first rock concert and to meet his first cousin once removed.

Al came out to meet Mom and Dad. I don't know how much I watched the concert that day. I know that I did watch Dad. It was a good day for paths to cross and years to melt away.

Ah, it was a good day on Neff Road.

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