Sunday, May 13, 2012
Happy Mother's Day, ya'll.
I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was wish my gorgeous, late mater a Happy Mother's Day. Thanks for bringin me into this world so I could get lost the blue sky and the glimmer of sunlight on the river yesterday. So I could know what it is to love with your whole being. Her favorite flowers were daisies, which says a lot about the kind of woman she was.
I recalled one May weekend eons ago (early 70s my best guess). My late sister Patti and I hitchhiked from exit 8A on the Jersey Turnpike (back then it was where you got on the TP from Princeton if you were headed south) to Washington, DC to surprise my mom with a visit on Mother's Day. Had Mom known in advance what her girls were up to, and by that I mean how two of her usually fairly broke, intrepid daughters were traveling, she would most definitely have objected, so of course we didn't say a word.
Anyway, Patti'd never hitched before, and I was a veteran of late 60s hitchhiking on the West coast, so she sort of sat on the sidelines while I stood there looking cocky, "thumbling" a ride. I flagged down a tractor trailer and we spent a few minutes trying to get in the thing. P ended up in the awkward spot in the middle behind the two front seats, and I rode shotgun. Poor kid was hunched over the whole time. The guy was nice enough, not a crazy rapist or anything, and we attempted to chat him up about wife, kids, and all that. It's limited material for those with weak imaginations (no interesting family stories, for example). He was nice enough (enough for what?), but a full-blooded redneck when it came to politics. He would have been a Tea Party guy today, would later be FOB.
I can't recall which of us was signaling the other to keep her mouth shut (probably P as I was the radical in the family) as they guy went on about hippies and dope and all that. I remember P looking scared at me. We were both certainly feeling "cautious" about what we said. His rap was hard to listen to as it was majorly FOS, but we bit our tongues.. Like I said, nice enough. By the time we crossed into Pennsylvania, silence reined all the way to DC. He probably liked having some company though. I didn't ask about his mother, maybe I should have. He liked that we were going to see ours.
I can't imagine he let us off anywhere near Mom's in Arlington. This was before that snake pit of highways around DC that now exists. My guess is we took a bus from downtown somewhere. (I knew the DC buses like the back of my hand from my "collage" days). Of course Mom was horrified we'd hitchhiked, there we are insisting "nothing to it" while she's remembering some awful rape and mutilation she read about in the paper. But she was overjoyed to see us, and we loved her so. We had no gifts (early twenties, give us a break), we WERE the gift, and she appreciated that. God, we loved her so. My mother was the most forgiving person on the planet, next to maybe the Dalai Lama. The only person she had trouble forgiving was herself, and the one or two fellas who broke her heart. Even them she was kind to in action if not in thought. My folks were both like that.
I didn't have her for a lot of my life, but I adored my mother. We were good friends in the end. She was a beautiful soul, she taught me what love was, unconditional love. It's what moms are for. Ask the Dalai Lama.
Requiescat in pace
Donald Dunn, the ultimate bass man, died in Japan at 70 years of age, in his sleep yesterday. Amazing player, perhaps the greatest R and B bassist of all time. Played bass on Soul Man, Respect and Green Onions for starters. Da funk don't git no bettah dan dat. RIP, fella. We'll see you at that big concert in the sky.