Music, you just never know about it at all.
If you’ve been following my adventures, then you know I’m in Ticonderoga this week.
Most of the time, when I visit, I stay at the Provoncha family camp on the north end of Lake George. It’s picturesque and such a wonderful place that virtually most of my childhood memories are here in this house, on this piece of property, on this Lake. My Dad and Mom helped build the place, just perfect memories no matter where you turn. From the upstairs where John and I prepared to hold off escaped convicts, to the dock where everyone gets wet, to the sandy beach where we discovered that not telling our Mom’s we were going to swim across the Lake, it wasn’t a good idea. There’s a pricker bush that I fell out of and got a thorn in my head, so many family gatherings that I can’t recount them all, it just all comes flooding back every time I set foot on the property.
But you know the one thing I never really expected? Finding my Aunt Dort working in the kitchen with the radio on, and the Jimmy Hendrix Experience wailing from its speaker. Excuse me, but when did Jimmy Hendrix, Iron Butterfly, and the Doors become “easy listening?” Or is Aunt Dort re-channeling herself to be an aging rock goddess? I’m not sure, so I asked. I have no idea what’s on there, it just keeps me company.
Well said Aunt Dort, well said. Music keeps us company. It’s a companion that is close to your nearest device, a place of refuge, and for some, an escape mechanism.
For me, it’s the soundtrack of my life. Music came easily to me. I can’t recall the first time I heard music, but that in and of itself is a testament to the way it’s become embedded into our lives…it’s just ALWAYS been there, and it will ALWAYS be there.
So too, is Lake George…simply ingrained to the point of, I can’t remember the first time I saw it, but I can tell you this, I loved it straight away. I sit here in the glass atrium today, watching Old Glory flutter in the breeze, the same tree we climbed as kids with leaves turning into the very essence of autumn, the dock that I played on as a small boy and the Lake I’ve loved my entire life just drifting by, the same way it did back in 1965.
The continuity between my life, the Lake, the music, and the Camp simply can’t be denied. It’s as much a part of me as the very breath I breathe, and it proves with certainty that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
I’m gifted with wonderful memories of a life well spent on the shores of the Queen of American Lakes, and the music that brought both refuge and entertainment to my soul. It’s very difficult to sit here, in nearly perfect comfort, watching the world roll by, and not think that THIS, this RIGHT HERE, is what America is all about.
Home. Coming home, coming home again, and once more. It never gets old, I never tire of the thrill I get each and every time I roll down Chilson Hill. There before me, a town I know so well lies peacefully, yet with purpose. A thriving, growing place with all the same problems the rest of America has, but it’s somehow different because I belong here. More than that, it belongs to me. The two of us have made a journey, lived a good life, and it was as much a part of me, and I it, as can possibly be.
I stopped this morning to get my tire fixed at what used to be “Jay’s Sunoco,” and it is now owned by the Bain Family. They got me in and out quickly, and while I stood there, a lady came up to me and asked if I was Bob. Yes, I am, and a conversation ensued. Happy to see me, happy to have been home, just happy.
Find me THAT place in the city where things like that happen? They don’t. People don’t even know their neighbors, but here in small town America, they not only know my name but are willing to loan me a personally owned tool. It’s been probably close to 40 years since I’ve seen either of those folks, but time stood still here, in a way, and I stepped back into it yesterday.
Fred and I talked last night about ways we could “give back” to the community. Now it might strike some as “odd” to be talking about giving back when we haven’t even started yet, but that’s just the way things work here. It’s never been about what Ti has for us, it’s about what we have for her. How can we change to keep up with the times, how can we make it a better place to live, how can we improve life for the least of these? It’s an everyday discussion at my table and in my circle, it’s not just what we do, it’s how we live.
Yes, my friends, I am a lucky man in so many ways, but it’s really not luck. I had the great, good blessing of God himself, to not only place me in America but in this place to grow up.
If you’re looking for your blessings, it might be good to start in the place where you started to start with. Sometimes, looking back, or going back metaphorically, is the best trip you can take. All too often we lose touch with ourselves because we stray from what created us, and who created us. Look to the Lord, look back at where you came from, and you might just discover where it is that you’re really going.
C’ya on the Radio.