Posts Tagged ‘Jimi Hendrix’

High School Reunion 3: the Beatles Suite, no Scotch or cigars

June 19, 2018

The supper we passed bite by bite

As the party went into the night

The smoke was too risky

To go out for some whiskey

And some of us still have to write.

Synopsis: I’m a Family Practitioner from Sioux City, Iowa. In 2010 I danced back from the brink of burnout, and honoring a 1 year non-compete clause, traveled and worked in out-of-the-way places in Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, and New Zealand. I followed 3 years Community Health Center work with a return to traveling and adventures in temporary positions in Alaska, rural Iowa, suburban Pennsylvania and western Nebraska. 2017 brought me adventures in Iowa, Alaska, and northern British Columbia. After some part-time work in northern Iowa, a new granddaughter, a friend’s funeral, and a British Columbia reprise, I am taking a break from Sioux City for my 50th High School reunion.  Any identifiable patient information has been included with permission.

One of my classmates had the terrific generosity to buy a crowd of 25 a very nice meal at a landmark Denver restaurant, the Brown Palace. The talk ran to careers and retirements.

Most of my classmates remembered my days with the Navajo and the Indian Health Service. More than half find themselves in some phase of retirement.

I announced my intention to keep going till 2035 as much from sincerity as for the shock value.

After dinner our host showed us his room, the hotel’s Beatles Suite, where the Fab 4 stayed during their Red Rocks performance in 1964. We talked about music.

Jimi Hendricks, Vanilla Fudge and Soft Machine played at the venue in 1969 with an opening band called Eire Apparent. The number of my classmates attending astounded me, equally that I had seen none of them there.

I would assert, and many would agree, that popular music reached a zenith between 1964 and 1975. Well trained musicians broke with musical conventions, tweaking formulae, and writing poetry that may yet stand the test of time.

I can’t overstate the importance of music to my generation. In the days before digital recording devices, when music came pressed onto vinyl or magnetized onto tape, a person’s record collection and how they cared for it served as a personality thumbprint as well as a financial barometer.

Two of us had been in the Preps, the school’s instrumental group who played Big Band numbers. One had his own rock band, playing significant gigs in Denver and Boulder even before he was 18.  I still play sax, and I mentioned my time playing professionally in Barrow, Alaska in 2010.

Another classmate, a former Glee Club member, still composes and sings.

Our host suggested Scotch and cigars; I declined as my distaste for smoke far outweighs my appreciation of fine distilled spirits.

I caught a ride back to my sister’s house with a chum I’d first met in September 1963 when we started into 7th grade; I collided with him again during my pre-med years at University of Colorado at Denver.

We both write. I mentioned my 9 novels.  I have nothing published and haven’t had an agent since the first one.

I told him I blog, and he asked, “How often do you feed the dragon?”

I like a turn of phrase so good it gets a lot of play without being trite, and even better for application outside of its usual ball park.

While I work, I said, 4 or 5 posts a week. His face showed both shock and amazement.

Not everyone writes. Those of us who write do so because we have to, not because we think we’ll get paid.