Several years ago the parents of a friend of my son told us we were in for a treat. Their very best friends in the world were moving up the street from us. It turned out that the friends had a daughter the same age as our daughter and they ended up hanging out for a few years.
Times change, people change, kids change. Clare and Isabel didn’t hang out so much after a while but they always kept in touch.
Back in the day people used to make other people music compilations — mostly based on music they, for whatever reason, wanted the other person to hear. These were put on cassette tapes, and I suppose, when CD burning software was available, burned on CDs. Now people share mp3 playlists, which is pretty much the same thing, but a lot less work.
I have an mp3 player — not an iPod — but it only holds books on tape and the sample music that came with it — I’m too lazy to sit down and delete the sample music and I don’t know if I want to put my own music on it.
Anyway, that was just to say that no one has ever actually made me a playlist. I did get a sort of mix tape once — but there was also talking on it so that doesn’t count.
So, the other day in the car on the way to our niece’s wedding in Kokomo, Indiana, I wished aloud that we had music that was relevant to our trip. Like Kokomo. Or Indiana Wants Me. Dean and I talked about how much fun we’d have if we did have some fun music like that. When it was my turn to drive, Dean brought out his laptop and his work-provided broadband wifi doohickey. He then connected to Groveshark and began playing some songs. At first he played some music he liked, but then he began playing songs I liked — old ones, still older ones and some newer ones. He played Simon and Garfunkel and Kate Bush (even the early screechy ones) and Dan Bern and Crosby, Stills Nash and Young.
I felt like each time a new song played I was getting a gift. It was a blast and proved that he’d actually been listening (to what I listened to, if not what I said). It was a bonding moment — when I thought all bonding had been done earlier in our marriage.
So, even though he’s on a business trip and not here today to take me to dinner or bring me flowers or give me a personal gift for our 24th wedding anniversary, he gave me a really special gift on Friday with the Grooveshark Playlist.
Midway through the very long graduation ceremony for the graduating class of Walt Whitman 2009 the principal announced an award that was an unknown award for the recipient (and apparently everyone else).
He said that it was a new (2 year old) tradition.
It was a recognition of the poet laureate of the year.
Then he said my daughter’s name.
We’d not heard of this award.
Apparently I jumped several inches out of my seat.
Poet laureate — Carl Sandburg came to mind. Maya Angelou too.