By Gary Worden
e-mail address: glworden (at) yahoo [dot] com
I'd like to talk about how Greg's music has influenced my life in very concrete ways. On a daily basis, the things I experience remind me of his songs, and his songs shed wisdom on my experiences. When life gets too tangled and complex, I harken back to the basic message, the basic purpose: just live, that's all, just live. Whenever I balance my checkbook, and realize that all the money's gone, I mumble "when does the good part start?" I try to make my appointments at five-o-eleven or three-o-eleven, something like that.
I moved to Europe some years ago just so I could write letters from there. I found a box of letters from Europe in my basement last weekend. While living there, I had a wallet specially made with compartments, because I had lotsa kinda money in my billfold. I was nearly arrested in the Stuttgart Zoo for trying to make love to the monkey.
Now I live way, way up in Michigan, out in the country. Not on the Laughing River, but on a river. I like to go down when the moon's up, and see two moons, two moons. If there's a ring around the moon, I look real hard to see if it's really a ring, or just a smudge.
I love all kinds of weather, especially an all-day rain. Winters are long here. Sometimes I hear Mexico calling.
We got one of those phones we hate; you know, it sounds like a . . .
My wife and I went through great circumstances to build our house in the shape of a gentle breast. We went out and got lots of Aretha Franklin records to play when our kids are sick. If you visit us, we'll always have peaches on the shelf and potatoes in the bin. When shopping, we always, always buy the cheapest kind of whatever it is we're looking for. I've been lobbying at the church for years to get them to serve ale - it would be so much more pleasant then.
I'm convinced that beatniks ARE going to rise again, and I'm doing my part to see that it happens. I love going downtown, maybe running into a guy I know who really plays the horn. I derive strange pleasure if a waitress calls me a poor jerk.
I know I'm getting older, because I see that my friends are. Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to end up being just a bum. Life gets so hectic and overwhelming sometimes, around Easter I was thinking how good three days in the grave would be.
I REALLY did think all I ever needed was a shack up here in the woodlands, and my honey of course, but I'm irreversibly plugged into the system, pulling out my Mastercard and Visa way too often. Sometimes we sit around after dinner, drinking the good home-brew, just shaking our heads about it. I'm from Marion, Indiana - the same town as James Dean, so I think about him a lot, how quickly he went out.
I am an American, and am pretty easy to please. I'm pleased as punch if I can trade some home-brew for a jug of my friend's wine. That, and a good loaf of bread. Oh, and what's that other thing? Oh, yes, fifty thousand dollars. That WOULD be pretty pleasing. I wish I could experience that reality, for the sake of art, of course.
Traverse City's a boomtown, big time. We live pretty far out in the woods, but this place is getting lots of growth. Just found out today that the property next to ours is up for sale; always thought we'd buy it if we could, but I was totally shocked at the price. Land prices here have tripled in just a couple years. I guess that's what we get for living near a Boomtown. So if any of you are rich, why don't you buy it? It seems all Greg Brown people are wonderful people; if we're going to have neighbors, might as well have nice ones. You could put in a double-wide, furnished, one that's never been used! Or if you're REALLY rich, give me the money and I'll buy it. We Americans ARE so easy to please, after all . . .
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