Friday, October 14, 2016

The Spirits of '76

I don't get back to Findlay, Ohio very often, but last weekend was a good excuse - my high school reunion, and a chance to make some noise with my high school bandmates. We re-learned Alice Cooper's 'I'm Eighteen' (which we used to do when we were 15) and Mott's 'All the Young Dudes' and snuck in 3 songs from our 1985 vinyl record. I'm sure we had more fun playing than the poor souls who had to listen to us (after one quick rehearsal that afternoon) but they seemed to enjoy us and some even danced, making it more successful than our average '70s Findlay Teen Center gig. Bill, Chris and I (collectively known as Loose Ties once we hit Boston) were joined by our classmate Dave Young on keyboards - the first time we'd ever played together. Maybe we should start a band...

That morning was a tour of the high school, which was the first I'd seen of a mural of class valedictorians, which elicited a collective gasp from my classmates: you were valectictorian? A review of grade point averages has been undertaken, and I expect to be demoted any day.

 Though my years in Findlay came at a tough time for my family, just after the loss of my only sibling Amy, it was nice to go back and get to spend time with the relatively small group of people (within our big class) that I really did connect with, and who made me feel welcome back in the day. The day after the reunion was beautiful, and I got to kayak on the Blanchard River through the countryside east of town. Legend has it the river inspired Tell Taylor to pen "Down by the Old Mill Stream" much as Findlay inspired my songs "The Seven-Eleven Overture" and "I Own This Town." Long live the spirits of '76!