Saturday, December 27, 2008

When I Grow Up

It was November 1992 when Chris and I were driving to Killington in his Jeep for some early-season skiing. The Lemonheads “It’s a Shame about Ray” had become a hit that fall with their cover of “Mrs Robinson”. On the way home, after a few beers; Chris, in his warm, Texas drawl started singing “there’s still some of the same stuff we got yesterday…” over Evan and Juliana. And so it was through Chris’ atonal mashup of “My Drug Buddy” that I discovered Juliana Hatfield.

I quickly discovered the Blake Babies– I had probably heard them on WFNX in the late 80s. And with “Hey Babe” and “Become What You Are” I was hooked. Juliana’s music would be the soundtrack to many 90s summer weeks on Hunter Cove in Rangeley. Well Juliana, PJ Harvey, and The Golden Palominos. Through the 90’s I made it to perhaps six JH gigs. Most memorable: 1995 at Avalon with Jeff Buckley opening.

For well over a decade Juliana’s music has been a catalyst for reaching my emotions. Sometimes pleasantly painful, like listening to her early 90’s work when I’m just pissed at Chris for being dead. Sometimes deep, like the riff at the end of “Ten Foot Pole”, which to me, is the quintessential, instantly-identifiable JH guitar vibe. Sometimes pissed-off – why didn’t Gods Foot get released? And how do I fix that?

Juliana’s memoir “When I Grow Up” was an enjoyable, illuminating read. The cadence of the book is not unlike a Beckett play; especially if you have some suspicions on how things might turn out… or not. Keep going!

Juliana (Manchester, NH - May 12, 2000)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

We went with Ed and Claudia to Pesce Blue in Portsmouth for the traditional "Seven Fishes Feast" on Christmas Eve. Yummy. Then a mellow, mild, day with no stress at all - and the dogs happy to get out of the house.

Spring Conditions (Mine Hill Christmas, 2008)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blue Skies Up Ahead

My emotions are amplified this time of year. What is it about the "holiday spirit"? For children, this should be a magical time - indeed, what isn't magical in your youth? And why does that fade for some? The news of Tery this year, like other tragedies that have worked to align with the stars, makes me even more in awe of this life's great arc. Good and bad.

Pig-Pen Party: Maureen, Tery, Andy, Kathy, Mike, Rick, Shep (1977)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Missing Tery

I remember Tery carrying around that Pink Floyd album with the Hipgnosis cover. Shit, that's ambiguous. The one with the man shaking hands on fire. Wish you were here.

Tery (1975)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Ice Storm of 2008

After four days "off the grid", power, landline phone, and broadband found their way back to us. We are fortunate that we are off of a state highway that has been well maintained. It was still an ordeal. More pics on the click-through.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

An Attractive Nuisance

About the year we moved into Manitou House, the Town of Olive had cleared trees and established a roadbed for what would become Hillside Drive in West Shokan. When the snow fell that December, the fat and gullible city kid would be one of the first to challenge it on sled. Of course, I went right past Rick's driveway and into the creek.

I garnered a small amount of `cred, in that I could actually hurt myself. A year or two later, "the pit", became the focal point for much mini-bike activity. I don't think I ever damaged myself too bad, although the possibility surely was there. And in time perfected my cross up.