Monday, September 20, 2010

Reasonably Grounded

Good fortune – and some hard work – has allowed me to brush the hem of modest wealth from time-to-time in my adult life. I’m surely not talking about big money. I’m simply saying that a few good years in the music business have rewarded me with occasional income that I would have never imagined during my childhood and teenage years. This inconsistent flow of cash has allowed my family to live in nice homes, take nice vacations and never want for anything. This is a huge blessing.
During these occasional good times it has been my tendency to acquire and enjoy some finer and fleeting things: private schools for our children, a new car, membership at a golf club, nicer restaurants and better wine. In leaner times I have real regrets about some of those choices; not so much that I made them but that the cash invested in them is gone and gone for good. In fact, I could use some of it right now.
Nonetheless, through all of the silly and shallow ‘experimenting’ with ‘the good life’ it has never been lost on me that I was not built to live or travel in the higher echelons of our culture. Every time my ego began whispering to me that ‘these are my people’ something would occur that slapped me back down to steelworker’s kid status. And it is then that I remember and embrace who I really am.
I have played no golf course on which I enjoyed myself any more than those 18 holes at the municipal course in my hometown. There is no bottle of wine I’ve ever purchased in any 5-star restaurant that tasted better than the cool water that arose from the marble fountain on my childhood playground. There is no vehicle I have ever driven that gave me more thrill than the 1963 Karman Ghia I bought for $495 in 1972. There is no wasabi-encrusted sushi grade tuna starter that I’ve ordered that tasted any better than my Aunt Martha’s deviled eggs. There is no Aspen chalet I’ve ever rented that held more memories than those 19-dollar-a-night apartments my family rented one block from the beach in Wildwood, NJ.
I am a working class boy – born and bred. I only wish there was somewhere to work.


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