Last Saturday Pam and I went to hear live music in Gaithersburg where a band headed by a friend was playing. The band, 2nd Sole, is a classic bar band that plays covers of tunes by the Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, and many others. The turn-out was good and the crowd enthusiastic. Generally speaking, women like to dance more than men which is why they often dance with each other, but Pam and I are the exception because I like dancing more than she does. She's a good sport, however, so she and I danced to a few songs, both slow ones and fast ones.
When we sat out numbers, I enjoyed watching other people who varied in age from the 20's and 30's to those in our bracket and everything in between. Many danced and others who didn't kept time to the rhythms of the music with their hands or feet as they stood or sat. Many were heavy or otherwise not classically good-looking, but despite what you see on TV commercials it's not just the beautiful people who have a good time. You could see the good times in peoples' smiles.
It was during a Bruce Springsteen song "Pink Cadillac", a party song more about sex than cars, that the thought occurred to me of the joy that rock music brings to people. This joy has proved to be enduring and spans generations because many of the songs go back before the births of some of the men and women enjoying the band that night. The history of rock and roll now goes back about sixty years, and based what I hear and see it will continue for many more. It's a great gift America has given to the rest of the world.
Yesterday, Bill, Stan, and I checked out the remodeling of this building which holds memories for all of us. We attended many University of Maryland basketball games there, and I just learned that the 61 year-old building still holds the record as the site of the most upsets of number one ranked teams. The screams of the thousands of Maryland basketball fans which may have continued to echo in the most obscure corners of the old building have now been released into the College Park atmosphere with the opening of one end:
For me, Cole was the site of many events beyond basketball. My high school graduation took place there in 1965. I attended musical and comedy performances in Cole going back to its first decade on campus. As an undergrad, I took final exams there, and in retirement when I returned as a special student I would walk the concourse on days when the weather was too unpleasant outdoors. Signs at either end told me that five laps added up to one mile.
The building is being converted to a sports training and sports medicine facility at a cost of many millions. From the front it looks much the same as it always did, but the inside will be barely recognizable.
I hope those massive curved steel beams will still be visible when the remodeling is finished. They would remind me that the history remains despite the changes.
My favorite fishing, using my kayak to get to my favorite wading spots for smallmouth bass in the Upper Potomac River is, unfortunately, physically demanding, and I wonder how long I'll continue to be able to do it. I try to listen to my body, and for a few days following my last such trip a week ago my body seems to be saying to ease up. That day I fished for less than two hours while ten or even five years ago I would have kept going for five or six hours at least. Even so, the following days I tired easily, and a soreness in my neck that probably resulted from loading or unloading the kayak from the car is just now going away.
Fortunately, my mind and spirit from that fishing day are healthy. After each such trip I check over the rod and reel and clean the fly line, and these chores seem to prolong the experience. Since then, my mind occasionally wanders back to recalling the feel of the river current on my legs as I cast and the sensation of the tugs of the fish on my line. It was a good day fishing, and these memories will remain stored in my memory to be recalled on a cold winter day or a time when I'm physically unable to make such a trip.