The Unbearable Banishment: a trip down memory lane in a blizzard

Saturday, January 10, 2009

a trip down memory lane in a blizzard

Still in Cleveland. This afternoon, I found myself driving from one end of the city to the other through a raging snowstorm to visit my oldest friend. I first rode my bike to his house 34 years ago. How many people do you have in your life like that? Eh? Family doesn’t count.

The WZIP Saturday Moring Polka show was playing on my radio. The Blue Bell Polka! The Too Fat Polka! The Beer Barrel Polka! The soundtrack of my childhood. My father, who was no hero to me, always played polka music. I was ready for those old familiar feelings of simmering resentment to boil to the surface but instead I was drawn into the music and was overwhelmed with pleasant melancholy. They're such bouncy-happy songs.

* * *

It takes a man with a steely sense of self to play the fool but I am willing to play along if it means an amusing post.

Before I left for Ohio, I made an impulse purchase on iTunes. I was about to undertake an eight hour dive all alone and I wanted a familiar album to listen to that I haven’t heard in a long time. Here’s what I ended up with:

I want yooooo-huuuuuu
To show me the way.

What the hell was I thinking? But I did sing along quite loud.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

my two best childhood friends? we don't recall meeting - we played together as babies. still in touch, see them maybe once a year. and it's always the same - as though we haven't missed a beat.

as for Frampton? nobody can make a guitar talk like that. and this is a good thing... we all have guilty pleasures. listening to some early Bee Gees last week on an airplane... and it made me cry.

January 10, 2009 at 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have only one friend who goes that far back with me.

Frampton? (shaking head) For me it is Abba.

January 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time I got drunk I came home and I had a Frampton poster hanging in my bedroom. I swore he was singing that song to me personally...brings back many old memories. Remember how all the neighbors use to hide all their paraphernalia under the steps at the red brick house?

January 10, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: Yes, it’s like that for us as well; as if no time has passed. The Bee Gees never made me cry. I’m just sayin’

annie: I’ve never been an ABBA fan. Not even during the Momma Mia resurgence. But I have other secret shames.

MT: I swear to God I never knew about that.

January 11, 2009 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

cleveland ohio??? lol i live in ohio... i know what that was like today! It sucked big donkey butt!

January 11, 2009 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger ~E said...

Another song for you:

A Little Respect by Erasure.

I swear if you don't head bop to that thing, there's something wrong with you. I have to confess though, I didn't know about this song till I saw it on Scrubs. In fact I'll post it on my page for you if I can find it.

January 11, 2009 at 3:18 AM  
Blogger Stan D. said...

Oh, dear. You paid money for Frampton? Don't you know that's why God invented Limewire?

It could have been worse, you might have plunked down cash for "Red Octopus" by Jefferson Starship.

January 11, 2009 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

sabrae: I detected a certain quality about you. Now I know. You're a fellow buckeye!

e: Just paid a visit to your site. What a lovely clip! Do you know that show has been canceled? Pity.

tim: Believe it or not, I stopped downloading music for free. I now pay for everything. I have NO IDEA what came over me. Red Octopus! Yes! Papa John Creach!

January 11, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Pearl said...

I believe I may have smoked quite a bit to that album...

As for the polkas, both my father and I played in a polka band as teenagers and young adults. Different bands, of course, but still, that's kinda weird, I've always thought.

What can I say? I live in Minnesota, I can still play the Clarinet Polka, and I know HOW to polka. Stereotype, much?! :-)


p.s. Our stuff wasn't under the steps -- it slid under the couch.

January 11, 2009 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friends? Yeah. I don't have any.

Polkas? Good grief. For me it was nearly non-stop "The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem". Oddly, I kind of like that music now.

Frampton? oooooh baby I love your way

January 11, 2009 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

Frampton and polkas - works for me.

January 15, 2009 at 10:29 PM  

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