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Archive for Life

July 15, 2018 — Newest entry

The latest entry in 19 Harvard Blazers is up for those of you following along.

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July 8, 2018 — Next post

It’s Sunday, so if you are looking for the latest Class of 1988 post on 19 Harvard Blazers, please click here.

July 4, 2018 — What today is truly all about

Every year, National Public Radio employs some of their most prominent voices to read the full text of the Declaration of Independence, including the words “perfidy,” “usurpation,” “consanguinity,” and the regrettable phrase “merciless Indian savages.”

It’s a good listen.

July 1, 2018 — New post

For those of you looking for the latest Class of 1988 post on 19 Harvard Blazers, please click here.

June 27, 2018 — A college touchstone

Dear readers, I beg your indulgence today, because I heard last evening that a friend of mine from college died on Monday. Colon cancer claimed my friend Constance, who was not only a very smart person, but a visionary in more ways than one.

Constance Adams worked for Lockheed Martin, a contractor who supplied key components for the International Space Station. She helped design Virgin Galactic’s spaceport in New Mexico. She also applied lessons learned from water conservation aboard ISS to help with the Millennium Development Goals.

I knew she had that kind of acumen and vision even when we were in the same dorm complex in the mid-1980s. Written on a placard on one wall of her dorm room were the words “THE AVALON PROJECT.” I have been told this was her vision of a collective of artists working alongside each other, allowing interaction and collaboration. It’s a vision which, over the last few years, has led to entrepreneurial space-sharing services such as WeWork and Spark.

Constance Adams was a young woman who did not suffer fools gladly, and who had a wicked sense of irony. Her spiky black motorcycle jacket was emblazoned with a bumper sticker that read, “Women for Reagan.” And she was anything but a Reaganite.

She lived her life in an unfettered, open way which I thought was completely and utterly awesome. I always wondered how she was doing even as I marked major reunions every five years. But I never got news about her because she was two years ahead of me.

That is, until Monday evening.

I guess, when you get to know enough people, and when you get to care about them, the loss of friends, acquaintances, and family members really begin to accumulate. A friend of mine told me last night that the reason why deaths hurt so much is because we love, and hurting for that reason is the most noble reason there is.

That’s an incredible statement. And so true.

Safe home, Constance. I’m raising a tasse at Cafe Pamplona in your honor this fall.

 

June 24, 2018 — A new entry

The latest entry in my virtual Class of 1988 Red Book is up at 19 Harvard Blazers. Enjoy!

June 18, 2018 — Midweek isn’t the same anymore

Last weekend, two hip-hop albums from Jay-Z and wife Beyonce, and Kanye West were made available for public consumption through digital streaming.

In days gone by, when enormous albums like this were released, they would be publicized so that fans would come to a record store, usually on a Tuesday or Thursday, in order to buy it in whatever format you wanted — record, cassette, compact disc.

But have you noticed that there aren’t many places to buy physical copies of music collections anymore? That’s a little distressing to me.

I’m very much a CD guy, especially when it comes to some of my favorite local artists. To get by, they sell compact discs at gig in order to break even.

And even in an era of digital distribution, YouTube, and reality television, it is getting harder and harder to break into the music business. I have been following the career of a young woman from Texas who I heard on the radio once, and she had a voice of such clarity that I had to pull over and turn off the engine so I could hear the song better.

She released a debut album in 2010, but hasn’t played many shows since the start of 2016. I’m hoping she is not in a creative lull; she decided to try to start her own band after starting out as a solo country/blues singer and songwriter, but there hasn’t been much from an album standpoint.

I just hope that the music industry has a revival so that artists are able to receive a fair wage for their work, and that good singers aren’t marginalized in favor of songwriters. Funny how that works nowadays, no?