Sam Cooke used to sing about Another Saturday Night and how he didn’t have anyone but it wasn’t because he was stationed at the dining room table setting up the new laptop he just purchased for his soon to be entering high school age son.
No, Cooke never did that or listened to Straight Outta Compton and think about how he once ran into Ice Cube at the local International House of Pancakes.
Nor did he spend any time trying to remember what year that song was released (1990) or shake his head when he realized how long ago it was.
Nah he didn’t think about how he was in college when NWA started to hit it big or the conversations that took place in some of the classrooms at the university he attended about whether the lyrics reflected the reality of life in Compton or not.
Compton wasn’t a mythical name or place. It was less than an hour away from the university and somewhere many of us had been to, driven through and or knew people from.
No, Sam Cooke didn’t have a Saturday night like that but then again I don’t know how many Saturday nights I ever had that looked like his either.
Saturday Night Used To Begin At Midnight
Back in those mythical/legendary days of my youth Saturday nights began a little bit earlier than midnight but not as much as you might think and they often went for hours afterwards.
I loved the night time, probably far more than I loved the nightlife that some people associate with the expression. I wasn’t the guy who would go dancing, at least not unless I was at the fraternity or dragged to some club with one of the girlfriends.
Probably because rhythm and I were often at odds. I could slow dance with the best of them and because of some girls who were truly friends I even learned how to two-step but theÂ fast danceÂ was never my thing.
I didn’t feel comfortable and often felt awkward and stupid so most of the time I preferred to be in a corner. beer in hand where I could choose to engage or disengage with whomever was around.
When I think about those days I remember being cautious about singing along with certain songs. I might have enjoyed what some people called Gangsta Rap but it was never my primary thing, in part because there were certain words I could never say.
Those of you who have spent real time reading here know I have no problem with salty language and probably aren’t surprised to see it used as necessary but the racial terms, well those don’t show up here.
Should you ever find yourself sent back in time through conventional or unconventional means I can promise that you’ll find my car stuffed with cassette tapes that fit the Classic Rock genre intermixed with some Country, Classical and mixes of what some people call easy-listening today.
And should you find yourself sitting in the passenger seat of my Camaro put your seatbelt on and prepare to listen to me blast you with some proper driving music, Van Halen, Ozzy or Led Zeppelin.
My size 12 boot will lay heavy upon the pedal and I’ll fly around turns without fear.
Did I mention these memories are why I sometimes fear that my children will do as I did and not as I say?Probably because rhythm and I were often at odds. I could slow dance with the best of themClick To Tweet
That Was Then & This Is Now
That was then and this is now.
Instead of hanging out with the guys, going on a date or listening to my girlfriend talk about whether grad school is a smart choice I was homeÂ getting the kids ready for school and helping my parents get ready to sell their house.
There were no parties, poker games or bars to visit.
Instead I spentÂ several hours working on both the new and old technology at the house. It was productive, but it wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t Â satisfied because things didn’t go as quickly or smoothly as I wanted them to. Wasn’t quite satisfied because I had trouble reading some of the smaller print and had to pull out the reading glasses to make out the fine print.
Wasn’t quite satisfied because I feel like I made it work instead of having it just work.
There is a difference between the two.
Or so I like to believe.
If I had my druthers I’d spend part of my time looking back at those moments and thinking about how to write about them in a way that made people want to read them.
And some of those moments would be dedicated to the present and the future and thoughts about what sort of writing to do about those things.
But people plan and G-d laughs so sometimes we find ourselves walking under moonless skies wondering what sort of creatures lie just beyond our sight or under bright blue skies thankful for the unexpected gifts we just received.
Life is one hell of an adventure, you just never know what is going to happen next.