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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Why I Love Buddy Guy

I was out beside the busy road this morning, hauling the trash can and green waste bin back through our gate and up our little lane, when I saw a familiar face doing the same next house over,  then a familiar smile. D.W. doesn't live there, but his mother does --I help her when her pump goes flooey. D.W. does everything else. We waved and walked toward each other, met there in the gravel between highway and ditch and asked how each other was.

Hope you enjoy this compassionate song as much as I, down the years:Buddy Guy, "Done Got  Old"

He was the first kid I met when my family moved to the Vineyard area in 1959. He was 11 and I was 10. The little country school we attended had three grades to a classroom, so we saw each other all the time. 

Now we are somewhat older. He takes turns with other relatives to help his mom, so I glimpse him from time to time and had to ask how he was doing. 

He said, "Well, I had cancer two years back and open-heart surgery a few months ago."

I replied, "I had heart surgery 12 years ago and cancer over the summer."

"Well Geo.,"he said."We always did things backways around from each other."

"There was always some common ground, D.W. What've you  got now?"

"COPD."

"Hey, me too! Got an inhaler? A nebulizer?" 

"Yep and yep." 

"D.W., I've been repairing a bench out back and have to sit down every ten minutes."

"I been clearing mom's garage and doing the same thing. That's why I have a sit-down desk job now, Geo."

"That's why I retired...couldn't get a desk job."

We looked earnestly and happily at each other, then collided in a hug. Cars whizzed by, busy-busy-busy, while two old men embraced on a country road. All those frantic commuters --I hope such happy hugs are in their futures.

34 comments:

  1. It’s great to see someone who shares your history. Catching up is much faster. There’s so much you don’t need to explain. Have a great day, Geo!

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    1. Mio Caro Consigliere, Yes, my friend and I share nearly 60 years of acquaintance. We know each other pretty well. We seem to meet by chance, but it's always when we need each other.

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  2. Sharing stuff really does make a person feel better, doesn't it? Here's to those who've known us nearly all our lives! *clink*

    Are you still having much pain, Geo.?

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    1. Not so much pain as fatigue now, Jenny. Norma's giving me good care and the animals come see me when I go outside. I'm doing ok.

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  3. "Old friends, sit on the park bench like bookends......"
    Paul Simon

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    1. I keep that bench in good repair, Mike. I do nothing for a day after light carpentry, but it's there --out back-- for friends to take an end of. The volumes between are loving, happy and profound.

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  4. Good friends, you love; old friends, you treasure.

    New friends are wonderful also, and you dear Geo, have become very dear to me and many others on Blogger. I hate that you are going through this very difficult time.

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    1. … smiles … Love, cat.

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    2. I treasure new friends as well as old, Arleen. I am getting better bit by bit --in part as response to your kind affection. I shall get better --we are not strangers to difficulty, you and I, but I sure appreciate your selfless compassion.

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    3. Thanks, Cat, I can feel your smile from here.

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  5. It was a poignant reunion of two long time friends.

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    1. Indeed it was, Emma. There's a connection between boyhood pals that time cannot erase --even if they met in the middle of another century.

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  6. And here on the dusty road of the ether land we all stop and give you another great big hug. Just watch out for that flying gravel.

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    1. Delores, you're a comforting marvel. I have become a flawless dodging machine since our road was made a commuter detour while main arteries have undergone repairs and closures. I have no idea how the highway department expects us to check our roadside mailboxes safely.

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  7. A wonderfully warm and heartfelt post, Geo. - and an appropriate video. I never heard of Bubby Guy, but I like him. Old age has a wicked way of sneaking up on us long before we're ready for it.

    BTW - Amazon hasn't delivered the books yet, but I'm hoping they'll arrive before I get much older.....)

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    1. Dear Jon, Mr. Guy's song has been in my mind for a number of years. When I was younger, I just thought it was funny, but now I see its compassion, its understanding gentleness. No rush on the books, I plan to be around for a long time.

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  8. OMG, friend Geo … this post moved me so much … I never had cancer … yet … nor heart surgery … yet … nor COPD … yet … but my "specialty" is falling and breaking knee caps and toes and wrists and things … Seems like we are constantly trying to be well … Hugs, cat. https://www.youtube.com/embed/F3kbqoz-XzQ?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0

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    1. Dear Cat, couldn't access video but sure appreciate your kind intent. We must NEVER stop trying to be well. Yes, I know men statistically live shorter lives than women. We don't mind so very much --but lately I've thought I could have chosen my gender more wisely. Of course the grandkids would disagree. Wife certainly would. I have to watch my balance too. Just go a bit slower. I sure do. Love, Geo.

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    2. … maybe try right click and high light the link, friend Geo … then it should be accessible via your search engine. c.

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  9. Old friends. A good thing. But not yet as old as me, Geo!

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    1. Thanks Bruce, you offer me hope! And fuel for determined vitality.

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  10. A love filled post. Two old friends embracing, an act of life, an affirmation of the best that is in the human heart. We send thoughts of peace and healing.

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    1. Thank you, Tom. Healing apace. Peace and best wishes to you as well.

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  11. Dude.

    This post is... it's touching, heartwarming, uplifting. It honestly brought tears to my eyes. Maybe I'm just an old softie, but there is NOTHING more meaningful to me than human connections, so your encounter with an old friend didn't just have meaning for you... it had meaning for us, too. We all have so much in common and share so many of the same trials and tribulations. While we're going through them, we can't help but feel alone, but we're never completely alone, are we? Others have fought the same battles and faced down the same fears. And ya know, you don't just have connections with the people you've known face-to-face for almost sixty years... you've built countless meaningful connections to those of us who've met you through blogging, too... and I guarantee you, every single one of us wants you to take care of yourself and get well.

    Dude.

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    1. Susan, thank you. My life changed a lot since late spring and I found my thoughts turning toward age and illness. I tried to resist the urge to cry out and did not succeed to my satisfaction. The subject intruded obliquely at first for a while, then I saw people in waiting rooms and hospitals. It got harder. When I saw my old friend by the refuse bins, it all came together. I feel a freedom now to return to my favorite thoughts and moods. I get out of bed earlier and have hired people to do what I can no longer manage --you know, tree-felling and roof repairs. If I could play guitar and sing as well as Buddy Guy, I'd do that, but (like him) I'll do the best I can with what am.

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    2. Ps: And thanks for calling me Dude, makes me feel normal. When I was younger, the normalest and most humorous southern relative I had was Uncle Dude --a kind man who lived into his late 80s with a hipflask of whisky in his back pocket and a Pall Mall hanging from his mouth. He was married to my Aunt Ura Mae Hedgecock, who lived to 89 without the flask. When I hear or read the name "Dude" (have long-forgotten his real name), I think of love and good company. You honor me.

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  12. A reverberating hug xxx I have Buddy Guy on vinyl, I shall dig that out later for an overdue rediscovery. Today I am looking after my mother in-law who has survived 5 strokes and a heart attack. Family, friends, the sharing of good honest art, these are the ingredients for a fine life xxx

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    1. Dear Lisa, thanks for comment and reverberating xxx. I need the encouragement! Also happy to find another Buddy Guy fan. Our record player pooped out last month, but I'm looking for a new one --the Crosley Company is a good bet. All my best wishes to your mother-in-law --Norma's mom is 90 and unwell, so we know the effort somewhat. I am not so durable as she, but improving.

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    2. My record player must have heard - it too has pooped out!! But I have a lovely friend who found a spare in his workshop, the replacement is being collected this weekend. Extra hurrah for friends and sharing!
      Improving is a fine word :-)
      My mother in law will send hugs and love to Norma's mom xxx

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    3. Magical Lisa, it's about 2:30 a.m. here and I just got off the phone with Frontier Internet Assistance after spilling half a glass of cabernet on my laptop keyboard. Until 5 minutes ago, all I could get was everything sideways and had to convince the technician I was not swacked. So glad you were able to find a working record player! I look forward to replacing ours. And yes, our mothers-in-law should be proud and comforted in their places as elders in our society --and loved.

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  13. Just checking in on you, and hoping that your recovery continues. Your intelligence, your humour and your spirit are a gift to the world.

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    1. Most kind, EC. Thank you. I am recovering bit by bit. Endurance returning slowly. Your caring comment is a true gift.

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  14. This is a heartwarming and uplifting post, Geo, despite the difficulties behind the words. In life it's all about the human connections that we make, and long friendships, even if periods of separation occur, are truly magical.

    I've been off-line so much in recent months, so I didn't know that you have been dealing with cancer. I'm glad to read that you are improving and that you are never going to stop trying to get well. That's good news, because the world is a better place with you in it.

    It's been a while since I heard Buddy Guy. I love blues music, and "Done Got Old" is raw and real and poignant. Simple words, but profound. You can imagine "I can't walk like I used too," but it takes on a new level of meaning when you have arthritis in your feet and you struggle to get through the pain till they start to work better.

    When you're well into your sixties and you feel time is shrinking, it's comforting to look back and realize what a rich ride life has been. I came across Kenneth Clark's "Civilisation" in one of my bookcases last night and decided to read it again after almost fifty years. The BBC series originally aired while I was at university. Big colored TVs weren't so common then. One of the professors set up a weekly viewing as the series aired on a large screen in the biggest lecture hall of our science building. The hall was packed for every screening. I remembered that I loved the series, but not a lot of the content.

    What struck me last night as I leafed through the pages and looked at every picture was how many of the of the wonderful things I had seen for real. I had no idea when I watched the series that I would be fortunate enough to travel and see so much. When you're young it's exciting to look forward, but when you're older it's gratifying to look backwards and wonder at all you've seen and done.

    I love that you share the richness of your life and experiences with us, Geo, and I hope that you will continue to do so for a long, long time.

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    1. Dear Louise, thanks so much for your beautifully composed comment. It's my intention to keep writing as long as I possibly can. I'm about a month from my 69th birthday and have a lot of pleasures and disturbances to reflect on, but mostly, as usual, I'll probably just goof off. All best wishes to you, Blue.

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