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Less Jurassic!

This being Tuesday, I did not scrimmage with the boys during training late in the afternoon. Just as well; it rained as though by clockwork as training was about to start. It would have been bad for my new Mizuno boots, which I had grudgingly purchased the other week for lack of choices. The boots’ fine leather is gentle to the feet; but amphibious the boots are not. Rain will not be kind to the pair.

Because Christmas is just around the corner, it was dark not long after scrimmage started. We have lights at the field; but these do no more than augment the fast-fading light of the skies after sunset. To continue scrimmaging in the dark would have been foolhardy.

So, the boys had to be called in. It was while the boys were doing their cooling down stretches under the roof of the athletes’ station between the baseball diamond and the football pitch that my ear drums started to throb from the pounding of the drums as I played rock songs with my cell phone.

I pulled off the cell phone’s earphones, yanked the jack away and allowed Bon Jovi to continue playing over the phone’s built-in speaker. “I wanna be just as close as the Holy Ghost is…” Jon belted into the dark.

A few of the boys joined in, “…lay you down on a bed of roses…”

I smiled in the dark, although I did not say anything to indicate that I was feeling pleased that a few of the lads knew the lyrics of the song enough to sing along. Majority of the boys we have in the high school team were born either in 1994 or 1995. Bed of Roses, the number one hit single of the band that was part of its Keep the Faith album, was released in 1992.

The song is a timeless enough ballad that continues to be played over the airwaves to this day. It was, therefore, not very surprising that the boys knew the song – even if it was released before they were even born.

I continued to play songs till the boys were getting dressed at the athletes’ station by the handball court. Needless to say, I do not have hip-hop among my collection.

On a whim, I scrolled to my Bread album and played The Guitar Man. I have always loved this song. Its classic guitar licks are always a source of melodic ecstasy.

The boys chatted among themselves as they got dressed; and I could not really care less that nobody recognized the song I was playing. I was just playing it for my own listening pleasure. I mean, Bon Jovi is still relatively contemporary even to 16-year old kids. But Bread?

Then my phone shuffled to a new song. “And Aubrey was her name, a not so very ordinary girl or name, but who’s to blame…” Before long, somebody from among the boys was whistling along.

“Who was that???!!!” I demanded to know, completely stunned. I looked around; none of the boys spoke at first, everyone quite uncertain why I was animatedly looking around and asking. Finally, somebody spoke and said it was Alex.

I was amazed! The song first hit the airwaves back in 1972 as one of the cuts of a Bread album entitled The Guitar Man. That was – like – 38 years ago! I initially told the boys that the ballad must have started hitting the airwaves when I was in my senior high school year. I have now checked the Internet and realized my mistake. I was actually either a freshman or a sophomore!

How a 16-year old boy would know the song enough to whistle along I just thought absolutely remarkable! The boy just shrugged his shoulders and explained matter-of-factly that the folks at home like to play the oldies.

“Do you understand the lyrics of the song, Alex?” I asked. Naturally, he did not. “It is a love song,” I felt impelled to explain, and not that there was a lot in the way of enthusiasm in the boy’s demeanor, “about a girl with a man’s name.”

A few of the boys had started to listen in, and as we started to leave, one of them mentioned something about long-playing records. I could not help but laugh! Who still plays cassette tapes, let alone vinyl records on turntables? These are certifiable museum items; and I had the utmost joy discovering that some of the lads even knew what they were or how they looked like!

When I was their age, had somebody mentioned to me that one day in the distant future phones would take the place of those huge cabinet-sized stereo systems I grew up listening to, I would have given that person the strangest look. I would have thought I would be the object of the strangest looks from these guys had I ever dared to broach the subject of the music systems of my youth. Thus, I was tickled that – to my complete amazement – at least some of them knew all along.

Made me feel less of a fossil from the Jurassic Age…

And now, to indulge in a little nostalgia, Bread doing Aubrey:

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