A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baker Street #atozchallenge

Gerry Rafferty   "Baker Street"   (1978)

  Baker Street

         My first wife and I rushed into our marriage too quickly.  We had that volatile mix of a mutual attraction motivated by a desire to have a successful traditional relationship and the bullheadedness of our individuality that caused us to frequently clash on ridiculous matters of disagreement.   The real problem was that we made our commitment without knowing enough about each other and not fully understanding what we were getting into.   It was that age old story of being blinded by the fantasy fueled by passion.

        And then there was the baby.  A child changes the nature of a commitment.  Plans were threatened.  My wife had her set of dreams and her dreams were not quite in line with mine.  We each wanted what we wanted.  That's what made things most difficult.

        We had met on a touring magic show.  I was the stage manager and a featured performer when she joined on as a magic assistant.   Since the touring life can be somewhat lonely from the perspective of being in a relationship, we almost immediately took up with each other while on the road.  Within a couple months we were in my parents' living room having an informal wedding with our families and friends.   I made a leap from loneliness to being one half of a young couple on the road with a show.  It was like a dream fulfilled for me.  Not so much for my wife, but she endured pregnancy on the road in a magic show for me.

        After a hiatus of settled life for a few months while my wife had our baby, she agreed to go back to the road life.  We had many good times, but she mostly endured it for my sake.  She made the best of the lifestyle, but I knew that her heart was not in it.  She dreamed of a settled life in a nice house where we could raise a nice family.   I tried my best to envision that dream.  I went along with the dream.  "Just one more year of road life," I'd say.  I said it for two years.

         Flash back to early November of 1978.  We were now touring with a stage production of The Wizard of Oz.  We were driving in our new model VW Rabbit, a brilliant blue hatchback that we had bought to do the road tour.  My wife, infant son, and I.  Even now I remember the feeling I had that morning as we drove through rural Mississippi.

          My wife and I had argued the night before and we drove in silence.  I sensed anger from her.  I wanted to think of something to say that might make things better, but the words wouldn't come.  She smoked another cigarette.  I hated her cigarettes.

           Hanging in a hazy autumn sky the sun dappled its light through the bare trees that lined the road.  The effect was dreamlike as we drove in our confused frustration.  We were listening to the radio that particular morning.  I guess neither of us wanted to choose a cassette tape to play.   The song "Baker Street" came on the radio.  I had heard the song many times that year, but had never listened closely to the lyrics.  On this morning I was listening and I heard the story of my life in variant.

         We went on another year long tour after that.  There were some wonderful times.  There were times of happiness and times of resentment and anger.  By the following year we separated and got a divorce.  She settled down like she had dreamed about and I went back on the road for another eight years of touring with road shows.

         I remained a rolling stone for a while and finally settled down myself.  If it made sense for me, I guess I'd still be rolling.  For now I risk gathering moss.

         Did you ever have a restless urge to travel?    Would you rather compromise to have peace or do you insist on having things your way?    Have you ever realized what a song lyrics were about after having heard the song many times?

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  1. Nope -- could never travel for a living. Love to travel but love coming home too. As for songs, I always hear other people's lives, never my own. Wonder what that says about me ~
    Visiting from A to Z

  2. I do have an urge to travel but zero money to do it. I got a lot out of my system moving to the west coast and back...at least I've been to 33 or 34 states but there's so much more I want to see. And I love 'baker street', that's a great song. And compromise is the only way to get along in a marriage.

  3. First of all, I do get the urge to travel. Secondly, isn't it weird the things we argue about, that are so stupid. Finally, great song choice.

  4. I'm quite the homebody. Traveling tends to fluster me (probably because I'm a control freak and there's so many facets to think about). Still, a traveling magic show sounds pretty cool.

  5. Oh my.. this one strikes REALLY close to home for so many reasons! Yes, I definitely have that rolling stone in me. It usually manifests itself every few years when I feel the need to pick up and move somewhere new. Loved your story! Hard lessons to learn that we can't and shouldn't want to change ourselves or our partners...

  6. Hi Arlee,
    Great reminiscent. Well narrated, travel, roadshow, again travel,O my goodness how she endured all these un imaginable :):):) Keep going.

  7. Being a travelling performer can be fun upto a certain age, but that lifestyle can be tough for a young mother. It is sad that the road that bridged the distance between your dream and you also left chasms beyond the reach of love.
    -Fellow A-Zer

  8. By the time I got out of the Marine Corps, my wild and crazy days were over. And I often figure out how much I like a songs lyrics years after having heard them.

    Great piece.

  9. Thankfully, for me Baker Street was a song I didn't have to live to enjoy. I think I'd have been more like your wife on that one. Except for the whole genitalia thing. And shaving.

  10. My husband and I PLANNED to travel a lot but our marriage was rocky and (fortunately) ended before a baby came along.

  11. Good gravy, Arlee, that's a lot of questions! :O) My 1st marriage was *ahem* less than inspired as well. It was a couple of weeks after I met my 2nd husband (face-to-face) that we heard the song, "Keeper of the Stars" by Tracy Byrd. That's when we knew we were going to be together. That was 19 years (and 3 children) ago. The road isn't always smooth, or straight ... but the scenery is GREAT! Thanks again for coming up with this smashing idea!

    LuAnn Braley
    AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
    Back Porchervations

  12. I don't want to travel for a living! And, yes, sometimes I only realize song lyrics after a year of listening to it.

  13. Didn't even realise this was you at first Lee. I have you on my list from Tina. I am one of her minions.

    I guess I won't really need to check on you, right? After all you started this whole business. I'm exhausted already LOL

  14. I've dreamed of going off to live in a shack on a remote beach somewhere. Just me and my man. I'm definately the one who gives in, caves, compromises the most in our relationship. But sometimes I come across something that means enough to me I stand my ground, even toe to toe if I must.

  15. Hi Lee - I love the Gerry Rafferty song .. and now I'll have to listen to the words.

    Your wife did wondrously well travelling around for so long - my time in South Africa was really enough for me .. I need a home base ..

    Glad you've settled ... but like you we all keep looking sometimes .. cheers Hilary

  16. My rolling stone has kids so we are firmly planted for a while, I'm a home body but excited about where we'll be in 10 years too - love this song Arlee and can recall a few songs that I was glad I didn't understand at first - or didn't want to :) Reflex Reactions

  17. Quite the story, Lee! I bet you could write a book about all your adventures traveling. (Hint, hint.)

    I like to travel, but only occasionally, and if I do travel I like to stay there for a while. I spent five months in Indonesia in 2009, and while I loved it (and want to go back someday), I love being home and coming home is always the best part of a trip.

  18. Lee,

    Very interesting post. In my younger years, I liked to travel but not so much now. It's my husband who has the itchy feet all the time. We don't agree on much anymore and sometimes I have to compromise to keep the peace, even though I'd like it my way.


  19. Thank you all for the wonderful comments. I'm am certainly more of a homebody now and have learned better the fine art of compromise. Still like the idea of traveling though. Hopefully someday I'll get around to writing a book length memoir.


  20. Hello, Arlee. I am coming to this A-Z series in this blog late, as I didn't realise you had more than one blog.
    I used to hate that my first husband had to travel every school holidays. However I got used to it. By the end, we had 5 sons and still did a lot of travelling.
    We split after 16 years, but by then I had the travel bug too - though only for within my country, Australia. Only lack of finances keep me and my second husband from travelling.


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