Me & Bobby McGee

Remembering my dad who passed away May 9, 2014

In my last post, I shared how some of my favorite memories were of fishing with my dad. Other memories I hold close to my heart involve music. My stepmother was a registered nurse when I was young. Every other weekend, she would work the “swing shift” at the hospital. That meant she would be working from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., but to my brother and me, it meant we would have our dad all to ourselves from the time he got off work until we went to bed.

We looked so forward to those Fridays! He was more lenient than my stepmother, so we got to stay up later, eat dessert, and simply relax more. I don’t remember everything about those evenings with my dad, but what I do remember left its imprint on my soul. In the evening, my brother and I would sit with my dad and listen to his old records. He had a good-sized collection of albums. He had an eclectic taste in music. Classical music, folk, rock. Some of the artists in his collection included Bob Dylan, The Chad Mitchell Trio, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Simon & Garfunkel, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Janis Joplin.

He would tell us about each artist… their backgrounds, where he got to see them perform live, and about the songs they wrote. I especially loved the folk music, Bob Dylan, and Janis Joplin. My very favorite song was Joplin’s version of “Me & Bobby McGee.” My dad had seen Janis Joplin in concert, so I got to hear about that. He explained Kris Kristofferson wrote the song, which was funny to me because I only knew of him as an actor.  To this day, I can’t hear the song “Me & Bobby McGee” without thinking of those precious moments with my dad.

I have no doubt my love for music– all kinds of music– is due to my dad’s influence. I will forever be grateful for this wonderful gift.

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