I'm not sure how many here are from the old Lake...or remember my buddy Mark. When he passed away back in 2015, I started copying stuff he posted and planned on bringing his words back on occasion. Since I'm not welcome at that Lake...I hope you guys don't mind if I post a 2006 Mark story here....Merry Christmas....
"I woke last night from a dream of Christmas morning. As most dreams, it was not clear, but enough to cause me to wake and walk out to the living room just to “check”. I looked over at the Christmas tree in the corner, still bare of baubles and trinkets. It was very easy to picture it full of life in the next few days.
Sitting down, I thought of Ebenezer, and his visitations. Outside, the silent lights flickered like fireflies gathering, and I closed my eyes. It was easy to remember Christmases long past. From the time I was a young boy, they always brought music. One of my earliest recollections is of getting Abbey Road by the Beatles. To this day, one of my favorite Beatles records. Something about the flow of the album, how it all seemed to run together. I remembered being at the home of a distant Aunt, and she worked for Columbia records. One year, she gave me Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits & Joe Cockers Mad Dogs and Englishmen. I played the hell out of those albums. I still recall the gatefold of the Joe Cocker album, and hearing Joe sing “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”. Prolly the first time I can recall the idea that this music was something to be shared and molded, and reinvented.
Years that followed, always included some form of music, or electronic equipment to play music. I could easily recall opening the Emerson, Lake and Palmer album “Pictures at an Exhibition”, and wanting to have my Grandfather listen to “Hoedown”, because I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever heard. I remembered listening to “Winterland” at a friend’s house on Christmas Eve while drinking copious amounts of Jack Daniels, just saying over and over “Play it again”, when I heard “Backstreets” and that same friend saying to me, “here, take it. Merry Christmas” and giving me my first bootleg vinyl. That common thread, running like garland through the tree. The giving of music, the sharing of the joy, peace and hope that come with it.The days we live in are filled with many uncertainties. It’s difficult to turn on the television without having to turn off some emotional switch first. Sometimes I find it difficult to even believe in the message that I believe Christmas evokes….peace on earth and good will toward men. My cynicism clouds my hope. I find it hard to see the tree. Last night I tried to put those thoughts aside. In a back room there is a CD copy of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits with my son’s name on it. He will receive it this Christmas, and he won’t know why... but I will. It will truly be my Christmas “present”. Downstairs in the basement there is a dusty old Yamaha acoustic, that I received so many years ago for Christmas, sitting next to a Fender strat. Maybe sometime in the future he will plug it in. They have both taken me places I never could have thought of, but were always in my future. I hope they are in his.In my half sleep I felt the gossamer touch of evening snow on my bare arms, and in my minds eye the tree was lit and sparkling. I could hear the pealing laughter of Christmas morning and I could hear Rick Danko singing “this must be Christmas, must be tonight”. I opened my eyes and I could feel a soft smile on my lips. I turned off the stereo and watched the LCD lights fade and walked back to my room, knowing I’d had my visitations.
I wish you all the same. Joyful memories of days gone by, peace in the present, and hope for the future.
Let the ghosts in when they knock. Share the thread that runs through us all.