Saturday, April 30, 2016

No, Really

A Really Rainy Morning

It has been cool and windy for a few days now, basically ever since I got back on Monday from my trip to Kansas City, but not much rain. That changed this morning...

The view from my building's porch, 8:00 AM CDT

Fortunately, Rose Red looks good even when it rains...

I had planned a trip over to Omaha today, but weather like this tends to discourage that sort of thing. We'll see if it clears up later in the morning. The forecast is not promising in this regard...

"Great. I hate soggy ants..."
Buck up, buttercup...

A Really Great Day

Washington Takes the Oath (1875), Currier & Ives
On April 30, 1789 at Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington took the oath to become the 1st President of the United States.

His famous inaugural address is as relevant today as it was then. If only modern politicians were half so well educated and eloquent...

A Really Good Buy

On April 30, 1803, fourteen years to day after Washington's inauguration, Robert Livingston (the man who administered the oath of office at that ceremony) signed the treaty that came to be known as the Louisiana Purchase (the treaty was also signed by James Monroe and Barbé Marbois).

I have spent my entire life living in states acquired through this treaty (Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Wyoming). I have also visited all of the other states whose territory was part of the deal. I'd say the U.S. made out like a bandit on this one...

"Fess up. You liked Missouri the best."

That is true, yes..."the best years of my life," etc., etc.

A Really Crazy Idea

From the indispensable comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

The spring of 1977 was a pivotal time in my life. I became a widower at age 24 a week after Memorial Day, I signed my first teaching contract the day of my late wife's funeral, and I would attend my first National Speech and Debate Tournament as a coach two weeks later in Seattle.

To a large extent, I was sleepwalking through my days, and friends and family were
of course quite concerned about me. One very good friend convinced me to go to a rock concert at Arrowhead Stadium on July 31. The bill included Peter Frampton, Styx,
Rick Derringer, and the Steve Miller Band. All of those acts other than Frampton were favorites of mine.

I had rekindled my early-70s fondness for the Steve Miller Band when Steve released  
Fly Like an Eagle in May 1976. In May of 1977 he followed up that album's success by releasing Book of Dreams, an album consisting in large part of material left over from the Fly Like an Eagle recording sessions.

On April 30, 1977 Miller's label Capitol Records released "Jet Airliner" as the first single from the new album. It went on to be the record's most successful single, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.
It also helped the album reach No. 2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, and it quickly became a staple of Miller's live shows and "classic rock" radio.

Most FM radio stations played the album version that included the instrumental intro "Threshold," co-written by Miller's keyboard player Byron Allred.

The concert at Arrowhead was very good, but it was Miller's performance that night that really amazed me. It is fair to say that my enjoying his music so much that night helped me take an important step in getting past my recent tragedy. I will always associate that music with my emotional recovery.

Today's send-off is the album version that includes that synthesizer intro, paired with photos of some classic jet airliners. It's a really good song. Enjoy...

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