I know I’m not young anymore. Over half my life is over. I’m 64 now and my boyfriend is 67. But we are both far from old. In fact, I was happy to reach the age of 64 because now I can sing that song by the Beatles when I’m 64. I first heard that song when I wasn’t even 10 years old. It was right after my mother and I went out and bought the Sergeant Pepper album. I still remember hearing it, hearing all the songs on that album. And of course, I thought, wow, I will never be 64. Later I learned that Jon and Paul were young when they wrote the song probably only around 17. My mother passed away a bone cancer at the age of 64. And now I am the same age. But I know that I still have a lot of life left in me. I’m nowhere near ready to leave this earth.
Take this past weekend for example.
As I prepare to drive to Scappoose, Oregon for my good friend Erik’s celebration of life today, I’m still basking in the joy and warmth of yesterday at Cindy’s backyard party filled With beautiful, happy people singing and dancing. I felt safe with these people, all good friends. The band my boyfriend is in, Love Potion, serenaded us and they were beyond groovy! The cute guy playing drums is my boyfriend, Savoy. I hung out on a small hill above the band where I could see them all, especially the drummer and bass player Howie who often get lost in the background. I got to see them in action while the band played stellar tunes such as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” “Get Together” by the Youngbloods, “The Word” by the Beatles and so many other great songs from rock n’ roll to reggae and a bit of “ska.” It’s a seven-piece band with a big sound. We all cheered and yelled and danced the day away in spite of the heat. Cindy had set up a “Mister” to cool us off, so we also got soaking wet, and some even sat in the kiddie pool. Who says older folks can’t have fun?
I first met savoy indoors at Cindy’s house in 2018. Stood across from him and played ukulele in a large stellar circle jam crammed with fine musicians. I felt honored just to keep up, and I was concentrating super hard to do it.
Savoy played drums and smiled at me and Howie stood next to him just like yesterday and played the bass. They’ve been playing music together in various bands for many years. Howie and Robin are now my neighbors in Eugene. I had absolutely no idea that one day Savoy and I would be together. I thought of this yesterday as I watched him play drums. I was still living in Lincoln city back then. So many coincidences happen in life, sometimes when we least expect them.
The big surprise for me yesterday was that Cindy as well as Alan and Jennifer from the band asked if I would play a 30 minute set of Beatles songs before they started. I had brought my ukulele with me because I thought there would be a jam after the performance. I had absolutely no idea or plan to actually perform at all. But I said yes OK. And I mentally told myself this is just a jam that I’m leading or taking part in. No biggie at all. I just went up there and played and sang a bunch of Beatles songs and some non-Beatles songs, such as happy together and mellow yellow. The first time around I chose songs that I knew by heart so I didn’t have to use my iPad which I had conveniently brought along as well. Thank you Cindy for a wonderful party and thank you love potion… the love potion worked in the most groovy way! I love you all. I met my current boyfriend at one of Cindy’s parties in 2018. I also saw my good friend Erik alive for the last time at one of Cindy’s backyard “pandemic” gatherings where we all social-distanced and wore masks while Deep Woods Band played even though we were outdoors. No one got sick from that event because we were all careful.
However, last March, my dear friend passed away. It took me four hours to drive to Scappoose to honor my good friend, almost 6 months after his passing. People came from far and wide, mostly in my age group, some even older, some younger. They were as colorful and beautiful as Erik had described them to me before he passed in his sleep at the premature age of 65…all vibrant and young.