“Strange Days”

“Strange days have found us 
Strange days have tracked us down 
They’re going to destroy 
Our casual joys 
We shall go on playing 
Or find a new town 

Yeah!…”

Even though The Doors lead singer, Jim Morrison, is long gone (1943-1971), the words to many of his eerily dark, moody, mysterious and strange songs seem to resonate in these unpredictable times: Strange days indeed!

Back in the day, only teenyboppers and groupies showed outward excitement during live performances by popular bands. It just wasn’t cool to do more than nod appreciatively for a great song by an epic group. I was fortunate to attend live gigs by nearly all of the legends of rock ‘n roll, from Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, The Who and of course, The Doors. This was long before cell phones and their ever-present cameras, so there was little opportunity to chronicle these historic events. In fact, the saying goes “If you remember the ‘60s, you really weren’t there!” lol

My little Kodak Instamatic. Not quite as small as today’s cell phone cameras, which have a much greater resolution. The flash was good for 4 pictures, before it was totally dead. One had to wait days, if not weeks, for the photos to be developed, to see if you got any good shots…

Only once did I take my Kodak Instamatic camera to a concert, and it was The Doors at Cobo Hall in Detroit in the late ‘60s. Not sure if I even tried to use that little flash cube on top, which illuminated one shot before it died and turned 90 degrees.  In keeping with their dark and sultry songs, the stage area wasn’t well lit, and the pictures are very grainy, even though I was less than 50′ from the stage. I’m sure if I didn’t tell my son, Luke, that he was looking at Jim Morrison, he wouldn’t have known.

Betty & I are thankful to be nestled up close to our daughter’s home, where we can shelter in place. Our heated hose has a short run to an outside faucet, and our electrical connection is only 15 amp, but much appreciated! The foil covering the windows is usually to keep the heat out. In our case it serves to keep it in.

What the coronavirus has done for us all, as we continue to self-isolate and social distance from friends and family, is give us an opportunity for reflection. Those days hanging out at the Eastown and Grande Ballrooms in Detroit were not necessarily the best of times (although as I teenager I thought they were pretty great!) but they were part of the ongoing story of my life, and that of much of our generation.

We had a large dump of snow a few days ago, and the temp. dropped to -14c overnight (-21c with the windchill), with a daytime high of only -6c in Winnipeg, Manitoba. With auxiliary heaters in our plumbing bays we have proven able to survive such temperatures without winterizing and abandoning ship.

Even with its ups and downs, Betty & I have found that our overlandish odyssey has been one of the best adventures of our lives so far. COVID-19 has us cooped up in a small living space, with little or no face-to-face contact with the rest of the world, but we will all get through this together – as the sign on our daughter’s window declares – and we will gain a greater appreciation for the connections we have with each other, strange days or not.

Our upbeat granddaughter, Isabella, is always able to make lemonade from lemons. The window behind her proclaims: “We’re all in this together!”

Cheers!

“Strange days have found us 
And through their strange hours 
We linger alone 
Bodies confused 
Memories misused 
As we run from the day 
To a strange night of stone.”

        Song written by Jim Morrison, 1967

My life changed dramatically when I moved to Toronto in 1971 & met Betty. This pic of us was taken at Bet’s brother’s wedding in 1972. Finally got a haircut in 1973. lol

One Reply to ““Strange Days””

  1. Hi guys, I trust you’re done your quarantine & able to visit family & friends (from a distance.) I’m working max 2 days/ wk (firm!) & so we’re finally getting through boxes ++ & downsizing–you’ve done all that! So I found 2 cards you sent Betty, after Benjamin died; & the one welcoming Simon. Just can’t part with them until I let you know how they touched our hearts…Actually if you write a quick email, Peter will scan them for you. Love you guys, some of our “funnest” & warmest memories are with y’all! (lamb chops on the boardwalk, playing Cranium while wine taste testing!)
    Glad you’re home safe & sound! xxoo Janet & Peter

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