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See Me, Feel Me

June 7th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

Image result for woodstock the field

 

I believe in miracles. Not big ones (although those are good too), just little tiny ones. You know, the ones that seem to crop up when you need them the most. Then after it’s done, you sit back and say………Did that just happen?

After suffering a disappointment early yesterday morning, I suggested that Michael and I take a drive to Bethel Woods just 45 minutes away. The fresh air and nostalgia would do us both good. Michael readily agreed and I thought I’d take a quick peek at the website to see what events might be of interest in the upcoming days, weeks and maybe purchase some tickets. For those of you too young to know, Bethel Woods was the site of the Woodstock festival in 1969 and has since been transformed into a beautiful museum/concert venue.

Roger Daltrey immediately popped up for this coming Friday. It was already Wednesday. Would there be any decent seats available?

Do you wanna go, I asked Michael.

I don’t know. What’s he playing? New stuff? If it’s new stuff, then no.

I searched but couldn’t find a setlist at first, then after scrolling awhile, there were articles in reference to his upcoming Tommy tour. Perfect!

I thought I was on the Bethel Center for the Arts website but somehow ended up with a third party ticket vendor, not immediately realizing it.  After purchasing the tickets on-line, I needed a physical ticket to gain admittance but didn’t have the capability of printing them. So, I called them (in a slight panic) and was told they’d sent an email saying the purchase had been canceled. Why? There was some confusion they couldn’t explain, would I like to try again? Heck, no, that was why I was calling in the first place. What a stroke of luck. Sort of.

As it was later in the afternoon, I asked Michael did he still want to go to Bethel and maybe be lucky enough to get Daltrey tickets. Even if we couldn’t, it would still be fun to go there. Once again, he agreed.

At the box office, there were just 2 tickets left in the prime seating area for a reasonable price. It was even about $75.00 cheaper than the comparable tickets purchased earlier which included other hidden charges.  Another stroke of luck!

Next, we perused the somewhat pricey gift shop and bought a cool baseball cap for Michael with (what else?) a peace sign emblazoned on the front and Bethel Center for the Arts stitched on the side. Very nice. That done, we slipped out the back doors into the still glorious afternoon sun to take a look at “the field”. You know, THE FIELD. The one and only historical landmark where it all took place. Rock and Roll Heaven. All the hippie dippy stuff. Peace. Love. No rain. Mud.

The road to the field was beautifully landscaped with twisting turning pathways, tents setting up for Friday’s event, and the sound of Daltrey’s voice wafting in the air. Nice of them to get people in the mood for the concert.

That sounds “live.”

Yeah, it does. Doesn’t it?

Our paces quickened with our pulses in the direction of the sound coming from the outdoor pavilion. We were the only two people besides those that worked there busying about. There was nothing and no one to pay us any attention.

We just kept walking. Past the No Entry sign leading to the pavilion and up a little hill with two perfectly placed picnic tables overlooking the stage with (pinch me if I’m real) Roger Daltrey rehearsing Tommy with his band and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Orchestra. What????

We sat at one of the two perfectly placed tables, quiet as mice, pretending to be invisible. They ran one song after another, with us watching and listening intently to the odd absence of no applause after each set.

This is real, isn’t it???

We took some  video to prove that after 49 years, magic still pervades the air at Woodstock, and feeling quite certain that the audience of two were accompanied by some invisible ones as well.

Ain’t that right, Janis? Jimi?

Like I said. Miracles. Just little ones. They happen every once in awhile. Especially at Woodstock.

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The Great Le Duke de Fromage

April 23rd, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

Image result for the big cheese

Today marks the passing of a very dear friend.

 

When Michael and I first started Whadawethink, we began receiving commentary from a mysterious person by the name of Le Duke de Fromage. We delighted at his interest in our blog. So much so, that we kept writing and he kept responding. His deep and insightful remarks were often laced with subtle good humor that always elicited a chuckle. Who was this fancy French dude?

 

Time went by and still Le Duke’s comments kept coming and engaged us in a volley of charm and wit.  When at last it was revealed that Le Duke was none other than the father of a long time friend, Michael couldn’t have been more surprised or more pleased.

 

Le Duke continued to be the biggest fan of our blog, and more often than not, the only one who ever took the time to read and comment on whatever we had to say. Looking forward to hearing from him made our efforts worthwhile. In short, Whadawethink will never be the same.

 

The profound sadness we feel at the loss of his friendship is only eclipsed by the bleak realization in knowing that at the end of this blog post there will be no comment from Le Duke de Fromage, not now or ever again. And that is simply unthinkable.

 

Mr. George, if we may be so bold as to reveal your true identity, you were a voice in the dark and a light when we most needed one. Thank you for your constant friendship. In our endeavor to create a platform in which to be heard, you responded with interest and with kind good humor. You will never know how much that meant to us both.

 

I think you would have wanted us to keep writing, so no matter the blog post met with silence, we will always remember you.

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Blackbird

March 26th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

 

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I held the fluttering heart

Of Spring

Cupped within both hands,

And sought to let

This winged thing

Soar past the touch of man.

But it stayed,

Its broken song

Stuttered in the wind.

Not of the earth

Did it belong

But to Heaven’s din.

Angels held

The closing door

As it stumbled in-between,

Had I only asked

For more

Than to wish upon a dream.

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Crows Call

March 7th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

Image result for snow falling through window

Crows call

Through the fast-falling snow,

Both filling the void

In equal measure.

How good it is to watch and listen

To nothing

But the stirrings of the soul,

To spend the time actively searching

For nothing in particular,

And finding the all-important

In idle restlessness.

 

Crows call.

And faster forms the ghostly plumage

Of my shortcomings

In drifts and drafts,

A profusion of the nonsensical

In answer to my bucket list

Left lying to itself.

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IMPEACH

October 30th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Image result for impeach trump

He’s a danger to the American people. He’s putting the health & safety of the American people at risk. IMPEACH

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Scarecrow

October 21st, 2017 by Magdalena Tabor

 

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Be afraid!

For didn’t you see my shirttail fly

As I stand stock-still with a glint in my eye,

Pretending to be just stuff of straw?

But know this, raven, I am much, much more!

 

Tremble at my arms a’flailing!

The wind discerns my wit by wailing,

And you, fine raven, consider my threat

As nothing more than baseless fret,

And weary at the effort, less hurricane than zephyr.

 

Be afraid, I say!

As night descends with its screeching owl awry,

For in this field of stubble rests the shadow of time gone by,

And I must rise to shake the dust,

For know this, raven, I must, I must!

 

Quiver just a little now!

A feathered pile to fluff my brow.

Will nothing ruffle, rift or tousle?

My words deflect, devoid of muscle.

Oh, raven, cock your head

Give me an ounce of dread.

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Tom Petty Heartbreak

October 4th, 2017 by Magdalena Tabor

TOM PETTY Concert Ticket Stub 11-19-1977 Bottom Line New York NY 11/19/77 RARE

In March of 1977, I was just 22 years old (Okay, do the math, if you must).  My friends and I regularly frequented a favorite music venue, now defunct, called The Bottom Line in NYC’s Greenwich Village. I can recall many a sleepy drive home to Queens in the wee hours through the Bowery in that white VW convertible after an exhilarating show, nary a soul in sight.

On this particular evening, we were introduced to an unknown artist by the name of Tom Petty, the opening act for a famous guy, that has seemingly slipped from memory. So I did a little digging through the archives, and lo and behold, it was none other than Mr. Roger McGuinn. Now how could this be? Forget Roger and remember somebody nobody knows? It seems Tom had made a lasting impression. But it wasn’t his music I remembered that night.

Music freaks of the ultimate kind, we always made sure to secure a good seat by being among the first to get to the doors in front of a long trailing line of attendees. It was always general admission and the club, being a small venue, ensured that no matter where you sat, you would get to see the performance all right. But we always managed to sit at a table directly in front of the stage. Luckily, that night, there were no beers yet purchased to spoil what happened next.

Well, out walks this scrawny blond guy setting up his equipment, and I remember thinking, who’s he? No one had ever heard of him before. Then suddenly, he topples the microphone stand directly on top of our table. How’s that for starters? Maybe it was opening night jitters.

I honestly don’t recall another single thing, not the music, not whether or not I liked him, not even poor old Roger McGuinn who I love and adore.

But right after that night, everybody, and I mean everyone, had heard of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. His career debuted and just took off. For whatever reason, I always remember him as the guy whose microphone stand fell on our table.

With the passing of Tom Petty, little did I realize how many wonderful songs were penned and performed by this amazing and gifted artist. What a long way we’ve come since those cherished  and rebellious days of our youth. And to know that, even now, we can choose any song, anytime we please, and be catapulted back to that long ago era.

I’m right there. Center stage. Microphone stand crashing to the table. A blip in time forever encapsulated. A moment in Tom Petty’s life that everyone, even he, forgot. All…. except me.

 

 

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Silo

September 18th, 2017 by Magdalena Tabor

Image result for abandoned farm with silo

Half capsule upended.

A barn’s best bud.

Towering with its moon helmet

In a memory field of grain.

Sleeping on its empty stomach.

 

A pile of lumber

Sinks to its knees.

Silo gone solo.

 

Long abandoned to the wind.

An empty drum

Echoing a swallow’s song.

Or an owl on a wintry night.

Or a sigh emanating

From the soul of one,

Such as I.

 

A sigh so low.

A sigh so low.

 

If I could resurrect

Something from the dirt

I kick with the toe of my boot,

Something worth saving

Besides a dream

Sticking halfway out

Of someone else’s back pocket,

I might fill it with more

Than the beating of wings

Against the moonlit drape

Of night sky,

Illuminating nothing but

A silo.

 

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The True Last Alaskan

July 29th, 2017 by Magdalena Tabor

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Those of us familiar with the reality documentary series, The Last Alaskans, are already aware Bob Harte, a particular favorite, succumbed to cancer on Saturday, July 22nd.

For forty years, Bob made the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge his home, living in the tiny log cabin he built for himself and his family. But what set Bob apart from the other six cabin dwellers the government has allowed to remain in this remote corner of Alaska, was his aching loneliness without the company of another human being, mainly his ex-wife Nancy, whose heart was ever bound to hers. This wistfulness remained, as if he lived with the memories still tacked to the cabin wall, the photographs curling at the edges. They were never really gone, his wife and daughter, and when the radio announcer brought any news of them, he was always visibly touched.

But the story of Bob delves deeper than a lonely man living in the Alaskan wilderness with his husky Ruger. To hear Bob speak was to afford a glimpse into the soul of the man; soft spoken, unhurried. The intonations brimming with a kindness and honesty uniquely his. To hear Bob speak was to fall instantly in love with his boyish nature but with a man’s resolve and resiliency to overcome every obstacle he encountered.

Bob was self-reliant. Yet, he invited us in to sit at his table with the oil lamp burning, hugging every syllable in the rounded yellow light. It could have been a hundred years ago, but it was just the other day. We trudged through the crusty snow behind his heavy boots and trapped with him. I don’t even like trapping. I suppose most of us watching don’t and yet we followed him everywhere. Even in Grizzly country. Safe in the confines of our living rooms.

Bob afforded us the opportunity to live vicariously, a life we wouldn’t dare realize beyond our flat screen TV’s. This dangerous and hauntingly beautiful world was ours with the flick of a switch we could turn on and off at will. Bob didn’t own a TV. He wanted for nothing, and took nothing that the earth cannot reclaim but his essence will mingle in the remains of his cabin long after it crumbles into nothingness.

For me, personally, the series has lost its magic. The magic that wasn’t in the Northern Lights, but in Bob Harte, the true last Alaskan.

Once upon a time there was a cabin. And in it lived a kind and gentle man.

 

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Mud

July 24th, 2017 by Magdalena Tabor

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This road has kept its secret.

Posing as some farmer’s sense of purpose

Where neither tractor nor billy goat

Can amble over rock and ruts so coarse

As to run rivers through its hardened veins

When thunder cracks the valley,

And the rains are heard rushing like chariots

Through the birches

Pelting everything in its path

And filling every pothole

Until the earth is glorified

With mud.

 

No rubber boot has lived until it’s tried

The slippery slide of redemption,

To catch oneself with brisk assuredness

Or fall sloppily into the mess

With a self-deprecating grin

And a swear.

 

Mud has served its purpose then,

Putting me in my place,

And with every ounce of dignity mustered

Hoist myself from the trenches

To look beyond the laughing cow.

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