Friday, April 3, 2009

TVD On The Radio

It’s funny the things you remember.

Or don’t.

Each time I pick up the phone to check in with my mom who’s afflicted with Alzheimer’s, she's more and more distant, more gone, more out there--while maintaining the sharp tongue and her wicked way with words which made her a particular favorite with my friends along the way.

Last night I caught up with the very current going’s on with her mom and dad, her sister, and her brother-in-law, all of whom have been dead for many, many years now. They had just been by the house, they say hello, etc.

But alas, now her sister isn’t talking to her for some reason mom couldn’t quite put her finger on. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it’s because she’s been gone for oh, 15 years now?

Having been adopted myself, my sister long gone, my dad having passed away, and mom in her condition, it suddenly hit me that I’m the sole bearer of the life and times.

And having been adopted, despite the love from very real and involved parents, I/you/we long for the twinge of any semblance of self reflected in someone’s face or gestures. The genetic twist that reveals--you’re FROM someplace.

Me? I’m from Neptune, New Jersey which borders Nicole Atkins’ Neptune City. Moreso, I’m from Shark River Hills, a tiny, tiny enclave on the water (the Shark River) within Neptune where I and Ms. Atkins grew up.

“Our hearts are singing out just for you/A cemetery song for summer/And if we knew just what we could do/A cemetery song we'd not sing

I'm sitting over Neptune City/I used to love it/It used to be pretty/I'll come down, walk around a while/Until I'm sure I can never go home again

Maybe if I paid attention/I could learn to love the landscape I was born to/By the river in the rain/Let it make me new again...”

And so, listening to ‘Neptune City,’ I can finally see myself in someone else’s face for a change.

(Five from the Jersey Shore, both then and now:)

Mink Deville - Just To Walk That Little Girl-Home (Mp3)
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes - Without Love (Mp3)
Nicole Atkins - Together We're Both Alone (Mp3)
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound (Mp3)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Growin' Up (Mp3)


Anonymous said...

Nicole Atkins is hands down, my favorite newer artist. I just love her sound, her lyrics and the way she sings a song.

dickvandyke said...

That's a lovely heartfelt tale Jon.

I fully agree about Ms Atkins. She is a special talent and comes across as the sort of down to earth girl you'd like to have a beer with.

I first saw her on Jools Holland's Later show over here in BBC land singing 'Maybe Tonight' with its catchy chorus.

Thanks for sharing your openness and pragmatism.

have a great weekend .. when the sun sets over there.

JON said...

I'm about 2 hours from that sunset, DVD. I'll grab 7 in your honor.

whiteray said...

My mom isn't there yet, but I fear she's heading that direction. I hope I can face it with the grace you seem to have. Great selection of tunes, too. Thanks.

3-Pin said...

My mom is out there too. Physically, she is now in Basking Ridge in an extended care facility, but as my brothers I joke, if NASA cancels the Hubble Telescope then we may have a hard time locating where she is at the moment. We made peace with it a while ago and now when I visit, the conversation can take place within any decade and I can be my dad, her dad or on very rare occasions, me.

That's cool you are from Shark River Hills; I used to visit Dave Roach and Bill King and Woody there. And didn't Jack Nicholson graduate from your high school?

JON said...


Nicholson is actually from Neptune City...not sure if he went to my high school or not.

Those names from SRH are oddly familiar...I left in '85 tho'.

Sorry to hear about your mom, but as you've read, I can empathize...

Dave said...

I'm hard pressed to name another band that has come out of New Jersey in the past couple years that has had the impact on me that The Gaslight Anthem has. The clean bluesy/rock sound and the pure NJ style of telling a great story has drawn me in and totally captivated me.