Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Finish Line

Time really does seem to speed up as you get older. For me, it’s a mad dash to the finish line to finish all my projects. Danny didn’t quite make it, so his material gets added to mine.

To really hammer in the point, my little boy just turned 18. He’s a full grown man now.

It seems like last year I bent over his little red, newborn body and rubbed his wet head. My whole world had just changed.

When I think about how much my friends and I had been through by 18, I’m astounded. We had long since left our families behind, well on the way to making our mark on the world.

Two weeks ago Dylan, his mom and I went to Webster University for his orientation. I feel like I grew up on this campus. I didn’t recognize anything. The old buildings are just a façade, hiding a huge complex.

The recording studio looks amazing. It has “state of the art” everything. I’m trying to convince Dylan that’s it’s just a glorified version of my studio. Everything is computer based now. When I was there, we were deep into multi-track analog recording. For all the technology of the day, the sound was terrible. The kids kept tweaking parameters they had no business playing with.

Dominic told me Go Dog Go recorded their CD in the new studio and it was hell getting a decent sound out of it. I guess some things will never change.

After our visit at Webster, Dylan and I drove to Chicago. Our birthday present to him was a day at the Chicago Art Institute. He’s wanted to go for years after listening to my stories. There are so many iconic pieces there, you really feel like you’re surrounded by history’s great moments.

Danny and I have always had a love hate relationship with Facebook. Some of our closest friends seem to live there, forsaking actual human contact.

In his last days, Danny’s wife Laura was trying to explain his disdain for it to a friend. “I’m sure Danny would have loved it, if he weren’t too sick to use it,” she said. “No, no, he hated Facebook before that,” Laura insisted.

The great thing about FB is the good friends I’ve found that had been lost over the years. Not to mention, I can spread announcements.

When I got the idea to take Dylan to Chicago, I knew I could only do it on the cheap. I’ve been there many times, but most of my friends have moved away. I posted, “Does anyone still live in Chicago?” on FB, not thinking I’d get a response. I ended up getting a few responses. My friend Susie Nicholson posted, “What about Terry?”

Marion and Terry Boyd were a couple that used to be regulars of mine when I tended bar at the Broadway Oyster Bar. We discovered we were kindred spirits sharing our love of the same bands. The Oyster Bar was an incredible place for music in the 80s.

With Facebook, I learned Terry was an old Laclede Townie too.

I hadn’t seen them since the 80s, but I wrote Terry asking if we could stay with them for a weekend.

“Absolutely!” he said.

It turns out Marion and Terry are members of The Art Institute and The Field Museum. We didn’t have to pay to get into either place.

The four of us ran through the museums like kids in a candy store. It was so fun to be with people who share my love of art and science. Dylan loved every minute of it too.

It turns out Terry taught an art class at Webster. Reality seemed to crystallize into the inevitable.

The knowledge we shared about artists and movements went on and on, but the Field Museum was the real surprise. The first thing you see when you walk in is the skeleton of Sue, the world’s largest T Rex. I had read 2 books about her and felt I was in the presence of a movie star. The museum also had the hundred year old, taxidermied remains of two lions that terrified South Africa. They found a cave with their collection of human remains. A whole train was filled with Great White hunters. When they were killed, rugs were made on their skins. By the time they put them back together for display, they were much smaller. I had read all about them with fascination.

We spent one evening watching home movies on YouTube with Marion’s sister and the inevitable Chicago pizza.

We also visited my dad’s old buddy Bob Koester. He’s a Chicago music luminary. Dylan wants to learn everything he can about my dad. He wasn’t disappointed with Bob’s stories. Dylan was also impressed by the fact that Iggy Pop had once lived in Bob’s basement. There was a T-Shirt in Bob’s record store signed by Iggy that said, “The most generous guy I know!” Iggy said Koester was always attacking him in his autobiography I Need More.

We left Marion and Terry from The Field Museum on Sunday afternoon. Marion actually cried.

I’m going back with Valerie. I’m also going back with my daughter Chloe. She loves dinosaurs.

Marion’s sister wrote about Dylan and me in her blog. She changed our names. Check it out-----------

I took the pic of Marion, Terry and Dylan with my phone at The Field Museum.


Anonymous said...

There was also a movie about Sue at the St. Louis Science Center.

Dominic said...

"A T-Rex Named Sue" was at the Saint Louis Science Center... twice. Actually, it was the "Traveling SUE" complete cast of the dinosaur. Working at SLSC I can get in free to any and all ASTC museums. I should take an extended weekend and go up.

Great picture of Terry, Marion and Dylan!

Anonymous said...

My favorite story was Terry saying that one day in Laclede Town he took the kids he babysat to the local pool. He said from behind he could hear a few kids talking street and thought they were just some ghetto little kids until he looked back and realized it was Dominic, Benet, And Dave Udell (my dad).