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Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
I met my wife, Margret, in the Fall of 1987, waiting tables in an Italian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. I was 28, she was 22, and we were both somewhat adrift at the time, though me much more so than her. I was just coming off of ten years playing rock and roll across the upper midwest, and had no idea what I was going to do next. She had just finished college, and, though she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do either, she was at least drifting amongst good options. (She entered medical school two years later.)
The point is, when Margret first introduced me to her folks, I can’t imagine they were too thrilled. I mean, I’m sure I was nice and upbeat and all that. But still, a musician? For their little girl? (Margret is the youngest of seven.) Honestly, it must have sent shivers down their spines. But if it did, they never let me know. From the very first day, Joyce and Jim welcomed me into their family, and have shown me nothing but kindness and respect ever since.
In recent years, Joyce has taken to referring to her children and grandchildren as “Wonderful, beautiful.” She’ll write in birthday cards, “To wonderful, beautiful Peter!” And tell them in person: “Hello, you wonderful, beautiful child!” I must confess that it seems a little over-the-top to me at times, but I can be something of a party-pooper, too, so pay me no mind. The truth is, it’s sweet and sincere, and the kids love her, as does everyone in her life. Or, to be technically correct, I should say, “as did everyone in her life.” Joyce passed away this last weekend.
Friday, November 13th, 2009
Ever said something you wish you could take back? Me too. Here’s one from 25 years ago. (It’s not that I have to go back that far to find an example. Just to find one that doesn’t still hurt.) :-)
Back then, I was on the road full-time playing music, and had a band of my own, called, originally enough, The David Levin Band. We played a lot of places in the middle of nowhere and had a good bit of fun doing it. (A sad sort of fun, in retrospect. But hey, we were young!) I should also say that I wasn’t much of a band leader. In those days, I was generally more interested in hanging out with my buddies than running a business. But during one particular band meeting I apparently felt some sudden misguided impulse to take charge or something because I distinctly remember saying to the band, “Guys, this is not a democracy!”
Twenty-five years later, I’m still paying for it.