This is one of my first post’s from Active Rain.  It felt like a good time for a reprise…

As I near the half century mark on this planet, reminders of my age surround me.  My arms are not quite long enough for some reading materials.  I can’t get through 18 holes without a twinge or two in my lower back.   The President is my age.  Last weekend, however was extra brutal.  My 16 year old son’s girlfriend added another nail in the coffin.  Before I can tell you that story, I need to take you back to 1977 (cue the harp and wavy lines).  It seems like only yesterday…

I have a very cool aunt.  Suzanne is eight years older than me, and she’s always taken care of me.  In 1977, she lived in a townhouse in Ocean Beach in San Diego.   That summer, Suzanne asked me if I would like to house sit her place for a week.  She said I could bring a friend too.  I couldn’t get the “YES” out fast enough.  It didn’t matter that neither myself nor Mark had a car.  Everything was within walking distance.  We were going to live the beach bum bachelor life for an entire week!

We had a great time, and didn’t get into much trouble.  A few other friends came over, but we didn’t break anything, or upset the neighbors.   One life changing event did occur.  It involved an older woman.  Easy now, it’s not what you think.  Suzanne had quite an album collection.  I sampled most of her collection that week.  One particular album grabbed a hold of me, and actually, has never let go.  The album was Barbra Streisand Live Concert at the Forum.  I know, I know.  A sixteen year old boy digging a 1972 Barbra Streisand album recorded live in LA at a George McGovern Democratic Party fund-raising concert.   I was simply mesmerized by the purity of her voice.   The cover of that album is a drawing of Barbra with her long straight hair (still my favorite Streisand ‘do).  I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I can still sing the entire album, from People to Stoney End to My Man to On a Clear Day.  As you can imagine, I’ve taken a lot of crap over the years for my undying devotion to Babs.  In my defense, I love a wide range of music.  If only given one album on a deserted island, it would be Boston’s 1976 self titled debut album.  I’ve see Garth Brooks and Mary Chapin Carpenter 3 times each.  In one 10 day span in 1996, I saw Aerosmith and Barry Manilow.  Like I said, I have a wide range of musical tastes.  A quick sidebar – In 1994, my wife and I made it to Barbra’s January 1 comeback concert in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.  Later that year, we caught two more shows at the Pond in Anaheim.  I am partial to the 60’s to mid 70’s Barbra, and I definitely hated the perm she sported in the Main Event.   To my dying day, I will contend that What’s Up Doc is one of the funniest movies ever made.  Barbra is sexy, funny, and smart.  Really, find it and watch it.  You won’t be disappointed.

So now I’m pretty sure you know how I feel about Barbra.  Fast forward to 2009.  Last weekend, my son and his girlfriend are engaged in a heated battle of Scene It against my wife and me.  The movies referenced in this game can date back to the 40’s.  My wife is a movie-holic, and dominates on anything in black and white.  My son is also a movie trivia geek.  He killed me on a North by Northwest question!  As the conversation drifted from movies to music, I asked my son’s girlfriend if she likes Barbra Streisand.  I’ll never forget the look on her face.  She wanted to know the name, to be polite to me, but there wasn’t even a flicker of recognition.  She simply shook her head ever so slightly, and said no.  My wife’s eyebrows rose up as she watched for my reaction, and my son couldn’t suppress his laughter.  Stunned, I proceeded to name a few movies and songs, but still, the answer was no.  Now, fortunately, I do know how to use the internet.  It took me all of 60 seconds to have Starting Here, Starting Now from that same album playing on my laptop.  She politely listened for a bit, then  joined my son as he went into the backyard to escape his old man’s crazy antics.   I’m sure these types of moments are going to occur more and more frequently…

As long as I have my Babs, I’ll be OK…Check out Starting Here, Starting Now below.

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