You've heard the saying, "You never have a second chance to make a first impression." My fingers are turning into pats of butter melting into the keyboard at my first attempt to become an official blogger.
Writing has always been a part of my life. I recently found my two oldest diaries, a formal brown leatherette and a girly sky blue embossed paper, both with missing keys. The brown diary had suffered a security breach and was cut open, revealing white pages with red lines. Oh the anticipation of five years lined out before me!
The diary of a nine year old on the footpath to ten is not the diary of a fourteen year old at the precipice of fifteen. The brown diary was a Christmas present from my parents because a diary is a good place for a young writer to start. This was my Not Glen Campbell Christmas.
My first diary-keeping attempt is full of short sentences depicting my simple life. Right before my 10th birthday, we went to pick out my first real bicycle, a Green Schwinn with wire baskets. Three days later I wrote," Found bike in Garge. Rode it."
Christmas wrapping was a major event for my father who decorated with the same flair found in the best holiday store windows. Homemade spiced tea was Mama's contribution. After my sister and I were in our beds, they would retrieve hidden bags and begin. I would go to sleep hearing a Christmas album on the hi-fi and wrapping paper being pulled and cut from the roll. Daddy would be whistling under his breath, looking through a stash of old Christmas cards for the perfect package centerpiece. Every morning new gifts would be gleaming under the tree.
A wrapped album (in the old days before CD’s or IPOD) with my name on it appeared under the tree. I knew I had been good, my hopes were running high. Glen Campbell was on my list. He was practically a "local" boy. For the first time, I experienced the thrilling anticipation of a certain gift. And the immediate letdown as soon as the paper tears. The disappointing crush becomes mixed with the pang of guilt in not wanting to hurt the gift giver's feelings while trying to say the best "fake" thank you. Even though I was young, I remember thinking my parents still thought of me as a little girl. But at night, under my covers, my little transistor was playing “Wichita Lineman.”
This is my favorite video of "Wichita Lineman." The double platinum album of the same name won the 1968 Grammy for Best Engineered Record, Non Classical and topped charts in Country Western, Pop and Adult Contemporary. Written by Jimmy Webb, ("Up, Up and Away," "Galveston," "MacArthur Park" to name a few), WL is ranked 195/500 on The Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.
“Freebird” is #193 and Amy Winehouse at #194 has bumped Campbell down in the list that appears to change with the times.
In an odd juxtaposition, I was reminded of Meatloaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and Cheap Trick’s "I Want You to Want Me."
"I want you,/ I need you,/ but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna' love you./" Meatloaf
"I want you to want me,/I need you to need me,/ I'd love you to love me ." Cheap Trick
Needing and wanting are two parts of a relationship but not necessary for love. Meatloaf and Cheap Trick are more caught up in the aspect of me. Whereas, the Wichita Lineman can't even do his job without thinking of the one he loves. He does need a vacation so he can hurry home.
"I hear you singin' in the wire, I can hear you through the whine,/
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line/
I know I need a small vacation but it don't look like rain/
And if it snows that stretch down south won't ever stand the strain/
And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time/
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line./"
One of the best lines ever written, "And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time." But the lineman has a job to do. Webb's genius is in using a lineman and Glen Campbell to bring us the most basic desires of our heart, to be needed and wanted for all time.
At this age I had probably only heard Glen Campbell singing on the radio. I love watching this video now. There is a definite wink the first time he sings about wanting for all time. Knowing the power of those fifteen little words , it makes my knees weak. I've always had a thing for the guitar playing crooner. (D.F.)*
Tearing the paper that Christmas morning revealed an illustrated vinyl record of Walt Disney's Peter Pan. It probably resides in a flea market somewhere. About five years ago, my parents gave me a birthday present they said I would like. At the first rip of the paper, I could see Glen Campbell's smiling face.
Today, I'm thinking about that little girl getting her first big bike. These days I live in exclamation point territory so I'm re-writing those April lines. "Rode it!!" This describes me well. Get on that bike and go. Fall down and get back up. Yell with glee and abandonment. Woo Hoo, what a ride!
Signed, a woman writing lines
*D.F. will always refer to my primary music man, Dan Fogelberg.