Howdy folks! I’ve thought about today’s topic on and off for nearly two years now, ever since the release of Stephen King’s 11/22/63. Now, I’m finally doing it.
For those who don’t know, the novel is about an everyman who travels back in time to save President Kennedy from assassination. Things go wrong for our hero, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why. This is a great book, one I wholeheartedly recommend, even to folks who aren’t fans of The King.
Ummm, okay. So?
It’s no secret I love music. If we’re friends on Facebook, or if you follow my Author Page on Facebook, you know I talk about music a lot.
The soundtrack to which I live is such a big part of my life. I choose it carefully because music is how I remember things. Thus, hopefully what I’m going to say next will make sense.
My favorite part of 11/22/63 was when the hero listened to a very young Doug Sahm play a backyard party. The music lover in me could just imagine what it was like to see Doug Sahm before he was, you know, the Doug Sahm of Sir Douglas Quintet.
Sure, I enjoyed the rest of the book. I thought it had a great message. The hero impressed me with his, ummm, heroism.
But the idea of seeing Doug Sahm at a backyard party impressed me more. That one little detail got me thinking.
What Would Catie Do?
I suspect each of us imagines ourselves in the lead role of a favorite movie or book. We wonder what we’d do, how we’d handle the challenge at hand. And that was exactly what I did.
Once I finished 11/22/63, the natural question came. If I could travel back in time, what would I do?
The answer came fast. Go to Woodstock.
But…but…but…wouldn’t I try to save humanity? Change the course of history? Nope. But whyyyy?
Look, y’all. I’m just a plain, white trash, country girl from East Texas. There ain’t a drop of hero in me. I believe the universe knows what it’s doing and doesn’t need my help. Plus, I think things go the way they do for a reason.
(I didn’t need Uncle Stevie to teach me the past is obdurate. I learned it in my own travels and tribulations.)
My philosophy is this: life is what it is. I believe it’s my job to roll up my sleeves, keep my side of the street clean, and only do things that won’t make me feel guilty.
So, yeah, I’d go to Woodstock.
And That’s It?
Well, er, no.
If I landed early in the past, like the hero in 11/22/63, I’d have gone to see Chuck Berry, Ike and Tina Turner, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones…and Sir Douglas Quintet. And the 13th Floor Elevators. And B.B. King and Bo Diddley. The list goes on forever.
And, if I didn’t have to leave the day after Woodstock, I’d have been at S.U.N.Y. at Stonybrook on 9/19/71 to hear the Allman Brothers play. And at Madison Square Garden the spring/summer of 1973 to see Led Zeppelin. Because owning the albums of those concerts and seeing them in person ain’t the same thing. I’d go to see Lynyrd Skynyrd and all the bands I’ve spent my whole life listening to.
Likely this makes me shallow or means I have my priorities all wrong. But you know what? I don’t care. Those who know me know that I do exactly what I want and am rarely sorry.