J.D. Hutchison has died. For those of you not familiar with the Appalachian music scene, particularly as manifested in southeastern Ohio, a small introduction to that culture is probably appropriate.
It’s a feeling that comes on, the way you can tell the night before that when you wake up tomorrow you’ll have a cold. Only it’s worse. It’s not a cold, it’s a book. When one writes a book, the last thought that one has, right after the sign of relief that the damned thing is finally done, is the firm vow never to do such a foolish thing ever again.
With this column, “The View From Mudsock Heights” enters its sixteenth year. It began 15 years ago and and I’ve not missed a week since.
Times certainly do change, whether time feels like it is going quickly or slowly. Twenty years ago today, Open for Business went live. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. It’s been an interesting and wonderful journey.
The time was shortly after World War I. The place, almost anywhere that there was an area long enough and flat enough. The sound was the coughing and sputtering of those early engines at the front of any of a variety of war-surplus airplanes. The few surviving military aviators and others who sought adventure had been able to purchase the planes, Curtiss Jenny trainers and the like, and they had set off to find their fortunes.
In the middle of the summer, John Mayer released this album, and it sounded like a Hall & Oates album broke out. I couldn’t help but think of the last hit from Daryl Hall and John Oates, “Everything Your Heart Desires,” as I listened to the lead track on this record, “Last Train Home.” Just as they landed in the top 10 in 1988, this album is an attempt to lovingly remind us of 1988.
Today is the first day of autumn. The new season begins at 3:20 p.m. Eastern time, so it’s really the first part-day of autumn. It is not by design that I’ve gone on a bit recently about the passage of time and our perception thereof. It just seems to have inserted itself into a lot of recent (how do we even define “recent”?) events.
Marjorie Thompson died seven years ago today. If you did not know her, that is your loss. She was the most remarkable person I’ve ever known in a life fortunate to have included many remarkable people. She was also the best and closest friend I’ve had in this life.
Time is a funny thing. Well, no, time is time. Our perception of it is where things go haywire. We’re not very well equipped to comprehend the passage of time or its implications.