it must have been the fall of 1993. i was a senior in high school and the autumn in eastern Oregon was typically lovely. dad had already been retired by 1993. he must have been retired for a couple of years after having taught school for over 40 years. i'm not sure what he was doing; perhaps sitting in his chair reading a book. but after i got home, i had a quick snack and then sat down at the kitchen table to start on some homework.
for the past few months, i regularly listened to my favorite cassette tape: U2's Zooropa. the tape was probably on the second side when i put it in to the family stereo system before i started on my homework. the stereo system belonged to my deceased aunt mar. it was a nice system with big boxes, a record player, FM and AM radio and a cassette player. i loved the big silver volume button. adjusting the volume could always be precise with that smooth knob.
the last song on the tape began to play. my dad was still sitting there and was listening along with me. when that deep, distinct johnny cash voice sounded across the speakers, my dad stirred a bit and begin listening more intently. he was pleasantly pleased that it was johnny cash and commented to me that he loved the man in black.
that was almost 21 years ago.
then last week, my last week of work before my 3-week summer vacation, i listened to Zooropa during my morning and afternoon commutes. when the wanderer came on, i recalled that autumn afternoon so many years ago. as i thought of that day, i had the desire to listen to the rest of his songs. so i did some searching a found a 4 CD discography of his. i copied it to my smartphone and then while we drove across Texas on 287, i listened to johhny cash.
i loved every song.
i couldn't help but think that my dad listened to these same songs decades ago while he travelled lonely country roads when he was single.
anyway - i'm looking forward to listening to hours and hours of johnny cash - getting to know the lyrics and singing along.