Wednesday, July 04, 2007

23 years on the dot...

Hi Lisa...

Thanks for your post in the Welcome section. I know what you mean about the Fourth of July. I pretty much dread it still... especially after dark, when fireworks crack and pop and light up the sky.

Couldn't sleep last night... watching C-span around 2:30 (some nutbag politician quacking away about how we all need to give the so-called "Surge" a little more time to snatch supremacy from yet another nutbag war), and I suddenly thought, "Yikes... 23 years on the dot."

Flipped off the TV (so to speak) and sat in the back yard for a while with a glass of an amusing little Chardonnay. The neighborhood was cool, dark and quiet. One could just barely see a few stars winking through the yellow glare of city lights. A delta breeze washed up from the San Francisco Bay, rustling through a hundred-year-old Elm tree with a trunk so wide it takes three people stretching just to hug it. (Damn tree-huggers ...grin).

We pretty much have only two seasons here in Sacramento: Rain and Blast Furnace. It's over 100 degrees Fahrenheit as I type this. Guess which season we're in. A hundred years ago, the citizens of Sacramento planted Elm trees all over midtown. Many of these trees are still standing. They're magnificent. They arch over the streets like a living gothic cathedral, asking nothing, offering only shelter and shade. I wondered who had planted 'my' Elm tree... and sent a prayer of thanks up through the smog to a soul long gone. I wondered what he or she might make of our world... and offered thanks for foresight and resolve.

Today was OK. I watered my next door neighbor's vegetable garden shortly after the sun came up. He's out of town for a few weeks and neighbors are taking care of his place. Picked some peppers and spied two tomatoes that will be ready to harvest in a day or two. First of the season. Yum! Went to see Michael Moore's new movie, "Sicko". It fired me up to remember that there are people in the world still working for change. The theater was packed and the audience went wild with applause when the film ended. Jimmie was never far from my mind... and for the first time in decades, everything was almost OK.

A big, healthy, gleaming, blue-black crow was strutting around in the front yard when I got home. He was staring me in the eye and talking. Strutting and cawing... very animated. I thought of Jimmie's pet crow from the olden days and said to him, "Hey, Jimmie, What's up?"

As you may know, crows are very intelligent. Several studies show that they have a complex social structure and well-developed language.

I don't pretend to be an expert in the Crow language, but here's a rough translation of the reply:

"Hey, Andy, I'm doing fine. Johnny and Paul say hi. You kicked ass. Say hi to all the fans. Tell them thanks for keeping the music alive."

Maybe tonight, I'll ride my bicycle down to the river to watch fireworks. Everybody who posts here, everybody who remembers and cherishes Jimmie's legacy, kicks ass. Thanks for keeping the music alive.


Andy Markley, Founder, The Jimmie Spheeris Memorial Gallery