CAN I GET A WITNESS?

ferris
There’s got to be somebody, got a, got a sweet little woman like mine? Yeah! 
Can I get a witness? 
Can I get a witness? 
Can I get a witness? Yeah … 
Can I get a witness? Ohhh … 
Can I get a witness? Yeah … 
Can I get a witness? Yes.

Grand Funk Railroad; Lyrics;GOFFIN, GERRY/KING, CAROLE…………Carole King!! She’s everywhere

             

There is a question that everyone knows. The bigger part of the question is often historical, or may have some type of musical reference.  I don’t know if “the” question always existed, but almost all adults have heard it; “Where were you when……..?” In present U.S. historical terms, it started with the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the assassination of JFK, and continued on to 9/11. In the musical world, it could be “were you at Woodstock, or at the Newport Folk Festival when Dylan went electric?” It’s definitely doesn’t ask “where were you when Wal-Mart announced their first Black Friday Sale, or did you see Barbra Streisand on her  final, final, final, farewell tour. The far more interesting question would be if more of us asked not from the future; “Where were you when……” but in the present, to either yourself, or anyone who will listen to you; “can you believe what we’re seeing right now?” Maybe it started with the cavemen; “DUDE, did you just see that volcano blow (if they had “dude” cavemen back then)?”  If we’re lucky, we know “that” point in time is significant, and in the cosmic stew of life, you’re right where you’re supposed to be, and you just know it. Personally, I think I could do without the volcano.

How about the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  What I remember about watching it the very first time at the theater, was sitting there to the very end, and viewing all the credits (finding treasures for a future blog someday). Ferris comes walking into the Kitchen, “double takes,” looks straight into the camera and says “go home already; the movie’s over!” I look around, and the place is empty, but I’m right where I’m supposed to be; in time, and space! I had so many people tell me later when recounting the film that “supposedly there is a scene near the end of the movie where Ferris comes on after the credits, but I left before that happened.” I’m not pretending to possess futuristic super cognitive powers here. If that was the case, I would have realized that when the letter from the DMV told me that if I didn’t renew my driver’s license immediately,  it would expire; instead of having to find out when the state trooper pulled me over on RT. 295 for wearing my headphones while driving (oh yea, it happened)! Of course, as I type this, I am reminded of another great line from the same movie; “This is going out to a young man who doesn’t think he saw anything good today!” Observation is appreciation! So true in life!

I’m glad I wasn’t alive in 1941 to see, or hear about the attack on Pearl Harbor. I’m glad I wasn’t old enough to hear the news from Dallas on that day in 1963; a visit to the “grassy knoll” in present times is creepy, and sad enough. Many would ask why would you want to be there for those events, and they themselves might be the same people who feel incomplete in their lives for not being at Woodstock; where by the way, they ran out of drinking water except when it poured on their heads for days, or there for Dylan; even when my friend who was old enough told me they really did boo him.

You know where I was when? I was there when I saw the old man trudging down the street with his groceries, and I was thrilled enough to stop, and be able to give him a ride home. I was there when the Ramones played the Living Room in Providence, and I participated in my first, and last ever “slam dance.” I was there when my co-worker cut his hand open, and I had the first-aid kit, and the know how to help him. I was there when Ellis Paul played a great concert at the Borders Book Store, and joked about having to play over the noise of the cappuccino machine. I was there when the tourist got lost in the Park Street Station, and I helped her find her way. I was there on two beautiful summer days when the Avett Brothers, and then Josh Ritter took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival; knowing full well I could cherish the present, however small instead of longing for the past.

Can I get a witness indeed!

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