Tag Archives: it never rains in southern california

It Never Rains in Southern California: Padre Steve Heads Home to Visit Family and Attend His 35th High School Reunion

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Got on board a westbound seven forty-seven

Didn’t think before deciding what to do

Ooh, that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies

Rang true, sure rang true …

It Never Rains in Southern California, Albert Hammond EMI Music

I am heading off to California in morning. It is Northern California and not Southern California but like the classic Albert Hammond Song says “it never rains in California” so I hope this will be the case this week. The weather channel says so maybe it won’t be too bad.

As far as the trip I have to be up pretty early since I have an early flight. So tonight after doing another full day of work around the house I went out with Judy for dinner. Since then I have been getting packed and ready to go.

It has been since my dad died in June of 2010 that I have been home. My last few trips out in 2008 and 2009 happened after Iraq when my dad was dying and I was to put it mildly bat shit crazy in the midst of my post-Iraq PTSD meltdown. Thankfully I am doing a lot better than I was back then.

The costs of the three year geographic bachelor assignment at Camp LeJeune and the need to use leave to go home to Virginia made a heck of an impact on normal travel and vacation plans. We haven’t done much traveling at all the past three years. Apart from a couple of official travel trips to Washington DC or Houston and another to testify at a Court Martial in Germany I have not been out of Virginia and North Carolina. It will be good to see my mom, my brother and his family while I am there as well as my classmates whom I have maintained contact with over all of these years. Our class was special and I really do look forward to seeing my friends again.

My trip is now set except for checking in at the airport in the morning. I have my flight, car and hotel reservations. Thankfully the flight was all but free thanks to a the need of United Airlines to get a flight crew to Washington Dulles on my last trip, netting me a $500 flight voucher which I applied to this trip meaning that my rental car and hotel were the only up front expenses. Since Judy had foot surgery Monday and is on crutches for a few days I will be taking a cab to save her the hassle of trying to get me to the airport so early.

Now I have to admit ever since Iraq I am not a fan of air travel or airports. So once I get to the airport I will probably have breakfast with a cup of black coffee and a pint of Sam Adams at the Sports Bar in the terminal. Flying the friendly skies with a heft case of PTSD requires some adjustments. Since my flight is basically free I will probably try to upgrade my seating for at least the Chicago to San Francisco portion of my trip to avoid being stuck in steerage.

I can’t help but think that while I am on leave between assignments and traveling to California that the United States and much of the world sits on the precipice of war in Syria which could very well have regional and possibly world wide effects. I check in to my new assignment at the Joint Forces Staff College on Tuesday of next week, the morning following my return. I wonder if as Barbara Tuchman wrote about in The Guns of August that the world that I return to on Monday evening or Tuesday morning will be quite different than it is today.

“The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.”

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under Loose thoughts and musings, middle east, Military, music, PTSD

“It Could be Worse, it Could be Raining” Rainy Day Songs and Monday Musings

Rain is a part of life, and is such an important part of life that it can even interrupt baseball. It looks like some games may get delayed or postponed tonight, weather was threatening in DC and the East Coast. Casey Stengel once said “There are three things you can do in a baseball game. You can win, or you can lose, or it can rain.”   I think this is true for much of life outside baseball.

Now much of the country has been in a drought, which despite the advantage of fewer rainouts in baseball is actually bad for most people. But unlike much of the country Eastern North Carolina has not been without rain. In fact it has been raining more days than not of late. The amount of rain has made me think about writing a piece dealing with songs about rain from the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

I am not a big fan of the rain, especially when it falls on my bald head. I’ve been in the military a long time and have spent many months in field environments in the US and overseas. I have never liked getting rained on. That being said when I do get rained on my mind frequently turns to music, particularly songs that deal with rain.

I feel a lot like Gene Wilder playing Dr. Frankenstein in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein when it rains. But like the Marines say If ain’t raining, we ain’t training.” 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AFf0ysgNiM

Since today had been another rainy Monday I figure it is as good of day as any to share of few of my favorite “rain” songs beginning with the Carpenter’s hit Rainy Days and Mondays. It really is a sad song, but Karen Carpenter’s beautiful voice is fully on display.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmbT5XC-q0

Then there is Eddie Rabbitt and I Love a Rainy Night, which when I hear the rain coming down at night that I cannot help but think about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMZ4amjbqhU

Neil Sedaka’s Laughter In The Rain is one that was really popular when I was growing up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uec35ppYLIc

Since I grew up in California I always have a soft spot for the great song It Never Rains In California by Albert Hammond.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pyC7WnvLT4

Fire And Rain by James Taylor has always been a favorite of mine, a true classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pyC7WnvLT4

However Have You Ever Seen The Rain byCreedence Clearwater Revival has to be my favorite when the rain is falling on me. I don’t know why but it is so catchy as is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9_ipu9GKw

Mandolin Rain by Bruce Hornsby & The Range which is a mellow classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uravhL8FbY

When I am in a more cynical mood I find that Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head by B.J. Thomas does strike a chord.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OKP616mA8c

Linda Ronstadt’s  Cry Like a Rainstorm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMuVc0nXEhEand I Made it Through the Rain by Barry Manilow are songs that I find good for times that I feel down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqApdSxbwak

Then there are two timeless songs from the 1930s that have to be included though they fall outside the time period. Singin’ in the Rain performed by the legendary Gene Kelly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmCpOKtN8ME

and Somewhere Over The Rainbow performed by Judy Garland as “Dorothy” in The Wizard of Oz.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HRa4X07jdE

So here’s to rain. Without it we die, with it we rust. But that is life, could be worse. It could be raining.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under Baseball, Just for fun, music

Still More Reasons Why I Miss the Music of the 1970s

Yesterday I posted an article regarding some the the songs that became a part of my life during my time at Edison High School in the 1970s. That post featured some of the great Funk, Soul, Blues and Disco songs of the era. Since I have been in a 1970s retro mood of late I figured that I would do another anthology article about songs that I still love from the 1970s. These are songs that were hits on the Pop Charts featuring solo artists as well as groups. They range from Elvis and former Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, to soul greats Robert Flack and Tina Turner, classic vocalists like Olivia Newton-John and Neil Diamond, Country crossovers John Denver and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton to the super groups that got their start in the 1970s, ABBA, Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Heart, Queen, Kiss and the Eagles.

One thing to notice, just as in yesterday’s article is that the majority of these artists and groups didn’t need a lot of help, they had the goods and were excellent in the studio and on stage. The on stage performances, even when the video is not so great are electric to watch.

I have tried to make sure that the videos are from concerts or live performances so readers that did not live through that era can get a taste of a time where though times were tough and life often turbulent that people could deal with life. The songs are about life, love, heartbreak, good times and sometimes just plain fun. They are in no particular order, just the how they popped into my mind as I thought back to those times and then searched the internet.

I hope you enjoy the journey and the music as much as I did.

Peace

Padre Steve+

ABBA: Chiquitita http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzdfPEsf7qY

Barry Manilow: Mandy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK8-gZVkYsk

Linda Ronstadt: You’re no Good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr9vKWLgZzo

The Captain and Tennille: Love Will Keep us Together http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjloX_EvYiI

Olivia Newton John: Have You Never Been Mellow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IFQZyxxyyM

Rod Stewart: The First Cut is the Deepest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1XJ72BPXao

Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7wwZVB4yMI

Bee Gees: How Deep is Your Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqqjU7u5Yc

Heart: Crazy on You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpNqB4dnT4&feature=related

Village People: YMCA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS9OO0S5w2k

Neil Diamond: Sweet Caroline http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vhFnTjia_I

Dr Hook and the Medicine Show: When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxpYN-NK54Y

Blondie: Heart of Glass http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGU_4-5RaxU

Eagles: Hotel California http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1iv6lof5JM&feature=related

Chicago: If You Leave Me Now http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ykMNtzMT8

Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9jmusgMgro&feature=related

John Denver: Take Me Home Country Roads http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukUL_I14GPw

Elvis Presley: Suspicious Minds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBmAPYkPeYU

Paul McCartney and Wings: Silly Love Songs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQgUPxgqnfA

Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

Glen Campbell: Rhinestone Cowboy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p8wDhK5LyY

Ringo Starr: The No No Song (With the Smothers Brothers) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQgUPxgqnfA

Albert Hammond: It Never Rains in Southern California http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pyC7WnvLT4

Kiss: Rock and Roll all Night Long http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Env5iMrBjws

Tina Turner: Rollin’ on the River http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brdqJ29PQac

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton: Islands in the Stream http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=recWNQddJeE&feature=related

Rupert Holmes: Escape (The Pina Colada Song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaOXWJKsX-U

Fleetwood Mac: Go Your Own Way http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GN2kpBoFs4

Donna Summer: Last Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cPIT_T3mYU

And finally a thank you…

ABBA: Thank You for the Music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dcbw4IEY5w


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Filed under music