Monthly Archives: April 2012

“Baby, we were born to run.”

Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen never stopped playing for three straight hours.

Sometimes a few hours of live music provide a more rewarding experience than the opportunity to listen or even dance to a few melodious, sing-a-long tunes from a favorite artist or band.

Thanks to my dad and step-mom, I had the opportunity to see one of Bruce Springsteen’s famous live concerts last week at the Q in Cleveland. I didn’t get home until 1:30 a.m., but my late night was totally worth it.

When I turn 62 years old, I hope I have even half the amount of energy that The Boss now has at that age. He spent three straight hours not only jamming out to songs of his past and present but also charging across the stage, running off the stage into the mass of screaming fans below – and crowd surfing.

At one point my dad leaned over to me and said, “The guitarist (Nils Lofgren) used to do back flips across the stage. But that was 20 years ago.”

Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen chugs a fan's beer during one of his visits to the crowd.

Springsteen’s energy is contagious; his band mates and fans caught on. A young fan joined him on stage to assist with singing the lyrics to “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day.” She must have been no older than seven years old.

Bruce Springsteen with young fan

I was incredibly jealous of the little girl who sang with Springsteen in the crowd!

Fans shared their draft beers with Bruce as he stood on the platform in the middle of the crowd. With no hesitation, he chugged about a beer and a half during one of the tracks.

I noticed one super Springsteen fan in our section who stood the entire time. I don’t think he stopped swaying to the music, singing along to undoubtedly every word of every song during the entire performance.

Each track ended with tremendous applause and overwhelmingly loud shouting that resembled “boooo.” But we all know the fans were really screaming “BRUceeee.”

After attending my first live Springsteen concert, I now realize and appreciate his fans’ dedication and the support they continue to provide throughout his four-decade musical career. But since I grew up listening to Springsteen’s records at home and in long car rides during family vacations, I’ll never forget my dad’s personal appreciation of Springsteen’s music – and his character.

Last Tuesday night, I found out that my dad and his high school buddy, Jess, once had a 30-minute conversation with Springsteen’s drummer, Max Weinberg, after a 1978 show in Columbus. Little did they know that Weinberg would then invite them backstage to meet The Boss himself.

Jane, Dad and I at the Bruce Springsteen concert

Jane, Dad and I stand near our seats at Quicken Loans Arena for the Bruce Springsteen concert on April 17.

Although I’m sure the meeting was brief, I can imagine that experience has left a lasting impression on my dad and his passion for Springsteen’s songwriting.

It’s not difficult to notice how much my dad enjoys Springsteen’s music. I saw him slightly dancing along to Springsteen’s upbeat tunes at the concert. And it turns out he was singing, too.

“I like this because I can sing along and no one will hear me,” he said to me during the third song in. What he really meant to add was that I won’t be able to make fun of him for singing. (I’ve never done that, have I?!)

This concert meant more to me than hearing Springsteen’s excellent

Bruce Springsteen crowd surfing

Springsteen crowd surfs to the stage.

songwriting and watching his amazing stage presence. I enjoyed spending time with my parents and standing alongside one of Springsteen’s super fans during the entirety of the concert, my dad. He shared some interesting facts about the E. Street Band, and I loved hearing him tell stories about several past experiences at Springsteen concerts, some of which represent only the beginning of Springsteen’s success.

As we were standing outside the arena, saying our goodbyes, Jane looked at me and said, “Your dad will never forget this.”

And neither will I.

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Planted.

Their tiny, intricate roots now grasp the soil beneath the surface of the rough terrain in search of nutrients and moisture. Their leaf buds reach up to the open sky above the now barren field. But their growth represents a much larger effort to establish a habitat. A future forest.

Despite the tender, loving care they’ve received during their short lives, some, sadly, will not survive.  Some won’t grow into the tall, sturdy trees we wish them to be.

But a majority of these delicate seedlings will develop their strength from the farthest tip of the roots all the way up to the tree tops. Their strength will provide a foundation that represents the beginning of a reforestation project that will beautify the land surrounding the crash site and national memorial of Flight 93.

I can only imagine how that land will fill out in 10, 15, 20 years. As I stood at the top of the 20-acre planting site yesterday morning in the crisp, cool air, I looked down upon the memorial, reflecting on my opportunity to be involved with such an impressive volunteer effort. I then made a mental note to myself to remember that perspective on the land to compare it to the view I hope to see upon a future visit to the Flight 93 National Memorial.

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I’ll remember standing in the empty field – where miners once worked in search of coal – but where I once worked one morning in search of the next best place to plant a tree. I’ll remember the cold, moist soil that covered my hands as I reached in the bucket of seedlings to grab my team’s next specimen, then laughing as my planting partner, Chris, made jokes with other members of our team.

I’ll also remember how I felt as I listened to representatives from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, the National Park Service and more share their thoughts on the meaning and significance of our service. I’ll remember how great it felt to be there, to be part of the contribution.

I can’t imagine experiencing an Earth Day or Arbor Day celebration as special as the event I attended this weekend. Thinking ahead, I’m anticipating a beautiful summer scenery of thick, full branches upon both deciduous and evergreen trees that include the native species we planted, such as white pine and American chestnut. I want to see the end result of the “red streak” we planted, a path of trees that points in the direction of the crash site.

And I hope the families of the 40 United Airlines Flight 93 victims will enjoy and appreciate the presence of hundreds of thousands of strong, growing trees that represent the bravery and courage of their loved ones.

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Wish List Item #97

Tim Holtz products.

Archiver’s is introducing new products from Tim Holtz, and from what I see as examples on the website and enewsletter, it’s tempting to make a special trip to Fairlawn, just to purchase these pens, stains and more.

Tim Holtz products Techniques Clinic

Unfortunately I can’t make it to the Techniques Clinic today, but I’m willing to bet the Distress Markers will be my new favorite scrapbooking tool once I finally get around to buying them. I’d love to use them with stamps for my cards – the vintage look of the markers is unique and versatile. I can think of many ways to use them already.

Has anyone tried the Distress Markers yet? I’m excited to try them sometime soon!

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