Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 23, 2012

BRADBERRY: The more things change ...

Niagara Gazette — During Monday’s presidential debate, I got that old familiar feeling again; it definitely felt like I had been there before.

Having witnessed and participated in quite a few elections since I arrived three days after Christmas nearly 65 years ago, another political debate was nothing new to me, yet there was something very different, and at the same time, very familiar about this one.

No, it wasn’t just the fact that two very different, very passionate candidates were squaring off, staring each other down with icy glares, and slicing each other up with spirit piercing words, nor was it the fact that the campaign was about to devolve into an ear-splitting fever pitch battle royal, making it the most expensive, and in some places, the dirtiest, most disingenuous campaigns ever; it was something else.

When the debate was ended, I turned everything off and lay quietly in the welcome silence thinking, trying to put my finger on it. Eyes closed, but wide awake, I rewound my mind’s memory all the way back fifty years to October, 1962.

Somewhere in the background of my mind I heard the soundtrack to my early teens, it was the music that accompanied the events that impacted the rest of my life.

It all began with Jimmy Reed.

I was probably introduced to his music by WJJL’s George Lorenz, better known as The Hound Dog who played some of the best blues music available this side of the Mason-Dixon line, east of the Mississippi.

I took a liking to that music from the moment I first laid ears on it. The music introduced me, not only to the Blues, but to the stories behind it. I’ll never forget my father telling me that I was “too young to listen to it, and way too young to understand it”, but somehow, I did, and for some reason, I could relate to it.

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