At the car graveyard

Sometime memory follows its own paths.  Last night a gout attack disrupted my sleep.  Usually I can tell why.  Not this time.  I hadn’t eaten anything that I shouldn’t have.  In any case, on nights like this I tend to remember my dreams.  And I dreamt of a scene that I hadn’t thought of for over 60 years.

When we were in 6th and 7th grade, my friend Anthony and I used to sneak into a boat yard near where we lived.  The back end of the yard was really just a junk yard where we had discovered an old, abandoned truck.  At this distance in time I don’t remember how much of the truck was still there.  Didn’t matter.  The cab was all we needed.  We could climb up into the seats, grab hold of the steering wheel, and drive off on adventures only known to pre-adolescent boys.

Last night I had the most vivid memory of sitting in that truck with Anthony, whom I haven’t seen since he moved away the summer before 8th grade.  I never went back to that truck after he left.  It felt good to be there again.

This memory I can explain.  Yesterday evening, before watching the Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros in game 4 of the World Series (an outcome which my Texas offspring hold me responsible for jinxing), I watched an episode of the French series, Cheyenne & Lola, on the AMC+ channel of Amazon Prime.  The episode ended with the most intriguing song playing in the background and into the credits.  In English.  I caught enough of the lyrics to hear something about “car graveyard.”  A Google search brought me to the duo Eriksson Delacroix singing “At the car graveyard.”  The lyrics recount an experience and feelings similar to Anthony’s and mine.  In our “secret place at the car graveyard … see me fly, mountains high, see me fly.”  In the last verse, “I’ll come back to you.  We’ll lay on our backs, spinning round and round.”

Eriksson Delacroix sing country western songs in English.  As you can see in this YouTube video of a 2014 concert, they also dress the part with embroidered, fringed western shirts.  What you’ll hear is that they speak to their audience in Flemish.  They aren’t Americans.  They’re Belgian.  But they make wonderful country western music.  If you’ve watched the Netflix series “Undercover” or its prequel “Ferry,” you will have seen how the Flemish have a vibrant fascination with the culture and music of the American West.

Eriksson Delacroix exemplify the truth of the motto of the state in which this Connecticut Yankee grew up: Qui transtulit sustinet.  The one who transplants flourishes.

One Comment

  1. This is a wonderful posting, Ken. Thank you. I had a very nice surprise this week when I got a call from our N.D. classmate Barbara DeCesare. Barbara and I have been in touch since reconnecting at a reunion a few years back. I was going to go to this year’s and stay with her, but covid 19 had other plans. Anyway, it was wonderful to hear from her, as it was to read your latest entry. Take care and be well. Hope to gout it better.

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.