Friday, October 10, 2014

Who Am I?

When I was a kid they took me hunting a few times. I went fishing once. Oh, I never shot anything or caught anything but I tried to like it. I guess I always knew that it wasn't for me.

When my cousins went camping I often got taken along. I thought I was enjoying it all. Looking back, I was miserable. I hate sleeping on the ground. I can't stand that mildew smell that permeates the inside of a tent. My idea of a good camping trip involves a penthouse suite at the Pierre with room service. I would have liked that at twelve, too.

When I tell you about my adolescence I seem to mention "building hot rods" frequently. Oh, yeah, I had some fine, fine cars but, truth be told, I never built much of anything. It has only been in the last few years that I have finally figured out that I have absolutely no mechanical aptitude. None. I never killed myself in my '32 Ford because it usually wasn't running.

I could go on and on. I've tried to like Miles Davis, kale, big roller coasters and church sermons. I hope I'm not a fraud. 

A friend asked me to play a couple of songs for her mom's funeral a few years back. She asked for Amazing Grace. Well, fine. Of course I had never played Amazing Grace but it made sense. Then she asked if I might do Sentimental Journey. She told me that it had been her mother's favorite song. It's one of mine, too, but I worried that I might not do it justice. I promised that I would see what I could do. Well, even with all the minor 7ths and augmented chords, it sounded just like any other Ronny Elliott song when I did it.

It has taken a long, long time but I'm pretty sure that I've got some idea of just who I am. My only regrets have to do with hurting others on the long road to finding out. I love old dogs and banana pudding. I'm crazy about pretty girls and babies. Great hot rods drive me wild; I just can't build them. I could listen to Duke Ellington or Stringbean for hours and be satisfied. Sometimes. On another day it's all Ernie K-Doe and Billie Holiday. I'm happiest when the music's on shuffle.

My heart fills with love and sometimes I don't know what to do with it. That's crazy, I know, with all of the living things out there that need it so desperately. It's all about the peace and the love and I'm really, really lucky that I know that. Make someone happy with love. That's the deal.

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