Friday, October 18, 2019

The First Time I Saw Benny- The Last Time I Saw Benny

Regrets? Not really. Not many.

Some rise to the surface when I spend too much time with myself. I suppose we all have memories that we would like to erase. That first encounter barely registers in the hippocampus savings account. 

There he was- a legend-in-the-making. I remember feeling a little bit sorry for him. Rockabilly had come and gone. He was on a bill with current stars. We never even called it "rockabilly" until it came back around. He was local. That's not good anywhere. Still, it stirred that stuff that flows in my veins.

Somehow, over the next few decades, we got to be close friends. We would sit and drink coffee and tell tales of rock'n'roll for hours at a time. European fans had found him and begged him to return. He had been, in fact, the first of the rockabilly stars to tour over there.

As my life spiraled and began to seem like one of his songs, we lost touch.

Then, one day, I saw him several aisles over in a record store. His collar was turned up and his hair was slicked back. I could tell, though, that he was not well. I slipped out without saying anything to him.

His obituary showed up in the tribune a few days later.

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