There are memories in and of themselves. They can come out of nowhere. They arrive when I’m driving, when I’m in the shower, when I’m staring at my computer screen. They take me away sometimes for a moment and sometimes for quite a while. These memories seep into my mind and move to my heart, but they don’t seem to be triggered by anything in particular.
There are memories triggered by locations. That happens a lot. Particularly in airports. Pete and I were in and out of A LOT of airports. We spent endless hours at airport bars talking and killing time until our next flight. We even had our favorite spots–Phillips Famous Seafood at BWI. As a vegetarian I skipped the seafood and went straight for a hushpuppy and glass of red wine. Vino Volo in…ANY airport. As I trek from coast to coast now, I feel so sad in these various spots.
Then, there are memories that are triggered by other things–maybe a photo or a conversation with someone.
A lot of my memories are prompted by trinkets–small things I’ve tossed in my backpack over the years while Pete and I were on the road. They are all treasures to me now because they bring back such a flood of recollections. They can be priceless, inexpensive, or even free items, but now they are all irreplaceable.
- The ticket to see James Taylor at the Orpheus Theater in Memphis–Pete was really struggling with heart failure but insisted on walking up the stairs to our seats in the balcony.
- The rosary that I bought at Il Duomo in Milan, Italy – We walked all around that area only to stumble across a street musician playing “Annie’s Song.”
- The hair clip I bought on the cruise to Cozumel–Neither Pete nor I was very excited about a cruise (being out of sight of land was intimidating) but we couldn’t resist when invited to perform with good friend Antsy McLain
- The special coins given to us by different commanders and soldiers from Ft. Irwin–Pete was invited there to give his “Don’t Just Live, Live Well” speech as part of their suicide prevention week. One struggling soldier came up to Pete while we were walking around the base and confessed he was suffering from depression and pondering suicide. We were able to connect the young man to some supportive counselors, and I so hope he’s still with us.
- An empty wine bottle that we saved from our first trip to Soave, Italy–my uncle, a wine writer, set us up with the owner of a nearby vineyard, Inama Vin Soave, and it became one of our favorites.
And…pens!–I am a freak for picking up hotel pens:
- Oak Bay Beach Hotel–snagged while touring in Victoria, British Columbia. A beautiful oceanfront hotel, and a really fun gig in front of a new audience.
- Bay Park Hotel–In Monterey, CA, my first time to Monterey, and Pete was happy to perform with his good friend Jim Curry.
- Holiday Inn (almost anywhere)–there was the one we loved in El Dorado Hills, CA, the one in Little Rock that smelled like a swimming pool, the one in Hartford, CT near the airport.
- The Dana on Mission Bay–Dana Point, CA was one of our favorite annual gigs at Tim Johnson’s Lord Of The Strings concert series.
It only takes a trinket to bring back a flood of memories. Last week I was checking out of a hotel, and I started to grab a pen off from the desk on my way out. I hesitated and left it there. I didn’t have any memories I needed from that hotel.