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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Where Did Your Friends Go? (#BOTB results)


      As I've grown older I've seen old friendships become more distant even though those friends have never been forgotten.   In my case this distancing is due to a great extent by my geographical location across the country from where those friends mostly live.  However it's also due to my own negligence in staying in touch with telephone calls or other means of communication and not going to visit them when I do go back to Tennessee for a visit.

       In fairness to myself, my Tennessee visits are usually relatively short and I spend most of my time with family members.   I examined this phenomena of growing apart from friends in my recent Soundtrack of My Life post at my Wrote By Rote blog so I won't delve too deeply about this in my current post, but the gist is that as we all do get older we might have more family issues, work obligations, health complications, and so on.  

       Possibly if I lived back in Tennessee I'd see those friends on a regular basis, but then again whenever I talk to old friends they often will say that they don't see any old friends either.   I was surprised and happy to receive comments on my "Dragon" post as well as my Wrote By Rote post from my long time friend Jackie Covington back in the Maryville area and he basically said the same thing about seeing our friends from the past.    Maybe one day a bunch of us can get together again.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS!

Battle Results

       In my current Battle of the Bands round I used two different songs that address the topic of looking back on the past.  My song picks in this round of battle were "People Are Crazy" by Billy Currington and "January 23-30, 1978" by Steve Forbert.  Both good songs that most voters liked and the closeness of the outcome attests to that.

         I think I clearly hinted at my favorite of the two songs, especially if you read the Wrote By Rote post.  But my pick of Steve Forbert's wonderful bit of song memoir was on the losing side of this contest.  It was a pretty close one though.

           As for my take on the songs, "People Are Crazy" is a classic formula country song with a pleasant but cliched melody.  Even though a bit contrived, the story is a lot of fun.  The dialogue makes the song come across almost like a play.  Several voters mentioned that they thought Currington has a nice voice.  The chorus hook of "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy" is memorable.  This is a catchy country tune and I like it a lot.

         Between the two songs, the one I might sing around the house would be "People Are Crazy."   If one were made into a movie, "People Are Crazy" might be the more entertaining story.  However, if one were going to be turned into a literary work I think Forbert's story would be more to my liking.  The lyrics contain some nice imagery and description.  To me there is more a depth of an unseen story and a subtlety of the story told in the song.  It's a simple story, but one very similar to my own.

          Melody-wise I much prefer Forbert's song.   There is a sense of melancholy behind the bright delivery of the marvelous lyrics that I guess I'd call bittersweet in a way.  The backing vocals are a nice touch as is the folkish harmonica.   The part that strikes me most is that closing line of "It's often said that life is strange, but compared to what?"   I hear that and I get all philosophical deep in thought.  Forbert's hook needs only be said once in order for it to have impact.  This is one of the most perfectly constructed songs according to my standards of judgement.


Final Vote Tally:

Steve Forbert               11 votes

Billy Currington          15 votes



Next Battle Saturday October 1st

        I've got another Battle of the Bands contest coming up on October 1st which is a Saturday.  I don't aim to get overly political before the U.S presidential election, but my next three battles will be somewhat inspired by the election.  I might get a bit tongue-in-cheek for a couple songs or I might just be observational.  I don't want to scare anyone off since I know politics can upset folks.  So don't worry--it will still be Battle of the Bands and I hope they will be battles you can have some fun with.

         Of friendships, how long have your longest lasted?   Have you lost touch with many of your friends from your past?   Do you continue to make many new friends (excluding the virtual ones that you might never meet in person)?




 

42 comments:

  1. I've lost track of most of my friends from when I was young. Partially because I moved around a lot and in part because my life just went in a different direction. Most of my school and college friends live lives that are just not on the same moral level as mine.

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    1. Alex, moving around a lot is also why I haven't kept up with elementary and middle school friends.

      Lee

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  2. Hi, Lee!

    I called it! You heard it here first! Once again your ears did not match mine. :) One of these weeks we will find ourselves in sync, possibly in a battle featuring NSYNC or Justin Timberlake. :)

    My longest friendship has now lasted a little more than eight years but I have never met this friend face to face. I have lost touch with all of the friends I had in my youth. Some of them are dead. I continue to make new friends online but have no desire to meet them in person even though several have asked if we could get together. I am not the character I play in the blog world. I am a shy and humble person and I value my privacy. I do not wish to step out from behind the curtain and break the fourth wall.

    Thanks for reporting the BOTB results, good buddy Lee. We'll get 'em next time, I'm almost certain of it... almost. :)

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    1. Shady, I've seen a number of friends pass on from this life. I guess that will be happening more and more as we get older. I'm not particularly anxious to win that race to the other place beyond my life on Earth.

      Lee

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  3. My best friend turned 70 yesterday. We've been pals for forty years now and still in touch. But I live in the isolated north and most of my pals don't. Friends are gardens - neglect at your peril. I count you as a friend - and my online friends have a true and tangible result of goodness in my life - but like you I don't need to meet in the flesh. Our minds meet - that's pretty good.

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    1. Jan, I guess online friends are more the trend in our stage of life. I'm bad about keeping up though. Daily life at home seems to supersede relationships online or by telephone for that matter.

      Lee

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  4. We can grow a part for a variety of reasons. I have gotten back in touch with a few friends via facebook and it can be nice to catch up.

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    1. Sheena-kay, Facebook and other means of online interactions have certainly changed how we keep up with and catch up to old friends.

      Lee

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  5. Ironically, someone from whom I've grown apart gave me a plaque with a lovely message "Happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in a few well chosen" those seem to be the ones that last. Yay, Billy!

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    1. Diedre, time culls friends through attrition if not through their passing from life. The message you received makes a lot of sense.

      Lee

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  6. Friendships are almost always due to convenience of location rather than any actual personal bonds or compatibility.

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    1. Andrew, I'd say personal bonds or compatibility play a big role in the solid lasting friendships that go beyond the boundaries of location, but I'd agree that convenience and location determines who we hang out with.

      Lee

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  7. I've found that it takes effort to stay in touch. My bff and I have been meeting weekly for years now (12 or so), purposefully making sure our friendship lasts. It's worked. I'm bad at making female friends, and she had a thing where she never let anyone get to know her. Now we're pretty much family. Hopefully it stays that way. :)

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    1. Loni, the internet and inexpensive phone contact makes it far easier to stay in touch with people, but still it requires an effort. I get comfortable just being home by myself and often don't make a lot of effort anymore.

      Lee

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    2. It turned into a reasonably close Battle, Lee. I'm surprised because the last time I looked, Forbert was getting his clock cleaned and this one had the look of "blowout" all over it. He must have put on a pretty notable comeback.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. STMcC, at first it was close, but then Billy shot on ahead. A later burst brought Steve closer but never quite catching up. I thought this was an excellent race, but I still think Forbert had the overall better song. Even so, both were enjoyable to me.

      Lee

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  8. Facebook has made it way easier to track down old friends. I would have to say my longest and closest friendship has to be with Sheila. I've known her since I was 4 and we took the same bus and started kindergarten together. She moved to another town in 3rd grade but we wrote letters regularly throughout high school, afterwards, when I was out west and she in MN. She moved back to the Cape around 1999 and now I'm back so I see her frequently!

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    1. JoJo, that's pretty impressive and I'd say unusual. I remember friends from back at that age that I tried to keep up with, but never got past a letter or two.

      I've tried looking them up on Facebook and the internet, but never made any contact with anyone.

      Lee

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  9. Lee-

    I find I have trouble keeping in touch with friends period, whether in the same city (AZ) or back east (PA, NJ, CT).

    Heck, it's hard to keep up with my siblings.

    Life seems to just get in the way.

    Larry

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    1. Larry, being with friends takes time that's taken by other activities especially for those who work. If life doesn't get in the way then blogging or TV might.

      Lee

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  10. Two of my friends and I have managed to remain close since high school. We can't always get all three of us together, but we do keep each other updated on Facebook. One of them isn't too far away from me, so we make plans as often as our schedules allow.

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    1. Elizabeth, Facebook makes keeping up with people fairly easy.

      Lee

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  11. I lost contact with childhood friends because I move(d) around a lot, but thanks to technology, have got back in touch with many of them. Family commitments get more demanding as we get older, so making time for friends does become more difficult.

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  12. I still have a couple of friends from grade school, several from high school, and one from the town I lived in in Indiana 1969-1875. The high school friends have stayed online so they're easy to contact. The grade school friends and the Indiana friend have dropped offline, and that means a phone call or a real letter....in this day and age, they seem like big obstacles to communication. But I have letter-writing on my To Do list and plan to do that before Thanksgiving (because I'm thankful I still have those wonderful folks in my life).

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    1. Patricia, you've done well keeping up with friends. Many of the folks with whom I attended high school are on Facebook. There are even a couple of pages dedicated to my grad class and alumni from the school.

      Lee

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  13. I've lost contact with all of them haha life takes everyone in different directions and as you age you sure have far more obligations than as a kid.

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    1. Pat, the responsibilities increase as we grow older and that tends to take up time. Sad to lose contact with friends but we do what seems necessary or most expedient.

      Lee

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  14. I liked both songs and did really dig the story in Forbert's song, but I'm glad that Billy Currington won. Both were very worthy of a win.

    I too have lost touch with many people but my good friends, we stay in touch. I just heard from my childhood best friend (since we were 5) the other day. We stay in touch on a fairly regular basis. Just talked to a good friend from back in my high school days a few weeks ago. We spent an hour on the phone catching up. My college best friend calls and we talk every few months. sometimes six months will go by but one of us will always get in touch. I think it's important to stay in touch and keep those friendship fires burning. I'm lucky to have such good friends and I miss them so much. We're so far away and it's doubtful that we'll see each other any time soon, but I'm grateful for the phone. It's the next best thing to being there...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, every now and then an old friend will seem to pop into my life again after many years or maybe I'll call someone out of the blue. I've been bad lately, but still there are some contacts I stay with.

      Lee

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  15. One difficulty of maintaining friends is time. Grown up responsibilities take much of my day. I have a problem of the occasional person who attaches and they become burdensome. Sometimes you just want some peace at the end of the day. I know one day I'll be sorry. But now, give me space. I've reconnected with a childhood friend to walk with in the evening which works.

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    1. Ann, time is of the essence--we have limited amounts with which we can do only so much. Even a phone call to catch up will usually take 30 mins to one hour of my time. Just hanging out with a friend is difficult to coordinate--we both have life things to do and it's not always easy to find that time when we are both available. In my case geographical circumstances make person to person visits out of the question most of the time. Finding the time to walk with a friend is a great thing.

      Lee

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  16. Hello! You have a very interesting blog. I also had a blog schedule when I first started, which then lead to having several blogs. I have not maintained them to the level I would have liked but sometimes life gets in the way doesn't it. I have been blogging since 2006 and will never stop though. It is such a unique way to travel the world and chat to new people. As with your post about friends bloggers also come and go but then you find new ones like yours :0) Happy weekend to you, my main blog is http://twoknightsandmaidens.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Dancin Fool, so glad that you've stopped by. I'll agree about blogging though it can create great conflicts with time. I'll get by to check out your site.

      Lee

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  17. Social media has been a wonderful way for me to reacquaint myself with some old friends. I had a friend from childhood who I dearly loved. We had sleepovers at each other's houses and were wild teens together. We lost touch but a couple yearsa go we reconnected on Facebook. I cannot tell you how much I love having her back in my life.

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    1. Kathleen, social media sure is easier than old-fashioned letter writing. I never could keep up with writing letters.

      Lee

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  18. Lee, I was on the winning side this round. Yay, me! My longest friendships are those from childhood. I keep in touch periodically with two of my Kindergarten buds on FB but many of my oldest friends on FB are the ones I've known since elementary school. Although we aren't in constant contact I regard them as close friends to this day. I don't make too many new friends other than virtual friends. Being a SAHM for almost 30 years I haven't had much opportunity to spread my wings and now I'm just comfortable being alone other than with DH whose my ultimate BFF! :)

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    1. Cathy, impressive that you not only keep in touch with so many old classmates from elementary school, but that you also remember their names. I can think of some, but I'm not sure where I'd find them even though I've attempted on line searches of a few of them.
      I rarely make new friends in my tangible life.

      Lee

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  19. As you might know, I lived kind of a strange life. There's not a single place I could go where I used to live and find anyone there; some of those places I can't ever visit again. Thus, I'm stuck with where I live now, and though I love the place, I really only have a couple of people I knew way back then that I can even reach out to now, and only 2 of them from high school... of which I regularly talk to only one of because he's the only one still living here.

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    1. Mitch, you surely have become detached from your past! I've gone back to all of the neighborhoods where I lived for any significant time and, like you, I don't find anyone I knew from back then other than where my family moved to in my high school years. I still know or hear from many of those old friends and schoolmates, but rarely do I spend any time with other than a small fraction of them. It's good that you're content with where you are now. I wouldn't mind going back to what I think of as my Tennessee home, but marriage and immediate family add a lot of complications to this matter.

      Lee

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  20. My dearest, oldest friend and I met in September 1985, in kindergarten. It's hard to believe we've been friends for over 30 years now! She was my friend when no one else wanted to hang out with "the weird kid," and no one forced her to be my friend as some sympathy project. Her friendship has always been genuine. When I moved right before our junior year of high school, she sent me a letter to find out what had happened, with a plea on the envelope for it to be forwarded. At the same time, I sent her a letter begging to keep in touch, and our letters crossed in the mail. Neither of us knew the other had written. Then, when we got back in touch after graduating high school (she had a crazy senior year and neglected to write to me), our reconciliation letters crossed in the mail again. This is the most true blue friend I could ever hope for, and if I ever marry, she's the only one I'd want to be my matron of honor.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, those kinds of friendships are real treasures well worth hanging onto. I don't have any close friendships that go beyond high school, but I have friendships that have lasted as long as 50 years. Hard to believe when I think about it, but the numbers add up.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee