This Episode contains more songs written for individual classmates.
"Trunk Up in the Attic" was written for my classmate Clarice Wilsey. Her physician father helped liberate the Dachau extermination camp at the end of World War Two. During those trying days at Dachau Dr. Wilsey wrote a number of letters home to his wife. After the war the letters were locked away in a trunk in the attic of their home. After their parents died Clarice and her siblings rediscovered the letters. The letters inspired Clarice to write a book, "Letters from Dachau." The letters were donated to the Holocaust Museum. Our fathers were friends. They both brought home unspeakable trauma from their experiences during wartime. I was inspired by how skillfully and thoughtfully Clarice found hope in healing in the darkest of places.
"Breathing in the World" was written for Bill Yake. He was an amazing poet who helps us see and appreciate the beauty and wonder of the natural world. I appreciate how his words let us breathe in that world in different ways. How his words about that world take my breath way. How the natural world offers us breathing space, a place to truly exhale. Bill wasn't able to be at the reunion. I sang his song to him over the phone. Sadly and unexpectedly he died a few weeks later. His voice was silenced but his words contain to resonate.
While many of the songs were written leading up to the reunion, "The Magic Carpet" was written years ago for my friend, Dan Eaton. Dan and I started making music together in 8th grade and continued through high school. It was a time of discovering so many things for the first time. A lot of the things we discovered had to do with cars and the freedom that came with them. In 1983 I wrote a song for him that compared a car to a magic carpet. The song's remained a staple for some 40 years. It was fun to sing it to him at the reunion and also to realize that these days he's driving a Tesla.
Dan and I started out playing four string banjos together. After singing "The Magic Carpet" I invited him to join me onstage where we picked up the banjos one more time. It was hard to believe as we were strumming away that it had been more than sixty years since we had first played together.
The album, Class of 65, is available for streaming.
You can also see the complete CLASS OF 65 concert on my YouTube Channel.