Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Neil Young!

Nov. 12, 2012

Dear Mr. Young

The year was 1979 and it was a Sunday night. I was a college student and had gone home to southern California for a weekend with friends. We were on our way back to school and took turns driving my friend, Danny's tiny little "first generation" Honda Civic. You remember them, Neil. May I call you Neil? Those Honda Civics were little and cute. They got great gas mileage and even though they had a back seat, there really wasn't room for more than 2 adults.

Anyway there were 3 of us going back to college that weekend and we decided to drive through the night and make it a "marathon road trip." We all had classes the next morning. Probably not the smartest idea...

It was dark and the night was clear. There were very few drivers on the highway that night. The music we were listening to and singing along with were cassette tapes of Neil Young albums, "Harvest," "Comes A Time" and "After The Goldrush." We were huge fans!

Everything was so peaceful and serene. I was asleep in the passenger side with the seat reclined. Another friend was comfortably asleep in the back. Danny was taking his turn at the wheel and he, too, was comfortably asleep!

I remember hearing a bang! It woke me up with a start! We had hit a reflector post and Danny lost control of the little Civic. We started fish-tailing and then the car went off the highway into a ditch. Next it rolled and rolled. We were screaming. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

Finally the car was right side up and smashed. Everything had stopped spinning but I remember I head hadn't. It was eerily quiet except for the sound of the Neil Young cassette tapes still playing.

We survived the accident, Neil. Miraculously we walked away with just minor cuts and bruises. I was thankful that we remembered to wear our seat belts. (I also remember how upset I was that the brand new pair of white jeans I was wearing had blood all over them. Like that was soooo important! Hey, I was 19!)

Every time I hear the music from those albums, Neil...I'm transported back to that night. I know it sounds like I'm sharing a frightful memory because of the accident. But looking back I'm reminded how lucky my friends and I were. Furthermore, your music also takes me back to the *good* memories of those years. It was simpler time in my life...happy, carefree years.

Thank you for your music and the memories. You said it: "Hey, hey, my, my, rock and roll will never die." ...and I know your music won't either. Happy 67th Birthday!

Regards, Mrs Love

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