Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Give Me One Reason

I was just listening to my Slacker radio station and Tracy Chapman's Give Me One Reason came on.  Whenever I hear that song, I am transported to Marion, Indiana, to the Grist Mill.  I'm twenty-one years old.  I can still feel what it felt like to be there at eleven o'clock or twelve or two.  It was open all night, just down the road from the strip club.  I would order eggs.  I would talk with the regulars and the guys from Taylor who went there to smoke, in all of their pent up rebellion.  The ceiling was yellow with cigarette smoke.  A jukebox sat in the corner.  I don't remember the waitress' name, but she was the favorite, a large black woman with an amazing smile.  This was her favorite song.  We knew it was and we would play it for her.  I can smell the place: the bathrooms wreaked of urine almost as much as the main room did of smoke.  I went back as much as I could.

I tried to go a back a few years later.  It had burned to the ground.

What are the songs that are tied so tightly to memories for you?   When it plays, you're transported.


Anonymous said...

GREAT post. Man, life is weird. Here we are living that Marion experience (kind of). I wish I could comment appropriately about the song (possibly I will come back to it) but my mind is full of Buffers. I have been studying for a lecture that I'm filling in for at IWU. Maybe I'll listen to the radio on the way home and get inspired.
Love you.

Anonymous said...

To answer your email: I think the big guy with white hair was named "Barney" and I'm not sure about the black haired, sometimes mean guy. It probably wasn't Flanders, so was it "tight Pete" (aka Pete Lessing)?

Hope you're well.


Anonymous said...

It was Flanders, to be sure. The Grist Mill had a cot set up for him in the corner.

Erin said...

Aw, man - I had to comment. If James and I have any kind of cheesy "our song", that's it. Same memories - Grist Mill, grease, Tracy Chapman. Funny.

Andy Gammons said...

Erin, thanks for the comment. I did fail to mention that the Grist Mill was where Amanda and I had our first "date". It is where I laid out to her my wild plans for courtship and one of the places where we fell in love. There's a different song for all that though. Maybe another post too.