Happy Birthday Bob

I spent the summer of 1976 in the extremely remote town of Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories. I was sixteen years old. My job was to fuel the small prop-planes that serviced the tiny communities, unreachable by land, which dotted the banks of the Mackenzie River. It was a true frontier town. I was alone, there was virtually no one my age that I could talk to. When I wasn’t working I spent my time running upon the huge boulders piled along the banks of the Mighty Mackenzie or recklessly speeding along the backroads in the company pickup truck. I was told to always check underneath the truck before I moved it because there was a good chance that there would be someone lying there, drunk. I lived in a converted goat shed and I spent the summer in silence: except for Dylan. There was a beat-up portable turntable in the corner of my room and one album, Desire. By the end of the summer the grooves at the beginning of side one were so worn out that the tone arm would skid halfway across the platter and start playing somewhere in the middle of Mozambique. The bass line at beginning of One More Cup Of Coffee still jangles my innards, Emmylou’s harmonies on Oh Sister still make me swoon; Dominique Cortese’s’s accordion buried itself deep in my subconscious only to re-emerge ten years later when Jaro walked in to our life. Desire locks me in a place and time. Desire was my saviour. Happy Birthday Bob and thanks for this one of many, many fabulous memories.