Friday, September 28, 2012

Music I remember loving in the 80's

I heard a song today that I hadn't heard in a long time.  'Mandolin Rain' by Bruce Hornsby.  I got to thinking about the first time I remember hearing that song.  I must have been 9 or 10 years old and I can specifically recall loving the piano part and the words.  I used to tape songs off of the radio just so I could listen to them over and over again.  I liked to memorize songs and be able to sing them word for word.  Heck, I still like to memorize songs.  That's what drove me to memorize 'We Didn't Start The Fire' by Billy Joel when I was in 12th grade.  I used to drive around in the car with the cassette tape in the tape deck and the windows down.  I would rewind it and play it over and over and over again.  I can still sing the whole damn song word for word (and I know about all the historical events and people he talks about there :-P )

When we were kids my Mom sold Avon and had a regular route with customers that she went on delivering catalogs and merchandise orders.  That was one of the things my sister and I helped my Mom with on Saturday mornings.  We'd drive the route in my Mom's car with the radio on and sing along while we made deliveries.  I have to say I learned a lot of songs this way.  I'd hear a song I liked and when it came up on the radio I'd tape it and memorize it.  I still love to sing.  D makes fun of me sometimes because I will sing along to anything whether it's in my range or not!

All of this thinking about my childhood got me to thinking that I wanted to pick 25 songs that I remember being my favorite in the the 80's.  Then I realized that I would have way more that 25.  So I picked the first 26 that I could remember.  In no particular order.  Finding them on YouTube was pretty easy, as was saving them to a playlist.

1. 'The Way It Is'- Bruce Hornsby
2. 'Mandolin Rain'- Bruce Hornsby
3. 'The Living Years'- Mike and the Mechanics
4. 'Billie Jean'- Michael Jackson
5. 'Walk Like An Egyptian'- The Bangles
6. 'Come On Eileen'- Dexys Midnight Runners
7. 'Take On Me'- A-Ha
8. 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go'- Wham
9. 'Under Pressure'- Queen and David Bowie
10. '867-5309'- Tommy Tutone
11. 'Sister Christian'- Night Ranger
12. 'Born In The USA'- Bruce Springsteen
13. 'You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)- Dead Or Alive
14. 'Mickey'- Toni Basil
15. 'Jack And Diane'- John Mellencamp
16. 'Take My Breath Away'- Berlin
17. 'Whip It'- Devo
18. 'Straight Up'- Paula Abdul
19. 'Faith'- George Michael
20. 'She Blinded Me With Science'- Thomas Dolby
21. 'All Night Long'- Lionel Richie
22. 'Down Under'- Men At Work
23. 'Uptown Girl'- Billy Joel
24. 'Tiny Dancer'- Elton John
25. 'The End Of The Innocence'- Don Henley
26. 'We Didn't Start The Fire' -Billy Joel

 I hope you enjoy the songs and let me know what your favorites were from your childhood. I always love hearing thoughts on and reactions to my posts. Thanks.

 Signing off 04:38

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11....(eleven years later)

I'm sitting here in Queens, NY in our office with the windows wide open and the breeze blowing in.  I hear the trains and traffic going by and I hear people in the lot next door talking and laughing.  This is the first September 11th that I have worked since I was sent home from work on September 11, 2001 and told by my boss that she was paying me for the rest of the day because they might need me at the fire house.  The events that day and the months that followed were bizarre, surreal, and I'm not sure I ever really got over it.

Today's weather is exactly the same as it was in's even a Tuesday.  Every year I take September 11th off from work and spend the day at the fire house.  The place we all gravitated to as the events in 2001 were unfolding.  We prayed, stared at the TV and monitored the scanners.  We talked and stood around in a state of shock.  We didn't truly know what was really going on with our brother and sister firefighters and EMT's until we started getting phone calls about people we knew who were working.  Some people hadn't heard from them since before the planes hit the towers.  Guys were MISSING.  It was a little scary.

We prepped the trucks and the ambulance in case we were needed to assist anyone, anywhere.  We sat one wanted to leave and go home.  Our families didn't really understand what we were feeling.  My ambulance responded to a ferry terminal and assembled with several other ambulances to remove and transport some of the more minor aided to our local hospitals as the city ones were becoming overwhelmed with wounded.  I don't know what time we got back to the firehouse but I then received word that two guys from a neighboring fire department who were both working that day were missing.  So I went with some people over to their firehouse and a few days later was involved in a prayer meeting as we held out hope that they'd still be alive.

But they weren't.
I went to many, many funerals, wakes and vigils that year and the next for brothers who died in the line of duty.
I know many others who survived the response that day but who are now sick with lung issues, cancer, are battling PTSD, or have since passed on.

I think about how we are all tied together because of what we do.  Firefighting and EMS is our calling.  I personally wouldn't have it any other way.  It doesn't matter if you didn't know someone who died that day, we are all brothers and sisters in service.  It's not just today that I think about my friends who perished doing one of the things that they lived for.  It's every time I get on a rig, every time I head off to work and bandage someone up, every time I see a skyscraper or airplane, every time I push that siren button as I sit in the front seat of that ambulance and head off to a call.  I take comfort in the fact that they SAVED people from dying that day.  People are alive today because of my brothers and sisters who put civilians lives before their own and for that I am very proud of them.

It's a daily struggle for me to understand why people want to cause trouble for others, to try to injure and kill each other.  Especially people they don't know.  Every assault victim I see and every news report I hear makes me even more determined to try to make a positive difference.  The gods gave me the power to help people and I try to do the best I can while I make my way in this world.  I get into the back of that ambulance and I hold the hand of the elderly woman who fell and cut her head and needs stitches.  I take a minute to reassure the husband of a patient that his wife of 60 years is going to be alright.  I hold a child who has had a febrile seizure and explain to his sobbing mother that what happened is perfectly normal and he will be fine.  I try to make a little difference wherever I can.

I have been serving for the last 13 years and D for the last 18.  I hope that when we have children they will get the service bug in them too and continue the work that we have started. I serve in the memory of my friends who have died in the line of duty and the friends that I have made since I have been part of this thing that is bigger than I am,  it's bigger than all of us.

Rest in Peace guys.  Just know that we won't ever forget you.

343 on 9/11/01
To TL, GH, PL- R.I.P
To my sick friends:  Keep fighting!