Sunday, April 11, 2010

Harry Chapin

Saturday night, Courtney came with me to see The Chapin Family - Celebration in Song. The kids had gotten me tickets for my birthday and I was excited about getting a night out. Courtney came with me, even though I knew she didn't want to. I'm not sure Mike would have even gone with me had he been well. We didn't really share the same taste in music. His favorite was Led Zeppelin, mine was John Denver. My taste in music was vast and throughout my youth I had seen: Chicago, Queen, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Charlie Daniels Band, The Kinks, Billy Joel, Elton John, Kenny Rogers, Genesis, Foreigner..and many more. One of the more "laid back" concerts I had frequently attended was Harry Chapin. As a fellow Long Islander, he often played at Huntington High School, with all profits going to PAF Playhouse. After sitting up front on the floor in front of the stage, at intermission we would go out into the lobby and meet Chapin and his guests. They would sign posters and take pictures. Last night, his family performed and it was the same laid back feeling.
Harry's daughter sang with her group, his two brothers sang with their children and Harry's two original bandmates were even there. His daughter Jaime, sang the song I loved as a teenager - Tangled Up Puppet. In fact, I danced with my dad to that at our wedding. After Mike and I had Courtney, I would often sing that song and think of her relationship with Mike. I was doubly emotional as I sat and listened to her sing. Harry's brother Tom sounds just like him and it was eerie listening to him. Harry Chapin died way too soon at such a yong age (39). He was an amazing entertainer and an unbelievable advocate. He founded Long Island Cares and World Hunger Year - both are organizations that supply food to the hungry. He was a crusader before it became popular. When he was killed in a car accident, I had read that his family had little money. Apparently, most of the money he made went to charities. He was talented and compassionate.
As I sat there Saturday night watching his daughter and nieces and nephew perform, I felt VERY old. Granted I was only about 15/16 when I began going to his concerts regularly, but the fact that now I was listening to HIS children and nieces/nephews sing his songs, made me stop and pause. Courtney was sitting next to me listening to the new generation of Chapins, at about the same age that I was a fan. Harry Chapin would freqently end his concerts with an appropriate song titled, "Circle". The Chapin family, fittingly, ended the concert on Saturday night to a standing crowd, all singing along. With Courtney beside me, I really did see that life is a circle....

All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown, the moon rolls through the nightime till the day break comes around. All my life's a circle and I can't tell you why, the seasons spinning 'round again, the years keep rollin by.
It seems like I've been here before, but I can't tell you when. I've got this funny feeling that we'll all be together again. There's no straight lines make up my life and all the roads have bends. There's no clear cut beginning and so far no dead ends.
All my life's a circle.....


Anonymous said...

Karen, we gave my sister tickets to that concert for a Christmas present and I would have gone with her but had a dinner with the NYPD pipes and drums, so her husband went with her. Not his first choice either. My sister and I loved Harry Chapin and my sister has seen him SO many times before he died. Glad you had fun and next time they are around I will go with you!!

Karen said...

It's a date!!!!