BJ'S BLOG 01/11/16 "Going Home, Back to Staten Island"

January 10, 2016

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

During my mountaintop days, I made friends with a lot of animals, as many people do. Some of us even have an unspoken understanding, a oneness, with them. It’s why as human beings we are outraged by the needless slaughter of and cruelty to those who share this planet and are helpless before us. I have felt compassion and understanding with my four-legged friends since those days in the mountains. My own 19 pound Maine Coon cat and I had a cosmic closeness, a melding of souls. I saw in his eyes and he in mine a question, a need, an answer. Now I share my love and memories with his “sister,” 10 pounds of love known as Chloe Cat, and that same incredible unspoken communication continues.

My friend the West Virginia bobcat, knighted as “Brook Cat, the Mystical Man of the Mountain,” would sit on one side of the waterfall, just before the small lake that formed before the water ran into the creek that flowed by the cabin. It was a quiet spot, with just enough flowing water to lull you into feeling one with the universe. I named him Brook Cat because he deserved much more than a generic classification.  I am human but I am more, and he was more than just a member of a proud nation of mountain lions and bobcats and others. When he saw me, he would yawn, stretch a forepaw in front of his body, place his head on that paw, and fall asleep, and I knew I had been accepted. To this day, I miss that beautiful guy and still believe we have always lived in each other’s hearts and never far from the influence we had on each other’s lives. Yes, I would miss my old friend forever, almost as much as the woman I left behind, but too long I had rested in the mountains with the waterfall, the wolf, the old bear, and the bobcat, and now it was time to leave that beautiful place where I could have spent the rest of my life. It was time to leave the farm, the Mountaintop Days, and head south--to the beach, the ocean, the warmth. I was ready!

But Virginia Beach wasn’t going to happen just then. In late 1967, I got word that my father had cancer, and I was on my way back to Staten Island (sort of in New York, depending on who you ask and when you ask them and whether they are Mets or Yankees fans). I hadn’t been where I was supposed to be, and no one knew where I was of course not even certain agents of Federal seek-and-capture companies. My mother did not know where I was and she had already been paid several visits by the posse, and she was worried about me and would no doubt make me wish I had never left the mountaintop. Now I had to figure out how to make everyone understand something happened that never really happened unless of course it did happen, and no one would believe me anyway. This was going to take a little planning, and I didn’t have the desire to risk riding with another lunatic going east. Eventually, I did make it to Virginia Beach, where my life would take even crazier turns than my pill-popping trucker around those West Virginia mountains. But that’s another story for another time.

The End

In the podcast there are a few random thoughts as well as a rock-and-roll timeline. Join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.