Summer rain, too.
I’m an Army Brat. I moved eight times between kindergarten and my sophomore year of high school. Cleveland, Wichita, Seattle, El Paso, Detroit, El Paso, Heidelberg, Long Island, and back to Wichita.
With the exception of the PCS from El Paso to Heidelberg, where we flew, the process was always the same. Movers would professionally pack our things, load them into a 53-foot semi parked out front, and then unload at our new address. In between, we’d load up the family cars and hit the road.
Somewhere between Wichita and Seattle, it was my turn to ride with Dad in his 1977 Dodge Tradesman 200 van. I vividly remember lying on the red, paisley, velour bench seat in the very back as he put big miles under the Cragar Super Sports, late into a rainy night on the Interstate.
I remember laying there, staring out the window at the red and orange marker lights on the sides of the passing semis, rainwater streaking down the window at an angle, half asleep to the small block, 318 cubic-inch V8 rumbling through full-length, polished chrome leg pipes.
Dad had Johnny Rivers on 8-track. He had a shoebox full of 8-track tapes, but at this moment, he was playing Johnny Rivers. Seventh Son.
Summer Rain, Poor Side of Town, Baby I Need Your Lovin’, Secret Agent Man, Mountain of Love, The Tracks of My Tears—these songs all take me back to the magical time between changing schools, trying to make new friends (not being very good at it)—where the open road and four wheels were home.
But in that one moment, it was Seventh Son. Indelible.
I can talk these words that will sound so sweet
They’ll even make your little heart skip a beat
Heal the sick, raise the dead
Make the little girls talk outta their heads
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