Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I had my iPhone set to shuffle today and it must have known I needed a special song. It served up Melissa by the Allman Brothers and it sent me back to 1972. Melissa was one of the first songs the Allmans wrote. What's sad about this song is that Greg's brother Dwayne died tragically in a motorcycle accident a few months before the song was released. I was in Panama then and the PX (Post Exchange) had a great music department so I loaded up on vinyl. "Eat a Peach" was one of those records.
I lived on the top floor of the barracks in a cot by a window with no glass. The screen kept the mosquito's out but the warm tropical breeze off the Pacific blew through at night, and it felt what I imagined Heaven would feel like. I spent my nights lying on that cot and listening to my records through headphones. That music spoke to me on a level that's hard to explain.
February is hard for me. My baby brother who died in 2000, was born on February 15th and my older brother Neil died February 13th 1994. Both were way too young to lose and I've never really gotten over the loss. I've come to understand the pain never goes away.
Today when my trusty iPhone served up Melissa, I could almost smell the ocean and feel the salty air on my skin. Hearing the sound of that slide guitar and the sadness in Greg Allman's voice made me feel that I wasn't alone. He too knows what it's like to lose a brother.

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