The Stone Pony and Grief

Once upon a time and it doesn't seem that long ago, I announced my career plans to my mother. I planned to run away and become a cocktail waitress at The Stone Pony in New Jersey. She pointed out a number of things as impediments. (underage, clumsy, not familiar with exactly what cocktail waitresses did)It didn't matter because you see, even though the 80s had rolled around and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were BIG, they sometimes played the Stone Pony on a whim. (or so it was rumored)

I would have gone to see them anywhere, but I knew I would prefer it there. I knew I wanted to be a part of it in even a way that meant I served drinks.

I didn't become a cocktail waitress at The Stone Pony. I have never seen Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live. Never. Nowhere. The closest I have ever come is seeing a talented cover band in NYC. (that night has become part of another Once Upon a Time)

I thought it would wait until we had money. (Have you seen the price of tickets to see them?) I didn't want to see Bruce without the E Street Band. I didn't want the huge venue (but I would have gone.)

I thought it would wait until they faded into a band that played small places. (uh not happening) That right time didn't come. Instead, I play my old albums, cassettes and cds. I watch on YouTube. I am intensely loyal to radio stations that play the older stuff.

Now, it is too late. Clarence Clemons has passed away. Yes, I could still see Little Stevie, Max Weinberg, Roy Bittan, Patti Scialfa and Bruce, but the big man will be missing. The man who beguiled me with the sound of the sax and made some of "Bruce's" songs stick hard into my heart no longer waits for me to get my act together.

Yes, my children learned to chant "BRUCE" and goodness knows I would have left my graduation gown lying in rags at my feet for him...but I really have always been with the band in my heart.

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