John Denver And My Dad's Old Girlfriend

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It was 1974 and I was 9 years old.  I was living with my dad in Poway, Ca.  My mom moved back to Utah with my little brother.  Separation.  I stayed with dad because I loved him more...despite his alcoholism. 

Although dad was living at the bars most of the time, he met a girl that I now remember to be his only girlfriend that I really liked.  She was sweet, earthy and so nice to me.  I think her name was Renae.  She introduced me to John Denver.  I remember she brought over a bunch of his records and I would play them over and over.  Oh my God, he was so beautiful!  He wasn't grungy.  He wasn't a sh--kicker.  He wasn't a druggie.  He didn't fit into any kind of category exactly.  He was just John.  The music was pure.  His playing was precise and his voice was so fine.  I would sit in the blanket tent that Renae made me in my room and listen to John play. 

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Today they are playing John on PBS and raising money for the station.  As I re-live the songs, I know that my musical instincts and intuition as a child were right on the money!  Absolutely incredible!  In my early thirties when John died I was so sad.  As I recall, he crashed in his airplane in the Pacific Ocean off the southern California coast.  Although I had gotten into some different kinds of music as a teenager, and in my twenties, I always remembered the beauty of John Denver.  I also will never forget Renae, the person that befriended me in that time of my life.  She was really the only girlfriend that my dad ever had that was a decent and nice person.  She was also someone that seemed real and genuine in what I now refer to as a "plastic world" (California).  Soon thereafter, my parents got back together and Renae got kicked to the curb.  I liked her better than my own mom and I was so disappointed that she could not come over any more. 

Now, once again, I know that I was so true to myself when I was young.  I still love the hippie women!  Natural.  Hairy arm pits.  Bare feet.  Subarus.  Peace and joy.  Organic natural food.  F--k the prescription drugs.  Just herbs...God's medicine.  Yea baby!  Now, as an adult, I live in a cool and progressive - new age hippie town in the North Carolina mountains.  I love it here.   It's "Rocky Mountain High."  It's my sweet and wonderful Asheville, NC. 
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