So I’m riding in the back of Bake’s car winding through Chenango County’s backroads and the first time I ever hear the glorious voice of Bruce Springsteen flashes through my brain.
High school. Spanish class. Miss Carroll in a chair with her students. Margie Knapp placing her already cherished new album from a balladeer from Jersey on a beat-up, AV squad requested record player.
This young teacher set aside show-and-tell sessions so we would have to think outside our text books and bring in Spanish-related items for discussion. I’d made it all the way to Spanish III. I had an ear for the language, if not the most heartfelt devotion to textbook conjugation and wrote vocabulary. Truth be known, I did most of my at-home absorption by watching sitcoms that caught my attention on the New York City Spanish-language channel on cable.
Margie dropped the old needle on that black circle, and out came this voice and whirlwind of music.
A fly could have landed in my open mouth, I’m quite sure.
Miss Carroll, hippest teacher I had, probably dug this unheard of artist, too. But her inner teacher forced these words to come out of her mouth:
That’s not in Spanish!
But, oh, how I loved Rosalita, each and ever word and note. It spoke to me in that special language that a high-schooler is developing with music that will be cherished forever and ever.
Thank you, Miss Carroll and Margie Knapp, where ever you may be, for joining me at stop one on the Boss’ train of faith and devotion.