We all have a few moments in our lives that we remember with crystal clarity, days that in some ways changed our lives.
I’m sure the birth of a child is one, but I’ll never know for sure. Wedding days, graduations, the first time you met your certain someone all are right up there, but I have some that hold meaning for me alone, that give me intense joy.
I remember the first time I went scuba diving in Cozumel.
I learned to dive in swimming pools and did my open water dives in an Oklahoma lake where the visibility was four feet away at best. The buddy system there is pretty much holding on to your dive buddy.
Anyway, back to Cozumel. We hit that azure water and I had found my world. It was like being in outer space. You’re weightless with your own air supply and you can hang upside down, flip like an otter or slide through that water like a dolphin, all the while looking at spectacular coral and those amazing fish.
My very first dive I didn’t come up because I was short on air, I came up because I ran out of time. I had let my husband go up before me and buddied with another woman and we were the last ones up. I wanted to stay down there. I wish I was there right now.
I believe that was the first time in my life I totally relaxed. It was joyous. I’d leave right now and go diving again if I thought I could physically pull it off.
Seeing a full moon shimmer on the Pacific on a cruise ship in Hawaii is another one for the books. It was liquid silver. Breathtaking.
I remember visiting the tourist town of Skegness in England on a blustery May day and sticking my feet into the cold North Atlantic Ocean. I took a selfie of my face because I was grinning like a maniac. I mean, “Whoa!”
I have a lot of concert moments I revisit. The Police’s “Synchronicity” tour is one. I worked the load in for the show. I left, changed clothes and put on a black fedora and came back in. The band walked right by me backstage and I got to breathe the same air as Sting at the peak of his hotness. I had a ticket on the fourth row and knew the staff was looking for me to ask me something during the show, but they never did recognize me. I watched the whole thing undisturbed. It was bliss.
I saw Sting again in 2012 where he opened a short U.S. tour in a tiny town with a big casino. Hearing “Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic” was, well, magic. I cried.
I sat on a tour crate on the side of a stage and watched Don Henley make magic at an outdoor show.
I’ve been on Willie Nelson’s tour bus more than once. I never saw or smelled any of that wacky weed, but then again, I was working press.
I took Mercury Astronaut Alan Shepherd to the airport after a golf tournament. I tried to help carry his baggage. I mean, he was a red-blooded American Hero. How could I not? He didn’t allow it, but did shake my hand.
I was sitting at my desk at the paper early in 2000 and listening to San Francisco’s radio station KFOG on the internet when I heard a particular sound in a song that was unmistakable and unmistakably new. It was “Cousin Dupree” by Steely Dan. I went crazy. I jerked out the headphones and cranked my speakers to let all the music writers and the other folks in my area know they were back.
I called their record company and talked to my contact there. I traded a red vinyl 45 record by REM for an early copy of “Two Against Nature,” Steely Dan’s new album that came out at the end of February that year.
Later that year I went to a huge tailgate party at Steely Dan’s Dallas show and had great seats at the concert. It was the first time I saw them play, and I cried when they played “Peg.” It was a true moment for me as I sang song after song with the band.
In a few days, I’m going to review one of Steely Dan’s shows on their current tour. I got to interview the band’s lead guitarist earlier this month. That was a great moment and I’d thinking the show will be one more memory for my list.