Monday, June 27, 2011


It was 1978. I was in 8th grade.

All of my classes were standard except for one. I signed up for a music class called "The History of Rock and Roll." It sounded more fun than the other electives. Plus there was a field trip to New York City to see a new show called Beatlemania. I had never been to "the city."  It sounded awesome.

I remember sitting on the bus next to my friend Donna Sclafani. I stared out the window the whole time. Her family was from Yonkers, so this was nothing new to her, or anyone else on the bus. But it was all new to me.

The road was windy, and surrounded by trees. We drove along the Hudson river passing tall gray office buildings, and really large brick apartment complexes with laundry hanging out the window. People were lounging everywhere on the sidewalk and sitting on apartment steps. Their brown faces stared at our yellow bus full of middle school kids.

I remember being in a packed theater, but I don't remember anything about the show. Nothing. Not one song.

I know I was there. I didn't daydream this. I bought a Beatlemania button as a souvenir. It happened.

How is it that I can remember a bouncy bus ride but not the show?

Why do we remember some things and not others. It seems like I would remember the show, not the bus ride, right?

Years later, I moved back to the same area as an adult and made that same trip into NYC. I could vividly recall that first time in the bus. Nothing outside had changed much. The city was still gray, the faces looking back were the same, and laundry was still hanging from windows.

I did that drive into the city dozens of times and never got tired of looking out the window, thinking about all the people I passed, imagining what their lives were like.

I'm a daydreamer. So I guess that's why I remember the drive, not the show.

I found this Beatlemania video from the Merv Griffin show in 1978 hoping it would jog my memory, but it didn't. Still nothing.

 Today's TRDC prompt was to recall a field trip from our youth. 600 words max.


  1. I was first struck by the universality of bus rides and how memorable they are, by all.

    Then I was struck by the Beatles. Of course I was.

    But then. then I read these words: "I did that drive into the city dozens of times and never got tired of looking out the window, thinking about all the people I passed, imagining what their lives were like." -and their magic and truth and glimpse into your soul. And that's my take away from this post.


  2. With all that was taken in looking out the window it's no wonder you don't remember!

  3. The view of New York still gets my heart a flutter even as I have made countless trips. There's something amazing about NYC, and I think it's easy to have forgotten the show when the city really is it's on stage!

  4. Kris, I remember you coming home with that button! Too funny. I don't remember you ever talking about the show though.

  5. From your words I can just picture being on that bus filled with anticipation and the excitement of the experience. Maybe those feelings were more satisfying than the show!

  6. I always daydream and wonder about people I drive by too. Just this past weekend I was in a tiny town and I wondered how people there made a could there possibly be enough market for the little embroidery shop I drove by?

    I also identify with remembering odd things. I kind of wrote about that too.

    Visiting from TRDC.

  7. For years our family drove across the country to visit family over the summers. There was never enough money for airline tickets, but my dad still managed to get us to Ohio, California, Florida, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Indiana and then some, all in the comfort of our blue bomb of a station wagon. (The liner started falling one year and he just stapled it back up.)I don't remember most of the trips, but I do remember the drive, the mix tapes I made for the trips and the way my brothers and I all felt scrunched in the backseat of the car for hours and hours. Great post. It brought back some memories of my own!

    - Emily

  8. You were obviously more interested in the 'city' then you were the "Beatles" :) And that's ok... I remember the first On-Stage Musical I saw, Phantom of the Opera... I remember the orchestra, the swell of the music, the rush of my heartbeat as they reached a crescendo - but I can barely remember anything else of the trip...

    It's all in what interests us.

  9. It is strange what you remember and what you don't. Our mind works in strange ways.


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