The last song on the album, "Take me Back" is quite simply about my dad and the desire to close my eyes every so often and just go back in time. (The link to the song is at the bottom of this page)
Like many people, it just takes a trip back to my childhood neighborhood every so often to catch a glimpse of a memory, or sound that still echoes from your past. My childhood was filled with memories of dirt clod battles with the neighbors, a backyard turned into a baseball field, Sunday afternoon fall football games with all the neighborhood kids, and squirrel hunting with a pellet gun. Life was simple growing up on Abernathy Circle. My grandmother and aunt lived next door, my uncle just around the corner. We had an orchard of plum trees that would rival most anyone's. My brother and sister and I survived skinned up knees, accidental baseball bats to the head, chipped teeth, the occasional fist fight with a neighbor and broken bones---all casualties of war that came from Abernathy Circle.
My Parents didnt have all the money in the world, but they managed to give us more than life without cell phones, streaming video, audio and all the information in the world at your fingertips.
They gave us memories.
I am honored that my dad (and mom) were quiet rockstars as young parents. Dad worked in the bakery, painted houses, roofed houses, cut firewood, he was a steel worker, a landscaper, and for many years worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber. He never stopped. (and still hasnt to this day) He taught me the value of hard work by his own example and even more so by including me in the "how to's" of fixing things around the house (without the help of Youtube.)
He didnt make the front page of the news as a father, but he did to me. Mostly because he was just there. He was present. He participated in my life. He made it to my baseball games, my football games and even the wrestling matches that didnt turn out so well. He was present. God knows I didnt always agree with him. I hated my early curfew. I didnt enjoy punishment for my adolescent crimes, but he was present to make sure I learned from them. As an adult, my life has meandered to different paths over the years. (Even a marriage or two....) From teaching and coaching to chasing my musical dreams as a singer/songwriter/entertainer- he is still an active participant and has always been the "Best Man".
"Take me Back" is also about validating my dad's fatherhood to his own father. You see, his dad died just a few days before I was born. (which gives meaning in the song to "a life had ended, one begun...") I never got to meet my grandfather. And I am sure there were holes in my dads life as a young adult trying to raise 3 children. He didnt have a father to turn to and ask "How do I.....?"
As the song says
"And if Grandpa could only see, How my daddy sure loved me", He would see a job well done. I hope I can be the father to mine, the way he was to me.
Happy Fathers Day dad.
*Fun fact. This song was recorded live at Moonlight on the Mountain in Hoover AL
**Fun Fact #2. Dad was in the audience to hear this