Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Musings on This September 11

First of all, I forgot what date it was when I got up. All I knew was that I had a job interview at 9 am. Then when we got out to take Ms CPB to work and me to the interview I noticed lots of flags at half-staff. Ms remarked about the date and that we had a great-niece due to be born today. Damn, I forgot. I'll never forget that day, and nor will lots of others. I don't know how unique PDB's response was, but it was interesting. Check it out.

I hate job interviews. "So Mr BRB, tell me about Bruce." Do I lie, embellish, brag, be totally honest, a combination of all of the above? I don't lie very well, so I try to be honest.

So here it is, 9-11, and I have to walk voluntarily into the Federal Building here in town. Ok, I've got the chutzpah for that. If I say that the Feds were particularly security conscious today, I don't blame them. They all but asked me to undress to get through the screening at the entrance. Made it to the 7th floor and had my interview.

I should explain that I was applying for a clerking job at the regional Veterans' Administration office. Downtown Hyphen-town, where last year an abandoned car sat between the city court house and the federal building on main street for a WEEK! Oh well, the federal building looks a lot like a concrete bunker plastered with sandstone stucco. So did the Murrah building, as I recall.

I had a board interview with three of the VA's finest management types for this clerking job. "If you should get this job BRB, where do you see yourself in five years?" I didn't say retired.

What ever happened to all of the little flags that sprouted up like dandelions in the Spring right after 9-11? I guess we all tend to react and then to let things pass into memory rather than into memorials.

So here I am, 9-11-07, listening to "Forest Flower: Charles LLoyd at Monterey." It was recorded live at the Monterey Jazz Festival 1966. Hippie jazz some called it. Charles LLoyd on tenor sax, Keith Jarrett on piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums; just an outstanding group playing live outdoors. In 1967 I ventured into Compton, CA to buy the album. Don't know Compton? Think Williams sisters, Athern Model Trains, south-central L.A., Watts, and you are close. I could have stayed in that record store all day and bought every album I had heard on our local jazz station, KBCA. I had money for one and got Forest Flower. Forty years later it is still fresh to hear; I still marvel at the improvisation and solos. It is a comfort album: one that brings back some rather painful times, yet remains remarkably relevant to me.

Back to this 9-11. I hope I get this job. We could use the extra income (who can't). And in some small way I can serve my fellow Vets, which is the primary motive in any case.

BRB is Write (and may have left it too late)


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