A Sunshine Day-Dream


The day couldn’t have been more perfect.   A bright sun lit the day, not too hot, no traffic and good tunes.  I was headed to the Napa Valley on a mission of mercy.  I traveled solo. There was wine to pick up. I wasn’t far too far along when the strains of the Grateful Dead filled the car.

Sugar magnolia, blossoms blooming, heads all empty and I don’t care,
Saw my baby down by the river, knew she’d have to come up soon for air.

 Sugar Magnolia. A great driving song.  A song about a groupie.  Well kids, gather round and we’ll discuss the pantheon of Groupie Songs.  “We’re an American Band by Grand Funk.”  “Sally Simpson” from Tommy by The Who.  “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” by The Beatles.  And the infamous Mudshark.  Wait, that’s not a song.  No wonder Frank Zappa tried to replace it in our mythology

Sweet blossom come on, under the willow, we can have high times if you’ll abide
We can discover the wonders of nature, rolling in the rushes down by the riverside.

Willows.  Damn, those horsetails are really taking over the back yard.  For a plant that wants a riverbank or wetland to grow in, they are moving all over the garden, quickly.  Mental note to self:  I need to pull the ones near the green Japanese maple.  Perhaps we should worry about the horsetail apocalypse, not the zombies.

She’s got everything delightful, she’s got everything I need,
Takes the wheel when I’m seeing double, pays my ticket when I speed

 I really only use one hand when I drive, the left one. Is that odd? I speed, but not nearly as much as I used to.  I’m more comfortable at 75 than I used to be.  It used to be 83. What’s happening to me?  I really don’t need a ticket.

She comes skimmin’ through rays of violet, she can wade in a drop of dew,
She don’t come and I don’t follow, waits backstage while I sing to you.

Well, she can dance a Cajun rhythm, jump like a Willy’s in four wheel drive.
She’s a summer love for spring, fall and winter. She can make happy any man alive.

What’s a Cajun rhythm? I guess Zydeco doesn’t fit lyrically.  I never knew what a Willys was till I read I am Legend by Richard Matheson.  Now I  know it’s a military jeep,  Never expected to learn that from a horror novel.  And then there is the “Omega Man” with Charleton Heston.  What a funny movie in retrospect.  Perhaps a scene by scene comparison with the Will Smith vehicle is in order.  No, that might be too painful.

Sugar magnolia, ringing that bluebell, caught up in sunlight, come on out singing
I’ll walk you in the sunshine, come on honey, come along with me.


Could this be any better of a day? Sun is shining, traffic is thin and the wine country is less than 30 minutes away.  But none of that crappy honey mead shit. God that stuff was awful. (If the person who gave that to me reads this, I’m sorry.)

She’s got everything delightful, she’s got everything I need,
A breeze in the pines and the sun and bright moonlight, lazing in the sunshine yes indeed.

Sometimes when the cuckoo’s crying, when the moon is half way down,
Sometimes when the night is dying, I take me out and I wander around, I wander


McMurphy? Chief?  Nurse Ratchet?  Could anything be further from this song?

Sunshine, daydream, walking in the tall trees, going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose, breathing more freely,
Ride our singin’, I’ll walk you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine, daydream. Sunshine, daydream. Walking in the sunshine.


As life imitates art, I was in a day-dream, driving, smiling and enjoying the sunshine leading me towards what lay ahead.  The song changed.  It was “Teacher” by Jethro Tull.  A song about a “groupies’” devotion and disappointment with the “guru” he chose.  The opposite of “Sugar Magnolia.”  Circles in Circles.  Symetery.  And clever DJs.



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