Ray Harris (L.) and Rob Smith*

On Saturday I went out for dinner to Amanda’s Slip in Kemptville This was my birthday dinner with my girlfriends.

I love Amanda’s Slip. The food is great and on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, there is live music. The music is ALWAYS great.
Since there was a wedding in town and Kemptville is sucha small town, the usual crowd was absent. Really, aside from the three of us, there were two or three couples out on dates and two 50-something-going-on-20 women out on the town in the place. That meant that the band was essentially playing to us, which was great. The “band” was Harris and Smith, local guys named Ray Harris and Rob Smith.
During the break between sets, Rob and Ray came and sat with us. In talking, I discovered that Ray lived just on the other end of the crescent we lived on for about 30 years! He was also married on the day after my birthday last year . Small world.
I was also surprised to realize, well into the second set, that I actually knew Ray. He and I had been in contact a couple of years ago because we share an addiction to Coronation Street. Again, small world.

Anyhow, Ray and Rob have a great stage presence and are consumate showmen. The music was sort of a mix of classic country ballads by a variety of musicians – Tom Russell (whom I hadn’t previously heard of but am now a big fan), John Prine, Warren Zevon, Gram Parsons**, amongst others. I am now a big fan and will be making every effort to get out to more of their dates.

Apart from their work as a duo, Ray and Rob are members of The Sun Bleached Skulls.

* Photo swiped from the Sun Bleached Skulls site
**Gram Parsons died of a drug overdose on September 19. 1973 (another coincidence, since that is my birthday). The events surrounding his death and the fate of his remains has spawned a number of songs, including Tom Russell’s “Joshua Tree” and the film “Grand Theft Parsons”. His manager Phil Kaufman, who claimed he was acting on Gram’s wishes, absconded from Los Angeles airport with Gram’s remains and took them out to Joshua Tree and burned them.

The year before 50

So… Monday, I turned 49.

Actually, about a month ago someone asked me which birthday this was. I said 59. There was a moment of confused silence until I realized that I had accidentally made myself a decade older than I am. Hilarity insued.

To be honest, I am quite proud of my age, don’t think I look as old as I am (and often neither does anyone else), and am somewhat bemused when I think of how old I really am. In some ways, I gues I am lucky to have atttained 49 years and have made several concerted efforts to take myself out of the running (I don’t recommend trying to kill yourself to get your life back on track, but I can’t argue with success – or lack of success?!?).

In some ways I don’t see myself as any different, and I guess I’m not, than I was at ages 4, 16, 25, 32…. In others, I am so very different. In reality, I am still the little kid so excited about seeing my first snowfall…..

Swinging on the homemade swing on our porch….

Trying to be very helpful in the garden (and nearly falling off the roof, at one point)

With the little red swimsuit….

The teen who finally grew into her nose and ears… and filled out a bikini…

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