Columns Saugatuck/Douglas Commercial Record

Blue Star

By Scott Sullivan
A Head
“Truth has consequences,” my shrink said. “Think a head.”
“In your head.”
Where you’re crazy.
“Argumentative,” she jotted.
I mean the future, I said. Not what agitates all you see, hear, smell, taste, cogitate …
“Don’t forget ‘say’ from your mouth.”
You have none in this matter.
“What matters?”
Ahead, I said.

August 1968, bedroom windows with Indiana woods views, post-dusk fireflies, solar system mobile hung from my bedroom ceiling, I was 13. “WASK-AM, The Tiger in Lafayette. A-wunnaful, a-wunnaful …” cane the radio. DJ Kenny Lee cued:
I am the god of hellfire … and I bring you … Fire!
Arthur Brown’s Crazy World had a Top-40 hit, sold out shows fronted by his operatic voice and theatrics. Brown crowned his painted face with a methane-drenched colander fire helmet once requiring his hair to doused by beer. Satan with an acetylene torch stripped naked on stage and was kicked out of Sicily for it.
Fire, I’ll take you to learn
Fire, I’ll take you to burn
I soaked it in backed by a cricket chorus and breeze stirring trees and through window screens spinning the solar system. Poo-tee-weet birds sang from during days from sycamores outside.
Ex-Hoosier Kurt Vonnegut was in Cape Cod then writing “Slaughterhouse-Five,” recalling him being a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany Feb. 13-15, 1945 when the U.S. and Britain fire-bombed the city. “Listen,” Chapter Two starts. “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. Vonnegut’s bestselling novel came out the next year.
“Summer of ‘69” was a hit 15 years later. Singer Bryan Adams had been 10 then. Nostalgia draws from Greek nostos (return home) and algos (pain).
August 2023, Saugatuck Venetian Fest ‘80s band Starfarm leads Friday’s show with it. “Those were the best days of my life,” singer Whitney Spotts rechanneled Adams 55 years after an Apollo 8 U.S. band landed on the moon.

Don’t Go
So, no 50th high school reunion Sept. 8-10 at Bruno’s Swiss Inn Friday night with private BYOB after-party; two nights at the group-rate Hilton Garden Inn on the Levee, easy to stumble to after Bruno’s; Saturday a.m. tour of the old school organizers swore I would hardly recognize, golf at Coyote Crossing or game-watching tailgate at an ex-Purdue coach’s son’s house, main event reception/dinner back at Coyote Crossing; Sunday Happy Hollow sendoff, drive north through harvest-ripe farm fields home with old friendships and memories rekindled. I had had it. When I went back mid-‘90s most of “my” woods — of course never mine — were gone.
Vonnegut, a chain smoker, died in 2007. Six years later Brown recorded “Zim Zam Zim” in a yurt.

Perseid meteor showers set to peak Sunday, Aug. 13, on near-moonless skies around 4 a.m. — you might see up to 70 per hour, when clear — could be occluded by wildfire smoke and cinders wending 1,000 miles south from Canada.
The Greeks cast there greatest hero pre-Heracles, Medusa-slaying Perseus, to the skies as a constellation from which these shooting stars seem to emanate.
I would hate to see the woods go away.
Fire, to destroy all you’ve done
Fire, to end all you’ve become
“Once your parents were gone,” said my shrink, “you knew you’d been there by accident.”
I still love exploring my new creative home Saugatuck 17 years into this. When light’s right atoms dance in geometry. When less I sag, feel time to expunge, here by accident too.
Anywhere, I said.

Solitary Man
Comin to ya, on a dusty road
Good lovin,’ I got a truckload …
I’m Sole Man
“It’s supposed to be ‘Soul,’” she said.
Sam and Dave’s original came out in ’67. Heard it on same station. Conspirators held parties even then I didn’t go to.
Coyote Creek’s veranda overlooking golf and Burnett Creek boasts Boiler Gold brews on tap, read the invite I didn’t read by many of these same classmates still in town, now with married names, quick bites at the bar, a melted-cheddar Coyote Burger Mim, Nola Gumbo bowls, Blackened Mahi Mahi, Teriyaki Strips, Peanut Butter Pie chocolate drizzled.

Look What They’ve Done
Look what they’ve done to my song, Ma, Melanie sang in ’70.
Look what they’ve done to my song
Well, it’s the only thing I could do half-right
And it’s turning out all wrong, Ma
Look what they’ve done to my song …
Look what they’ve done to my brain”
I won’t go, I said.

Crazy Art kept singing after they’d put his hair out.
Now’s your time, burn your mind
You’re falling far, too far to behind
Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!
You’re gonna burn …

Leave a Reply