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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A place called Lancaster, Pennsylvania...

There are so many stories to be told.

Some I look back at with wonder. Some I look back at with the knowledge that I'd do things differently if I could.

But I can't. So they live on as stories.

"I'm marking it down to learning... cause I can..." to paraphrase matchbox twenty from Mad Season...

... a platinum which hangs on the wall at my house for what it means.

"It's not enough just to be sorry..."

So much joy. So many missteps. So much life.

So much love I didn't recognize.

So many paths I didn't see as the ones I could have taken which might have made all the difference.

But I mark it down to learning.

There are times I look back at this interesting place and wonder what might have been had I been man enough to realize what was being presented. And while I wasn't, it left a mark in my life that has always been a signal fire as my personal ship sailed along in life's journey.

A port I'd always recognize in a place which I never fully embraced as my own.

It was a means to an end which became a place I always looked too for inspiration.

While Tampa, Florida, was and is many things to me - some spiritual and some more than spiritual - there's always this place called Lancaster. At least in my life. My soul. And in my heart.

I'm marking it down to learning... 'cause I can.

And while that place was magical and special, there was this place for me called Lancaster which served as a crucible. Where I shed so many things while so many more presented themselves in the form of gifts.

It's more than me making a legendary call to the mayor in the middle of a night filled with shenanigans...

... It's about what life left engraved on a heart which continues to grow with each passing day.

And it's why I'm not surprised that life brought me again back to a place so close to that place which forged me - like a piece of steel in the now silent millworks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania...

Had I had it to do over, I might have been more sensitive to the true love some showed me while there.

I'd definitely have made sure some friendships didn't fade like embers over a fire by travelers who had moved on to the next adventure.

I'd have continued to embrace what it is that made me who I am.

Because in many ways, the story of who I am - aside from the past left by the shadow of mentors past - began to take hold in this place called Lancaster.

I'm told 252 North Queen has fallen silent these days.

I'm told the meters I once parked in front of are now digital, far from the analogue ones I once ignored.

I hear that some friends from the past are now married. Others mothers. Others have found again their own lives doing what they love even though they loved me for mine in spite of myself.

But never a day goes by that I don't harken back to a place which defined who I've become up until this point.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I'll always be a fan. And you've never been a place which has wandered too far from my heart.

Doc Hollidays and the Roadhouse always were the best places to drink on trade. And I still love a place called Strawberry Hill...

Goodnight, friends from my past and still more from my future.

And you can thank Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty for these musings this evening...

... and to a degree, my brother Patrick Kane who has found rest in this life in the years since we've parted.

Goodnight.