R.I.P. Clarence. He had a really good “ho-ho-ho,” too!
It’s not the heavy rain and gloom that’s put me in a remembrance mood. For my generation, November 22 is a date that continues to reverberate almost 50 years later. You can read why in these previous posts: November 22, 1963 and The Anniversary, Again.
It’s also Lora Devaney Day. The post “Remembering Lora” explains it all, but briefly: The first day of the Christmas season that my Gibson Greetings coworker Lora heard Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” on the radio, she donned a stuffed fabric wreath like a turban and strutted through the maze of cubicles. (On the Poetic Asides blog, I did a post called “Found Poem, And an Elegy” with a poem I wrote about Lora.) Lora died over a decade ago, so the humor of the memory is touched with sadness.
It was very early this morning, but for the first time this season I heard Springsteen’s song. As I relished the music and pictured Lora with that goofy wreath hat, I remembered with a start that Clarence Clemons is gone now, too. It’s not the first time my spirits have plummeted while listening to one of his sax solos and realizing he died in June. It’s the first time I’ve thought about it in the context of Springsteen’s Christmas classic. Maybe on some other plane Clarence is wailing away on a brand new sax Santa gave him while Lora dances. The image certainly makes “rest in peace” sound boring in comparison.
NUDGE: Remember someone who’s no longer here. It can be a political figure like JFK, a celebrity like Clarence Clemons, or a missed friend like Lora. Make that person live again as you write about him or her. If you can capture some crazy moment or habit, such as Lora’s fabric wreath crown, all the better.