The Kt we loved

The Kt we loved
"I just might hurt you if you don't move that camera." — Kt

Thursday, December 7, 2017

26 Years

According to Deutsche Bank's chief international economist, Torsten Slok, the largest single age cohort in the U.S. now is 26-year-olds. Apparently there are 4.8 million of you. Minus one.

Twenty-six years ago today, that one was born. I used to joke that we should have named her "Pearl Harbor Smith": then she would have had my initials. But I think "Katherine Elisabeth Hillyer Smith" was a better name.

Meanwhile, one of Kt's and my favorite bands is retiring after 40 years of making music:
Saga spent the summer touring Europe. And every time I saw another gig announced, I couldn't help but think how much fun it would have been to take a week with Kt and go to three or four shows. That sure would have been a great trip, especially since she never managed to see them live, since they played so few shows on this continent.

For any Saga fans out there, here's a YouTube tribute from a fan (not me, someone who can play keyboards). Kt would approve.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Classic rock and lawn chairs

Got email this morning for an upcoming concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion:

Steve Miller Band With Peter Frampton:
Classic Rock Comes Alive

Of course my immediate thought was of Kt, who would definitely have enjoyed the show.

Unrelated: Many years ago, while driving north in the dark from New Orleans on I-10 on a business trip, I spotted what I took to be a dead animal on the shoulder, legs sticking up in the air at an angle. As I got closer, I realized it was a lawn chair.

Katie seized on this when I told her about it, and whenever we'd see a dead deer in the road, she'd  yell, "Lawn chair!" (Smaller animals, such as raccoons, elicited "Lawn stool!" instead.)

Today while driving home in the rain from running an errand, I saw a brown mass lying across the centerline of the road, and yelled "Lawn chair!" in her honor. Not a deer, as it turns out: just a large, sodden cardboard box. She would have been amused.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oh my

...but would Kt have loved this one:
Not that she had anything in particular against the Berenstain Bears, at least as a kid (unlike The Family Circus, which she hated as soon as she could read), although I suspect the heavy-handed moralizing would have irritated her as a young adult. But this would definitely have appealed to her sense of humor (as it does mine)!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Road Trip!

Just got back from a two-day trip to Ontario, to visit my sisters and see a rare Saga concert. The band has announced that they're retiring after this year, so I figured I'd better carpe diem and see them when they were playing in Oshawa, just east of Toronto.

I've followed Saga since 1980. I was moving into my first apartment when I ran into a guy on the elevator wearing a Saga T-shirt showing their first album cover:

I asked "What's Saga?" and he said "It's kind of science-fiction rock & roll". I had no idea what that meant, but figured I needed to check it out.

As soon as I could, I stopped by a record store (you see, we used to have to physically go to a store and buy these things called "records", which were kind of like CDs, only bigger and more fragile and lower-quality audio-really!) and bought their eponymous first album. The minute I heard the first track, I was hooked. Thirty-seven years later, I have 39 Saga albums on my phone.

Meanwhile, the band hardly ever tours in North America: they sell out arenas in Europe, but have never really caught on here (other than the cadre of die-hard fans like me, of course). So when, back in January, they announced that they were retiring after this year, and that the tour would include North American gigs, I started watching their tour page even more carefully than usual. And sure enough, Oshawa was on the list!

My sister in Halifax was planning a Toronto visit along about then, so we coordinated to be there at the same time. I flew in Thursday morning, spent a day and a half with my sisters, and then headed off to Oshawa.

I had bought my ticket as soon as they were generally available, and got a seat in the center of the third row. And the show sold out-they even added a second show the next night. So I was surprised when I realized that the seat next to me was empty.

It was a great show, and I couldn't help but feel like Katie was there in spirit, sitting next to me and rockin' out in that empty seat…