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Tommy on Broadway

Tommy on Broadway

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Published by DWard55
Rock opera "Tommy" on Broadway, January 1994
Rock opera "Tommy" on Broadway, January 1994

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Published by: DWard55 on May 29, 2010
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01/24/2013

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TOMMY ON BROADWAY (1994)January 4th, 1994 – Fishkill, New York - I get this phone call attwo o'clock in the afternoon from my former Navy shipmate Cris, tellingme to hop in the car and drive to New York City - he had two tickets tosee the original cast of the rock opera "Tommy" on Broadway. Mollydidn't feel good, and I was elected.At the moment he called, I'd been debating exactly which method Iwas going to use to remove the half a foot of snow that had dropped oneverything the night before. Shovel? Broom? Foot? Erosion, perhaps -I'd used erosion a number of times to clear the driveway, but a foot of snow just seems to take too long to erode. (Another foot would fallwithin the week, and none of it eroded away either, unfortunately.)Took me about three seconds to say yes, even if The Weather Channel was talking about another storm on the way. Besides, howoften does one get offers like that? Of course, I had to talk my motheinto letting me use her car to drive fifty miles away - in the middle of awinter storm watch.There are two kinds of people in the world; those who can drivewell in snow, and those who cannot. For those who cannot, well -
 I pitythe fools!
(Sorry ma!) I guess you have to be male to be comfortabledriving in the snow and ice - and before the women rise up and smite mewith pipe bombs and poisoned cookies in the mail, let me say in mydefense that I haven't run into too many women out there who are fondof using a motor vehicle as a toy. It ain't ladylike, as they say. Usingmotor vehicles as playtoys is an exclusively male thing, like nose picking and tackle football in the mud. By the time we're old enough todrive somewhere without adults around, boys/men are sliding all over the place, sometimes dangerously so. On grass, snow, ice, sand, andonce in a while, pavement - though pavement sliding is kind of rough ontires – something I rarely noticed until I started paying for tires myself.On the brighter side, doing all these aforementioned donuts andsuch can give you a pretty good idea of how to handle a car in slipperyconditions, because you had to be able to straighten it out pretty fast and"look normal" if the situation demanded, like a cop driving into the iced-over K-Mart parking lot while you're spinning around like a top at 58
 
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miles an hour in dad's Rambler. You also might see something you don'twant to slide into sideways at thirty miles an hour. After a while, youstart to get the feel for putting the car into a successful - andtremendously enjoyable - slide, and just how easy it is to control most of the time.So I don't fear bad weather, not at all. I don't even
respect 
it,which is probably stupid, but so what, call me stupid. Snow is almostnot a factor in my driving, especially with radial tires and front wheeldrive. I have never owned a pair of snow tires in my life, and I've livedin some places that occasionally have serious winters like Rhode Island,Connecticut, New York, Washington State, and Virginia. I was marriedduring one of the worst blizzards in Virginia history – 19” of snow - andthe only thing that made us late to our honeymoon hotel in Pennsylvaniawas other people on the roads. Mary's brother Mike almost killedhimself trying to keep up with me going down a snow-filled I-64, but hewas driving a Trans-Am without much snow experience, and I wasdriving a VW bug - with the engine sitting on the rear wheels - and I justzipped along until other people slowed us down.Based on my experiences, I'd say most men raised where it snowsare like me. Once, when I was stationed at the New London submarine base, the captain in charge was from Alaska, and would refuse to shutthe base down for anything under a foot of snow. Before Captain Nanook-Of-The-North showed up, we got all kinds of time off for snow!It used to piss me off if I had to go anywhere, because I hate driving onslippery roads with amateurs. All these macho fools from Texas andOklahoma who've never even
 seen
snow, let alone drive in it, litteringthe snowy countryside with Trans-Ams, Camaros, and souped upMustangs. The huge, icy hill leading up to the sub base hospital was afavorite spot of mine to watch the silly people sliding.So the threat of impending snow was no problem for me, but I hadto try to sooth my mother's fears. It's
her 
car to begin with, and she's nottoo comfortable slipping and sliding around - at all. I suppose if I ever tried a donut in a snow covered K-Mart parking lot with mom in the passenger seat, she'd go ahead and have the heart attack, spend a few
 
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restful weeks all doped up with serious pharmaceuticals in the hospital,then kill me later at a time of her own choosing.I met Cris Sakalauskas in 1985 when I reported aboard the USSBoston (SSN 703,) a nuclear submarine homeported in New London,Connecticut. ("SSN" means Submarine Service Nuclear.) Cris was oneof the cooks on board - probably the best - and I'm not just saying that because he has this weird habit of calling up old shipmates to go toBroadway shows on short notice during winter storm watches. His rawchocolate chip cookie dough is to die for. A breakfast makin', bread bakin', no shit takin' mo-fo.The trip to Cris's home in West Nyack, New York took about anhour. I met Molly and their two children, as well as a sister of Cris's.Much to my chagrin, I was severely underdressed! It's obviously beentoo long since I've considered improving my appearance beyondshowering, shaving, and combing my hair in one direction. I showed upin a Beatle tee shirt, and jeans with no knees. Fashionable I suppose, butI froze my damned knees off all night, thank you very much. For somereason Molly's car had outside air coming in through a door mountedspeaker grill, so my right knee froze all the way to Broadway. Just theright knee, nothing else.Holy jeans didn't help in the car, or when I got in the theater to findmost of the men had ties, the women wearing all kinds of fur, andeveryone had nice shoes - not sneakers that looked like they were takenoff a body fished out of the river. I have brand new sneakers somewherein all my stuff, but can't help doing a Linus/blanket thing with the oldones. I bought them with my kids and Mary in Fall River,Massachusetts five years ago. Awful looking but real comfy. Memoriesof better times, perhaps.Drove down with Cris in Molly's car, and he decided to use theLincoln Tunnel to avoid having to travel long distances light to lightwithin the city, which would take twice as long as the Garden StateParkway at 55 miles an hour. In the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel, Cris

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