Rarities today. . .
Joanna and I went for a drive tonight. Just a quick ride around Westchester. Just needed to get out and do something. It is May 8th, but it is just kind of raw out there for early May. Just a cold and rainy night out there tonight. I am in Westchester County NY. It should be warmer now.
We should be done with this pandemic by now. We are now vaccinated, but honestly it is still quiet out there. It certainly seemed that way tonight as we drove up to Mount Kisco. It felt like I was driving home from somewhere at 3 AM. I miss those days, coming back from somewhere at such times. It has been awhile. Tonight, though it was 9 PM, 9 PM on a Saturday night.
I exaggerate. I am just missing the crowds, the interactions, the exchanges, the eye contact, the smiles, the chatter. . . The people-whether it be folks I know, or not.
That lack of interaction, those random spontaneous interactions with folks, was spotlighted several times this week. I just tripped over several stories, One I read, the other is a video. Both talked of when they were kids, teenagers working perhaps their first jobs, and encounters they had in the midst of that. One of them involved Che Guevara, the man who fought alongside Fidel Castro, and who died in Bolivia, walking into a hotel bar in Ireland and engaging this kid who happened to be working the bar at that moment. That encounter certainly did play a role in the life of the artist, Jim Fitzpatrick.
I knew of the story, but somehow I tripped over a recent article in the Irish Examiner, highlighting some of Jim Fitzpatrick’s artwork, From Che Guevara to Thin Lizzy: Jim FitzPatrick’s 10 greatest hits. The range of Jim Fitzpatrick’s art is pretty amazing. It ranges from Irish myth and legend to album cover art of Thin Lizzy and other rockers, to that famous image of Che Guevara, which really started his career. Along with those highlights is a recent interview that Jim did, where he recounts in detail that early encounter with Guevara. The wonders of the internet. Ah, they know I have a thing for Jim Fitzpatrick.
The day before I tripped over the Fitzpatrick article and video, however, I see someone thanking the folks in a Facebook Rory Gallagher group I am in for being allowed to join the group. Nothing to exciting there, but he too has a tale to share. Apparently, he too was working one of his first jobs at a record shop, and this dude would routinely come in, look at albums. He would routinely talk with the kid as he pulled up this and that album, telling the kid what he should check out. The two would even grab lunch now and again . This guy is a year or two older. He is in a band. Apparently, the guy coming into the shop is Rory Gallagher. At one point Rory shares the cover design for what will be his first album.
Again, these are just simple human interactions. Both of these take on additional significance because of who the interactions were ultimately with. They are cool because they involved Che Guevara and Rory Gallagher. Typically, though, we all too often take such encounters for granted or least we did, They simply do not happen today.
Actually, however, those encounters do still happen now and again. They are rarer, but they do happen. I am in a book club currently, and I was emailing with the guy who puts it together. I told him that the club helps me focus my thoughts and even gets me writing some things. It is nice I told him, even if it is all through Zoom. Well, he writes back that If I wanted to share my writing with the group, we could explore that. That was just cool. It made me smile. I am not sure what I will do with the offer, whether I actually got anything that will honestly work for that group, but it was a nice gesture. People are still out there.
Do check out Jim’s website, jimfitzpatrick.com, which details the range and diversity of his art and likewise offers up art that is available to be purchased!
And do check out the Wild West essay / interview with Jim a few years back, Jim Fitzpatrick, His Art, Dublin, and a Band called Thin Lizzy. . .