This evening was one of those rare ones. It was a long but decently productive day at a day of work after a long week of a lot of work. I was a little tired, but not too tired. It was nearly 9 PM and dark. The traffic lights on the base had switched to flashing red or flashing yellow, while the traffic lights in the town were still cycling normally. I was only about three minutes into my fifteen minute commute home for the night.
The canned music show that plays classic rock from about eight to ten PM every weekday evening on our local American Forces Network radio station happened on the one song that just fit this evening: Life’s Been Good, by Joe Walsh of Eagles fame.
The song has been around since 1978, I remember hearing it frequently growing up. But what made it really sink in was the summer of 1987, my high school friends Brian A. and David W. and I were cruising back and forth between Meramec State Park and the town of Sullivan trying to go from our campsite to find a good spelunking cavern. I think David had Life’s Been Good on tape, along with a number of Beatles songs and a song he and another friend, Chris T., had created. My car didn’t have a cassette player at the time, so we were playing the tape with my 1980 Realistic portable stereo, which I referred to as a ‘Boom Box.’ It hardly boomed, although my parents might disagree. In any case, the windows were rolled down because it was summer and my car’s air conditioner didn’t work, so the radio was up relatively loud, we were rolling along through the forested hills of south central Missouri. Our lives at that moment really were good. The song earned it’s place in my musical heart in that moment.
I don’t hear from Brian or David very much anymore. I know Brian is happily married to a beautiful woman and they have a baby. David, who was always a talented violinist, went on to eventually play with the Colorado Chamber Players. I went on to earn one of my dream jobs. Life’s been good ever since 1987. It’s had it’s moments, of course. The trend is definitely up. I think I can speak for all three of us in saying that.