Sunlight Shining Through Cloud

A Father-Son Olympic Moment

Posted on: July 27, 2012

Jeremy was born in Indianapolis, home of the famous Motor Speedway and the Indy 500. By the time his first last-Sunday-in-May rolled around, I was at Tatalina Air Force Station deep in central Alaska. The race was available to me only by radio there. I called Jeremy’s Mom and asked that she turn on the TV or radio near him so we could experience it together.

This was the beginning of a near-tradition. In the years when I was home, we’d sit on the couch, eat popcorn, and watch. When I wasn’t, we shared a thought-connection that was almost as good.

My father and I had little in the way of common musical interest. This is not the case with my son and I. We have an intense appreciation for the music of England’s Mike Oldfield, a contemporary master whose Tubular Bells became the first icon of art rock back in the early 1970’s. Twenty-five albums later, he’s still cranking them out without compromise to commercialism.

A couple days ago, I learned that Oldfield might be in some way involved with the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony and I alerted Jeremy to it. Resourceful guy that he is, he sent me a link to a ‘live stream’ this afternoon, and there it was in all its spectacle and glory. What a wonderful production.

And then the moment came. Jeremy e-mailed: Mike Oldfield!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I fired back: Here we go!

It began with the instantly-recognizable phrases of Tubular Bells and evolved into several of Oldfield’s other works. He was there, playing ‘live.’ And it wasn’t just a token nod to a noteworthy British artist; Mike’s segment of the Opening Ceremony lasted a full eleven minutes! Meanwhile, on the stadium floor, good battled evil in a tribute to British children’s literature perfectly complemented by Oldfield’s score.

London’s Opening Ceremony was thrilling from beginning to end and it’s impossible to single out a memorable moment among so many. But for Jeremy and me, Mike Oldfield’s appearance transcended the event and became our best moment ever; a shared passion, a confirmation of the validity of our eclectic musical interest. And though we were twelve hundred miles apart, today, it was as if we were sitting together on the couch, eating popcorn and enjoying a father-son experience as only we can.

5 Responses to "A Father-Son Olympic Moment"

I was with Lou Ann tonight watching the opening ceremony. As Oldfield came on, I mentioned that he was one of (if not your) favorite artist. I had no idea of your connection with Jeremy on this and am happy to hear you two connected, “enjoying a father-son experience” as only you can.

It was one of those special things.

I enjoy all your posts, but this one was great!

Thank you, Ellyn. Please feel free to share the “greatness” with everyone you know. 😉

LOVED this post! Who knew?

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