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One-Step Forum Contest Grand Prize Winning Entry
(Prize: The 12 CD set as listed on the web page:
http://members.tripod.com/~geo1000/MoodyArtifacts.html )

Submitted to the One-Step forum on Sun, 30 May 1999 01:24:56 -0600
From: "pam" <mooblu@northrim.net>



What the Moody Blues mean to me
    by Pam Crawford

How could I have known in September 1969, that 26 years later, I would call
my first listen to Nights in White Satin, my first "Moody Moment"?

I was young. 11 years old, closing in on 12.  Our family had never been very
wealthy. The pain in my mother's eyes, trying to feed five growing children
on barely enough money to purchase the seeds to grow the food we inhaled.,
will always be the  single memory that influenced my life and who I would
become. I was that rare child, who never really demanded anything of my
family. I knew that all of us had to contribute for our family survival. My
brother had been called to Vietnam. My family needed me.

 My father would rise at 4:00 each morning to milk 100 head of cows. It was
about this age, that I began to form  a self-image of who I was. I knew I
had to help dad when the winter winds that chilled the frost on his
eyelashes.  In the summer, my help would give dad the opportunity to sit
under a shade tree during the hottest minutes of the day.

As I entered the milk barn each morning and evening, I would be greeted with
a resounding version of "Sugar in the Morning". What a beautiful welcome to
each day that was. I would sit on the grain bin, while daddy serenaded me
with the music he loved. I love him for that...my first memories of the gift
of music.

Dad had an old Blue AM radio, that sat just above the stanchions. It had
been there for as long as I could remember warming the grain bin.  I don't
remember all the music that came from that old blue box. That mysterious
sparkle of sound  arrived in  magic waves in the milking barn.  The
percussion sound of the milking machines,  echoed with the Son's of the
Pioneers, Guy Mitchell, Roy Rodgers, and other country  stars. came from one
of our two local radio stations. Music was making memories for me.

I remember my first Moody Moment that September morning as clearly as I
remember my first kiss. It was a chilly  morning. The pre-autumn kind of
morning  when the sky is clear, and the smell of harvesting hay lingers a
bit before the dawn. I arrived at the milking barn, just ahead of daddy.  I hooked up the
electricity. The hum of the milkers began it's ritualistic rhythm.  I turned
on the old blue radio, and actually dared to sneak past  1450 on radio dial,
and found the other station that we kids would listen to, when given the
chance too.  I turned up the sound and started putting the grain in the cow
stanchions. THEN it hit me.  It wasn't an electrical shock, from misguided
wiring, but the sound of heaven.  The crescendo of the most beautiful
orchestration  I had ever been gifted, lifted me away.  This sound, this
hour, this morning, this day would forever be etched in my heart.  The  beat
of the machinery disappeared into the music. There on a small farm in Idaho,
one young blossoming little girl, heard the one song, that would change her
forever. It was my first Moody Moment.  I remember crying.  In a very short
moment of time, I awakened to the world. Dad came into the barn, as the
ending moments of the song echoed in the barn.  He looked at me and asked me
when the local radio station had started playing classical music.  He walked
over to the old Blue radio, changed it to the country western station, and
began his morning serenade of Sugar in the Morning.

At that moment in time, Nights in White Satin, had become the catalyst for
me, a rites-of-passage between just growing older, to growing up. The little
girl in me, heard that sound, that means so much to so many people. :)  I
saved every penny and dime to buy my copy of  Days of Future Passed.
However, I was still naive enough to ask the man at the record shop if it
came in a 78, that being the only record player we owned in our home.
Embarrassed, I bought the 33, and it stayed sealed up. For  Christmas, my
parents bought me a record player with a pretty little ballerina you could
place on the stem as the record turned.

In every major event of my life, I have embraced the sound of The Moody
Blues, with excitement and appreciation for my world.  Not two weeks after
my first Moody Moment, I got my first speeding ticket, while trying to
rescue my brother's 8-track tape of Day of Future Passed, that had fallen on
the floor of his car.  I hadn't even noticed he had the tape....until after
that morning in the barn.  As I was loosing my youthful innocence, the Moody
Blues took me by the heart, and showed me the way to travel. They would
always lead me to my heart.

The first of October, in the midst of beet harvesting, our Pastor showed up
at our door with news.  The Marine Corp had sent him a wire, that my brother
was in intensive care unit, suffering from spinal meningitis.  I remember
locking myself in his care, listening to DOFP over and over, until my dad
guided me into the barn, and sang his sugar song.  My brother came home that
Christmas, still unbelievably weak. He was never quite the same. The Moody
Blues carried me to that place of solitude that I return to often in my
quiet life.

My husband was a Moody Blues fan too. Maybe that is what attracted me to him
in the first place.  We set out on a life of making wonderful memories to
the back ground music of our lives.

Through the years, I bought every Moody thing I album I could find.
Everyone became a memory maker for me. My first son was conceived listening
to Nights. My second son to SS, and the third....well, ok, it was EGBDF,
but I can't remember which song was playing....... we were making a "very
expensive to raise"  memory each of these times.

An ironic side story to this tale, is that I never knew whose name, went
with whose face.  Their music was all that mattered to me.  I never had the
chance to see them in concert, on  tv, or featured in a magazine.  In 1994,
I heard a radio clip advertising the Moody Blues playing in concert a small
132 miles from where we live. I rushed home crying big tears, and told my
husband that I HAD to go to that concert.  We went and we bought Red Rocks
Video.

In February of 1995, I ventured out in the big world to see the band in Las
Vegas, my husband only gave me one word of advice.  Remember, what you are
doing is simply making memories.  I have cherished those memories, as I have
made friends from all over the world.

I don't think there is any way the Moody Blues would ever know, how they
enhanced the life of a young girl in Idaho.  They could see me on the
street, and not know me.  They might not ever know how important they are in
my life. That is the reality of fandom. But, as they watch from their places
in my heart, they just might someday notice that little girl glowing in the
audience. The one without the lighter, or glow-stick.  But always I will
faintly hear the echo of Sugar in the Morning, as I listen to Nights in
White Satin.

Pam Crawford
 
 
 

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