Quote of the week: ''If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured and far away.''-- Henry David Thoreau
A stroll down Memory Lane, or what's left of it, includes my favorite albums:
10. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Early country rock.
9. The Electric Prunes. Pure psychedelic.
8. Tapestry, Carole King. I thought for sure she would marry me.
7. Surrealistic Pillow , Jefferson Airplane. I saw them in 1969 at the Mississippi River Festival in Edwardsville.
6. This is a tie. Blind Faith. One album. Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker. One unforgettable album and a cover that could get you thrown in jail for child pornography today.
And Pearl , Janis Joplin. What can you say? There's no better.
5. Bat out of Hell, Meat Loaf. Straight up bad. It contains the classic ''Paradise by the Dashboard Light.''
4. Disraeli Gears, Cream. More psychedelic. A great album and cover.
3. Hotel California, Eagles. A super-talented group. We paid $100 a ticket to see their reunion tour. It was worth $200.
2. Crosby, Stills and Nash. It don't get any better.
1. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Beatles. In my opinion, the best and most talented group ever. The height of psychedelic music. Much has been said about LSD but it would be hard to overlook the music written under its influence.
There's not much jazz, gospel, country, classic, big band or blues on my list. I'm what you call an unreformed hippy. William Bennett would blame all the world's problems on me, a '60s radical. I would just laugh.
My top ten favorite reads:
10. The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, Thomas Moore. A good energy builder. Moore was a Catholic monk for 12 years. This book helps refresh the soul.
9. Charles Kurault's America. A fun book. Charles visits his 12 favorite places in the country. I watched him on Sunday mornings for years. I felt like I knew him. I wish I did. He could see a story in the ordinary.
8. Coming of Age, Studs Terkel. The older you get, the more important this book becomes to you. Stories of people who are still contributing in their 80s and 90s. A great stroll through history. Tom Brokaw has done a similar book, The Greatest Generation.
7. The Watch, Rick Bass. I favor short stories, probably due to a short attention span. Bass is an excellent story teller. He's an earthy, straight up writer, which I admire.
6. Hemingway's Complete Short Stories. I like Hemingway. He's the adventurer I'm not but would like to be. This collection contains one of the best short stories ever written, ''The Killers.''
5. The Man Who Listens to Horses, Monty Roberts. A great biography. A hard, but uplifting, story. Illustrates the power of non-violence.
4. Tuesday with Morrie, Mitch Album. A stunning tribute to an old friend and mentor. Pulls you into the circle of life, which sometimes begins with death.
3. The Cliff Walker, Don Snyder. Probably not high on anyone's list but mine. Well written. A college professor who loses his job and has to face what it is he really wants to do with the rest of his life. Relevant to many today, including myself.
2. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck; The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger; Lord of the Flies, William Golding. All great books. Written straight-up, no compromises. All have continued to appear on banned book lists, which is enough for me to like them.
1. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier. An extraordinary book. He took seven years in writing it and it paid off. Destined to be a classic. I'd read more fiction if it were all of this quality.
This list will not impress many literature teachers. No classics, which mostly are too long to hold my attention. I like to get right to the point.
I went over to see Bill Bradley in Keokuk, Democratic candidate for President. I was impressed. Seems laid back, pretty ordinary. He seemed more loose than I figured he would be. When asked about health care, he hinted towards a system of universal health care, which, if true, should in and-of itself win him the election. I hope he gives Al Gore a run for his money. Gore is put together a little too tight for me. And George W. is from Texas, which makes me dislike him immediately. Besides, he was born with his hand inside his father's pocket.
It's the autumn equinox. Tradition has it you're supposed to run around nude in the neighborhood. Trust me, I wouldn't lead you astray.