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From the Law Offices of Harvey, Seals, Naschenstein

One thing about living out in the holler, is that my nuclear family of 3 has become closer. I suppose it’s because being so far out in the boonies there’s nothing else to do but resolve ourselves in to accepting each of our idiosyncrasies as endearing. Back in the always “lovely and beautiful” So Cal, there were always distractions from each other. Distractions from the stressful circumstances that hung over our heads for 7 very long years, to advancing careers that seemed to go nowhere, or the hypnotizing effects of video games when it was just too gang-banger crazy to go outside to play. But now, as the evenings have grown longer, we three strangers in a strange land have actually begun to have conversations that last longer than the commercial intervals during the news.

In this town it is mandatory for the students of middle school to take music and art classes. Mandatory, can you believe it? I personally believe that the Los Angeles Unified School district administrators got rid of those classes because they wanted gold toilets in their private office bathrooms and BMW company cars. It appears to me that in LA it is by attending magnet or charter schools that will get a student enriching courses in the arts. However, if you’re dyslexic, like my son, you won’t have the grades to get yourself into those kinds of “gifted” programs in LA. Needless to say, I was overjoyed to know that Sam would be exposed to enrichment inside school, instead of receiving lectures from me about the history of music and the sociological impact that it has had on society throughout history.

Gathered around the dinner table eating carnitas with fresh cilantro and onions, Sam was asked about school. He was very willing to share what he had learned in his music appreciation class. The period of music for the first part of the week was the sixties. Sam explained that during that time, there was a war which the young people didn’t agree with. Doc just stretched and leaned back in his chair folded his hands behind his head and listened to the story through the eyes of a 13 year old in the new millennium. So Sam continued that a lot of the music was about the war and the politics of our country. Okay so far I thought to myself. As he went on my mind began to play out the story.

All of a sudden, we’re sitting on big fluffy pillows with smoke all around us (probably patchouli incense). The first chords of “For What it’s Worth” begins the scene…cause don’t all Sixties retrospectives use that song? Or maybe we should try for the Hendrix version of All Along the Watchtower or the opening drum and guitar of White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

Sam speaks of a band of friends who spoke out against the war. I ask if they were musicians. From his pillow temple he goes on to explain that yes he seems to believe that they were musicians, but they also were lawyers. (I hear that record needle going across the vinyl at high velocity.) Lawyers? Hmmmm…Doc and I look at each other, I ask if any member of the Chicago 7 were lawyers or musicians. Doc gives a blank look as if to say, I know that the answer is false, but it’s been so long, that maybe the Chicago 7 were lawyers and musicians. Sam points out that Chicago was a band in the seventies. He continues on about how this band may have become lawyers later he didn’t know. At this point, I am out of my Oliver Stone movie and sitting back at the table. Perplexed, Doc and I just stare at each other wondering what band became a group of lawyers.

As if the lawyer thing wasn’t interesting enough, Sam spoke of a giant mud mosh pit called Woodstock, these lawyer musicians played there to. Giving up all of my useless music trivia that is stuck in my head, I ask “so what is the name of this band?”

“Oh, yeah, “ he says flippantly “ They were Harvey Seals Naschenstein”

As if by divine intervention our XM radio began to play a song, a song that would put the final piece into this very twisted puzzle. Sam’s ears perked up and said…”Yep, that’s the song we heard in class, that’s Harvey, Seals Naschenstien”

After my laughter and the pain in my sides had subsided, I regained composure enough to correct my musically aware son. “Honey, that’s Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young not the Law Offices of Harvey, Seals, Naschenstein”

 

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