Saturday Single No. 62

Originally posted March 15, 2008

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today is our annual tabletop hockey competition. This will be the fifth straight year that Rick, Rob and Dan have come to St. Cloud for a day of news, story-telling, music, food and drink, laughter . . . and some tabletop hockey.

The competition – as much as we enjoy it – is really just a framework on which to hang the other stuff, stuff that’s much more important than the results of a bunch of five-minute games. Of course, as I’ve never won, it would be nice if I could, one year. But I figure I win anyway by having three of my closest friends here for the day.

(It comes to mind as I write that I’ve known the three guys longer than I’ve known almost anyone. I met Dan through Rick while we were all in high school – the two of then went to St. Cloud Cathedral while I went to Tech – so that’s been at least thirty-eight years. That’s a long time to have known someone, but I’ve known Rick and Rob a bit longer than that: We met the spring after my family moved into the house on Kilian Boulevard that was kitty-corner from theirs. That was in 1957, fifty-one years ago.)

Tomorrow will be the fifteenth time we’ll award our version of the Stanley Cup. We had five winter-long seasons followed by playoffs during high school and college. There were five daylong tournaments in the Eighties. And now, we’ll have had five straight tournaments again.

So, casting about for a way to select a Saturday Single, and writing this in the early hours so I can get ready for hockey in the morning, I came up with this. I’m going to sort out songs from 1968 – the year Rick’s Toronto Maple Leafs won our first title – and then click randomly through fourteen songs. In honor of our fifteenth competition, I’ll stop at the next song, the fifteenth – whatever it is.

That’s why “John Wesley Harding,” the title tune to Bob Dylan’s understated 1968 album, is today’s Saturday Single.

Bob Dylan – “John Wesley Harding” [1968]

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