NASHVILLE NIGHTS | MEET MY SON EMERSON HART

When we have children we hope for the best for them, but truly, even with a crystal ball, we don’t know what lies ahead for them.

Once they leave the nest, they are on their own to chart their own path. We, as parents, just hope their journey is smooth without too many downdrafts and that their flight will lead them to a fulfilling life.

In this blog I am sharing with you a recent conversation I had with my singer/ songwriter son, Emerson Hart, lead singer of the 2x nominated and Platinum awarded alternative rock band, Tonic.

His first album, LEMON PARADE, had 5 top ten BILLBOARD HITS, one of which stayed on the top of the charts and became the most played song on rock radio that year, “If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me.”

We talk about his beginnings and what it is like to be a a songwriter/singer and musician. I can’t use his music in my videos because of publishing and record company rights shared with him. I have posted below the video he speak’s about and that he filmed in London when Princess Diana died.

Join my conversation with a singer and songwriter on his creative process, his solo career vs Tonic and what is in store for 2019.

Copyright Sandra Hart ©️2018

All Rights Reserved

Bedtime Stories

 

Her white hair was pulled so tightly away from her face and knotted on top of her head, stretching her wrinkled skin so that it morphed her face into something scary. Her high collared black dress disappeared into the colorless quilted cover that fell to the floor from her throne – the fourposter bed on which she lay against a mound of pillows. I stood there looking up at my grandmother, not moving. I was afraid. She looked like the witch I had seen in Snow White. This is the only memory of my father’s mother that I have stored. I’m not sure where those impressions are kept and what neurons are fired in my brain, but that is all I have saved. That one experience, that one moment in time, the snapshot saved of my father’s mother when I was four.

Maybe in reality she was not at all what I remember, but somehow a child’s eyes can be clairvoyant, more often than not. Stories I have heard since about my grandma fortify that perhaps I was able to see things as a four year old more clearly than the adults around me realized.

Seventy years later, my scary grandmother lives on through me in several ways. I have inherited the gene for her white hair and I also have her bed. My life has unfolded, year after year, while sleeping in the comfort of that big cherry fourposter. I have nursed three children, cried myself to sleep when I lost a husband, then my parents, and throughout many nights have kept my grandchildren safe from their ‘boogeyman dreams’ in my scary Grandma’s bed. And from the comfort of that old bed I have been blessed to have been awakened slowly by 15,330 beautiful Eastern sunrises popping over the New Jersey Shore hills.

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My ancestors supposedly bought the German bed made of Kirscholz when they traveled from England to America. Large slats with high posts secured by substantial wooden screws hold the bed together, the horse hair mattress laid across the slats, provided them and the generations to follow, comfort fit for a king.*

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I was told by my father that William Tecumseh Sherman, a relative of my great, great grandmother Sherman has slept in my bed. Whether this is true or not, I have no proof, but my father, a southerner, always called it “The Burning Bed,” referring to Sherman’s march through Atlanta. I have a suspicion that is why the valuable bed that my Ohio mother loved, in his eyes, was not so valuable to him and therefore, his Yankee daughter was more than welcome to it.

So I guess what it all comes down to is the eye of the beholder. My scary grandmother through the eyes of a four-year-old, maybe wasn’t so, so scary after all, but just very ill, and the ‘Burning Bed’ through the eyes of a southern gentleman was really just a beautiful work of German craftsmanship. In most things in life, it comes down to one’s interpretation. Our brain gathers the information, maps it, and then we interpret it in our own way because of prior impressions.

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My son will get the poster bed this summer and it will begin a new life with another generation. Yankee based since 1949, she will travel to Nashville to live in a bedroom in a lovely plantation house in Confederate country. She will be loved and well taken care of. I think that will suit her just fine. General Sherman may roll over in his grave, but that is another story for another time.

* Horse hair mattresses priced in six figures last for years and years and are now owned by mainly royalty and billionaires.

Copyright 2014 Sandra Hart. All rights reserved.

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Starbuck’s Soliloquy

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“Miss, what time is it?” I turned my head to see sitting at the next table an LSU ball cap fitted snugly on the top of a graying senior sipping his Starbucks. It was the day before Thanksgiving and the perfect place to hide while my family shopped in the mega-retailer, Target.

In all honestly, had this stranger not spoken to me, I would have sat there completely happy, selfishly immersed in my own cafe latte, fascinated by Nashvillians fixated on buying early for Christmas.

“I’m waiting for my wife and daughter to finish walking the stores. I have a bad hip so I’m waiting them out.” He chuckled, “I forgot my watch.”

I gave him the time.

“You from Nashville ?” he said.

“No. Visiting my son here. New Jersey.” I honestly was not in the mood to chat with the LSU ball cap.

“How about that Sandy? Did you get hit? he asked.

“No. Our house is on a 266 foot cliff above the water. Luckier than most.” I returned to my latte hoping he would get the message.

“In Louisiana we get hurricanes and tornados. My mother used to call us in and get us all dressed up when one was comin’. After, we kids would just sit there in the house and wait. Wait until she told us it was over. ”

“Didn’t you have a root cellar, or anything?” I asked, my interest in him beginning to peak visualizing such an absurd scene.

“Nope. My mother went through the hurricanes in 1916 and she lost folks. We knew in case the tornado came, in case we died, we would look nice.”

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I was hooked. “Really? I mean, weren’t you afraid if you thought that? Or if you thought she thought that?”

“Oh, I can’t say, maybe, but I was young and lived on a farm in Louisiana. Things around me were dying all the time, so just was our way…. accepting…until I got older and went to Korea,” his voice trailing off as he swizzled his coffee.

“Korea? My late husband served in that war, though he was stationed in Germany. Easier duty. He drove for the generals, I think.”

“Yeah. Well I was in the heart of it. For me, there were really two wars going on. The Civil War and Korean one. I was only three months married when I was drafted and I was the only south boy in my barracks. I brought two things with me-a picture of my wife and a small confederate flag. Two things that were important to a Louisiana country boy. ( He chuckled a bit.) Well, that flag gave me a hell of a time the minute them northern boys knew I had it. I heard the talkin’, the whisperin’ at night how they were going to get it and beat me at the same time. The Civil War was still alive. They pushed me around. I had a few fights, but they never got my flag and it went all the way with me to Korea. I carried it in my jacket pocket all through the war. You know though, when we were fighting and things got bad….we were all brothers and the Civil War ended over there. It took bad things, stuff we never talked about, to bring us all together.” His voice trailed off and he adjusted the LSU cap just at the moment my son and husband came within view around the corner.

I said my goodbyes, gave him my card and walked out of Starbucks feeling I had just put a new marble into my bag. A chance meeting with a nice man with his own interesting story to tell.

I was a young girl when the Korean War was going on. I only lived it at a distance through radio and television reports, but it had little impact on my life since none of my family were called into the draft. It is a shame how disconnected we can become when conflict is not in our own front yard. If we couldn’t see it, we didn’t have to feel it. To me, it was just something that was.

This encounter, this chance meeting in Starbucks, for me, fortifies my belief that life is chocked full of serendipitous moments. What I call a grasshopper moment appears. It quickly hops into your life and then just as fast hops away unless you are smart or fast enough to catch them. In this instance, I was initially guilty of judging a book by it’s cover- but “good ole’ boy” LSU ball cap turned out to be one heck of an interesting guy. I am so glad I caught that grasshopper moment.

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Sandra Hart, former Romper Room teacher and talk show host is an actress and author who blogs about life over fifty.