Friday, February 6, 2009

Barry Morgan

My memories of Barry Morgan are all somewhat blurry and run together. He will forgive me for that, I think.

I mostly remember him in high school, driving around in a copper-orange car. Playing a trombone, and well, in high school band and stage band. Playing electric guitar in a rock band. Pax. I must have been fifteen then. Sixteen maybe.

But mostly, I remember that he was Becky's boyfriend, one of several she had over our teenage years. Becky was my dad's youngest sister, who lived next door to me growing up. She dated Barry Morgan for a while, so the lens through which I viewed him was primarily, during that time, "Becky's boyfriend."

I think of those as Vietnam years. Guys I knew just a few years older than I was were getting drafted and sent to war. Several were hoping to avoid the draft one way or the other. No one was particularly happy about the war that we watched on our television sets every night around dinnertime. Barry was one of those people who was hoping to avoid it.

He had an older brother, Steve, and together they moved into an apartment on the main street of our little Wyoming town with some other guys, mostly musicians, including drummer Mark Haddock. I seem to remember that they had a black labrador. I want to say his name was 'Nig.' But really, as I said, it's all something of a blur.

Barry was enormously talented. Like so many of us who grew up in that small town in Wyoming, he moved out, and on.

Happily, he continued with his music, and now lives and writes on the Oregon Coast. After being told six years ago he had only eighteen months to live, he has written, collaborated on and recorded over three hundred musical offspring.

Barry Morgan.

Never did I dream that that blur of memories would translate so exactly to Barry's music. But it does.