I was in the car, when Riders On The Storm came on. I love that song and I turned it up. Before it was even halfway through...there was a loud thunderclap, and it started pouring.
So I said:
Actually I use Riders On The Storm as a Rain Dance of sorts. Two years ago (1996) we were in the midst of a drought and the summer monsoons, which normally start at the end of June, were nowhere in sight. So I played ROTS repeatedly for a couple of days---and in less than a week we had torrential rain and went on to have a wetter than usual summer.
This year (1998) because of El Nino we had a wet winter but the spring and early summer were very dry and no rain was forecast until August at least, accordiing to the lead story in last Sunday's Albuquerque Journal (the headline read "Forests, Grasslands Are Dry As Toast").
So I played ROTS several times Tuesday.
Wednesday and Thursday there were major storms up and down the Rio Grande Valley but while Albuquerque got wind and lightning, we still got no rain--until yesterday, Friday--the 3rd of July.
Then the skies opened twice: first with what the Navajos call the Male Rain (hard and fast...wham bam thank you ma'm) in the late afternoon, and then around 9 p.m. the Female Rain, steady and nurturing.
I went out around 11:15 to return a movie to Blockbuster, and discovered one of the classic rock stations was playing the L.A. Woman CD in its entirety.
So I hit the freeway -- I-25 north to Santa Fe. It was on the road that is now I-25* that Jim saw the Indians On Dawn's Highway Bleeding--except in 1947 or '48 it wasn't I-25 yet, it was just a two-lane highway connecting the two towns.
By the time I got to the Alameda offramp at the north edge of Albuquerque I'd driven out of the storm, but I'd already heard Hyacinth House and Crawlin' Kingsnake and Cars Hiss By My Window and Been Down So Long and all those songs I hadn't heard since 1971--except ROTS.
So I turned back south as the DJ read a bunch of commercials and then a eulogy to the man who'd lived here "once, for a short time" and who had died on this date in 1971. Actually Jim said they'd lived here for about 5 years "on and off" between the late 40s and mid to late 50s. Welllll, 5 years is almost a *fifth* --most appropriate, que no?--of the life of a man who departed this vale of tears at 27.
I was in midtown Albuquerque by the time the DJ got ready to play the one song remaining. The rain was more Male than Female by then and there was a lot of lightning over on the West Mesa as he cued up....what else?
....and I pulled into my driveway just as the last notes of Ray's electric piano tinkled away into the night. The thunder crashed and the rain poured down and I couldn't tell what was electronic and what was real (whatever that is).
So I went inside and polished off my celebratory bottle of good New Mexican champagne. I don't believe in death anymore, so I celebrate July 3rd as Great Escape Day. These days I look on the Big D as a party I'm just not cool enough to be invited to yet.
Hasta la vista, Jimmy Doug.....and PUHLEEZE try to come up with some new jokes by the time I get there, okay?
Update July 2011: no monsoon rains yet--no rains at all this year, at least not in the Central Valley. In fact this is the driest year in history in large parts of New Mexico but I'm not going to play ROTS because I have a leaky roof and I need to get it fixed before I invoke the rain gods. Is that selfish of me?
Update July 2012: Pretty good storm last night--lots of lightning & thunder and then a good, soaking rain--and I didn't even have to play ROTS to get it.
*As it turns out what is now I-25 wasn't where Jim saw the Indians on Dawn's Highway Bleeding, it was N. 4th St. just north of Menaul. In 1947 N. 4th Street was the Way to Santa Fe, according to a fellow I ran into who'd been stationed at Kirtland AFB in the 50s.
Edited by mizscarlett43, 03 July 2012 - 12:51 PM.