Linda and Valerie lived in my dorm freshman year in college.  They did not live on my floor, they were a few floors up, but it seemed like everyone in the dorm knew them.  They always reminded me of Laverne and Shirley from the ABC sitcom that followed :Happy Days"on the Tuesday night line-up.  They  always

The friendship of Valerie and Linda was similar to what i remember watching on Lavern and Shirley.

seemed to be  together, except for when they were in class, and they were always smiling and happy.  I remember sitting with them in the cafeteria and they were like a comedy act.  They found humor in the funniest of things, like watching someone get ice cream at the self-serve ice cream machine.  I never heard them make mean observations or comments, but they could find something to laugh about in their observations and they both were so quick witted. Their dorm room was nothing like anything I had seen before and very unusual for our time, with blinking Christmas lights, lamps with fringe, when most people just had an overhead light, black satin sheets and velvet lounge furniture when most college coeds maybe just had a vinyl or corduroy  bean bag chair.  Linda and Valerie always looked stunning too.  Rather than jeans and sweat pants like you’d most likely expect of college students, they each looked like they had stepped out of the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine, with leather jackets, short skirts and tight fitted jeans.  They had been friends since elementary school and had planned their dorm room early in high school.  What Linda and Valerie are doing now, I’m unaware of  as I lost touch with them after freshman year, but their  close friendship was very memorable.

The "Bad Boys" were fun to watch in the late 80s/early 90s. They played like a team and they looked like they were having so much fun. The fans in Detroit could feel their energy.

    Think about those friendship and alliances we admire.  Maybe it’s the Moms at the playground who all have kids the same ages and their husbands all get along.  Their kids grow up together and they know one another so well that they are almost like family to one another.  Or maybe it’s the couple who have been married

Rob Reiner directed the famous scene in the deli in "When Harry Met Sally". His Mom, Estelle, was the lady sitting who made the comment after the famous scene. Estelle and her husband are the older couple in the opening photo collage and made an appearance together in one of the couples interviewed. Their marriage stood the test of time.

for decades, who at times can finish one’s sentences.  Remember the clips of the couples interviewed in the movie directed by Rob Reiner “When Harry Met Sally”? Or maybe it’s a few guys on a sports team that work so well together that it’s almost like a choreographed ballet?  Think the Detroit Pistons team from the late-eighties made up of Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, John Sally, Bill Lambeer, Vinny Johnson, Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman.  They were so fun to watch.   How about the Rolling Stones?  It’s hard to imagine any of those guys with a solo career.  They just “go” together, and I have a hard time picturing any of those chaps in any other attire than pencil jean or peg leg pants and a rockstar look complete with Rockstar hair.  Lastly, maybe it’s the respectable big family who really seems to have their act together like the Bushes or the Kennedys.  Their images from gatherings at Kennebunkport or Hyannis with all the cousins together and siblings hanging out have been photographed over the years for numerous publications with their Bermuda shorts, t-shirts, oxford cloth shirts, sneakers, boat shoes and Ray-bans.

The Kennedys and the Bush Family spent time together in the summer reconnecting the keep strong the bond of kinship.

    Last Friday we had the opportunity to attend a musical event that felt as if we  were watching in our own backyard.  A friend of ours was a member of a band of fifty/sixty something year old guys, all who have day jobs and play evenings or on the weekends, Northville Folk.  They were scheduled to play at 6, after the PGA, senior event on Friday that came to our town/club for the week.  The PGA has tried

Northville Folk entertained guests during the Ally Challenge last Friday night at Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

to garner a wider audience and the Ally Challenge, since it came to town in August over the last few years, has scheduled notable musical entertainment upon completion of play with a  ticket for the day  allowing entrance for the concert that evening.  Anyway, there had been a rainstorm and the course was over saturated.  First they pushed back play a couple of hours to let it drain some, which meant that Northville Folk, the first band on the Friday schedule to perform first, would need to be cancelled, so that Don Felder, the main act, could play and be done at a reasonable time.  Although I’m sure they were a bit disappointed (I know I was), they know that weather in Michigan is always a factor when planning an outdoor event.  At ten they decided that the course was too wet to play and they cancelled all golf for the day and they re-worked the concert schedule for Friday, called Northville, asked them if they could be ready to play at 1 and perform until 3.  The guys had all taken the day off, so they just had to quickly get up to Warwick and get their equipment ready.  They ended up playing until after 4 and although we weren’t able to get there when they started, we got there and what a treat they were.  Since there was no golf Friday, the crowd was smaller than expected, but still big when you look at the situation.  Don Felder, base player from the famed Eagles band from the seventies and eighties played following Northville.  What you observe when you see Northville Folk is a group of guys who enjoy playing good music and having fun with their friends.  They were smiling laughing and their music just makes you feel good. I have often described the group as, “If Bob Seger and Glenn Frey had not gone out to Cali, staying here in Michigan working either in the auto industry, tech or business, this is what those guys would be doing at this point, that’s how I would describe Northville Folk.

Don put on a good show. His love of music and performance was very noticable.

       The guys played Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” as their last selection.  It was Lionel’s song, but Northville gave it their own style and they crowd loved it.  Their energy was exiting and you could feel it.  At the completion of their final song, they took down their equipment and Felder’s crew set the stage for his performance next.  Not showing or acting his seventy plus years, he told stories, played at the same level of performance we listened to all of those years and he was flanked by two outstanding guitarists who, when performing songs from his days as a member of The Eagles, had the same sound. A drummer at the back of the stage rounded out the sound, playing those beats memorable from the songs we grew up to.  Don talked about the decades saying he is foggy on memory, maybe because they were living in the Fast Lane and enjoying too many Tequila Sunrises at the Hotel California.  We heard how some of the songs originated and we ate up every minute of it.  When I looked at my watch it seemed as if no time had gone by, but from what he was saying it seemed as if he was nearing the end of his time on stage.  My Chief Friend, Denise, whose husband performed in Northville,  her husband and members of the band, came up towards the stage and I joined them along with others who came up closer to the stage. The stagehand who had been bringing Don his guitars as he rotated a few guitars over the evening, handed his a guitar we had not yet heard.  Denise said to me,

    “He’s going to sing “Hotel California.”

     “How do you know that?” I asked. Dumb question from me as, her husband too              is a base player.

    “That’s the Hotel California guitar,” which was a double neck guitar.

Her husband pulled out his phone and recorded video of the performance, no double he had grown up and over the years most likely listened to it many times and now he was just a few feet away from Don himself.   It was absolutely incredible to get a chance to witness one of the musicians who played songs I have listened to since eighth grade and  I can still remember the first time I heard the Hotel California album in the eighth grade at a supervised Friday night party and the first time I heard Desperado at a Young Life camp in Buena Vista, Colorado back in the summer of 1980.  Yes, The Eagles have earned a significant place in my personal music memory library.

     However, as good as Don was, and as record breaking the music of The Eagles was, they didn’t have what it takes to stay together for a long term relationship.  Maybe it was the ego, the influences of drugs, drink and women, or a combination of all, but they couldn’t set it all aside, to make it work.  Sometimes, it’s not easy to maintain a long relationship.  It takes time staying in contact with friends from our past, phone calls making visit, acknowledge birthday and specially occasions.  It takes time ‘being there’ for our special people when they need us in the good times and the tough times.  In a marriage, it means saying we’re sorry when we mess up and accepting apologies and moving on when we are wronged not bringing it up again.  It means making  choices for the family rather than strictly for ourselves.  It means not sweating the small stuff, looking at the cup half full rather than half empty,  and looking for the best in our spouse, special friends and family.  There are some times and some issues that cannot withstand the test of time and everyone knows when the can “Take To The Limit,” and when they cannot. In our own lives, we know the relationships that were and were not worth maintaining.  It can be distance, time or not seeing eye to eye on the important issues that can break a relationship and sometimes it ‘s just hard to maintain a relationship under those conditions, so we move on.  It can be a friendship, a personal, professional or  a business relationship.  We’ve all seen public partnerships that haven’t made it, like Sonny and Cher, The Beatles, Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, Fleetwood Mac, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and others, who, for what ever the reason it may have been, they just couldn’t eek it out to make it last.

Some relationships stand the test of time and some don't.

    And then, there are those that do and  how refreshing they are.  Those who are family who happen to work together, well they have that bond that may make it harder to walk away, no matter how difficult something may be, when blood connects you, the ties are stronger, like the BeeGees or Donny and Marie who spent a career working together for the long haul.  Then consider the family businesses and partnerships that have lasted or the family business that have been handed down from one generation to the next.  Whether it is a relationship, a marriage, a business partnership or a long collaboration, somewhere in the recipe to success must be a sense of respect or the attitude of “We just work things out and we don’t give up,”

     It’s really sad to see any union dissolve.  When you look at breakups of successful partnerships it’s disappointing because some of these include very talented individuals who all together make up something pretty spectacular. Moving on, some of these as individuals don’t have the success solo as they did in an ensemble.  Of course there was a reason the group succeeded, they all must have possessed talent that together propelled them to the top of their field, yet on their own, it’s harder from a sheer power in numbers thing and the fans may still long for the performance of the group.

    I don’t know about you, but I think we’re all better off together than going at it alone, especially if everyone’s a team player.  I couldn’t help notice that last Friday night.  The guy in Northville Folk looked like they were having so much fun.  There was no Prima Donna attitude as the tournament, understandably, due to weather and conditions,  went back and forth with them, “your performance is cancelled because of the storm last night, oh, can you get here at 1:00 to play?  Oh, can you perform until 4:30?’  They guys were glad to perform and it was evident in their body language and music.  On the other hand, Don was absolutely a professional, he acknowledged the musicians playing with him, he performed with a sense of wanting to get it right and he did. But I wondered if, as he reminisced with us, reliving the origins of the songs, did he wished they all had stayed together?  I don’t know, maybe there was someone (or more than one) who just couldn’t help themself when it came to putting the group before the individual.  My observation over a lifetime to date, is that “We are all better together than going at it alone.”  Life, with its ups and downs, is so much more meaningful when we share it and have those special people to experience it with.  The longtime relationship, in my mind, trumps all, when there is mutual trust and respect…

Just a thought…Wishing you a Great  Day ❤️