Friday, October 15, 2004

....And Watched the Tailights Disappear

40°49' North; 96°42' West

Had Bruce Springsteen's 'Highway Patrolman' from Nebraska stuck in my head all day long and couldn't figure out why.

So, instead of the usual 'City of New Orleans', I finished the goodnight lullabies tonight with the Joe Roberts story instead.

Actually it's really the story of two brothers from the American Heartland that begins in the mid-60's. One brother stays home to work the farm and gradually gets ground down until during he finally gives up and goes to work as a local cop. The other brother goes to Vietnam and comes back bitter, confused and wild. As a result, the upstanding brother is always having to reprimand and/or reign the wild one in.

When I got to the last verse of the song, which put my 5 yr old out cold, as anything from Nebraska always does, I suddenly realized why the lyrics had been runnin' round my head all day long.

And it had nothing to do with feuds I've had with my own brothers over the years.

Instead, it was because of a woman named Amy Goodman.


Ms. Goodman is one of the top independent journalists currently working in the United States. She has a radio program called Democracy Now that runs on hundreds of stations every day and she is fearless. She was also simulcast on CBC Radio One's 'The Current' this morning and a major theme of the show was the story of two American kids from the Heartland that recently bailed out of the Army and escaped North. It was a rivetting story and we can only hope that we Canadians do the right thing this time around just like we did during Vietnam, and just like Joe Roberts did when his brother got in a big heap of trouble and skipped town.

Because the highway patrolman chased his brother all over three counties until he came to a sign that said:

"Canadian border, five miles from here."

And that's when he pulled over to the side of the Highway and watched the tailights disappear.

No comments: