Everybody deserves their own personal “Magic Moment”
Perry Como once recorded a song called “Magic Moments ” back in the late 50’s, top of the hit parades back then too if memory serves me correctly. Back then we had the ‘Top Ten’ and they were songs we could all sing or whistle to; you can’t whistle to the songs these days they don’t have the melody there. Here I go again wandering way off course.
As I was about to say. everybody deserves, if that’s not too strong a word, their own unique special moment that they can come back to from time to time. I had mine some years ago and I promise to get to it at some stage during this, what promises to be a long drawn out blog. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
I’m even contemplating illustrating it; nothing will be in chronological order but that’s not of any great moment really. is it?
Some twelve hundred years before I was born the Venerable Bede died, the man called ‘The Father of English History’ and his tomb is in the Durham Cathedral, which as we all know (and if we don’t we should) is the only Norman Cathedral still standing. It’s a gaunt giant edifice that smells of decay in my not so humble opinion, but is beautifully situated above the River Wear. To Durham Cathedral I dragged the long suffering War Office in 2005 and to my surprise I found that you are not permitted to take photographs inside.
If you wanted pictures you had to buy theirs, which disgusted me. Not to be out done I sneaked around until I was alone but for the W.O. and took my own pictures of Bede’s tomb, pretty much from the same spot as the one that appears in Wikipedia, their photo is better than mine, but then again I had to be sneaky. This was not ‘My Magic Moment’.
Being a train/railway buff of sorts and a history one too, I had of course to visit the Railway Museum and Cathedral in York. The diocese of York goes back to the early 3rd century AD; it was here that Constantine was proclaimed Emperor Augustus of Rome in 306 AD but the Cathedral dates from the 12th century if memory serves me.
At the Railway Museum I had the pleasure of seeing and touching many old steam engines of my boyhood and standing on the silent footplate of some; which was not quite as thrilling as standing on the footplate and sounding the horn of a real live moving loco , something I had the great pleasure of doing back in 1968 in the town of Narrogin a town south of Perth in Western Australia. Neither York or Narrogin gave me ‘My Magic Moment’
I stood beneath the grandeur of the General Grant tree and marvelled at the majesty of Yosemite National Park; I alighted from a moving cable car on Nob Hill in San Francisco, (captured in a photo taken by Dopey Daughter); stood on the deck of the USS Missouri where the Japanese signed the unconditional surrender ending WWII. But no ‘Magic Moment”.
I gazed down from the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building and crossed from England to France and back beneath the sea and still no ‘Magic Moment’.
I visited the Steinbeck Museum in Salinas California and felt the tears well up from the joy as I did when standing in the house where Mozart was born in Salzburg Austria and seeing instruments touched by his hand and his genius as many others have done before and since. No ‘Magic Moment’!
I’ve watched bombs fall from German planes and a V1 “doodlebug’ tumble from the sky and guns on the ground firing at planes in the sky. Death and destruction but no “Magic Moment’ there.
The Liberty Bell, that unique symbol; I stood before it, my throat choked, my tears upon my cheek, I could sense and feel John Adams, Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, Washington et al I could hear their voices murmuring, they were all there with me I was overwhelmed as I stood in that hall in Philadelphia, but my ‘Magic Moment’ was not with me for we are only entitled to the one such ‘Moment’ and I’d had mine some years before.
All the places and scenes I’ve mentioned were not mine alone they are shared by many but as I said earlier we are all entitled to one unique ‘Magic Moment’.
Mine occurred in the late 1970’s I had had a long shift in my cab and was driving from the city of Sydney to my home on the Northern Beaches it must have been around 2 – 2.30 am when I went onto ‘The Bridge’ (as all Australians anywhere will tell you ‘The Bridge’ means one thing only – the ‘Sydney Harbour Bridge’); as I approached the small crest in the middle I had the sense of silence.
I looked into the rear view mirror and only the lights of Sydney no vehicle headlights following me or taillights receding could I see. I crested the rise and saw nothing coming toward me, and I realized that for the first time ever I was completely alone, the only vehicle; the only person on ‘The Bridge’. Not another thing, it was ghostly, surreal and magical.
It was ‘My Magic Moment’! and mine alone and one that I see each time I cross ‘The Bridge’.