Guilty Pleasures - Digital Collage 6" x 6"

During the height of the Vietnam War, my daughter, Tricia told me that perhaps those kids protesting in the streets would respect me more if I showed the least bit of interest in their likes and dislikes. To this end, she invited me into her bedroom one Saturday afternoon to listen to a sampling of the rock and roll music popular with the youth of the time. I have to say I found the music unbearable with the exception of a group of young fellas from England calling themselves The Led Zeppelin.

It would be a few more years before I gave The Led Zeppelin a serious listen. It must have been around 1975 and by that time I was out of office and keeping sort of a low profile. Being stuck out in Saddlebrook with Pat breathing down my neck all the time, asking me if I'd take her into Princeton to do a little shopping was driving me near batty. One afternoon I literally hid in the basement as I heard her clattering around upstairs looking for me. While down there I came across some boxes Tricia had recently left with us. I opened one of the boxes and found a new record album laying on top of others with a note in Tricia's script that said, "Daddy, you're never too old to develop an appreciation for real music. Give this new album a listen. Love, Tricia." It was another album by The Led Zeppelin.This one was titled, Physical Graffiti--whatever the hell that meant. Seeking anyway to block out the sound of Pat upstairs, I put the record onto the turntable and plugged in Tricia's headphones. Well, I'll be completely honest with you, those fellas make some darn interesting music. And I wouldn't advertise this to the world, but --oh what the hell! --I like The Led Zeppelin. That Boogie With Stu, well it's just about as catchy as anything Andy Williams ever recorded.

Seeing as that now my days of public service were over I decided to take up the electric guitar--on the sly of course. I rented a little room behind a muffler shop and went there every afternoon to practice. Now, I'm not saying I'm the world's greatest musician, but I'll tell you this: I learned that darn album back and forth and some kids from town, well they heard the music coming from the garage one day and they came by and said to me, and I quote, "You wield some ax, Mister." One young man stepped right up to me and thrust out his hand and said, "Mister, I wish my grandfather was as cool as you." Well, so there you have it. Tricia was right all along.