As summer approaches, many states are airing scenic commercials to woo vacationers. I think the most clever is Maine’s where they play up the abbreviation of “ME.” But, the one that brings back memories is that of West Virginia. They use John Denver’s popular song “Take me home, country roads” as they reveal beautiful scenery.
Here are the first few stanzas and chorus:
“Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue ridge mountains, Shenandoah river
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
Mountain mamma, take me home
All my memories, gather round her
Modest lady, stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye.”
While I have traveled often to the state, my evoked memories are of friendship. I have written before about three boyhood friends who remain friends today. As we tooled around in one of our cars as teens going to a ball game or event, this song would come on the radio.
We each would belt out our car karioke harmonizing with John Denver. Sometimes, we would not even need the radio. Mind you, none of us were even close to being good at singing, but that did not stop us.
We sang other songs of the day, but this one was special. I think it is due to the number of times Denver used his chorus lines. It may also have been the interesting descriptive words he used of the scenery and people.
Now it serves as a life mile marker. It immediately brings forward a joyous time. As you read this, what song or songs are mile markers for you?