take one last look

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As David Letterman was finishing up his years on late night television, one of his last guests was Tom Waits, who wrote a new song for Dave called “Take One Last Look.” I wept as I listened because Waits captured the mixture of feelings that flow as we move from one chapter of life to the next. Little did I know Ginger and I were about to make a move of our own. Here is the lyric:

let’s watch the sun come up in another town
try our luck a little further down
leave the cards on the table
leave the bread on the plate
put your hand on the gearshift
put your foot off the brake

and take one last look
at the place that you are leaving
take one last look
oh, take one last look
at the place that you are leaving
take one last look

I’ll bet we’re something that the wind can carry
the arrow points a way across the waiting prairie
this car looks like it could give us a good run
our choice to leave was a good one

and take one last look
at the place that you are leaving
take one last look
oh, take one last look
at the place that you are leaving
take one last look

let’s look forward to the lights that are new
the world is a ribbon of road for you
all towns have churches and tire shops
they put up speed limit signs and they hire cops
I love to see the wind in your hair
all we ever need we can get anywhere

and take one last look
at the place that you are leaving
take one last look
oh, take one last look
at the place that you are leaving
take one last look

When we decided to move to Guilford, Connecticut the song came back to my mind. I asked Phil Cook, a songwriter/musician and all around good guy, to help me record the song, which he did—and played guitar as well. My intention was to have this project completed before we left town, or at least soon after, but that was not to be. I finished tonight, and am very aware of how much I miss the friends and chosen family we left behind. I have said many times Durham is the most encouraging city I know. Tonight, I feel the ties that bind and am grateful we got to live there for eight years.

Peace,
Milton

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Very impressive my friend. We both know that grief is real. Praying that you landed on your feet back in New England. Love you!

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  2. Well, you’ve made me laugh any number of times, and now you’ve made me cry. We didn’t have enough time, but we did have a time, and our time will never be gone. It started in an instant but it will last always. Come back and see us. Love to both of you.

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  3. what a great song Milton, and you sang it with grace and humility.. You and Ginger have been life long friends with Patty, and I thank you for that. All our love and best wishes Jack and Connie.

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  4. The song, your rendition, and the photos are so moving, Milton. I found myself tearing up, too, because it reminded me of when we left Massachusetts three years ago. For many years, we had been surrounded by the love and support of the friends you met at the wedding, our chosen family, and leaving them was difficult. Our new path has been filled with joy and pain, mostly the former, and we’re forging a new life of challenges and surprises. May your next chapter be thus.

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