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February 19, 2015 / thackersam

February 18 – Allman Brothers Band – a decade of hits 1969-1979

AllmanSurprising that I was able to so easily sing along with “Midnight Rider.” I’m tearing myself away from Sly & co. now and then to poke through the CDs I’ve been collecting here and there. This is one of the ex’s contributions. I love “Sweet Melissa,” but that’s where the fugginess started and it began sounding like a disco song. I now understand what the ex meant when he handed me the small zip-lock baggie that contained the 17 caseless CDs and said he didn’t know if they worked.

So, I’ve nothing to say about the Allman Brothers, except – really, three instrumentals on one best of record? However, I do have one memory attached to them, having to do with that wayward time in my life, or should I say during one of the wayward times, when I was an assistant manager of a Victoria’s Secret, an experience that made be realize that I wasn’t meant for retail, well not corporate retail. I got scolded once when I was assigned to do the windows around the holidays. I tied the sleeves of the nightgowns and robes together in their fronts so it looked like the invisible hands were clasped together, as instructed by the Victoria’s Secret window guide that all stores were supposed to follow. I stacked the boxes, putting a bow on top as depicted in the manual and then, because we were selling these little stuffed bears holding transparent containers with red and green Hershey’s Kisses, I took a few of the bears from their display and put them in the arms of the nightgown and robe and in front of the stacks of pink and white boxes. When my manager came in, the first thing she did was yell “Who put those bears in the window,” like she had the good-old Victoria’s Secret handbook memorized. I had to put them back in the display from where we’d already sold two, the first two sold, during my shift.

Why did I work there? For a while I was working at an American craft gallery, and I liked Victoria’s Secret’s bras. Hey, I like nice underwear. I thought I could sell it, I was a good manager and wanted to give retail a try, but I hated the experience. Nearly every bit of it. You try working in a place where skeezy guys come in thinking that the young women that worked there were the models or would be walking around in nothing but bras and panties, or the lunkheaded boyfriends coming in to pick stupid fights with their girlfriends making them run out in tears, or the couples who thought it was cool or sexy to have sex in the dressing rooms. I won’t even go into the video that we had to play over and over, of the recent fashion show in which they were hawking the latest line of girdles (they tried to dress them up but they were girdles nonetheless) and this woman’s voice, over the boom boom booming music, would say “women are in control,” when she should have been saying “women are being controlled.” Yes. All of this and more happened and I was only there for eight months.

What has all this got to do with the Allman Brothers, you may ask. Well, most of the young women that worked there were pretty, or kind of dopey, or both. I liked many of them actually. Some not at all. But there was one girl, I think she was nineteen or so, very pleasant, quiet, dressed mostly in button-down shirts and skirts right above the knee, not at all a bad looking human being, but not like some of the cutesy, out-going girls that the manager had hired. She had a slightly stocky build and looked like she came from a big Irish family filled with brothers who were firemen. As a matter of fact, I think part of that is true. She wasn’t friends with any of the other girls, she didn’t go out drinking or dancing with them, but she got along with them fine. She kept to herself mostly, basically just doing her job. She was very reliable. I liked her very much for that alone. I think everyone kind of liked her. Anyway, the whole point of the story is that one day when I was walking the 20 minutes to work, she picked me up in her red Toyota that was blasting the Allman Brothers. Cool I thought. Most of the girls were into the dance music of the time. She even brought a six-pack to the summer party and swigged it from the bottle. We were all drinking wine.

And that was just one big tangent, wasn’t it. But tonight’s post is completely extemporaneous. I only used the notebook for one or two notes while I was exercising. And besides, that’s what listening to the Allman Brothers made me think of. I could have written about Cher, and then Sonny and Cher (did you know that Cher and Gregg Allman put out an album together and billed themselves as Allman and Woman). I know I said I don’t like Gregg Allman, but he did put out some pretty good tunes. And this CD ended with “Whipping Post,” which had only mild fugginess.

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