Driving and Biking in the Big City

Do I have to say his name – Clarence

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The Big Man Clarence Clemons

The Big Man Clarence Clemons

It was only two days into the contest when I realized the new name of my ride, Clarence for Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen’s longtime friend and saxophone player who died of a stroke a couple of summers ago. You are welcome to cry “foul” because the winners of the contest are in my head on a daily basis. They are my friend and former office mate, Thelma, and my cool son Trav who has been with me to many Bruce Springsteen concerts and knows my heroes. Of course, we first had to run the gamut of superheroes. I can be quite a Batman, Superman, Aquaman fan as well as Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. Some of those names just seemed too nerdy even for me.

So, it was Thelma’s saxophone mention that made me think of Clarence, and, when I mentioned the good news to Trav, he reminded me that he immediately suggested the name but he’d added a sick joke that made it fall out of my head. In any case, Clarence will be a perfect name for my new ride.

The winning prize is a guest blog for each. Thelma already is working on hers. Trav said he will wait until a subject moves him.

I loved all the ideas and interest from all of my friends and blog readers. Originally, I thought I would name my new ride, Luther, for my new favorite detective show. This one is a British production, and I watch it on Netflix. However, after I made my Rogue selection, the name didn’t quite fit. Hence, we needed the contest.

Some of my favorite suggestions were Lucius, Dewey and Lee Roy from my friend Dave. Stu from one of my favorite work buddies who also knows me well. Blaze from my high school girlfriend who has been my friend for life.  Blue, Mad Max or just Max from one of my former tennis partners with a very clever wit. Dolly and Baylee from other friends. Neches for my hometown roots and for the middle name of my nephew. Perhaps this is a clever time to mention that I have three nephews who are named for Texas Rivers – Neches, Brazos and Sabine.

One of my closest friends, suggested it was time to move to something proper and chic like Charles, Chuck, Edward, Vincent. Some people commented on the public section of the blog but others contacted me directly – perhaps too shy to put their ideas “out there.”

I couldn’t be happier with my new ride and with the name that seems to fit him so well. He sits calmly behind Vinny who is still on the road a couple of three times a week making heavy hauls. We have a full and fun stable for my commuting now.

When I thought about Clarence this week, I went looking for this copy of “10th Avenue Freeze Out” from Springsteen’s concert in Houston where he played wonderful tribute the Big Man. Do I have to say his name? I have attached the link to 20 minutes of the best time you will spend today. Clarence’s introduction happens about 15:30 minutes in if you don’t have that long. But you don’t want to miss Patti singing just before Clarence is introduced.  That happens 14 minutes in. This song is Bruce’s story of how his band came together and he saves the best for last. Last verse:

When the change was made uptown
And the big man joined the band
From the coastline to the city
All the little pretties raise their hands
I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When scooter and the big man bust this city in half
With a tenth avenue freeze-out, tenth avenue freeze-out
Tenth avenue freeze-out…

Laura and I were in this crowd – about 20-30 feet from Clarence. We watched him all night long and I know he sang directly to us for at least some of the performance. Best seats I’ve had during any of the six or so Springsteen concerts I’ve attended.



Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

February 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

One Response

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  1. Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened. Thinking of you tonight, Clarence, and watching some of my favorite performances with you and Bruce. I’m sure if there’s a peaceful place after this life, you have found it.


    March 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

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