BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – Twenty-five years ago, I had one of those wonderfully magical days. In the morning, I found out that I was expecting my first child. That evening, my husband had bought tickets to see a musical artist I deeply respected. It was a wonderful day, a day that began with a smile that lasted all day long.
After the concert, I was lying in bed listening to the radio. The announcer introduced his guest. It was this same artist. He rarely gave interviews. And yet here he was expressing his views on music and life experiences.
“Tell me Dan, which song do you feel never received the attention you felt it deserved,” the disk jockey said.
Immediately, I said out loud, “Be On Your Way.” I also laughed at myself. Of his many songs why would he pick this simple yet beautiful, touching, wonderful song. I willed him to validate my own personal choice.
“That would be … ‘Be On Your Way.’ I might even release it again on an upcoming album,” he said.
Then, right there, with the moon high in the sky and with my hands embracing my still flat tummy, they played it. I laid there sharing a smile with myself. I had connected with, in my opinion, a musical genius. Maybe what I feel and think and write could inspire and uplift others as his work had inspired me. Maybe, just maybe I had creative gifts too.
This week, Dan Fogelberg died from cancer. Those of us who have loved his words and music have known of his illness. Many had hoped his treatments would be successful and he would once again write more words and sing new songs that would express musically what so many feel. Over the last few years, I hope he was able to have moments of self-expression in whatever artistic form he enjoyed. He deserved that and so much more.
My daughter, Wisteria, called me this week to ask why I hadn’t told her of his death. He was not a personal friend. He was not a relative. He was an artist. His words, his music changed me. They still do. Dan, you are “home free.”