Performer: Dire Straits
Songwriter: Mark Knopfler
Original Release: On Every Street
Definitive Version: On the Night, 1993
I’d always liked Dire Straits, but I really connected with On Every Street when it came out, so I associate it with fall of 1991, kind of like Robbie Robertson’s Native Americans and fall of 1994. What I see invariably are gray clouds and highways.
I was going home to Columbus a lot in the fall and winter of 1991-1992 for a variety of reasons. The first one was for Steve’s wedding. He and Kathy had been dating for quite a while, and the invitation was inevitable. Also inevitable was the fact that I wasn’t in the wedding party due to my remote location, so I wasn’t invited to any bachelor festivities.
But I got a note that they wanted me at the wedding rehearsal, because they wanted me to do a reading. That was cool: having a little participation. I was to read a relevant passage from The Bible (can’t remember what now), but I remember at the rehearsal that Kathy told me that I should “proclaim” it. In other words, speak up.
I also remember that there was a brief get-together at Kathy’s parents’ home and I ended up chatting up the maid of honor, who was very attractive—and responsive. Now we’re getting somewhere, or at least I thought, until I was informed that she had a date—prearranged a long time before—for the wedding itself. Oh well.
The next day, the wedding went off without a hitch, and I “proclaimed” to the highest host my testament to love (I practiced it a couple of times that morning) and gave the bride an approving nod and wink as I went back to my seat. At the reception, I ended up dancing to Walk of Life, so Dire Straits fit in with the proceedings.
The evening ended at Polo’s Place, which had been my crew’s favorite hangout (and one with which I had a little history, as I’ll later recount), where a big group of us ended up watching Game 6 of the World Series—the Kirby Puckett game. Most everyone had peeled off by the time Puckett hit his game-winning homer in the 11th inning, but I didn’t have anywhere else I had to be.
By the way, the maid of honor’s date was some big doofus, who pretty much didn’t have anything to say to anyone. She didn’t look too happy, but she lived in Dayton and I lived in Flint. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened anyway if I lived in Columbus, but it certainly wasn’t going to happen living in Flint. It was the first spark of the idea that it was time to seek a greener pasture somewhere else.