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Old 01-30-2004, 07:26 PM   #1
AZroute74
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This is my first time at this site. I didn't know it existed. I hope what I'm about to do is OK. If anyone knows how to contact the man, please help me, it is imperative!

Open letter to GL

Dear Mr. Lightfoot:

I pray to God that somehow these words will reach you personally, so you will know what you have recently done for me. Actually, it was something you did thirty years ago, but it has recently had a profound effect on me. I must thank you.

A few months ago I reacted to a brutal marriage breakup by pulling up stakes and moving southwest. I figured if I had to start over, I might as well do it someplace warm. Things didn't work out well. I couldn't find work, grew more and more depressed, and finally got ambushed by one of the worst flu epidemics in recent history, in one of the hardest-hit states. I won't list my rather unappetizing symptoms, but I was hospitalized several times, unable to shake this thing. I'd be out of the hospital three days and then back in for eight.

As it grew impossible to financially maintain my own home, I moved to a halfway house after my last release from the hospital. Its atmosphere was hardly compatible with recovery from illness. I am a fairly boring, sedate middle-aged woman, suddenly tossed in with a wolfpack of rowdy (but good-hearted enough) young men. Rap music and I don't get along very well. It was constantly pounding in my ears. The young men spoke as young men often do--loudly, with more than a dash of profanity. Simply to block out the noise, I put on headphones and began to fish through my own CD collection for music I considered sane. Finally I came across something that seemed to work magic. It had always been my favorite one of yours, but there was something more this time. I don't know if it was the peaceful flow of its rhythm, the soothing chord prgression, the escapist undercurrent of the lyrics, or your low, gentle, haunting vocals, but something calmed me. If I couldn't "slip away" from there physically, I could do so mentally.

Even that awful marriage breakup had been connected to a woman by the same name you mention in the song. I liked the subtle suggestion to not "recall her face," and I found amusement in the fact that you had rhymed that mean woman's name with "damned."

Actually too weak to keep sitting up and changing CD's in my little portable, but needing something to take care of the noise, I put the song on repeat and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep even as I related to such lyrics as "my sweet, shattered dream" and "the good old faithful feeling we once knew." As soon as I was well enough to travel, I retuned home to my family, though I certainly won't be seeing "my old flame."

While it may be a stretch to say you saved my life, I know you helped me heal, and preserve some semblance of sanity. By now I have given enough clues that I'm sure you can easily tell which song it is that I vow never to be without a copy of. If I burn a laser hole right through the CD by playing it so much, I'll just get another one.

I can't thank you enough, Mr. Lightfoot, for helping me through such a difficult time.

Gratefully,
Judy Coyle


[This message has been edited by AZroute74 (edited January 31, 2004).]
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Old 01-31-2004, 12:18 AM   #2
brink
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Judy, You'll find that many of us here have the same feeling about Gord's music and he has had a profound effect on us. How great that you made it back home to your family and are able to get on with getting on, as a very wise man said, "No spinning wheels!"
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Old 01-31-2004, 12:26 AM   #3
Borderstone
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To AZroute74: Hi there! My name is Borderstone (or Walter). First,let me welcome you to the Gordon Lightfoot Discussion Forum! G.L. fans are always welcome as are newcomers young & mature.

My sympathies to your recent situation. I can't imagine the pain you must've gone through. Divorce is a sad thing.

My parents divorced when I was young and I saw their fights.

Also,welcome to Arizona! I live here in Phoenix! Enjoy the weather. (Ha ha.)

You wanted to know where to write Mr. Lightfoot,here's how:

Gordon Lightfoot c/o Early Morning Productions
1365 Yonge Street Suite 207
Toronto,Ontario Canada
M4T-2P7

I hope you get a reply from him! Good luck!

By the way,I don't run the site,I'm just really friendly! Bye for now.

------------------
Borderstone,gonna post some lines tonight!

[This message has been edited by Borderstone (edited January 30, 2004).]
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Old 01-31-2004, 10:22 AM   #4
titan
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I sure did enjoy reading your post. Lightfoot has had a dramatic impact on alot of the people's lives who visit this site.
Good Luck and keep listening!!

[This message has been edited by titan (edited January 31, 2004).]
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Old 01-31-2004, 12:50 PM   #5
gwen snyder
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Good luck Judy.
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:12 PM   #6
Mair
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Helo Judy, I'm new here too! I just landed here a few days ago by (happy) accident. This is my first post. I understand how you feel - I cry every time I hear this track! And it has helped me too! Oh, so much! I haven't been through the same things as you, but I've been through some very bad times and this music has always helped me through!
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Old 01-31-2004, 04:04 PM   #7
AZroute74
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There are others like me! Big smile!

Just to clarify, I no longer live in AZ. Family is in Kentucky, I need them, still not out of the woods healthwise. So I reversed my direction on the Carefree Highway and headed home. Actually I'm still en route. I'm posting this, as I posted the original, from a truck stop kiosk. I'll be home tomorrow. Didn't mean to mislead with the AZ handle; I've adopted it because State Route 74 in AZ is the source for the song; it is the Carefree Highway.
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Old 01-31-2004, 04:06 PM   #8
AZroute74
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So sorry, forgot to say thanks for the contact info. I'm on it!

Thanks again. Glad to be part of this family.
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Old 01-31-2004, 09:50 PM   #9
Borderstone
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You didn't mislead,Ijust made an obvious assumption. Still,good luck to you!

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Borderstone,gonna post some lines tonight!:D
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:28 PM   #10
Mair
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Judy - I just wanted to say how moving I found your letter and how much it affected me. I so hope things will work out for you. I think all these songs have personal connections - well, they have for me, every one (they're like that!). Especially this one. Well, coincidentally (maybe) Carefree Highway is one that is very important to me. One of the songs I used to play incessantly around 1980/81 that just kept me going when I was going through some less than pleasant times. The lyrics aren't especially connected with anything - just the feeling and the association. It gives me such a warm feeling now to hear this track, though that may sound contradictary and I find this hard to believe myself, and I connect this song now with strength and survival. "Picking up the pieces ..." Yes! And how! I hadn't heard this for years until a month or so ago - and I cried (not from sadness, but joy!) when I realised that I still remembered every word! And the memory was so warm and beautiful and safe! You can't beat that feeling!
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