“Up Where We Belong” is a song from the eighties. It’s sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. It was a pretty popular song in its time. I haven’t heard that song for a VERY long time. Today, while I was cleaning my little cabin in the woods it came on the Radio. I was instantly transported back in time. Back to 1989. This was the year I worked in Grand Bend (the first time), I was hired to be the DJ of Sanders on the Beach. At the time Sanders was the most popular bar. It had three patios, outdoor music, faced Lake Huron and had some of the best sunsets in the world. People would line up for hours, yes hours, on a long weekend to get in and pay a very inflated price for a drink. I was popular. Not because I was good looking or the life of the party, but because I was the DJ of the coolest bar in “the Bend”. I wasn’t a great DJ. There were far better. I was selected by my brother to be ‘the man’.
In an instant this morning, when I heard this song I was whisked back to a very different time. A time of pure young fun, absolute immature stupidity, summer crushes and blanked out nights. I was 19, I was invincible. I went on to work three more summers in the Bend and I always had fun. They weren’t the best times, but they were moments etched into my memory. Moments of new friends and a popularity that I never experienced in my life prior to those summer days at the beach.
I struggle with young people that take jobs that are less then what they want just because it’s “better money”. I am challenged by youth that rush through the days of unbridled possibility. Those days shaped me. They helped me solidify my understanding of right and wrong, maturity and immaturity.
There should be a place in everyones life to play, to be stupid and to be young. That one song reminded me of that. At the end of each night in the “Sandbar”, our dance bar in the basement of Sanders, I would play that Joe Cocker song. The young love of the day would dance, kiss and a sense of calm would envelope me. Somehow I knew that these times were unique, they wouldn’t last, but they were special.
I miss those days, I miss the clean whiteboard. No idea of what was to be written or drawn. Absolutely ignorant to the real struggles or triumphs that would face me over the next 20 years. Why? Because it didn’t matter.
I was up where I belonged. I was the DJ.