I want to tell you about two dear friends with whom I’ve had a lasting bond for over 30 years – Linn Vercheski and John Morrison, each celebrating a birthday today.
Boston University’s theatre program has never been the same since John and I paired up to sing The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book as a class assignment. To clarify – John sang one helluva Baloo; I was a mediocre Mowgli, piping up with a “Yeah, man!” every so often. He’s a working actor today and in fact is opening a production of 1776 in the Philadelphia metro area even as we speak. So proud of this guy for living a rich creative life filled with theatre, music, and writing when so many of us (raises hand) have left for other, in many ways easier, pursuits.
Linn and I became friends and then housemates while working at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, my first job after college. Although she was an amazingly talented costume designer, a series of circumstances eventually steered her into a business career back in her home state of Florida. She continues to radiate style and creativity from every pore, even if she doesn’t always realize it herself. There’s a lot of talk these days about “curation” – whether an event, experience, design or collection. Linn has been curating beautiful things and meaningful experiences for those around her since forever, and will soon begin an exciting new chapter in her creative journey.
I am amazed to realize my good fortune, calling these two fine people my friends for so many years when I surely don’t deserve them. I often wonder – what is the glue that has bonded these friendships when others have run their course? I think we were all our creative best selves when we met, full of energy, passion for the arts, and an abiding love of music. And while our present-day realities may have diverged a bit from the big dreams of yesteryear, I think that’s where we go and who we become again whenever these longtime friendships are reengaged. Plus John and Linn are good friend-tenders, taking care to maintain the important relationships. I’ve learned a lot from them (and need to practice more).
“So where does Al Green come into all of this?” you may be asking yourself. Well, he’s got a birthday today too. 70 years young. His easy, sexy, sultry soul music from the 70s is as comfortable and familiar as an old friend. There’s no doubt that we all wore out the grooves on our Al Green LPs back in the day and let’s be honest, we’re still singing along when his just-as-sweet-today hits play on the oldies station.
Let’s wrap up this ode to longtime friendship with heartfelt birthday wishes for Linn, John and Al. Hit Play and sing along if you remember the good old days.