Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

A Place I Never Reached

“Can Any Good Thing Come out of Nazareth?”

Such a ridiculous sentiment. On the surface it suggests there are places of which we should expect nothing. There are those who genuinely seem to believe that to be considered worthy you must come from such and such place.  Or have gone to such and such a college. If your blood is merely red…

No, I’m not talking about the city in Israel:


Nor for that matter am I talking about the place in Pennsylvania The Band sang about:

My train pass not being valid I had to hitchhike, and rides were unfortunately hard to come by. At least part of the problem was the difficulty of anyone who actually wanted to give me a ride actually being able to do so without putting themselves at considerable risk. To give you an idea of the distance I covered after 8 hours or so, imagine taking the journey with a donkey.

252px-Donkey_a(Photographer: Watta)

To be honest, I should have probably noticed I wasn’t in an area particularly renowned for the leisurely strolls of the bourgeoisie. When two men jumped out of a van and approached, I knew at least I wasn’t going to be kidnapped, my net worth being considerably lower than Patty Hearst or the poor guy whose ear was cut off.

Actually it was the police who after showing me their IDs, asked,  “Do you want to be in a line up? We’ll pay you.” Although I could have used a little hard cash, just the tiniest possibility of being picked as the guilty party by an eyewitness (and we know how very unreliable they are) put me off the idea. They were fine with that and just told me to be careful as I was in a dangerous neighborhood.  It was getting dark, and their warning prompted me to get a bus ticket and head back into the center of the great big metropolis, never having reached my destination.

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6 thoughts on “A Place I Never Reached

  1. Thanks for the likes. I’m enjoying your serialized ordinary language Odyssey, being a “geezer” and all, and the ironic “poor” of the Getty lad.


    • I love what you’re doing and hope whoever reads this will make their way to your blog and check it out.
      Yes, Odysseus the geezer! Or to use the language of my youth, “the old coot.”


  2. I think your instincts about not being in the line up were on target, Tom. That quote from the Bible is humbling. It puts into perspective those who put down folks who don’t come from the “right” places or universities.


  3. I didn’t know the song by the Band was about a place in Pennsylvania. I always thought “Nazareth” was figurative. I like it being in PA.

    You were probably smart to ditch out of the lineup, but that does sound like an interesting experience.


    • It gets even more interesting – Nazareth is the home of Martin Guitars! I’d thought it figurative as well until I came across Robbie Robertson talking about the song a long time back as there’s such a lot of Biblical imagery in the song.
      It’s that Yank standing there!
      I do wonder what would have happened if I had eventually made it to Liverpool and what I would have thought of it.


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