Saturday, July 11, 2009

Il ragazzo della via Gluck

I grew up in a small town, maybe 5,000 people, and in a small neighborhood, maybe 10 houses. Across the street from our house was a huge field; buried within the field were maybe 3 apple trees and a huge rock with raspberry bushes around it. In summertime, we'd sleep in the field overnight and watch the shoting stars. Beyond the field was a small pond which I learned to skate on in the winter.

A few weeks ago, I visited the neighborhood where I lived as a little boy. I was in the mood to see the field and surrounds which I hadn't seen in maybe 20 years or more. I was really shocked when I went there. Of course, the scale of the houses and yards felt very different, since my memories are from me as a very small child. But the trees, which were only less than 10 years old when I left that neighborhood were now immense and overshadowed the tiny houses as the encroached from the edges of the woods.

There were only a few additional houses, and the road work had not been extended much. However, someone apparently stopped haying the field many years ago, because the field was completely gone...completely overtaken by the forest. I doubt I could have found the pond, and certainly the rock would no longer be sourrounded by raspberries. Immediately jumping to mind was the song "Tar and Cement." Even though it wasn't construction taking over my childhood memories, the excursion was a sharp notification that nothing is as it was.

Back to the song, digging around a bit, I learned it was a folk-y pop hit in Italian first "Il ragazzo della via Gluck" before Françoise Hardy made a hit of it in French "La Maison Ou J'ai Grandi" and then Verdelle Smith in English. All versions hit on the same thing... where did it all go?

Anyway, this sketch is 5 year old me with present day me in the field circa 1975.


Matt28800 said...

really one of my favorite drawings of yours. So much being said in such a simple beautiful moment.

Tim Fish said...

Thanks! I have thought about making it into a nicer illustration, but I do love the original sketch here. Too bad it's in a book, and the center near the binding Fs the scan up a bit.