Sometimes everything fits perfectly. Not often. Just occasionally.

It wasn’t this morning. This morning just reminded me. I was driving between breakfast on the square and a tank of gas on the Interstate when I heard Sheryl Crow sing “All I Wanna Do” on satellite radio.

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Monte Dutton

This song was released in 1994. I am not particularly conversant with modern rock ‘n’ roll, not that 1994 is particularly modern 28 years later. I grew up rock-retarded – I think it’s acceptable to use the insensitive word “retarded” in reference to myself – and usually listen to ancient country or modern Americana on the trusty SiriusXM – and never heard the song until 1997, when I was in southern California to write about the 1st NASCAR race at the track in Fontana.

I had recently landed at LAX – that’s airport lingo for Los Angeles International – and was tooling along Interstate 10 en route to what in California lingo is the Inland Empire of LA sprawl east of Pomona.

Los Angeles had me in a trance, full of curiosity about this unfamiliar environment. I passed an exit with a sign for the Museum of Tolerance, and immediately I started wondering what it was and if people were tolerant at the Museum of Tolerance. (I discovered later that it is a museum dedicated to the Holocaust.)

That’s when the song came on as I was driving a rental car on a frightening LA freeway, and Crow’s hip stream of consciousness fit the scene perfectly, and I became an instant fan of the singer.

At that time, I still took golf clubs on the road. I had not picked up a guitar since I was 8, it had nylon strings and was out of tune. Teaching myself to play guitar had barely entered my psyche. Sheryl Crow may have had something to do with growing that seed in my mind.

Maybe. I’m sure Hank Williams, Charley Pride, Tom T. Hall, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris and, Lord knows, Jerry Jeff Walker had a lot to do with it.

And still, after lo these many years, all I want to do is have some fun.


A little of what I’ve learned about sports, etc.:

If you go to the track and you are not an expert, bet stables with the greyhounds and jockeys with the ponies.

The truth is never more obvious than when being vehemently denied for no apparent reason.

If you believe the umps or referees can beat you, they will.

The toughest obstacle in any sport is learning how to win.

The interests of “branding” do not supersede the rules of the English language. The Orlando Magic is, not are.

Every experienced journalist has noticed the decline of fundamentals in sports. When a journalist gets old, he (or she) realizes it’s not just sports. Fundamentals are declining in everything.

There is reason for optimism, however. The kids couldn’t possibly botch things as much as we did.

For a team that has 11 players on the field at any given time, it is ridiculous to judge one of those players solely on the basis of how many championships he won.

This column is ending because I have inexplicably run out of observations to make.