Could This Be Heaven?

Sunday Morning Sunrise Savannah Georgia
Sunday Morning Sunrise Savannah Georgia

But once you start to think it is; it won’t be.  It’s also the title of one of my most favorite songs, “Could This Be Heaven?” by Original Mirrors.  Released in 1980, I heard it for the first time in 1982 while in Germany. I taped it from SWF3, Südwestfunk drei, still one of the best rock stations of all time.  They played a wonderful mix of American, English and European songs in the style of the original album FM stations of NYC in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.

But I digress, being in the car, listening to certain songs, is almost like having a time machine. I am transported instantly to the time and place where that particular song had an impact.  In this case, it’s 1983, I’m driving between my home near Pirmasens to Baden Baden and I am taking these very small roads through the Alsace of France (which is really German, just look at the town names).  I loved this route, little traffic, little hassle at the border and some great roads, through beautiful forests and medieval towns.  But the best part was the driving, flat out for the most part, especially once I got off of B10.

In France, there was a particular spot that I knew well, as it was quite technical.  The road had a little rise, that caused the car to almost get airborne, but it also curved right in the middle.  So one had to set up the car knowing where you were going to come down.  And while the car did not get airborne, it was so light on the suspension that it was only going to go where you pointed it when it took off.

Every time I hear, Could This Be Heaven?” I am brought to that place, and the joy I felt when I took ti perfectly.  I had Canadian friends at the Canadian Air Base at Baden Baden, so for a while I was taking this trip monthly.  It was heaven.

But then, so why did I leave?

Three years earlier, I was listening to another song, not as dramatic, nor as catchy, but for me, somehow it epitomized my year.  I had fallen hard for a married woman, but she was a good catholic and wasn’t going to change anything, even though she wasn’t very happy.  I remember walking on the flight line at Ramstein to say goodbye and the tune on SWF3 was “American Music” by Prism.

“American music you can hear it all over the world. Right now somewhere this minute there’s a radio playin on And it’s playing that rhythm and blues…”

I was the one leaving, having to return to the U.S. It took me quite a while to get over her, and this pretty upbeat song, always brought a sadness and even now, 34 years later, I still get wistful.

This brings me back to the point of this story.  As Brad pointed out in his comment, in Quantum Mechanics, you can know a time or a place, but not both.  Once you decide you are deliriously happy, Fate will intervene.  I’ve had too many deliriously happy months that took years to recover from.  The pain was so out of proportion to the actual loss.  Shirley, the woman mentioned above was a friend, a genuine nice person and so very faithful,much to my chagrin.  The sense of loss I experienced was so out of proportion to the actual loss.

So now on Dauntless, I am living the life that I have planned.  I’m content knowing that I am not deliriously happy.

Now, if only I had a cat.



Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

2 thoughts on “Could This Be Heaven?”

  1. 1978 was when I joined the Air Force, and by 1984 I was living just across the river from Roppenheim in Hugelsheim while stationed at the Canadian Fighter Base Baden Soellingen. My wife and I are two years back from retirement where we plan to separate ourselves for our 40′ “Tupperware” boat, and move into a trawler. Although this is an old post, I am paying attention. It seems your boat decisions have worked out well for you. I will have a plethora of questions for you at some point. Oh, and I find your blog contains the perfect amount of sarcasm, technology and story. Well done! Now, if I could get the pictures to display… Cheers


    1. 1982 to 1984, three of the best years of my life, but of course, I appreciated nothing.
      What a dope!
      I PCS’ed that summer of ’84, so it must have been the previous summer I came down fir the Air Show.
      Italian Tricalori were spectacular, with a crowd that was a tenth the size of the Ramstein show.

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