“Suzanne” by Journey
This song reminds me of Pennsylvania. We went on a family vacation to Pennsylvania in the summer of 1986. I was listening to my Walkman on the way down. I had just gotten the brand new Journey tape – Raised On Radio. I may have brought other tapes, but this was the only one I listened to. “Suzanne” was my favorite song on the tape, and I kept playing it over and over.
First Stop – Philly
It was one of my favorite vacations growing up. We stopped in Philadelphia for the first couple of days. We went to Veteran’s Stadium to see the Philadelphia Phillies play against my beloved Mets.
I was wearing my Mets cap when we bought the tickets. I think my parents thought that we would be killed. But I kept my cap on. We sat in the outfield for the game, and as it turned out, we were surrounded by Mets fans! Before the game, we were watching batting practice. I got to see Mike Schmidt clobber some home runs.
Whoa! A Near Death Experience! Screw You, Roger McDowell!!
Now let’s step back a couple of months…
Earlier that year, Lee Mazzilli was in the minor leagues, and we saw him play his first game against the Pawtucket Red Sox. He got a home run in his first at bat. The next time he came up, his statistics appeared on the scoreboard – 1 Home Run, 1 RBI, 1.000 Batting Average. My father took a picture of it.
Back to the present…
So, while we were watching batting practice, the Mets players were warming up in the outfield – including Lee Mazzilli. As it turns out, my dad was thought ahead, and brought the picture with him. So we went down to the first base line so my dad could give him the picture. But Mazzilli had gone back in the locker room by the time we made it down. There were some players still warming up, so we figured one of them could give him the picture. While we were trying to get somebody’s attention, Daryl Strawberry was up at batting practice. He hit a line drive right at us. I have never seen a ball move so fast! We were kind of far from the plate, but it only took a split second for the ball to reach us. Luckily, it was low, and hit the railing in front of us. My dad and I still talk about it today.
After, that we saw that Mets relief pitcher, Roger McDowell was nearby, so we were calling him over. There weren’t too many people around, and he was so close, I know he could hear us. But, he just ignored us. Then he went back to the locker room, and jogged right by, still ignoring us. Even though he was a Met, I couldn’t stand him after that! I am so glad it was Jesse Orosco on the mound when the Mets won the World Series that year, and not that jackass!
I believe my dad still has that picture to this day.
On to Amish Country
After Philly, we went on to Lancaster, PA, which is the heart of Amish country in Pennsylvania. It was so peaceful, and I had some of the best food I ever had in my life. It made for one of my favorite vacations, ever.
As it turns out, my wife and her family vacationed around Lancaster all the time. So, to this day, my wife and I make a yearly trek to Amish Country.
But, my trip there in 1986 will always be associated with Journey’s Raised On Radio, and specifically the song “Suzanne”: