Noteworthy moments in my life related to Neil Diamond
1. Every year as our Iberia flight headed into New York airspace, my siblings would hold my hands and we’d all sing “America” together.
2. As a slightly older kid, my BFF and I would dance like crazy to “Kentucky Woman.”
3. During my Boston years, “Sweet Caroline” became the unofficial song for Red Sox Nation thanks to the New England fah-evah movie BEAUTIFUL GIRLS.
4. When ringing in Y2K with my siblings on a roof deck in DC (the better to see the potential end of the modern world) while the Di-Man was singing “America” at a concert in Denver on TV.
5. Finding a CD of his greatest hits in the jukebox at the neighborhood bar my best friend and I frequented and always playing “Forever in Blue Jeans.”
6. Going on a mini-European trip with said best friend and telling him about how my siblings and I would hold hands and sing “America” together when we’d come home from Spain and how I hadn’t realized for many years that their summer experiences weren’t as fun as mine and how they actually missed their friends and wished that we weren’t sequestered on a farm for three months. Then, putting a splitter on my iPod so we could both listen to the song while flying into Dulles.
7. When the same best friend met the actual Neil Diamond and told the real human Neil Diamond the story about me and my siblings and the physical person of Neil Diamond loved the story and signed an autograph to my whole family, writing that we are “wonderful” and I freaked the hell out because the genuine Neil Diamond knows my family’s story and it’s just too much for me to take.
Now, every time I come back to the US, I hold my own damn hand and sing “America” to myself while blasting it on the iPod (regulations be damned!) and I get choked up at the “My country ’tis of thee” part.