This song speaks to me about and makes me long just a little for the street where I grew up, particularly during my elementary and early junior-high years. I think about the outdoor adventures I had with my neighborhood friends in the summer and on afternoons after school. Amy and I lived at 33 Bedinger Avenue; the kids nearby included Terak, Jeff, Billy, Rebecca, Ann, Ramona, Les, Julie, Bubby, Ricky, and Keith, among others. They ranged from a couple years younger to a couple years older than I. We rode bikes, played ball and board games, flipped and traded baseball cards, swam, talked about writing books, and acted out skits. Over time, we did grow up and grow apart, though I don’t know how much “all across the USA” we are now–most are still in Kentucky, generally not too far from Cincinnati.
I was fortunate to see Mr. Case perform at Lynagh’s in Lexington in 2000. I love many of his songs, but “Black Dirt & Clay,” from the very fine disk Flying Saucer Blues, is awfully close to being my favorite. It’s certainly the one to which I have the greatest emotional response.