Some time ago I came in contact with Bruce fan Helene Carlucci, who mentioned the Springsteen group at Granite Falls Middle School. She has previously visited South Africa and the group has made contact with a school in Cape Town. This brought me in contact with Mike Telesca from Granite Falls and added another interesting layer to my experiences as a relatively new Springsteen fan. Mike requested me to write something for their message board and a few weeks later I received a wonderful sound clip of the radio broadcast the kids made about it. I include wat I wrote below:
It was amazing to read about that club! To the kids lucky enough to grow up with Bruce Springsteen’s music, from a lady a few years younger than him, who only discovered his work about two years ago: I am writing as I am still listening to your program for the SA school, specifically Chimes of Freedom – and crying at the speech about and against apartheid. I was of that generation and my then boyfriend as well as my husband had to go to the army in those days. Many, many SA men still carry emotional scars from those times, especially the war in Namibia (then South West Africa) that also went into Angola. Today we live in the New South Africa where everybody is free – in theory. The hard reality is that as a nation we are struggling. The gap between rich and poor is still increasing, the number of desperately poor people are increasing, corruption is rampant in our government. The values that Nelson Mandela stood for have unfortunately been forgotten by many of the people for whose freedom he endured 27 years of captivity. But everything is not bad. The lives of many people have become better and more free. While I grew up in a very closed and conservative society where original thought and creativity were not really appreciated, my two sons could grow up in this more open and freer society and have friends of all races. Although we have many problems (escpecially poverty and crime), we still have hope and joy. Bruce’s music came into my life through the little gem Tomorrow never knows when it was played on national radio. (His music after Born in the USA is virtually unknown here). I got onto YouTube and from there it has been one journey of joy. I am a writer of romantic fiction (in Afrikaans, my home language) and he is a wonderful inspiration for me in many ways – his lyrics, of course, but also the values that he stands for, the passion and energy with which he has pursued his dream from a very young age, the value that he sees in community and real connection with others. I could go on a long time … Through The Rising I have also learned a lot about 9/11 and could today really get an idea of the impact of that terrible attack to the USA as a nation. And I could realize what immense healing power there is in music. Your programme has been saved on my computer and will be kept as an example of the way music can reach across all types of boundaries. It really is a delightful programme full of precious gems. Saying good-bye while he is singing Chicken lips, etc – wonderful song! I used to teach preschool kids and wish I had known this song then. Greetings from SA!
PS. My ultimate favourite songs are Badlands and Promised lands, because they say so much about my own journey out of depression and into a life full of creativity and fullfillment.
Read about the Granite Falls Bruce Springsteen Fan Club at http://sc.caldwellschools.com/education/components/album/default.php?sectiondetailid=28977&&PHPSESSID=ce4d6933046aaef9cebca6c663327d5b