An Everlasting Kiss: 40 Years of "Born to Run"

1c1f3912765b077d91fc_092e87e10df82c66daac_bruce-springsteen-1975.jpg
Still  in your cage near Highway 9?  "Born to Run" turns 40. Credits: Courtesy of WCBS FM
1c1f3912765b077d91fc_092e87e10df82c66daac_bruce-springsteen-1975.jpg

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Forty years since "Born to Run," and I still haven't run and fulfilled my destiny. Like Bruce Springsteen, I remain pretty close to where I grew up, in a nicer house, maybe, and in a more tree-lined neighborhood, but within an hour's ride of the place that I still name when people ask, "Hey, where are you from?"

In 1975, I was 17 and a student at Montclair State when it was a college and had not yet put on its long pants and become a university. "Tramps like us" were supposed to have walked with a skinny, bearded Bruce "out on the wire." Having gone to 12 years of Catholic school, I thought "tramps" were girls who rolled their plaid wool skirts up just a bit too high and wore two-tone platform shoes. I did not have any clear idea of what "out on the wire" meant, but I wanted to be there with Bruce because he was "a scared and lonely rider." Being one of millions of teenage girls suffering from low self-esteem, I thought maybe I'd have a chance with such an earnest, scared, and lonely guy who just had to know "how it feels." What "it" was still remained mysteriously alluring and very much the subject of discussion.

As for those "suicide machines," well, I never had one, at least in the sense that I think Bruce meant. My suicide machine was not "hemi-powered," all tricked out, or in any way sexy. It was a suicide machine because it was dangerous to drive, a three-block-long blue Mercury Monterey that died an ignominious death on Tonnele Avenue in Jersey City. Once a friend soldered a penny to the radiator to patch a hole; once I pulled the massive front bumper nearly off on one of the logs in the quarry parking lot at Montclair . Occasionally, though, it "screamed down" Kennedy Boulevard (mostly because of leaky brake fluid,) and it did free me from a cage or two on Highway 3. Nobody "combed their hair" in my rearview mirror (there wasn't one.) No heads turned when I made my "last-chance power drive" home from a part-time job at the Palisades Park Burger King, clad in a red and yellow double-knit uniform and the matching hat also worn by Rerun on "What's Happening!"

Sign Up for E-News

About "wrap your legs" around this and "strap your hands" across that, I have to modestly confess that I never sang those parts of the song out loud. Too many years of going to school next door to the convent, I guess. I never played a guitar or rode a motorcycle, but this was a great opportunity to pantomime doing so in front of the record-player, the needle of which bobbed on a cushion of dust and dog hair. I did want to know "if love was wild," though, and I certainly wanted to know if it was "real." Despite my parochial education, I already new that what was wild and what was real generally overlapped in the Venn diagram of human experience.

Who could resist dying in "an everlasting kiss" and "the madness in my soul?" "Wild . . . sprung . . . madness . . . stepping out over the line . . . in a runaway American dream"  I just had to know what it was like, even though death in the streets and suicide lurked in the background and the bones were being ripped (yuck!) from somebody's back, it still seemed worth it to run. Bruce's Wendy ran with him down Highway 9, like Peter Pan's Wendy flew with him out that London window. How did it feel to run with the Lost Boys? Where is that place that "we really want to go?" I still don't know.

It's hard to acknowledge the passage of 40 years since Bruce Springsteen told us all to "get out while we're young." In some ways, I wish I had gotten out. Instead, like Bruce himself, I became one of the "broken heroes" jamming the highways of New Jersey. We are broken because we spent too long huddling on the beach in the mist; we are heroes because we survived long enough to see what exactly is beyond the Palace.

 

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

July 17, 2018

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Complete the Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE) Program at Union County College in Five Weeks

CRANFORD – Union County College will be offering the American Society of Administrative Professionals PACE Certification (Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence) from Monday, July 23 through August 22. If you are an executive assistant, office manager, paralegal, program analyst, benefits administrator, supervisor or meetings and events planner, this program is for you.

17 Years Running and the Pizza is still Hot!! The Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza is July 25, 2018

The 17th Annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza, now more often referred to as the ‘Pizza Run’ will be here in no time! Don’t forget to sign up for a night of running, pizza, prizes, and entertainment! The event will be held on July 25, 2018 with a start time of 7 pm. Register online at PracticeHard.com before our Monday July 23, 2018, at 11:59 pm deadline will be ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1, a Pearl Jam  tribute band, taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series, presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

5 Against 1, which ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Berkeley Heights Public Library, Berkeley Heights

Story Time & Craft with DIVA DELORES AND THE ...

Other

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_f315283ead6566b0f0d0_24b31797abd0cb2d199e_senior_bbq

Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Senior Summer BBQ at the Summit YMCA

Food & Drink

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_180fb624cb767a3bedaf_best_crop_7313656ce0929485c104_bh_ribbon_cutting_8_2x

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Memorial Park, Berkeley Heights

2018 Berkeley Heights Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...