Tougher than the Rest: A Song, a Story, a Wedding

I do not want to get married again.

Yes, that sounds harsh, but before everyone cancels their RSVPs and returns their gift cards, perhaps I should clarify. The statement “I do not want to get married again” is a true statement, with the key word being “again.” That word, those two little syllables, imply Marriage the Reboot, which, simply isn’t the case.

I had accepted, even encouraged, the thinking that I would be alone the rest of my life. I’d become a hollowed out person, unable to allow anyone to come close enough to hurt me, let alone love me. Sure, I’d date, perhaps even attach a label to it, but I wanted that distance, needed it to survive, even though it was killing me.

In almost exactly one week from this moment, I will be huddled in a hallway with the woman who changed all that, and our small gathering of guests will be listening to a song that captures us. It is not a shock to anyone that it will be a Bruce Springsteen song, but what might escape everyone is just how on the dot the lyrics to “Tougher than the Rest” are.
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Reason to Believe: In search of the Ultimate Bruce Springsteen Playlist


Bruce Springsteen performs April 17, 2012, in Cleveland. Photo by Kevin Hall

With all apologies to Reese and his Cups, there are no wrong ways to listen to Bruce Springsteen.

Want to hear a story, with themes uniting the music from beginning to end? Pop in a full album. More interested in checking out singles, bouncing from rock to pop to folk to beyond? Put your iPod on shuffle and move through his individual songs. Hits? He’s got them. Obscure tracks? Those, too. Fan favorites? Duh.

No matter your mood, there’s Springsteen.
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Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball a call to action and a lyrical/musical punch to the gut

Bruce Springsteen’s more overtly political albums tend to have a quieter feel, as though the music couldn’t match the vitriol of the lyrics. In albums like Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad, Springsteen mostly armed himself with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, painting stories of bleakness in which the promise of hope was as sparse as the music.
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10 years later: How a community newspaper covered Sept. 11

Our publisher walked into the newsroom, telling us we should monitor the morning TV broadcasts, not that anything was major, but just in case.

A plane had hit the World Trade Center, which while definitely unusual, was nothing we’d normally cover in Georgetown, Ky., where we focused our reporting efforts on news inside Scott County’s borders.

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Friends’ support keep memories alive, or How a Reservoir Dog’s bite far outweighed his bark

My parents hadn’t given up on me, even though by all accounts they probably should have. I hated them, for no good reason, other than the fact I was in my early 20s and they weren’t.

They tried to reach out to me. I refused, time and again.

Then someone reached out to them, they graciously accepted the offer and I was fortunately too young and dumb to realize I was being parented by proxy. I’m not sure when Norman Watson called my mom, telling her he’d talk to me, try to make me be less angry, less sullen, less bratty, less negative.

I’m just glad he did.
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