“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life”
You may recognize these lyrics of a Green Day song called, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”
It is a popular song released in 1997 and was a far cry from the punk band’s usual music. They were reluctant to even record it let alone perform it live. But, it became an instant hit once they did. It started on the “B” side of another song that few people would even recall. And all these years later it is still played at weddings, graduations, proms, retirements, and reunions.
It makes me think of people in our lives. Our community for example is made up of a beautiful blend of differences. The “A” sides are easier to spot. They are often the front line employees in many businesses, entrepreneurs, city leaders, arts and recreation directors. You often read about their activities and see them at many functions. “We are the Champions,” Queen’s 1977 hit and an “A” side, would be a good fit for these fine folks.
But, wait! The “B” side of that recording is the equally famous, “We Will Rock You!” It’s a fine example of the “B” side contribution to any culture. After all, these two songs are never played separately since the first recordings. Why? Because they are so much better together. I repeat, “They are so much better together!”
The “B” sides work just as hard in their capacities. Perhaps in an industrial job, health or human services where confidentiality is essential, or in a back office position keeping businesses organized and on track. The “A” side needs a “B” side and vice versa. You might say that they are synced as in the music industry. The “B” sides’ tracks are cut fine and house a surplus of talents, ideas and designs.
Our son, James is known by his friends as “Jimmy B Side” after a band in which he played bass. While writing this column today, I called him and asked why he has continued to sign his art and work with that insignia. He said, “Because I’m the ‘B’ side.” Indeed, he is, and with all the wonder that it entails. So as he and his brothers and sisters embrace this Christmas, I know that I am a lucky parent with my beautiful mix of A sides and B sides. You might say a complete album of hits.
May you and your family have a blessed Christmas enjoying the melody and lyrics of your time together. And, “I hope you have the time of your life.”
KATHY DIEKMAN, director of Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton