i remember it as if it were 1984.
bruce springsteen had just come out with the born in the u.s.a. album. my friend sharon was the planet’s biggest springsteen fan and he was playing in houston as part of the tour, but we had no tickets. we drove there anyhow in hopes of buying tickets, which at the time was illegal under the city’s scalping ordinance. we ended up going into a dark alley to give a suspicious guy 80 bucks a ticket to sit behind the stage, which seemed only fitting given that the album cover was of springsteen’s butt. it was the only bruce show i ever attended, but it certainly lived up to the band’s legend. “born to run” remains the greatest running song ever.
only years later did i discover the cult status of “born to run” in the ultrarunning community.
so you can imagine my excitement this week when I learned that Arnulfo Quimare, a Tarahumara indian who was one of the characters in “born to run,” is going to be at next weekend’s race. i don’t remember arnulfo as being in the E Street Band for the Houston show, but there was a lot of secondhand smoke in the vicinity of the stage. and i have no idea what his butt looked like anyhow. but he was part of “born to run,” and that’s good enough for me. tramps like us, baby we were born to cramp up and limp along to the next aid station before walking the last 8 miles. which would have made a lousy song. bruce was wise. although i always felt sorry for the guys in the a, b, c and d street bands he jettisoned along the way …