Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jerry and Tori

I have been suffering from an ear worm lately. No, it's no the latest know it's one of those songs that gets into your head and just won't go away. I had always liked the chorus but hadn't really listened to the words of the verses until just recently.

Our oldest got a Kid's Bop CD and this song was on it. I listened and listened and then looked at the words more closely.

Listening to the words brought up some memories that I hadn't really thought about in a long time. I was reminded of a few people from my past...Jerry and Tori. I had known Jerry from the time I was in kindergarten. We went through school together...sometimes in the same class others not so much. In high school we were in the same science class...I'll never forget the day that Jerry decided to stick his pencil in a plug of the desk just to see what would happen. When flames came shooting out Jerry was sent to the Principal's office. When he returned back to class, I was granted a new lab partner...and our friendship grew. We worked together in our after school jobs and just hung.

I was in college when I got the friend Della called to let me know that there had been a tragedy. Jerry was dead. He had gotten stoned and had a fight with his girlfriend. She threatened to not let him see their daughter any more...and he couldn't handle it. Between the desperation he felt and the drugs surging through his body he decided to take his own life. I never really got to say goodbye to Jerry...his funeral was during finals week and I couldn't get away. Every once in a while I miss that old friend.

Then there was Tori...a girl who had been one of my students when I taught. She was also a drug day she came into my class asking about drugs and drug abuse and the next day she had died in a car accident. She had been inhaling an aerosol can's fumes while driving and hit another car head on. I still have a picture in my teaching stuff of her with her class.

Jerry's been gone for 17 years now...Tori's been gone for 14. But their memories remain.

With these two in my mind, I read the story about this song. According to The Fray's lead singer and songwriter, Isaac Slade, this song was influenced by his experience while working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens. There was a boy who was 17 at the camp who was dealing with a lot of issues and no one could figure out what to do to help him. One thing that the young man needed was support from those who cared about him.

The lyrics can be found here.

And here is the video.