Rock Concert from Hell

The men listed above by name were leaders of their clans. Their families increased greatly, and they went to the outskirts of Gedor to the east of the valley in search of pasture for their flocks. They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet. Some Hamites had lived there formerly.

  • 1 Chronicles 4:38-40

But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.

  • 1 Chronicles 22:9

I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

  • Job 2:26

The photo above shows a few turkeys.  That was not taken at our farm in the 1950s.  If it was, there would be thousands of other turkeys in the background.  This looks like someone with a hobby of raising turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner.  I will admit that we had a few that we fattened for the family.

But the photo reminds me of my early years.  Other than about five years of my life, I lived in the country.  I went to bed hearing nothing but crickets, frogs, whippoorwill, and bobwhite.  Then I went to college and my next-door neighbor played saxophone for a Chicago style rock band.  He had no morning classes.  I had nothing but morning classes and then afternoon labs (chemistry, physics, engineering, and military drill one day each week).  The neighbor in the band could go to bed at 4:00am and sleep until noon and get a wonderful night’s sleep.  He would play rock music at ear-splitting decibels until then.  The floor monitor, who was probably getting free tickets to his concerts, told me that my complaint for silence was ridiculous.  After all, this was college, and you had to have some fun.

That was followed, after a few years of relative quiet, by a girl who lived next to my wife and I after we moved to a fancy apartment complex near the Jefferson County, Texas airport, back when they had commercial flights.  The airplanes weren’t the problem.  I think the girl could not sleep without her deep bass vibrating the floor.  It was at this time in our newlywed life that I had a stereo connected to my alarm and instead of a buzzer, I would be awakened by Johnny Mathis singing Chances Are.

Ah, that trip down memory lane is a welcome one.  My wife, however, did not think of me as a hopeless romantic – just hopeless.  When you had a good night’s sleep, that song was a welcome interruption to my dreams, but it was not welcome when you had yet to go to sleep.

Yes, with a jangle of noise, I have never been able to sleep, whether that is loud music, snoring, or fireworks.  Now, a lightning storm at 4:00am?  I sleep right through those.  The problem was getting to sleep.

About fourteen years later, we lived in a house near the place where the teenagers gathered on Saturday Night.  Oddly, the fire department was on their drag route and if you were trapped in a burning home on Saturday night, you were going to lose your home and if you could not escape on your own, you would die.  This happened with the kids, who were just having fun, blocking the fire department who was unable to leave the station, but the parents defended their children.  “Kids just have to be kids.”  It was during this period that the new members class at the local church discussed the children having fun.  One mother talked about how wonderful their clean, wholesome fun was.  I pulled out a bag with a half dozen hypodermic needles that I had gathered in my front lawn, afraid my boys would step on one.  I asked this woman if I should have them fingerprinted to see if her daughter was among those having good clean wholesome fun.

The point is that loud music can make me go into a dark place.  My wife has the same reaction, although she loved the latest tunes when we first met. Okay, Neil Diamond was her favorite.  Maybe it is a bit of PTSD.  Maybe it is simply reminders of when we had to work all day after not getting any sleep due to the neighbor having fun.

Then a few weeks ago, a neighbor’s child graduated high school and the parents, who probably left town, paid for live entertainment for a graduation party from about 2:00pm until 10:00pm on Saturday night.  They were about two blocks up the hill, but the drums and guitars were so loud, it was as if they were in the house with us.  My wife got a monster headache.  My wife got so distraught she cried, at times uncontrollably, and I had a hard time focusing while writing and researching posts (while in the basement with classical music going to drown out the rock music). It did not work since the walls were vibrating. And my wife refused to take a long drive in the country. She was afraid of what we faced upon coming home.

They must have had a permit to stop the concert at 10:00pm, because everything got ghostly quiet.  But my wife’s and my nerves were so messed up, we hardly slept at all that night.

We caught up on sleep a little after the church service that next morning with a long afternoon nap.

When does “Kids being kids” draw a line?  Sure, we should allow young adults to have fun, but I did so when I was a kid, within a framework of respecting my elders and respecting anyone that does not wish to hear my kind of music.  I have thought of driving into neighborhoods that have a lot of teenagers and cranking up either Beethoven or Bach on one pass and then either Tommy Dorsey or Glenn Miller on the next pass.  But I do not have it in me to start such warfare in my own neighborhood.

But why is peace and quiet such a foreign concept?  Everyone shouts into microphones ties to amplifiers that they want peace and quiet. Even at my last job, the draftsmen insisted on music over the intercom.  They said it was like a morgue without it.  I got headphones and listened to classical music or Enya or Kenny G or Big Band and Swing CDs.  If it was an instrumental, I could concentrate on my work.  If it had lyrics, except for most Enya lyrics, I found myself singing along instead of working. As for Enya, I still hear “sail away, sail away, sail away” in my head (Orinoco Flow). I preferred the morgue.

But maybe the memories of sleepless nights will not come back once I am in Heaven, and we are singing praises to God all the time. That might get a little loud.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


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  1. Oh the memories of college some days were terrible. Then I came to the lower part of Brazil where basically everyone drives around with a PA system on their car to make matters worse my room was next to a busy street. Honestly speaking money answers all things noise drives me insane I had to complain to the landlady because a teenage couple downstairs would sit outside at 1 am after coming back from the bar I guess. I told myself I would move to the suburbs at first opportunity

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m just thankful for the frogs croaking and even the mosquitoes humming. I tried city life for one year. No.
    neighbors are friendly and so is the wildlife. 3 different bear crossed our yard this week, one looked in the patio glass from the deck. Too friendly, going to have to have a talk with them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A man who had been clinically dead and resuscitated wrote in his book that the music in heaven was a blend of every style known to man, which would sound awful down here, but in heaven it was allegedly gorgeous. I guess we’ll find out. Meanwhile in this life we try to be considerate and to know how to deal with people who aren’t. With the quality of earbuds you can get today, there’s really no good reason to blast your music to anyone and everyone. It’s hard to believe people can be that clueless about the feelings if others.

    Liked by 1 person

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