Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Continuing Odyssey of Luke the Drifter


It seems fitting to blog on this Father's Day about my dad: the enigmatic Luke the Drifter. The man who once read The Sea Wolf to me aloud by the side of a crackling fire still walks among us and still looms large in my personal mythos. He's an intensely private man whose Christian name I dare not divulge in this public forum. But it's just as well: he requested a few years back that the world simply refer to him as "Luke." So that's what we call him now.

All my life I've been drawn to forceful, larger-than-life personalities such as Steve Kilbey and Ray Fisher. My grandfather was such a character, and I think being near people like that makes me feel alive. Yet in personal demeanor I aspire to emulate Luke: understated, grounded, attentive and serene. I've got a long way to go, but the perfect role model hovers near. God bless you, Luke. Long may you drift. You are my hero above all heroes.

For those readers jonesing for their very own Luke the Drifter fix--a portable dose of self-renewing, ever-glorious Lukeness--today's your lucky day! You can get a sample of Luke's vocal prowess on this 2007 version of Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty," which the three Lurie men recorded at The Grande Olde Country Pile on Bainbridge Island, WA. Luke is the one who comes in at the halfway point channeling Merle Haggard to my brother's Willie Nelson.

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