Thursday, August 13, 2009

Forty and Twenty-One Year Cycles

It was forty years ago this weekend that I traveled from a hot Detroit summer between my sophomore and junior years at Michigan to New York City, where a couple of friends picked up Claudia and me (Claudia was my first) at LaGuradia and the four of us drove their little blue VW bug up the New York State Parkway to Max Yazgar's farm.

Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead is dead, as are The Who's bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. The band's guitarist Pete Townshend, 64, after years of "Tommy Can You Hear Me?" is mostly deaf.

David Crosby, 68, had a liver transplant and former band mates Neil Young and Stephen Stills, 64, have survived brain and prostate cancer, respectively.

Twenty-one years ago Saturday, 19 years after the 3 Days of Peace and Love, my first child, my baby daughter Sarah, was born. My wife had gone into labor the night before and I had been up all night with her and the assorted medical personnel at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, coming and going, worrying and relieved, then worrying again, all culminating with me along side a drugged out split-open and conscious spouse, as Sarah Michelle Harris slipped out into the light of life, with smiling, loving faces and hands all around.

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of this seminal event, Sarah and her friends are flying out from South Carolina to Las Vegas this weekend where I will meet up with them from Phoenix for another 3 Days of Peace and Love, Drinking and Debauchery and a Father & Daughter moment that will mark the beginning and an end, a cathartic phenomenon of my own life, my own living, breathing, feeling and all to human, Woodstock Nation.

Already there are persons that were a part of life long ago who have passed. Some I just knew from afar, others nurtured and taught me, getting me ready for the 40 and 21 year cycles that no one knew would come, and then one who but for the grace of happenstance would have been the mother of my children, who passed too early, inexplicably and alone.

Those were reckless days, we were reckless people and our time was filled with reckless wonder.

What was that?
That was your life, mate.
Can I have another.
What stays with us along this understated path? Family, memories, mysteries, happiness and sorrow. So we cling to vestiges that keep us connected, photographs, music, the Detroit Red Wings, headstones, Thanksgivings, tears and of course, the rain.

Can you imagine us
Years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.
Old friends,
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears.

This will probably be my last Blog for a few days. Bigger themes demand my attention, a spontaneous romp with a younger generation, balanced all the while by the common celebration of this group, many of whom weren't alive, or even contemplated, in the time of those muddy fields of peace and love, some 40 years ago. All brought together by my first born daughter who for awhile, maybe longer, will be the center of our universe.

Life can be wondrous and innocent, it can be tragically dismissive and so full of sadness I can hardly breathe. As it was in a rain soaked field in New York in 1969 and in a bustling hospital in North Atlanta in 1988, life can be a sublime adventure, filled with the beauty of spectacle that reaches deep into your heart, into your soul.

But the ending always comes at last
Endings always come too fast
They come too fast, but they pass too slow
I love you, and that's all I know
That's all I know



Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you Allan for sharing the pictures of the tickets and your life stories. I was sitting on the couch reading your story on my iPhone out loud to my wife, having some laughs, sharing the sadness and imagining what it wouldve been like to be there during that time. As parents and lovers it was sad reading about your loss, as my wife and I welled-up and how true about how life flies past us so quickly.

Thank you for sharing the "human" side of the man behind the analytics and charts. Have a great time bonding with a younger generation - what a blessing to have a daughter who is okay with her father hanging out with her and her friends in Vegas!

Take care,

alfaomega said...

Allan - even better than your charts, respect... alfaomega

PENN STATE Eric said...

That's a good blog, well written. Too bad there's not a ton of $$$ in writing, you'd be ITM for sure.

Enjoy your your time... you clearly understand it waits for no one.

Anonymous said...

Allan, You should write a novel!
I had friends who were there, but I had a test at BGSU, and couldn't go. Oh well.

Have a great time with your daughter and her friends!

Doug in ATL

Anonymous said...

Big traders are out....
All best wishes to u Allan

start said...

all best wishes to you Allan!

Anonymous said...

what a wonderful yesterday, allan,best wishes to you,but you'll miss double pattern on skf,anyway have a nice time with your daughter.


Wayne said...

Anyone, how does one actually sell short the S&P500? I'm not talking about buying inverse ETF's like SDS. I've tried issuing "sell short" orders with my online broker for the symbols SSO and SPY, but there are no shares available to short.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing your memories! As the father of a 19 year old daughter and a 16 old son I understand how important relationships are. Enjoy your time together. James 4:14


Anonymous said...


Have a great weekend!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for eloquently sharing such thoughts.

Although I've been hugging, kissing, and playing with my beautiful baby girl all day, I may have to do a repeat :-)

Its almost laughable how much I'm getting out of this excellent blog.

May we all be mindful of what we have.


Go Wings !

Anonymous said...

AllAllan, Enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

AllAllan, Enjoy!

thomas said...

that was really nice.... I wish there was a better word than thank you, to give back to for the great gifts that you give to us here.Anyone lucky enough to find this Blog is really blessed.I dont know how many people follow your blog,I'm a relative newcomer,...I dont know how much people appreciate what you do here...but all I can say is that what you do here and what you write and share.... is very important and meaningful to me and I thank you for that. You're a classy guy.
Have a great adventure

Unknown said...

Thank you Allan...have a wonderful time in Vegas with your daughter..I too went to Woodstock.

Your friend Sara in California.

PS I am making some progress on the identity issue..will keep you posted on Priory progress...I am so glad to find someone else who grew up in Detroit the same time I did !!

Congratulations on being such an incredible have many admirers, which is most apparent from the comments on your blog !!

Anonymous said...


I thought this was a trading blog. How do I trade Woodstock. Which was actually NOT in Woodstock, NY but in Bethel, NY. I was there too- seventh row center.

Still, I'm new to the blog and would like to know what trading advice is contained in this post. By your own admission were are here to get filthy rich. Woodstock was just filthy w/o the rich part.


SmartyGuy said...

Alan, wonderful post, thank you. To those who can't connect investing to this moving tribute to life and wonder, I'll give you something. Keyword is Las Vegas. Read Joel Stein's cover story in this week's Time magazine if you must. But my suggestion really goes from the sublime to the mundane. I'd rather just sit here and bask in Alan's wonderful words.

Anonymous said...

Paul , thanks for your contribution....7th row center.....whhooopdeeeedoooo

Wayne said...

(in case my q got lost in the shuffle...)

Anyone, how does one actually sell short the S&P500? I'm not talking about buying inverse ETF's like SDS. I've tried issuing "sell short" orders with my online broker for the symbols SSO and SPY, but there are no shares available to short.