This is supposed to be a blog about Lehigh Valley and what I think about all the great things that make this a wonderful place to call home and visit. I hope you will forgive me this one time, however, as this entry deals less with the Valley, and more about another subject close to my heart.

A few days ago, Clarence Clemons — the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band — unexpectedly passed away. On the night of his death, as I sat listening to “Jungleland” with tears running down my face, I asked myself why was I so saddened by the news. Clarence never met me and I never met him. Was it that Bruce wasn't going to tour again?  No, it was because a very integral part of my life over the last 12 years had come to an end; Scooter and the Big Man would never step on the stage again together.

A great friend of mine, John, introduced me to this great band and larger-than-life sax player. John would beg me week after week to go and see Springsteen. I finally did, and the rest is history. I, too, became a crazy Springsteen fan, buying all his CDS, collecting bootlegs and attending many, many shows.

Clarence and the band touched me in an indescribable way; just as I’m sure he touched thousands of other fans.  If you have never experienced Clarence blow his sax on “Jungleland”, “Badlands”, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” or “Kitty's Back”, do yourself a favor and dig up those tracks and give them a play. Maybe then you’ll understand what I mean.

When the two of them were on stage together, you could hear two great friends playing with the childish exuberance that I’m sure we all shared with childhood friends in some way … and now probably miss so much in our own adult lives.

Clarence was lucky enough to have never lost that exuberance. And I was lucky enough to frequently rediscover mine on those magical nights when I got to see him and Bruce and the rest of the band play. I will miss both him and that sense of rediscovery very, very much.

Embrace all that you love and cherish, because you aren't guaranteed tomorrow. The loss of Clarence is a testament to that. So get out there and hug and enjoy those you love and cherish...........LEHIGH VALLEY!