On Music Angels: God Only Knows

The trek from my office at the Air Force Academy history department to the faculty parking lot was long enough—about a ten-minute walk—sufficient time for some substantive thinking. One winter evening in about 1992, as I made the walk, my Comparative Revolutions course weighed on my mind. As I pondered how I might introduce the next day’s discussion on causes of revolutions, I climbed into my 1987 red Dodge Colt more out of habit than deliberation. At the turn of the ignition key, the radio’s boom broke my reverie and jarred me back to the reality of my immediate surroundings.

“Where did it go, that yester-glow, . . . yester-me, yester-you,” rang out the soulful tenor voice of Stevie Wonder from Colorado Springs’ sole oldies station. A decent song, I thought, ready for a musical interlude to my heavy thinking, but I wonder what’s on the other stations.

My fingers instinctively hit the button for the only other accessible oldies station, from Pueblo, Colorado, fifty-seven miles to the south. Reception of Pueblo’s station wasn’t always very good at my house in the Springs, but sometimes I could pick it up while perched on the mountainside where the Academy was located. That night, in fact, I was in luck. The music came in softly but clearly: “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday.” Stevie Wonder.

That’s odd, I thought. The same more-than-twenty-year-old song playing at the same time on two different stations in two different towns. What are the chances?

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