News From The Woods - September 20,2005


By Bob Ketchum

Originally Published September 20, 2005

"One After 909"

Y'know…. What IS it about this?

Something happened again today as I was converting some old albums and cassettes to CD's for my private collection. Something so simple, yet so profound, that I decided to share it with all of you.

Call it chance, blind luck, or Karma, but I am convinced that there is some weird connection between me and the Beatles song "One After 909" from their "Let It Be" album, which incidentally isn't even one of my favorites that I play a lot. That album for me has always been a sort of a "downer" - due to the circumstances surrounding the recording of the album, as it marks that period in musical history when the Beatles were breaking apart. The only song on it that I regularly listen to is "Get Back".

Years ago - I have lost count it happened so long ago…. But at least ten years ago this really weird thing started happening to me. I'd be in the middle of some daily routine and decide to look at my watch and it would be 9:09. The first few times it happened I didn't think much about it. But slowly, through the months following I started paying more attention. If you are second-guessing me and think that perhaps subconsciously my mind is playing tricks on me, you'd be wrong. More times than I could even count I would wake up on a Saturday or Sunday (or even a weekday morning that I slept late) and look at the alarm clock and **BANG** it's 9:09 A.M. Sometimes as I am about to go to sleep I will glance at the clock and **BANG** it's 9:09 P.M. That usually keeps me awake for at least fifteen more minutes.

Or I would be out in the world some evening doing something (or nothing at all) connected with music or anything - say in a movie theater or at a dinner in a restaurant - and just check the time and **BANG** it's 9:09 P.M.

After a few years of this I started telling my wife about it. Of course I got the "raised eyebrow" or the "rolled eyeballs". Once she got sick of hearing about it and simply said, "Well, what do you want ME to do about it?" Not that I actually expected her to do anything about it - I just wanted to document it - again, and again, and again. After a year or so of her hearing about it she even started getting the Heebie-Jeebies. A couple of times she even asked me what time it was and I'd look down at my watch and then look up at her with "that" look.

She never asks any more.

Once, I bought a new watch at Wal Mart and as the saleslady was setting the time up on my new purchase I asked her what time it was. She calmly said (not knowing the mayhem she was about to unleash on me) "It's nine minutes after nine".

**BANG** The stories and accounts are endless. As endless as time itself.

So this week I have been converting all my old original Beatles albums to CD. This morning, after taking my son to school and returning home, I came downstairs and cranked up the next album in the project, which happened to be "Let It Be". As the album played into the computer I started working on the CD label. I got down to "I've Got A Feeling" and a strange but familiar feeling came over me (pun intended). The next song I was to type was "One After 909". I thought…. "No, this CAN'T be!" and after an initial impulse NOT to look - I slowly looked at the clock on my computer workbench.

**BANG** It's 9:09 A.M.

I KNEW it would be.

If the timing is right and it's anywhere near that time of day (or evening) and Jane asks me what time it is I always reply "I'll bet I know without even looking". She never bets me.

Now, I don't know how or when I first made the connection. It may have started simply enough. Maybe I just thought of the song title when it happened once. I honestly don't remember. But the more it happened, of course my mind always conjured up the song title. Now I hardly ever look at my watch in the early morning or mid evening without wincing first.

Some of you have no doubt noted that the title of the song is "One After 909" and want to ask "So Bob, why isn't it 9:10 when you look"? I do not have an answer for that. It is part of the puzzle. Let me know if you figure it all out.

I know you probably won't believe me - and by now you are thoroughly convinced that I need to seek professional help, but one time I was even driving my car down the road on the way to somewhere and the song came up on the CD player (which was playing in "random" mode in case you were wondering) and **BANG** it was 9:09 A.M.

This even happens across time zones! Last winter we were in Florida and I had forgotten to set my watch to local time. We were walking out on the beach in the morning and I wanted to note the time because I had a DVD burning back in the motel room for a client. My watch said 10:09 and I marveled out loud to my wife that for once I beat the hex. She calmly responded, "Did you forget to set your watch back when we crossed the time zone yesterday?". OOPS……..

A person never knows the day he will exit this world, but I have a pretty good idea what time it will be! I just don't know if it will be in the morning or in the evening.

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