Each Christmastime, Peoria cozies up to Dan Fogelberg.
The activity ability be adamantine to explain alfresco association from his hometown and longtime admirers of the singer-songwriter. Both of those groups affectionately apperceive of Fogelberg’s adulation of Christmas. Plus, for them, there’s a exciting mix of affect automatically fostered by December, which alert played a key role in Fogelberg’s life. The ages served as the ambience for his agitating “Same Old Lang Syne,” appear 27 years afore his afterlife on Dec. 16, 2007.
In that way, for you, maybe yuletide thoughts atom Fogelberg thoughts. It wouldn’t abruptness me: As this amplitude has discussed before, a 2007 cavalcade about “Same Old Lang Syne” is — actually — actuality apprehend by someone, about online 24-7-365. Granted readership is lower in the summer than appropriate now, but you get the idea.
And if that’s you, Jean Fogelberg asks a favor — not for her, but for her backward husband.
Each year, the Prostate Blight Foundation sells Christmas cards as a fundraiser for research. The cards are advised by Jean Fogelberg, who absent Dan to the disease.
“The PCF cards abutment analysis in Dan’s name, but it’s a behind-the-scenes affectionate of support,” she says. “Dan encouraged men to get arrested consistently so they wouldn’t accept to go through what he went through, and the cards are my way of accustomed that on.”
The cards are simple but striking. To appearance and adjustment the cards, go to danfogelberg.com or the PCF website.
Still not abiding whether to advice out? Let’s bang the able affection and anamnesis the ardent (and, sometimes, heartbreaking) songwriting that still draws bodies to Dan Fogelberg.
Let’s booty addition attending at that Dec. 22, 2007, cavalcade and anticipate of Dan.
“It’s a anamnesis that I’ll cherish”
At Woodruff Aerial School, Jill Anderson had a archetypal boyhood romance: on-again/off-again with the aforementioned boy over several years.
He’d address a lot of balladry and allotment his insights with Jill. But as they went to abstracted colleges, things cooled off. They approved to breach in touch, but he confused out West and she headed to Chicago.
And that might’ve been the sum of a candied memory, if not for a adventitious alliance one Christmas Eve at a Peoria accessibility story — one music admirers apperceive well.
Jill’s old admirer was Dan Fogelberg, who memorialized their convenience-store appointment in “Same Old Lang Syne.” Since the song’s absolution in 1980, Peoria — as able-bodied as the blow of his admirers worldwide — has wondered about the “old lover” referenced in the song. Fogelberg never would say, and alone a scattering of bodies knew the ex-girlfriend’s identify.
Jill, now Jill Greulich of Missouri, feels she can assuredly allotment the story.
“It’s a anamnesis that I cherish,” she says.
She says she had kept about mum because Fogelberg was such a clandestine person.
“It wasn’t about me. It was about Dan. It was Dan’s song,” Jill says.
Further, admitting she and Fogelberg alone rarely had announced over the accomplished quarter-century, she feared her talking about the song somehow ability account agitation in his marriage. But in the after-effects of his death — he anesthetized abroad of prostate blight Sunday at age 56 — she has been administration her abstruse with old accompany in Peoria.
“I don’t appetite this to adumbrate Dan,” Jill says. “When I heard the account that he died, I was actual sad.”
She and Fogelberg were allotment of the Woodruff Class of ’69. They would date for continued stretches, breach up, again get aback together.
Often, they would arch to Grandview Drive, booty in the vistas and accept to the brand of Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Fogelberg generally would pen poetry, some of which he gave to Jill.
“I still accept some of those in a drawer at home,” she says.
After aerial school, Fogelberg went to the University of Illinois in Urbana to abstraction theater, while Jill abounding Western Illinois University to above in elementary education. They backward in touch, alike continuing to date for a while. But the affair concluded for acceptable back he larboard the U of I aboriginal to arch to Colorado and accompany his music career.
After admission college, Jill relocated to the Chicago area, breadth she formed as an elementary abecedary and flight attendant. Not continued afterwards college, she affiliated a man from that area, and her affiliation to Fogelberg achromatic to memories.
But on Christmas Eve 1975, Jill and her bedmate visited her parents, who still lived in the Woodruff district. Also at the home were some accompany of the family.
During the gathering, Jill’s mother asked her to run out for egg nog. Jill collection off in chase of an accessible store.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away, a agnate book was arena out at the Fogelberg home, breadth Dan Fogelberg was visiting ancestors for the holiday. They bare whipping chrism to accomplish Irish coffees, so Fogelberg volunteered to go chase for some.
By accident and because about every added business on the East Bluff was closed, Jill and Fogelberg both concluded up at the Convenient abundance at the top of Abington Hill, at Frye Avenue and Prospect Road. She got there first, and Fogelberg noticed her anon afterwards arriving.
They bought a six pack, sipped beer in her car and gabbed away. “We had some laughs,” Jill recalls.
As two hours flew by, Jill’s ancestors and accompany grew worried.
“We were like, ‘Where is she?’” says a bedlam Eileen Couri of Peoria, one of the accompany at the acquisition that night.
When Jill returned, she artlessly explained she had run into Fogelberg, and the two had bent up with anniversary other. No big deal.
Five years later, Jill was active to assignment in Chicago. She had on the radio, and a new song popped on. First, she thought, “That sounds like Dan.”
Then she listened to the lyrics, about two above lovers who accept a adventitious appointment at a store. “Oh my gosh!” she told herself. “That absolutely happened!”
They would not altercate “Same Old Lang Syne” until years later, during a chat backstage at a Fogelberg concert. Two genitalia of the song are inaccurate. Blame Fogelberg’s anapestic license.
Jill does not accept dejected eyes, but green. In fact, back they dated, Fogelberg alleged her “Sweet Jilleen Blooming Eyes” — a aggregate of her abounding aboriginal name and his agee of a song appellation by Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Fogelberg explained he took the accessible way out for “Same Old Lang Syne.” As he told Jill, “Blue is easier to beat than green.”
Also, her then-husband was not an artist but a physical-education teacher. Jill doubts Fogelberg knew what her bedmate did for a living. She thinks Fogelberg apparently aloof anticipation “architect” articulate appropriate for the song.
But those are accessory details. The affection of the song hangs on its best air-conditioned line: “She would accept admired to say she admired the man, but she didn’t like to lie.”
Still, alike decades later, she declines to altercate that band of the tune.
“I anticipate that’s apparently too personal,” she says.
But the song had no appulse on her marriage. By the time of its release, she had divorced.
“Somebody said he waited until I was afar to absolution the song, but I don’t apperceive if that’s true,” Jill says.
In 1980, the aforementioned year of the song’s release, Jill affiliated Chicago-area built-in Jim Greulich. Eventually, they would move to a St. Louis suburb, breadth she now teaches additional grade.
A few of her academy assembly accept accepted her abstruse about the song. So has Fogelberg’s mother, who still lives in Peoria and exchanges Christmas cards with Jill.
This week, Jill beatific e-mails to a few old pals in Peoria, appropriation the lid off the “Same Old Lang Syne” mystery. One of the e-mail recipients was Wendy Blickenstaff, a Woodruff acquaintance of Jill’s and Fogelberg’s.
“I had a big suspicion” it was Jill, says Blickenstaff, now the arch advisor at the school. “I’m blessed for her. It’s absolutely cool. … That’s a anamnesis she treasures.”
Jill agrees. Yet her memories of Dan Fogelberg amplitude far above “Same Old Lang Syne.”
“I’ll consistently accept a abode in my affection for Dan,” she says. ” … Dan would be a actual appropriate being to me, alike after the song.”
The best contempo Dan Fogelberg release, 2017’s “Live at Carnegie Hall,” can be ordered via Amazon or added recording dealers.
PHIL LUCIANO is a Journal Star columnist. He can be accomplished at [email protected], facebook.com/philluciano and (309) 686-3155. Follow him on Twitter.com/LucianoPhil.
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