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Life & Lyrics- “Pony Boy”

Published on November 14, 2013, by in LeeLee Blogs.

We’ll go ridin’ you and me
Giddy up giddy up giddy away

Pony Boy
Bruce Springsteen


Let me set the scene…

It’s a few days before Christmas and my friend Jodi is running some errands around town.  Once she finishes shopping, she gets back in her car and notices 5 missed calls on her cell phone.  All of the calls are from the same person…her friend Marcy.  Jodi calls back immediately.

Marcy: “Where have you been? I’ve been calling and calling.”

Jodi: “I know! Are you ok? What’s wrong?”

Marcy: “Oh, nothing is wrong. I’m shopping in New York City and your guy is in here… Bruce Springsteen! We’re in the same store!!!! I’ve been following him around…trying not to look like a crazy stalker…hoping I don’t get kicked out of the store…hoping you’d call me back. What do you want me to do?”

Jodi: “Oh my God!” (Screaming…she nearly loses control of her car… almost drives off road) “Go over to him…PUT HIM ON  THE  PHONE!”

Marcy: “Here goes! ( She politely approaches the Boss)  Excuse me, Bruce…um…my friend Jodi is a huge fan.  Would you just say hi? Can you just talk to her?”

Drum roll please…and imagine that deep, raw, and legendary voice…

Bruce: “Jodi”

Jodi: “Oh my God! Is it really you?”

Bruce: “It’s really me. How are you? What are you doing?”

Jodi: “I was doing some shopping now I’m in my car listening to E Street Radio. Oh my God!”

Bruce: “That’s great. It’s always nice to hear that…keep listening. Well, I hope you enjoy the holidays.”

Jodi: “Oh my God! Thank you! Same to you. I can’t believe this!”

Bruce: “Great to talk to you. I’ll see you on the road.”

Okay, so this is a freaking true story!!! I’m nearly hyperventilating as I type this…I can’t believe my “Bruce Bud” Jodi had a friendly, little chat with Bruce Springsteen! Seriously, I am so so so jealous.  Yes, I kissed him at the Stone Pony and it was captured all on film but UGH…I would LOOOOOOOOOVE to have a conversation with him! Ah…to dream!!! Anyway,  I do love this story and I’m thrilled Jodi experienced that insane moment!

Jodi and I just met about two months ago and every single time this famous phone call comes up in conversation, her face lights up! Can you blame her? I know my face would light up too! I call it the “Bruce Effect.” Just listening to his music or talking about him makes his loyal fans feel so happy!

I’m so thankful for my new friendship with Jodi. There’s no doubt, we understand each other.  It’s a Bruce Bond! I still can’t believe we’ve lived in the same town for years and never met before.  Thankfully, she found me through my website.  We’ve already spent several hours sharing Bruce stories over coffee, lunch, and dinner.  She’s absolutely a fantastic woman and I’m certain that there are plenty of great times ahead. I asked if I could devote a Lee Lee’s Room story to her and fortunately, she was all for it.

Hmmm….what song? Actually, it was quite an easy decision.  I have a passion for telling stories and Jodi has a passion for horses. So, we both searched through Bruce’s catalog of tunes and thought Pony Boy would work. I love using Bruce’s lyrics as inspiration to tell  a story.  After all, that’s the whole idea behind Lee Lee’s Room…when Life and Lyrics combine!

Jodi with Iggy and Jet

Jodi with Iggy and Jet

We’ll go ridin’ you and me
Giddy up giddy up giddy away

Before I reveal Jodi’s story about her lifelong love of horses, I feel compelled to tell more about her practically lifelong love of all things Springsteen.  It all began in 1972 on Long Island.  She was introduced to Bruce’s music at a friend’s house thanks to the friend’s older sibling.  She fell “under the influence” of the Boss by listening to “Greetings from Asbury Park” and “The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle.”  Jodi instantly loved something about Bruce’s voice. It moved her and captured her attention. She especially admired his storytelling. She’s still amazed how thought-provoking, deep, and descriptive each of his songs play out.  Jodi believes every tune could be a film. “They’re all like a movie.  Incredible story lines. How does he write this stuff?”   I totally agree with Jodi… How does he do it? We both know the answer to that question actually…Bruce is a creative genius.

Some fun “Bruce Facts” about Jodi…she listens to Bruce everyday on E Street Radio…she’s been to over 50 concerts (every tour since Darkness on the Edge of Town in 1978) …she’s met a few members of the E Street Band (Stevie, Nils, Max and the late Clarence)…her favorite song is Thunder Road…her favorite album is Born to Run…“That album stands on its own. It’s the quintessential Bruce album”…  The River however, comes in at a very close second…Bruce’s music has the power to make her happy and relax her no matter what mood or situation she finds herself in…”Bruce is an escape. It feels good.”… It’s because of Bruce that Jodi has the mindset of …”There’s always something better.”  She finds a way to connect to each and every song…”No matter where you are economically, spiritually, politically, there’s one word or moment in a song where you connect. We all have a story. It’s easy to find something in Bruce’s songs to connect to no matter what your situation is.”

What’s does Jodi’s family think about all this? Well, her husband David appreciates Bruce’s music and attends concerts with her but he hasn’t exactly fallen under the same Springsteen spell. As for her daughters, Jennifer and Jessica…the girls don’t make fun of their mom but they certainly laugh about it. “There’s a lot of…’Oh Mom and Bruce’ or ‘Can you listen to something else?’ ”

Yes, we can listen to something else and we do….BUT…there’s something about BRUUUUCE!!!

Now to Jodi’s love of horses.

We’ll go ridin’ you and me
Giddy up giddy up giddy away

Jodi considers listening to Bruce as a form of therapy and she feels just the same when it comes to riding a horse.  “I can have a bad day but if I’m riding it takes me somewhere else. You can’t think about anything else. It’s me and my horse.  Horses are beautiful, majestic, and they’re very forgiving. They let us get on them.  They don’t judge you.  They don’t care if you’re skinny, fat, or have pimples. They’re not going to tell anybody.”

Jodi’s introduction to horses came at a very young age.  She experienced her first pony ride by 3.  Her mom rode horses for fun and that definitely influenced Jodi.  “If it weren’t for her, I would never be riding”. By the time she was 5, Jodi took riding lessons twice a week with a trainer at Jericho Stables on Long Island.  Her first horse was named Pumpernickel.  By the time she was 8, she was already competing in shows and winning several ribbons and trophies with a horse named Gingerbread.

Jodi with Gingerbread

Jodi with Pumpernickel

We’ll go ridin’ you and me
Giddy up giddy up giddy away

Jodi traveled extensively as a young girl to numerous horse shows in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.  She loved competitions even if it meant not going out with friends on a Saturday night and waking up at 4am on Sundays to make it to the show on time.  Horses and competitions were a big part of Jodi’s life until she was 15.  That’s when she decided to take a break…a 30 year break!

It’s never too late to get back in the saddle, right?

We’ll go ridin’ you and me
Giddy up giddy up giddy away

Well, that’s exactly what Jodi did! It all happened when she introduced her daughters Jessica and Jennifer to riding lessons.  Both girls tried it out and enjoyed their lessons but eventually opted to pursue other sports instead.  Jodi loved being around the horses and the barn.  It didn’t exactly hurt that the stables were just a mile and a half away from her home in Rhode Island.  Before she had enough time to even give it a second thought, Jodi was training on a thoroughbred named Jax with a local trainer, Lisa. She was back in the saddle and loving it.

Four years ago, Jodi started training in what she calls “Ballet on a Horse”…or what’s formally and officially known as Dressage.  It’s classical riding and extremely disciplined. Dressage is broken down into levels beginning with the training level and finishing with the prestigious Grand Prix level.  “There are two aspects to Dressage, the mental and the physical. It’s a feeling of one movement in sync with the horse.  You’re so connected.  You’re a team”.

Nowadays, Jodi owns three horses…Iggy (9) and Jet (22) and Zaragon (4).  Iggy spends the winter months in Florida.  Jodi visits once a month and gives him a workout.  She rides 5 days a week for at least 4 hours.  No matter what the weather conditions in Rhode Island or Florida, Jodi is back in the saddle.

Ready to compete

Ready to compete

She’s also competing again and she’s already advanced to the 4th level of Dressage. “Shows are about riding against yourself and that judge”.  At each show, Jodi wears a sentimental good luck charm.  It’s a special pin on her stock tie.  The pin belonged to her trainer Lisa. Unfortunately, Lisa passed away tragically a few years ago at the age of 51. When Jodi competes, it’s her way of feeling that Lisa is always with her, watching her, and definitely cheering for her.

Jodi admits she’s always a nervous wreck before competitions.  How does she calm down?  What else??? She turns to Bruce and listens to a few tunes!  AND it always works!

Thank you Jodi for this incredible story and especially for the friendship!

Giddy up Jodi!!!!!
















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