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Weekend Soundtrack

Santana's "Aquamarine"

Michael Raphael

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James "Dewey" Dewhurst
(Courtesy James)

What is the Soundtrack to your weekend -- that song you find yourself going back to again and again on Saturdays and Sundays? We've been asking you that for a while now, and we've received all sorts of reponses with a wide range of musical genres. But the Americans we usually talk to have all been in America. This week, we travel abroad.

James "Dewey" Dewhurst is a former National Guardsman from Louisiana and is now a private contractor in Afghanistan, 11 miles from the Pakistani border. His Weekend Soundtrack is "Aquamarine" by Carlos Santana. He found the soundtrack to his weekend when he was on R-and-R leave in Negril, Jamaica.

John Moe: Now, I'm no world traveler, but from what I understand, Jamaica is pretty different from Afghanistan. When were you last in Jamaica?

James "Dewey" Dewhurst: If I remember correctly, back in March in 2005. I flew from Afghanistan to Dubai, from Dubai to London, England, from London, England to Jamaica. So it's quite a contrast that in the space of two, three days, you're suddenly in blue Gulf water, crystal clear, it's gorgeous. And you got to have your Red Stripe beer.

Moe: How did this song by Carlos Santana enter into the equation?

Dewhurst: A couple of Jamaican fellows pulled up in a boat, asked if anyone wanted to go snorkeling, and so I jumped at the chance and the whole time I'm snorkeling, this song's just playing in my head. I'm like, "Wow!" Talk about music that just fits this Jacques Cousteau moment, you know?

These guys on the boat who offered to take you snorkeling, did they offer you anything else?

Well, yeah, you get your customary Red Stripe beer. They were doing another little activity which I didn't partake in, and did have a very pungent smell.

When you're in Afghanistan, and you're listening to this song, what are some of the other songs that you're hearing around there that maybe sometimes you don't even want to be necessarily hearing?

Oh God, that'd be the mullahs crying out that it's time for prayer. It's pretty wild, the way it echoes through the valley. That's when you're struck with the reality that, "Hey, I am not in Louisiana. This is not America, this is not Kansas" -- that's the best way I could put it.

Is it hard to listen to this Santana song taking you back to an experience that was so dramatically different from where you're living now. Does it make it harder to make the best of where you are now?

Yes, yes, you do get the effect of "I want out of here! I want to go home!" But, you know, you got to do what you got to do.

So when you get that feeling, is that when you turn off the Santana? Or is that when you turn up the Santana?

That's either when I turn it up, or I switch over to some Dr. John and listen to a "Must Have Been the Right Place, Must Have Been the Wrong Time" kind of song.

Dewey, thanks for sharing the soundtrack of what functions as your weekend.

Hey, thank you for sharing your weekend with me.

More stories from our Weekend Soundtrack series


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