We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
I Got the Music In Me
In the days before a television was in every room in the house we listened to a lot more music. Radios and record players were in heavy use in those days. In my family we always had a radio in the kitchen. My mom, Doty, loved to listen as she cooked and later did the dishes. Unlike the moms of our friends, who liked Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, my mom listened to soul music. Most especially she loved to get down to some James Brown while scrubbing all those pots and pans. She tuned in to a local AM program hosted by a DJ known as “The Little Man.”
I scorned her music taste, preferring British invasion rock. So each evening one could experience the Beatles and Rolling Stones coming from my bedroom record player while James cried “Please, Please, Please” in the kitchen. Added to this was Walter Cronkite on the television my Dad watched. Thankfully the maximum volume on electronics was pretty modest back then.
Surely being embarrassed by one’s family is a universal experience. My own children would probably rush to confirm this fact. I was not often embarrassed by my parents but there were a few notable face scorchers.
In my early teens some new next door neighbors moved in. A young couple we knew instantly to be intellectual (college degrees, he a lawyer!!) sophisticated (they had a piano for God’s sake!!) worldly (they had been to England!!) and society folks (she invited Doty over for coffee!!) From this young woman I first heard of the wonders of cashmere sweaters. My sweaters had come from Sears or J C Penney and were most assuredly not cashmere. I learned that they did not watch TV every night, sometimes electing to read. Hard to imagine but they would willingly miss the Beverly Hillbillies for a book! Wonders never ceased. This was my first glimpse at what seemed to be a sophisticated, modern marriage.
Anyway this esteemed young woman was the reason for one of my most embarrassing moments. I probably used up a decade’s worth of blushes on this one episode.
She came over to visit one afternoon and I proudly joined the two women, no doubt to contribute to the conversation but also to listen for new hints as to how the other half lived. The topic turned to music probably a result of my input regarding British bands of the day. Doty proudly chimed in, “Nancy loves music. I guess she inherited that from me. I have always been musical. Why, I play the radio every night while I do the dishes.”
I felt the breath leave my body and I believe that my heart stopped beating. I felt a blush rising from deep inside like molten lava making its way up from deep in a volcano. I looked at the neighbor in horror hoping that perhaps she had not heard. No luck. I still recall the expression on her face. She was torn, wondering if Doty was making some kind of joke or if she was serious. She did not respond, just nodded her head up and down. The confusion on her face said it all. My embarrassment lasted for years.
Today it is not unusual for someone in my family to comment on their musical talent and to note that we spring from a musically inclined lineage. It no longer makes me cringe or blush. Rather, it makes me feel glad that Doty is recalled by so many and so often and so fondly. And as the Godfather of Soul might say, “I feel good!”
- Playing the Air Mop - Licensed by LikeTheDew.com at YayMicro.com.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Summary: In Liberal America these days, one encounters a good deal of hopelessness about the future of our country. Why the hopelessness? The difficult circumstances certainly play a part. But they are not answer enough. Hopelessness is also a sign of disconnection from the realm of the spirit. In that realm, there is no sense of “impossible.” And this disconnection from the spirit is also at the root of Liberal America’s weakness. This points to a cure for our hopelessness that also can strengthen us to fight and win this battle, however challenging it may be. *******In response to my piece, “Libe Read on →
Some are born lucky. Others are born rich or marry into money. Still others create endless streams of opportunity. And perhaps when we can’t answer yes to the aforementioned, we can easily feel entitled. But in other ways, the playing field remains level. Certain attributes of the human condition we have control over, starting with the meaning we assign to the events of our life. And yes, positive events lead us to assign more pleasant meanings. There is enormous manipulation, pursued in the name of profit, to get us thinking about our bodies with a “cattle mentality.” Once we buy into what we “s Read on →
The tiny old man wheezed and warned me to leave him alone since he was just looking for a wall to lean against. He was an examination of human frailty, revealed in blurred and jagged fragments. He told me to beware of joy. Thus ended another of my dreams that left me a bit shaken and in need of understanding. In some of my dreams, such as this one, everything is frequently miniaturized and even immaterial as if -- in the words of Patrick Modiano, this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for literature -- "to suggest that any visions, grand or Read on →
I read the obituaries. But I no longer read a printed newspaper every day and the obits just are not the same in on line versions of newspapers. So I am forced to catch up on weekends when my satisfyingly fat Sunday papers arrive. I do not turn to the obituaries first due to a compulsive need to read the paper in proper order. When I finally get there I read them all, savoring the details, cringing at those my own age, and grieving the brief, one sentence send offs. My first born believes that we need a law requiring all Read on →