Thursday, June 5, 2014

Those were the Days

Sitting out on the patio with 60's music blaring their memories into my ear, I am reminded how fast time flies. This music seems as fresh and wonderful as it did when I first heard it. Crystal Gayle is singing "We'll sing in the Sunshine" and on Mammy's front yard we are in shorts and shirts that our mothers mostly made us, turning cartwheels and playing tag, Mother May I rings out through the years and age is all a matter of perception. I have just arrived for the summer and the cousins have lots of catching up to do. Elvis is now King and the newest hit is Surrender, the Beatles are on the horizon but have not made it across the pond as yet. Tobacco season is upon us and most of us go to the barns to work, I have a sweet new Japanese Transistor radio which I take with me so that when we get breaks in work time we can listen to top hits...Tower of Strength is playing now and I can hear us singing along, mostly in tune...some off key, but we ignore it. We listen enraptured to Teen Angel and wonder at the idea that someone so young could be gone forever. Then we talk about the accident that took the life of a young friend...Elise was only twelve. Her mother gave me her tea set and I couldn't bring myself to play with it if Elise couldn't. Going through old pictures at Mammy's thirty years ago I came across a picture of her and it made me shiver with memory. Teen Angel...indeed. It wasn't all work, there was play and imagination at work. We made up the games we played, we played parcheesi when the rain stopped work and we were in Mammy's sitting room. The music was still a part of our life...Del Shannon is singing Runaway and we all wonder where she went, and better yet, why she left. We discuss this music like we would a good book we might be reading. My cousins...we were more like sisters and we shared everything. Bobby Darrin and Sandra Dee were the King and Queen of Romance and we followed it breathlessly. Little did we know of the hell that Sandra Dee had been through and the consequences it would have on her forever. We are in our early teens and crushes come and go, first loves occur on a weekly basis. The changes in our lives are confusing and we don't really understand why the boys that so disgusted us last year are now the center of our conversations. It's My Party is in the top ten and we know all the words and understand exactly why Leslie Gore is so bent out of shape. We all had a Judy in our lives, didn't we? Little Peggy March sang I will Follow Him and little did I know that just six years later that song would become my life. Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore and our young minds were Hippies for a season. A brief season. War was the topic of conversation and no peace talks were in evidence. After spending a season in hell our Military men and women came home to live most of the rest of their lives reliving the experience. Some got help, most didn't. Cousins. We shared the best and worst of our lives and I would not trade the experience for anything...thank you Kay, Crystal, Teressa, Patsy, Becky, Cathy and Brat Alice (another memory) and of course my actual sister, Toni...those were the days.