Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Very First…

It was 1963 when the Dovells released their hit “You Can’t Sit Down.”  It topped the charts at Number 3 that year.

Months later, as I was turning 14, I made a routine visit to my aunt’s house in Livonia with my father.  And there, on her kitchen table, was this record with an orange and yellow label. 

As I nosed in closer to sneak a peek at the single, dumfounded that my aunt would even HAVE a 45 in her house, I caught site of the title of the song.   You Can’t Sit Down,    by the Dovells.

What on earth was my aunt, her adult kids living away from home by this time, doing with this “teenage” record?

Although the Dovells (of Bristol Stomp fame) were not my favorite artists (remember this was the time when the Beatles were on top…and I was definitely a Beatles fan) I coveted this black round piece of vinyl.

Along with great envy, she must have also noticed the quizzical look in my eye.  I am not sure if I asked her why she had this record first, or if she offered to GIVE it to me first.  I was flabbergasted.  Me?  My own 45?

Then she explained that as a bar owner, the jukebox was regularly brought up to date and the old songs were replaced with the newest, latest, greatest hit records.  It was then that she gave me the best present a girl my age would have wanted. 

She offered to give me ALL the records as they were replaced in the jukebox.  And to top it off?  At the time, the jukebox machine didn’t flip the records to play side B!  That means I would be getting TWO copies of every vinyl 45.   Ahh haa….one for me…one to trade!

Over the years I collected hundreds of 45s to play on the family HiFi.  And thanks to my Aunt Mary, I never, ever, had to purchase a single record. 
Although my friends and I always made the weekly trek up Telegraph Road to the corner of West Chicago…the local E.J. Korvette’s department store.  We would spend HOURS on the 2nd floor hanging around their most phenomenal record department. 

If I remember correctly, in 1963/64, I believe that 45s were going for about .49 cent a piece (by the latter years of the 60s, the price had jumped to a whopping .69 cents). 

That was a chunk of change, and at 14, I wasn’t working yet, unless you count the .50 cents an hour I spent babysitting for the neighbor kids, or the .45 cents my mom would pay me to wash and wax the floors (on my hands and knees, mind you).

  Take a listen on the left.
  To this day, when I hear
  You Can’t Sit Down, I vividly  recall the day I received my  very first record.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Here We Grow Again!

Many years ago, well before my 36-year marriage dissolved, I received a polished rock with the inscription: 
The Best Thing a Father can do for his Children is to Love their Mother.

I was given this little souvenir well before the days of the internet, Facebook, cell phones, and instant communication.  I had never heard this quote until I received it as a gift from my then-husband. 

I am NOT, nor ever was, a hopeless romantic, nor did I gush over my present.  I simply set my rock on the base of the dresser lamp in the bedroom, and thought, “Oh, that’s nice.”   I basically forgot about the rock except when I spotted it as I cleaned the dust that accumulated on the dresser (which, in my younger years, was quite often…more than I currently dust).

The rock sat there…just like a rock…and became a permanent fixture on the dresser.  As the years passed (actually a couple decades), I grew to realize the importance of the saying on my rock and began to appreciate it more and more, but remained quietly grateful.   

Finally, many years later, when my son and his wife announced that they were to be expecting their first child, I thought that it would be the perfect time to hand down the rock with the beautiful saying. 
Hopefully, this next generation will catch on more quickly than I, and appreciate the trueness of the message… The Best Thing a Father can do for his Children is to Love their Mother.

My son and his wife are now expecting their 3rd child in late fall. 

That will make grandchild Number 6 for me.  I’ve been so blessed to be involved in my children’s and grandchildren’s lives.  
My 5 grandchildren, ranging in ages 7 to 3, are anxiously anticipating their cousin/sibling, and can’t wait for a “6 cousin sleepover at grandma’s house!”  I can't wait either!