In My Write Mind
4.18.2005

Melancholy Melodies

It's Monday. And fast approaching 80 degrees outside. Enough to make me wanna holler for a) having to work; and b) having a window behind me so I can see how beautiful it is outside and STILL having to work. *sigh*

Every time it gets warm out, I start pumping up music like never before. While checking out the Music Choice channel (which, by the way, is the best invention this side of the Foreman Grill...great for parties, for music to sleep to AND music to "sleep" to...) yesterday, I heard the following songs, with each of them eliciting fond memories.

Ahhh, the good ole days...

Always & Forever, Heatwave (1976)

I remember that summer like it was yesterday. Like I will always and forever...Virginia Beach, VA. My sister's best friend moved there from the Bronx the year before. So my sister, my niece and I went down to spend part of the summer with the best friend and her daughters. I was 5 years old. And what I remember more than the games we played, the bikes we rode, the barbecues, the ice cream and the gettting picked on because I was the only guy (which seems to be a recurring theme throughout my life...lol), was that song by Heatwave.

The best friend had the record ("Boogie Nights" was the B-side)...and played it everyday like clockwork. To hear Rod & 'em belt out those notes in full stereo, it sent chills through me. "Take tiiiime to tell me...you-ou-ou really ca-a-re...and we'll share tomorrowwwww togetherrrrrrrrrrr...I'll always love you...*pause*...e-e-e-e-e-e verrrrrrrr." Just a classic song. Sure, it gets a little sickening to hear it at EVERY wedding you attend, but you really can't blame the couples. The declaration of "forever love" that defines this song is not only wedding day-appropriate, it's downright necessary.

And I always laughed when I read the record jacket, saying that they weren't lying when they said heatwave, seeing as it was almost 90 degrees every day down there. *I cracked myself up when I was 5. Ahead of my time, I tell ya.*

I Feel Good All Over, Stephanie Mills (1987)

I was 16 years old and a regular at Laces skating rink over in Hempstead, Long Island. Every Sunday, me and my crew would drive on over (which was a big thing at 16, by the way) for the evening session from 7-9. We were mini-celebrities (which still baffles me to this day). LOL Picture it...a teenager with the gift of gab, cracking jokes at the rate of five-per-minute, adequate at skating and surrounded by his best friends.

*getting misty-eyed from the memories alone*

One week, while sitting with the "cool" people in the middle of the rink, a girl comes up to said teen and says that her friend thinks he's cute. The teen breaks out a wide grin, but suddenly gets stone-faced so as not to seem like he's overly-interested. When it's time for the slow song portion that usually ends the evening, the teen skates up to the young lady and asks for the privilege of skating with her to that song. And yup, that song is "I Feel Good All Over" by Stephanie Mills. Just a great song. And soooo accurate, because that night, I felt sooooo good to be with the young lady. She was "fresh." LOL

Of course, the next week I tried to play it toooo cool and virtually ignored her most of the night, only to ask for a skate at the end of the night, thinking I was entitled even though I hadn't as much as acknowledged her to that point. Needless to say, I didn't get that skate, didn't feel good and it was definitely all over.

The point, as usual...don't ever do what I do. You.will.be.sorry. *sigh*

You Don't Have to Worry, Mary J. Blige (1993)

It was the year before my move. My cousin and me driving out to Hecksher State Park on Long Island for a BBQ of epic proportions--the annual St. Albans Congregation Summer picnic. Lawd, EVERYBODY from the neighborhood would take that one-hour drive on the Southern State Parkway to exit 40-something for a full day of softball, basketball, volleyball, swimming and food. It was the highlight of every year.

And that year, June of 1993, we were driving along at a good clip, listening to a compilation TAPE that I'd made the night before specifically for that trip, and that song by Mary came on. And there was something about that beat, her slightly off-key yet reassuring warbling, that made us rewind it over and over again. We listened to that song allll the way out there. And it was a tape, so you know we were risking "poppage" by rewinding it so much. But we couldn't help it. Besides, we were convinced. Mary told us we didn't have to worry. So we didn't. *shrug*

If I Could, Regina Belle (1993)

This song gets to me each time I hear it. So imagine me, if you can, sitting at home yesterday, doing some work, and actually getting misty when hearing the intro. It has special meaning, as it was the song that my niece and my dad danced to at her wedding reception. I remember that day vividly, me serving double duty as a member of the wedding party AND an escort for my sister, the mother of the bride. A gorgeous June day in 1994, my parents looking absolutely proud and beautiful, my niece making a stunning bride...all of those memories rush back at me before Ms. Belle even sings a note.

What makes the song even more significant is the fact that this was the last month that my dad was healthy. In fact, that July, he started having fainting spells that triggered his heart problems. Continuous shortness of breath followed, along with him having to cease driving and then, for the next decade, be almost exclusively confined to the house. He simply had no energy--to do the things he loved like fishing, singing, visiting folks. But he had that day, dancing with his granddaughter to that song.

The memories of that day, that dance, will walk with me forever. Just like these songs.

What are some songs that you remember like it were yesterday?

scribbled by Will at 4/18/2005 09:08:00 AM
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Mind Droppings

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