My mother was a restless and somewhat unhappy soul. Her way of coping was to pick up and leave so when I was a child we moved.
There were only a few things constant in my life growing up. Our animals and music. When I die I don’t want a funeral-I want a concert. Hear that kids? A concert. Don’t forget you’re supposed to make me a diamond, too. Since this isn’t that kind of post and the animals will be another post let’s move on.
As I was saying music was a constant in my life. I had a sixteen year old mom when I was born. She woke me every morning with loud music (rock of course) with a short skirt or dress on and wiggling her rear all over the house. I can still remember waking up to Neil Diamond singing Holly Holy & seeing her dance through the doorway. Can’t think of a better way to start the day. She was a very beautiful woman (she’s still alive, just older now and ill health has taken a toll). Think a cross between Marlo Thomas and Elizabeth Taylor. Blue-green eyes and long, black hair. Figure of a pocket venus. Men stopped, stared and followed her everywhere. The only thing I inherited from her was the eyes. Figures.
I used to dream I would grow up and miraculously look like her. It was a real disappointment when I realized fifteen wasn’t the magic number and I was stuck with what I had. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years somewhere between love, awe and envy of her. You know I just realized. I could have been the model for a Mary Stewart or Phyllis Whitney gothic. Didn’t they always have in there the plain Jane (me) who loved and was dazzled by a beautiful, self destructive friend or family member (my mom)?
My love of music came from her. I think she’d be surprised to know that but it’s true (again true to the gothics, the beautiful force always gave on one hand while completely wrecking your life on the other. Not that I’m saying she did but those who know her, know what I mean). If we had nothing else, not even a tv, we had a radio for music. When things were good we danced all over the house for hours. Neighbors would come by or we would go outside and we’d all dance listening to the music. Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my second favorite book of all time for that reason. Yeah, people actually did listen to music and just dance for the hell of it. Wonderfully, sometimes weirdly, but it was dancing to express the music singing in our souls.
I listened to music when I sick (and I was alot back then, there were kidney/urinary problems-quelle surprise), when I was happy, sad, in love or whatever. I still do.
One of the reasons I looked forward to visiting my mother’s parents as a child was their basement. In that basement was a huge stereo system. Now we’re talking the sixties so we are talking huge. In my young eyes it truly was a magnificent cabinet stereo of walnut brown. I used to beg to go down there and play music. Eventually someone would agree to go with me and I’d watch in awe as they opened the doors, pulled out the record player and select the records to put on. Next to looking at all the dolls my grandmother collected it was one of the best things I loved about those visits.
I’d like to share some of the music we played. They’re classics.
Ok, so this wasn’t all of them. We used to endlessly play and giggle to My Ding-a ling by Chuck Berry. Not happening here. Lol.