Warmer and Younger
By ice rivers
I was born under a romantic sky. Many of the songs of my youth were love songs. We learned so much about relationships by listening to those songs and slow, slow dancing to them. We could use the vocabulary of our time to say/ think things like "stand there just a moment darling, let me catch my breath...I've never seen a picture quite so lovely....moonlight becomes you...it goes with your hair...you certainly know the right things to wear."
My daughters are lovely girls but all born a bit too late. I don't know how they would react to a male whispering "keep your breathless smile...won't you please arrange it cuz I love you..just the way you look tonight." Pretty sure they might think it's kinda creepy.
Men today don't know how to say it and women today don't know how to take it.
I still remember the way Joan looked the night of our senior ball in the moonlight. I told her those words and I mean't them.
The ball was more than half a century ago which was right around the time I went to college and saw her for the last time.
Forty years ago, I found out that she had died. Even though I was married at the time when I heard the news I felt so much older and colder.
I remembered and remember even now the way she looked that night.
Always young, always in moonlight.
Like many "girls" of that time, she knew what I was talking about. Sure she did. She turned me on to the Lettermen. She turned me on to Johnny Mathis. She turned me on to Bobby Vee. I found out subsequently that she wasn't the only "girl" who had those singers in her arsenal. I'd be playing baseball all day with the guys. I'd go over to Joan's house. She'd put that music on her new fangled stereo and we would tak and laugh, gaze into one another's eyes and sing along. The perfume was Ambush.
Often I would walk her home from school and when I did "there was no guy in town who would ever try to put me down when I'm walking, walking with my angel."
Yeah I used the word angel quite a bit.
For the last long time, she's been one.
Sooo...a couple of nights ago....I went to see the Lettermen with my wife with whom I have fallen in love and it will last forever and I will never love again. She looked so beautiful last night but I refrained from telling her that as she is much more of a realist than I and would probably think it was stupid/insincere. Instead I sang along with the Lettermen and gazed into her eyes as I sang.
The Lettermen, in one incarnation or another have been singing together now for 56 years. The newest member of the group has been a Letterman for 26 years. The oldest member, an original, is 78 years young. All three are baritones...all three are lead singers.....the harmony is pure, pure baritone on a Beach Boy level.
They bring back memories and they know they're doing it. They know damned well about the arsenals, the ambushes and they reactivate them effortlessly. I found myself growing younger and warmer. After all, we're never gonna be any younger than we are today
Unlike other performers, the Lettermen encourage flash photography and provide opportunity. They looked right at me while singing "The Way You Look Tonight."
I snapped the picture.
For a moment I was in the past, present and future.
Like we are when we're in love.
I wondered when was the last time that Joan ever thought of me.
I was secure in the love that my wife and I have shared for 30 years.
There will be more evenings of moonlight and roses.
Valentine's Day is next week ...and for we romantics every day for the rest of our lives.