Friday, December 16, 2016

1972, 12:45 pm

Now playing:  Blood, Sweat and Tears, And When I Die

I heard this song come on as I was having lunch today and suddenly I was back in Lakewood, Ohio in 1972. My parents had this album and it was in heavy rotation at our house. I could picture my dad, with his long sideburns and cut-off jeans, playing frisbee in the front yard with my Uncle Keith, while my sister and I caught grasshoppers and hung out in the plastic swimming pool and ate popsicles.  I could smell the grass and the rubber garden hose and the creosote from the ties of the railroad tracks that ran next to the house.  I could hear the neighbors trimming their hedges and the swick-swick-swick of the frisbee as they threw it back and forth.

Or playing hotwheels in the living room on a Saturday afternoon in the winter, taking breaks when we heard the furnace click on to sit in front of the register vent.  We had a black blanket with a red plaid stripe at the outside edge and black fringe.  For some reason, we called it the "Indian Blanket".  We would sit with that blanket stretched across our laps and tucked under our legs, watching it balloon up as the air came out of the vent, munching peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  We would stay there until the furnace shut back off, then run back out (now with warm feet) to keep playing. For some reason, there was always the background scent of wet wallpaper -- my parents were always either stripping wallpaper off or putting new wallpaper back on -- and my mother's spaghetti sauce in the kitchen.  

My dad would stack 5 or 6 albums on the turntable changer after lunch -- BST, Don McLean,  Carly Simon, The Beatles, Bread, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Rod Stewart, Simon & Garfunkel -- and they would play through until dinner as my dad went about the business of being a dad on a Saturday.  I can hear the click of the changer, the whoosh of one vinyl album coming to rest upon the one spinning below it, then the crackle as the needle seated itself in the groove just before the music began to play.

Saturday night would see my parents and the neighbors playing cards in the dining room, the spaghetti sauce now accompanied by pasta and Riunite Lambrusco, while my sister and I would have our Saturday night "Party": a fun-size bag of chips each, and a pint bottle of Faygo pop to split while we watched the ABC movie of the week.

All that from hearing one song.  Music is a magical thing.