It is half past ten of a Saturday morning and I am listening to music from the Big Band era, some of it by the original bands others by The Boston Pops, Mantovani, or 101 Strings and being reminded of my younger days. This was the music that was listened to around my house as my Mom loved it. It reminded her of the days when she was a young woman going to the Dance Hall in Troon before and during the War. They were, to her good times, albeit there was War raging over most of the Earth and those interludes gave her ,her sisters, and friends a few hours to forget and enjoy some small measure of normalcy. My Mom actually met my step-Dad at one of those dances before she met my Father and married him. Mom loved to dance and she was good, The Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Rhumba, and even Jive, she could do them all. I have often thought that it is a cruel twist of fate that my daughters never got to see that young beautiful woman full of fun and laughter. Instead all they knew was the older, overweight, grey haired woman that loved and doted on them, their Grandma.
I remember once when we were living in Jamaica (Dad was working there) at a party thrown by the company at the Glass Slipper Club in Kingston my Mom being invited to dance by one of the other Men (an Aussie) I think which she happily accepted because Dad couldn’t dance. The band played a Tango and when the music stopped the rest of the people were all standing in a circle around my Mom and her partner applauding. I knew Mom could dance but it wasn’t until then I realized, even for a teenager, how good she was. Mom was also a pretty good singer but there was one area where she wasn’t very good at all. Mom was a lousy cook. I once said to her “Jesus, Mom don’t lose the can opener or we will starve to death”. Everything was over cooked, you maybe have heard of mushy peas well in our house all veggies were mushy. Whenever she grilled a steak we called it “Bunt Offerings” or it was so tough you could use it to re-sole your boots. There were for some inexplicable reason two exceptions, she made the best mashed potatoes in the world and her coffee was fantastic (she didn’t even drink coffee) she also made a good cup of tea. In our house there were never any tea bags for years it was always loose tea poured through a strainer. Damn good tea.
I am sitting here writing and thinking how an old song can dredge up memories of another time and place . Things you thought were long forgotten can come rushing back and either put a smile on your face or bring a tear to your eye. The late forties, fifties, and even the early sixties were good time but then the world was different back then. Some will say better, I don’t know, it was slower and it seemed quieter, but then those that lived in the twenties and thirties will say the same. They were different times with different ideas and problems and no one had any idea what great things were ahead. From the first powered flight to the first Moon landing was only sixty-three year and now forty-three years later we have a Space Station and robots running around on Mars. It’s called progress and it is a good thing if done properly. Sometimes though our technology gallops ahead of our ability to master it and when that happens the Planet suffers. Some will say that in the old days were less caring and indifferent to our fellow men. It wasn’t that we were, it was we didn’t know or see the problems in other parts of the world like we do to-day. If someone had told me back in the seventies that someday I would be sitting at my own computer writing stories I would have asked them what the hell they were smoking. Computers were things in Sci-Fi stories not an everyday tool for use by everyone. Same went for Robots. The only Robots were in the movies and it was usually some guy in a tin suit. Yeah things have changed a lot since I was a kid and nostalgia can be a good thing but so can dreaming of what will they think of next.