Thursday, February 05, 2009

Childhood Memories Make Meggo and Crazy Girl



In 1987 I was in the third grade. I was new to Union Public Schools and attended Darnaby Elementary. I was an instant nerd, looked down upon because I didn't own Guess jeans with zippers near the ankle. I hated the third grade.

That year there was a talent show for all grades.

Mrs. Duckworth's class (that was my class) walked single file and silently into the gymnasium and sat in one long row on the white floor. I remember we were sitting just to the right of center stage and quite a few rows back. I had no idea what was going on. I don't even know if I realized we were about to witness a talent show (which I would participate in two years later as a fifth grader, lip synching to "I'm Gonna Buy Me a Dog" by the Monkeys, and again as a sixth grader, when I sang along to a tape of Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings"). I was probably too preoccupied worrying about how all the girls in my class hated me and how in the world was I going to get them to like me?

I don't remember any of the acts but one. Two sixth grade boys - one on guitar, the other I can't remember - played and sang Yes's "Owner of a Lonely Heart."

Whatever I had previously been preoccupied with disappeared when these two started playing. I was captivated. I'd never seen live music like this. I'd heard my dad and his brothers sing barbershop quartet. I'd heard lots of live singing, sure. But I'd not seen an electric guitar in action. I'd not realized that people performed in this way. I'm afraid I didn't even know what rock music was. I knew the Beach Boys. Well, I guess since I knew the song I knew a little something about music, but I must have just heard it on my mother's radio station one day, because what my parents really listened to the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and Kenny Rogers.

Anyway, these kids, according to my memory, were amazing. They were not lip synching. They were performing "Owner of a Lonely Heart," and they were awesome...and flawless. Again, this according to my memory. But they were.

Years later I would think about that performance and wonder, Were they really singing live? I was always still pretty certain they were, but it stuck with me. The song stuck with me. Everytime I've heard it over the years, I've thought of that talent show.

Well, recently - over Christmas - I decided I might try to find out if my memory was correct. Collin and I were home for the holidays, and I pulled out my old 1987 Darnaby Rangers yearbook (the one with the Guess symbol on the cover) and looked up the sixth grade class. I knew I would recognize at least one of the boys who sang "Owner of a Lonely Heart" because I remembered he had a specific look about him.

I found him. His name was...well, maybe I shouldn't say...but I found him. Collin was there. He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said..., "Oh." (But he has to admit that he was at least a little curious too. I mean, sixth graders rocking live? Come on.) After Christmas we came back to Norman, and some days later I looked this guy up on Facebook.

No go.

At this point I realize you probably think I'm a stalker or just nuts, but you know what? I don't really care.

So, I didn't find him, and I let it go.

Then today... I thought about the song again. I don't even remember why, but I thought it couldn't hurt to try again. So, I looked him up, and someone's picture came up that fit the description.

Dare I write this guy?

Me being me, I did, really without much thought.

Well, long story short, it was him. He had played in the 1987 talent show, and he and his friend had NOT been lip synching but had played live the previously mentioned song by Yes.

I was thrilled. He was flattered. My husband is glad I have peace. End of story.

Speaking of the Beach Boys, I was talking to my mother today about nursery colors. I told her I've been thinking purples and browns and maybe some green. She asked what shades and asked whether I have a theme in mind. I told her I don't like the brightest or darkest shades of any of those colors, so I'm thinking soft, and I have no idea about a theme. I asked her, "Do you think I should do some sort of storybook theme?" She responded, "Well, you know I'm not all cutesy [nor am I, thought daughter], so I don't know. What about the Muppets? You always loved them. You could brainwash her with the Muppets like your dad did you the Beach Boys."

I laughed. "Perfect," I wrote. "How about a Muppet mural so that every time she wakes up at night and sees the wall, she is terrified?"

Mom wrote back, "So, how about these colors: Fozzy Bear brown, Kermie green, and Miss Piggy purple."

Perfect.

1 comment:

Brittany said...

I love the Muppets!

This was a great post. Good story Meg.