Saturday, February 17, 2007

In the summertime

There’s a commercial about flu medications on the telly that uses the music from a song I remember. It’s one of those songs with a deep meaning that, as soon as you hear it, takes you right back. Not the lyrics, they have no meaning (and aren’t all that good) – it was the tune that caught my ear in the moment and hibernated there forever.

For me, the memory is vivid, like a photograph taken at the most crucial moment in time. It was the summer of 1970, and her name was Randi. Randi was vivacious, beautiful, blond and tanned. Randi was cool. Randi was a bit of a hippy. She was a college student and was babysitting us for extra money. And we loved her, worshipped her, and mourned her when she left.

That afternoon, the one etched on my mind, we (my brothers and I) were all in her convertible cabriolet, the ultimate girl car. It was warm, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the breeze was blowing through our hair. This song was playing on the radio, and Randi was singing along to it loudly and happily, wiggling her body in a semblance of dancing as she drove. And we were laughing, actually and truly laughing, as we drove along.

The song: In the Summertime, as recorded by Mungo Jerry.

And Randi: Randi was our babysitter. And the best thing that ever happened to us. I was 10 years old, and we’d already had so much pain and abuse from parents and babysitters that we pretty much believed that’s what the world was all about.

But Randi blew our view of the world apart. Randi of the happy smiles, and warm hugs, and never a sharp word. Randi of the sunshine. My eyes are tearing up as I write this and remember. I can still see her in my mind – the image is permanently ingrained. Our first experience of kindness, gentleness. The first time we felt true happiness – and safety – in the presence of someone charged with our care. She probably never had any idea just how much she impacted our little lives that summer.

But Randi – let me tell you now how much you meant to us, how thankful I am still today to have had you in my life for that one brief summer. Thank you for being you.

- written by Ray Dorset
- as recorded by Mungo Jerry

Chh chh-chh, uh Chh chh-chh, uh
Chh chh-chh, uh Chh chh-chh, uh

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather's fine
You got women, you got women on your mind

You can find the rest of the lyrics here.

I think I just realized what my next cd purchase will be.

1 comment:

infinitesimal said...

Awwww how very cool.
I got the chills reading it.
did you get my ecards?
I sent them to the addy on this blog....

maybe they went to your bulk folder.

I liked the car one the best!