My earliest memory is of a record player. It sat in my mother’s bedroom. Sometimes, she would play records for me.
In one particular memory, she holds me in her arms and we dance to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The tune is “Girl from Ipanema.”
Then, she turns off Herb. She puts on another record. It is a childhood favorite. The album is Walt Disney World’s Country Bear Jamboree. The sound of a fiddle fills the room.
Mother and I have a Disney-style hoedown.
I don’t know how I remember this, but I do. Just like I remember Mary Ann Andrews, who once kidnapped my Teddy bear. The bear she stole was the guitarist for the Country Bears Jamboree band, Big Al.
Mary Ann’s family moved to Texas, and she took Big Al with her. I was heartbroken.
My mother wrote Mary’s family a letter, threatening legal action if Big Al was not returned unharmed. In a few weeks, Big Al arrived in our mailbox and my mother agreed not to press charges.
I still have
that stuffed bear today. In fact, he sits above my desk because I was raised on golden-era Disney classics, and I would not want to live in a world without Big Al.
Anyway, my wife and I went to a concert a few nights ago. It was supposed to be fun, but it left me feeling empty. A few guys onstage attempted to see how loud they could crank their amplifiers while having grand mal seizures.
We were with friends who were younger than us. I don’t know how many concerts you’ve seen lately, but young people don’t actually watch live bands anymore. They point cellphone cameras at the stage and look at their phones instead.
Halfway through the concert, I was ready to leave.
I’d rather suffer gout than listen to music that sounds like major road construction.
Don’t get me…