Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Been a Hard Days Night

Those who follow my other blog... Mysteries of a Mimi's Middleschooler... will recognize some of the prose to follow. It is far too important a remembrance of this FC to leave omit from this blog, so I ask that you pardon the repetition.

 Everyone has many "first times". The first time you rode a two wheeler, the first time you drove a car, your first kiss, the first time you fell in love. How about the first time you were a fan of a rock and roll band? Do you remember it? Was it yesterday, last year, or in the last decade? Or was it in the '60's when rock and roll reigned supreme? When the famed British Invasion made it's way to the shores of the colonies. Turn your clocks back with me.....

 It's the week of February 16, 1964. I was barely 10 years old and over the top for a mop top rock and roll singer from Liverpool, England. I was living in Miami, Florida that winter week when the Beatles descended upon Miami Beach - more specifically the Deauville Hotel on Collins Avenue. I didn't get to go to the concert. My family didn't have the means to afford tickets to the Ed Sullivan Show that was being taped there featuring the Beatles. But, I slept with my aqua blue transistor radio with the faux leather case under my pillow listening to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You" and "I Saw Her Standing There". 

I wrote many letters and addressed them to Paul McCartney, Liverpool, England and gave them to my dad to mail for me. I stood at the raffle desk in Burdines at Dadeland Mall and filled out hundreds of tickets to win a "Meet the Beatles" album - which I won. That Sunday afternoon my dad suggested that we take a family ride. We sometimes did that and ended up at the Dairy Queen for a vanilla ice cream cone. This Sunday afternoon he had another destination in mind. He drove us to Miami Beach, down Collins Avenue and right up to the front door of the Deauville Hotel. There he stopped and allowed me to get out and kiss the sidewalk that my idols had walked on. Even today, I still have a hard time believing that happened. It was very out of character for my dad to do something as wild and crazy as that was. There is a country song on the radio today by Bucky Covington that tells of his dad saying "I love you" the only way he knew how. That was a huge expression of his love for me and obviously one I've never forgotten. Rarely have I encountered his love expressed to that degree since. 

I am the oldest of four children. A tough spot as other oldests will agree. This is one position in life where it does not pay to hold seniority. I struggled then and I struggle now to feel his love for me.
But that day, on that bright and shining afternoon I saw it and felt it. Caught a brief and fleeting glimpse of his love for me.

Unless of course he just had a hankering for a corned beef sandwich from Wolfie's Deli.

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