Saturday, November 15, 2008

In Charlemont

It's late Saturday night. I've been sitting here poking around on the computer, trying to think of something to write, and was coming up empty until the cast of Saturday Night Live started singing a parody to the tune of "Ode to Billie Jo." Instantly, I was transported back 40 years.

A check on Wikipedia shows that this song was released in 1967, but I associate it more with the following year. Early in 1968 I met the man who would become my second husband only four months later. A couple of weeks after we married, we packed up my two daughters and moved into a beautiful home.

We bought the house from a man whose company was relocating him and needed him to move fast. They were going to reimburse him for any loss on the sale of his home, so he was willing to accept a low down payment. That made all the difference, because the steep price of $28,500 for the house was just barely within our means. The monthly mortgage payment was a whopping $128.

We had good times in that house. It was in a nice neighborhood and our neighbors were wonderful. On many weekend nights our neighbors joined us in our den for music and dancing. The kids danced with us until well past their bedtime, then we bundled them all into bed together and didn't mind if they stayed awake and listened to the music. "Ode to Billie Jo" was definitely on our play list.

That was the house we lived in when I fell and broke my knee, the knee that gives me such fits these days. That happened the week my older daughter started first grade, and the neighbors picked up my slack and got her to school for six weeks until I could drive again.

That's where we lived when my new husband taught us how to pick the sweet meat out of boiled crabs after catching the crabs earlier in the day with nets and chicken necks tied to string.

It's where my girls' new daddy became their hero when he marched down the street to get their peanuts back from the kid who took them away.

It was a house full of promise. I thought we'd live there forever.


  1. I just love how a song can transport you to another time and place. Great story!

  2. I put my mp3 player on with my mini-headphones (hate the earbuds) and listen to music from the 60's and 70's a lot. It transports me back to some happy times, some sad times and some incidents that put a dreamy smile on my face. sigh. That's what its all and memories. Your music playlist and my playlist are nearly identical, by the way.

  3. Creekhiker, we moved so many times, and the memories of each place are wrapped up in the music that was popular when we lived there. It makes each song more special.

    Val, I don't play the sad-time songs anymore (living through those times once was enough), but I listen to the rest of them regularly.


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