Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bright Spot in an Otherwise Ordinary Day

Wednesday afternoon, as I loaded bags of just-purchased groceries into the trunk of my car, I heard music. Looking around for the source of it, I spotted an elderly man sitting in the driver's seat of a parked, faded-red pickup truck, his elbow sticking out the window, fingers tapping on the steering wheel to the rhythm of the song on his radio. The best part was that he was singing along in a clear, perfectly-pitched voice, not missing a note or a word.

The man stared off into space as he sat there singing and, I'm guessing, waiting for his wife. The movement of my car backing out of a parking space across from his caught his eye, and he glanced my way. In that moment I smiled and said, "That's a good song." He turned down his radio and cupped his ear to indicate he hadn't heard what I said. I repeated, "That's a good song."

"Yes, it is," he replied. "It's an old song," he added, a wide grin splitting his face. I nodded and waved, still smiling as I drove away.

The song was one I remembered from 1960, the year I graduated from high school. I have good memories of that year. It was easy to see that the song stirred up pleasant thoughts in the old black man in the red truck, too. History leads me to believe that my experiences in 1960 were different from his, but the sweetness of a brief moment shared in a South Louisiana parking lot in 2014 tells me that the differences between us back then weren't nearly as great as some people thought they were.

The song is "Save the Last Dance for Me," by The Drifters.
Click here to read the lyrics.
Thanks to dannypsych for posting this video on YouTube.


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