Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paul & Lydia…..

   When I was a teen I found a vintage photo of my parents on their honeymoon. Decoupage seemed to be all the rage back then. I found an old piece of wood in my folks basement and I glued the photo to the wood and put many layers of polyurethane on it until it looked like glass. Little did I know that was the only photo of them that I can find to this day but they still loved it. I still have that. DSC04001 A snapshot in time. The time was January 8, 1944 and it was their wedding day and my mothers 28th birthday. It was a simple wedding, nothing fancy, as my dad was heading overseas and they only had a short time to be together….I think it was 3 days. When I look at their faces in this photo, tears sometimes well up as they looked so happy.DSC04002 That guitar was never far away from my dad’s arms. They both loved music. He had that old Gibson with him in his hut in Italy and entertained in many USO shows while “over there.” He brought back many souvenirs from the war and almost all of them were monogrammed with his and her initials or just hers. I have cigarette cases and little portable ashtrays and little trinkets here and there in my home that were tokens he gave to her. I have most all of their letters to each other. Some are a little hard to read as they make me blush. Many letters to his mom…my grandmother Eva were written. She was a school teacher and almost demanded he write her every day and he did. Some of them are priceless. He took many photos while away and someday I’d like to get them onto a cd but for now they are in a box.

   After he got home from serving in WW11, they started raising a family. They had two boys….then me….then my little brother. They were taking bets on me as to whether I was a boy or girl. My folks really wanted a girl after two boys. My uncle Sidney was in on the betting and had said all along it was going to be a girl. He won the bet. He was a funny man. He sure liked his bottles of beer but he was a good man. He stood up for people and was never afraid to speak his mind if the situation called for it. If you didn’t like it well….too bad. He didn’t do it in a mean way….just a matter of fact way. He wouldn’t stand for others putting down good people for no reason and I liked that about him. My father spent many a Saturday afternoon at Uncle Sidney’s house playing music and drinking beer right there at the kitchen table, two houses up from mine.

   When not working, or at Uncle Sidney’s or elsewhere, my folks would sit at our kitchen table on a Saturday and play music all afternoon. My mom had a great voice and belted out old tunes while my father strummed that old Gibson. There was almost always a quart of beer under the table and a glass on top. My mom might have one and my father had the rest and more! They sang and sang and it was the happiest time of day if you walked into that house, which many did. There was a song I always requested that my mother sing…..for years I asked for this song because I loved how she sang it. She would put a lot of guttural and animation into the performance of the song! I loved it! That song was Bill Bailey. That became one of the most requested songs for her to sing at many dances and gatherings over the years. My father had a sheet music collection. He had hundreds of pages of sheet music. Once the word got out, many people he knew, and some strangers that just heard about it, started bringing him music. At some point, either a family member or friend or stranger, purchased an old copy of the original Bill Bailey that was decoupage onto a piece of wood. That hung in my folks house for years and now it hangs in mine.


DSC04007 You can see it here in my kitchen and I cherish it. I love the idea of old sheet music on wood but I don’t see it that often. Good memories are carried on in my home from my parents who really gave me such a wonderful gift in music. When I hear a banjo or an old guitar or any of the songs they once sang I am brought to my knees in gratitude for those two wonderful people. It will put a smile on my face quicker than anything else and it will bring on the “Ugly Cry” as Oprah says too….depending on where I am at that day! I know I have written about this song before so bear with me…..there WERE other songs but this one was a special one as you can see.:)

   Eventually my dad purchased a beautiful candy apple red Gibson Les Paul guitar. Today, my nephew Adam, has that guitar and plays it in Nashville. He and wife Carey are a duo just like my parents were. He is a music producer and their studio is in their home. Here’s a photo of them at a club performing and he is playing my dad’s Les Paul.


   More on them at another time…:)


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

This was a great post, Debbie. I hope my children feel like that about their Dad and I one day. They already do where there father is concerned. Your deep love for parents shows with every word you write. I have a picture in color that was put on wood around the same time, so it must have been a big thing to do back then. Music was also a huge part of our lives. You must write more about your folks because many of us can relate to those days. The 40's were a romantic time, hard for many but I think wartime is always romantic along with tragic. Everything is just more intense it seems. That your fathers guitar is still being played is wonderful...I am sure he likes that very much!
I didn't go to church today so I am bothering everyone with visits and enjoying time to soak things up. It is raining now but started off lovely. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Dawn said...

What a neat story! My daughters teacher told the class that her parents married before the war and she gave him a flashlight as a going away. Well, didn't ya know it, the flashlight was in front of him one harsh day and deflected a shot the would of been instant. I believe the teacher told the class, they still have the flashlight, a wonderful thing between the two of them for sure.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning, my friend and daughter-in-law ... Your parents were amazing! Your mother could belt out a song like Sophie Tucker and Gypsy Rose Lee! What a voice! And so is yours - When you sing certain songs, there are those times when you sound just like your mother! What a pleasure to hear your sounds!

Your father could play the guitar and Banjo as if given birth w/them! They will always be in my heart in treasured memories!
Love, Geegee

margaret.islandparadise said...

HI Debbie, I have never seen this picture before it’s a great one. They sure had talent and enjoyed themselves with there playing and singing never a dull moment at your house. Your mother had a great voice and you sound a lot like her. All four sisters could sing my mother use to sing a lot when she was young and can you believe Aunt Laura use to sing in the minstrel shows? They all sang in the church choir. That was before you were a wink in your mothers eye. Only recently we were speaking about Uncle Cy being such a quite man well he use to tap dance and play the bones in the minstrel shows. Those were the days and we all enjoyed the talents that were so much a part of small town America. Before TV and computers took over. I can still remember Eunie playing the piano while your mother practiced her song { Armopla} I’m sure that’s not spelled right but I’m sure you can figure it out if not call me and I’ll play it for you, really! Talk to you soon
Love Margaret

Joanne Kennedy said...

What a great story! Sounds like there were many hours full of fun in your parent's house. Tallent too!

You are so lucky to have all those photos and items that belonged to your parents. I don't have hardly any photos from when my parents first got married.

Do you have all the sheet music too? That is so cool that your nephew still plays your dad's guitar. I bet that makes him smile.

You come from a great family!


Far Side of Fifty said...

I appreciate anyone thay can carry a tune! A wonderful very enjoying blog today! Thanks for sharing! :)

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