Wednesday, November 21, 2012


When we were little, if my Father was home when we went to bed, he'd sing us to sleep.  He wasn't always there because he worked swing shift, so that on a work night he wouldn't come home until after midnight.  There was no thought of us staying up that late, it wasn't to be considered.

When he was there, we each got one song, which we could pick.  I'm sure that at one point we were too young to choose, because by the time I remember choosing, we knew all of the songs that he knew.

I was kind of surprised to discover that they had mostly been pop tunes from when he was a teenager.  It seemed like such a family thing to do.  I just assumed that the songs were older than that.  And by the time I was a teenager and listening to the radio, he was ranting about That Damned Music.  It was hard to get my head around him approving of popular music when he was younger.

We had little family fads for which songs we'd request.  Sometimes we'd all want to hear the same one, night after night, and there was jockeying to see who got to request it. 

This was important.  The person who requested the song would be the one held and walked in a kind of broken, back and forth, while he was singing.  If it was your request, you got the song up close and personal, instead of just hearing it while laying in your bed while your sister got walked.  It was partly walking and partly rocking and a little bit like waltzing, although we had no idea what waltzing was at the time.

In the summer before I entered junior high (seventh grade), we moved across town to a bigger house.  No more three beds in one small room.  All of us girls had our own room, upstairs. 

Dad may have tried to maintain the tradition.  My sister, S-3, was five years younger than me and would have missed it particularly.  But between our increasing weight and the added stairs and the fact that it wasn't all of us together in one room any more, it slowly stopped happening.

He still played his harmonica from time to time.  But that was different. 

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