Would You Like to Learn to Love?
September 16, 2009

As I've said many, many times before, I was an odd child. Instead of listening to Guns N Roses and Beastie Boys, I was listening to the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Tonight I am beyond crushed to hear that Mary Travers, who had been battling leukemia, has passed after the effects of chemo and a bone marrow transplant were just too much. It's especially poignant since I've just been discussing that it's been 10 years since I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma - kind of a cousin of leukemia. (Hey, it's the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.)

I remember going to StarFest in Dallas ... on EDS grounds, where my dad worked for Ross Perot. I was ridiculously excited to be seeing Peter Paul and Mary for the first time. I hardly knew what to do with myself. One of my dad's sisters took me - she was amused at how excited I was, but she was pretty darn excited to be there herself.

A few years later, I was out of the house and the StarFest venue had changed ... but I went again to see Peter Paul and Mary. That time I got to meet Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. I was shocked. I actually got to talk to them! I don't remember what I said ... something inane, I'm sure. I got their autographs, but it was on a check register or something, which I eventually took for an actual check register and lost.

The only time I would pause on the local PBS affiliate during pledge drive time ... you guessed it ... was when they were showing Peter Paul and Mary.

There was just something magical about watching them perform. Mesmerizing. I could - and did - get completely lost in it and got very upset if someone interrupted that time.

One of the concerts, Mary Travers was going on and on about how rebellious her children were - they married Republicans! I snickered and can remember wondering what the hell - how could her children have done that to her? LOL I guess I'm a little protective of "my" people sometimes. She gave a wonderful and hysterical talk about her kids ... poking fun at herself along the way.

And at another concert she talked about how grandmothers always have a picture of their grandkids. And there's two types of grandmas. One who asks if you want to see a picture of the grandkid and she pulls out a single, nice picture. The second type pulls out a fold-out wallet of millions of pictures. Then she said she was a Hollywood? celebrity? grandma, and so, by definition was excessive. Did we want to see a picture of her grandchild? Of course there was a rousing affirmative - she whipped out a monster sized poster of the baby and everyone laughed. (Also, I think everyone could actually SEE the baby, the poster was that big.)

She went on to talk about all the fun things she'd discovered or rediscovered by being a grandma. It was so obvious that she loved her kids and doted on the grandkids.

Ever since I heard this evening, I've had one song playing in the back of my head. Probably not a typical one that most folks think of, but it was off one of their albums from the 80s, I think.

Would you like to learn to dance?
Well I can show you how
Gotta book here, all you need to know
We can draw the Arthur Murray patterns right here on the floor.
All you have to do is follow.
And then we'll dance around the room a while
You can lead now if you want to, I don't mind.
Nothin' I wouldn't do to see your smile
Go dancin' 'cross your face in perfect time
Go dancin' 'cross your face in perfect time.

Would you like to learn to sing?
Well I can teach you how
Here's an old tune that's good for a start
I can sing all the high parts if I really try
And you can play along on your guitar
And we'll sing together for a little while
Let the harmonies go ringin' in your mind
And we sing so much better when we sing with a smile
All the notes come out so sweet and high.
All the notes come out so sweet and high.

Would you like to learn to love?
Well, that's somethin' else again
I can show you how to sing and how to dance
I have no keys to open your heart
And no way I can make you take the chance.
And so we'll dance around the room again
And we'll sing a tune or two to pass the time
And smile a while and by the time the dance is through
There might be some love for us to find
There might be some love for you and me to find.

Posted by Red Monkey at September 16, 2009 9:31 PM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

I know, such a legacy of tender beauty she leaves, so sad.

September 16, 2009 10:42 PM


Bad Momma said:

Great tribute! It's always a sad day when one of our heros passes on.

September 20, 2009 7:12 PM


Bad Momma said:

Great tribute! It's always a sad day when one of our heros passes on.

September 20, 2009 7:13 PM
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