By Gerry Wendel, Groovy Reflections Founder and Team Member
Standing on the edge of the country club grounds, I took a quick look around. No one was in sight. Slinking towards a grouping of bushes near a small patch of woods, looking down, I found my prize. Well, prizes. Lots of them. Seven slightly used golf balls, lost by their original owner. Bending down quickly, I picked them up in one fell swoop. Yeah! Ran back to my bike, tossed those orbs into the front basket, and sped off with the Paul Mauriat instrument “Love is Blue” buzzing in my head.
I was temporarily living 800 miles away from home at the time. (the “why” is perhaps another story to be told at a later date), in a part of the country where my accent made me different, so much so that some of the other kids were inclined to call me “Yankee”. A part of the country where a mere “yes” in response to a question was unacceptable. “Yes ma’am” soon became the mandatory phrase I learned to say when answering to and respecting an adult.
And those golf balls? They served as tools in Entrepreneurship 101 for me as I attempted to sell them to locals frequenting a nearby park. That initial enterprise netted me about $2.40 until one day two teenage boys grabbed big handfuls of my inventory from my bicycle basket and ran off with them.
That bicycle provided brisk transportation for exploring a whole new area, in a whole new state; quite different to anything I was used to. Given to me by my newly minted Step-Uncle, my set of wheels was nothing to rave about; it was a basic bicycle in good working order, suitably adjusted for my height and faded navy in color. The area around my home was mostly flat, with lots of quiet suburban streets plus a few roads that ventured out towards more desolate areas. My explorations were constricted by just one rule; I wasn’t allowed to cross the busy road that was a short two minutes away via pedaling. It sure was tempting, with the ocean just three blocks beyond it. Drat.
No matter. Still plenty of terrain to explore on the safer side of the street. I especially enjoyed one area that had homes spread father out, fields all around, and few trees. "Love is Blue" played loudest in my mind as I stood up on my bike for that extra leverage of thrust required to conquer a gentle hill towards where the more wide-open landscape started.
Wasn’t aware of it at the time, but, amazingly enough, there are lyrics to that song. It’s a sad tale of lost love sprinkled with various hues. Each color symbolizes various feelings associated with the end of the relationship. So in order not to shatter my memories, I’m going to apply those colors to those spring days from so long ago.
Blue, blue, my bike was blue (navy, remember?). Gray for the color of the skies in the cool mornings before the sun popped out. Red was the color of my favorite corduroy jacket. Green for the grass at the golf course where I accumulated inventory for resale. Green also brings to mind the smell of the pine trees that overpowered any other scents in the air. Black for how I sometimes felt in a strange new place, missing my friends while being made gentle fun of by new pals. But hey, who needs the lyrics anyway? Doesn’t really matter to me, when the memories remain clear.
Listen to "Love is Blue" here