Monday, March 5, 2012

It’s Too Late Baby!

By Gerry Wendel, Groovy Reflections Founder and Team Member

Proudly walking into a record store with a crisp five dollar bill that I earned doing household chores, I made my very first LP purchase “Can’t Buy a Thrill” by Steely Dan. Prior to that, my LP collection consisted of albums that were gifts. One of the earliest ones I can recall was “Tapestry” by Carole King.

There’s a dim memory about a teacher lecturing to the class about Carole King and referring to a newspaper article with a large photo of her. Ms. King, who had toiled for years as a songwriter and occasionally recorded, had finally hit the big time. I remember thinking that her curly hair was kind of wild looking. And she wore jeans!

Now, regarding the first copy of Tapestry I received; no recollection who gave it to me. I played it and loved every song, leaning towards the hits “It’s Too Late”, “I Feel the Earth Move”, and “So Far Away”. I thought it odd that an Aretha Franklin song was on the album; hey, what did I know about songwriters at a young age?

That first copy was well on the way to groove extinction when I received a fresh copy. Again, no clue who.

Back of the school.
Meanwhile, I had a little crush on a boy a grade below me, Warren. Naturally, I was afraid to talk to him; he never spoke much anyway. We did speak on a few occasions, but conversation was usually shy and restrained. He always had a book in his hand could often be seen wearing his denim jacket leaning up against a wall outside the school and quietly reading with his long straight hair blocking his eyes.

Warren watched as I ran a race on the big field one day; when I spotted him standing among the other kids, I ran much faster and was one of the first finishers! Amazing what a little attention will do to a girl.

We never really dated but we might have come close if I hadn’t eventually blown it. Besides, we were too young to be dating anyway.

Back to school, 1971. I hadn’t seen Warren for the whole summer. He told me he had something for me and he’d meet me in the library later. Wow! My birthday was the previous month; did he want to give me a present? Did he miss me? Funny thing was; I had something for him too!

We met in the school library as planned; a girlfriend was with me; not sure why she was there. Shyly, I handed to Warren a flat, square package. He opened it and looked pleased. It was the “Ram” LP by Paul and Linda McCartney. I paid $3.50 for it at Woolworths with money my step-mom gave to me.

Now it was my turn. I ripped the wrapping off of something flat and square. An album! “Tapestry” by Carole King. I turned to my girlfriend and said “I already have two copies of this, here, you can have it.”

End of romance.

Dale Carnegie once said “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” Well, I did better than that; I kicked it so hard the honey went to Mars!

Warren, I apologize for any hurt I may have caused.

Note: Not his real name.

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