Thursday, September 17, 2009

RIP

"Folk music gives comfort to a dark night."
Mary Travers

Sweetie broke the news to me this morning that Mary Travers, of Peter Paul and Mary fame, passed away. "I'm beginning to understand what Luther means when he says all his old friends are gone," he said with tears in his eyes.
Travers' death coming on the heels of losing Patrick Swayze is kind of like a double punch to the gut. Who doesn't have memories of these two celebrities? Where were you when PPM sang of leaving on a jet plane? Saying your own goodbyes to someone who left all too often? Wishing for that ring that might keep them tied a little closer to you? Or do you think of being young, and dancing in the streets with flowers in your hair to music that spoke of political and social injustices? Where have all the flowers gone, I still wonder to myself?
I admit that Dirty Dancing was a corn ball movie. Swayze may have made a name for himself in movie circles but he was no Cary Grant. Just a sexalicious good dancer that made me swoon every time I see the movie. I mean it, I could watch that final scene a hundred times over.
He swaggers into the farewell show. Heads turn, tension fills the air. He walks up to Baby's chair and takes her by the hand. He looks her father square in the eye and tells him, "nobody puts Baby in the corner." But the best is yet to come. When Johnny and Baby get up on the stage and the music starts and their bodies begin to sway together to the beat of the song and their hearts, and their feet move in tandem, well it just makes me weak in the knees. Then when it's time for the coup de gras - the lift they practiced throughout the whole movie - all he has to do is look at her. She knows the question without words. She nods and they go for it, right down the center aisle. OMG. Its too fabulous for words. I can't tell you if it's the dancing or the dancers that thrills me more. The pottery scene in Ghost is pretty darn sexy, but I go for the lift every time. Not sure what that says about me!
Another reason I like this movie so much is because it always reminds me of the day I met the young man who would become my son-in-law. Of all possible things to discuss when you meet the guy your daughter is smitten by, dumb ass dance movies is probably not the best. Zub was polite but adamant. He hated it. He was never able to get past the schmaltziness of the movie and see the beauty that I saw. I stuck by my guns and even reviewed a few scenes with him. Weneki sat behind Zub giving me the evil eye and cut the crap signals which I totally ignored. I was having fun. Zub was not put off by my teasing. He held his own - giving as good as he got.
I am a little sad tonight to know that two more of the people I've loved are gone. But my loss is heaven's gain. I can't help but think of Zub and Mary Travers and Patrick Swayze sitting on some cloud together having a strange but real meeting of the minds. Their earthly struggles have disappeared. They shine, each in their own way.
Wishing for you a song and a dance to make you smile,
Merry ME

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