When I was a young teenager, the record shop on Main St. piped out a record I loved, and then bought for my father for Christmas. We had a record player, always, and we had a lot of jazz and classical music. Some show tunes.
I still buy people I love the things I also love. I was so sure my dad would enjoy this record. But he didn't. He was in his 20s in the 1920s. It seemed his style. But he opened the present, he smiled at me, you know, that social smile? and I don't know that he ever played it. I did, so he heard it.
He died when I was 19, so I will never know why he didn't like it. As I age, I am beginning to realize how thoroughly I was orphaned to lose my father at 19, and basically lose my mother at 23. They got me through to what I thought was adulthood, but I realize now I never had the adult to adult relationship that should have happened. They were great parents. They crammed a lot of love into me before they left my life.
"Slaughter on Tenth Avenue", by Richard Rogers. I love it still.
Why didn't he love it?
I will always wonder.
I think I wonder, because I still am hurt that he would think I would buy it for myself and give it to him so I could have it. That worry hit me with the smile. I never got to ask him about it.
(Dad, I did really think you would love it.)
And with Elvis Presley at the time singing, "You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog," if he did think I chose it because I liked it, he did think I had hi-falutin' taste.