Growing up in the hills and hollows of West Virginia, I found that outside influences came slowly. Years later when I left home for the wider world of the wicked city, I discovered that my AM radio upbringing clashed with an FM radio culture. Undaunted, I dove in.
Through it all, a small piece of my heart clung to that simpler time. A time when my mother sang along with Perry Como in the kitchen. A time when she danced us across the scuffed linoleum, humming the tunes of Rosemary Clooney. A time when life for us was simpler and appeared easier that it must have been.
Now that I’m “growed up” I’ve had a chance to look back at the ‘tater patch and canning jars, to appreciate what she gave us from the perspective of having to give it myself. One thing that keeps ringing in my ears and singing in my heart is a love of those old songs. Of the hope and romantic ideals they express and the warmth and depth they carry in even simple lyrics.
So, thank you, Irving Berlin, for writing “You’re Just In Love.” Thank you, Rosemary Clooney, for singing it.
And thank you, Mother, for sharing that love with all of us. Because of you, I walk on air.