Monday, November 14, 2011

Autumn Leaves

The first rendition I ever heard of "Autumn Leaves" was by Barbra Streisand from her album "Je m'appelle Barbra" . I was just a kid - maybe 7 or 8 years old. I remember staring at the album cover and thinking how odd Streisand looked.  And, what was with those nails?!

We had a "hi-fi" that was a major piece of furniture in the living room. You'd lift the lid, look down onto the controls and place the record onto the turntable. As soon as I learned how to pick up the stylus/ arm and carefully place the needle on the groove of the LP (without scratching) I was allowed to use it. I would sit on the couch and listen to my parent's albums for hours.... staring at the album cover, flipping it to the back, and reading the sleeve for more information.

I know this scene was repeated by kids all over North America.


Even today I can clearly recall Herb Albert's whip cream laden babe (scandalous at the time), the Carpenters sitting side by side uncomfortably on a rock ( I couldn't figure out why Karen didn't line her dress), and a crazy calypso album (Yellow Bird was my dad's favorite song after a trip to Nassau).  After I had learned the words, I would get an uncooked piece of spaghetti, put it to my mouth like a microphone, and belt out the tunes on the records. That high fi created a sound stage for me. I really thought I could mimic Barbra perfectly on 'Free Again'. Lucky Lucky ME AGAIN!!!
Wow, the memory of that embarrasses me to this day.

When Fall comes and the leaves whip down the streets, I can't help but hear Barbra (and my 7 year old voice) in my head.

Last night, Bill and I went for a quick walk through the neighborhood. Most of our neighbors had already moved their leaves to the curb. I had not completed this task yet. Even though the weather this weekend was perfect, I just didn't have the time to rake. Yes, I have a blower that my friend Randy gave me, but I HATE the noise. It's absolutely deafening and I think a huge intrusion into the lives of my neighbors. So, I rake.
But, not this weekend.

As we approached our house, I said to Bill, "Man! Look at those leaves".
"Don't you pay someone to take care of them?" Bill queried.
I looked at him. This is a typical Bill remark. He doesn't take care of any household related items (except cooking and groceries) and is virtually blind to anything that occurs in and around the house (this includes rearranging furniture, anything in the garden, water lines, heating ducts, downspouts, flooding, major repairs.. you get the picture).
"No, Bill - I rake the leaves", I responded.
"Do you want me to do them?" he asked. "I could stay home tomorrow and go in at 10:00 a.m."
I laughed.
If you think you can rake all those leaves by 10 a.m. -  go for it!

As I backed out of the driveway this morning, I noticed that the leaves were still there.

Automatically, the record needle in my brain found the groove line where Barbra belted out "But, I miss you most of all, my darling.... when autumn leaves start to fall".

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