It almost pains me to show this one for a Sunday Snapshot memory. Buried deep in my old photos archives and ignored for years, I decided at my age I should face the ghosts of the child I was without looking over my shoulder, so here it is in all its beauty. To set the scene, it was around the fall of the year at school picture-taking time, not long after school began in 1953, so that makes me 11-years-old.
I was already in that awkward space between childhood and teen hood, too old to play with dolls and too young to have boyfriends. At least that I would talk about. I’d secretly liked the same boy (his name was Ronnie) for about four years but he would crush my feelings sometime the following year when he made a nasty comment towards me at the behest of one of the known nastier-than-most boys on the bus. I was so disappointed in him that I cut him from my heart and thoughts immediately! And all those years I wasted thinking he was different from all those other farm boys!
My dishwater blond hair was getting darker every year, and look at those ski slope shoulders! Another nasty boy–the brother of the nastier boy already mentioned–had gripped the area at the base of my neck on the left with his whole hand and pinched really, really hard–so much that not only did it hurt like hell but was swollen for days, up to and including picture-taking day. It was something he did often, but I forgave him the year he gave me a milk-filter bed doll (a small plastic doll in a dress made with white milk-filters and yard bows. His grandmother made them every year during the holidays and all the girls around school coveted them. (If you’re curious how they looked, here’s a link to a blog with a photograph of an all-white one made by the blogger’s grandmother. It’ll help you understand how a doll bought my forgiveness so easily.)
After that first heartbreak, and sometime not long after when Daddy bought our first television set, I soon developed a new crush–another that I never told anyone about–until now. My crushes were always secret affairs, the better to hide any humiliation that might have resulted from unrequited affairs. I would allude to them in my poetry at the time but my lips were sealed! You see? I have it all figured out now that I’m so smart!
I had quite forgotten this chapter of uncertainty about the men in my life until last night when I was floating about on YouTube looking for old music productions. I chanced across a Spike Jones rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is Eddie Fisher.” Now those are two really old names from the past. Spike Jones and Eddie Fisher. Seeing all those old videos and hearing those echos from the past really took me back to the time I was in love with Eddie Fisher. Now I’m afraid if you ask most people if they remember Eddie Fisher, they’d very likely respond “Eddie who?”
Eddie Cantor (another Eddie who? I’m afraid) discovered Eddie Fisher in 1949. Fisher went on to become a singing idol for teenagers during the pre-rock and roll ’50s, just as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were in the ’30s and ’40s swing era. He had an hour-long “Eddie Fisher Show” (’57-’59) on NBC, but I believe it was the 15-minute “Coke Time With Eddie Fisher” show (also NBC) in ’53-’57 that I first saw and heard him sing “Oh My Papa.” That’s all it took for me to forget about any of the local yokel boys forever.
I was so enthralled by him that in 1955 I forgave him for marrying Debbie Reynolds. She was so cute and loveable and they made such a beautiful couple. But when he dumped her and the two kids a few years later to marry Liz Taylor, it was time to–YUP!–dump him and dump him I did–just as fast as I’d dumped Ronnie for saying something nasty to me. It wasn’t long before he faded both from public view and my thoughts as well.
It occurs to me now, as I compare Eddie and his career and woman problems with that of Tiger Woods now, that one day about 50 years from now, someone will be blogging or twittering or whatever it’ll be called about Tiger the golf wonder boy and someone else will say “Tiger who?”
For those who actually do remember, and I’m guessing a few of us are still around, here’s Eddie Fisher singing “Oh My Papa.” I’m not young nor so romantic anymore and it just doesn’t capture my emotions as it did when I was 11, but that’s the way things were during the angst of my pre-teen years and loves. In this version (2 min. 29 secs.) there are interesting news clips of the Eddie-Debbie-Liz debacle that are nice to see, ’cause 😥 we were all young once. This post proves it. Sigh.