Memoir of a Lonely Afternoon
LONELY AFTERNOON : Memoir
I FOUND IT!
I can't believe I finally found it!
I have been searching for this song since 1968.
I've only heard it one time.
It was a hot Texas summer, sometime after midnight in a Federal prison near Dallas. I lay on my uncomfortable cot sweating in a feverish, half-sleepy, drowsy reverie. All my dreams were inside the prison compound now and memories of an outside world crept around the edges of my sorry life begging to come in for a visit.
That's when it happened.
I had left my little radio on station WRR. American Airlines sponsored a program called MUSIC TILL DAWN with a velvet-voiced fella named Tony Garrett hosting a wide variety of engaging music from every genre. And that's when the little miracle sneaked in and shook me fully awake.
Something was playing from another world--a free world--where the sun hung low and red-orange at twilight. A place where the waves were calmed by a gentle breeze from a faraway sigh.
I sat up on my cot and listened.
The voice of Astrud Gilberto was purring about a Lonely Afternoon. She was the singer who gave us The Girl From Ipanema and made us all fall in love with Bossa Nova.
I soaked in the melody and the voice and each word caressed my ears with the world I'd lost and left behind.
The song was there and gone but had seeped into a special place I'd not soon forget.
For the last 48 years, I've tried to find a copy of the song without any luck.
I remember Tony Garrett said it was written by Patrick Williams for a movie.
It wasn't enough information to go on. Nobody had ever heard of it.
But, tonight I found it quite by accident and Im overjoyed my search has ended!
Now all those years have fallen away and I'm 21 again, instead of 69.
It all comes rushing back. I was a conscientious objector in a prison cell because I refused the Vietnam war's beckoning call. I had just lost my girlfriend who had waited a year already and had run out of feelings.
Funny how music can work like a time machine for the soul. . .
I listen to Astrid and feel the heat outside fall away in the cool, sweet charm of a lost song, a lost love, and two lost years of my life.
Thank you, composer, Patrick Williams, for this indelible memory.
Thanks, Terry, for sharing this recaptured memory. I always liked Astrud.
Similarly, on a subway train to or from a meeting in 1970 (Brooklyn), I caught the conclusion of a song, the incredible voice and lyrics accompanied by a symphonic surge of a never-before-heard tune. The following Saturday, after requisite time at the factory, 117 Adams Street, I turned on the radio and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. . . .
At about 8:00 or so that night, I heard that glorious piece in its entirety:
The Bridge Over Troubled Water
You've given me hope for the eventual retrieval of the title that I cannot connect to this or that scene from a film or book.
There was a poster of an artist's painting of a beautiful lady. My father found it somewhere and brought it home to me when I was about 7 years old. I used to stare at her and remembered every detail, including the artist's first name: Zoe.
The poster moved with us to every new place, until I was 16 and left home.
A few years ago I remembered that picture and began to look for artists named Zoe, who painted pretty ladies, and finally found her! The internet is so great. The painting is titled Lovely Lady.
Mr. Bernstein: A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl.
John: I remember once when I was young, and I was coming back from some place, a movie or something. I was on the subway and there was a girl sitting across from me and she was wearing this dress that was bottoned queer up right to here, she was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. And I was shy then, so when she would look at me I would look away, then afterwards when I would look back she would look away. Then I got to where I was gonna get off, and got off, the doors closed, and as the train was pulling away she looked right at me and gave me the most incredible smile. It was awful, I wanted to tear the doors open. And I went back every night, same time, for two weeks, but she never showed up. That was 30 years ago and I don't think that theres a day that goes by that I don't think about her, I don't want that to happen again. Just one dance?
I had spent already some hours of a lonely day in an afternoon in the open air bath of my town playing sometimes with my daughter diving in the water, when I sat on edge of the pool, sunbathed and looked around.
Suddenly the most beautiful women on earth I could ever imagine made a beeline for me. She stopped 1 meter in front of me and looked deep in my eyes. She looked good like this famous french film star, with curled hair and perfect shape. Her eyes were most attractive. I remember the moment like a picture - her face, her bikini and behind her face the trees and the blue sky -.Her bikini had a blue flowerprint and it emphasized her delicate figure.
So how did i react in this very important moment?
I sat on the bench and looked in her eyes too. She stood and looked in my eyes.
Why ...did she say nothing? She looked like an angel, really. I instantly had the thought, girl you look like an angel but why dont you say anything. She only came to me and kept silent with a look in they eyes that makes you wanna care for her. Perhaps she wanted spy on me. If an angel of god came to me to bring a message it could not look better.
I looked at her and became silent and humble in the face of her beauty.... imagine you encounter virgin Mary...then I looked at my daughter as if I wanted to say
"I am not free anymore, I am married, I'm so sorry, its useless"and made desperate facial expressions without saying anything.
After long 40 seconds of gaping on each other she turned around and went off, the seconds in which I recorded eternal memories in her, which I pull out in moments of loneliness that I should not have as married man at all after all.
What I can't bear is: I should have said some nice words, it wouldnt have been a sin. Simply to know her would have not been a sin. But in front of her I was simply taken aback.
However Terry, I like your song.
Oh yes music is a time machine
That was beautiful
Remember the theme song?
I loved Tony Garrett, I loved the theme song (That's All) and the playlist.
None of it was intrusive and yet it was intimate, relaxing and surely helped me get through some bad times.
Four fingers and the opposable thumb can also have a similar sedating effect on a lonely afternoon.
Rub a Dub