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.