For those who favor coloring books,
listen very well,
on that day Brenda Lee sang.
Her most unusual coloring book.
I know that song, I know it well.
Begin to color me.
I know that song,
it’s one of the songs
which open the gates
of bittersweet memory.
Those songs which break my heart
and bring them back.
Near a building storing the Rolls
Princess Di toured Chitown in,
My princesses paid a visit.
Some old rock and rollers
reminisced about their heydays
and their crush on little Miss Brenda
before she sang her song via satellite.
I sought a car from that year,
a muscle car, of course,
but not a Dodge, how sad.
But they seemed to be all around.
A fleet of vintage T-Birds,
a mystery blonde’s cute sister in each.
A short-brown-haired girl with a fetching smile,
her best freiend with a tempting grin,
waiting in the back of of a slinky Olds ragtop.
Which one? Who knows.
All the places they followed me to,
while riding around in my heart,
and now their memories
finally followed me on vacation.
Juice notes: The memories of three girls I attended grade and junior-high school with inspired this poem, which became inadvertently about one. The circumstances surrounded a trip to the Volo Antique Auto Museum in Volo, IL, one day in August, 2007. While going through the muscle car section of the museum, I caught a satellite radio oldies show, where the host was talking with a musician from the early Rock and Roll era. They were talking about Brenda Lee and played her rendition of the song, “My Coloring Book”, one of those sad love songs guaranteed to bring back bittersweet memories of my first crushes.
How did this poem revolve around her by accident?
Among the cars for sale and on exhibit was a 1963 Ford Thunderbird roadster (two-seat convertible), about three early 50’s T-Birds, a 66 model and a pedal car with a frame resembling a 58-60 Bird. This particular girl’s dad was an FBI agent (I want to be clear, SHE CHASED ME) and a long-haired blonde. Here are why these items are important.
The 1960 TV series The FBI (which I never missed) starred Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who previously starred as Stu Bailey on another long-running detective show, 77 Sunset Strip, where he mostly drove a (that’s right!) Ford Thunderbird, much like kiddie-car frame and the 63 roadster. The fleet of 55-57 models were similar to the one Suzanne Sommers drove as the mystery blonde who Richard Dreyfus’ character spent most of the movie “American Graffiti” trying to meet up with. Both girls were blondes. There is a natural explanation, isn’t there?
I just hope that this gives you a better understanding of this poem without taking from some of its impact. My only regret is that I was unable to go into my usual case of longing for my lost loves after this, mainly due to the fact that I had learned the previous evening that my father, Charles Joos, was seriously ill (he died two months later).