Egos pilloried, Ir all in monthly installments going for S7.50 a year available from Post Office Box 52691. Houston 77052, where lives the notorious Houston Journalism REviEw boys sat in the green porch swing, moving slowly back and forth, bare feet dragging the faded porch boards, toes dusty and calloused and with irregularly broken toenails. Their sister sat nearby in a low canvas chair, reading a true-confessions magazine and slowly finishing off an apple. I would go inside the house and put on Buddy’s record of “Warm Valley,” by Johnny Hodges; and then as I came outside hot, hot summer day on Gilmer Street with the dust of unpaved streets hanging in the air I would listen to Johnny Hodges’ elegant saxophone and know that the music was making a curious wedge in the long afternoon. The porch swing would continue to creak and the neighborhood kids would decide on another game of Monopoly the 15th, perhaps, in a row. The record would end, there would be a wait as the changer moved the needle arm, and then once again that sound, Johnny Hodges, through the window screen, coming sensuously, dreamily out to us and the trees and the heat and the steady calls of the rain crows while we began to reshuffle Chance and Community Chest. The early ’40s the war years slipped into ‘the late ’40s and I was finally in high school and at the mercy of even more moods, more songs, more singers, more bands. \(Let’s say, for example, it is a Saturday afternoon in June, 1948. Stan Kenton is on the record player; I am seated in the shadowy front room. From where I sit I can see the green fern outlined in the east window. My mother is a presence in the house. \(The knot that has been in my stomach tightens. She is out with Chuck in his blue station wagon. I am staring at the opposite wall of our living room, but I can see her: She is sitting in the middle of the front seat instead of over on her side. Chuck is exhibiting his early summer tan, his blond sweep of hair, his large white teeth, his junior-in-college camp counselor charm. They are there together as they drive along the winding river road through thp tall cypresses. I am there in the house with Stan Kenton, June Christy, Pete Rugolo and my mother. \(It is a summer afternoon and I am in love with a beautiful girl, and I don’t know what to do about it. So I sit. I go on listening to the great ‘wild sound of Kai Winding and the trombone section, the trumpet stabs and piercings of Maynard Ferguson, the twisting, wheeling, whining scream of Bob Cooper’s alto. I listen to the Stan Kenton band and watch the fern’ in Or: \(Let’s say it is 10:45 after the Friday night football game and She and I are among the dancers in the school gym. Charlie Spivak is playing “Tenderly” on the juke box and there are dim, colored bulbs above the center of the floor. Stags are lined up along the sides and couples are dancing and Charlie Spivak’s sweet-soaring . trumpet is gliding over all of us like a nakedness of sound, an ecstasy, a promise and fulfillment. \(I have my arm around her soft, slightly sweaty back; her breasts are against me. Her clean-smelling hair is in my mouth and eyes but I do not bother to brush it aside. . The record changes, song follows song: “Kokomo, Indiana,” by Dinah Shore; “We’ll Be Together Again,” by Frankie Laine; “Laura,” by Woody Herman. . .. We move among the other bodies, among high school girls who have reached up their .hands and are clasping their dates at the hairlines of their necks. She and I continue to glide through sound, through near-darkness, through after-the-game NOWADAYS, late at night, when I sit in the living room of my house and look across to the stacks of old 78’s in the corner, I know that all I have to do is get up, walk a few steps, place a record on the phonograph, and for two and a half minutes or so I am back again in my home town not casually, not in part, but completely, for much of the emotion of my life has been preserved in records, and to hear Mel Torme singing “Blue Moon” or Les Brown playing “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is like having my past come swimming back to me undistorted: like dream-fish rising from the depths and swimming again in impossibly blue waters. So sometimes I do that: I go over to the stack of worn records and begin sorting through them. I rub one against my leg to clean off the dust, then put it on the phonograph: “Tippin’ In,” by Erskine Hawkins. I sit cross-legged on the floor, recalling where I first heard the record, and when: it was around 10:30 at night, in 1943, while I was in bed listening to the Jax Dance Parade on KRLD. The reception from Dallas was good, as always, and I was laying awake waiting for Buddy to come in from a dance job in Bandera. The Dance Parade usually had some good stuff on it: Andy Kirk, Jimmie Lunceford, Joe Turner. . . . July 27, 1973 13 ALAN POGUE Photographer of political events & pseudo events, of people in their natural surroundings Rag office 478-0452 Austin THE TEXAS OBSERVER on microfilm. Currently priced at S212 for the complete backfile \(December 1954 a 1972 subscription. Available now, from: Microfilming Corporation of America .11.1,1t,ir of THE NEW YORK TIMES 1 F-Lonstown Road Glen Rock N J. 07452 201 447 3000
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