David X. Sheehan
I write my memories, family, school, jobs, fatherhood, friendship, serious and silly. I read Vocal authors and am humbled by most. I'm 76, in Thomaston, Maine. I seek to spread my brand of sincere love for all who will receive.
It was the last vestiges of a warm fall day, you know, just before long sleeves and woolen vests. A day that needed a walk in it, before breathing in the cold air that messaged the lungs it was time to hibernate. Slowly making my way down to the St. George River as high tide, brought whatever the Atlantic pushed in this morning. Staying free of the wet mud along the bank and side stepping those long wooden boxes that the clam people fashioned to hold their catch of the multi sized bivalve mollusks, dug up from the mudflats at low tide. Soon, like everything else, the cold and wind of winter would freeze, and the river take on the look of a quiet mirror, that only God could paint.
The Dance of Youth
As a boy, almost a teen, growing up in my small town of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts; the late fifties into the sixties provided an atmosphere for the leap to becoming a bona fide grown-up individual. The next step to the ramp that allowed us to jump toward adulthood, came in a unique form, a tried-and-true method called “Ballroom Dancing”. On a Friday night, for a mere fifty cents, one could have their parents drop them off on School Street in Brockton, Massachusetts. As many before us had done, learning to dance at The Nancy Bradford School of Dancing, was tradition. For me and my brother, Chris, it was a chance to spend time with our friends, and to begin to get a feel for our first actual contact with, dare I say, GIRLS. Other than chasing them and stealing their hats, hanging with girls just wasn’t done, we boys were obviously way beyond that. At 76, I have come to know, it was definitely the fear of the unknown.
- Top Story - August 2023
Rest In Peace Sweet CamelotTop Story - August 2023
Stop and go traffic on route 28 heading to Cape Cod on a steamy and sticky August afternoon, would make most people hot under the collar. Not on this day because Eddie and his “with child” wife Brenda were windows open and radio blaring the Tyme’s song
Of Cherries, Rafts, and Brothers
I have written of the many places my dad worked when I was little, one of them was Traverse City, Michigan. To do a quick memory refresh, just out of the Navy, Papa worked for a company named Stromberg-Carlson who, after WWII, helped the United States infrastructure by building a bigger, better telephone system from the ground up, across the country; and continues, today, to manufacture electronic products. My father was part of a group that put telephone offices and equipment together in hundreds of towns and cities. One of these towns was Traverse City, Michigan. Generally, it would take an average of three months to get the office up and running.
Sheehan's Ice Cream Parlor
I don’t recall the exact age, but at some childhood point my parents were able to make me understand the concept of family and it helped, because I had often asked (in my head) who the heck are they talking about? Or who is that? The knowledge happened at the beginning of the end of the “children should be seen, not heard” section of the Sheehan book of child rearing just after the “sshhh go out and play” chapter.
My Melodic Milestone Playlist
And Arnie said, “kids the hits just keep on coming”. During the summers of 1958 & 1959, music was the magic and the non-periodic element that was the building block of all our lives. No longer were we drinking milk and toasting the 34th President of the United States (“I Like Ike” Dwight David Eisenhower) with Big Brother Bob Emery. No sir, we were no longer small fry, we had moved to AM radio and to https://youtu.be/anZYqaFdoIw the Arnie (Woo-Woo) Ginsburg Show and the latest hits on his WMEX “Night Train Show” (I can still hear a train whistle in the background). If I had been old enough to drive, I would have driven any distance to get to Adventure Car Hop on Route 1 in Saugus for a big juicy “Ginsburger”. “La Bamba”-Ritchie Valens https://youtu.be/Jp6j5HJ-Cok and https://youtu.be/Uyl7GP_VMJY ”Tequila” by The Champs and Bobby Darrin “Splish Splash”’d the nights away and all the Everly brothers had to do was “Dream Dream Dream”, “I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine any time night or day.” https://youtu.be/JnpbzmjcxQM This same year (1958) David Seville introduced us (before Alvin, Simon and Theodore) to his friend https://youtu.be/xwGwl-ktuNA “The Witch Doctor” (ooh eeh ooh ah aah, ting tang walla walla bing bang) and Sheb Wooley, yup he would later drive cattle in “Rawhide” https://youtu.be/PeUvQkaCSIY sing of a one eyed, one horned “Flyin’ Purple People Eater”. Almost a teen, and observing my contemporaries, we were about to embark on a path leading to the possibility of actually having to speak to girls; Oh, the humanity! Peggy Lee sings fever and everyone in the room felt the temperature rise. https://youtu.be/REryc1TpeY8 Ricky Nelson sings Poor Little Fool https://youtu.be/R12H8QWnwvE and I felt badly, and because I was Catholic, a little guilty too. The Skyliners did “Since I don’t Have You” https://youtu.be/JKbAPnqo_QM and the Capri’s “There’s A Moon Out Tonight” https://youtu.be/JrsNYIno8Ns and The Elegants did “Little Star”, https://youtu.be/hqOn4W9yK0o all I knew then, was I had to be home before the moon or stars even thought about appearing or my flipside would have had some hurt attached to it. Deep inside, Connie was singing “Stupid Cupid”, “quit picking on me”. https://youtu.be/7EQX70weW8o 1959 brought more mixed feelings as we couldn’t help but move to “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles. https://youtu.be/HAjeSS3kktA The Flamingo’s “I Only Have Eyes for You” had me using my eyes to view girls for the first time. https://youtu.be/nrzusdilnKQ Dion and the Belmont’s sang “A Teenager in Love” https://youtu.be/2pwgswchPDo and Phil Phillips’ “Sea of Love” caused some more stirring questions within, https://youtu.be/lrkNRcyvtF4 but just as I thought I might be on to something “Along Came Jones” and the Coasters, with “Charlie Brown” and everyone’s botanical fear https://youtu.be/yE90wyqILOA “Poison Ivy”. ”Sleep Walk” by Santo & Johnny and Bobby Darrin’s “Dream Lover” https://youtu.be/aSZQrM54qUI only brought the negatives of Ricky Nelson’s “It’s Late” and “Never Be Anyone Else for Me” more into focus. A few pre-teen parties and The Fleetwood’s “Mr. Blue” and “Come Softly to Me” https://youtu.be/ABxtkaeC18Q began making some sense to me. Going to sleep with things (non-sports related on my mind) was new. I liked the idea of The Clover’s “Love Potion #9” and I got the feeling that behind Brenda Lee’s “Sweet Nothin’s” https://youtu.be/Vs2h18M6ky8 were sweeter somethin’s. I remember learning and dancing the “Shag” to Freddie “Boom Boom” Cannon’s “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” https://youtu.be/1XVStjH1frs at a Mary Mahoney house party and having, for the first time, a good time with girls. If I betrayed the boy’s code it was too late; the ice was broken, forever. Everly Brothers (‘Til) I Kissed You” and “Let It Be Me” and one for mama by Sarah Vaughn called “Broken Hearted Melody” led 1959. https://youtu.be/vLgvFzVKK5o Dave Baby Cortez’ “Happy Organ” and Johnny Horton’s” Battle of New Orleans” https://youtu.be/1s51IVwqcKo along with Connie’s “Lipstick On Your Collar” kept our feet moving, while hearts were moved by “Lavender Blue” and Sammy Turner’s and Frankie Avalon’s “Venus” (Venus, Goddess of love that you are, surely the things I ask, can’t be too great a task). https://youtu.be/jbP_DFiKqfo The hormones lifted off with “Lonely Boy”, Paul Anka, as he sang “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” https://youtu.be/9DAAYwO_7j4 and others like The Mystics as they sang “Hushabye” (Hushabye hushabye guardian angels up above, take care of the one I love). https://youtu.be/BNcpkmrYWTU Looking back, to a home where Benny Goodman Ella Fitzgerald and Glenn Miller reigned supreme (before there even were Supremes) the changes were very subtle, but like the one-foot-tall maple trees that Chris and I planted in front of our house when we moved to 361 Spring Street, West Bridgewater, MA. in 1957, we were growing fast, all of us. We were content for that moment to be under the protection of parents who loved and wanted us to be happy. There would be plenty of time for songs and girls and love.
Took A Walk Today
Took a walk today, it’s been a while... I couldn’t even talk, for just under a mile.. Now, as I ponder what I may say today, I can hear The Eagles saying they’re runnin’ down the road tryin’ to loosen their load. Well, for the first time out on a warm day, seems I have added a load that needs to be not only loosened, but lessened. It’s easy when you’re my age to hibernate and put on a few (thousand) pounds.
A Snow Day
Waiting for the power to be restored this Wednesday March 15, 2023, I thought back to those days at 361 Spring Street West Bridgewater, MA. specifically, the days when the snow was well over a foot and a half deep, and the nor’easter lasted longer than 24 hours. My brother, Chris, and I would impatiently look out of the windows, watching the snow rising up slowly like those first few feet into the water at Brant Rock on a wicked hot summer afternoon. At first your toes, then ankles, and mid shin and lots of shivering, at least for me. I could never take the cold water, still can’t, but Mama and Chris and even Papa could eventually take the polar bear plunge. The only plunging for me, were my 8- or 9-year-old testicles which fled upward to the safety of my stomach, and huddled together for warmth, while my brain screamed maniacally at me to abandoned the foot and a half of water I was standing in, RAPIDEMENT. I got tons of blanket time, and tried to make a slight sea breeze be enough to cool me off, as my various body parts began returning to their straight and occasionally upright positions.