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Rest In Peace Sweet Camelot

1963 August/September/October and Me

By David X. SheehanPublished 3 months ago 13 min read
Top Story - August 2023
In short, there's simply not, A more congenial spot, than here In Camelot

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

“As we stroll along together

Holding hands, walking all alone

So in love are we two, that we don’t know what to do

So in love (so in love) in a world all our own (so in love)”

So Much in Love by The Tyme’s (https://youtu.be/FaYGlE9lHOw)

They had stopped at the Chicken House and ate, and both were satisfied and decided to hold off dessert until they actually got onto Cape Cod.

The Bourne Bridge would likely be the best route to Craigville Beach and Brenda’s aunt Karen’s cabin overlooking the warm water south side of Cape Cod, chance to just sit in the sun, swim and relax. Off of Route 28 the narrower roads that led to Craigville Beach snaked from town to town and hamlet to hamlet, one of these was Main Street in the village of Osterville, and there was a place there called Wimpy’s, and it was here that Brenda and Eddie planned to embrace dessert, sweets for Eddie, calories for a craving crazed mom to be.

The sun continued its slow descent as they approached Wimpy’s, casting a golden glow on the familiar façade. Eddie slowed the car to a halt and glanced over to Brenda, her eyes sparking with anticipation. The prospect of satisfying her cravings had put a bright smile on her face, an expression he cherished now more than ever.

Wimpy’s, here we are,” he announced with a grin. Brenda clapped her hands together in glee, while Eddie turned off the ignition and came around to open her door. The warm evening breeze ruffled her hair, and she took a moment to appreciate the quaint charm of the place, before locking arm in Eddie’s, and strolling inside

The eatery was buzzing with locals and tourists alike. Music was playing over the speakers, blending with the rich aroma of coffee and warm pastries. The welcoming ambience was instantly comforting, a homey touch that reminded Brenda of the countless times she and Eddie had come here in those summers before they got married.

They settled into a cozy booth at the back, the cushioned seats welcoming and familiar. Brenda’s eyes scanned the menu, her fingers tapping rhythmically on the table, while Eddie ordered a round of coffees to pair with their imminent indulgence.

As they waited for their order, the lyrics of the Tymes’ song that was still playing in their car floated through Eddie’s mind, filling him with a sense of peace. The future held many uncertainties, but one thing was clear: as long as he had Brenda and their unborn child by his side, he could face anything.

Finally, their desserts arrived, chocolate sundae for Eddie and a towering slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream for Brenda. Each bite was an orchestra of flavors that made their tastebuds dance, the perfect sweet ending to their journey.

Night was partially descended by the time they returned to their car, bellies full and spirits high. With their craving for dessert satisfied, the rest of the drive was an easy ride under shimmering stars. They drove slowly, savoring the tranquil beauty of Cape Cod sunset.

This August day, filled with songs, shared glances, and delectable desserts, had drawn to an end. With a baby coming, they both knew that another interesting chapter was about to begin. The cabin, the warm water of a midnight swim and passionate lovemaking, brought rest, easily and quickly, to Brenda and Eddie.

In September 1963, George Harrison came to the United States to visit his sister in Illinois. He brought with him a copy of “She Loves You” which had been released three weeks earlier in Britain. “She Loves You” got a positive review in Billboard but very little play with the one exception being WFRX in Frankfort, Illinois playing regularly.

In the cauldron of history, there are moments that boil with fervor, change, and tumultuous significance. September 1963 stands as one of those pivotal points in time, a month when world events were setting the stage for transformation in areas as diverse as civil rights, international politics, pop culture, and space exploration.

Much of the journey through this riveting month begins in the United States, the pulsating heart of the civil rights movement. The central event of this movement was the devastating 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15 in Birmingham, Alabama. This senseless act of violence, perpetrated by white supremacists, claimed the lives 0f four innocent African American girls. This event served to galvanize the nation and the world, igniting a flame of protest against racial injustice and giving a new power to the Civil Rights Movement. It was a shocking reminder of the lengths to which some would go to uphold a segregated society.

Four Little Girls: Addie May Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Rosamond Robertson

Simultaneously, the pendulum of change was swinging in American public education. The infamous “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” had occurred in June of 1963, and by September, the University of Alabama was integrated with more African American students. The tension was high, but determination for change was even stronger. The clamor for equality in education was a harbinger of the seismic shifts that were on the horizon.

While America grappled with its internal struggles, across the Atlantic, a certain British quartet was making waves. The Beatles, who would redefine music and popular culture globally, released “She Loves You” on August 23rd. By September 1963, it reached the top of the UK Singles Chart, signaling the burgeoning phenomenon of Beatlemania. The infectious optimism and spirit of rebellion in their music captured the mood of a generation eager for change.

Concluding September 1963 is a vivid snapshot of the world on the cusp of change. The events of this single month encapsulated the broader themes of the era: the struggle for civil rights and equality, the power of popular culture, the high-stakes diplomacy of the Cold War, the dazzling promise of space exploration, and the reconfiguration of post-World War II world. It was a month when history’s wheel turned with particular force, propelling the world towards a new and uncertain future.

Eddie was in the spare bedroom putting together folders for each month of the upcoming school year and cleaning up his desk at the same time. Eddie was quietly singing ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’. He liked Peter Paul and Mary’s version. His Emerson radio was always tuned to WMEX 1510 AM and he listened to music while he was working on school papers or paying bills at a desk inherited from his father.

Brenda was in the kitchen making tonight’s dinner, it was Friday, so she was baking two good sized cod fillets and was waiting on the potatoes to boil long enough to mash. In another pot, four beautiful ears of sweet butter corn boiled their way to just the right doneness. As the meal came together, Brenda set a small plate of white bread on the table next to two butter dishes. Plop a hunk of butter on a slice of bread and turn your corn round and round until melted butter covers each kernel, before salting to just the right taste. Earlier Brenda had made a 2-quart pitcher of sweetened ice tea, served with lemon wedges after their squeezing over a flakey piece of pure white cod.

Brenda walked to the spare bedroom and said, “Eddie, dinner will be ready in about 10 minutes”. Eddie said “thanks, I’ll be there in six and a half minutes. that gives me three and half minutes to muckle my beautiful wife’s growing boobs and hug her to death.” “Ya yay ya” Brenda said in tune returning to the kitchen to mash potatoes and trying to recall all the words to the Beatle song “She Loves Me”.

At dinner, Eddie shared with Brenda the news from a letter he got from Dave, their high school friend. New Orleans was fascinating and it is so hot, even in September, no white Christmas’ there, Dave reported. He wanted to know how the Red Sox were doing, though a ‘soxless’ World Series had begun, and small stuff, but mostly he talked about his sexual exploits, some of which Eddie let Brenda read for herself. “Oh my” she said, holding the letter to her breast, “at least he’s not alone,” Eddie nodded.

As they finished drying and putting the dinner dishes away, the phone rang. It was Dave and he sounded wicked excited.

Eddie moved to the living room so he could sit, Brenda walked over and turned the volume down on the television and sat down next to Eddie. Dave had just come from a meeting with Frenchy, a Boston dock worker he accompanied to New Orleans. It was a smaller group of folks than Dave had normally allowed himself to be part of, because angry vengeful people made lousy possible bedmates. This small group included Frenchy Salan, his Aunt Lucy and her boyfriend Robert Dulong, David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, A. Hidell and two Cuban men. Dave said that he thought they were cooking up a plan to create better interest in Cuba, both politically and nationally. The talk seemed very specific that it would blacken the John F. Kennedy administration and his term, hopefully enough to prevent a second term. The reason for his excitement was that he had been invited to come live with Clay Shaw at his mansion in The Garden District of New Orleans.

Clay Shaw was a businessman and director of The International Trade Mart in New Orleans. He was also a published playwright and known locally for his efforts to preserve buildings in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.

Shaw started the International Trade Mart which facilitated the sales of both domestic and imported goods, and these days the trade revolved around Cuba, in any way the business could help. Shaw had a small cadre of business friends located in other southern cities, with Dallas being the closest.

Dave, it seemed clear that he had hit the big time. He would be surrounded by riches and more sexual possibilities than even he could ever had imagined. His only job was to be at Clay’s beck and call, day or night. “I can do that”, Dave said to Eddie, “I just have to get used to his smoking nine million cigarettes a day.” Dave said dryly “open a window”. Dave said, chuckling “ouvrir une fenêtre”. “Yes Doowop”, Eddie replied.

Dave was to go with Clay on business trips to Dallas, in a small plane piloted by David Ferrie, whom Dave liked from his fabulous parties or orgies as Frenchy called them. “Right up my alley, no more carpet laying for this Yankee” Dave said laughingly. He told Eddie that he had to pack some things and head over to his new room in the fashionable Garden District. “I’ll be in touch when I get settled, kiss Brenda on her big pregnant boobs, I mean belly for me, I love you guys.” Eddie hung up and did what Dave told him to do, without her knowledge, to Brenda Eddie was just being Eddie. They chatted about Dave’s call for a while, then Eddie got up and returned the sound to the TV, and he and Brenda listened to the news of the day.

October brought early morning sun, with just a tiny smidge of what would be frost really soon. In the evening Eddie and Brenda shared a tender moment, swaying gently in the rhythmic dance of affection within their kitchen. The soothing strains of Bobby Vinton’s contemporary rendition of “Blue Velvet” filled the space, orchestrating their slow dance. With Brenda’s belly swollen with eight months of life within her, Eddie cradled her as closely as possible. Eddie’s playful rendition of the lyrics, “bluer than velvet were her eyes, warmer than mayo her tender thighs” brought an initially incensed glance from Brenda, but it swiftly melted into amusement over his audacious lyric alteration. Branda shared, “Mom told me that Tony Bennett used to sing this song back in the early 50’s. Not one to miss an opportunity for jest, Eddie teased, “Does your mother have thighs too?” This drew a mock scowl and light smack on his arm from Brenda. Then she fake-stomped over to the pantry in search of the comforting taste of a crunchy cookie. This evening’s selection, an unopened package of Maryann’s, a nice crunch and ginger snap taste that pleased Brenda and as she opened the package made her way to the living room’s welcoming couch.

Surrounded by soft cushions, Brenda wiggled herself into the most comfortable position, akin to a hen preparing her nest before laying an egg. Eddie ambled in, munching on a giant bag of Wise potato chips, his tee shirt testament to the crumbs escaping his enthusiastic crunches. After showering Brenda with a flurry of kisses and tucking in a blue velvet throw around her, he turned on the evening news, taking a seat as close to her as she comfortably permitted.

As their quiet evening unfurled, their soon-to-be addition rested snugly in Brenda’s womb, fully developed hearing discerning the outside worlds sounds. With each day, the baby gained more weight, padding out with layers of essential fat. A cocooned marvel of approximately fourteen inches in length and weighing between two and four pounds, their baby frequently changed positions, responsive to various stimuli like sound, pain, and light. Their life was on the brink of a profound transformation, and every moment was precious.

October of 1963, a month of action, victory, struggle, and loss, witnessed a range of influential and pivotal events in American history, leaving behind an indelible impact on society. With ripples touching across varied domains from civil rights to sports, to politics and tragic calamities, the events unfolding in this month demonstrated the dynamism of human existence.

In sports, the spirit of triumph was felt keenly on October 6, when the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed a resounding victory against the New York Yankees in the World Series of baseball. Sweeping the series 4 games to 0, the Dodgers seized their third World Series title. This victory, was contrasted by the disturbing event on October 8, when renowned musician Sam Cooke and his band faced the sting of racial discrimination. They were arrested in Louisiana after attempting to register at a “whites only” motel, a gross reminder of the systemic racism still prevalent in society. Nonetheless, Cooke transformed this distressing incident into a powerful anthem of resistance, “A Change is Gonna Come,” in the following months, cementing him as a potent voice for the Civil Rights Movement.

October 1963, undoubtedly, was a month of contrasting events that shaped the socio-political landscape of America. From landmark victories and bold protests against discrimination to poignant reminders of loss, each event leaving a profound mark, significantly influencing the trajectory of American history.

Eddie turned off the television and music took its place with a Lerner and Loewe classic from Camelot. Life was good and full and wonderful, humming with the promises of tomorrow. As Brenda and Eddie shared their tender moment, their hearts danced to the rhythm of love, bathed in the warm light of a promising future. A future filled with laughter, and baby cries, and sleepless nights, and boundless love. As the last strains of If Ever I Would Leave You, faded, they held each other’s gaze, their hearts echoing the same vow, “If ever I should leave you, it wouldn’t be in springtime.” The promise, the pledge, their love, their life was just beginning. Eddie and Brenda’s future held a lullaby that their hearts sang.


About the Creator

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.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (16)

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  • Shahzad khan2 months ago

    Hi David, This heartfelt narrative of love, history, and family memories is beautifully penned. It takes you on a journey through time and emotions, celebrating moments that shaped a life. Truly captivating!

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  • Antoinette L Brey2 months ago

    What a contrast

  • Nora Ariana3 months ago

    Great 👍

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  • Very good

  • Veronica Coldiron3 months ago

    There is a magical rhythm to your writing that creates sort of a hypnosis. Beautifully written tribute to a very impactful year!

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  • Sheila L. Chingwa3 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story my friend! wonderfully written!

  • Judey Kalchik 3 months ago

    Coming back to congratulate you on this Top Story recognition.

  • Judey Kalchik 3 months ago

    This was a mezmerizing walk through those months back in '63. I enjoyed each and every paragraph.

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