Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Season of Dogs and Beatles

I attended a high school reunion over the weekend.  Seeing certain people triggered adolescent memories. I shall relay one of those memories right here, right now.

When I was in elementary school, I had a friend named Dennis.  Dennis had a dog named Daisy.  It's strange that I can still remember that dog's name.  I have relatives who's name I can't remember, yet I can recall Dennis' dog's name from forty odd years ago.  To make this even stranger, I only have one distinct recollection about Daisy on one particular day.

On this day, when we were about ten or eleven years old, Dennis brought me to his house to listen to his latest record.  He had, and I can still see this album when I close my eyes, a Vee Jay double album that was called "The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons."   Vee Jay records had taken the albums "Introducing the Beatles" and "The Golden Hits of the Four Seasons," repackaged both into a double "International Battle of the Century" album set, sold, then requested that you vote for your favorite songs, send the ballot (which was the album jacket) back to Vee Jay records, and they would tally the results.  This was a very effective marketing ploy.  Countless young girls, and a smathering of young boys, bought album after album to stuff the ballot box.  I cannot recall if the Vee Jay ever announced a winner.  Publishing the results would put an end to the album sales, and I am fairly certain that Vee Jay would not want that.

Anyway, to enter Dennis' house, we would have to go through the connected garage.  As we traipsed our way to the inner door, we passed a big cardboard box with an old blanket spread out inside it.  On the blanket was Daisy.  As I looked over at Daisy, she suddenly plopped out a puppy.  Dennis remarked nonchalantly that Daisy had been doing this for a while now.  There were six or seven brand new puppies strewn all across the blanket, their eyes small slits that were yet to open.  There were meager whines emitting from some, while others were fast asleep.  I was dumbstruck.  Never in my life had I seen new life come into existence.  It was such a wondrous thing to behold.  Dennis behaved like his dog gave birth on a daily basis and he was bored with the whole process.

Dennis insisted I leave the dogs to fend for themselves, and accompany him inside to ascertain the better of the bands.  Reluctantly, I followed Dennis to his record player.  It has been too long ago for me to give you our detailed results for the Battle of the Bands, but I know the Beatles won out.  It was such a lopsided match.  Now, if it had been Beatles vs Rolling Stones, that would have been a fair fight. 

I wish I had recalled this tale last Saturday when I saw Dennis again.  I wonder if he would remember it differently.  I will have to ask him at the next reunion, ten years from now.

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