This always happens to me when I begin a story in parts - my days are so full of noteworthy happenings that I have a hard time getting back to the the original story. I had intentions of sharing insights gleaned while spending time with my birth family. I had revelations if not epiphanies. But that was days ago and I have stuff to do, so I'm just going to sum up and explain the title. You won't hold it against me, will you?
Why can't I help but believe that Amy has that terrible song, "If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?" going through her mind?!
My folks split up when I was just a little girl. My mother quickly remarried and took me with her. She and her new husband liked to travel and eat at fabulous places. For as long as I can remember, she has asked the band to play "Darktown Strutters' Ball." It's her song. Everyone knows it. I never thought about how it became her song - it just is.
I sat with my dad while he packed up his things this weekend. I told him that I was at Commander's Palace in New Orleans when I found out that my sister was missing. After we get through that, he said, "I bet your mom has told you this a thousand times . . ." Let me say right here that these are some of my favorite stories. There is a group of people on this planet that know me only as the "miracle baby" because there was a big joke when my folks were dating that they were so different, like a cat and dog, that they couldn't possibly breed and produce viable offspring. Hi.
He told me that back when he was "in his prime" he and my mother were at Commander's Palace and he was "cutting up." He said the bandleader said, "Hey Son, if you ever want a job as a jazz band singer, you come and see me." I asked him if he was full of shit. He said, "No! He was being sincere. I had just finished a mean rendition of Darktown Strutters' Ball."
I gasped and said, "Is that why Momma always requests that song?" He threw his head back, laughed and asked me if I was full of shit. I assured him I wasn't.
So there it is. The answer to the mystery of my mother's favorite song - my daddy sang it way back when and caused a ruckus at Commander's Palace. I like that story.