What is it about the power of a song that upon hearing it decades later instantly brings you back to a memorable moment in your life?
So now that I have your attention….
As a1 6-year-old high-school junior I found myself secretly “in love” with my close friend and neighbor, a handsome senior, who lived across the street. Dan (not his real name) and I had grown up together, but now as a blossoming teenager I saw him differently and fantasized that he was destined to be my future husband.
Dan had absolutely no romantic interest in me but started “going out” with my girlfriend Donna (not real name). That meant I was thrust into the position of gossip go-between, a position I relished.
Not too long after Dan and Donna became an item, Dan’s father bought a new Cadillac and handed Dan the keys to his old one.
Keep in mind that in 1972 it was rare for anyone in my high school to have their own car, especially a Cadillac. Therefore, Dan’s Cadillac, (which by today’s standards was the size of a gunboat) became a major status symbol and the ultimate party vehicle.
One day after school my three girlfriends and I started walking toward the town center when we spotted Dan’s Cadillac in the school parking lot. It was then Donna proudly proclaimed, “I have Dan’s keys,” so without any hesitation, we all jumped in the car for a harmless spin.
On the radio Joy to the World was playing and I remember us singing the famous lyrics: Jeremiah was a bull frog, was a good friend of mine, and the Joy to the World chorus at the top of our lungs while having a totally terrific time.
That was until we were stopped by the police.
Dan, assuming his car had been stolen, really stolen, called the police and they went cruising the streets looking for it. We were all hauled into the police station and suddenly there was no longer any joy in the world.
Fortunately, Dan and his father did not press charges and we were all released when our parents showed up to fetch their criminal offspring.
As a result of this little Joy to the World joyride, Dan and Donna broke up and all my friends were grounded except for me. My parents figured since it was only my close friend and neighbor’s car that had been “stolen,” that meant I was not necessarily heading for a future career as a car thief.
However, my father did give me a stern talking too but the real punishment came when Dan blamed me for the entire incident and sarcastically called me a “car thief” for months thereafter.
So what shall we drink to forget this unfortunate brush with the law while remembering that early 70’s #1 hit Joy to the World?
Well, what we should be drinking is Boones Farm Apple Wine because, as mentioned in a previous post, that was the official beverage of my high school. But since just the thought of that stuff makes me gag, how about a lovely, sophisticated King Estate Pinot Gris?
Here I go again recommending another Oregon organic wine that I assume is produced by Birkenstock clad, aging hippies in the bluest of blue states.
“The palate has a soft, rich entry, nice texture, good weight and a long, lively crisp finish,” whatever the heck that means.
All I know is it washes away both the long forgotten taste of Boones Farm Apple Wine and memories of a short joy ride in an oversized Cadillac.
That is, until the next time I hear the opening line, Jeremiah was a bull frog….
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