17 September 2009
Take This Tune - Mary Travers
When I woke at 8:00 A.M. the morning of February 21, 1963, the first thing I saw while looking through the window was the space ship landing on the roof of the building next door complete with glowing lights and a pleasant humming sound. Now it had been a rough night, but I knew this was probably at least a small diversion from reality. The next thing I noticed was that I seemed to be missing a rather large protrusion on the anterior side of my anatomy. The little alien had been removed about two hours before, and I had a baby somewhere. The mists started to clear. Apparently, having a saddle block due to a breach birth delivery should come with the following warning: "Your thinking may be unclear. Do not make important decisions for 24 hours afterwards."
When the nurse noted that I was awake, they brought in the little alien to get acquainted. As I wrote in an earlier article, the radio in the room chose that instant to start playing, "Puff The Magic Dragon". It is now more than 46 years later, but every time I look at my son, I still hear Peter, Paul and the clear bell like voice of Mary Travers. They greeted him on his first day of life which makes me particularly sad that she is now gone.
Puff may have become something of a cliche, and it isn't may favorite of the PPM Canon which has many more powerful, lovely, or humorous songs, but it is the song attached to a very, very vivid memory and an event that has never ceased to bring me joy. So one more time for Christopher and Me, just to say goodbye to a seemingly lovely lady.