Golden Oldies

The best part of me will always live for the rhythms of summer, in the Land of Shag, where the tunes on the jukeboxes never change.

That old gold music invites me to dance, to laugh and remember.

It reminds me of lifeguards and pretty girls in the heat of youth’s eternal summer. All day long the renegade debutantes and sunburned peaches paraded in stylized underwear called bathing suits. The cats who dance are cooling in the shade. Anxious boys hatch plots for sundown.

After dark, the music starts. Before I go, I shine my shoes, iron my collar stiff. To loosen up, I take a drink of grain and grape juice, communion wine in the Land of Shag, say a prayer for satisfaction.

I was young, dumb, and numb to heartache.

I left, or ran away, from everything and everyone I might have loved sooner. Now forty years are gone. My clearest memories are the music. Every time an old song plays, it sounds as young as I once was.

On a dance floor crowded with silver foxes and silver soldiers, the night is young forever still, the dance goes on. Memories lost to one are cherished by another. The older we get, the more precious we seem to each other. We’re good that way in the Land of Shag.

The dance will never die.