Saturday, April 23, 2016

Only The Lonely

♪♪ Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight
Only the lonely know this feeling ain't right.  ♪♪

Roy Orbison's music was a big part of the soundtrack of my youth. Only The Lonely was his first big hit in 1960. (Released in May; charted at 2nd in July) It was 'tonight's song' in my diary July 3. My steady boyfriend had left the night before (that night's song: One Last Kiss) for six month's Army National Guard training.
The night of the 3rd I went to his parent's home for a wiener roast and celebration of his Mom's birthday. All his brothers and their girlfriend's were there. No wonder I came home, wrote in my diary by the light of a flashlight, and was miserably lonely.

The following year, Orbison (whose 80th birthday would have been today) hit #1 in October with Crying. 
♪♪ I thought that I was over you, but it's true oh so true
I love you even more than I did before, but darling what can I do?
For you don't love me and I'll always be, crying over you. ♪♪
I didn't go through my '61 diary to see when I used Crying for 'tonight's song' but I'm sure it was after one of our many fights. Everything would be fine one day and horrible the next. Yet we went ahead and got married that fall.

Got married and had a son. By the fall of '64, Orbison's biggest hit Oh, Pretty Woman inscribed a memory in my mind that not even the 1990 hit movie, with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, replaced - even though I loved the movie.

The fall of 1964 I was miserable, trapped in a marriage my parents said I had to stay in "for the sake of your son". I was desperate to find a job and make the money I needed to leave. I had registered with Job Service in Creston even though they had no leads for me. Then one day they called and asked if I would be interested in a short-term office job in Clearfield. It was in the field office of a road paving crew. It would only last until the road was done, probably a couple of months.

I didn't have to think twice even though it meant driving sixty-five miles a day round-trip and my big old '57 Plymouth took a lot of gas. (You can see the front end of my Black Beauty in the upper right hand.) The guy in the middle of this trio was the supervisor. I remember his name and the man to his right, but not the one turned away. They were all outside working most of the time. The fellow I worked with in the trailer office was really nice and I do remember his name, too.

As mentioned, Pretty Woman was number one that fall, being played often on the radio stations. I had been working only a few weeks when once or twice a day one of the guys would key their 2-way radio and instead of someone talking to the office we would hear, ♪ Pretty woman won't you pardon me? Pretty woman I couldn't help but see, pretty woman that you're as lovely as can be. Are you lonely just like me? ♪ At first we didn't know who was doing it, but I had a good idea. Yep, it was this guy - the one with the devilish grin. Oh, flirting with those guys and feeling attractive again was just what my bruised ego needed.

The road was completed just before Thanksgiving. The crew moved on to another job in warmer climes (Fort Smith, Arkansas). I was invited to go along and work there, too. But I declined. I had the money I needed to make changes in my life closer to home.

But instead of moving out, we decided to stay together and I used the money I had saved to buy this coffee table stereo for myself for Christmas. It was about the only piece of furniture I did take with me when we finally parted three years later.

Other favorite songs by the Big O were In Dreams, Running Scared, Dream Baby and (appropriately) It's Over. I played them all, many times, on this stereo. And still, if I hear Pretty Woman, I think of the time I worked with a road paving crew in Clearfield.

No comments:

Post a Comment