Troubadour Larry

     Romance novelist Nora Roberts, who grew up in the same areas around Washington D.C. as I did, wrote; “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”      I know, on the surface, everyone will shout; “I agree,” or “Hell yes!”     Yes, you should go after what you want, but an action involving destiny or fate does not guarantee the desired result where other hearts are involved.      I believe love can happen at first sight. I learned it from my brother. Should you act on it? He did.      It was Homecoming Week and I was a sophomore at an all-boys Catholic high school. We had an enclosed case with photos of the girls from our sister school the senior boys had nominated for homecoming queen. A vote cost you a nickel. Seniors were dropping Jacksons and casting four hundred votes for their sweethearts.      I remember standing and looking over the assets of these “older” girls. I was a sophomore and didn’t know these girls except for their assets, and since I had “no dog in the hunt” only one was getting my nickel. My brother Larry graduated two years prior, showed up from his college break at the High School as most alumni do during this week of festivities. He was really there to go after what he wanted, a girl, more than as a strutting alumnus.      He stood there with me looking at those pictures and pointed out a girl named Peggy, a senior at the all-girls Catholic high school. She looked like a cross between Katherine Ross and Ali Macgraw.      He told me he was going to go out with her and marry her. I don’t even think he had met her yet or she even knew him. Hey, I’m fifteen and it was shocking to learn your brother is a bigger whack-a-do than you thought. An amazing thought since this is the same brother, when in sixth grade was caught serenading the nuns outside their convent windows at ten o’clock at night. Why? I don’t know, he is a whack-a-do.      I remember the nuns calling my father, scolding him on the phone while my brother was outside serenading them, and only hearing his side of the conversation;      “Yes Sister.”      “Yes Sister, I don’t know why Sister.”      “I don’t know if he got into alcohol Sister.”      “He doesn’t have a guitar that I know of Sister.”      “I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes? No Sister I don’t know that song.”      As if I was a contestant on Name That Tune, I whispered the answer to my father; “Hey Pops, that’s The Troggs, Love is All Around.”      I also knew they did “Wild Thing” and Larry is sure to get his ass beat if he sings that to the nuns.      “Yes Sister, I’ll come and get him.”      The only time my father’s face was that red was after a night of drinking gin. “Get in the car. We are going to get your brother. Larry the troubadour got into some big trouble.      So now, Larry in his proclamation of love for Peggy, seemed possessed in his quest to get what he wanted. The way his head was spinning in love, feeling it in his fingers and in his toes, his body floating in the air, I was seriously considering getting a priest to perform an exorcism.      Larry was there in the stands at that football game, looking down on the side of the field where these homecoming queens sat holding their corsages on gowns blowing in the fall breeze. The guys, mostly boyfriends who promoted them to that honor, seated next to them. But no one was next to Peggy, until a senior on horseback came riding onto the football field and dismounted to take his seat next to her. I think it was even worse for Larry when the guy who nominated Peggy came riding in on a white horse.      I felt bad for my brother, and I figured it was over before it ever began for Larry. I remember looking over to Larry in the stands and mouthing; “He’s got a white horse.”      Larry just rolled his eyes.      Where we came from, no one had horses in that city sprawl, and here comes Peggy’s nominating knight. But Larry was never deterred from going after what he wanted. He got her attention. She responded. After their courtship, they married. I was his best man and he made me cut my long hair to make me some-what presentable.      So love at first sight and proclaiming it, happens. But Nora Roberts ignored in her quote, the importance of the one whose heart is sought. That in the glitter and pomp of a knight riding in on a white horse, they are receptive enough to see a man without a horse, among the crowd in the stands. A troubadour singing the refrain of the song “Love is All Around” to his love at first sight, waiting for an answer to his plea of love at first sight; “Come on and let it show.”      We should all be lucky and courageous as Troubadour Larry. To have his love at first sight, his seeking of what he wanted, and having Peggy answer yes, even after what happened years before, when his love song was clearly rejected by the nuns.                                                                                                                                        *

Categories: Family, Humor, Life, Observations, People, Places

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3 replies

  1. White horses are overrated. I had one once (actually a pony but whatever). They get dirty so fast.


  2. Hi nights7 ….. I almost thought you were going to say KNIGHTS on white horse are overrated and that you had one once….. lol ….just thought I would show you I can be sweet and not so snarky.


    • The same can be said for people with White Knight complexes: they’re overrated. They look all shiny & nice but under the armour they’re really just assholes. I had one of those once too…. I don’t know about actual knights on white horses though. Apparently I lack the ability to not be cynical about some things.
      This was a sweet story & totally devoid of snark. Good job.


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