Saturday Single No. 193

This week’s reasonable hoopla over the seventieth birthday of Ringo Starr reminded me of another little bit of the summer of 1970:

One of the guys from school was moving with his family to Duluth. My pal Mike and I thought we should call up a few other guys and spend an evening hanging around somewhere with Curt before he left for Minnesota’s Northland. We were, I think, in my basement talking about which guys we should call and where we should hang around when my mom got wind of our talk.

Why not have the party right here in our back yard? Decide on your guest list and we can see how many hot dogs and bottles of pop and how much potato salad we need.

Before we could figure out a way to explain that we weren’t thinking about anything as formal as a “party” – we were just gonna be a bunch of guys hanging around the back yard – she was off and running. Mike and I looked at each other and shrugged. Moms, you know.

And having Mom take the wheel and do the driving wasn’t all bad. It was actually kind of nice to able to call a bunch of guys and tell them we were having a picnic for Curt in our back yard. I invited maybe eight guys, and they all said they would come.

The problem came when Mom looked at our guest list and asked, “Why no girls?”

Before Mike and I could explain to her that it was unlikely that any girls would come to a gathering the two of us hosted – geeks at heart that we were – she told us that there had to be some girls who knew Curt and if we wanted to be fair, we had to give them a chance to say goodbye to him, too.

That left me, as the putative host of the picnic, with a problem. I had to decide which would be worse: making phone calls to eight high school girls to invite them to a gathering that I knew they would not attend, or trying to explain to my mom that those eight girls were simply not going to come to an event I hosted because I was a geek? I chose the phone calls.

And, as I expected, the attendance at the picnic was one hundred percent male. We had a good time, sharing some memories and some ribald jokes, talking about and listening to some music, and generally finding a nice way to say farewell to Curt. My mom was a bit put out that none of the girls came. First, she thought they were rude, and second, their absence meant she had more food than was called for. On the second point, my guests and I did enough damage to the victuals that Mom didn’t need to worry. On her first point, well, I don’t think the girls meant to be rude. I’d put them in a difficult position: Hurt someone by refusing his invitation, or ignore it and hope it goes away. Their unanimous adoption of the second choice might not have been approved by Emily Post, but hey, we were all kids in high school and awkward situations make for awkward solutions.

Besides, I think we guys had more fun than we might have had if the girls had been there.

So why did that little slice of the summer of 1970 come to light this week in association with Richard Starkey? Because Mike and I – hard-core Beatle fans that we were – realized early on that our gathering was taking place on July 7, which was Ringo’s thirtieth birthday. We mentioned that sometime early that evening, and the other guys pretty much yawned. So we shrugged and went on with the serious business of eating hot dogs and chips and laughing at stuff that was amusing, in all likelihood, only to high school boys.

I went through my library of Ringo’s music this morning, looking for a song to fit the tale, but nothing there really seemed to work. So I turned to other sources and found a suitable tune from Lou Ann Barton for today’s Saturday Single:

“Let’s Have A Party” by Lou Ann Barton from Read My Lips [1989]


2 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 193”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    I’m told that there’s a difference between being a regular geek and a being a music geek, but for some reason, I have no idea what it is. You and Mike had it right all along. Happy 70th, Ringo!

    That’s a great cover from Lou Ann.

  2. WZJN says:

    ‘Sentimental Journey’ might have been a contender.

    Again, you continue to amaze all with your stories.

Leave a Reply