Saturday, June 19, 2010


The other night I flashed on the memory of a song, and it brought back
memories of the summer we moved out of Dorchester to Abington.
Bear with me here as I explain.

 One of my Facebook friends uses what I believe are Japanese Kanji
characters as part of her screen name. I was looking at something she'd
posted and thought how much things have changed from when I was a
kid in the way Japanese culture has become so popular. That was the
thought that reminded me about the Japanese language song that
became an American hit back in the 1960's. I could remember the
music and in my mind I could "hear" it being sung. What was that song?
I could even recall it playing in the car one day as we pulled into the
driveway of the new house on Bicknell Hill Rd!

And that got me started on the memories. The contractor had left a
small mound of dirt on the front lawn next to the driveway that had
quickly been covered by weeds. In fact the there was a whole section
of the backyard that was basically knee high tall grass and Dad bought
one of those old fashioned weed whackers. You know, the ones with
the serrated blade that you swing like a golf club? Of course, the motor
driven weed whackers were a few years away in the future from 1963.
Guess who got to use that weed whacker club a whole lot?

There was only two other buildings on the street at the time that first
summer. Our next door neighbor was Assistant School Superintendent
in Abington, and there was a family across the street from us. The rest
was empty space, part of an old farm, and across the street was a big
field that once  might have been used for crops or pasture but now was
just more of that tall grass waving in the wind. Part of our back yard
was actually in the next town over, Whitman, and less than a half mile
away from us was Spivack's farm, where cows still grazed in the pasture
or stood stoically in a small corral next to Washington St staring at the
cars whizzing by.

City boy that I was, I was a little disappointed that the closest movie
theater was a good walk away in Whitman Center. And there was only
one library in Abington, and it was smaller than the ones I had haunted
in Boston, and it was open fewer hours!  But I met some of the kids in
the neighborhood and soon enough I was playing football and wiffleball,
so I survived the lack of a  city sized library.

One image from that first summer in Abington is of one night when we'd
been out someplace and returned home shortly after dark. As the car
pulled off of Washington St onto Bicknell Hill Rd we could see something
red glowing in the dark on our front lawn. It was the eyes of a rabbit
reflecting the car headlights. In fact, there was more than one rabbit,
maybe a half dozen, and they froze there in the grass as they were caught
in the lights. Then we pulled into the driveway, Dad turned off the
headlights and the engine and the rabbits scattered away into the dark
as we all got out of the car.

All that came to mind because of my thinking about that Japanese song
from 46 years ago. I couldn't remember the name so I posted a question
on Facebook asking if anyone knew what it was and genealogist George
Morgan told me it was "Sukiyaki". I found it online and if you click

Does it spark any memories for you? 

1 comment:

Greta Koehl said...

What a neat summer memory. It's funny how certain things trigger these memories. And yes, I remember the song; it was one of those "specialty" songs that took off like wildfire. Now I'll probably go crazy trying to remember some of the others.