04 December 2013

A Warm Memory On a Cold, Quiet Day

It is a snowy cold day in early December at the end of another semester. I’m not going into the office today—working from home, as they say in the business world. And I’m sitting out here in the cabin marking papers (ugh!), reading (ah!), and thinking (thankfully!). I had the radio on quietly but somehow felt compelled to blast the music. It started when the Roche Sisters version of “Good King Wenceslas” played.  Too many years ago I traveled down to Greenwich Village and the Bottom Line to hear the Roche Sisters sing. I owned their first album which I played happily and somewhat often. I think for this show I was accompanied by my friend (I wonder where he is now?) David W.
And even now I’m wondering if perhaps the venue wasn’t the Bottom Line but perhaps some other place. No matter . . .
That night the live voices of the sisters, Maggie, Terre and Suzzy reached me with such remarkably beautiful harmony and interesting lyrics that I fell in love with their idiosyncratic performance generally and with Terry Roche specifically. I sat entranced and very satisfied. I think that David Massengill was the opening act.
I remember at some starry-eyed point during the evening turning to David and declaring that if I could have a wish I would like  to spend Christmas at the Roche sisters home and listen to them sing Christmas Carols. Of course, being Jewish this was a rather odd desire, but . . . well, I was in love. David smiled.
One day in late November the next year I discovered in the Village Voice (RIP) the announcement of a show at the Bottom Line headlined by Tom Paxton ,and as a second act, The Roche Sisters would appear with their friends singing Christmas carols!!  Okay, maybe I have some of the details confused: it might have not have been Tom Paxton, but it was certainly the realization of my Christmas wish, though it would occur not privately before their fireplace but at the very public Bottom Line with other admirers in attendance. I don’t think it was David with whom I attended this show. I don’t know that I would have cared who I was with that evening: I wrapped myself in the gorgeous harmonies of the singing and fixed my gaze intently adoringly, and invitingly on lovely Terre.
Anyway, I am going to try to continue marking papers (ugh!), and reading (ah!), and thinking (thankfully!) out here with the music blasting and request somehow that “Good King Wenceslas” play again and offer me again that wonderful memory of a Christmas past.


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