One of my earliest memories, I must have been all of 3 or 4, is being in the carport of the house next door. It was inhabited by two older girls (perhaps 9 or so), who seemed infinitely more worldly and sophisticated than I was, with their easy bake ovens and their Barbie dolls.
One hot summer day, I remember even still, the cicadas chirping frantically, the smell of freshly mown grass, the smell of chlorine in the sprinkler water...
the girls were atop the hood of their parents' car, angrily tossing their parents' collection of 45s on the concrete. I was sitting calmly below, watching the theatrics.
Their carport was littered with scratched 45s, shattered 45s...and a few nearly pristine ones. The younger girl didn't have that good of an aim, I guess.
I, never one to pass up free things, even as an infant, picked one up, a nearly pristine one. I brought it home. Somehow or another it was played.
It was from (New Orleans' own) Dixie Cups:
This song is still one of my very favorite songs ever.
I'm sure it set the stage early on for nothing but disappointment and misery in my life, but whatever...it's just a pure, perfectly beautiful song.
(Anyway, this is dedicated to Mr. P and all those folks out in CA today.)