Samos and I were looking through some very old sheet music of popular tunes from long ago. The main interest in most of these fox trot and ballad sheets is not the music itself – too frequently awful, but the cute covers with illustrations from the twenties or early thirties. I noticed this one with a wholesome looking couple, no doubt the performers, on the cover. When I read the names, I was astonished. Ozzie and Harriet! Logic aside, I never imagined they had ever been so young. Seeing them, I might as well have had a madeleine! What a flood of memories!
My mother was a holdout in the matter of television, so we didn’t have one till long after everyone else did. Consequently, after lights were officially out, I sometimes surreptitiously listened to the radio. I don’t think I listened very often, as, given my mother’s vigilance, the subterfuge was difficult, but I recall listening to a few – The Lone Ranger, Amos and Andy, and Ozzie and Harriet. I loved them. A few years later, when my mother finally succumbed to pressure from my brother and I, we did get a television, and I was thrilled to find that the Nelsons had a weekly show. Ricky and David were a little older (as was I), but I still loved them. When I was in high school, Ricky Nelson was a teen idol, and of course, he was my idol too. I owned about three popular records, and “Hello, Mary Lou” was one of them.
As Samos and I drove together to the store, I was babbling on to him about Ozzie and Harriet, and he, who was not even born during the Nelson heyday, listened politely to an old lady’s reminiscences. My favorite grocery store often has cute music from my youth, but I was stunned when we walked in, to hear “Hello, Mary Lou!” It was almost mystic! In fact, the coincidence made me happy all day. I probably would have been happy all day anyway, but it made me a little happier.