I saw him approaching me
At the Historical Society’s event.
They were honoring our family,
So folks came to join us – or greetings sent.
He approached with arms extended
And I immediately recognized his face,
Even though I hadn’t seen him since
I’d moved from our homeland’s place.
I returned the hug and marveled
At the way I was transported
Back to when at four years old,
A little tuxedo he sported.
In my taffeta dress of sparkling white
And matching patent leather shoes,
I stood with flowers of yellow hue
In contrast to the bridesmaids’ blues.
Across from me carrying ring on pillow
Was my friend, Frankie, looking sharp.
We thought we were getting married, too,
As we stood and listened to the harp.
I backed up from our friendly hug
And stood looking at my friend.
My eyes glistened with tears of joy
As I was transported back again.
Back to the days when I would sit
Down on the living room floor
And try to duplicate his accordion’s sounds
On a small squeezebox, wishing for more.
More songs to play than that little box could,
More buttons to push on the left,
More keys to play on the piano side;
Wishing I could read the treble clef.
Frankie’s mother, whom I called Aunt Olga,
Although she wasn’t a blood relative at all,
Sent me home with the accordion saying,
“Play for your mom, then bring it back. Don’t fall!”
Across the rocky driveway I went
With that eight button squeezebox in hand.
My mom heard me play “Twinkle Twinkle”
And “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
“How did you learn to play that thing?”
I could tell she was impressed.
I played again so we could sing along
As I fingered the keys and buttons depressed.
Transported back to Mrs. Jensen,
Who gave me a lesson or two
Before she said, “This accordion isn’t capable
Of doing more than you already do.”
Transported back to Girl Scout Camp
In the Sierra Nevada Mountains so green,
To the day when my parents surprised me
With the most beautiful accordion I’d ever seen.
It had one hundred twenty bass keys,
And the keyboard reached down to my knees.
Pearly white with sparkling gold keys,
I took lessons until I could play the Dance of the Bees!
Frankie reminded me I paid for the small one
With the allowance I saved every week.
Twenty-five bucks was a lot in those days.
I smiled as we parted with a kiss on the cheek.
There is nothing more precious, nothing more sweet,
Than childhood memories, friends from days past,
Chances to reconnect with those you love,
Recreate memories – and make new ones that last.