Musical memories and wedding bells

Whenever I hear the Allman Brothers break into the opening chords of Blue Sky, my thoughts invariably wander to memories of Robin.

Whenever I hear the Allman Brothers break into the opening chords of Blue Sky, my thoughts invariably wander to memories of Robin.

She worked in an arcade making change from an apron of many pockets stuffed with coins on the Wildwood boardwalk not far from where I worked on Fun Pier.

She was on the cusp of 16, with hair the colour of burnished gold that cascaded past her waist, and eyes that matched the surf along the New Jersey shoreline on the most sun-soaked summer day.

Her voice was the sound of innocence, tinged with a Philadelphia inflection that turned the word water to wooder in the most delightful way.

We became more than friends, sharing shattered hearts and dreams derailed by cruel twists of fate and my wandering eye as the years piled up upon each other.

Somehow we survived through the twists and turns neither of us could foresee, sending off letters laboriously penned in longhand, sharing joys and sorrows from one end of the continent to the other.

We have managed to survive the tests of time, even though we haven’t shared a smile in person for 35 of the past 45 years.

Robin will always remain a special friend, and I am forever indebted to her for that song that always takes us back to what was, and what may have been.

Music has a way of weaving together the thoughts, memories and feelings that are sometimes too difficult to describe in words, or any other way. Seeing the Paul Butterfield Blues band on my 17th birthday with my friend George in my last week of high school in 1967 is a seminal experience that has influenced what we listen to in varying degrees to this day.

The bride and I share songs that will keep us connected forever, whether we are in tune with the moment, or carried away to memories, times, people and places that have forever shaped who we are.

Since you no doubt wonder where I’m going with this, I must confess these musings were spawned in part by the wedding of the daughter of friends Andre and Karen yesterday.

Surrounded by much younger friends of the bride and groom, we all shared the songs husband and wife to be had chosen to mark their special day.

Even though the words and melodies were mostly unfamiliar to me, I find myself thinking of the links those songs forged for them on the day they exchanged rings.

To Angela and Shane, may the best days await as you watch your beautiful daughter grow up before your eyes. May you one day attend her wedding and hear the special songs she chooses for her day.  And may there be many, many magical moments ahead whenever you hear your version of “You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day. Lord you know it makes me high when you turn your love my way.”

•••

Rick Stiebel is a Sooke resident and semi-retired journalist.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

Sgt. Sandrine Perry in the Oak Bay Police Department interview room that has been softened with household features to better accommodate survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay police interview room gets a makeover

Room made less daunting for victims of trauma

Paul Lewis is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Arts Advocate of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore driftwood sculptor inspired by Esquimalt Lagoon

Paul Lewis is the 2021 Arts Advocate of the Year

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read