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“Louie Louie” and I sometimes cruise the highway together. It’s easy now to rock out to tunes from any era and I might be that girl you pass who is dancing in her seat belt. Old hits make me smile and none more than when they transport me back to the days of high school and Charles.

I moved to Nashville my senior year. I came kicking of course and screaming “it’s my life!” “Help!” But “mama said” “papa had a brand new bag,” so come I did. But then, Charles was in my new senior class and, miraculously, “I was into something good.” There were a bunch of other good kids in that class too, many of whom, thankfully, are still in my world today. We were pretty innocent in the 60’s, even in our “hanky panky,” but we still had “fun, fun, fun” “eight days a week.” School was good enough that “Monday, Monday” wasn’t dreaded. And while Charles and I didn’t actually start dating until after our graduation party, one that ran pretty much “all day and all of the night!,” I figured “time was on my side” because I “heard through the grapevine” that he thought he’s “got to get me into his life.” And from that moment, Charles was “my guy.”

No matter that for two years our dates seesawed between “happy together” and “the tracks of my tears” in the usual way of young couples. We even dated other people as we attended different colleges (so mature), but it was half-hearted. We discovered that “breaking up is hard to do” and one way or another, managed to keep “hanging on.”

Once when my college buds and I were cruising the local hot spot and had just pulled out, we met him heading in. He hadn’t seen us so “with a little help from my friends” I whipped a u-turn, pulled in behind him, “stopped! in the name of love!” and acted like we’d just gotten there. I was “too proud to beg,” but not too proud to do that! It worked.

Charles is rolling his eyes at this walk down melody lane. His music and his talent were way more sophisticated than mine, more Chicago than Tommy James & the Shondells, and he’ll think this blog is sweetly lame with my bubblegum music taste. But he would “stand by me” because, three years after we met, “can’t help falling in love” married “respect” and ultimately, Charles was “back in my arms again” for good. We found our lives would “get no satisfaction” without each other and we worked hard not to “lose that lovin’ feeling.”

Back in that day, I never thought about losing Charles himself. Once the unthinkable happened, I learned that the opportunity “to love somebody” is a gift. I did and do “believe in magic” and it happens every time I hear our song. "Unchained melody” reminds me “ain’t no mountain high enough.”

Gosh. Lame or not, I hope you’re in a place where you can “second that emotion.”

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