For the first eight years of my life we lived in a 3 bedroom house in North Richland Hills. The house was small but in my memories it seemed so big because of course I am remembering it as an 8 year old or even younger. That time period, those first 8 years seem so idyllic to me. We would move to a bigger house, a new house and from that point on it seemed it was all about keeping up with the Joneses or whoever. Those first 8 years where my parents struggled a bit but always fed us, and the neighbors all looked out for each other was really the happiest time of my youth. At night we would sit in the living room, sparsely furnished, and watch television. I always think of that television as a black and white television but it might have been a color television. A lot of what we watched were variety shows because those were popular and would remain so through most of the 70’s.
There was one show that I loved, one variety show that I never wanted to miss. When the host was on other shows I didn’t miss those either. I would get as close to the television as my parents would allow. She was always smiling, always laughing and she was beautiful. She was my first crush. She was beautiful too, and in the 60s and early 70’s in Texas I didn’t even consider that she was a black woman. I just saw her as a Supreme.
When I found out much later that Michael Jackson had a crush on her I totally understood. If I hear a song today, bam I am 8 years old again trying to get as close to the television as my parents would allow. The Supremes always had those form fitting dresses to give a boy thoughts. No wonder I had a crush. It was more than just their appearance it was those songs and those great vocals that only could come from Motown. They had hits galore. I slowly moved onto other musical crushes still have a few, my latest being Zola Jesus but that’s another blog entirely.
In 1988 America and Americans had finally embraced the Vietnam war and realized that a great wrong had been done to the soldiers who fought. They had been blamed for being soldiers for being wounded, called names and discarded. America was now embracing them. In 1988 the show China Beach premiered on television. I loved it for many reasons but mostly because it dealt with the dark edges of war in general and was mostly told from the perspective of the nurses who gave everything to save the lives of soldiers wounded in horrible ways. The opening song of that show was Reflections a song by Diana Ross and the Supremes. It is my favorite song from the Supremes maybe not as well known as others but it was so perfect for a show that was looking back on a war that was horrible and ugly. I didn’t always watch the show but if I was around even if I was about to walk out the door I would stop when I heard those opening notes and I was 8 years old again. So you will have to indulge me if I swoon a little over Diana, that smile, that laugh and that amazing voice and the songs that she and Mary and Florence sang. I still love them they still make me smile.
Now about Zola Jesus
Yeah I know we will wait on her or you can check her out early.