Monday, November 3, 2014

Remembering Valerie and July 1970


I was listening to Hy Lit radio when I heard Ronnie Dyson's 1970 hit Why Can't I Touch You Came On. For many years I have associated that song with Valerie whom I dated in July 1970 when that song was a hit. Back then my father managed a ladies clothing store in Mount Vernon in Westchester. He met a young lady named Valerie and suggested that she meet me. I phoned her and met her in Manhattan. We saw the movie The Hawaiians at a theater near Times Square. From there I took her home taking the Metro-North train to Mount Vernon. When we arrived home she invited me to her sister's wedding the next week. I was absolutely stunned to be invited to her sister's wedding after knowing her for just a few hours. During that first date she told me she was going to Israel during August.

Listening to Ronnie Dyson's song regenerated my memories of her. Over the month of July:

  • I took her to see Blood Sweat and Tears at Madison Square Garden
  • We saw the Movie Z
  • We went dancing at Community Gardens a disco in Queens Village
  • We went to the beach at Rye Playland


I never tried to be too forward with someone I just met. But she never wanted to get close to me physically. I remember one date, I got a handshake instead of a kiss. This is why I associated the Ronnie Dyson song with her.

Just before she left for Israel she cooked dinner for me. At point I certainly expected to see her when she returned.

At the end of August I phoned and she talked about her trip. When I asked her out she said “call me again.” A few days later I tried again and she said “I can't go out with you because I had a bad reaction to my cholera shot". After a few more phone calls I got the message that she didn't want to see me anymore. I was really disappointed. Perhaps she met someone on the trip to Israel or maybe she had gone with another boyfriend. I've learned that most disappointments like this in the long term are for the better.

When I heard the Ronnie Dyson hit today, out of curiosity I Googled her and found out that she passed away about a year ago at the age of 63.


Later in 1970 the family is in the car and Valerie by the Monkees came on the radio. Leave it to my sister to ask “What happened to Valerie?”




One consequence of having excellent autobiographic memory is that I often recall too many disappointing experiences of the past.

2 comments:

Larry George said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your post, Bruce. Thanks for sharing.

And also for reminding me of this terrific song!

Think many of us have similar memories of those that have come close to us... but not as near as we would've liked.

From my experience, I found your passing comment quite accurate... what didn't happen may just have been for the better.

All the best!

/Larry
Now In Southwest FL

Larry George said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your post, Bruce. Thanks for sharing.

And also for reminding me of this terrific song!

Think many of us have similar memories of those that have come close to us... but not as near as we would've liked.

From my experience, I found your passing comment quite accurate... what didn't happen may just have been for the better.

All the best!

/Larry
Now In Southwest FL

 
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