Oh, my friend, it won’t be long
Before this touch is a memory
One day we’ll be older; we’ll know where we are
And we’ll still feel this love, though our lives may be far
We were so crazy and I love you today
Will we stay friends?
For you might live away
Through the passage of years. . .
Here I can touch you, but I only feel tears
The first message from Carol conveyed her shock. I could almost hear her voice quivering as I read her comment left on the prior post of my blog.
Perhaps now that I’ve written and released all of my traumatic memories, I am willing to embrace the beautiful friendships that were the embodiment of the “musical life” of my youth.
I am certain to follow this post with many more on this subject.
Before I was married, I lumped my feelings into my song, “Only Tears.” Although I played it often and associated it with Cheryl, it was truly for all of my friends. All of us were “moving on” to uncertain careers and leaving our childhood behind.
I wrote back to Carol, and erroneously told her that I “drew a blank” when it came to our memories. That wasn’t true because I can easily feel them in my heart once again. There are interesting stories regarding all of my friends. One of my friends doesn’t even know that I wrote the song “More Than You Know” for her. The lyrics were different from what they are now.
After I have shared my background regarding our friendship, I will share some of our recent, correspondence. I have felt almost giddy with amazement to rediscover my good friend after thirty years!
Also, Carol will have the opportunity to share her perspective about our friendship.
I had a circle of perhaps seven friends that I was very close to. Carol was very much a part of my group. She loved to sing and harmonize; all of our dancing and beach excursions were joyous. She had attended my high school and was similarly involved with choir and music. My choir teacher, Frankie, was special to her also – I had completely forgotten about that! I am going to put them back in touch!
I haven’t mentioned too many of my friends from this time other than Cheryl. Perhaps I wrote a lot about Cheryl because she and I had a lot of conflict and then it saddened me terribly that she died. I still maintain contact with several, good friends who have interesting stories, which I might share later on.
Friendship played an integral part of my musical life. My group of girlfriends did typical things that were all part of a glorious time in my life. From the age of 15 until I was married, friendship and music were intertwined. My friends and I would sing and harmonize; usually we were at the beach every weekend. In between, I would be folk dancing to music several times a week. Music was so deeply engrained into all of it for me. My friends allowed me to play my guitar wherever we went, and the harmonies would lift me up into the heavens. When we would go dancing, I would be soaked in sweat as I allowed the music to propel all of my energy into those steps.
When I heard from Sam, my boyfriend of four years (age 15 to 19), I was reminded of my friend, Carol. That was because it ignited my vivid memories of the very last time I saw Carol. It was shortly before my “formal” wedding in June.
When I’ve thought about Carol, it has been sad for me. My memories of our friendship were deeply buried. It was such an abrupt ending that our friendship had! I remember our last encounter vividly. We were riding on a bus to the Hollywood Bowl; it had been awhile since just the two of us had gotten together. I was busy planning my wedding and coping with the stress of my “secret marriage.”
We never knew that our last time together would be the end of our special friendship. After sharing so many memories, our last evening together would be the last memory for thirty years. It was interesting for me to realize that during our time together that evening, we both revealed things of such a personal nature!
Carol shared with me two, huge revelations. She was with my former boyfriend, Sam, and they were engaged!
She also shared that she was not Jewish and had recently converted.
I reciprocated by sharing my situation with her. It was easy to do so under those circumstances. Her situation sounded exciting, whereas I was confused and stressed out over being secretly married.
Carol was not at my wedding. She had moved to Texas to be with Sam. For many years, I’ve wondered why Cindy wasn’t there. My memories were fuzzy. I vaguely remember that Cindy was struggling with something difficult in her life. I thought she was deeply depressed or ill, but it turned out that Cindy was going through a lot with her mother’s illness and subsequent death. We lost touch before my wedding and I have deep regrets about it.
In June of 1981, I had my beautiful, big wedding.
It was after my wedding, that I embarked on an artistic odyssey. Every ounce of my energy went into being an illustrator. I was isolated and there were no more outings with friends as I developed my watercolor technique.
My husband built my art studio. He set up airbrushing compressors and taught me to use the equipment. He installed a special projector, which enlarged my photos. I learned how to use a darkroom, which he set up in our bathroom.
Michael also showed me how to use a 35mm camera. He bought me an expensive, macro lens to shoot my reference up-close.
He still laughs at how resistant I was regarding learning the computer. He built his own computer many years before I ever was willing to look at one!
My career was my “baby.”
My first message to Carol after I received her comment on my blog is below. Her reply will follow on my next post.
On October 27, 2010 Judy wrote:
I can’t believe how quickly I was able to reach you and hear back – amazing!
It is interesting for me that I’ve drawn a blank on memories of our times until now. It seems that Sam entering the picture revived a lot of those memories for me. Perhaps it was the sadness that we abruptly stopped staying in touch; I’m not sure why it became that way.
Anyway, you have a lot of reading to do – but it will completely catch you up on my life. On the other hand, unless you have a blog – you’re going to have to give me an essay update.
I am thinking that you will find much of what I’ve written interesting. Losing Cheryl was very sad indeed.
I would also like to write about my reconnecting with Cindy. She and I were also out of touch for many years.
Did you ever hear my songs back then? I don’t remember much about that. I do know that we sure enjoyed harmonizing and singing Christmas Carols!
Take your time. If you would like to write something, which I could post to my blog, I would love that. It would enhance this wonderful “story.” My writing is usually very honest. I’m not sure how you feel about that. I could run by you what I write before I post it.
I am extremely excited to share my musical journey with you!
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Hi Judy, I don’t know how I missed this blog entry, but it has been so interesting reading about you and Carol and your memories. Just want to point something out. You wrote that I became “extremely ill” and that is why I wasn’t at your wedding. I think you have me confused with my mom. My mom got cancer when I was 19 and died in 1982. I was dealing with her illness most of my college days. The only “illness” I had was my appendix surgery in 1979. Other than that, I was healthy as can be!
Thanks, Cindy. I am so touched that you read those old posts. My memory was indeed fuzzy and I will correct that story so it is accurate. I was inspired to write one of my favorite songs because of you (More Than You Know). Sorry we lost touch but so glad you are sharing my life’s journey with me now.
I remember when you told me you wrote that for me. And, I had had no idea at the time. I do remember your becoming distant from me after I began dating Barry in 1979. I missed you so much! I really wish we had talked about it because I think you perceived I pulled away from you, and I perceived you distanced yourself from me. It is too bad because we lost some very precious years in our friendship. I am very glad we are in touch now!
I really want to tell you how very sorry I am that I wasn’t there for you when you went through so much with your mother’s illness. Now I truly understand what that meant, after watching my mother decline to her death. You were so young to have to go through all that and as your friend I wish I was there for you. I adjusted my story and appreciate that you pointed that out to explain what had happened. So much was going on that unfortunately distanced us then – but I feel very close to you now. Hope all is well with your family. Your beautiful husband and children always give me a smile.