Editor's Notebook

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Life's soundtrack stirs up memories

This is one of my favorite issues because so much of it deals with one of the things I like best in life: music. Raised in a musical family in which even doing the dishes was an occasion for four-part harmony, I have music clear down to my cells.

What especially pleased me about this month's Heart of the Home stories was that so many of the songs mentioned were familiar to me. I'm not from the World War II era, but my parents were, and those were the songs that filled my home from my earliest memories. Mom sang all her life, so I'm sure one of the earliest things I heard was her lilting soprano in a lovely rendition of Always or It's a Sin to Tell a Lie.

When I was in junior high school, my sister and I formed a duet (inventively called 'The Compton Girls') and worked up an hour or so worth of performances of Harbor Lights, I'll Be Seeing You, Mares Eat Oats and whatever else my mother decided we should sing. I fussed a bit because the music was so old-fashioned, but I did love singing harmony with my sister Donna. We performed for ladies' luncheons, Rotary, Lion's Clubs and church groups all over our part of Oklahoma.

And my dad, commander of the American Legion Post, made sure we had plenty of 'gigs' at various veterans' events. I never understood why those old guys (they must have been at least 40!) cried when we sang some of those songs. Now I know that the most profound moments of our lives often end up with a soundtrack, and all we need to take us back to those depths is just the right song. During the war, Mom and Dad bade each other goodbye to Harbor Lights, and anticipated their reunion with Happy Days are Here Again. The men in those VA hospitals knew what it meant to love and lose, and when we sang Hello, Young Lovers, they were transported from their wheelchairs to the blessedness of an experienced heart.

My parents used to dance in the kitchen late at night, after my sisters and I were allegedly asleep. I can see them still - Daddy in his work clothes, Mom in a pretty house dress - holding each other and keeping precisely in step. There never was music playing, but they both seemed to be hearing the same song. I've always wondered what it was.

Here's wishing you a sweet soundtrack in the key of Life during these next beautiful early summer days. I'm already hearing a summery song; are you? Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days …

K.C. Compton
Editor in Chief