Posted by: Jim E | July 1, 2012

“You And I”, Twice…Feld’s Store…Western Flyer…Meet Me In St. Louis…And Goodbye, Mr. Chips…

Well, you know, Judie and I met for the first time right there…no, not in this picture, over there, in your minds eye…right in front of Feld’s Store…well, if you look carefully…that is…look up…you will distinctly see it…over the top of the door to the store…there it is, hand-painted by maybe Max Feld himself…I don’t really know that but it was hand done…but in bold letters so as to see it better, FELD’S STORE…Feld’s was an important feature of my childhood…and of course, it is where I met Judie for the first time…so not only childhood but early, very early adulthood…we were both about 19 or there about…I remember when I was young, my Mom sent me to Feld’s often to pick up bread or milk and other stuff too, and to “put it on the tab”…and I know as I grew up a bit, I rode my Western Flyer bike to the store…I didn’t get my bike “early”…I mean it was after most of my friends had a bike…and my older brother Jack had his…(I would run along side my friends on their bikes, when we went here and there)…we didn’t have a lot of money, so I understand…and understood it then…but finally we got it at the Western Auto store…another victim of the years…Western Auto is a thing of the past…

Western Auto stores sold almost everything…they started out, in 1909, to sell auto parts, oil, tires, etc…but soon it sold tools, guns, hardware, appliances, electronics…Oh, and the Western Flyer, my bike…and  just about anything else…they were a fixture on almost any main street in small and large towns across America…kind of like Feld’s Store times a thousand or two…the picture here is about what my bike looked like in the mid 1950’s…mine was all red…and ya, big balloon tires…and it was my pride and joy…hey, I could go anywhere and everywhere…I loved the mobility…kinda like my first car…you know what I mean…and I went up to Feld’s for my Mom but I also went there just to hang out…we sat on the cellar door, you see it over there…the kind that is at an angle to the wall…and the doors open up and then you can go down the cement stairs to the basement…well, we never “went there”…that was off limits, but we sat on those doors as we drank our “Coke” out of the 6 ounce bottle…checking the bottom of the bottle to see “where” it was from…most from right in Minneapolis…but sometimes, well, many times it was from Chicago, or New York, or Kansas City, or LA…or if really lucky, from Paris, France or London, England…anything was possible at Feld’s…sitting on the cellar door…

And that “anything” happened a few years later…Oh, in “kid years” a long time later…it was probably 6 or 8 years, something like that…not a long time to a 70 year old…but it was on that day I “drove” up to Feld’s Store…not on my Western Flyer…but in my first car…a 1953 Ford, I think a Custom(here is a picture of me washing that beautiful gem)…a flat-head 6, that my Grandpa helped me pick out…I paid $395 for it…right off the used car lot in Minneapolis…on Hennepin Avenue…it was a stick shift…Grandpa said, he didn’t trust automatic transmissions…so we took the “stick”, he said he knew how to put in a new clutch, if that went out…it had the typical Minnesota rust on the rocker panels…but otherwise it was “beautiful”… heavens, it was my first car…and since my Mom, or my Dad never drove…this was more than a big deal…

About the time I got my 1953 Ford flat-head six…I heard there were a few girls living at the parsonage of our church…and one day as I drove up to Feld’s…they just happened to be leaving the store…I stopped…they stopped…we talked…and there was one that somehow made an impression on me…she is somehow still with me…she says it was love at first sight…it may have been for both of us…the glue that stuck us together that day…is still working today…why heavens, it will be 49 years on August 3rd…I may have to take her to breakfast at McDonald’s that morning, just to celebrate…

I am after all a romantic…Oh, not your gushy over the top kind of guy, flowers, candy, jewelry, etc. (you can ask Judie…Oh, ask anybody!!!)…but a romantic none the less…I’m a believer in seeing things in an idealized, sometimes sentimental way…I view things sometimes from how I wished them to be rather than how they might really be…though I am a realist at the same time…seems incongruous I know…but it is the way I am…so my love for Judie is real, yet it lives in a world that remembers the great times of our lives…many of those wonderful times are happening right now…maybe that comes from growing old, I don’t know…but I do know that even with all that is going on in our lives, yet it comes down to, “We still have it, don’t we?”…

That quote comes from one Sunday, a few years ago…we were at church and Judie was coming down with the choir from the platform…I was in the audience…and as she did, she was looking at me…and she kind of tripped, catching herself…she looked out at me…and I was looking at her…our eyes caught each other…and we smiled and those good feelings surged through both of us…she came down to the pew…and as she sat down, I said, “We still have it, don’t we?”…we kissed as she sat down…that my friends is a couple of  “romantics”…

“You and I”…I put that in the title of this post…there are a few songs with that same name…I will chose two…they come from two of my favorite movies…both old movies…the first from 1944, “Meet Me In St. Louis” with Judy Garland…America was embroiled in WWII…so many families didn’t know if their loved ones would come home…”the film gave them hope in lovingly looking back to an era that even then was a distant memory”…it was a romantic look back at that time…I love that movie for those very qualities…and there is one song that fits in with this post…”You And I”…it was a song written by the producer of the film, Arthur Freed…in fact Leon Ames voice was dubbed by Freed and Mary Astor’s voice was dubbed by Denny Markas…but the song is one for Judie and I…”You And I”…here is the clip…

 

The second film is from 1969…”Goodbye, Mr. Chips”…again, I love the film…underrated and under-appreciated as a film…totally romantic, in the way I like, of course…the music, color and acting are superb…and feelings of all kinds just run the table in this film…and of course, another song with the name, “You And I”…sung by Petula Clark…lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by John Williams…again I have a clip…toward the end of the movie, which takes place during WWII, for the most part…it culminates their lives together…a good song in a wonderful movie…again, it’s “You And I”…

So it all started with the song “You And I”…this post, that is, and “like topsy, it just growed”…so as I think of Feld’s Store…I wade through memories that are thick as cobwebs you brush away in an old building…and as I think about that day so long ago…I think also how lucky I am to have someone who will go through time with me…“Watch the evening drawing on together”…we travel together “making memories that light the sky”, as the song goes…“Growing older, growing closer”…making memories “That only time can make/That only love can make/That only we can make…You and I”…

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Thanks for the memories Dad…all part of my story as well…so good to hear the parts I knew…and some more that I didn’t.’

    If there is anything I have learned from you and Mom, it’s that the simple things in life are what really matter…and the ones that carry us a lifetime. Contentment…with each other, with our circumstances…with the thread of simple things that string the years together…but not just the years…they connect our past with our present and give it context no matter what is going on. You have talked about this before…and I have experienced it many times in my life…and love it…”Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name”…the irrefutable truth of Cheers…the looks, the ditty’s, the McDonald’s breakfast’s…they provide a truth, an anchor, a reminder…that everything is OK…that the important things have not changed…and with that comes safety…in just knowing.

    I hope that Marisa and I will be sharing stories like this when we are 70. That they might conjure up thinking and stimulate living to our kids just as you have done for me.

    Love ya Pops…tell Mom I love her too.

    Jared

    • Jared…ya, I wish I could really put it “all” down…there just isn’t space…and maybe the ability to put it in words…you know, how do I put down the “flood of feelings” that I and your Mom had when she was coming down off the platform that morning…when she caught my eye…and I hers…but it was real and I still remember the “feelings”, I know she does too…or how can I put in words when I met her the first time…and times after that…and how we both felt…I know people try to put these things down in words but I don’t know if I have that ability and of course the space or the time to do it…but thanks, you got it…the gist of it, the essence of the story…I guess that is all we can hope for…

      One thing is sure, your Mom “got it”…I will hear from her…the humor in what I wrote, may be hidden to others, but she will get it…’cause it shows her deep down what I feel for her…but of course it was certainly not all humor…serious stuff is there for her mostly…but you caught the meaning…and it’s important to me that you did…well, I knew you would…and others will too…and it is stuff that is important to me…so here I had a chance/attempt to write it…

      And by the way, you already have stories you tell of you and Marisa…they are a little folklore in your kids heads already…keep it up…Dad

  2. What a fine trip down memory lane, Jim- I enjoyed it!

    • Thanks W.S. for the comment…enjoyed sharing…Jim E


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: