His name is Jan Peerce. It was 1951. I just found that out. I thought today would be an excellent day to visit him. Or, shall I say, "re-visit" him? He's been a part of my life for a very long time.
The song was "Sing, Everyone, Sing" and it was the theme song for a radio show, the name and the details, I cannot recall. I was only five or six years old. But I do remember that I heard it, many times, just around lunch time. It belted out from a very small radio. I want to say that the radio might have been light yellow, Bakelite. I can tell you exactly where it was. It was on a little corner shelf, right next to the first in a row of the top row of metal cabinets in my grandmother's kitchen. The walls were yellow tile, the cabinets, white, and the Formica counter top, black. I can still hear it and at the very same time, picture my grandmother, for some reason, always in a yellow sundress, singing right along, happy and busy. My grandmother was always happy and busy. I never knew then, that she had suffered from "melancholia" when my mother was young, and that she went away to "rest". You would never have known it.
When I think of that kitchen, I see not only my grandmother, but a whole world passes before my eyes. I see a truck, filled with huge squares of ice, another with large bottles of "crystalline" and another, with "seltzer". There were also an assortment of little trucks that came around with regularity, these filled with fruits or fish. Peddlers. Lifelines for the women who waited for their arrival. The women who did not drive, not did they ever want or need to. I see my grandfather's socks, being soaked before hand-washed, in the bathroom sink. I see my grandmother, pulling a pulley that creaked and groaned as it brought the clothes line to her hands in all kinds of weather. I see clothes on that line, all hung in a sequence that made perfect sense to the hanger. Dazzling whites one day, dark the next, sheets the next and on and on and on.
My grandmother suffered from melancholia. You would never have guessed it. Never in almost all of my lifetime. She always looked so happy.She just needed to get over some humps. She just needed to sing and to smile and to keep on doing what she loved.