Monday, September 27, 2010

June's Enchanted Evening

June and Art met on Memorial Day, May 30, 1949. The song “Some Enchanted Evening” was playing in the background.

Hand-tinted photo of June by the
radio at her Riverhead home.
“Some enchanted evening
When you find your true love,
When you feel her call you
Across a crowded room,
Then fly to her side,
And make her your own...”

While the song was playing, their eyes met across a crowded room.

The song was new but everyone already knew it. It was from South Pacific, the wildly popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that had opened on Broadway the previous month. Artists were already rushing to cover it, and 1949 would see versions of it by Ezio Pinza (original Broadway cast recording), Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jo Stafford, and Al Jolson. They may very well have heard Perry Como’s version, which was released on May 24 and was destined to be the version that placed highest on the charts.

“Once you have found her,
Never let her go!”

June hadn’t planned to attend the party. She was perfectly content to stay at home and listen to the radio with her parents. It was her mother who insisted that she get out of the house and go have some fun.

The occasion was a house party at Helen Darby’s home in Southampton, Long Island. June lived thirty minutes’ drive to the west in Riverhead, and Helen was not a close friend. Helen was more a friend of Jane’s, June’s roommate from New York City during the 1948-49 school year. June was invited because she was a friend of Jane’s.

With pressure from her mother, as well as from Jane and Jane’s friends, June decided to put in an appearance at Helen’s. And at some point in the party, “Some Enchanted Evening” played on either the radio or a phonograph. It was a life-changing moment.

Later that evening, June went home with another fellow.

(On Wednesday, more on that party...)

Countdown:  Correspondence begins in 4 days.

© 2010 Lee Price

1 comment:

  1. Just to clarify: June let another fellow drive her home -- not that she "went home with" him. Scandalous thought!