Dellani Oakes

Sixty Seconds of Happiness – Fun in Writing Sept. 24, 2008

To Purchase Dellani's Books
To Purchase Dellani’s Books

It’s interesting how a song can bring back memories. Whenever I hear some of the old ‘pop’ tunes, I think back to when I was growing up in western Nebraska. That was the only time in my life that I listened to ‘pop’ music, because I didn’t know better. But I think ‘pop’ music was better back then.

The memories songs like “Ma-Na-Ma-Na” and “Sugar Sugar” bring back are the days we used to spend at the local swimming pool. I could hardly swim a lick on top of the water, but I could swim the entire length of the pool underwater. I was really proud of that.

We used to play games where we would swim under water and pinch one of our friends in the pool, then swim away really fast before they saw us. Of course, it was embarrassing to pinch a total stranger by mistake, but if you got away fast enough it didn’t matter.

“Gimme Dat Ding” reminds me of the pool in Tennessee we used to go to with my cousins. Our Uncle Joe would take us for the entire day. We’d take lunch with us and swim until we were waterlogged. We’d do tricks off the diving board and duck each other in the shallow end.

As a teenager, we used to go to the pool at the high school. There again, they played music to entertain us as we swam. One day, for no apparent reason, the radio played the them from “Jaws”. You never saw a pool clear out faster! Not even in a thunder storm. After that, the game became “Jaws”. Swim underwater, grab your friend by the legs and jerk down. Okay, it sounds creepy, but we had fun with it. We took turns being the victim, but being the shark was more popular.

I associate music with memories other than the swimming pool as well. Hearing to “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd for the first time in poetry class. Listening to David Gilmour play his guitar was almost magical.

The first time I heard their album, “The Wall”, I was in college visiting a friend of mine in his dorm room. We had to sneak up there, of course, girls weren’t allowed in after visiting hours. I’m sure if the resident assistant had found us, he would have been surprised to find that the only reason I was up there was to listen to the album.

I got to see several concerts while in college. The most memorable is a Willie Nelson concert. I got dragged, kicking and screaming, to see Willie. My friend was going to take her mother, but at the last minute she got the flu. She took me because she refused to go by herself. The only place to sit was right under the giant spotlights, fondly known as ‘hogs’. These lights are roughly 10 feet long and 6 feet in diameter. Our friends were running them and every time they had to come down, they’d bellow “DUCK!”

We spent most of the concert bent double, but it was the most fun I ever had at a concert. The music was wonderful and to this day I am a Willie Nelson fan – which is odd since most of the other music I listen to is hard rock and heavy metal.

Yes, music has given me a lot of happy memories, way more than sixty seconds of happiness.

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