When I tell you that 1956 was a big year for me, you have no idea. Oh, I've told you ad nauseam about Mom taking me to the armory to see The Biggest Rock'n'Roll Show of '56. Elvis tried to call me at home. I got a guitar for my birthday.
Loss called on me, too. It doesn't seem so grievous now but to me and other nine year olds it was heartbreaking and unfathomable. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis parted company. For us there had always been a Martin and Lewis. The handsome Italian crooner and the skinny, Jewish numbskull had begun their nightclub act in 1946 and by the time that I was old enough to sit through movies, there was nothing that thrilled my little heart like Paramount Pictures' biggest stars.
The plots were thin and predictable. Dean had to take his eyes off the dolls for long enough to save his lovable, dim-witted pal from himself and the cold, cold world. The end always came with Dean and Jerry living happily ever after, usually with the pretty girl in tow.
As nearly as I could follow the news, Dean abandoned his hapless pal. This time he wasn't coming back. Man, I hated Dean Martin! Me and most other nine year olds.
Of course the guitar meant more and more as time went on and pretty soon my eyes were on the girls, too. That's what a guitar is for, isn't it? I didn't think much about Dean Martin or Jerry Lewis.
Time passed. I really loved Dean Martin. He might be my favorite singer of the era. His TV show was timeless. I have to restrain myself here from bellyachin' about Jerry Lewis. Let's just say that as much as I adore Brigitte Bardot, baguettes, fishnet stockings and Citroens, I just can't understand what the French see in Jerry.
More time passed. Lots more time. Lots.
Leaving? I've learned a little. Being left? I could write the book. It's not always what it looks like. Maybe it's never what it looks like.