|BWS Stories - NABBW and GRAND Magazine Contests Winners|
NABBW and GRAND Magazine Contests Winners - Music of the Heart - Runner Up!
Apfelbeck is a public relations professional, who is most “on purpose” when in
the presence of animals. Passionate
about the well-being of the animals we share our planet with; Leslie is honored
to have rescued many shelter animals in her lifetime. She and her husband recently adopted two
kittens, who have become treasured family members. Leslie is a fan of 60s-era
music, and jokes with punch lines included.
Music of the Heart - Runner Up!
was known for telling jokes, forgetting punch lines, and playing a mean
ukulele. Grandma was known for her
grandparents lived near a large university in the Midwest,
and students rented many of the stately homes in the neighborhood. During the 1960s, a group of hippies moved in
across the street.
of my grandparents began to worry. Would
the new neighbors’ long hair, scraggly beards, loud music, and peace symbols
painted on purple vans, bother grandma and grandpa.
moving day, grandma walked across the street through a driving rain, to welcome
her new neighbors with homemade meatloaf and root beer floats.
next morning, a bearded young man wearing love beads and rumpled jeans, showed
up at her front door.
"Good morning David,” she called out. “Hi,
Gram,” he replied with a beaming smile. “That
was some storm last night; thought you could use some help clearing your yard
of those old oak tree limbs."
Thus began a wonderful friendship with her
newest neighbors, and kicked off a family tradition that has warmed my heart
tradition was celebrated weekly. Mom and
dad and my seven siblings and I piled into our station wagon every Saturday
evening, and drove across town for sing-a-longs with grandpa (to this day, there
are times when I can’t get the tune of “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” out of my mind). Grandpa grinning, eight young mismatched
voices singing; life was good.
musical gatherings soon began to include David – the free-spirited neighbor with
deep blue eyes and a song in his heart. His
wistful interpretation of “California Dreamin’” brought tears to the eyes of
this young teenage girl.
his untamed rendition of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild”, played on a
well-traveled guitar, rocked the house.
On the ride home that night, my younger brother
pleaded with mom and dad for a motorcycle, and talked animatedly of his plans
to hit the open road – much to my mother’s chagrin.
this day, whenever I hear music from the 1960s, I am back -- in an instant --
in my grandma and grandpa’s parlor. The
memory fills all of my senses. I hear
the music and grandpa’s jokes. I feel
the warmth of the Oriental rug that all of us grandkids sat upon. I see my grandpa’s grin, and David’s piercing
blue eyes. And I can almost taste
grandma’s homemade bread, as I remember the familiar aromas that welcomed us
into her kitchen.
I smile as I remember my first crush, on a soulful young man, who stole my
grandma’s heart – and mine.