Tag Archive: valentines day

I’ll be Here

The chances increase that, now that I am sixty-plus, I might get a condition also and suddenly slip away, or that the war there in your country will take you from me; your mother may pass on and then we will never fulfill our London plus four years promise to see each other again and marry since meeting at Café Skype in 2010. Afraid, yet optimistic – to a point.

When you are Concerned
or when you are in need of reassuring…

I’ll be right beside you
Comfort you will find.

If you need a vacation from war in your country,
Or a loving helpful Long distance love to walk with hand-in-hand

Better for having met you gefore (before).

I’ll be right here for you,

Tell your mother I want to meet her

And to stay strong.

Via your not-so-good written English,

I do not know how long she has!

I am with you even if you cannot see me;
I truly understand.


До Свидания.


I KNOW that I am kind of late to the party on this celebration of amour, however I was not “late” where it matters – with my sweetheart! In fact since this “holiday” is new to her culture, I was ahead of the curve, thank you! lol

The catalyst of this post is my anthem and theme song of pleasant St. Valentine’s Days past and especially present with prayers and hope channeling the future. 

By the time you read this (“except on the west coast”  lol), yours is likely settled, over and I hope you got “some” of whatever it is that you desired, if only attention and the promise of future mutual relations.  You see, all the object of your desires needs is your undivided attention, some creativity, respect and truly undying love; that isn’t too much to ask, is it?

“Valentine Love” by Philly’s own Norman Conners, featuring the voice of Jean Carn who I once introduced on-stage at Eisenhower Park’s bandshell in Nassau, New York,  remains as the number one record that comes to mind on this now,  mostly commercial day of remembrance.  In my world, when you have found the “one”, every day is a day when “Cupid” interacts with your romance, and you had better let him or her know it.  The album “Saturday Night Special” came into my young DJ hands via my friendly promo executive at Buddah Records, whose name I cannot recall at the moment, back in 1975 in New York City. Buddah had a kind of “pleasure” sound, whether it be soul, rock or comedy and thier vinyl is slightly heavy and everlasting.  I have noticed that all the labels had their “own” studio sound that set them apart from the rest.

inside sleeve

  “VL” was a hot cut  introduced to our ears by, you guessed it, Frankie Crocker’s WBLS FM back then.  Norman Conners played “Gretsch drums (like Ringo Starr) and Latin percussion instruments” according to the back cover’s credit notes.  Also on this Lp is a version of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage”, but interestingly, Hancock is only featured as playing on another cut on the album, “Kwasi”.  One of my true favorite bassists, Michael Henderson, played on many of the sessions in those days, and is all over this record with that round, full and smooth bottom (and maybe some vocals) herein 🙂  We played the grooves off of “Valentine Love” back on our university radio station, WBAU FM, in 1975.

The only other Norman Conners album I have is his 1976 follow-up, “You Are My Starship”.  The title track being another song for your Valentine’s Day repertoire, featuring Michael Henderson and on the album, my dearly departed too-soon via self-deliverance, diva friend Phyllis Hyman. I’ll never forget the time she came up to me and introduced herself  at a “welcome to WBLS” party thrown in my honor at the NYC nightclub “70-West”.  I was sittting there by myself, “hiding” in plain sight but away from the action with my beverage, when suddenly this voluptuous hand appeared in-front of my face.  When I looked up, it was the first time I saw a “diva'”, square-shouldered in a black cape and matching chapeau, looming over me as she said in a kind of deep voice for a woman,”Hye, I’m Phyllis and you are…?” [she knew of course].   We always had fun with the lyric, “And don’t you come to soon” on “Starship” I wonder if he meant that kind of “coming” to this day? Other cuts on “Starship” of-note are his version of the Stylistics’ “Betcha By Golly Wow” (with Phyllis shining and Gary Bartz on sax solo) and “Bubbles” which I liked to use as a bed while doing PSAs, promos and other, sometimes “non-commercial”, announcements.

For me this Valentine’s Day compares with none of my past two score-plus-more!  I found my mirror/other-half/soul-mate in 2010, and we are now looking forward to that first in-person meeting this spring! C’monn, passport!  Isn’t “the future” wondeful!?  As Norman Conners put it on the last “Starship” cut, “The Creator Has A Master Plan**(Peace) – written by Pharoh Sanders and Leon Thomas.  “Happy Valentine’s Day, week, month, year and life!”

I’ve wanted to express this for years, but I never had a blog before.  So, now is my chance!  Fathers Day, like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are inane, commercially trumped-up non-holidays for the “haves” to enjoy if they remember it, and the have-nots to be guilted into what they cannot afford to buy.  These are occasions that should be celebrated daily, not on some contrived “day” once a year.


My father died in the year 2000, days shy of his 82nd birthday and I can say that basically I do not miss him because he never was one to call me up and shoot the breeze with me or travel to whatever of the several states that my career took me to and visit me to just “kick it”.  He never had the “bird and the bees” talk with me (brought home books for me to read about sex), but he was there.  He was known to my friends as the father who “lifted weights in his basement” all the time or chased the neighborhood kids off “the grass” (his other hobby I guess, was mowing the lawn, lol). Nothing much for me to miss; fatherhood is nice, but in my case overrated.

Mine was around, and married to my Mum for over fifty years (!)  until he passed away.  He was never my friend; he was there, but never my partner.  More the disciplinarian, which kept me out of criminal trouble because as a weight-lifter/parole officer, he had an iron hand upon my shoulder or whatever body part he would grab of mine, that I remember to this day.  He only seemed truly happy to see me during his final years when I appeared from out of town, awakening him from his slumber in the backyard chair outside our house (his  house really).  I thought, “Ain’t this a bitch? Homie NOW is happy to see me?”

He did instill in me to workout with weights and exercise, and… did I mention that he was around? But if I asked him for a “a couple of bucks” to go to the movies with my friends…he would give me only two dollars.  What a bastard and cheapskate! Meanwhile he is playing the horses at the track, winning and not sharing with the family.  Oh did I mention he was always  “there“?  He never drank  liquor or even a beer ( I wish he had at least once in front of me)  nor smoked.  He never threw the baseball or any other ball for that matter with me like the other “dads’ on the block, and never encouraged me to participate in Little League baseball even though I was a very good pitcher and outfielder. But he threw heavy punches to my head if I failed a school class like math.  I still resent him for all of that.  Yeah, he emphasized education, but that was going to happen anyway growing-up with two teachers in da house!  He never wanted to barbecue on the holidays like the fourth of July, even though we had an ample yard.  He’d say some bullshit like, “Cooking outside reminds me too much of the war...” WTF???  “Well stay inside and let the rest of us have fun!” I would think.

As an adult, whenever I came to him to impress him with something I learned from him, but with a modern or easier perspective on it, he would cackle laughter and walk away, making me feel stupid.

My Dad did take me to a few Yankee games back in the ‘60s at the old Yankee Stadium. I always got the seat behind the pole.  I still have a bat from one of the “bat Days” he took me to, and my friend Spencer and I did get on-camera during one of the Banner Days over WPIX channel eleven in NYC one time. Yeah he was around and never beat up on Mum, although I saw one time when he almost did pop her – that was when my Mum wanted to abort my sister because she felt she was too old to be pregnant.  I tried to intercede between their argument and they both turned on me.  “Oops!” Back up to my room I went.

He was a stick-in-the-mud, self-righteous, inflexible and pompous preachy party pooper who, when relatives from my Mum’s side of the family visited, went up the stairs early, while they all were having fun playing cards.

Did I mention that he was around?  Never a “Way to go, Son!” or similar encouragement.  He was always more apt to raise his ample voice, that I inherited, but know how to moderate, and pop me in my scull with his heavy fist, as he preached.” Pappa Don’t Preach”, Madonna said. True.

That was tolerable – he taught me respect for elders that way, and a kind of fear which is necessary but sorely lacking in too many young boys of today who are raised by single parents who are all too often females.

Did I mention hat he was around and “ok”? Yet embarrassed me by yelling at my friends if they even happened to accidentally step across his precious lawn’s corner?  Yes he did – yelling from his inside widow perch upstairs.  After he passed, we found a drawer where he had most of all the Father’s Day gifts we’d given him through the years – most unopened.  I must have been some kind of accident because I cannot imagine him as a kind of “lover” that would seduce my Mum; it must have been his WWII uniform swooning her.  My “dad” couldn’t see that it was words and not math or science that were my talents to be, yet insisted that I be the way he thought of me, and would have been overjoyed if I had enlisted into the Army during Vietnam, which was totally not for me.

All of which is to say that some of us aren’t so cushy about these types of contrived holidaze in the U.S.  As an added insult, my father’s daughter – fourteen years younger than I – is now acting like the man she wishes she was and because he didn’t discipline her nor allow her to play with neighborhood kids like I did, in the name of her turning out “better” than I, is trying to hurt me financially. Dallas the soap opera-style, “she” is trying drive a wedge between my Mum and me in order to get the “will” money.

So I will continue to ignore this commercial and fake remembrance while I realize, as Mum says, that “there was no instruction booklet on being a father” [and I say to myself,  “then why did you guys have kids?”] Oh, did I mention that he was around, and I loved him for that anyway – even without a father’s “day”?  My lady tells me that he “wanted the best for me, but didn’t know how to show it”… Then maybe HE should have gotten a “book” and read-up about it.

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