We stuck together, Sharon and I. Though we came from different backgrounds, books were our commonality, and music... classical music. What fifteen year old doesn't like classical music? Eh? Well, maybe that's what set us apart.
Now, to be sure, we were not entirely Nerd Girls. We liked the Box Tops as well as the next kid.
"Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane. Ain't got time to take a fast train. Lonely days are gone, I'm a-goin' home. My baby wrote me a letter..."
I remember one day, going up to Lockport by myself on the bus to spend a Saturday afternoon and my allowance. It cost me a dollar to by an LP. (That's a long playing record album.) This was before there was such a thing called Stereo. The LP was titled Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg, a Norwegian composer. I didn't know the music. I had no idea who Edvard Grieg was. I knew it was classical music. I liked the name of the "songs", Anitra's Dance, Hall of the Mountain King, and I liked the picture on the front, an inspiring sunset.
I happily absorbed the information and suddenly I was an expert. I could hardly wait to call Sharon and fill her in. I was a bit cocky with my new knowledge. I played the music in the background and told her the whole story as my father had told me dropping details like precious tidbits. I was so proud of myself, I would have tripped over my own feet if I was walking. Sharon patiently listened, enjoying the music in spite of me.
Sharon's Aunt picked us up and drove us to her home. Her car radio was set on the only classical music station in the area. The closer we got to Buffalo, the less static, and the clearer the listening. We stopped at a restaurant and had a wonderful meal, better than anything at school and even better than what mom cooked at school. It was a fancy restaurant. I didn't know how to behave. Sharon's Aunt explained how to use the silverware as Sharon demonstrated she already knew how.
By the time we got to Buffalo we were told it was time to retire. Sharon and I talked half the night. I told her how embarrassed I had been about my clothes in comparison to the other diners, and she reassured me it was no big deal, to stop worrying about it. Tomorrow was another day and there were surprises in store.
When we returned, Sharon's Aunt took us into her parlor. Or was it called a drawing room? She sat down at a piano and began to play, Chopin, she said. I was on the edge of my seat, enthralled, as Sharon sat back with her eyes closed. As each piece of music ended, we would ask to hear another. I kept thinking about my father and wishing we had a piano and he would play music for us, too. Chopin brought tears to my eyes. I felt lightheaded. I felt like I was floating in a sacred room somewhere other than earth and I was in love with Chopin! Finally, the music stopped and no amount of urging to play another brought forth anything further.
Note: Since I don't have pictures from that time period and location, my photos are meant to symbolize the music.