Nineteen Forty

By

That last year of innocence before Pearl Harbor's day of infamy we heard the songs of summer paraphrased in melodies from Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. We were children standing in the door waiting for the war to happen as though it were another episode in the adventures of Tarzan or Terry or Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. In darkened theaters and on the radio those episodes gave way to newsreels and battle bulletins and the songs of summer were replaced by the shriek of bombs, the drone of planes and the rattle of bullets biting bone. That last year of innocence was packed away in the piano bench of my childhood home along with those yellowed sheets of music crumbling quietly in the dark. But sometimes we hear the sounds of innocence escape through the throat of a trumpet or a saxophone, and I see ``Deep Purple, feel ``The Breeze and I,'' hear ``This Melody'' again.

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