Among my guilty pleasures are the PBS specials that feature old doo-wop groups, or the one that's been running all this weekend, called "Magic Moments," of the 1950's pop groups, like the Crew Cuts, and singers like Patti Page and Pat Boone. I can watch those shows over and over and over.
I even get a little teary when some group that hasn't performed together for thirty years get out on the stage, white-haired, a little paunchy, and belt out their hit song, their voices holding up better than you'd ever expect. The audience is the right age, and they're totally swept up, crying, singing along, laughing.
I don't always remember the songs first-hand. No matter: the sound takes me back to being little, listening to the aqua plastic radio in the kitchen, listening to my parents put Trini Lopez and Four Freshmen records on the hi-fi when they entertained, and I thought they were the most stylish people in the world. It makes me feel safe, young, in a place I know very well.
I have a great yearning to go to a Latin Mass, either Tridentine or Novus Ordo. The Chicago area is full of them, some with very superior music and young families crowding the pews. One notable one is St. John Cantius Church.
I'd like to make sure before I head for any of them, mantilla in hand, old missal in my purse, that I'm not going to hear the liturgical equivalent of Doo-Wop. I want to go to worship God in a way that the Church has spent centuries perfecting.
But I think that a little of it is to take me back to my First Communion, when the Mass was still in Latin, the priest had his back to us, and we weren't even up to the Latin "dialogue Mass" (the one in which we said "Et cum spiritu tuo" about a thousand times...). Nothing wrong with nostalgia, except that I'd better do a little studying before I go, so that I don't sit and cry for times past, when my folks had brown hair and I had the majority of my grandparents and all I wanted in life was a pony.
Bill Nye, Dimestore Eugenicist
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