Memories of Bing in Our Lives

Posted by Sue Horn on October 11, 1999 at 19:46:02:

Hi all:
I just sent this to the harrylillis@onelist.com list, at the listowner's request that we commemorate the anniversary of Bing's death with memories of Bing moments from our lives. I thought some of you might be interested in it as well. Those of you who have already read it, pardon the repetition.

Memories of Bing in my life. Wow!! I could probably write a novel. I'll choose a childhood one for today, and an adult one for tomorrow.

I can remember every weekend sitting around the TV watching the Hollywood Palace shows with my three younger sisters. We must have been about 7, 6, 4 and 3. We would see Bing, and my dad, the biggest Bing fan (then) alive, would invariably be missing the show because he was out to dinner with my Mom. (They kept the romance alive for more than 27 years by going out on weekly "dates"). Anyway, one of those nights it occurred to me that my father was never home when those shows were on because he was really Bing Crosby. My sisters, who were younger and more gullible than myself, were also convinced. We started a campaign of calling the Club where my parents were eating while Bing was singing to see if my dad could come to the phone or not. Strangely enough, the waiter would take some time and we would hear clanking plates and running water and other people's voices, but never my dad, until either:
a) my mom would come to the phone and find out what we needed (mom's are better at that kind of thing), or
b) my father would pick up the phone as a commercial break was coming on or after Bing had stopped singing. This went on for a long, long time until we were convinced that my dad really was Bing. Now, let me say, that though he did sing along to records and didn't have a bad voice, my dear old Deed was somewhat tone-deaf, so there's no way on earth he could really have been Bing. Yet, he did have the same fly-away ears. And he did have the same timbre to his speaking voice.... Do you think maybe he could have been..... Nah. But it's a nice dream, and a nice memory. Take care all. Sue Horn


Posted by BINGSBOY on October 12, 1999 at 14:46:39:

In Reply to: Memories of Bing in Our Lives posted by Sue Horn on October 11, 1999 at 19:46:02:

The 14th is indeed one of the saddest days of my life. The day he died I was called into the office and given the unacceptable news that he was gone. I miss the man so much and have so many wonderful memories of our visits, walks, and the warmth of his laughter and voice. Whether it was during the holidays or a weekend at Pebble or even a walk along the greens at the end of a summers day--- his presence was so incredible and special. When I listen to his speaking voice on family audio tapes or see him gabbing in home movies it still seems so hard to imagine that he is gone. So many memories of such a remarkable man who touched so many lives. I'll be at Holy Cross on Thursday and I'll be sure to leave a rose from all of the good folks on Mr. Lewis's site. Isn't it remarkable how one life can bring so many strangers into the fold-- together. When you think of him, remember him as he and his friend motored from Washington down to California to seek fame and fortune in the entertainment business-- Oh how I would love to been in the backseat during that amazing rode trip to Hollywood. That journey was so American--as he was! I really miss him, the smell of his pipe, his cologne, and all the things you remember from your childhood when you reflect on your elders and loved ones who leave us for something new and hopefully better. He was so much a part your lives and mine and while I take joy in reflecting on his life through my own private memories-- I miss that man very much and wish we had just a few more years of his great and gentle presence.


Posted by Ben Weaver on October 12, 1999 at 13:12:51:

In Reply to: Memories of Bing in Our Lives posted by Sue Horn on October 11, 1999 at 19:46:02:

Thanks Sue for a wonderful personal recollection of Bing's influence on your early life. My first recollection of Bing dates from the early 1950's {before television} when the supper dishes were all put away and my homework was done I was allowed to have our big Philco radio on. I was raised on a large dairy farm in the Fraser Valley of southern British Columbia {approx.50 miles east of Vancouver}in a family of six brothers and sisters. When I heard that wonderful voice introduce his program with "Where The Blue Of The Night Meets The Gold Of The Day" I disapeared into another world.The way Bing could express the lyrics of a song had a profound effect on me as I was going through the difficult period of adolescence. Later on in adulthood when after a trying day I put a Bing record,such as "The Day You Came Along" or "Blue Prelude" all my problems seemed to disappear. Thanks Bing for coming along on my life's journey.


Posted by David Lobosco on October 12, 1999 at 09:23:32:

In Reply to: Memories of Bing in Our Lives posted by Sue Horn on October 11, 1999 at 19:46:02:

It was a great idea of Sue's to have us share our Bing Crosby memories. Since I am only 25, I have less memories to share than others, but Bing has played an important part in my life.

I tend to listen to different Bing Crosby songs when I ma in different moods. When my grandfather was rushed into the hospital for his two heart attacks, one in 1991 and one in 1999, I like to listen to "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams". Bing's recording of that and particularly his 1939 version, can really put someone at ease.

Another example of Bing's influence is whenever I am lonely, depressed, or weary over another failed romance, even though there hasn't been that many, I like to listen to the more sullen Bing recordings like: "I've Never Been In Love Before","When The World Was Young", and maybe even the haunting "Black Moonlight" and "Here Lies Love".

Even though I wish I was born twenty to thirty years ago, I don't believe that youth is wasted on the young, because I have so many more years ahead to enjoy Bing Crosby and have him a part of my life.


Posted by Jane FitzGerald on October 12, 1999 at 09:22:07:

In Reply to: Memories of Bing in Our Lives posted by Sue Horn on October 11, 1999 at 19:46:02:

Sue, thanks for sharing a wonderful Bing memory. My rememberances, too, could fill a volume. But here's how my love affair with Bing began: Around age 11 or 12, I was watching an old movie on TV with my aunt one Saturday (I'm sure it was "Dixie", though I haven't seen it since!) and heard that voice! My best friend gave me one of the albums from the Bing's Hollywood series for my next birthday and the collection was started. I went through the pre-teen hormonal horrors with Bing as my escape from 4 siblings who were obviously from another planet, and a whole host of earthly tragedies and injustices. We had an old Hi-Fi that had detachable speakers on the side and a turntable that folded down. I'd take that record player and my "Easy To Remember" album down to the basement, unfold my grandfather's eiderdown sleeping bag, lie down and listen to Bing croon until I didn't have a care in the world. I have a slightly more contemporary stereo system now, and a sofa in the livingroom, but the effects are still the same. Bing still salves my spirit and saves my sanity. What a great idea to share these memories! Bing Go Bragh... Jane


Posted by Sue Horn on October 12, 1999 at 20:14:27:

In Reply to: Re: Memories of Bing in Our Lives posted by Jane FitzGerald on October 12, 1999 at 09:22:07:

Okay, guys. I promised you an adult memory for today. This is a Bing memory that actually happened well after his death and one year after my own father's passing on. I had been in Colombia again for a few months, after my father's death from lung cancer that metastasized and went to his liver.
My sister had married in November and I had flown home for the wedding, surprising everyone at the church since I didn't know until a few days before whether I'd be able to make it or not. Anyway, it was now mid-December, the furor of the Christmas season in Bogota, Colombia. I didn't have enough money to go home again, so I was going to have my first Christmas alone, without my family and far from my original home, New jersey, in Bogota, Colombia.
I was on a crowded bus that was playing "vallenato" music, Christmas carols in Spanish, with a dance beat and festive enough. I'd been working for 14 hours already that day, and was tired, no seat on the bus, and I started to feel sorry for myself. I really missed my dad, and I got a bit angry at God.
"Why do things have to be this way? Why did Deed have to die? Why do I have to be so far from my family? Why are they playing this stupid music.... It doesn't even sound like Christmas. I really am all alone."
Right then, the bus driver changed the radio station. He flipped to some twilight zone warp, and all of a sudden I was listening to "White Christmas" by, you guessed it, Bing! There was still another 15 or 20 minutes before my bus stop. The songs kept coming, all of the songs from the "Merry Christmas" Album. I could see Bing's Christmas-cap-topped head in my mind, and could hear my Deed's off-key voice singing along in my head. None of the people on the bus complained. There was not a single commercial in Spanish. Nothing to interrupt my reverie. When my stop came, I thanked the driver as I got off the bus, "Gracias, seņor." He nodded and switched the music back to the Colombian festivities, Spanish, rocking beat,... Somehow it didn't bother me to hear it anymore.
I'd already gotten my Christmas gift, from my father, and from Bing.
Thanks for reading such a long one!!
Sue



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