By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
It was the day after Valentine’s Day, but you wouldn’t know it from all the beautiful decorations. Rose pink tulle, held in place with pale roses, graced the windows of the Grace Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, and more tulle, tea lights and tulips decorated the tables, thanks to the hard work of Jan Ledsome, Thelma DeHart and Alice Hammond. People had brought in framed wedding photos and set them on small tables and shelves around the edge of the room. More photos of couples and families adorned the walls.
Scatter a few rose petals on the tables,and what more could you ask for a trip down a musical memory lane…with Ginger Jarvis in a bright red dress, leading the way and tickling the ivories as you sing all those old classic love songs?
Well, song sheets, of course. Red ones. You needed them to keep up with Ginger.
“This is one of those programs where that tiny little voice inside you says, ‘Sing! Sing! Sing!’ ” She said. “And the louder you sing, the less you’ll have to listen to me sing!”
Also, she joked, the CD’s, tee shirts and bobble-head dolls were on sale in the men’s room.
The songfest began with “Tell Me Why the Ivy Twines” and a short narrative of two fictional sweethearts, beginning with their childhood. The rest of their story was told in short segments between songs, taking them through grade school, high school and their youth group at church….
“Y’all remember youth group, don’t you?” Ginger asked. “That was before ‘Kum Bah Yah’ for most of us.”
After everyone had sung “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” Ginger announced, “I believe we need a demonstration of a man and woman in love (for this song). Do I hear an ‘amen?’ Bob, come on up here and bring your lovely lady.”
“Bob” was Bob Smith, reprising “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and singing beautifully to his wife of 59 years, Louise, accompanied by Ginger’s stylish, enthusiastic piano playing. His solo brought a round of applause, lots of smiles and a little teasing from friends in the audience.
Then, the sweethearts’ story moved on to WWII, marriage, children and old age, with Ginger weaving classic love songs into each period of their lives, including “For Me and My Gal,” “Side By Side,” “Harvest Moon,” “I’ll Be With You at Apple Blossom Time” and several others.
The sing-along concluded with Rev. John Hopwood asking which couple there had been married the longest; it turned out to be Jack and Charlotte Hollingsworth, who have been married for 60 years.
Rev. Hopwood awarded them one of the tulip arrangement centerpieces, and awarded the other one to Bob Smith for his impromptu solo.
The meeting ended with several people still humming those old songs and talking about other favorite songs from bygone eras, as they embraced friends and said goodbye.
The 39ers’ Club meets every third Thursday of the month at noon in the fellowship hall of Grace Presbyterian Church, 1200 N. Washington Street.
The Club is nondenominational and meetings are open to everybody, because, as Jack Benny once said, everybody is 39 years of age until proven otherwise.
The Club will meet again on March 15. There are no dues or other fees, so if you love music, good food and fellowship, mark your calendar for the next meeting.