Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

June 8, 2013

Love is one thing, but Love is quite another

CUMBERLAND — At last, my love has come along. My lonely days are over, and life is like a song ... For you are mine at last.

— “At Last,” Etta James

I looked my friend in the eyes and said:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say today can and probably will be used against you ... sooner or later.”

That got a laugh from him and his best man. Both were handsome, dressed as they were for the occasion. Somebody said they clean up pretty well.

She’s a good-looking woman to begin with, and on this day she was absolutely gorgeous (the same word everybody was using).

I told her it was a good thing he met her before I did.

But that happened a long time ago, as they say, in a galaxy far, far away.

For me to tell you why the groom means so much to me would take more time than we have. Besides, some of it is personal, and some of it involves things nobody else knows.

Suffice it to say this: Because of him, I know that my life, and what I have done with it, have meant something. The difference this has made can’t be explained to someone who hasn’t experienced it, and I’m not the same man I was before.

It didn’t take me but a few seconds to fall in love with her. She and I go off to talk once in a while, and I’ve told him she’s safer with me than with anybody else.

“I know that,” he said. So does she.

Last June, I wrote a column, “They’re getting just what they deserve,” about two others who are at the top of my list of beloved people. I called them “Harry” and “Sally.”

Harry and Sally had dated for a while, then broke up and dated other folks, but came to the same conclusion at the same time: None of them was you. So they got married, and I was there to see that happen.

I’ll refer to the new bride and groom as “Sam” and “Georgia” (as in “gorgeous”).

Sally and Georgia have become fast friends, and I frequently overhear their conversations, which often include their female buddies.

I asked Sam if he thought we could spend half an hour talking about shoes, boots, sandals, drapes, rugs, what color something should be, where to buy clothes, what type of cake to get and shopping in general.

“Hell, no,” he said.

With us, it would take the form of “Nice bike/gun/car, etc. Where’d you get it? What’d you pay for it?” followed by a simple answer.

He was looking totally ignored while a round-table chat about the upcoming nuptials was going on beside him, and saw me grinning.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he asked.

“Uh-huh,” I replied.

“Just wait,” he said. “Your day’s coming.”

I have told him that if I ever do fall from grace again, there will be a line of guys several blocks long, waiting for their turn to return some of what I have given them in regards to their womenfolk ... but I will make sure that he goes to the head of the line.

He has said I won’t be disappointed by what I hear from him.

In fact, one of our buddies has told me, “OK, we’ve got Harry and Sam married off. Now it’s your turn.” That might take some doing.

Not everyone is able to relish somebody else’s happiness, but I have learned to do that.

So it has been fun to watch and hear about this from both Sam and Georgia, and even more fun to observe the anticipation and eagerness — particularly on her part.

She’s been worked-up as all get-out. I’ve told her, “He’s probably more nervous than you are, only he doesn’t show it.” She said I probably was right.

Once upon a time, Sam and Georgia were in love, but he went off to Vietnam. They kept in touch with each other and, after the war was over, took up where they left off.

But he went away to school and life intervened. He married someone else. So did she.

However, life intervened again not long ago — as it occasionally does — and they wound up unattached and in the same place at the same time. That was that.

“I wanted to marry him when I was 15,” Georgia said. “I wonder what it would have been like if we’d been together all these years, and what we missed,” she said.

I told her it wasn’t meant to happen then. Things like this happen when they’re meant to happen, and not before. This was meant to happen NOW. You’re not the same people you were then. It might be that you’d have grown tired of each other and drifted apart ... but now, that’s not going to happen.

I told her that if you spend too much time wondering “What if?” and “What might have been?” all you do is drive yourself crazy. You have to concentrate on “What is” and “What can be?”

I told Sam there’s one who still haunts me a little, now and then, even after 45 years. I wonder what’s happened to her, and each night in my prayers I ask that she’s happy and having a good life.

Some folks have told me I should have married her, and maybe they’re right. But I would not have had the life I’ve had and, as I said before, it’s been worth living.

Hers was a voice I can still hear, and it infuriated her when I began to talk like she did ... in a southern West Virginia accent that gave even the shortest of words an extra syllable.

What would I do, if one day while sitting at my desk at the newspaper, I heard that voice behind me, saying, “Jee-um?”

I don’t know. Such things are not up to me.

Back in the day, Sam and Georgia were lovers ... something that, as I know from experience, is subject to change.

Now, they have become each other’s best friend. I’ve seen this, too, and it doesn’t go away. Love is one thing. Love is another.

While going through the reception line, I hugged them one at a time and said, “A day like this makes up for a lot of bad ones.”

We held each other and rocked from side to side, laughing like little kids at Disney World.

Later, after the cake and champagne, she told me, “It still hasn’t sunk in yet.”

“Honey,” I said, “I hope it never does.”

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Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves

    So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.

    July 13, 2014

  • Better read that french fry before you eat it

    People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

    July 6, 2014

  • The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you

    So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?

    June 28, 2014

  • There are some debts you can never repay

    Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.

    June 21, 2014

  • It could have saved the county a lot of money

    Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
    When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
    Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
    • If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
    • If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
    I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.

    June 15, 2014

  • These two were part of the Not Top Ten

    Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”

    Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.

    June 8, 2014

  • Coming soon to a highway near you?

    People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”

    In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.

    June 1, 2014

  • This was a skill that proved very useful

    The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.

    May 25, 2014

  • He made a big splash by asking this question

    “I don’t know who you were talking to last night,” said Capt. Gary, “but you were talking and moaning in your sleep. Never heard you do that before.” Neither has anyone else, I said. Besides, I had told him not to be surprised if we had visitors. I wasn’t at the top of my game for a couple of days, and he said some of our friends asked him if I was all right. It’s not the first time for this, so now I’ll know to watch out for it. It can affect you and is not something to play around with — as our friend Cathy found out.

    May 18, 2014

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