For as long as I can remember songs have taken me to some very specific memories and I’ve been sharing some of that on Facebook. It’s time now to take those little Facebook blurbs and expand So today’s son is Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
It was the summer I turned 14. My family spent almost every weekend caming at West Point Lake on the Georgia /Alabama line. My parents spent a lot of time out fishing. Fish ran at night so many nights I Was left to my own devices. That summer my campground friend was Loretta. She and her family traveled in a converted bus going places where her father could find work. Loretta’s cousin was staying with them at the time. He was tall and blonde and very cute. He was older too. Probably much too old and too experienced for me. At that time I was still very naive and very innocent. James, the handsome cousin, was not innocent at all. He may have been the first bad boy I’ve been attracted to over the years. I’d gone to see Urban Cowboy for my birthday. So my head was filled with the romance of Bud and Sissy. I knew someday I would grow up and Could I Have This Dance would be the song they played for my first dance at my wedding reception. Ahhh to be young and in love, at least with the idea of being in love. So what does all this have to do with Lynyrd Skynrd and my first kiss? Just trying to set the tone. We spent a lot of time just hanging out, by the pool or around their campsite. There was some hand holding and such but all very sweet and very innocent. Lots of listening to the radio too. That was the summer I discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sitting at a picnic table outside the bus that was James and Loretta’s home at the time I first heard Gimme Three Steps. James sang along and the song stuck. I think of him and that summer everytime I hear the song. On one of those summer nights James was walking me back to my camper. We were camped on opposite sides of the campground. He held my hand as we walked in the dark. About half-way to my camper he stopped me. He pulled me against him and he kissed me. He really kissed me. It wasn’t really my first kiss. There had been others, quick stolen pecks with boys in the neighborhood but nothing like this. While he was kissing me his hands moved down my back and stopped on my butt. That was new too. It seemed to me that the kiss went on and on, I wanted it to anyway. When he released me he said, “You are still just a little girl aren’t you?” I can’t remember my exact response but I assured him I wasn’t that I was grown-up enough for him and anything else he may want to do. Fortunately, he was a gentleman and just walked me back to my camper. There were a few more kisses that summer but none like that first one. The time came for James and Loretta to move on with their family I gave Loretta my address and we promised, as children will do, to stay in touch forever. I got one letter from her. My response was returned undeliverable. Everytime for the longest time we returned to the campground I hoped to see James again but it was not to be. But I have a fabulous sweet memory of my not-so first kiss.