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Love that lasts

Country Musings by Robert Loy, June 2005

We never forget your first love, do we? Mine was named "Carrie-Anne," and she is still with me, although the years have not been kind to her, and she no longer spins around and entertains people like she used to. But if you come into my office you'll see her there - pinned to the bulletin board.

You see, my "Carrie-Anne" was a 45 from a British band called The Hollies. (And for those of you too young to remember 45's, they were like CD singles only we played them on our Flintstones Pterodactyl stereos).

The Hollies are best known today for bigger hits like "Bus Stop" and "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress," but it was "Carrie-Anne" that won my heart. Every time I heard that song that summer (and it isn't it always summer when you fall in love for this first time?) I was transported to a beautiful, ethereal world that I wanted more than anything to explore further.

The problem was though that 45's cost 59 cents, and I was eight years old and chronically unemployed.

The only money I had to my name was a silver dollar that my grandfather had given me, and so I took that to the department store and bought the "Carrie-Anne" 45, took it home and played it at least 10,000 times. (Don't believe me? Ask my long-suffering parents.)

But that's not the end of the story. A couple of years after that. I became briefly interested in numismatics, and one day I looked up the silver dollar I had spent and found it was worth $1,800.

Shortly after that, my brother was jumping around on my bed, and he stepped on my beloved "Carrie-Anne", which is why the 45 I've got on my bulletin board is cracked and unplayable.

Now, I have not kept this memento to remind me to spend my money wisely or to look before you leap or anything so prosaic as that. I keep it because it is a reminder of how my lifelong love affair with music began. "Carrie-Anne" led me to the Beatles and to Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard and the Ramones and Garth Brooks and Big and Rich and...

Well, you get the idea. And all it cost me for a permanent pass to this land of endless enchantment was a mere $1,800.

It was by far the best bargain I ever struck.

The views expressed in this column are Robert Loy's and do not necessarily reflect those of CST.