A YouTube film clip Bing Crosby performing Far Away Places to give a little flavor to this sketch.
Sentimental Journey, Pop Vocal Classics, Volume 2: 1947-1950, Rhino Records, 1993
Scene: Brought to mind by the sepia-toned family album-style photograph that graces the cover of this CD and by the song Far Away Places.
“Prescott James Breslin get your dirty hands off that wall this minute, yelled Delores Breslin (nee LeClerc), Mother Breslin to some, including the yelled at Prescott, honey, to Prescott Breslin, Senior, Father Breslin to the junior one being yelled at just this minute. Just as Mother Breslin, hell, let’s call her Delores, was getting ready for cascade rant number two aimed in Prescott, Junior’s direction wafting through the air, the radio WJDA air, came the melodious voice of Bing Crosby singing in that sweet, nuanced voice of his, Far Away Places. Their song. Their forever memory song.
Delores flashed back to the night in 1943 over at the Stardust Ballroom on East Grand in Old Orchard Beach that she, then a typist for the State Insurance Company right here in Olde Saco (and making good money for a single, no high maintenance girl) and Marine PFC Prescott Breslin, stationed after serious service in the Pacific wars (Guadalcanal, etc.) at the Portsmouth Naval Base met while they were playing that song on the jukebox between sets. Sets being performed by the Be-Bop Sextet, a hot, well, be-bop band that was making a national tour to boost civilian morale while the boys were off fighting. They hit it off right away, made Far Away Places their song, and prepared for a future, a joint future, once the war was over, and they could get their dream, shared dream, little white house, with or without picket fence, maybe a dog, and definitely kids, a few although they never specified a number. The perfect dream to chase the old Great Depression no dough blues and World War II fighting dust away, far away. And to be to breath a decent breathe, a not from hunger breathe.
Just then Delores snapped back into the reality, the two by four reality, of their made due, temporary veterans’ housing set up by the Olde Saco Housing Authority (at the request of and funded by the War Department) to house the housing-hungry returning vets and give them a leg up. Add on the further reality that Prescott’s job at the Macadam’s Textile Mill was none too sure now that rumors were circulating around town that the mill-owners were thinking of relocating to North Carolina. And the biggest reality of all: well, Prescott, Junior, Kendrick, and most recently still in the cradle Joshua. And three is enough, more than enough thank you. But as that terrific tenor of Dick Haymes singing Little White Lies was making its way into her air space she fell back to thinking about that now old dream of the little white house, with or without picket fence, a dog and a few (exactly three, thank you) that was coming just around next corner. And just as she was winding up to blast young Prescott, his dirty hands, and that wall, maybe a little less furiously that she intended before, her thoughts returned to her Prince Charming, Starlight Ballroom1943, and their song. Their forever memory song. Yes, she would get by.