A part of my childhood died yesterday when I heard the news of Lesley Gore’s passing. In the early to mid-sixties, I loved listening to her woes of teenaged angst and boys. Her songs prepared me and taught me what I would need to be aware of when I reached those sensitive years of the age of “teen”.
Gore’s songs also remind me of a time when I, and I’m sure most of you, had no worries in the world. We were innocent and carefree. Mortgages and bills and worrying about our health weren’t a part of our universe. We were protected and taken care of.
Our priorities besides homework and studying for tests were making sure we got to watch Saturday morning cartoons, being outside all day without our mothers worrying that someone would kidnap us, candy bars that cost a nickel, and for those of us who lived in urban areas, playing stoop ball and running recklessly through alleyways.
When I hear Lesley Gore’s voice it brings me back to the happiest days of my childhood. Those summer weeks spent in Ozone Park, Queens at my Grandparent’s and my favorite aunt, Terry’s home. It’s funny, most people have fond memories of beach vacations but mine were of returning to the NYC limits. (It’s also very weird that I’m crying as I write this. The tears are shared between Gore’s passing and the passing of my youth).
I can close my eyes and visualize the four teenaged Cook sisters who lived next door from my Grandparents.
Old School Pop Radio Icons–YMCA’s Good Guys, Murray the K, Cousin Brucie–Lesley Gore could be heard on all the great stations!
There was no one else like her–that voice was so distinct! That hair–perfect!!
In the late afternoons they would hang out on the stoop, tight ankle pants, hair teased, and listening to “Murray the K” and the WMCA “Good Guys” spinning Lesley’s’ “Maybe I Know” and “It’s My Party” among the rest of those wondrous oldies. I would look at those Cook girls with great admiration. I couldn’t wait to wear my hair teased in a beehive or a lacquered flip just like Lesley and the Cook girls! I couldn’t wait to have a boyfriend–even if having one meant suffering the angst that Lesley Gore sang about!
Am I the only one who looks back bittersweetly upon these hairdos–check out Dusty Springfield on the far right! Another great girl singer that we lost too soon!
Lesley Gore also makes me think of being in my Aunt Terry’s car, picking up her girlfriends and driving to Rockaway beach while Gore’s voice, so familiar, was heard full blast from both radio cars and transistors placed strategically on beach blankets so as not to get sandy. Instead, the sand would find its way to the sandwiches that my Grandmother made for us. Butter softened from the sun on white bread, slices of ham now warmed and sand scratching my teeth. But it didn’t matter—the summer fun was more important.
Ever since I saw Lesley Gore in this outfit, I’ve always loved the turtleneck and those sixties stretch pants with the stirrups! I still love the look!
Thank you Lesley, for all the memories that your songs have given me. Each time I hear you, I will always think of those summers of my youth! May you rest in eternal peace and bestow heavenly Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows upon us all!
So Fat Tuesday is here and Lent starts tomorrow. I’ve baked a Galette des Rois, French King Cake, for Monsieur Bonaparte!
It’s pretty easy to make. Puff pastry and a Frangipane filling. Here’s a link to the recipe:
King cake: Galette des Rois French King Cake
Ingredients: Puff Pastry, Almond Paste, Sugar, Eggs, Almond flour,Butter, (I didn’t use almond extract, but used Vanilla. I also didn’t put the bean into the cake either–Bonaparte’s teeth are very mature–I don’t want a trip to the dentist!
Puff pastry sheet from Wegman’s–let it thaw, then divide into two squares. Flour your surface and with a rolling pin, roll each square out to about 12 inches. The trace a circle with a knife and put back into the fridge–covered with parchment.
To make the Frangipane filling, soften a stick of butter, place the softened butter and almond paste in a mixer and blend well, add the sugar and blend well, add the almond meal and blend well, add the eggs and blend well. It’ll look like this:
I chilled the filling for about a half hour. Then I took the two circles of puff pastry out of the fridge. I placed on circle on parchment on a cookie sheet. I brushed a one-inch perimeter on the edges with egg wash and placed the filling on that circle of pastry. Topped it with the other circle of puff pastry, crimped the edges, gave the top an egg wash and baked it!
Back in the day, when I was a young Catholic school girl, Lent was a big deal. Honest to god, I actually gave up sugar when I was ten and ever since then, I’ve never had sugar in my tea. I’ve made up for it in other ways though. Being deeply shallow, I figure I’ll revisit those days when I was a very pious individual. I think I’ll give up ALL sweets and sugar along with NO in between meals at all. Over the next 40 days, I could lose a good 10 pounds if I stick to it. I won’t give in to temptation either. Except on Sunday! Oh yeah, and except today. I’ll just enjoy the galette too!
Two songs from Miss Lesley Gore today! “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows”…..and the great “Maybe I Know”. Thank you Lesley. You are already missed!