This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
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Stand Partners, A Postcard Romance

20 October 2017

A micro story contrived from two postcards.

It's the great mystery. Who will it be? When will you meet? Where will it happen? Questions endlessly replayed but never answered. You just don't know. So you dream. You hope. You go back to practicing your violin. Scales are so boring.

You think you know what it will feel like. It will be a kind of kinship in sound. An affinity for music that mirror's your own sensibility, your passion, even your very breath. Or maybe just in tune. With most of the right rhythms.

So you wait. There's no worry. Time passes slowly. Perhaps in a couple of months. Maybe a few years. Surely not forever?

Then one day you notice something. There's a hint of shy rapport from a name and face you've known for a while, yet somehow never sensed before. A new familiarity that's comfortable and fun. The violins dance. The upbows and downbows cavort across the strings. Cellos and violas blend together and pick up the tune. The orchestra sings with wonderful fervor. Notes fit together like dovetails on a wooden box. 

So one day, February 23, 1912 to be exact, you take a chance. A postcard photo with just a simple wish. “Many happy returns of the day. Jerrie.”  That's wouldn't seem too forward, too presumptive, would it?

And quickly, without effort, a tiny spark kindles a glow that builds from flicker to flame. Your mystery dissolves in the bright light of companionship. The Who becomes a him. The When flips tense from future to past. And the Where turns out to be closer than you'd ever imagine. 

Unlocking the mystery brings a treasure. Another photo card and a handsome one too, with an unmistakable inscription. “To the Harmony Girlie - From the Melody Boy - Q_ Young

So that's how it happens. The perfect stand partner doesn't just appear. They've always been there. The strangeness is that you can't remember if there ever was a before. It's as if the two were always one. Harmony and melody intertwined. As it was always meant to be.

* * *

These two violinists, girl and boy,
to my knowledge never actually met.

But they could have.

The only clues to their identity
are what you see here.
So now, sweethearts or not,
my imagined postcard romance
will have them play as stand partners forever.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where everyone waits for that special someone.


Jo Featherston said...

What great imagination you have! Fun that the young girl's standing portrait also features a wrought iron gate, even if it is only a backdrop screen in the photographer's studio.

Kristin said...

I'm sure they met and eventually there was a stairstep row of little violin players!

Susan Kelly said...

Great photos!

Alan Burnett said...

A perfect balance of excellent images (which are so well presented and displayed) and fine words. As I have so often said over the years - you define the genre Mike.

Little Nell said...

A love story, and so believable when told in your inimitable style, and illustrated with such charming postcards.

tony said...

Bravo Mr Melody Boy!

Mollys Canopy said...

Excellent and evocative story woven from these two post cards. You should try your hand at fiction!

La Nightingail said...

Ah, you romantic, you! Perfect pictures, and your lovely 'story' touched my romantic heart as I write romance stories too. :)

Barbara Rogers said...

Sorry to be late to the concert...but I can still enjoy the harmonious blend of these two cards by the maestro of romance. Thanks!

Wendy said...

Harmony Girl and Melody Boy - now that's a line! Smooth ~


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