THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY LIVED IN MY SPEAKERS

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY LIVED IN MY SPEAKERS
AMY PENWELL
5/28/08

I used to think the Partridge Family lived in my speakers.

In our dining room we had an old wood cabinet
that housed our Hi-FI,  our records,                               (me and steph                                                                                           30 years later)
the fancy silver, and china that was
only brought out for the holidays.
We possessed in our record collection an array of albums. Journey, as mention in previous entries, Fleetwood Mac, (Mick Fleetwood terrified me!) Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristopherson, Rush , Van Halen, Willie Nelson, Neil Diamond, and my favorite at the time The Partridge Family.

I was MAD for Keith Partridge.
I was young enough not to be able to make the
“TH” sound with my tongue and teeth.
I thought his name was “Keif”.

My oldest sister Stephanie sat me down one day, record in hand, and helped me learn to pronounce my boyfriends name properly. I wanted to be prepared for him when he came out of the speakers for me.

To my horror some other sibling had taken the time to draw a beard and glasses on all of the Partridge family members. It was the only picture I had of my boyfriend, and until he came out of the speakers to sing with me and watch my dance routines, I was left with a blue bearded Kief.
“Fuckers” thought the four year old.

I was an alarming escapist as a child. My mother of four (sometimes five) also had the amazing ability to turn off her surroundings and enter her own world. My mom did her yoga, morning meditation, and study on the days when she didn’t have to substitute teach. She usually made me do this with her.  Lots of “Sun Salutations” heavy “Pranayama” breathing, and my least favorite; “The Belly rolls” followed by jogging in place. I remember watching my mother, holding her breasts while running around the living room, breathlessly saying “lift up your knees sweetie”.

The sounds of our rolling, running stomachs completely grossed me out.

During the morning yoga sessions I refused, I could be found having my own spiritual experience staring into the speakers in the living room, adjacent the dining room. I would stare into the tan colored fabric of the speaker, into the alternate universe where the Partridges’ lived.

I played “I Woke up in Love This Morning” over and over and over again.  That was “Our Song”, by that I mean mine and Keiths’.  I believed with my whole four year old body, mind and soul that he was in there. A tiny little version of Kieth to love and in this case, behold. I couldn’t quite make him out, but I could see the shining reflection of the tambourines, guitars and microphones. What other explanation could there be? My mom may have tried to set me straight, with some sort of dry, adult explanation, but I don’t remember being affected by it.
I believed.

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