I’m Just Sayin’

David Muise runs into old buddy Bobby Cur­tola, Canada’s Frankie Avalon.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - David Muise I’m Just Sayin’ David Muise prac­tises law in New Water­ford. He wel­comes reader com­ments and sug­ges­tions at davidqc@ shel­don­nathanson. ca. His col­umn nor­mally ap­pears in the Cape Bre­ton Post ev­ery sec­ond Mon day.

On a re­cent visit to Hal­i­fax I ran into my old friend, Bobby Cur­tola. Bobby who? Bobby Cur­tola, Canada’s Frankie Avalon. Frankie who? Let me ex­plain.

Bobby Cur­tola, from Port Arthur, Ont., was a teen idol in the mid- 1960s. With hits like “For­tune Teller” and “Three Rows Over and Two Seats Down,” he was a suc­cess­ful Cana­dian rocker long be­fore Cana­dian con­tent rules were even thought of. At the height of his ca­reer he played a dance at the Steel­work­ers Hall in Syd­ney and I was for­tu­nate enough to win two tick­ets in a ra­dio sta­tion con­test.

My first thought was that Mike and I would go but Ma sug­gested that they prob­a­bly meant for me to take a girl. A girl? I had skated with girls at the fo­rum but had never ac­tu­ally asked a girl out.

The next day at school the talk was all about Bobby Cur­tola, a gen­uine star with songs on the ra­dio and ev­ery­thing, com­ing to Syd­ney. With two free tick­ets in my pocket, get­ting a date was look­ing good. By af­ter­noon I had worked up the courage to ask a girl (name with­held to pro­tect the in­no­cent) and she said yes.

Next I turned my at­ten­tion to my wardrobe, as a jacket and tie were re­quired in those days. I had a tie but didn’t own a jacket so the Old Man bor­rowed one from his friend Kelly who was about my size. Then a lick of pol­ish on my shoes, a crease in my pants, a knot in my tie and my out­fit was com­plete. Pic­ture this, Grey flan­nel pegged pants, blue shirt, green tie, Black Watch tar­tan jacket, flat- top hair­cut and Buddy Holly glasses. What a vi­sion!

Another de­tail to work out was trans­porta­tion. I asked around and learned that my friend Joe was go­ing to the dance and, be­ing a few years older, was al­lowed to have his fa­ther’s car for the evening. He said we could go with him. Per­fect!

Now there was just one more thing — I couldn’t dance a lick. I had done a sort of waltz with Ma, so the slow ones were no prob­lem, but this was still the jive era which re­quired some moves. Mike had a small record player in his bed­room and his sis­ter Chris­tine agreed to give us a few lessons af­ter school. She said I danced like St. Vitas.

Fi­nally the big night ar­rived and Bobby didn’t dis­ap­point. Dressed in a sparkly, baby blue jacket he sang all his hits plus some from Elvis, the Ever­ley Broth­ers and, of course, Frankie Avalon. I stum­bled through a few jive num­bers and man­aged not to em­bar­rass my­self too much and Bobby added that touch of star power that made it a spe­cial night.

Af­ter the dance we went to the Sands Res­tau­rant for fries and a pop and to lis­ten to more Bobby Cur­tola songs on the juke­box. Joe dropped us off in front of my date’s house say­ing he couldn’t wait as he had im­por­tant busi­ness to tend to at Vic­to­ria Park. As I walked my date up the drive­way, the porch light came on and her fa­ther came burst­ing through the door. Ap­par­ently he had some­thing against his daugh­ter be­ing in a car with a boy. My fight or flight in­stinct kicked in and I was off like a shot.

Years later I crossed paths with Bobby again when I was pres­i­dent of the can­cer so­ci­ety and he was play­ing a se­ries of fundrais­ers for us.

He had a great laugh when I told him my first date story, es­pe­cially the part about be­ing chased down Wel­ton Street.

The girl and I went out for a while then broke up, Bobby con­tin­ues to per­form, and I still dance like St. Vitas.

I’m just sayin’...

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