MY DAY: Make your own kind of music

For those of us who are old enough to remember the hypnotizing,velvety voice of the legendary Mama Cass Elliot, probably can recall her signature hit, “Make Your Own Kind Of Music.”

The song…
My Uncle Ron joined the Navy, and was stationed in Norfork Virginia. Our family made frequent trips to the East Coast, and forty years later, they still remain some of the most vivid, and thrilling highlights of my childhood.

During one visit when I accompanied my grandparents, Uncle Ron drove me to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was exciting just to spend the day with him, but I was terribly mesmerized with the narrow roads bordered by water on each side.


I can still remember the tiny outline of Cape Hatteras lighthouse in the distance. As we continued on our southerly route, the lighthouse became enchantingly larger.

When we turned into the park nestled against the small community of Buxton North Carolina, Mama Cass Elliot’s hit came on the radio. My uncle joined the popstar by singing along with her.

We climbed to the top of the lighthouse, and looked out into the water. There was a distinct eeriness, mingled with the thrill of seeing skeletons of a number of ships that had sunk out in the ocean before us.

In 1987, my uncle’s life abruptly ended. It was 12 years before I could return to Virginia, and the Outer Banks.

I took that vacation of 1999 because I figured it might be one of my last for a while since I planned to adopt children soon. Little did I know I would be returning quite often over the next 12 years.

As I drove along the sand-sided highway, a lump caught in my throat when I spied the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in the distance.  The healing process was finally nearing its end.

As I pulled into the park, my head begin spinning as Mama Cass Elliot sounded from my radio with “Make Your Own Kind of Music.”

I immediately concluded: my uncle was still very much with me.

The summer of 2003 I took my two oldest sons, Joshua and Matthew, to the Outer Banks for a vacation. I had explain to them how Mama Cass Elliot had played a part in my two previous visits to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

Once again, as we pulled into the park, the same familiar, haunting melody poured out of the speakers. The boys thought I had planted a cassette tape with the song. Nope. It was really happening.

Several times between 2005 and 2011, Mama Cass Elliot made a repeat performance during our visits to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

This afternoon, I was chatting with one of my student’s parents about the impending adoption of my newest son. I mentioned that I wished several family members could have known my sons.

After my last student left, I sat down at my desk to attend to some business, and more adoption paperwork. I turned on the television set to simply keep me company. Within a few minutes, I heard:

Nobody can tell ya;

There’s only one song worth singin’,

They may try and sell ya,

‘Cause it hangs them up to see someone like you.

But you’ve gotta make your own music

Sing your own special song,

Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

You’re gonna be knowing

The loneliest kind of lonely,

It may be rough goin’,

Just to do your thing’s the hardest thing to do.

But you’ve gotta make your own music

Sing your own special song,

Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

So if you cannot take my hand,

And if you must be goin’,

I will understand.

But you’ve gotta make your own music

Sing your own special song,

Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

I will understand.

But you’ve gotta make your own music

Sing your own special song,

Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

Always, always, always make your own kind of music.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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