11 March 2009

Beverly memories online: Songs for Sean on the Sonic Memorial Project

For all its many faults, the Internet can be a great tool for teaching, remembering and reaching out. Beverly's desire to leave behind her memories and a record of her post-9/11 activities has resulted in small caches of treasure online.

One of these is an audio clip of Beverly talking about songs that Sean loved or were "part of the story of his life." To surprise him on his 50th birthday, Beverly gave a list of songs to her sister to burn onto a CD. In the online audio clip, Beverly talks us through parts of the CD, doing a passable rendition of the opening track, "Come Softly to Me" by the Fleetwoods. You can hear the lightness and the love in her voice when she describes her husband's reaction on hearing the first song. "And I remember when we first played it for Sean, you know, when he got the CD, the smile on his face when he heard it..."

But Beverly never shied away from discussing the difficult times in her life, and one of these was the beginning of her long relationship with Sean. Another track on the gift CD was "Town Without Pity" by Gene Pitney. "When you're young and so in love as we," the song begins, "and bewildered by the world we see, why do people hurt us so? Only those in love would know what a town without pity can do." Beverly recalled that she and Sean were 16 when they met. "Nobody thought it could possibly last. The adults of the place gave us quite a hard time." But as in much of her life, there was triumph and vindication after adversity. "And we were right, because we stayed together for 34 years."

To listen to the audio clip, visit the archive page of the Sonic Memorial Project, which was established by National Public Radio. Type "Eckert" into the search box and the link to Beverly's clip will appear (after clicking the "Go" button).

No comments: