Relay: Good Day Sunshine

I love how songs can stir memories of people, events, and times in one’s life

   Given the tantalizing headline, I couldn’t wait until Thursday to read “Here Comes the Sun,” Carrie Ann Salvi’s “Relay” in the May 16 edition of The Star, so I snuck back to the production department on Tuesday afternoon. (Tuesday afternoon is never ending, as Paul McCartney sang in “Lady Madonna,” so I had time to spare.)
    Carrie Ann dispensed some fine advice about getting outdoors and basking in the sights and sounds in intrigue of nature’s beauty, to borrow a few words from Van Morrison (“Come Here My Love”). The piece reminded me of a letter I wrote to The Star a few summers ago, as I sat sweating in the literally 100-degree heat of my Brooklyn apartment, having just sliced my palm open in the act of installing an air-conditioner. The Great Recession had reduced me to a lowly freelance writer, a divorce was imminent, and the nearest beach was at Coney Island (don’t bother). In hindsight, it was the midpoint of a years-long descent.
    The letter was given the heading “Chill Out, Give Thanks” and, probably composed in a dreamlike state brought on by heat exhaustion and the drowning of much sorrow, pleaded with certain of The Star’s warring letter-writers to stop bickering and appreciate the paradise in which they live. I suggested they go to the ocean together and jump in for an exhilarating swim, and promised to make the 100-mile trip to join them if they did. (No one got back to me, but the offer stands.)
    I love how songs can stir memories of people, events, and times in one’s life. For me, the Beatles’ “Revolver” album always takes me back to long-ago summers and will, one hopes, provide the soundtrack for more to come.
    One of my earliest memories is of being in a car with my father, driving from our house in Hither Hills to the house of friends in Culloden Shores, where we picked them up and drove them to our house for dinner. It had to be July or August, and in my recollection, “Good Day Sunshine” played on the car’s radio as we made our way up and over the high hill on Flamingo Road.
    What joy emanated from the old Buick’s cheap speakers! A jaunty, bouncy number recalling the English dancehall music that in no small measure informed their staggeringly brilliant oeuvre, “Good Day Sunshine” still delivers a smile and the promise, through the long, frigid nights of winter or the cool rain of last Thursday, that, as Mr. McCartney sang years later, “It’s never too long before the summer comes again / It always comes again.”
    And so it has. If you’re reading this, Sir Paul, please get in touch. We should definitely take our guitars and bike down to the ocean this summer.


    Christopher Walsh is a reporter for The Star, and if Sir Paul should care to know, he can be reached at cwalsh@ ehstar.com.