Chuck Berry dies; for me it was a teenage wedding

March 19, 2017

It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well…

That first line from the song “You Never Can Tell” is what came to mind just now when I read that Chuck Berry, the black musician, known for his unique guitar licks and his duck walk while performing, had died at age 90.

The news was that he died today, Saturday, March 18, 2017.

My mom liked the song I think because it sounded to her like my marriage, which she opposed at the time. And all these years later I don’t blame her. Both my wife and I know she was right, even if we did make that marriage last for just shy of 43 years, when my wife died.

My wife was just 16, almost 17, and I had just recently turned 18 when we were married in November of 1967. Later, neither one of us would have advised anyone so young to marry.

My mom had nothing against my late wife. She just knew that life can be rough and that we were too young.

Oh, my mom was I think only 18 or so when she was married. And the Great Depression hit not long after. My folks stayed together — till death did they part.

Young people only know what is in their hearts. And they want to enjoy life and each other and be happy.

Berry was not so young when he became popular — he was already in his 30s. But he was a pioneer in rock ‘n’ roll. And so many artists would later virtually copy his lyrics and style.

I lost my youth a long time ago. I lost my wife seven years ago. And now we have all lost Chuck Berry.

Life goes on. But somehow, to me, it is almost as if the music has died.